(Note: the following is composed in Second-Quarter Twenty-First Century Revived-Superior, or Exclusionary, English; a parallel text, in Late-Modern Mass-, or Vestigial-, American, will be posted, presently — BW)
by Emmett R Smith
ABOUT Fourteen months since, I find that I had composed the memoir at the following ‘link’; and, based solely upon oral-memory; of the story as it was told to me by my southern Minnesota american maternal family relations; of the Waseca-county ‘Schuck’ un-solved murders; all of this the dire event of a generation before. Please, be aware that my initial account features transcription of vernacular quotation; and, there in it occurs the direct setting-forth, without artifice or asterisk, of a language that may be still unacceptable; although, to-day, only thus to a bare hand-ful of readers perhaps, alas:
THERE Are a number of difficulties with the piece as it stands, not least on the point of language, as noted supra; and, about which interested readers are advised:
For ease of mind, pray, do consult the following caveat, at foot of this article.
WHAT Is of more concern to the historian, however, had ought to be the question; and, indeed, at every point of the compass; of accuracy.
First of all — and this was on the basis of long-standing family-authority, namely that of a sister-in-law of the murderd victims! — I grew up spelling the family-name ‘Schuck’; and, not as Schuch [qv infra — ERS].
The account as I transcribed it, from memory; of what I heard first forty-six years ago in the Summer of 1961; and, on the threshold of an adolescence that would be painful for all, even by the virtually-standardless ‘norms’ of my lost & bemused ‘baby-boom’ mis-generation; is, thus & first of all flawed, as to date.
Then, as well, the description as I’d received it from in-laws of the murder-victims, of the type and number of victims, diverges from the following account, now available ‘on-line’, at:
THE Foregoing altogether, therefore, is an excellent example, indeed; of the on-going work of the historian; or, rather, the labours of that man or woman who ‘makes’ history.
For, truly, that work of historianship never properly speaking may be said to be at an end.
Not as long as there be even one text or source as-yet-not-consulted.
And, the goal of all this finicking & irritated (!) striving?
Historian-emeritus John Lukacs has noted often that the ‘real work’ of the historian is not to discover ‘the truth’; it lies, rather, simply & humbly, in the janitorial task of the quotidian sweeping-away — of eliminated lies & romance & falsehood!
[SINCE The account is primarily a virtuosity-piece, which I utilise primarily as a platform to display my un-rivalled ‘knack’ (and ear!) for our regional ‘Old Lakese’ dialect of North Greater Iowa American, as spoken by the World War II so-called greatest generation, please be advised the the piece contains ‘bad’ language (‘swearing’, eg, and not sexual crudities, ie) — caveat emptor — ERS
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 13 May 2007]