Tag Archives: Balladeer’s Blog

POLO: U.S. OPEN, ROUND TWO, DAY FOUR

Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. Polo was already centuries old when Alexander the Great’s men played it! FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE  

Aspen Polo ClubROUND TWO, DAY FOUR: FIRST MATCH – ASPEN VS SANTA CLARA. In this Match Aspen – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Eighty-Fivers – rode against Santa Clara – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Saints.

Polo Silhouette LogoThe Eighty-Fivers were all over the Saints in the First Chukker, outscoring them 3 Goals to 1. In the Second Chukker the scoring slowed down as the teams mustered just 1 Goal each for a 4-2 Aspen lead.

The offenses matched each other 2-2 in the Third Chukker, giving the Eighty-Fivers a 6-4 advantage at Halftime. Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER: PART TEN – MELUNGEON VARIATIONS

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer condensedPART TEN: MELUNGEON VARIATIONS

In the previous installment I wrapped up my review of the various surviving Fool Killer Letters recounting the folk figure’s homicidal adventures in North Carolina, Virginia (including what is now West Virginia) and Kentucky.

Those tales presented the Milton Chronicle‘s Fool Killer from the late 1840s or early 1850s on through the late 1870s or possibly as late as 1880. That figure slew fools with his club/ walking stick/ cudgel and his set of Bowie knives, each blade inscribed with the words “Fool Killer.”  

The very first Fool Killer Letter by Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans’ fictional Jesse Holmes has not survived, so if Evans made reference to being inspired by any older Fool Killer traditions we have no way of knowing it.

East Tennessee MountainsIf he had, one possible source would be the Fool Killer figure from Melungeon folklore in East Tennessee and other Appalachian areas. Or, since we have no way of checking exact dates, Evans’ darkly satirical tales may have influenced the existing Melungeon lore since Melungeons at the time were scattered from Tennessee to North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia.

If you’re not familiar with the Melungeon people their origin is shrouded in centuries of folklore. Since I’m covering Fool Killer legends specifically here, I will simplify Melungeon origin tales for the sake of brevity.

The Melungeon origin traditions relevant to Fool Killer lore: a) Pre-Columbian Portuguese sailors became shipwrecked here in the New World and intermarried with Native Americans of the area to produce the Melungeons … b) Ancient Phoenicians arrived in the New World while sailing in search of new lands to colonize, so Melungeons are descendants of those Phoenicians … and c) Satan (“Old Horny” as he’s called in Melungeon folk tales) bred with Native American women to produce the Melungeons. (Only NON-Melungeons told this tale.)    

FOOL KILLER VARIATION ONE: I’ll begin with the Melungeon Fool Killer tradition which states that the Devil/ Old Horny coupled with already existing Melungeon women who happened to be witches OR who were victims of his forced affections. One of those women gave birth to his son. Continue reading

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POLO: U.S. OPEN, ROUND TWO, DAY THREE

Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. Polo was already centuries old when Alexander the Great’s men played it! FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE  

Cessna PoloROUND TWO, DAY THREE: FIRST MATCH (OF THREE) – CESSNA VS SD FARMS. Starting the day’s action was this Match pitting Cessna – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Citations – against SD Farms – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Magnates.

International Polo Club overheadThe two teams spent the First Chukker feeling each other out, as the tentative offenses were limited to just 1 Goal apiece. In the Second Chukker the Magnates swatted in a pair of Goals to the 1 notched by their opponents to grab a 3-2 edge.

The Third Chukker saw the Citations and SD Farms exchange 2 Goals each for a 5-4 Magnates lead at Halftime.   Continue reading

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LOVIN’ SPOONFUL: POW!

Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead strikes again here at Balladeer’s Blog. It’s Pow, that silly but catchy song that served as the theme song for Woody Allen’s movie What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (Not to be confused with What’s New, Pussycat? but it often is for some reason.)

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POLO: U.S. OPEN, ROUND TWO, DAY TWO

Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. Polo was already centuries old when Alexander the Great’s men played it! FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE  

Pilot PoloROUND TWO, DAY TWO: FIRST MATCH – PILOT VS TONKAWA FARMS. Starting off Day Two action was this Match between Pilot – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Troubleshooters – and Tonkawa Farms – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Cavalry.

I’ve often praised Polo for the way women and men can play on the same teams and this Match features Malia Bryan riding as one of Tonkawa Farms’ foursome.

International Polo ClubPilot has already won the first two titles in the 2019 Gauntlet of Polo (formerly called the Triple Crown of Polo) and are striving to make history. The Troubleshooters got off to a fast start, putting 3 Goals between the Uprights to the 2 scored by their opponents in the First Chukker.

The Second Chukker was more of a defensive epic, with Pilot notching the only Goal to go on top of the Cavalry 4-2. The ball once more flew between the Uprights with giddy abandon in the 3rd Chukker. Tonkawa Farms outscored the Troubleshooters 3-2 to pull within 6-5 at Halftime. Continue reading

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CURSE OF LA LLORONA: MOVIE REVIEW

masc graveyard newBalladeer’s Blog’s coverage of earlier film versions of The Curse of La Llorona (“The Crying Woman“) has always been popular with readers. Here’s my 2011 review of The Curse of the Crying Woman. And for more of my reviews of neglected Mexican horror films which may themselves be getting big-budget remakes if La Llorona is a hit, click HERE 

Curse of the Crying WomanCURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN ( 1961 ) – The crying or weeping woman, called La Llorona in her native Mexico, is the undeniable queen of Mexi- Monsters. This ghoulish menace has appeared in many, many films before and after this one, but this 1961 version was the one that added witchcraft to her powers and spawned the “Llorona- mania” that shows no signs of abating.

The most recent Mexican horror film about her in 2007 used the tag line “The legend of La Llorona never dies”.

Since I’m a mythology geek I’ll point out that variations of the story of La Llorona can be traced all the way back to Aztec times, but the Christianized version of her story goes like this: Continue reading

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FOOL KILLER: PART NINE – THE OXFORD TORCH-LIGHT LETTER (1878)

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer on cowcatcherPART NINE: This installment draws to a close the opening era of Fool Killer lore but we have much, much more to go after this. (At left is the figure riding a train’s cowcatcher like he often did to get around.)

This part exhausts the era of the Fool Killer Letters, seven of which survived from the Milton Chronicle newspaper, with a fragment of an 8th being quoted in the Southern Literary Messenger, and now we have this ninth (imitation) Fool Killer Letter from the Oxford Torch-Light.

Torch-Light Editor A.W. Davis is the assumed author of this letter which seems to have been written as an homage to Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans’ original Fool Killer Letters. The letter is much shorter than the usual correspondence from the fictional Jesse Holmes, as the Fool Killer claimed was his real name.  Continue reading

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