Sunday, July 14, 2013

.....And You Don't Mess Around With Jim!

   My wife and I went for a nice ride yesterday!
We didn't set out for any specific destination.
But as we cruised down a steep mountain road
we suddenly found ourselves leaving a wooded
suburban area and coming into the eastern part
of the community of Jim Thorpe.
    One of the first things that comes into view
is a beautiful stone monument surrounded by
statues and a landscaped area which includes
plaques highlighting the life of the man for
whom this town was named. Or, in reality,
for whom this town was re-named!
    The remains of Jim Thorpe, described by the
once King of Sweden as "the greatest athlete
in the world" were entombed in this small
Pennsylvania community when he died in
1953. His wife entered into an agreement
with what were the towns of Mauch Chunk
and East Mauch Chunk to have Thorpe
interred there even though he had never
actually been to the area. In return, the
towns legally changed their name to Jim
     Recently, however, a Federal Court
decision agreed with children of Thorpe's
second wife who want the body dug up and
moved to Indian territory.
     Jim Thorpe had three wives during his
life. Descendants of his first are content to
have the remains...remain where they are.
So, two out of his three families are OK
with Jim Thorpe staying in Jim Thorpe!
    So am I!
    It was so great to see people stopping to
pay tribute to Jim Thorpe even though he
has already been gone for 60 years. This
place has become the recognized shrine to
the man and his achievements!
     And, by the way, isn't this resting place
about as "native American" as you can get?
The original name, Mac Chunk, was
derived from the term "bear mountain" in the
language of the native Lenape people!
    The Borough of Jim Thorpe has appealed
the latest Court decision and I'm hoping it
wins this "Indian battle!"
     As Jim Croce said in song..."You don't
pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger. And
you don't mess around with Jim."
     Hope Jim Thorpe stays in Jim Thorpe and
that all your NEWS is good!


Jim Thorpe

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