I hope most of my readers recall with admiration and gratitude Mlle. Hermis Moutardier. Mlle. Moutardier, a senior flight attendant, led crew and passengers in disarming Richard Reid, aka the Shoe Bomber, on an American Airlines Paris-Miami flight in 2001.
I have admired Mlle. Moutardier for the past 16 years since the incident. The hapless, thankfully thwarted Reid is serving 10 consecutive life sentences plus 110 years (the rationale of Federal corrections formulas gets a little arcane for me).
I wrote a post in 2015 celebrating once again the admirable Mlle. Moutardier’s actions. Yesterday, Mlle. Moutardier herself submitted a comment to my two-year-old post! I was teary that she would thank me for honoring her; I felt she was honoring me, for which there was no reason at all. She was the hero; I was a mere reporter, years after the fact.
I have always thought of Hermis Moutardier as an inspiration. This is the crew member who led the capture of The Shoe Bomber! She poured a pitcher of ice water on his head and backup arrived from all over the plane. I believe one of the three captains in the cockpit even came out to help secure the inept Reid.
Hermis Moutardier’s comment is posted on my 2015 article at the above link. It is very brief. Her humility is stunning. I believe she must have simply been doing a search for her own name, as many people do, and come upon my blog. And wow! She thanked me for writing about her. How many people thank people they don’t know for anything?
Hermis Moutardier remains a heroine to me, as well as an example of humility. I am grateful our paths have crossed in space.
It seems sometimes that space is where real people are.
Image is from Time.com
My husband was counsel to the defendant in a murder trial this week. The trial ran from Tuesday morning through today (Friday) around noon. The jury convicted the defendant of second-degree murder after deliberating an hour and a half. The slaying occurred a little more than two years ago.
The defendant, who has Parkinson’s Disease, testified that he feared the victim, with whom he was friends, because, he claimed, the victim had walked into his house, and because, he alleged, the victim had once shoved him (“threw me down”) on the stairs. The defendant also testified that the victim had robbed him at various times.
Things evidently didn’t improve, so when friend victim walked in, friend defendant shot him. The .45 caliber bullet took quite a tour through the victim’s chest, heart, aorta, and arm. A medical autopsy expert testified and showed grizzly slides showing a very great deal of blood. I attended only Thursday morning; my chief interest in the trial was hearing the expert’s testimony.
Sentencing negotiations are underway. The defendant told me yesterday that he looks forward to prison.
I was reading The Bruised Reed by Puritan Richard Sibbes (1577–1635) today, recovering from the rare occasion of sitting in on a trial, even just one day, for just a few hours. I was there because I like the defendant. He thanked me very graciously for a roll I served him at the jail’s Thanksgiving dinner last year. My husband and I were among several people who helped serve the dinner. It was my favorite Thanksgiving of all time. But Sibbes had something serious to say that seemed connected to friend defendant:
“All light that is not spiritual, because it lacks the strength of sanctifying grace, yields to every little temptation, especially when it is fitted and suited to personal inclinations.” (Richard Sibbes: The Bruised Reed)
“Personal inclinations.” They should probably be treated like flashing signs at railroad crossings. Ignore them at terrible, bloody peril.
Our county prosecutor and his staff have a tradition of organizing a Thanksgiving dinner at the jail, and this year my husband, who is a county public defender, and I took up the offer to help serve the dinner. I’m so thankful that we did, because it turned out to be the most enjoyable Thanksgiving I have ever had, and I didn’t eat a thing. We served, and the “resident guests” as I call them, took their plates back to their quarters.
Everyone was in pleasant, gracious spirits, and all the resident guests were upbeat and thankful for everything. One fellow even took the opportunity to thank the prosecutor for getting him there!
I was pleased to meet several of my husband’s clients, who very kindly extended to me their appreciation for their attorney. Our resident guests all were pleasant men and women. Had I thought about it beforehand, it would have been difficult for me to imagine such contention-free warmth in a diverse group of 50 people at a holiday event. It would have been difficult for me to imagine being comfortable around so many people. But there it all was: the unimaginable. My best Thanksgiving ever.
There can be no better way to unwind than to cast your line into a pond where a trout will take a fancy to your lure. My husband caught the limit in less than an hour Friday evening, and we headed home with five good-size trout in his creel.
The white setting sun, rocks, and reflections in the water added to the beauty and serenity of the pond, now a favorite place. The Snake River is wonderful, and there’s no catch limit for Crappie, and my husband likes Crappie–but he prefers trout, and the limit of five is sufficient for eating and canning.
I don’t recall specifically when people quit calling, writing, or speaking in person to people, and instead began “reaching out.” Whatever the timing, I cannot help but think that it marked a point of devolution in our language.
As a downhome introvert, the idea of being reached out to is as creepy as bugs. Just call me, write me, or talk to me if we’re in the same airspace. I’m approachable; I’m just not particularly big on socializing, though I enjoy occasional brief forays into social terrain.
If I go into the bedroom when Effie is napping on her hammock, she often rolls over onto her back, hangs her head down over the edge of the hammock toward the floor with her face up, and wiggles around on her back, her forearms stretched out over her head toward the floor. It’s such an adorable greeting that I have long wanted to photograph it. Of course anyone who photographs their cat knows that cats scan their peoples’ brains, detect motives, and thwart them.
And so she did. I went back for my camera, hoping she would repeat her adorable greeting. She began washing her paws and tummy, and then lolled back, one leg reaching outward with claws extended, and her tongue out. I caught her just before she resumed putting her coat and paws in order.
The photo is significant to me. Effie is reaching out while sticking out her tongue. My response to the idea of being “reached out” to, in most cases, is “bleah.”
The second photo is close, but not her perfected form of the Adorable Look.
First Order Klutzes are not rare in the population, but they are trained from birth not to be Klutzes, and to be ashamed of their manifest Klutz gifts. The thwarting of these valiant soldiers of the cast, bandage, and ruined items of property is devastating for the economy, as well as morbid to the Klutz spirit.
I am a Klutz Master, and I am accepting applicants for the High Order of Klutz Apprentice. I figure qualified applicants should not have to work their way up.
Qualified applicants will have been admitted for emergency treatment a minimum of three times in the past five years. It’s okay if they are unable to recall how many times, as long as the minimum is met. Admission will be on account of something unusual or unaccountable. Fault is irrelevant. Family history of the Klutz trait is not necessary.
My qualifications for Klutz Master were cinched when I failed to deploy a bathmat yesterday, causing me to glide onto the ceramic floor, sit down much too abruptly, bruise my sacral spine, and fall backward so that the back of my head hit the ledge of the shower, leaving a rather large bruise and bump, and a considerably upended morning for my husband. The wait in the ER wasn’t overlong, the CT scan was negative, and the doctor was congenial and I think somewhat pro-Klutz leaning.
Take up the Klutz challenge!
I intend to vote this year, but not for President. Yes, voting for our national leader is a privilege; but when I believe that no virtuous choice is possible, I decline to make a choice that will result in an earnest need for repentance.
I find support for my position from two very different thinkers, having read extensively from the work of both. The first is a Christian; the other is an atheist. Both arrive at the same conclusion concerning good and evil, although they have some significant disparities as to what constitutes good and evil.
“Of two evils, choose neither.”—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“The lesser of two evils is evil.”–Ayn Rand
(Rand also cited “the evil of two lessers.”)