This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

January 26, 2000 - Taming the Wild Cassettes

[This week's column is written by Aubrey Rudy. Aubrey is a shelver at the Highlands Ranch Library. It is her task not only to put materials back on the shelf, but also, as you'll read here, to make the shelves SAFE for those materials. Frankly, I had no idea that this position was so fraught with drama these days. Thank God we've got shelvers who are up to it. - Jamie LaRue]

I am half horse, half alligator, with a little touch of snapping turtle. I am also part shelver. I am Aubrey Crockett, and there are many legends told of me. The greatest feat I ever accomplished was when I tamed and shifted the Wild Cassettes of Mississippi.

There I was, walkin' through the woods with Old Betsy at my side, just waitin' for trouble to come along and find me, which it surely did. I was wadin' the crik 'tween Hogs Holler and the Widder Oakes farm, when this youngin' come up to me shoutin'.

"Help! Help me!" he was hollerin'. "There's a wild beast loose and it's got my pa!"

"Don't you worry, youngin'." I told him. " I am Aubrey Crockett and I have wrastled wildcats, tamed alligators, and taught rabbits how to dance. There ain't no critter alive that scares me!" So off I went to find the beast.

Now, it warn't long afore I come along this man, a sittin' on a hick'ry stump and just a shakin' like a leaf. There was grass flattened all around, and branches a torn from their trees. Darn me iffen it didn't look like a twister'd tore through the valley.

"It's gonna be alright, Mister." I says to him. "What happened?"

"A bunch of wild critters come through her," he says. "They was a roarin' and snarlin' and they just 'bout ripped me apart. I just barely escaped with m'life!"

"What kind of critters were they?"

"I dunno."

"Was they wildcats?"


"Was they mangy wolves?"

"Didn't look like it."

"Blood-thirsty Injuns?"

"I don't think so."

"What about bars? Did they look like bars?"

"What in heck's a bar?"

"You know--bars. Like the kind I killed when I was only three."

"Uhhh....I don't really know. "

"Well, it don't much matter, 'cause I can track and tame any animal that ever lived!"

"But these was real wild-like! You'd best not go a messin' with em!"

"Hey now! I killed 101 bars in one year, and I rode a sea serpent from Cape Cod to Washington! There ain't NO critter I can't tame."

So I set off, usin' my legendary trackin' skills to find the beasts. And it warn't long afore I did find 'em. I come to the base of this cliff, and there they was, a restin' on these ledges, and there were hundreds of 'em; the wild cassettes of Mississippi.

Now you might think I was a scared, but I ain't a scared of nothin'. So I grabbed Old Betsy, and I climbed up those ledges, and I started firin. Then, they just swarmed all over me.

Now, I seen some tough critters in my time, but these were the toughest. They bit, they scratched, they clawed and growled. But in the end, they weren't a match for me. I just kept firin' and stared right back into their beady little eyes, so they knew I warn't afraid. Soon, the ledges were littered with wild cassette carcasses, and I was the victor once more.

[Translation: I shifted just a little in the cassette area--the H's and K's were kinda tight. I was sure to leave room early in the alphabet, though.


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