Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The sad (but nonetheless engrossing) truth…

by Rick Blechta

Sorry for missing last week’s post, everyone. I was laid low by an incredibly virulent 24-hour stomach flu. Not wanting to risk being ill on my computer keyboard, I curled up in bed, listened to music, and waited for the damn thing to end. The next day, it was thankfully gone but I did feel as if I’d been hit repeatedly in the face with a shovel.

While not feeling up to snuff later in the week, I did a bit of reading (still enjoying Cammileri) and ran across an engrossing article in The Washington Post. Here’s the link: “The Keeper of the Secret.”

I won’t flog the political and moral aspects of this story except to say that while I understand why this particular story has such “carrying power”, in that it’s still very relevant to the people involved, I grow frantic at the thought that this may never come to a satisfactory resolution. I have the lasting impression of this man walking down a road to nowhere. To my mind he’s a hero.

What I would like to see is John Johnson’s story made into a book, a cautionary tale as it were because what he’s doing could in actual fact be very dangerous. The people of Wythe County have a shameful secret and because of their shame, or still-held beliefs, or their unwillingness to confront the past or whatever, they don’t want the full story of what was done to get out to the world. But it should.

Perhaps it was my mood when I read it, but this bit of journalism has stuck with me. Like many other non-fiction crime stories, it has all the elements of a mystery novel. The fact that what it relates is actually true, gives it huge impact.

Someone else I know who read it told me he thought it would make a great documentary or mini-series. I don’t think so. This story deserves the space only a book can give it.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Definitely a book. A complex situation.