“Once upon a time…”
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
“RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!”
Only that last example, however, means it’s Tuesday and time for this week’s edition of The Box in our newsroom! For those who might be unfamiliar with this weekly feature, possibly because your parents never read you the fairytale about a magical newsroom that lives in the shadow of a rabid squirrel named “Skippy,” I should probably take a moment to explain so this all makes sense.
Each Tuesday, with the help of Skippy the Rabid Squirrel, I utilize my investigative journalism skills to uncover the mystery behind a photo selected from The Box: a collection of unidentified photos which — much like Dolph Lundgren movies — have remained unclaimed since the 1980s.
Because credibility is important when it comes to journalism, particularly when it involves rabid squirrels, I utilize the following random photo selection process: While my fellow reporters are deep in concentration (playing Farm games on Facebook) I dump the contents of The Box onto the newsroom floor, then yell “RELEASE THE SQUIRREL!” and toss Skippy into the room. The photo closest to the first person to scream — including myself — is chosen.
See? I told you it would make sense!
As some of you may remember, last week’s edition was postponed when I was tapped out as a volunteer firefighter to respond to a car accident involving a cow. The driver was unhurt. And due to the investigative skills gained by reading this weekly feature, you have probably deduced by now that the cow — who we’ll just call “Patty” — was not driving. Though I wasn’t able to get my post up (Yes, I already regret saying that) I WAS able to reveal the photo that will be the subject of today’s journalistic investigation…
As always, the first step is to identify clues establishing a timeline. There are two telltale pieces of evidence that helped me conclude this photo was taken 1989. The first is the use of the nylon eyeglasses strap worn by the guy on the far right…
The second piece of evidence, which is perhaps more definitive, is this guy. Or more precisely, his shirt, which I donated to St. Vincent DePaul in 1989…
With our timeline established, it was time to figure out what was going on here. This sent me back into the archives here at Siuslaw News, where I began searching through the year 1989 for more clues…
This led to the discovery of an article with the headline:
Local Liberace and Séance clubs cross over
In the article, members claim the pianist, who died two years earlier, made an appearance “during a ‘joint’ meeting of the two clubs.” Note the placement of quote marks in that sentence, which could be important.
Along with the article was this photo, which could also be important…
Because there was no Photoshop back in the late 80s, and the guy who faked the Lee Harvey Oswald photo was no longer alive by the 80s, I had to conclude that both photos are genuine. My guess is that the photo that includes the spirit of Liberace is probably somewhere safe, next to someone’s candelabra.
My bet is on that guy with the horrible shirt.