Twilight Ted's Wilderness Libary
By Thomas Hardy
I heard a small sad sound,
And stood awhile among the tombs around:
“Wherefore, old friends,” said I, “are you distrest,
Now, screened from life’s unrest?”
—”O not at being here;
But that our future second death is near;
When, with the living, memory of us numbs,
And blank oblivion comes!
“These, our sped ancestry,
Lie here embraced by deeper death than we;
Nor shape nor thought of theirs can you descry
With keenest backward eye.
“They count as quite forgot;
They are as men who have existed not;
Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;
It is the second death.
“We here, as yet, each day
Are blest with dear recall; as yet, can say
We hold in some soul loved continuance
Of shape and voice and glance.
“But what has been will be —
First memory, then oblivion’s swallowing sea’
Like men foregone, shall we merge into those
Whose story no one knows.
“For which of us could hope
To show in life that world-awakening scope
Granted the few whose memory none lets die,
But all men magnify?
“We were but Fortune’s sport;
Things true, things lovely, things of good report
We neither shunned nor sought … We see our bourne,
And seeing it we mourn.”
A GIANT thank you to Dr. Jacob Adler for locating the lost “Wilderness Library” video by Norman Weissman for the USIA.
Who was James Theodore Richmond? What was the Wilderness Library? What happened to Ted after his (so called) disappearance in the mid-1950’s? You’ll find the answers here and in the “Down Twilight Trail” online book.
NOTE: Ted went on to live a very fulfilling life in Texarkana, TX., after he left his wilderness home. I believe the Saturday Evening Post story and all the flack he received from the local sophisticated “hillbillies” and some “highfalutin” librarians from Chicago at a very contentious community meeting in Jasper, AR., solidified this decision to leave and never return (except in secret trips to the JL Raney farm).
Feel free to browse and share this web site with your friends and neighbors. There is much we still do not know about this great American, a true legend of his time.
We are always looking for more information, stories, and pictures. Feel free to post them or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis L. Raney