Surprise adventures and arrivals at my book signings are becoming no longer surprising.
Last week, at the Gathering of Authors, a young lady introduced herself to me. She said she knew all about Jesse James. “What’s your name,” I asked. “Katie Cole,” she replied. “Do you live in Frankfort,” I pressed.” “No,” she responded, ” in Stamping Ground.”
Katie Cole is kin to Jesse and Frank’s mother, Zerelda Elizabeth Cole. Zerelda’s uncle, Judge James Madison Lindsay of in Stamping Ground, sent Zerelda to a convent school in Lexington for disciplinary purposes.
Katie and I conversed at length about my book and its many pictures. Her mother, April Cole, took all these pics. I believe the website KyCaptialLiving.com, where more event pics appear, is her’s, too.
Katie is one sharp and intelligent young lady. When I inquired about her interests, she said she liked creating video games. Later in the day, Katie visited me again. She was collecting autographs from all the authors. I signed mine, “To Cousin Katie, Let’s get up a video game for Jesse. Best regards…”
A short time later, Kentucky’s 1999-2000 Poet Laureate, Richard Taylor, came over to introduce himself. “You don’t have to introduce yourself, Richard. I know you well,” I said. “You do?” Richard asked. I replied, “I never forget a person who sues me.”
I then refreshed Richard’s memory of several years ago. At that time, Richard he sat on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS). The Board he sat on decided to sue me with The Concerned Members of the KHS on the advice of an executive director to the KHS, appointed by one of Kentucky most corrupt governors, Gov. Ernie Fletcher. I was the Concerned Members’ president and became the primary target of the lawsuit.
Richard and I recalled the KHS misadventure and lamented what has become of the KHS since. He shared some intelligence that things might finally be turning around for the better with the KHS. I reminded Richard of the James family’s long standing with the KHS that preceded the lawsuit. We’re both looking forward to hearing news of new directions, and the re-stabilization of the venerable, old institution.
Before I relocated to Kentucky from California, when I visited Kentucky to do research for my books, Richard Taylor’s Bookstore in Frankfort was always my first stop. I always managed to leave one or two hundred dollars behind in his store. Now, Richard says, he’ll be stocking my books.
Richard’s Taylor family has a long history with our James that will become a very clear in Volume II of Jesse James Soul Liberty – This Bloody Ground.