Family Life Settled
On November 10, 1945, John William James married Marjorie Elnoa Jones. Her nickname was Girt. Before the marriage, Girt had a previous sweetheart, but her sweetheart did not return home from World War II.
Girt fascinated a number of men. She was flirty. She loved to party and was good at drinking, too. Mike James said of his colorful mother Girt, “she lived like she was in Gone with the Wind. She hired a black woman to do her laundry, and a nanny for her children.”
When Mike James entered his sophomore year of college, Girt and John William James divorced. Girt had been a secretary to the mayor of Somerset in Pulaski County. Now she required permanent employment again. Girt entered the Turnbull Memorial School of Nursing and stayed for the next 17 years. People appreciated her directness. Her genuine warmth put people at ease. Under the most trying or difficult circumstances, Girt could always make people laugh.
At home, Girt delighted in the visits of her children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. She cooked wonderful dinners for them. As an accomplished seamstress, Girt also provided them with custom clothes she made by hand.
Girt passed on March 21, 2011, long after her husband John William James set his path to redeeming the Bastard Bunch line of the James family.
Invention of Bastard Redemption
Returning to civilian life from the military service, John William James was armed with ample skills to create a new life for himself. He pursued an occupation in the newspaper business in Knoxville, New York, Washington D.C. and Ohio. Inside the newspaper industry, he placed himself in the avant-garde of a technology that would revolutionize the publishing of newspapers in America.
At the Knoxville News Sentinel, he established one of the first phototypesetting systems used to print newspapers. The machinery necessary was not yet invented. Nor was it available in the commercial marketplace. He designed and constructed the new equipment himself.
MJ12-Close Encounters of the Ridiculed Kind
Media swarmed over reports of an unidentified flying object (UFO) that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. Public interest flared to a fever pitch.
John William James displayed these twelve pages to his three children. Then, he asked his sons Mike and Steve James and his daughter Patricia Suzanne James the question.
Whose side are you on?
“My father told me the majestic story when we were young kids. Michael said it was bogus, my late sister did not care. I did not know enough to make an informed decision.
“After serving in 2nd Force Recon in the Marines I now know the U.S. Government strategically misrepresents stories. Dad once said, ‘Yes, this is a true story. But no one will every believe it. And the feds will bury it.’ He kept the paperwork all these years…He claimed it’s true. I don’t know. I do know there are operations I was involved with that the government denies to this day that I can not prove…So I guess everyone has to decide what they believe is true. I now think Majestic was used to cover early stealth and Harrier research… – Thanks, Steve “
The Tug and Tow of Bastard Redemption
Eventually, John William James settled in Knoxville, Tennessee. At Christmas, however, he always returned home to Kentucky. When he arrived, the family noticed how he had become so noticeably different from them. He was liberal. He had many homosexual and lesbian friends.
The family also noted how alike he was to some of them. He was “constantly in this mist,” meaning he was a functioning alcoholic like so many others among the James family. The blot within the James family reached well beyond the “talented, but erratic” Rev. Joseph Martin James to an ancestral cousin Phillip Henry James in the Revolutionary War.
John William James died on June 19, 1994. In a Christian imitation, he surrendered his body for his fellow man. He donated his remains to science. Dr. Leonard P. Blass of the Department of Anatomy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio received his donation. Nothing more is known of his body’s disposition or what value came from it.
Bastard Bunch Prejudice – Nevermore
Prejudice requires a conflict. Prejudice also requires a fire, burning to survive. For the Bastard Bunch, time has evaporated the conflict among the James family. Many descendants today do not know of these ancestral events. Most James living today do not burn with the flames of contempt and hatred that once afflicted their ancestors.
As the facts of history endure, all may never be forgotten. A bastard birth can never be reborn. A bastard birth can never be corrected. What can be corrected is derision and exclusion. Inclusion and acceptance can be reawakened.
From their experience with Frank and Jesse James, the James family is too familiar with stigma. The outlaw brothers stripped away dignity, respect, and family identity itself. The James family are victims, suffering a never-ending tide of erosion and destruction. As long as the legend of Jesse James endures, so will endure a measure of public prejudice against the James family as tides of family and public disapproval recede only to advance again.
For the Bastard Bunch, however, time has erased shame, dishonor, and disgrace of their misborn stigma. Bastardy no longer creates social pariahs. Bastardy is the inheritance of the legends of history. For that alone, Jesse James was right. No one ever should be named Jesse James again.
Whose side are you on?
More about The Bastard Bunch
- Remembering Ivadean James
- Mack Henry James in Bloomington, Illinois
- The Other Woman in the Life of Mack Henry James
- Descendants of Mack Henry James
- Portrait of an Abandoned Family
- Descendants of Geneva James
- Raymond Edward “Big Burr” James Selects His Burial Site
- Rev. Bernard Patton Randall – Cousin of Jesse Woodson James & Wyatt Earp
- Charles Michael James – Artist, Poet, Publisher
- Heather Lee James, Dead at 23 from Diabetes
- Prophecy of the Two Bastards