Thoughts on Old Drum, read & write something new everyday

In today's Wall Street Journal (Sept. 23, 2020)

While the photo above is of our sweet Lilly, the story of Old Drum as retold by Randy Maniloff, an attorney and adjunct professor at Temple University, resonates for all dog lovers.

It was 150 years ago, in Johnson County, Missouri, that a man lost his beloved hunting dog to the anger and misplaced revenge of a neighbor. Old Drum's owner, Charles Burden, filed a lawsuit against his neighbor, Leonidas Hornsby, whose nephew shot and killed Old Drum.

The story goes, that Hornsby had been losing a number of his sheep to dogs. He threatened that he would shoot any dog that came on his property, and to Burden's dismay, it was his beloved Old Drum. George Vest, the lawyer representing Old Drum's owner, offered a closing argument that lives on to this day. This is what he said to the jurors.

"The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and in sickness.

He will sleep on the cold ground . . . if only he can be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. There by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness."

(From Stand on Precedent. That's a Good Boy, by Randy Maniloff, an attorney and adjunct professor at Temple University)

If you want to read the more complete story of Old Drum, visit this blog.



HORSES of OCALA is this year's major project. A "coffee table" book featuring the horses and horse farms of Ocala, the Horse Capital of the World.

With more than 60 breeds, over 1500 horse farms, and hundreds of horse events throughout the year, I won't run out of photo opportunities and meeting horses and the people who love them.

One of my favorite pictures from this year's Horse Capital Parade, where White Barn Press was the official photographer, is one of the Royal Horses, owned by Peninsula Farm. Check out GALAOFTHEROYALHORSES.COM for more information about their performances.

Horse Lovers

Over the years there's a recurring theme in many of the pictures I take. It's the love and affection humans and horses share. The strong bond of affection that ties us together.

Day by day


NO TOLL ROAD . . . Blog on

During the weeks, now months of quarantine and shut-down, I am grateful for technology. It allows me to continue down my creative path and stay connected with friends, documenting and appreciating the small things in life and the beauty that surrounds us here on the forest. Taking photographs, mixing and matching to tell the story with just a few words and mostly images. Not only is this the year of the infamous Corona Virus, it is the year of the dreaded Toll Road that threatens to cut a wide, noisy and unnecessary swath through our paradise here on the Goethe Forest in Levy County Florida. In my own small way I have joined the fight. Thank you Kim. We inspire each other.

"It's not the writing that's hard..."

Day 14 of "stay-at-home." How many closets can I clean?? A better use of my time, sort through the thousands of horse photos and keep looking for the gems. Good advice for any of us who take a lot of photos on our phones or with a DSL camera. While I prefer my Nikon, there's no question that smart phones take some pretty great photos. This one of Trueno, an Andalusian stallion and one of Sylvia Zerbini's lead horses is my pal, I get to walk him before performances. Zen moments!

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