Thursday, September 08, 2011

"If you blink, you'll die in the dark."

Some of y'all may have heard of FBI Agent Delf "Jelly" Bryce, hired during the gangster era by the FBI despite his lack of any kind of college degree because he was real good at shootin' people for the OKCPD.

(Remember that when you think we're living in an era of non-rights-respecting jackbooted thugs, as compared to some idyllic past. I'm sure everybody Bryce shot needed shootin'. Or at least he thought they did.)

While looking for the source of the quote used as the title of this post, I stumbled a cross a .pdf a link to a .pdf of his original employment application. Apparently they taught people to write pretty back then.


perlhaqr said...

Dead link or memory holed.

Tam said...

Huh. Which one?

It's pulling up for me, but that might be because it's in my cache now...

doubletrouble said...

TU for me, too.

Basil said...

Page not found.

But the host page is still there. My guess is that it got pulled because it was getting hit too hard.


Julie said...

same for me :(

Tam said...

I changed the link to link to the page with the link... er, you know what I mean...

Hopefully it will be available again. It was cool to see how the application started off in a beautiful, ornate Spencerian hand, but by the time we got to the salary demands on page two, the script had become much more utilitarian.

Mikael said...

The story about Bryce was an excellent read, thanks for the link.

To use an old phrase "They don't make them like that anymore".

Mind you it's not entirely true, see Bob Munden, for one. Oh and Jerry Miculek, though not a lawman(Munden is or was a sheriff).

Chris said...

Link seems to be working now, although it took a long time to load. And many "public" schools do not even teach cursive writing now.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've probably read it, but a fictional Jelly Bryce has a large part in Stephen Hunter's Hot Springs. Great book.

St Paul

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I should not have been surprised. The style is similar to the handwritten minutes of Broad Ripple Lodge from about the same time period.

Ed Foster said...

Also in a book called "In Honey's Room" by Elmore Leonard. A wierd read.

Robert said...

Shooting the store owner that had the bag of money seemed a bit overboard. But, as most always, cops who screw up are treated much differently than the rest of us.

When you said "Writes pretty" I thought that you meant that he used big fancy words. Well, I guess you did mean that but not in the way I first imagined it...

Zendo Deb said...

Anyone who thinks that the "idyllic past" was one where everyone rights were respected, has never....

1. Heard of Joe McCarthy.
2. Read Dr. C. Rice's remembrances of growing up in Birmingham, AL - when the chief of police was a member of the Klan.
3. Heard of the Deacons of Defense and Justice.
4. Heard of the Trail of Tears.
5. Heard of Japanese Interment camps created during World War 2
6. Heard that American Indian youth taken from the parents and forced to attend "boarding schools" were not allowed to practice the religion of their choice.
7. Do I really need to go on?

Anonymous said...

The link worked for me. Quite the penmanship. Sister Morha would have given him an A+


Anonymous said...

"5. Heard of Japanese Interment camps created during World War 2"

I hate to bring this one up myself, not because it's untrue. It is and it was NOT GOOD, but in the vein of overreactions and dumb ideas & cruelty it barely registers. Especially against the back drop of the times.

Almost every other country seemed to view internment as opportunity for extermination at the time. The US just locked people up, fed them and allowed them to serve in the military because they were a suspicious group of ethnics belonging to a group we were at war with.

mikee said...

Pretty writing was partly a result of the technology involved.

Flowing and round letter shapes worked best with fountain pens, producing the thick and thin lines within one letter seen here. If one tried to print block letters with a fountain pen, large blots of ink sometimes marred the document. And lifting the nib from the paper also resulted in a risk of blots. So a flowing start and a delicate finish to each letter were called for.

Plus, in OK in the early part of the century, he likely learned to write with a nib on a stick, and a bottle of ink on his school desk, under the command of a teacher who knew where the best switches grew.

Moriarty said...

Well of course a jelly bean like him'd have good penmanship.

(Just be sure you say that with a smile.)

David said...

What Mikee said - plus, he probably was not in the hurry hurry rush rush mode that most of todays society lives in.

You will be amazed how "pretty" your writing will become if you do two simple things:
1 - Write! Slide that keyboard to the front of your desk, grab a pad of paper, a pen and start writing.
2- Slow down. You are writing, you are not running a race.

Anonymous said...

He was a Lawman in an era when there was precious little backup and alot of bad people were robbing banks and shooting people up. He was a great gunfighter and a decent individual according to a man that got to talk with him.
For you to disrespect him as you have done shows you have no honor
or character.
I guess he would not cut the mustard with you as a trainer.
Because, hell you know everything.

OldTexan said...

I am kind of old and when I was a kid a 4-H camp in the mid 50's I helped Jelly Bryce set up for a shooting exhibition when he was an older FBI guy.

I was an 11 year old gun nerd and I heard that this guy was coming to shoot some guns so I missed breakfast and went over where he was setting up.

He was a fantastic shot, shooting the middle out of an Ace of Spades card about 7 yards behind his back using the reflection in his diamond ring. He did a bunch of fantastic stuff with pistols, rifles, shotguns and a Tommy gun which he used with tracers to spell out 4-H in the sky.

He talked a lot about gun saftey and then he shot through the hole in a washer that had been thrown in the air, then he told us we did not really know if he sent the bullet through the hole so he put tape over it and shot again, right through the tape.

My dad had coached football in Jelly's home town in the 1920's and he knew him as both a friend and later as a guy who took out bad guys when they needed it.

I think that morning watching Jelly shoot might be one reason why I am still a gun guy.

Thanks for the memories.


Tam said...


"For you to disrespect him as you have done shows you have no honor
or character.

For you to say I "disrespected" him shows you have no reading comprehension.

I don't worry about commentary on my honor or character from somebody without the stones to put their name behind their words, coward.

Justthisguy said...

Didn't G. Gordon work with him for a while? He might have been the guy who advised Liddy to keep a few loose cartridges in the starboard jacket pocket for the inertia when sweeping it back out of the way of the draw.

Anonymous said...

Moriarty, I knew a man who grew up on a hard scrabble half desert ranch in west Texas, played linebacker for a couple of years for TCU when it was the best football team in the country, served in the infantry in Europe in WWII with distinction. After the war he cowboy-ed in Texas and Mexico, became a railroad brakeman and then conductor, married and raised four children.

He was a big, tough, loud, brash, profane, hard-drinking, hard-fighting man with a wickedly insightful sense of humor and a soft heart for anyone in distress.
When in his cups he was as likely to recite poetry as punch some jack-ass in the face.

He had fists like anvils and the most beautiful copper-plate penmanship I ever saw.

que le vaya bien, Ross