Men at Work #130: Bradlee, a State Historian
THE STATE wanted me to be a repository of conventional wisdom, to help out with reenactments and such. Needless to say, they recruited the wrong man; research was always my passion, and now that I was Emeritus, I had more time for it than ever. In my first three years, seven bronze markers at state historic sites were replaced after new findings of mine rewrote the history books. When I proved that two major range wars had happened miles from their accepted locations, the commemorative boulders were moved and the history books rewritten again. It was too much for a coalition of hidebound history buffs and watchdogs of the budget, both of whom feared worse to come. I wasn’t fired exactly; the state abolished my position. When it is restored, I suppose they’ll tell the person who fills it, in so many words, that in the West, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend—it’s a lot less trouble.
Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. His "Men at Work" stories will be collected for book publication at a later date. Apart from the "Men at Work" series, Mr. Laughlin has published over 100 short stories, two of which are storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Stories. His website is at pw.org/content/robert_laughlin.