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January 23, 2011
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A special thanks to Judie Evans (Clarion), for helping initiate communication between David Marvel in the United States and Lucio Rocco in Italy. Grateful thanks also to Louise Johnson (Silcrest) for a modern reality check by sharing with us her memories of Mickey’s last litter of puppies and thanks to Jennifer Laik for just recently sharing family memories of Mickey from her kennel history and to Gayle Kaye for assistance with computer language translation.

Memorial Tribute:

 Today 60 years after the passing of James A. (Mickey) McGlynn few even remember his name. However, in 1952, immediately after his death sincere efforts were made to keep Mickey’s special life and accomplishments remembered. Ken Martin of Collie Cues stated that the finest tribute to Mr. McGlynn would, in the words of the President of the White Collie Club, Grace Clark Seaman, be to keep the White Collie Club alive as a memorial to its founder and ‘the Champion of the White Collie – and all Collies.’” The important words “Champion of,” “White Collie,” “all Collies” and “memorial” meant that Ken Martin and Grace Clark Seaman had a burning desire for Mickey to be remembered for his unique qualities, his amazing accomplishments and for all he stood for.

Fading Memory:

Sadly as years passed, the memory of Mickey’s life and contributions faded in the collie world’s memory bank.

Newly Revived Tribute:

 Then in 1981, twenty-nine years after Mickey’s death, David Marvel’s (Marvale) labor-of-love research of Mickey’s last endearing years, was brought back to life. The collie world at that time was able to view Mickey’s amazing collie accomplishment in David’s Collie Cues article “Champion of the White Collie and All Collies.” Collie enthusiasts and those with a special place in their hearts for white collies found Mickey as a bigger than life hero. Mickey’s amazing accomplishments, strength of character and his brave unselfish willingness to sacrifice his life amazed readers.

Memory of McGlynn Fades Again:

Now sixty years after his death, the life of Albert James “Mickey” McGlynn is again almost completelyforgotten with the exception of rare notations of his life and tragic death in history and a few yellowed pages in old collie magazines. Gayle Kaye (Chelsea) accomplishes a scholarly job of highlighting, what must be, Mickey’s small uniquely star shaped piece of the large picture puzzle known as collie history in her award winning book The Collie in America (2008). However, when all the historical pieces are placed in their uniquely shaped slots, Mickey’s location is dwarfed and almost invisible without a magnifying glass. Mickey’s special purpose of life, unwavering strength of character and amazing accomplishments and sacrificing his own life have …. for the second time almost faded from sight when we gaze upon the panaramic view of collie history. Faintly, as a small part of a “ten thousand piece picture puzzle,” Mickey’s one small shining star shaped ember still glows. To carry on the burning desire of Ken Martin and Grace Clark Seaman (pictured next to Mickey’s historical slot) for Mickey to be remembered, David and Lucio respectfully pick up the baton.

Readers Introduction of Mickey from David and Lucio:

"McGlynn was a special type of person, a unique individual person of insight and purpose.” So described in Collie Cues by David Marvel’s in 1981 and continues about Mickey that “He probably best personified (more than anyone I have known) the one combination of traits that would most likely be successful in breeding quality white collies." Mickey was not afraid to challenge adversity at his advanced age and was eager to successfully take on “this greatest of challenges in the collie world.” Considerate of the feelings of others, Mickey excelled in the best of human qualities and exuded honesty, strength of purpose and unwavering direction for his life.

Endearing him further to David and Lucio, at the heart of this uniquely talented and caring man, Mickey also possessed many of the unselfish qualities exhibited by our beloved collies.

As Lucio adds, As it was with Mickey, we must remember that the unselfish toiling of our little collie dogs in the field, their amazing memories and strong beliefs of good and evil, their love of hard work instead of chasing fame, also contrasting their immortal good earned by sacrifice instead of human selfish and immoral excesses.” These wonderful collie characteristics also so described Mickey. It is for this reason, Lucio believes it appropriate to dedicate “first page of the New Year” which marked the 130th anniversary of Mickey’s birth to this article and to Mickey’s memory.

Surprising Revelations:

Today, sixty years after Mickey’s death, Mickey’s life is again revealed because the light of truth has provided a unique unfolding domino effect of unlocking the archives of history, enabling us to again follow the amazing life of James Albert (Mickey) McGlynn. This discovery is solely the result of recently completed research by our inquiring Italian gentleman, collie enthusiast, breeder and truth historian by the name of Lucio Rocco (Porta Saracena). Lucio has located fascinating information about the life of Mickey McGlynn as it has recently unfolded from the pages of history.

Lucio continues ... In studying history, every so often one happens to come across some situational facts that are "forgotten" or worse "erased" or “obscured” through dishonest efforts. To those who love truth and history this is incomprehensible! When the memory wire of history is broken in time, there remains a bleeding wound and the innocent often become accomplices of injustice perpetrated against people that deserve much better treatment. Tangled in the dangerous time of the First World War, amidst mistreatment of human beings and the slow motion of justice, this is where we find Mickey. His essence of moral strength, that we found later in his life and identified as a small “star shaped piece of the Collie Historical Picture Puzzle” also is a perfect fit in this earlier dark and dangerous page in history.

New Research from Lucio Rocco:

Biographical Information:

Average height, medium build, blue eyes and hair blacks, James A. McGlynn was born November 28, 1881 in North Dakota, the son of a well to do farmer. He grew up in Sydney, Montana, married Eliza Louise Dubeau in 1908, with whom he had four daughters, Lucille, Viviene, Phyllis and Maxine. He was a fuel salesman, active in politics as an organizer for the Non-Partisan League which was founded in 1915, in North Dakota and soon spread throughout the American Midwest and Canada.

Another Fascinating Chapter in Mickey’s Life:

The story begins in early 1918 with Mickey at an Elks Club bar with friends. It is alledged that upon hearing a drunken statement he truly believed to be false, he mentioned the correction to his friend. A number of enraged opposition perpetrators grabbed Mickey, drugged him downstairs, brutally beat him and threw him on a freight train traveling out of town. At the trial of the twenty-one perpetrators on March 29, 1918, Mickey was actually the one to be arrested for the serious crime of Sedition. The reason for the arrest was for saying, in a conversation with friends at the bar, that the mutilated children being talked about, represented to be resultant from the cruelty of the Germans in Belgium, were in fact injured in Chicago factories. The jury at Mickey’s trial voted 11 for conviction sentence of not less than 10-15 years in prison but, because of the uncertainty of the twelfth juror, a compromise was reached and Mickey was fined $ 500.

Mickey Shows What He is Made Of:

McGlynn, with the relief of just narrowly missing a long prison term, stood on his principles and refused to pay the fine. Mickey remained in prison. This new information about Mickey was uncovered more than twenty-five years after David Marvel said, Mickey "was a leader, not a servant, and did not like to flee in the face of a challenge." 1918 would have been a disastrous year in most people’s eyes for James A. McGlynn, however instead he showed he would not compromise nor waiver from speaking the truth ... nor would he accept wrongful punishment when innocent. This was Mickey through and through.

In December 1918 the Montana Supreme Court issued a writ of habeas corpus freeing Mickey and three years later reversed and annulled his sentence completely.

Information Regarding Sedition:

During World War I, sedition was a very serious crime, almost as serious as treason. Sedition is defined as the promotion of all forms of resistance against the government, and can be in verbal language or in writing.

 Sedition is a crime in many countries on every continent. In the U.S. it was pursued at different times in history, especially during the presidency of John Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, during and after World War I, and the Smith Act of 1940, used to suppress the membership in the Communist Party.

The United States, as other governmens, does not always correct injustice quickly. It took until 1964 for the US Supreme Court to rule that the penalties for sedition, were contrary to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which is in essence, free speech. Sadly to say this was many years after 79 people (76 men and 3 women) were convicted of sedition in Montana between 1918 and 1919.

In particular, the Sedition Act of the State of Montana, issued in February 1918, criminalizing everything that was said or written against the government or against his conduct in the war. Sadly many of those 79 people (76 men and 3 women) convicted of Sedition served their sentences in full and some of them died in prison. The punishments included imprisonment of up to 20 years and fines up to $ 20,000.

Mickey Made a Difference:

Mickey’s wonderful example standing for justice, was viewed by others in righting the wrong. Mickey’s experience was documented and published in 2005 in the book, Darkest Before Dawn by Prof. P. Clemens Work of the School of Journalism at the University of Montana. His work reopened the case of the 79 of those unjustly condemned for sedition in Montana. At a press conference that followed the publication of the book, which was held in the Library of Fact & Fiction in Missoula, Montana, the author formulated the hope that one day those who were so unjustly condemned would be rehabilitated.

Wonderful Action:

Professor Jeff Renz and seven of his law students at the University of Montana accepted the call and assumed the defense of those convicted criminals to ask for a posthumous pardon. Three journalism students carried the burden of tracing relatives and descendants of those 79 and with the help of newspapers and national radio, finally, May 3, 2006, in a moving ceremony in the Capitol in Helena, Governor Brian Schweitzer (accompanied by Jag, his border collie) signed the Emancipation Proclamation of Pardon.

Mickey Stood for Truth and Honesty:

Lucio Rocco is honored to bring to light this information that was buried in the judicial reports of the State of Montana. Mickey McGlynn’s example and involvement cannot be forgotten if we are to understand who this man really was and that it was a precursor to what was still to come later in his life. Comparing information from David Marvel’s article about Mickeys last amazing few years with Lucio Rocco’s new research, we now know that Mickey ideals never changed and in 1918, 34 years before his untimely death we found Mickey standing for truth, and even then risking his life and personal safety. With Lucio Rocco, David Marvel returns to this heroic character and help rekindle the burning embers of Ken Martin and Grace Clark Seaman’s desire to keep the memory of Mickey alive.

As David reminds us about Mickey in excepts from his 1981 Article:

Mickey was like a human dynamo; he packed numerous accomplishments into the five short years he was associated with collies.” His goal was to succeed at the most difficult challenge in the collie world, that of producing or helping produce “super white collies.” Mickey moved quickly in his chosen objectives through coordinated effort with others and through his own unique breeding program.

Grace Clark Seaman, late Judge of the American Kennel Club and specialist in white collies, remembered this man with these gentle words: "I do not remember ever having met anyone so caring towards the feelings of others. This was an instinctive aspect of his character, and not a way designed to behave."

In Carole Kujala’s article, "Collies of the Northwest,” we find that his kennel was Collalba (Reg) from "Coll" for Collie and "Alba", the Latin word for white. In 1946, at the age of 66, James McGlynn purchased his first purebred collie.

In 1947 James McGlynn elected President of the Overlake Collie Club, he was conscious of not having much time to realize its plans, given his advanced age already, but the thought gave him hope of longevity of his parents lived to 90 years. As he confided to friend Bonnie Randall, "I'm not going to ruin this family's record."

In 1949, McGlynn as consultant, made a notable contribution to the rewriting of the AKC standard (American) Collie, who finally gave official recognition to the white collie. In the same year he founded a club for fans of white collies called "White Collie Breeders Association,” with the aim to disseminate and publicize the white collie and promote improvements in color quality. McGlynn was also the editor of the media association, the "White Collar Bulletin", until his death.

The proof of the success of his efforts was the 18's white collies, who finished their AKC championship from 1949 to 1981, compared to only three that had finished in the previous sixty-five years back to 1884.

He had a dream, to be able to produce “super white collies.” His breeding program was from “an old Kentucky thoroughbred breeding formula” with the base stud being the great Lodestone Landmark. “Hero,” born in 1929, was owned by Fred and Madge Kem (Lodestone) and became one of the greatest American foundation dogs of all time. Mickey was working with the classic American bloodlines Olympic, Bandoliera, Ardwick, and Parader. I few weeks before his death he wrote Bonne Randall that he was now putting more emphasis on Parader stock for coat and disposition. In late 1951 James McGlynn finally realized his third generation litter of white collies, the one he had worked so hard and from which he hoped to see his dreams come true.

Louise Johnson (Silcrest), who had the good fortune to see these beautiful white cotton balls, recently emphasized the excellent quality of the litter. After 60 years, Louise remembered vividly: "Those puppies had all those qualities that I was interested in white. I still remember the good bone structure and strength. Small white bodies, beautifully balanced, appeared immediately as great promise. I would have loved to have had one."

But James McGlynn failed to see the fruit of his efforts mature, in fact, a tragic fate was waiting for him.

On a very cold winter evening in Woodinville (Washington) on Friday, January 11, 1952, McGlynn, after lighting the oil stove in his kennel building, as was his custom, stopped across the road at Mrs. Stone home to warm up with a good cup of coffee. He became worried about the stove and quickly departed to find the kennel aflame. He tried desperately to rescue his seven white puppies, but the flames were advancing hastily. Before long his clothes caught fire.

The fire devoured the kennel Collalbo. “It is said that he stood with tears coursing his cheeks, lamenting the fate of his poor puppies, saying: “ There goes all I have worked for.”

Mickey was rushed to the Kirkland Hospital with burns on 40% of the body. Mickey had been in poor health, and at first rallied but died at dawn on Sunday morning January 13.

"I think - tells friend Louise Batsch - that the loss of his beloved's puppies broke his heart."

As Ken Martin wrote later on Collie Cues, "literally speaking, he lived and died for his Collies. I know that Mickey McGlynn would not have wanted a different way to die. "

Remembrance of Mickey:

Mickey McGlynn placed his life in the mortar of history for all to emulate as long as his story is remembered and told. He was truly the Champion of standing for courage, hardwork and honesty and not afraid to risk his life or safety for worthwhile causes and goals for his life.

Inspirational Tribute:

David Marvel and Lucio Rocco respectfully carrying the baton from Ken Martin and Grace Clark Seaman, remind the readers that even with the sad circumstances of Mickey’s death, he should be remembered for his successful collie efforts and accomplishments! Also, if Mickey’s passion toward the rare white collie inspires you and sounds a challenge in your soul, then you too would be honored to accept baton.

Symbol of Merit:

Today and in future years when you see a beautiful white collie, remember that it resulted from a loving effort inspired by Mickey’s example and as a result, treasure the beautiful white collie as one of “Mickey’s collies” because it truely is!!