January 23, 2011
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.
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.
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
"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
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.
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
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:
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:
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:
World War I, sedition was a very serious crime, almost as serious as
Sedition is defined as the promotion of all forms of resistance
against the government, and can be in verbal language or in writing.
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.
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:
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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."
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.
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!!