Grandbaby is mobile and curious. A complete delight. (Maybe less completely delightful for his parents, who are constantly cleaning up after his adventures.) This morning he pulled a tub of dogfood off the top of the dog crate. As the tub came crashing down, the lid popped off. Grandbaby was thrilled. Obviously.

I feel like Grandbaby right now. Doing research, I’ve overturned several tubs of records and photographs and historical interpretations. I’m sorting through it, trying to balance factual accuracy with emotional truth, modern-day relevance, and just a good story. It’s messy.

After the real life VJ Day “Peace Riots” in San Francisco (at which eleven people were killed, at least six women raped), San Francisco District Attorney Pat Brown threw together an immediate grand jury investigation, which finished its work two weeks after the violence ended. (Who knew government could run so efficiently?) Newspapers reported the grand jury’s conclusion, that there were many things that could have been handled better. No one was indicted. The story just kind of disappeared. Zero prosecutions.

I really want a copy of the transcript of that investigation or at least its final report. But even with the terrifically helpful librarians and court clerks I’ve spoken with, I’ve so far failed to find the missing documents. I’ve got an incomplete pile of historical dog kibble all around me. I’m unsure exactly how to make a meal of it (forgive the strained metaphor). I’m still trying, overturning every new tub I find, making more messes.

I want to find the missing bits.

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