Hi readers. I noticed earlier today I was singing ‘The Lonesome Death of Poor Hattie Carroll” by Bobby Dylan back around 1964. Surprisingly I seem to remember all the words.
Anyway, I smiled at myself as I sang it, rewarding myself for even noticing I was singing it. Song ran through my head a while and I remembered a nasty incident sometime in the early 1970s when I played the song for my step-dad, which he had no appreciation for.
But then I began wondering what the hell ever happened to William Zantzinger, the rich tobacco farmer who killed a black woman with eleven children with is cane because she was slow serving him drinks.
Of course, we know he got a six month sentence. But after that?
After prison, Mr. Zantzinger left the farm and went into real estate. He sold antiques, became an auctioneer and owned a night club.
In 1991, The Maryland Independent disclosed that Mr. Zantzinger had been collecting rent from black families living in shanties that he no longer owned; Charles County, Md., had foreclosed on them for unpaid taxes. The shanties lacked running water, toilets or outhouses. Not only had Mr. Zantzinger collected rent for properties he did not own, he also went to court to demand past-due rent, and won.
He pleaded guilty to 50 misdemeanor counts of deceptive trade practices, paid $62,000 in penalties and, under an 18-month sentence, spent only nights in jail.
Information on Mr. Zantzinger’s survivors was unavailable. Though he long refused interviews, he did speak to the author Howard Sounes for his book “Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan” (2001) , telling him of his scorn for Mr. Dylan.
“I should have sued him and put him in jail,” he said.
Damn! And he lived such a GOOD life. Who’d have thought it back in 1963 when he was whacking Hattie Carroll in the head with a cane?