Published: Oct. 22, 2020

This unexpected development was revealed in the New York Times on September 22, 2020, in a quotation from Jim Manley, who worked as an aide to Senator Harry Reid. Describing the context for the process of appointing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s successor, Manley declared: “The ghost of Merrick Garland hangs very heavily over the Senate right now.”

My first thought: had I missed the obituary for Judge Garland? No, I hadn’t. He lives, and by all appearances, he is in robust health.

My second thought: I had no idea that living people might share with ghosts the power to haunt. We can appear, spectrally, wherever we want, and we can hang around even when efforts are made to exorcise us!

My third thought: I am having a hard time figuring out where we should show up.

Thus, my fourth thought: this is a wonderful opportunity to invite the friends and affiliates of the Center of the American West to help me out.

Which venues and arenas, ideally in Western America, would most benefit if we showed up and haunted the people assembled there?

It goes without saying that our form of haunting is going to be life-affirming and spirit-lifting (so to speak), and never scary or creepy.

So where shall we all waft, float, or glide first? I suppose we could try the Senate, but maybe we want to work up to that.

If you also noticed this, or if you have any suggestions for places to haunt, please reach out to us at