IT JUST AIN’T FITTIN - There's an age old legal maxim that if one comes to court, he must come with clean hands. That axiom was never more true than in the 1915 case of Newsome V. Blackshear. It seems Walter Blackshear had contracted with J.A. Newsome to give his dear departed mother a proper burial. The funeral service took place, but when it came time to pay the undertaker,
Blackshear refused to honor Newsome's request for payment. Blackshear's defense was a most unusual one. He claimed that the coffin which was provided by Newsome was all too narrow to accommodate his mother's body and that in order to fit his mother into her eternal vessel, her corpse was trimmed to make it fit. Blackshear presented a witness, who from her vantage point behind a wall, peered through a crack and watched the embalmer split Mrs. Blackshear from throat to stomach and stuff her into the wooden box. Despite Newsome's good reputation in the community and his explanation that the incision was a standard procedure, the jury brought in a verdict for the defense. Accordingly, during the following fall, Newsome advertised a sale to clear out his overstocked inventory of spring and summer coffins.