Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NEWTON STEWART

He Said She Said #5

"C’mon Mark! don't be a frady cat",  "man we'll be in for it Jimmy if we get caught!".
"Don't worry about it, the store's closed"
Me my brother Mike and Cousin Jimmy started up the rickety stairway that was on the outside of the back of Riley's General Store. The same Jimmy I wrote about in   THE LAST CALL
A quick glance at the old general store in Newton Stewart, Indiana and you would swear you were looking at a Norman Rockwell painting, a real piece of Americana.
A weathered building with one gas pump out front, a liars bench on the front porch complete with a couple of old men sitting on the old bench whittling and shooting the bull.  On the left side of the building towards the woods was a lean too with a 55-gallon barrel of what may have been a mix of old oil and antifreeze toxic ooze that seemed to be leaking. I don't know that the hell was in it, Al Gore would have had a shit fit over it.
Inside the store was an old warped wooden floor a small post office in one corner and a coke cooler where you opened the lid and all these bottles of pop were sitting in very cold water.
But the place that held me and Mike and cousin Jimmy's fascination that day was what was in the upper floor of Riley's General Store.
There is a picture of the newer store as in the She Said blog, but I don't know of any of the old original store that exists.
There was an upside-down star at the very peak of the roof along with some other strange symbols.
We headed up the steps to the door, apparently Jimmy learned how to jimmy a door at an early age.
We walked in the room and just stood there eyes wide open and mouths agape. "Wow! Look at all the cool stuff on the walls!". Inside the upper room above the haggard old general store was a room that looked like King Arthur would hang out in. There was a long wooden table that looked like it belonged in a mansion. The walls were adorned with swords, shields and stuff I have never seen before. The floor was not some beat up old wooden boards like what was in the store below it. There was a lush red carpet on the floor.
We were all awestruck, but before we could investigate further, we heard a voice from below, it was Uncle Kenneth, "What are you boys doin up there? You better get outta there before I tell your daddies!" he yelled.  We skedaddled out of there as fast as we could.  I never got over the contrast of the Masonic lodge and the old store below.
The only thing I knew about Masons was they made damn good root beer.
My grandfather was the Grand Master or whatever you call it of this lodge and all my uncles were Mason's, my dad was never involved. I think my dad was the Grand Poobaa of the American Legion.
Going to Grandma and Grandpa Riley's house was like going back in time. The only drawback was staying all night there because if you had to go to the restroom, that meant a trip out to the backyard.
The walk from the store to the house was a good hike up a big steep hill. That hill was fun if you had a bike and the nerve to coast down the hill. Whizzing by the blacksmith shop (a real blacksmith shop) and a few seconds later you shoot by the store, now here's where it gets tricky. Past the store was a scary looking bridge over Patoka Creek. The bridge was an iron and wooden structure. When you rode your bike across it you had to be on your game. There were just two narrow sections of the roadbed of the bridge covered with wood so that a car could drive over it. On either side of the strips were steel girders and open spaces between them
if you missed the wood strips with your bike you were toast.
That big hill took its toll on many a kids in that area, who were mostly all my cousins. One day somebody got the great idea to ride a wagon down the hill, they loaded as many cousins as would fit. My aunt was there supervising the whole stunt and would not allow one of the smaller kids to get in, he was heartbroken. There was no room for me so I just stood by for the next turn.
Now a Radio Flyer is a fine piece of machinery, just grab the handle and you can haul a shitload of kids, dogs, whatever, but it is not a Ferrari. You CAN
 sit in it and steer with the handle flipped back, SLOWLY !  AND THERE IS NO BRAKING SYSTEM!
It was never designed to hall a bunch of goofball kids a hundred miles an hour down Mount Everest towards the bridge of death.
So off they went reaching Mach 2.3 in about 7 seconds, with no braking system, they hit the bottom of the hill and were at full speed.
What happened next would be scrutinized for several days, it looked to me like a case of over steering, then overcorrecting, then more overcorrecting, then......
Looked like classic pilot error to me.
 You see where this is going, with that last heroic effort to right his ship, he swung the wagon completely sideways  and the wagon rolled over, several times. Kids were flying everywhere, oh the humanity!  Then my aunt looked down at the too small of a kid to go on this death ride and said. " see I told you!"
The little tot looked down at the carnage horrified.
I don't know if my aunt was just a sadist or if she had a fresh life insurance policy on the kids she sent to certain doom. All I know was I wasn't heartbroken about missing the inaugural ride of death.
There were all kinds of ways to get hurt in this neck of the woods.  With No TV, DVD, Xboxes, or Internet, we had to find other ways to get our adrenalin rush.
I still have a long scar down my index finger from throwing a busted beer bottle back at the dump. I laid that finger open, but I knew I would get my ass beat if I sought medical attention so I just rapped it up in a dirty rag and stopped the blood loss. Gotta say, it healed up quite nicely.
Speaking of fingers, when my uncles were just kids, one of them chopped the others finger off with a hatchet. Some sort of hazing mishap I suppose. There were 14 or 15 siblings from grandma Riley's brood so it was just the law of averages that somebody was going to lose a finger or two.
There are many more tales of woe from that village, too many to cover here.
My favorite memories come from just hanging out in the store. There were way too many grandkids there to hope to get free stuff, but sometimes if you would sweep the floor or help with some other chore around there you could earn a Nehi Orange Crush or a Double Cola.
There was a map of a big lake pinned to the wall. Newton Stewart was just a tiny dot on the map surrounded by water. The map didn't reflect the current topography, this was something in the planning stages by the Army Corps of Engineers. This was when Patoka Creek would become Patoka Reservoir.
It was many years before this came to be. When it finally was time to knock thousands of acres of trees down (logging it was going to take to long) and raze thousands of old houses to the ground, some of them went willingly to the big town of French Lick where some of them would have indoor plumbing for the first time in there lives. But some of the old timers had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the only place they had ever called home.
Imminent domain has its place when used correctly, but it can be a cruel law.
Patoka Creek became Patoka Lake, it is the second largest reservoir in the state and serves as flood control as well as an  incredibly beautiful place to visit for camping and fishing in Southern Indiana.  


I have been back there a few times since the valley was flooded, most of Newton Stewart is underwater. The top of the big hill where my grandparent’s house was, still has some signs of where the rock foundation was. And if you stand at the top of the hill and look down you can kind of see the old road bed now covered in grass and the trees opening up to show the path where brave kids dared to ride bikes and wagons towards the scariest bridge in the world.
Progress sometimes requires us to part with something that means so much more to some than it does to others.
Patoka Lake is beautiful, but I do miss the old Newton Stewart, outhouses and all.
When I stood there looking at the old roadbed that used to take you past the blacksmith shop, past Riley's General Store with the Masonic Lodge above, to the Bridge Of Death, that now leads down to the 9000 acres of water, one last favorite memory came to mind.  
I remembered  looking at the wanted posters hanging by the post office section of the store.

 I just knew at any moment one of those criminals was going to walk through the door. I would keep constant vigil and do my best to serve justice. I don't know what a scrawny little kid could have done to put a dangerous criminal such as the likes of John Dillenger out of commission except maybe offer him a ride down the big hill in a little red wagon.

http://ihavearighttospeaktoo.blogspot.com/ Read the She said here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

IF MEAT IS MURDER THEN I AM A SERIAL KILLER


When I lived in Camby I found the best place in Central Indiana to buy meat. A little grocery store in Mooresville about a 5 min. drive from where I used to live.  Now that I live in S. E. Indy I have to go back across town to that market every few months and buy in bulk.
I usually get 20 lbs of ground chuck in 1 lbs packages for the freezer and I get another 10 to 20 lbs of bulk to make patties and wrap individually for a quick trip to the grill. It's a great system, just grab a couple, defrost in the micro then just plop em on the grill.
Last year Jojo bought me this really handy patty maker. I used to use my digital refrigeration scales to weigh out each handful of cow to make my patties equal, now I just fill up each side of the container and just smoosh em down with the top. I lay plastic on the bottom and top of the container before I smoosh it. It works great!
When I do my meat prep I mentally go through the whole meateater/vegan argument. I also think of the old days of helping a buddy's dad butchering cows when I was a teen. I did a blog about Auggie  awhile back.
I love meat; I like many other species on this planet am an omnivore. Kinda like a bear except I don't like fish, well I like White Castle’s fish samiches.
The animal rights wackos need to talk to the lions and tigers and bears before they blow me any shit.
On the other hand and on the other side of the planet we have some wonderful friends (more like family) who as a matter of their religion and tradition are vegetarian.
They don't judge us when we eat together for my carnivorous ways. I respect people like that, I do not respect the animal rights wackos in this country. They are a bunch of pretentious assholes who just want to pat themselves on the back and try to feel like they are important.
These people need to be more tolerant and accepting of others, isn't that what the left is always preaching?
I will make a deal with them.
If they will get off my back for eating baby backs.  I will suffer in silence and not say a word while they slaughter innocent lettuce, tomatoes and carrots to make their salad. I will look the other way and forgive their murderous ways in the killing fields of their gardens even though they all have chlorophyll on their hands of the helpless and the rooted. These poor veggies can't even get up and run away from their tormenters. And sometimes they even eat the veggies while they are still babies! Can you imagine what it's like to be a mommy and daddy carrot and see your baby plucked out of the ground and carted off to the chopping block? The horror!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Morgan Freeman: The Tea Party Is 'A Racist Thing (say is ain't so Morgan)



(I used to think this guy was one of the few in Hollywood that had any sense.)



Morgan Freeman: The Tea Party Is 'A Racist Thing'
By Tim KenneallyTheWrap
Don't look for Morgan Freeman at any Tea Party events anytime soon. Unless he's there to protest them.
The "Invictus" star condemns the Tea Party political movement as "a racist thing" for trying to oust Pres. Barack Obama from office on Friday's edition of "Piers Morgan Tonight."
“Their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term,” Freeman noted. “What underlines that? ‘Screw the country. We’re going to whatever we can to get this black man outta here.’”

Dismissing Morgan's suggestion that the Tea Party's motivations might be merely political, Freeman asserted, "It is a racist thing."
The actor went on to say that the Tea Party agenda “just shows the weak, dark, underside of America … We’re supposed to be better than that.”
Asked if he was disappointed that Obama hasn't taken a tougher stance against the right-wing, Freeman, who endorsed Obama in the 2008 presidential election, admitted: "Kind of, but I understood that he was trying to hold onto his own promise that he would be president of all the people."
Well, at least somebody in Hollywood still supports the commander-in-chief.
Watch Freeman vent about the Tea Party in the video.

(In his mind if you want to vote out the worst president in our lifetime who is out to destroy our nation to rebuild it in his Socialist utopian image that makes you a racist. It's sad to realize someone who's work I have greatly admired is in fact a racist himself. I can come to no other conclusion. Watching one of my favorite DVD's will never be the same. Morgan you are UNFORGIVEN.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LITTLE BOY LOST

Missing: one frightened little boy. Name: Marky. Description: two years of age, average height and build, light brown hair, quite handsome. Last seen being tucked into bed by his mother a few hours ago. Last heard--aye, there's the rub, as Hamlet put it. For Marky can be heard quite clearly, despite the rather curious fact that he can't be seen at all. Present location? Let's say for the moment--in the Twilight Zone”

I pushed half of my body through the wall of our small trailer on the lake, in a valiant effort to extract our two-year-old son from the parallel universe he had somehow gotten pulled into.
I had half of my body in the hallway of our trailer and the other half was searching an unknown realm, grasping for my child's screams for help in this Twilight Zone nightmare that was all too real.
As I entered this alternate universe I could see my son, suspended in space screaming "TARS, TARS!” pointing straight up. I followed his tiny finger with my unbelieving eyes to a sight unseen too all but a select few who had reached the outer limits of our existence.
To the lower half of my body it was close to four O'clock in the morning. To the half of my body, which could see, hear and think, O'clock had no relevance.
My eyes followed my tiny sons gaze and I like him was completely awestruck at the innumerable amount of stars that were close enough to reach out and grasp without effort.
For a moment thoughts of rescuing my son were replaced by an unworldly desire to join him in this cosmic nirvana, but suddenly the memory of that episode of The Twilight Zone “Little Girl Lost” brought me back to the task at hand, for I knew that this portal of dimensions was a fleeting escape and in mere seconds it would be closing around the midsection of my body leaving half of me in the wilderness of Morgan County and the other half somewhere between white-trash housing and total cosmic consciousness.
I had never known what being totally mesmerized meant until this moment, but that is exactly what I was.
This was not a dream although it took some time to sort out real from the surreal through the fog of a 4:00 A M heart stopping little boy screaming wake up call.
I pulled my gaze back from this time/space continuum and looked down at my son who seemed to be light years distant but still within my grasp. I knew I had microseconds to act; the vortex seemed to be closing around me and the tear in this fabric of space would soon be gone.

 I reached across oceans of stars, black holes and quasars and grabbed my son by the shoulders.
I pulled him back through the now closed wall and we fell back into the hallway.
I sat there holding my son, his eyes still open wide enough to hold all the stars that had held him in trance.
My heart was pounding so hard in my ears I thought at any moment it would give up. The adrenaline was still shooting through my muscles like dull needles.
Finally I started gathering what was left of my wits and began the debriefing process with Marky and myself.
Between both accounts I pieced the events of that night together.
I DVRed my brain and rewound to the point where I was laying in bed in deep slumber.

Suddenly I was awoken by a blood-curdling screen from down the hallway of our small trailer. It was a scream from my son, but not a normal bad dream scream. It was the sound of primal terror of which I had only heard in horror movies.
I jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to the tiny bedroom where my son slept. I turned on the light and looked down at his bed only to find it empty. At that instant I heard that same scream only this time it came from the direction I had just came from, my bedroom. "What the hell?" I ran back to my bedroom expecting to see Marky standing there and wondering how the hell I ran past him. But he was not there!

Then I heard him scream again only this time he seemed to be close enough that I could surely look down and see him. He was not standing where the scream was coming from!  That's when I remembered that episode of the Twilight Zone.
The little girl had fallen though the wall of her bedroom in the middle of the night, her father could hear her, but she was nowhere in sight. He found a portal through the seemingly solid wall and was able to pull her back into this dimension just before the portal closed around his waist.
Now it was happening to me, my son was on the other side of a portal in my hallway.
I took two steps back down the hallway and was standing right next to the screams, but now he was yelling "TARS! TARS!" I looked to my right and I was standing next to the sliding glass doors I had installed to replace the cheaply built dilapidated hallway outside door. We had a full-length curtain in front of the door. I pulled back the curtain and discovered the door was open. I stuck my head through the curtain and saw my son standing right below me pointing up at the night sky crying "tars! tars!".

We had moved our 10' by 50' piece of shit house trailer to a beautiful piece of land on a lake that our church owned while we saved for a place of our own.
We took care of the grounds and lived there for free for two years until we bought 10 acres of land close by and put a house on it.
I loved living out there in the wilderness of Morgan County. Where the nights were so dark you could stare at the evening sky and clearly make out the outline of the Milky Way. That night in question was a clear moonless night and with eyes fully dilated from hours of sleep me and my young son were awestruck by the beauty of our local galaxy.

How we came to be stargazing at 4:00AM we attributed to little Marky sleepwalking and somehow removing the piece of wood that is the standard hillbilly locking apparatus of choice for a used sliding glass door with a broken lock.
He pulled back the curtain and opened the door, walked out and stood on the stack of firewood that was there where a porch should have been.
Did I mention we lived on a lake
Did I mention we lived in the wilderness of Morgan County?
Apparently he snapped out of his sleepwalking after he stepped through the door and had no idea just where the hell he was. The only thing he could see was the brilliant display of stars.
When all the excitement was over. I didn't sleep very well knowing what could have happened had Marky extended his somnambulic adventure to the woods or even worse, the lake!
I knew there would be a full review of security procedures that I would have to face the next day.
It was the weirdness of the situation I couldn't get out of my mind that night. That episode of the Twilight Zone that had always been one of my favorites and now I had lived my own version of if here on a little piece of nowhere 15 miles from Martinsville the "Gateway to Southern Indiana".

I could almost see Rod Serling standing against the wall of my trailer with cigarette in hand saying.

"Submitted for your approval,
imagine if you will;  if you took one sleepwalking little boy living in Nowhere U.S.A. with stars in his eyes,
add one sliding glass door that should have been secured with something a little more substantial than a wooden stick.
And this equation would equal a husband that's about to catch a ration of shit.
Here somewhere just due south of…the Twilight Zone.
doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo
doo doo doo doo


Monday, September 19, 2011

THE TROUBLE WITH WORDS

One mans first Amendment is another mans hate speech.

When is hate speech called a passionate speech?


When is giving a passionate speech called hate speech?




When does this person call for civility?

When these people are making a good point.


 

 










When does Obama forget all about civility?
When these people are calling for the demise of true Americans, the kind of people who built this country.





If you want to live in a socialist shit hole country there are plenty of them out there, I'm sure you would be more use to them then you ever would be to US!

Don't let the door hit you on the ass!

Friday, September 16, 2011

HIKING FOR DUMMIES

CHAPTER ONE

Do’s and Don'ts
Let's begin with the Don’ts:

Don't hike on private property without first getting permission from the landowner.

Don't go hiking without packing the proper supplies.

Don't go hiking in the middle of the I 10 in L. A. during rush hour.

Don't go hiking in a buffalo herd.

Don't go hiking naked through a Super-max prison.

Don't go hiking the Serengeti wearing a suit made of meat.

Oh, yeah one more "don't" and I hate to mention this because I know none of you are actually dumb enough to do this.

Don't go hiking on the border of two countries, one of which is a war zone where armed American soldiers are getting killed by a bunch of freak loser animals and the other country is the terrorist capitol of the world and their leader is a Nazi admiring lunatic with distinct rat-like features.
 
Unless you have some time on your hands and a million dollars laying around.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WEEKEND ENVIORNMENTALIST


Well Mister Gore you have finally convinced me your green way is the right way. This epiphany didn't come to me over night, my metamorphous happened gradually over this summer. Until now I was environmentally challenged. I used to spend every weekend at home laying on the couch drinking Coors Lite and watching NASCAR, or sitting on the patio watching the sprinkler waste a valuable natural resource keeping my lawn green all the while the AC running full bore.

Now since we have the lake lot I am a changed man. We built a small fishing cabin where we spend every weekend. We can't hook up to the power or water supply so I had to improvise. I wired up a 12-volt electrical system with low voltage lighting and 12-volt power outlets for charging cell phones and running small fans to cool off at night instead of running power hungry AC systems. For water I have a 55 gallon barrel in the loft with a gravity fed plumbing system for the inside sink and an outside non-heated shower.
I have even built a porta potty room with his and her funnel urinals that drain outside to a dry well. Number 2 has a separate seat that is bagged up and disposed of in an environmentally sound manner, (I throw it away at the nearest truck stop on the way home).
Jojo made fun of the hillbilly head till we started staying the weekends and she realized how convenient it was using the indoor potty instead of going outside in the middle of the night and popping a squat in the middle of the dark and spooky old woods.

Mister Gore my carbon footprint is so small the numbers could hide behind the GDP of Obama's economy (barely).
The living quarters, although not spacious has room for the small restroom, kitchenette, futon that folds out to a reasonable comfortable bed. It also has a loft big enough to sleep two adults or four grandkids. All this in 120 square foot!
What do you think Al, pretty impressive huh?
By the way how big is your place?
Ten? Ten square feet?
No? A hundred square feet?
No?  A thousand square feet?
Oh, TEN THOUSAND SQUARE FEET!
Your new business venture? Carbon payoffs??
Oh, carbon tradeoffs you say. Hmmm.
How does this all work? Yeah, uh huh, yeah, I think I'm getting it. Ok so what it all boils down to is, fat cats like you and all the other environmental honchos get to keep your opulent life style, while I live here in my 120 square foot squalor. And you environmentalist hypocritical wackos preach to the rest of us how we need to cut back, pay more, lower our expectations and live like good little proletariats.
And the best part is you get to run this shell game you call carbon tradeoffs and get even richer off this scam so you can buy bigger mansions, longer boats and faster airplanes?
Ok, I get it, hmmm let me do a little math here.
Uhhh, one plus four, carry the two, one ott, minus the two, carry the four, ott ott.
Let's see Mister Gore, I want to help you in your venture and cut out the middleman.  Since we have such a disparity in our carbon footprints you can just send your bullshit carbon tradeoff money to me directly. I think a couple of million to start off sounds fair. No check please, I don't even want cash.
I'll settle for gold!

Monday, September 12, 2011

WHERE’S PEACHES ?(repost because I need a good laugh even at my own expence)


Time for morning formation to fall in. after several days of bivouac it was nice to be back at the BTC barracks of Delta 2 3. It was still dark so I couldn’t see which D.I. was calling us to fall in, but I figured it out real quick after he shouted his first two words and it wasn’t the usual “FALL IN !” command. No, his first two words were “WHERE’S PEACHES “ screamed at top of his lungs.

 I just hung my head and muttered, “shit” under my breath. By now the whole company was laughing their ass off, save one. Of course my buddies were giving me some serious shit to add a little icing on the cake that was made of shit I was still eating two days after I picked up that infamous nickname. “Damn” I thought to myself ‘it’s going to be another long day!”

Basic training was winding down, 10 days or so to go till we graduate and become soldiers instead of “punk men”. There were a couple of  D. I.’s I sure as hell wouldn’t miss, but I never had anything against Drill Sergeant Ganard,….. until now.
This was the late fall of  '73' and a lot of the D.I.’s assigned to our BTC had recently rotated back from Vietnam. Maybe that explained their really bad attitude concerning 200 plus raw recruits who would never have to worry about doing a tour in Nam.
Drill Sergeant Ganard was on of the older cadre and hadn’t been in the bush for a long time so he was a lot more mellow, he was actually kinda funny even when he was chewing some recruits ass off.  He reminds me a lot of Gunnery Sergeant Lee Emory, the guy who used to be a marine D.I. He was a technical consultant on the great move Full Metal Jacket. They let him read for the part of Drill Instructor Hartman and he got it. That movie cracked me up, some of the insults were the exact same ones used on us. Do they give these guys manuals with all the obscene insults to use on us?
There were similarities I shared with the character "Private Joker" on the left side of the picture as far as we were both wise asses and just didn't know when to shut our mouth. By the time the peaches/donut incident occurred, I was already well known by the D.I.'s.

My plan to remain anonymous to the D.I.'s during basic training had fallen on it’s ass long before the peaches incident, but now it was in full freefall mode. This latest FUBAR had started a couple of days prior when bivouac was almost over. Bivouac started out bad and just went downhill from there. The day before bivouac started I had busted my foot on the confidence course which is like an obstacle course that you can die on. My foot was so swollen I couldn’t even tie my boot.
The weather was cold and rainy and managed to soak everything in our pup tent. We were living on C rations, if you call that living. I know it was a damn site better than being hunkered down in the jungles of Vietnam, but still that fact didn’t make us like being out there.

Midway through bivouac they finally started to chopper in hot chow, it was still the same shitty foot we had been getting at the mess hall, but at least it was better then C-rations. I grabbed a tray and joined the line and started looking up the line to see if there was anything worth eating. When I got close enough to the chow to see what was being served I could not believe my eyes; there on a big tray lay a shit load of doughnuts! Oh, praise be to Jesus! Donuts! Store bought donuts, the army cooks didn’t have a thing to do with cooking these babies so I know there gonna be good! I hardly noticed all the other shit being slopped on my tray; my eyes were trained on those little circular pieces of  heaven.
Something broke my concentration however, when I was just a few trainees from grabbing my donut, A guy up ahead had got rejected when he reached for his donut. What the hell was this? What evil had befallen this poor wretch? I didn’t know this poor schlub who’s whole pastry world just fell apart, but I could certainly sympathize with his plight I know how I would feel if such a thing would happen to me. He pleaded with the cook to no avail, I could finally make out what was being said, apparently there was an option, you either got peaches or a donut, but not both !
Seems no one told this poor fool about the donut/peach option at the peach station and just flopped the two quarters in heavy syrup on his tray. He walked on dejected and I move one man closer to pastry nirvana; then I looked down at my tray. Nooooooooooooooo! I didn’t ask for those, I didn’t put them on my tray, I didn’t even know I was in possession of them, but there they were, two peach quarters in heavy syrup nestled in a neat little compartment on the right side of my tray!
I felt the blood drain from my face, panic started to take over but I fought it, my head was spinning, I couldn’t give up, I had seconds to act, my basic army training had honed my reflexes razor sharp! I hatched a brilliant plan and executed that plan in milliseconds.
 In the blink of an eye, I took my right hand off the tray and in one fluid motion I backhanded those cursed donut-denying peaches off my tray and into the dirt some 6 feet away. Wheee! My plan had worked to perfection except for one tiny detail; Drill Sergeant Ganard had witnessed the whole thing.
I never read the Military Code of Justice, but apparently there is a section in there that forbids the molestation of peaches in any way. Drill Sergeant Ganard grabbed me out of the chow line screaming at the top of his lungs, he ordered me to assume the front leaning rest position where I was staring directly at the now dirt covered peaches I had just murdered. For you civilians, there really is no rest in the front leaning rest position. It’s the position you assume when you are getting ready to do pushups and you just stay in that position with your back straight, it’s a really effective form of punishment.

The whole time I’m in this position staring at the peaches, Drill Sergeant Ganard is circling me kicking dirt on me and acting like he was going to kick me in the ribs while calling me every obscenity he can muster.
Finally after the 30 minute reaming, and noon chow almost over, Drill Sergeant Ganard ran out of steam. My arms shoulders and back screaming with pain Ganard says “Ok dumbass, you get up now, grab your tray and you get you some taters and you get you some beans, BUT YOU AIN’T GETTIN NO DONUTS! AND YOU AIN’T GETTIN NO
   P     E      A         C           H              E                S     !    !     !    !   !   !    !    !

I know it may be hard to believe, but even after living on c-rats for days, I had lost my appetite. Noon chow was over anyway and it was time to get back to training and I did have a can of c-rats squired away that I could chew on later.



I took some consolation over the fact that because of my actions they immediately modified the "either or policy" regarding the peaches/donut controversy by informing the recruits at the peaches station that if they took some peaches they would be denied a donut. Hmm lot of fricking good that did me, I am proud to say that after the example I set there were no more reported cases of peach molesting in our company.

It took a long time until I could see the humor in the peaches incident. Today some 37 plus years later, maybe not every time, but most times when I grab a donut at a tech meeting or open a can of peaches in heavy syrup, I kind of get a slight grin on my face and think about that stupid 18 year old kid back in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri who just wanted a damn donut.

Sometime when I’m on this train of thought, I think about Drill Sergeant Ganard and wonder if he is still around. If he is, I wonder if when he grabs a Frosty Crème or dives into a peach cobbler, does he ever think about that day when he made a federal case out of some young dumb trainee slapping some fruit out of his tray 37 years ago. I can almost see him grin and say;

“What the hell was that kids name? Oh yeah, Peaches!”



P.S.
Oh my God, I just found out there is something called a donut peach, the best of both worlds!

(ok, I'm done with the reruns for a while) 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

THE HAND THAT KILLED SYLVIA (repost because I just watched a movie about it)


Almost 30 years ago, when I was in my “holier than thou” stage of life; I was a sound tech for a local gospel band. We played at a lot of different churches in the central Indiana area. We were playing at an inner city church in Indy and after the music I was asked to give a testimony. Later this women:

 Came back to the soundboard and shook my hand and told me how much she liked hearing my story. She seemed very friendly and sincere, but something about the feel of her small frail and very cold hand creeped me out.
A little later this same women walked up front and gave her testomony; I was freaked out when she cryptically revealed who she was! I was only 10 years old when this horrific crime occurred, but we all were aware of the torture and murder of Sylvia Likens. I was sitting in the back of the church behind the soundboard with my mouth agape listening to Gertrude Baniszewshi sharing her story of redemption. She didn’t go into the details of the crime that landed her on prison for the last 20 years and who could blame her. I do remember her saying what a horrible thing it was and she didn’t feel like she ever deserved to be freed from prison, but what was she doing here in this place? I found out later she was on a weekend furlough through a sponsorship of the church.

The details of what Baniszewshi did to Sylvia are too numerous and gory to list here, there is a pretty thorough report on Wiki. I had read the book back on the early 70’s and they made a movie about it “ AN AMERICAN CRIME”, released in 2007. It was very accurate but even Hollywood couldn’t include some of the more gruesome details of this story.

The amazing thing about this event was there were so many people that knew what was going on and did nothing to help Sylvia, most of them joined in and took turns burning, kicking and used other forms of torture on her and these were Baniszewshi’s own children and other kids from the neighborhood. There were many screams for help coming from the basement of 3850 E. New York St.,


and some of the neighbors heard these cries for help, but this was 1965 and people just mostly kept to themselves and minded their own business. They just didn’t want to get “involved’; sadly 45 years later, most of the time, this is still the case.

I had a real struggle when it came to this women’s story of redemption. Although she said during her testimony that she didn't feel like she ever deserved to get out of prison; she sure as hell worked hard to get out and with the help of this same church, she was paroled in 1985. I may not attend church anymore, but I still believe in the tenants of the faith. The New Testament offers salvation to everyone no matter what evil deeds are lurking in their past. I’m not one to question God, but how can this slate be cleaned?
She became a model prisioner and reports were that her jailhouse conversion appeared to be genuine. She became a den mother to the younger prisoners and they nicknamed her "mom".
I just still remember that cold, cold hand and thought, that was the hand that killed Sylvia.

Baniszewshi, a smoker for many years died of lung cancer within 5 years of her release from prison. In the end she did to herself what the state of Indiana could not or would not do.
 Twenty-five years too late she paid for her crime.

 Her life for Sylvia's, not exactly a fair trade.











 

Friday, September 9, 2011

HEY OBAMA !!!

I have a great jobs bill idea for you.
How about we fund more money to exterminate all the islamic terrorists we can find that want to murder normal humans. That's one shovel ready project that I can get behind.

Monday, September 5, 2011

SHELTER WARS


Labor Day weekend is always reserved for my wife's family reunion. It alternates between Indiana and Kentucky; this year was Indiana's turn to host the event. I'm glad it was held today, (Sunday) instead of Saturday when it was 100 frickin degrees out.
The park that was chosen was just west of Avon, which is just west of Indy, a really nice park. The shelter house the planning committee reserved was the best location in the park with a pond and a playground next to it and the best part... It had the bathrooms right there!
When Jojo and me got there we found the family was setting up in the shelter house farther into the park.
We found out that interlopers had already set up in our choice shelter house. They claimed imminent domain, saying they always reserved that choice spot every Labor Day weekend.
Seeing how far our place was from the restrooms, Jojo’s family should have stood their ground.
Last year this reunion was held at Rough River lake in Kentucky, we had reserved a shelter and me and Jojo were getting ready to set it up, when we got there, the shelter had been stolen by illegal aliens.
I was recovering from one of my surgeries and couldn't whip my way out of a wet paper bag, but I went all border agent on them and ran them off in broken Spanish.

(Sorry gotta stop writing, time to eat a cupcake before the bees carry them away)……. (Ok, I'm back).
Sidebar; I love reunion food, but it's an unwinnable battle keeping the damn flies out of the food. I went after some of the fruit tray a while ago, the plastic top was on but there was a bee walking around on the cantaloupe chunks. Oh well at least it wasn't a fly.
 I got some of the fruit anyway figuring that bees spend their day landing on fruit and flowers gathering nectar and making wonderful honey. We all know how flies roll. If I so much as catch a fly eyeballing my food, I'm done.

 I have an aunt who at our reunions likes to uncover all the food 30 minutes before we are ready to eat. I don't know if she feels some obligation to give the flies a head start, or if they worked out some sort of side deal with her.

I'm working on an invention you can take to an outside eating event that will suck flies that are swarming your food into some sort of a vortex machine. This machine would not kill them right away. Instead, it would somehow impart them with total conciseness and they would realize that they born maggots inside of rotting flesh and they have been walking around on shit all of their lives. Then it would kill them.

Kids rolling down the hill


I really like my wife's family, but you know how it is when you’re at your spouse’s reunion and you don't know 98 percent of the people there. You try and find ways to occupy your time. So I got the idea for this blog and I thought I would at least write down the outline for it.
I have been typing on my Iphone and looking up from time to time to make sure Jojo wasn't givin me the evil eye for being a social outcast. So far I've almost finished this blog and I also have also worked on one of my long-winded blogs I started a few weeks ago. It's called "A ROAD  LESS TRAVELED (nowadays)".
It's one of those blogs, that when I'm writing it I know I'm gonna lose people half way through it, but I can't find a way to cut it down and still mean anything to me.
It's probably going to be a couple weeks before I get that one out. I’ve got some political stuff I need to get to first.
Just did a quick Jojo check to see if she was eyeballing me yet and she was otherwise occupied so I'm good.

I walked by the stolen shelter house on the way to the bathroom. The guys who muscled us out didn't look like illegals, they looked like Italians, more the Guido type, they may have even been connected.
I guess it was a good day to learn how to pick your battles.
Time for a Jojo check, oh oh, shit I gotta go!

not a picture of a naked butt, my finger got in the way of the lens


Friday, September 2, 2011

THE LAST CALL


I was on my way to my last service call of the day; I saw my route would take me close enough to go say hi to my dad. He was with his brother Carl, Carl's son Jimmy and Jimmy's son John. With all those Riley's gathered in one spot you can be sure there will be a couple of beers close by. That shouldn't be a problem after all the workday is almost done and I only have one more call to run.
I only have a 15-minute break coming so I'll have just enough time to shoot the bull and catch up. I pull my service truck in the drive and find the Riley boys just where I figured I would. After saying hello to the group, I talk to dad about my new grandson. I say to dad " Looks like you’re a great-grandfather again". " Hey Uncle Carl, she did?" I asked Carl the familiar refrain. Carl's favorite saying and he would always answer back "I'd say she did Mark".
As kids we had no idea what Uncle Carl meant when he said that, we just always got a kick out of hearing him say it and many of his other funny little quips, I guess it was a precursor to “that’s what she said”.
I remember when me and my brother Mike were in a car with Uncle Carl, seems like he was taking us to Newton Stewart, my dad's hometown. We were just little kids and a lady turn right in front of our car. Carl laid on the horn and laid out a string of obscenities that would make Rev. Wright blush. Carl with a bottle of beer in his lap turned to Mike and me and said, " if you boys hadn't been with me I woulda rolled her car up like a hot dog".
I don't know why, but the thought of that lady's car along the side of the road looking like a hot dog was the funniest thing ever to us. Hell, we still think it's funny.
I walk over to cousin Jimmy and say hi. He was born a couple of years after me and he never was very big, but he could be mean as a snake if properly riled up. He was always fun to hang out with; he had a lot of his dad’s personality and sense of humor.
I walk over to Jimmy's son John, named after his great-grandfather, though most people called him Shorty. I remembered him as a kid, but he grew up before I knew it. A great kid by all accounts, but he liked to drive too fast.  All four of those guys were shorter than me, even my dad.

I do a quick headcount like I always do. There were four Riley's here and with me there are five and there are only two Beers. That math just won't add up.
It was almost twenty years ago when we brought dad here. We got a smile out of the fact that just across the little gravel drive here in the cemetery there were two gravestones with the family name BEERS on them. We would say, well at least dad will always have a couple of beers nearby. Dad always liked his beer.  That was in early 92, His younger brother Carl joined dad five years later. They both died too young, dad passed from liver cancer, Carl had a heart attack.
At Uncle Carl's showing and funeral Jimmy was inconsolable, he spent most of the time in the parking lot slamming beers. I remember him saying, " dad did it his way, he didn't want to go to no damn doctor". I thought "damn Jimmy with our family's history of hypertension and heart disease, maybe he would still be on the right side of the dirt if he had".
 Jimmy just couldn't take the pain of losing his dad.
 I remember at my dad's funeral, I had just given the eulogy and Jimmy came up to me. He was crying so hard I couldn't understand a word. That tough kid had a real tender side when it came to family. Sadly it would only get worse for my cousin. In "03" his 23 year old son "Shorty" was tragically killed in an auto accident.  He would join my dad and his grandfather Carl here just a couple feet away.
Jimmy had more then be could bear and just one year later he joined his son, father and Uncle Farrell here in the growing family plot. Jimmy died of a heart attack, I don't know if he, like his father, shunned doctors, or just died of a broken heart, but he is here with the rest of the Riley boys now.
I look at my watch, last break is just about over. I'm ok if I just stand here and watch them all, but when I speak out loud to them my vision starts to blur. I still have one more call to run so I try to regain my composure.
I say my goodbyes to the Riley's and to the Beers.

"Sorry fella's I gotta run, I can't stay, I got fish to catch and grandkids to spoil, but I’ll be back to visit soon".

And someday, not anytime too soon, but someday, maybe I'll come back to stay, after I run my last call. ,