It was the greatest joy in recent days for the wife and I as we had the rare opportunity to spend a substantial amount of time with our good friend Webster. As he is what one might refer to as a “snow dog,” the chances of seeing him beyond the five or six months that he spends in Indiana each year, are not favorable. Our recent visit with him at his Florida estate was to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary. It was a joy and privilege that we shared that time with him and his staff.
Webster owns a security company and is under contract to provide security for two properties. One is in Indiana and the other in Florida. He excels in the discharge of his duties as there has never been a burglary in either residence for which he is responsible. Ever.
Webster has a staff of two who have charge over the administrative and logistical duties of the firm so that Webster is not distracted from his patrolling responsibilities. He is unmatched by anyone anywhere in his ability to sniff out and chase away any and all intruders. I myself saw him identify and repulse multiple flying fowl and an innumerable mass of lizards that wage a constant war against his client’s Florida abode. There is an unsubstantiated rumor that he has repulsed more than one alligator from the ground. That’s he said at least,
I have never met his customers as, so I am told, they live a life of leisure and travel so are not at the residence very often. I have met his staff though. They are a hardworking pair in constant vigilance to fulfill all the needs that Webster has, and they are many. His security duties are of such a demanding nature that he has no time to see to his own physical needs that includes preparing his own food and making his toilet. He does have to discipline his staff on occasion as well as train them in the various functions that are required. His tool for this is a ball and attached rag that he requires them to pull on while he yanks them around until the exhaustion of his staff implants the desired instruction.
Yes, Webster is one of a kind and he will tell you so. His staff is loyal and he has friends in both high and low places. He says he even has friends amongst the local pelican gangs. I have, however, heard more than one report that he is not thought much of among the hogs of Indiana.
That what he says, at least.
Dang, I wish folks would quit fussing at one another. Seems like every time I turn the news on TV or pick up a newspaper somebody’s is hollering at somebody just because they don’t agree with whatever was said or done and then everybody gets all riled up. Just about everyday somebody is hollering at somebody or a bunch of somebodies just because they said something (or stood up for something) they don’t like. You’re just being an ornery neighbor. Quit.
Haven’t ya’ll ever heard of the Constitution of the United States and its Amendments? There is this one that’s called the First Amendment that allows anyone free speech and all that. Just because somebody does something (or says something) you don’t agree with, that doesn’t give you permission to get all ornery like that. There’s lots of folks over our 232 years as a country that have died just so you can talk freely. Here you all fussing at somebody because he doesn’t agree with whatever you are favoring. Shame on you.
You know, a long time ago there was this fellow name Paul. He did a hole bunch a writing and he was one of the smartest people I ever heard of. One time, he wrote a letter to some folks he really liked. He said that they ought to take care of each other and think about other folk as more important than themselves. He also said they ought to do their work quietly and keep out of business that isn’t there’s. I take that to mean name calling, and back biting and all that. They call that gossiping where I come from and it doesn’t do a lick of good for anybody.
There’s another thing I want to rant about and that’s what some folks call fake news. That’s a fancy way of saying somebody writing and deciding what gets put in the paper or on TV is lying. Lying is as bad as gossiping and a lot of times it is worse. If you are one of those doing all that fake news stuff, you ought be ashamed of yourself. Didn’t your Momma teach you better than that?
Ya’ll need to grow up an learn some manners. Nuff said.
So, it was all out war. We were ok with that. Nobody knew that patch of ground better than we did and the panhandle punks were gonna find that out the hard way. There was a lot to do to get ready for this certain victory and the permanent ownership of our land.
First thing we had to set up was stockpiles of clods in strategic places all around the field. That plus they had to be hid so they could not find them. That was easy. We just dug holes in the right places and then covered them up with loose dirt. They weren’t smart enough to find them. We added a few well placed tumble weeds but they got blown away.
The next thing we had to do was plan our strategy to react to whatever direction they came from. That too was easy. They were not smart enough to plan an attack. They would take the easy way and come from the direction of their own neighborhood straight towards the field right by James Butler Bonham Junior High School. Knowing that, it would be an easy defense. We could lay in wait behind the church that sat on the edge of our field. They would never know what hit them. We put our biggest stock piles of clods around the back of the church. We also put clod piles in various places throughout the field in case one of them got smart. Doubtful but we wanted to cover all of our bases.
We got it all done and everybody got his assignment. The last thing we did was make sure everybody knew they would have to be extra special nice at home to avoid getting grounded. That meant doing all the chores AND not tormenting the sister in the house (or, as in my case – the big brother). The last thing we needed was to lose men to home jail. We were ready.
Saturday morning came and we got our chores done as quick as possible (while avoiding a last minute grounding). We were all there in Stew’s backyard.
“We’ve done all we can, fellows,” Larry said with great sincerity. Steve and Gary had been sent out to watch and warn us when they sighted the panhandle punks. The ten of us remained in hiding in Stewi’s backyard and waited for the alert from Steve and/or Gary. We waited. Any waited. Lunch came and no word. It was summer and it was hot, hot, hot. Steve and Gary came back with no sighting. Larry and I replaced them until dusk. Nothing. Not even one. Where were they?
At dark, we all headed for home. “Tomorrow is Sunday,” Larry pronounced. “They will come after church. I’m certain of it.” We agreed we would meet back at Stew’s on Sunday after church.
Next Week: Wait
Given that we had been run out of “our” territory not once but twice, we were in no mood to hear any guff out of the four meanest girls in the neighborhood. They laughed and laughed until I thought they were going to collapse. When they got back to almost normal (for a girl), they stood up (they had fallen down from laughing so hard) and faced us.
“Ya’ll are ridiculous”, Gail said, stifling yet another laugh. “Yeh, no kidding, Margaret added with a guffaw. “You know they are easy to get rid of, you know that don’t you?” Alice added, “But you all don’t know you have a secret weapon.”
“Secret weapon?” I was incredulous to imagine that these girls would ever stoop to think that we didn’t know about our secret weapon. “Of course, we know about our secret weapon!” Stewi tried to sound smart and all that. Larry had no clue about any secret weapon and said so. (Rule #1 – NEVER admit you don’t know something to a girl-EVER). That just made everything much worse.
Margaret laughed and said, “WE are your secret weapon!” All of us laughed in unison at that out of this world remark. “You! That’s a joke!” I was dead serious even when Larry asked how these girls could be out biggest secret.
“We’ll tell you on the condition that you all have to play four square with us at least two Saturdays a month AND let us use your GI Joe’s with our Barbie.
“NO WAY!!!” We were in complete unison on the matter and there would be no discussion. “OUR GI Joe’s play with YOUR Barbie!? Not on this planet!!” I replied at the top of my voice “You’ve got your Ken doll! Use him.” “GI Joe is much tougher than Ken,” replied Alice. She was right on that for sure but that did not mean they could make our GI Joe play house. He’s a combat soldier and that’s just the way it is. We would not budge.
“Suit yourself,” Alice was unmovable. “Hope you find a new field to play on!”
With that, we gathered up our Moon Pies and RC Colas and left for Stewi’s back yard. No way were we going to agree to Foursquare and loosing our GI Joes.
Next week: A new attempt
It took quite a spell to get all ten of us into the safety of Stewie’s backyard and the protection of his fence. That fence didn’t help much as our enemies continued throwing clods over the fence and into the yard. We retreated even further into the safety of the garage. That attracted the attention of Stewie’s dad who, upon realizing his back yard was being littered by clods, went out and ran those skunks off. We were, for a time, safe.
It was late Saturday morning by now and we were confined to the interior of the garage with a whole bunch of Saturday to get through yet. Larry went out to scout the area and was met with a merciless shelling of “Panhandle death clods,” as we called them. He was lucky he survived. We were unsure whether we would ever see daylight again until Max had the idea to walk down to Mr. Walker’s store and get an RC Cola™ and a Moon Pie™. We would be safe as Mr. Walker’s store was the opposite direction and further away from the field. Those skunks would leave us alone there. We would be safe out back and could talk over our plans for counterattack.
We forgot about the neighborhood girls.
Here it might be the time to explain the neighborhood girls. They were the bane of our existence. If memory serves, there were about a million of them. Unless we got to our field real early in the morning (btw: my Dad told me it was against Texas state law for girls of any age to be on the field at any time), we had to put up with them and their girly goofiness. Their entire agenda was to entice, invite, or otherwise rope us into playing with them. I’m sorry, but our “Man Code” forbade us from playing house, handling any kind of dolls (G.I. Joe™ was the sole exception), playing some goofy game called foursquare, and anything other than what met our man code. It was just that simple. We were ten years old, for crying out loud! Well, Stewi and Rusty were eight. You get my meaning.
So, on this sunny Saturday morning we went to Mr. Walker’s store, got our RC Colas and Moon Pies, and settled out back of the store to soak our sorrows. (for some of us, It took more than one Moon Pie to drown the sorrow). Mr. Walker even came out to see if we were ok. He went back inside his store and no sooner than the screen door slammed shut than we spotted the four orneriest girls in the neighborhood. Alice, Margaret, Brindley, and Gail came around the corner, stopped dead in their tracks, and stared at us. After what seemed to be an eternity, all four broke down laughing themselves silly. Girls do that you know. Our man code did not allow us to throw clods at girls so we just stood there and stared as meanest of a stare that anyone can muster.
Next week: An unlikely alliance.
Being the beautiful day that it was today, the wife and I decided to take a nice stroll along the canal in downtown Indianapolis. Turned out much better than I could have expected.
As we walked, we bumped into and had several great conversations with people we did not know and most likely would never see again. There was the family from St. Louis who we chanced up at the USS Indianapolis memorial. He worked for Ford Motors and enjoyed what he does. The missus was a little pooped and was resting on a bench. When she learned that there was a place to rent paddle boats, she tried her best to get her husband to go rent the boat and bring it back here and pick her up. We left before learning whether he would go get the boat.
Then there was three women, one being VERY pregnant, out for a walk. The one in a family way was clearly uncomfortable, this being her sixth child. I got the impression that she might be past her due date and was hoping this little girl would get a move on. We left her with some encouragement that it would soon be over.
Oh, and there was two women from Germany with whom we had a nice chat. One was living here due to her husband’s job and the other was here on vacation. Having lived in Germany for some eleven years or so, it was a joy to hear the German language and reminiscence with these two about our days in “Deutschland.”
But the height of the day came when we went under one of the bridges that cross the canal. There we chanced upon a group of students (I guessed them to be college age or thereabouts) of about a dozen or so and of various backgrounds handing out free bottles of water. Along with the free bottle of water came free hugs (I took two). I inquired as to the reasoning behind the free water and hugs. The young lady who had given me a bottle of water and double hugs said, and I quote, ” Well, we’ve all had a pretty tough week, haven’t we?” She was, of course, referring to the recent violence across our nation. It was a remarkable gesture of kindness and I said so. I don’t know where they came from or anything about them. They improved the day of so many with their kindness.
Now, why doesn’t the press report stuff like this?
(Posted here is a bit of wisdom courtesy of The Patriot Post. Enjoy)
Memorial Day provides a stark contrast between the best of our nation’s Patriot sons and daughters versus the worst of our nation’s culture of consumerism. But Memorial Day is NOT for sales. Millions of Patriots have already paid the full price.
Amid the reverent observances honoring the sacrifice of millions of American Patriots who defended Liberty in accordance with their sacred oaths, it is unfortunate that too many venders have commercialized Memorial Day. Indeed, Memorial Day has been sold out, along with Washington’s Birthday, Independence Day, Veterans, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. And no wonder, given that government schools now substitute grossly adulterated and revisionist history for the civics courses which used to inform young people of their duty as citizens.
In his essay “The Contest In America,” 19th-century libertarian philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”