Birth of a Writer, Via a Football Coach—Ludicrous—I Know, But A True Story.

Young writer searching inspiration, with an old typewriter.

No one cares about your novel!!!

Sitting in a classroom.

Football Coach at the helm.

Year: 1974

Assignment: Write an essay.

I was, back then, a better middle linebacker than I was a ‘writer’

But, what the hell!

I gave it a go.

Tried to anyway.

Sat at my desk, pen in hand, staring at a blank page.

For two minutes.

Then something magical happened:

Very, very Young Muse

Touched me

(Yep, Same One Who is Still With Me, all these years later)

She was, of course, younger, and Prettier, but then again, so was I.

Some ‘Magic’ Happened.

I started writing.

Wrote a long story about a young soldier serving in ‘The Nam.’

He was ‘short’, — Meaning he had just one more week ‘till he got to ride that ‘Freedom-Bird’ back to ‘The World.’ The land of the Big PX and the ‘All-Night Restaurant.’

He was Happy.

But, one last order of business:

One more routine patrol.

No worries—He had been there, done that, too many times to even think on.

He geared up with his platoon.

Day-Dreams flooded his mind.

Dreaming of his young, beautiful, wonderful wife

Dreaming of his farm in Texas

Dreaming of fishing for trash fish in the ponds on his land

Dreaming of how his wife would laugh at him for being such a lousy fisherman

Dreaming of just going to a Texas Bar and ordering a ‘Lone Star’ beer

Dreaming more and more of kissing his wife

****

“Move out!”

(Shattered his dreamy state)

The Platoon was ‘on-the-move’ now.

Pretty much routine, far as that goes.

Began routine enough

Walking down a path, M-16 at the ready.

Looking left, looking right.

Quiet.

Then

Fire!

Firefight!

Ambush!

Pandemonium!

He caught one in the chest.

And got busy with his dying.

Lying on the floor of the jungle, he managed to pull the photo of his childhood sweetheart, his wife, his LOVE out from beneath his flak jacket.

He regarded it, gazed at it, put it to his lips and kissed it.

Then he died.

*****

I handed in my paper when prompted.

Coach read all the submissions as we all departed for lunch.

Came back to Home-Room after lunch.

Coach said,

“Y’all did real good with your writing assignment. I am gonna read one of them.”

Coach read my story to the class.

Then he said, “I never knew Lance could write. He is just average as a linebacker, but as a writer, he is good.”

Did I give a shit for his praise?

Nope.

Remember, I was an asshole back then.

Still Am.

That was a ‘Red-Letter-Day’ in my ‘Writing Career.’

However, I had a football career to attend to:

“Go! Honey Grove Warriors!

Beat Cooper!

I love My Texas!

The HG Warriors Stole this as our ‘Fight Song,’ as most every other School-Boy Texan HS Football Team did back in The Day. We were all so very Proud of Our Texas Longhorns!

They kicked some serious ass back in those bye-gone days

Knowing full well that the Dixie Chicks can still bring out ire and even bona-fide rage in some folks, I drop this in anyway.

I did not, never did, will never, agree with Natalie’s politics.

HOWEVER, 

I stood by her then and I stand by her now.

I have spilled a lot of virtual ink on these Gals

She is, in my not humble opinion, a prime example of the Quintessential Texan Woman:

Outspoken

Brave

Fearless

Loud & Proud

(And Gorgeous too! LOL)

“Nat, You GO Girl! I have your back!”  

(Love You Emily!–Marry Me?)

PLEASE.

I’d Stop drinking for You–But Only For You.

There is too much Nat in this Vid and not nearly enough Emily!

Just Sing, But Never Shut Up! This is Still a Free Country

P.S., I won’t lie (I do not write Fiction)

I never got shot at while in The Nav, well, maybe a little, by Dem Iranians,

While ‘Independent Steaming in the Northern ‘Moist’ Part of the IO.

But I did get shot up,years later, as a Civilian,

Just outside of Fallujah.

Fallujah.

That was my Baptism of Fire.

I saw my entire life replayed in my head that day.

In an instant

Cheers!

Hey! Fuck You WordPress!

You are lame!

There’s My Trouble.

With You

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