The downpour had finally stopped. It had been raining heavily for most of the morning—buckets of rain—
Bob Dylan – Buckets of Rain:
‘A tall cow pissin’ on a flat rock.’—‘Rainin’ cats and frogs’, a real ‘chunk-floater’.
Then suddenly the clouds parted and a brilliant sun emerged. The air was now still and clean-smelling. The thunderstorm had been about average for Texas, which meant tumultuous, fast, and furious.
I stared out the window of the senior English classroom where I was imprisoned, listening to Mrs. Whitley drone on about dangling participles, comma splices, bibliographies, or some such. It was early spring.
I checked the clock on the wall: Five minutes until the bell rang, ending my boredom and releasing me for the lunch period.
I love northeast Texas in springtime. Springtime in Texas is no time to be stuck in a moldy old High School classroom; not when there are fish to be caught, baseball to be played, or especially cheerleaders to be lured into road trips to the lake or anywhere away from ‘civilization’:
“Let’s get out of here Baby! Let’s go to The Lake! We can score some Boone’s Farm and have ourselves a blast!”
Daydreams, about afternoon things…
The bell rang and I bolted. Since my house was just on the opposite side of the Honey Grove High School parking lot, I mostly went home for the short lunch break.
Walking briskly and heading toward the side entrance of the building, jostling my peers in my haste to get out of there, I ran into Jimmy ‘Peanut’ Piland. He grabbed my arm abruptly.
“Where you goin’ in such a hurry?”
“Peanut, you damn well where I’m goin’. Home for lunch.”
“No, you ain’t,” he said with a goofy grin.
“Yes, I am. Now let go my arm. I’ve only got so much time to have a grill-cheese sandwich, listen to a little Led Zep, get my mind right, and get back here.”
“Your folks’re outta town right now, yeah?”
“Yeah, it’s just me and Madelyn, ‘mindin’ the fort.”
“Well,” he said, “Then you don’t need to be going home for no lunch.”
“Ok then, where do I ‘need’ to be goin’ then?”
“Bow fishin’. I done invented a way to do it.”
“Well, I ain’t got no bows and arrows, and where the hell does someone bow fish around here? I don’t know about any salmon rivers close by,” I said, not just a little sarcastic, but Peanut, then a wiry, blond-headed, fiery blue-eyed sophomore with attitude, was often difficult to ignore.
Pulling me toward the exit, he said, “Just let’s git outside. I ‘borrowed’ one’a Daddy’s old junk cars this mornin’, and got everything already loaded up.”
Peanut’s daddy (and I suppose an uncle or two) did seem to have more than a few ‘old clunkers’ about their place.
This particular one looked to be circa 1959; a Plymouth I do believe, but honestly, I don’t know a Plymouth from a Volkswagen.
This one was painted some gawd-awful turquoise or maybe it used to be blue, but just sun-bleached out to look turquoise. Peanut climbed into the helm and I jumped into the ‘shotgun’ seat. (Sure enough, there was a 12-guage propped up on the floorboard.)
Piled in the back seat were a couple of bows, some arrows, a tackle box, beer cooler, some rods and reels (Zebco 33 reels), and myriad and sundry other items, some of which I recognized, some of which I did not.
The car had a ‘wonderful earthy’ smell. Imagine six-days-worn socks, twelve pair of them, which if dropped would break into pieces. What this car needed was Hercules, diverting a river through it, just like the Aegean Stables…
“Peanut,” I asked (though I already knew the answer), “when did you get your license?”
“Hahahah! Ain’t got n’eirn!”
“What I thought,” I said, and laughed too.
He cranked her up and obviously a muffler was not part of the standard package for this vehicle. She sounded not unlike what I would imagine an Abrams Tank, or a hay bailer with a bovine stuck in it, could sound like—in an echo chamber—a very small echo chamber.
“’Nut,” I said, “If we’re goin’, let’s get goin’ now before we, uh, you, get busted.”
“Gotta let ‘er warm up a minute.”
“She’s warm enough. It ain’t wintertime; c’mon! Let’s get outta here!”
“Sounds good, don’t she?”
“Yeah, good enough to maybe get us half-way out of this parking lot.”
He threw ‘her’ into reverse and with a violent jolt backward, damn near ran over some student walking behind us.
“Damn it Peanut! Watch where the hell ya goin’ in that wreck! Said student yelled.
He ‘navigated’ us, squealing tires, out of the parking lot (which was quite smallish as parking lots go), and we were off, and now officially “Playin’ Hooky.”
After we had gotten a few blocks away from HG High, I said, “Peanut, you gonna explain this ‘expedition’ to me now?”
“Yeah, sure. You know we done had a lot of rain past few days?”
“Yeah, kinda hard to miss, so what?”
“Well, you know that spillway behind Lake Coffeemill, right under the dam, and that concrete wall there, making a little, uh, kinda swimming pool before the water goes over it and down to the creek?”
“Yeah, you know damn well I do,” I said, growing impatient.
“What you don’t know is that big-ass carp get washed over the damn somehow when the lake is overflowin’ and they get trapped in that spot.”
“Okay,” I said, “I’m listening.”
“Go into that cooler and reach me a Coors.”
I reached back over my shoulder, opened the cooler, and sure as shit, there were about ten Coors beers in it, all iced down. I grabbed two, opened them and handed one to him.
“Where’d you get these beers?”
“They came with the car.”
“Ok, so explain to me this ‘bow fishin’.”
“It’s too easy. That water in the pool behind the dam ain’t but about two-foot deep. The carp swim around with their backs out of the water, some of ‘em a good eighteen pounds.
We duck-tape the Zebcos to the bows, tie the line to the arrow shaft; shoot ‘em and reel ‘em in. I got special ‘bow-fishing’ arrowheads; got prongs on ‘em, so they won’t come outta the fish when we’re reeling them in. Like shooting fish in a barrel! Hahaha!”
“Clever, Peanut,” I said dryly. “…It does sound like good sport though, but I got one question: What’re we gonna do with an eighteen pound carp? I don’t think I’d much care for eating carp.”
“We sell ‘em.”
“Sell ‘em?! To who? Who eats carp?”
“All them black folks ‘cross the tracks, that’s who. Can get two bits a pound.”
“You’re shittin’ me!”
“No I ain’t,” he said, grinning, as we too fast approached the twenty-mile-per-hour ‘S’ curve going past the Oakwood Cemetery, doing about fifty.
“Damn it Peanut! Slow down!” I yelled over screeching tires.
“I got this. Relax.”
*Screeching tires and the smell of burnt rubber*
Safely through the ‘S’ curve, Peanut lit a Marlboro and tried to reach the cooler in the back seat while holding the empty beer can and the steering wheel in the other, not an easy (or safe) feat.
“Peanut,” I said, “Relax; I got this,” and handed him another Coors (after I opened it for him; didn’t really trust in his ability to multi-task that much.)
“Damn! That be some good cold beer, ain’t it?”
“Yeah, yeah, so tell me, how do you know those folks pay two-bits a pound for carp?”
“Just know,” he said. “And if we shoot fifty or sixty pounds of them, hell! That’s beer money.”
“Well, I’ll take your word on it,” I said, as I looked out the window, pleased at what a fine, beautiful day it had turned out to be. I was damn happy to be riding along that stretch of road with my best friend, playing hooky, just like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
The northbound farm to market (FM 100) two-lane to the lakes (there are two actually: Lakes Crockett and Coffeemill) winds through some slightly hilly, well, hilly for Fannin County–nice looking land–especially in springtime.
I had hauled hay all over that part of the county during the previous two summers. It was much finer-looking land than east or west of Honey Grove, and that is for sure.
Lake Crockett is about fifteen miles down that road and we would be driving past it to get to Coffeemill. Bois d’Arc creek runs between the two lakes and eventually empties itself into the Red River.
The whole area around the lakes is heavily wooded and all of it is part of the Caddo National Grasslands, a Federal Park, a rarity in Texas, as Texas kept most of her public lands when she entered the Union.
Why it is called a ‘grasslands,’ I have no idea, since it is all mostly forest. Peanut and I, and most of the crowd we hung out with, spent much of our time in this region.
The fishing was decent, the hunting too, although I had given up hunting years before. Not because I was averse to slaughtering wild game. It just didn’t interest me any longer. Mostly what we did at the lakes was fish, camp, drink beer, smoke pot, and usually (but not always) mind our own business.
It was damn difficult during The Seventies to get busted in that area for anything; so naturally that was a major drawing point for us.
Just before the turnoff to Lake Crockett there is a small ‘Mom & Pop’ gas station – grocery store, (We didn’t really call them ‘Convenience Stores’ back then, but this one had always been convenient for us.), and Peanut pulled into its parking lot.
“What’re you doing? I asked.
“Need somethin’,” was all he said, as he opened the car door.
“I think you should tell ‘em to check the gas, and fill her with oil.”
“You wanna walk the rest of the way, or do you wanna stop insultin’ my daddy’s car?”
“Peanut, she do smoke some, ya gotta admit,” I said, and slightly sorry for ‘slightly’ hurtin’ his feelings, but only slightly on both accounts. From the first day we met and became instant fast friends Peanut and I had always sparred verbally and more often than not, physically as well.
“Keeps the skeeters away,” and with that, he headed to the store.
I fished another beer out of the cooler while I waited for him to return from his mission, whatever it may have been. The old gas station and store had been there probably since the late Fifties, without much modernization since its founding.
The two gasoline pumps were probably upgraded maybe once or twice, but still looked ‘old-timey’ to me and actually, there was a hand-drawn sign on them saying “Double the Amount.” This was common after the oil embargo and the per gallon gas prices went higher than the old pumps could be set for.
The building itself was just a wooden structure which had probably not felt the wet kiss of a paint brush in twenty-odd years. The place sat at the intersection of FM 100 and FM 2216.
There were some ancient trees behind the store and two tall oaks on the eastern side, providing welcome shade during the long, hot Texas’ summers.
Under the two oaks were the remains of what once looked to be a decent gazebo, but long-neglected, its only purpose now just a photo opportunity to document the degradation of more prosperous (or carefree?) times.
There was a bit of ancient pavement in spots, mostly around the gas pumps, but mostly gravel everywhere else. But still, I liked the look of the place; it had an air of nostalgia to it.
About the time I had finished my beer, Peanut reappeared, jumped in and tossed a small brown paper bag into my lap. Opening it, I discovered a half-pint of Wild Turkey.
“’Nut, they don’t sell booze here.”
“Nope, they don’t; I ‘traded’ for it. Got me a friend in there. We might need that whiskey in case you get snake-bit. Lot of moccasins down in that spillway.”
“I also got a couple of sandwiches; don’t want you fallin’ out on me,” he smirked as he threw another sack into the back seat.
“What, no chocolate Similac for you?” I threw back at him.
“Many-Feet, did I ever tell you, you was a smart ass?”
“Yeah, back during the Great Depression, yours.”
Everyone in Honey Grove knew Jimmy as ‘Peanut,’ but only our clique ever called me ‘Many-Feet.’ I was christened, (or perhaps, ‘reborn’ is a better word) such by Monsieur Le Peanut one night as we were all sitting around a campfire, Indian style, passing around a mason jar of fire-water.
While throwing good-natured insults at each other over the smoke and crackling of the fire, Peanut, looking at me through somewhat bleary eyes said,
“Marcom, where’d you get them big-ass boats you’re wearin’? Look at them shoes Y’all! They look like canoes! Your name should be ‘Grandpa Many-Feet!’ (I seemed to always be the ‘elder.’) I never seen such feet!”
Everyone (including yours truly) laughed hysterically. Mainly because it was true (I wear a size thirteen), and it was uniquely ‘Peanut.’
He had a way of coining phrases no one would else could afford. From that night forward I was ‘Grandpa Many-Feet’ but usually shortened to ‘Many-Feet,’ or just ‘Feet’ for the familiar, informal settings, or when circumstance required economy of language. ‘Grandpa Many-Feet’ was only used when decorum and formality dictated.
Having accomplished Peanut’s ‘mission,’ we pulled out and headed on toward the turn-off to Lake Crockett. After the turn, about a mile or so down the oil top road, we came upon the old boat house/bait shop/tackle store/restaurant.
One could get everything there one needed for fishing and or picnic excursions. Small boats with ten horse power out-boards could even be rented.
It was a fine establishment, but mainly for tourists: Nice & Clean, Proper, and Sanitized for Your Protection–Not our kind of place and in fact, Lake Crockett was not really our kind of lake. We drove on past.
About a mile further down, the road began to deteriorate and in some places mud became an issue. At one particularly ‘issue-laden’ spot we had to get a good running start to get through it.
I was certain we were going to become mired in mud and stranded, but Peanut, always fearless, slammed the car into the gooey mess that a week before would have been a semi-passable road.
We slid a good ways: left ways, right ways, sideways, and fish-tailing all the time, mud flying everywhere, but we made it through. Call it ‘on-road off-roading.’ We whooped and hollered.
The only major obstacle left was the crossing over Bois d’Arc creek. The old gray wooden bridge, well ‘she ain’t what she used to be…’
Coming upon the bridge, I suggested we get out and reconnoiter it for structural integrity and more than ‘potential’ hazards’: real ones. Of course Peanut was having none of that.
So, with the not generally ‘Mighty Bois d’Arc’ now high and mighty and enraged from the recent deluge, we slowly bumped over the ancient heavy planks and I was expecting something to give way at any moment plunging us into the surging waters below.
The planks creaked and complained as the tires hit each one in succession and in one spot there was no plank at all and Peanut had to gun the car a bit in order to get over the gap. Not exactly an ‘Evil Knievel Leap’ of faith and daring, but nonetheless, slightly dangerous and slightly thrilling.
Not many I knew then or now would ever attempt that bridge, even during the summer when the Bois d’Arc is just a trickle.
Historically in that part of the county, Bois d’Arc creek has claimed many lives. Not over the bridge I am speaking of, but over better bridges, flooded and someone making the final and fatal mistake of tempting them anyway, getting swept off and…
Now, please understand, there is an alternate route to Lake Coffeemill; a much easier and better and safer route, but we never took that route. I guess the ‘road less travelled’ would always be our wont. We were, after all, young and bullet-proof.
We successfully crossed the bridge without serious incident, and once again, felt brave and full of ourselves for the doing of same.
We drove on down the sometimes gravel, sometimes blacktop, usually mud road and arrived at a picnic grounds and crude concrete boat launch. The grounds were decent and there were even bathroom facilities there.
These grounds are easily accessible via the alternate route coming from the opposite direction as mentioned above. The dam is clearly visible from this spot, but not easily accessible. To get to the dam and to the spillway beneath it involved hiking a good half-mile through heavy woods, brambles, an occasional copper-head, and more often than not, mosquitoes, lots of mosquitoes.
Not too many folks were that curious or enamored with the spillway. All the better as far as we were concerned. In fact, we would have to cross over a barb-wire fence just to begin our hike.
In Texas, barb-wire fences always indicate private property and from my earliest recollections, I knew that one just does not casually cross onto and certainly not through private property without permission. In those days there was still much private land around the two lakes, so we can add ‘trespassing’ to our list of transgressions that day.
We parked the car and began the triage of our gear. We certainly did not want to make two trips down to the spillway, unless of course we intended to spend the night, but this was no camping trip.
Some items obviously had to be schlepped to the spillway: bows, arrows, the Zebco reels, the whiskey (for potential medicinal purposes of course), but the heavy twelve gage, the beer cooler, the casting net, buckets, hand nets, the sandwiches—all these I protested we did not need.
We argued a bit, and finally decided to eat the sandwiches, drink the beers, and leave the rest.
Laden with only the necessary gear, we set out.
We soon discovered that the one thing we really needed, but didn’t bring was a machete. I am not Briar Rabbit; I don’t like briar patches–too late now anyway.
On the way to the Coffeemill Lake spillway is a small stock pond. Now that is not uncommon in Texas, but the uncommon thing about this particular stock pond is that it somehow got to be ‘stocked’ with gar and more than a few snapping turtles (mean bastards, those), and more still cotton-mouths (meaner still).
Peanut and I had discovered this one summer afternoon when we thought we’d try it for bass, or bream, (‘Brim’ in the Texan vernacular) or crappie. Gar don’t typically lend themselves to be lured by a bass lure, or by a red-worm, or by a minnow.
Okay, perhaps a minnow, but it must not be minnow in size; it must be a big minnow; kinda like a jumbo shrimp. We finally caught ‘something’ and it was a gar, smallish one.
“Well, that ‘bout ruins this as a bass pond,” Peanut had said.
“How come? I asked.
“’Cause any fool knows that gar eat up everything else, especially the bass.”
“Thank you, ‘Henry David Thoreau.’”
The Gar Pond & Spillway
We took the time to stop at this pond for a break (it lies about three-quarters the distance to the spillway), and to check it out again to see if we could discern if the fauna and flora had changed.
Neither had. We spotted several turtles and saw a small gar dash away from the bank. It was a damn shame because that pond would have been great for stocking with bass and I suppose it could be drained
(When you are up to your ass in alligator gar it is sometimes difficult to remember your initial intent was to drain the swamp)
and then stocked with buckets full of young bass from a hatchery. But that would have been a shame too. Truthfully, I liked that pond just as it was.
There was a peninsula jutting out from west to east which would have been perfect to camp on. The atmosphere was primordial; almost inaccessible in most parts due to the multitudinous willow trees and vines and the steep banks most of the way around.
So in retrospect, I’d say if it had belonged to me, I’d have left it the same.
After our brief survey of the pond, we soldiered on. Approaching the dam and the spillway, I could hear rushing waters. Magical. Calling to me like the Sirens of The Odyssey.
In Texas, we don’t often hear the Siren’s Song, but the sound of rushing waters, well, that is as close as it got for me back then. There are precious few opportunities to hear rushing waters in Fannin County, and once heard, one is surely drawn toward them.
We marched on with a new-found determination.
The spillway lay about fifty feet below our embarkation point. No matter. We made our way down.
It is a magical place when the water is running over the dam all frothy and angry. The last little bit of navigation is a mite treacherous, very steep and unforgiving. Woe to he who slips and falls the remainder of the way down to the spillway. Scrapes and Bruises at best; broken legs at worst.
There was a small shaded clearing one could find aside the spillway. We unpacked our gear and Peanut showed me how to rig the Zebcos to the bows. The concrete barrier which makes the ‘swimming pool’ was about nine inches wide. Peanut instructed me:
“You just walk on that ‘crete’ and look for carp. Then you shoot ‘em. Then you reel ‘em in. Easy, yes?”
I was game though, and after I had my ‘rig’ rigged up, did as instructed. I saw a carp’s back surface. Shot at it. Missed. (Peanut laughed). Saw another one. Shot at it. Hit! Then the fun began. The carp (a big one) was not going quietly into that good night. He/She fought like blue blazes.
Picture this: A bow with a Zebco 33 duct-taped to it, and a schmuck trying to reel in an eighteen-pound carp. No leverage from a proper rod, no ability to ‘horse’ him up, and on less than firm footing…
I ended up in the ‘pool’ wet all over and pissed off.
But, I ‘beached’ the carp.
Peanut was having some success as well. After two hours we had (by my estimation) one hundred pounds of carp, read, ‘twenty-five dollars’ for beer. But of course, beer was not the issue, nor the harvest. It was all in the fun of doing it with a friend and playing hooky.
We had piled all the dead and dying carp on the bank (in the corner of the spillway mentioned above), and sat there studying them and sipping on the whiskey.
“Now what?” I asked, in earnest.
“Well, looks like the rest of them carp got smart; ain’t seen one come up for over an hour now.”
“We got to wade in and flush out the rest of ‘em.”
“’Nut, gonna take us at least four trips now to tote all what we got back to your La Bomba.”
“Still some carp in there.”
“I want ‘em, that’s what.”
“It’s getting late and I have homework to do for school.”
We looked each other dead in the eye.
Then we burst out laughing. Belly laughter. Hard-core laughter. Hysterical laughter.
“Ok,” I said. “We’ll get even wetter and flush ‘em, out. Why not?” I asked rhetorically.
We proceeded to wade into the ‘swimming pool’ to flush out the remaining carp. Honestly, I do believe we looked like a couple of wanna-be Navy SEALs, wading through the Mekong Delta, looking for Charlie. Slowly look this way; look that way, bow and arrow ever at the ready.
We flushed and shot two more carp (they must have been sleepers), when Peanut said casually over his shoulder,
“Hey, I think I stepped on a moccasin.”
“So…?” I said.
“It bit me.”
“Stop bullshitting me Peanut.”
“No, serious. It bit me.”
I looked back at him and for a very brief instant; I saw a strange boyish fear come over his face. He suddenly looked to be about eight years old.
Then I believed him. This now became a game changer. Strong men don’t usually die from the bite of a cotton-mouth, but that same bite will seriously ruin one’s day, especially when one finds one’s self a long way from home.
And unknown to me at that time, Peanut was a free-bleeder. (Hemophiliac) Glad I did not know that over all the years I did not know it, but that, I suppose is beside the point now.
“Hang on. Don’t move” was the brilliant response I shot back.
“Like I’m gonna move…” was his brilliant retort.
“Peanut, seriously, did you get bit?”
“’Feet’, yep. Seriously, I been bit.”
“Goddamn it!” I screamed at him and then calmed, “Okay; let’s get you over to the bank.”
“I don’t feel so good,” was all he said right before he passed out and melted into the water.
I dropped my bow and arrow, and as fast as I could, elephant-walked through the knee-deep water and pulled him up.
Dragging his unconscious body back to the spot where we had piled all the carp, I began having flashbacks of the day his uncle had drown in the very same lake whose spillway we had been exploiting until two minutes ago. Suddenly, I did not feel so damn good either.
I slapped him a few times and grabbing his jaw, moved his face back and forth, slapping him again.
“Peanut! Goddamn you! It’s just a snake! Wake up! Wake the fuck up! Now! Goddamn it!”
His eyes opened slightly and he tried to say something, but I could not make it out.
“Just shut the hell up,” I said. Then I looked over his ankles and bare legs for the bite. Found it, just over his left ankle. I ain’t no Boy Scout, and had never been trained in the art of fixing snake bites, so I just cradled his head in my lap and said,
“Here, drink this,” offering him some Wild Turkey.
“Yaaa…that’s good,” was what he said. All he said; then passed out again.
I threw him over my shoulder, fireman carry style and tried to get us up the stiff bank so I could get him to the car. Couldn’t do it, so I grabbed his arms over his shoulder and dragged him. The bruises that came from that, I was certain he would forgive.
Once I got us out of the spillway, I fire-man carried him to the car. Seemed to take five hours, but in reality, probably thirty minutes. I threw him into the passenger side and as I was getting into the driver’s seat, he woke up.
“Did you fetch along the carp?” He asked, too nonchalantly.
“Fuck you! I’m taking you to town.” Was all I could say.
“Whut for? He slurred at me.
“’Cause you got snake-bit, that’s what for.”
“Ah…forget it; I feel Okay”
“Well, you look like shit,” I said as I cranked the car.
“Seriously, I’m fine; go back and get them carp.”
So, I gave him the half-full or half empty (depending upon one’s perspective) bottle of Turkey, and went back and ‘fetched’ the carp.
Took me three or four trips, and every time I brought a load of carp, I enquired after his health. He seemed fine, well, sorta. But he was adamant; so I kept schlepping the damn carp and finally got all the gear as well.
I took him to my father (The Doctor; he had just returned from his trip to Dallas). He gave him a ‘once over,’ checking his vitals, and asked the question I was dreading: “What the hell were you two doing at the lake on a school day?”
I said something clever like, “Uh, it was a field trip for biology class.”
He glared at me over his glasses and said nothing.
Then Peanut said to him,
“Doc, it hurts when I do this,” as he wiggled his leg around.
“Well then don’t do that,” my father said.
He was given a shot of something, probably penicillin, but I don’t know. He recovered and we did sell the carp for about twenty bucks and bought some beer from a local bootlegger.
Who was a Tennessean (Virginian by birth) through no fault of his own
“The secession leaders tell us if war comes that the superior courage of our people with their experience of the use of firearms will enable us to triumph in battle over ten times our number of Northern forces. Never was a more false or absurd statement ever made by designing demagogues. I declare that Civil War is inevitable and near at hand.
When it comes the descendants of the heroes of Lexington and Bunker Hill will be found equal in patriotism, courage, and heroic endurance with the descendents of Cowpens and Yorktown … When the tug of war comes, it will be Greek meeting Greek. Then, oh my fellow countrymen, the fearful conflict will fill our fair land with untold suffering, misfortune, and disaster.” — Sam Houston with some prescient words on the eve of the Civil War in February, 1861
Hey-Zeus! Spike It In The END Zone Bro. Then Come On Back Down To Earth Son. Check Us Out. See How We’re Doin’ Now
Get off of your Cloud
Dazed and Confused. Say me–Shit! Wrong songref
“Lance, rent a brain–Yours is Null and Void”
My Life is A Cloudy Day. Okay?
Cred for vid: ABKCOVEVO
Reba?! Girl! Okie Gal! Really?
I Knew You When… Back then
Back when you were interesting
Now you’re just boring
“Come Back To God”
News Flash For Ya Reba McEntire: I was never ‘with’ YOUR God. Not in that ‘Biblical Sense’ nor any other kind of sense. Religion Is All Non-Sense
Boz My Man!
Jesus, it’s only been 2000+ years, For Christ’s Sake! (Sorry)
WTF else you got to do?
Count YOUR ‘Blessings? Play checkers with Daddy? Rest on your laurels? One and Done. That all you got?
What a gyp
Or just lazy?
Thought so. Well Man And Womankind need you to get up off yer laissez faire ass recliner-cloud and fulfill all them fake promises & Dry Dreams you promised. Been to Earth lately Jesus? Things are pretty fucked up is all I’m sayin’.
And P.S. I still love You Jesus. As a Good Man. Not as a Deity
Oh, and by the way Jesus, when I die, you gonna bring me back for a ‘do-over’?
No? Then you are of no use to me.Don’t let the manger door hit yer ass on your way out (That one you rode in on halfway to Jerusalem) Oh, and I have always wondered, was that ass a purchase or a rental?
Shalom & Allahu Akbar
Halfway to Jerusalem
(Yes. Your ‘Humble’ Author has been to Jerusalem–Many Times)
My Blog is no longer an aversion
Nor a version
of a virgin
Therefore, since I am leaving soon
(Insha’Allah.. Joke: probably get killed for that one–Y’all know who I am here and on which side I fall upon–Atheist) I am not for lack of a term: ‘an Evangelical Atheist’.
I do not care what you believe or don’t believe. My only further statement is atheists can be moral and good people, just like theists. We can also be immoral and bad people, just like theists. And we can be some kind of combination of the two; just like theists.
Hopefully, that above statement loses me not any of my followers (save one: my mother), But if so this is Karma (and no! I am not Buddhist nor Hindi either), then I will adopt the philosophy of a great ‘blogger-man’ I admire, respect, follow, and really despise:
http://aopinionatedman.com/ (ed note: May, 31st: I am no longer a fan of the Lemmings. i.e., I do not follow OM no mas, mainly because even I, cannot be that charitable) And that is all I am gonna say ’bout that. If you want some more piercing eloquence of the subject, I happily direct you to ‘The shitstorm that is my life: (she is brilliance in a bottle:
We differ, but we are kindred in our discourse of difference. Opinionated Man says this, and I quote:
“My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.”
Now. This is not in my manifesto, but I do find me subscribing to it more and more, day by day. Not sure why, but I do think OM has a valid point here: He writes for HIM.
This, I understand. And this is my new path. (Now all I need do is find some more followers… to hit the trail with me 😉 )
Therefore in the spirit of cleaning up hard disk drive space, I have nominated this post (the one on the next page–The ‘Hitch-Slap’ will remain as long as I have electricity and an internet connection) for permanent removal. (though I Love it daily..er…dearly..especially the video clip”
The three Harleys were gaining on me as I sped southbound down Interstate Five. It was still dark and the traffic was light. I floored the pedal on the Toranado but I knew they would eventually catch up to me.
My speedometer redlined at one hundred and I took another hurried glance at the rearview: still gaining fast. Where the hell were the famous CHiPs? For the absolute first time in my life, I wanted to get busted.
One biker managed to pull up alongside me on the passenger side. I swerved to the right just a bit to try to spook him. No dice! He easily dodged my quarter panel and I caught a brief glimpse of his grinning face, mocking me. (bikers never wore helmets)
The two remaining bikes pulled up behind him. I was running out of options. Should I just continue on until I ran out of freeway or gas? Hope a highway patrol finally spotted us? Surrender?
I stole another glance in my side mirror and could just barely make out the third biker taking aim at my car with a handgun, rather unsteadily given our speed, but I braced for the worst, then BAM!
I awoke with a start and sat bolt upright in bed. The alarm was wailing away. Shonnie stirred and moaned, “What time…? uuugghhhhh.”
Ireached over Shonnie to kill the alarm and knocked it off the nightstand. “Shit!” Had to crawl over her to grab the damn thing and turn it off. “It’s five-thirty,” I said.
“Ohhh too early,” she moaned again, pulling the covers over her head.
“Go back to sleep.”
She sat up, stretching her arms upward and yawning. “No. I’ll make you some coffee,”
“Got no time for that. I gotta get back to my ship. Muster’s at zero-seven.”
“It’ll just take a minute,” she said as she extracted her naked body from the covers.
“Okay, but a minute is about all I have.”
I got out of bed and put on my jeans. Shonnie threw on her robe and disappeared downstairs. I went into the head and splashed some cold water on my face, trying to shock the dream out of my mind.
Just as I finished struggling to get into my too-tight boots, I heard the kettle whistling downstairs. Making sure I had my wallet and military ID, I descended to the kitchen to join Shonnie. She handed me a cup and I took a quick sip.
“Good coffee,” I said.
“You’re welcome Cowboy.”
“You sleep alright? I asked.
“Yeah, sorta, but you were snoring and moaning ‘till all hours.”
“Sorry ‘bout that. Look, I gotta split. I wanna beat the traffic. My Master Chief don’t have a sense of humor about being late for muster.” I handed her the still mostly full cup of coffee.
She set it on the counter, threw her arms around my neck clinging tight, pulling me down and kissing me passionately. She withdrew her lips but kept my neck locked tight. “Oh Rhett! When will Ah evah see you again?”
I reached up and gently pulled her hands free and said, “Very funny Scarlett. I’ll call you this evening, but now I gotta go.”
“Okay, Darlin’, lemme walk you out.”
We walked over to the front door holding hands. I opened it. Shonnie let out a gasp. “Oh no,” she said.
“What is it?”
“Look there,” she said pointing down at the deck.
There was a white sack about a yard from the front door. It had the unmistakable mark of McDonald’s on it. I took a step outside, picked it up, turned to Shonnie and said, “What the fuc…”
“Come back inside. Hurry up,” she said in a ‘loud’ whisper.
I went back in and she shut the door, locking it with a loud click. “It’s Billy.”
“My husband, you idiot.”
“Sorry. You never did tell me his name.”
“You never asked.”
Still clutching the sack in my hand, I opened it up and discovered two large coffees and two pastries.
“Give me that!” she said, almost shouting as she grabbed the sack out of my hand. “Look! This fuckin’ coffee’s still hot. He must’ve just been here.” She was visibly shaking.
“Quite the gentleman to deliver breakfast, doncha think?”
“Goddamn it Lance! This shit ain’t funny!”
“Well, what the hell do you expect from a smartass?”
“You can’t leave now,” she said as she walked over and slumped down into an overstuffed chair. She dropped the bag on the floor. The coffee almost tipped over onto the carpet.
“Seriously? Will he try to hurt you if I go?”
“No… not right away anyhow. It’s you… You! He’ll be after you! Dammit to Fuck!”
“Baby, I got no choice. I’d rather face ‘Billy’ than try to explain to Master Chief why I’m UA.”
She stared at me blankly for a moment as if I had just said something in Swahili. “Whaaat?”
“Uh ‘UA’. Unauthorized Absence. ‘Ay-Wall’. You know.”
“Fuck that! If you leave here now, you might be ‘A-WOLL’ permanent.”
“Well, I doubt it, but anyway I gotta go.” I turned and walked back toward the door. “I’ll call you this evening. Lock the door behind me.”
“Okay,” she sighed, getting up. As I was about to open the door she spun me around and hugged me, burying her face in my chest. “Be safe Lance.”
“You too Baby.”
I opened the door and walked out. Shonnie shut it behind me and I heard the click as she turned the deadbolt.
My car was parked almost a block away from the condo. It was still an hour before sunrise but the streetlights, though not bright, afforded enough light for me to make my way without any difficulty.
I slowly walked toward the Toranado. I was glancing left and right, trying to see into the shadows, hoping I would see no one. My shoulders were tight and I wondered if they would suddenly be pierced by a round from a hand gun.
I kept walking and looking.
‘Situational Awareness’. Almost there now. The Toranado was parked directly under a street light. Shit! I would have preferred a darker venue for getting into my car. Oh well. I fumbled around for my keys, unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel.
I twisted the key in the ignition and the engine turned over a few times more than normal, but finally caught hold.
The cassette player was still cranked up and in the early morning quiet seemed extremely loud. I quickly reached over and shut down Rusty Wier in the middle of ‘The Devil Lives In Dallas.’
Proving once again that my life has a soundtrack…
Street Cred for Vid: Neil Wilkins
The car was facing the opposite direction I needed to go. I had to pull forward into an empty driveway, back up and get turned about.
Back in the street and facing the right direction, I dropped the car into drive.
Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a Harley cranking up and the throttle revving.
This Is NOT The END
“Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: Denouement”
Update: Part XV is up.
If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below
And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:
Comments below from the original version of this post.
Please read from the bottom up for continuity.
36 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE: THIS IS THE (NOT) THE END”
LAMarcom July 21, 2014 at 18:10 Edit
All’s well that ends well…
NancyTex July 21, 2014 at 08:49 Edit
Scary shit. Almost afraid to click on the final installment.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 16:13 Edit
artourway July 16, 2014 at 16:12 Edit
so glad to have you as my friend Lance
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 16:06 Edit
Toda rabah תודה רבה
That’s Hebrew for ‘Thank you!’
I did learn just enough to get me into trouble when I was working in that part of the world.
artourway July 16, 2014 at 15:57 Edit
I admire your writing Lance.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 15:23 Edit
I really need to work on my French.
Thank you my friend.
artourway July 16, 2014 at 14:39 Edit
Vous rêves sont parfois si réels, cool Lance
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 13:06 Edit
The ‘really end of the end’ should go up late this evening.
I do appreciate your taking time to read this story and comment.
LVital7019 July 16, 2014 at 12:59 Edit
THAT was a shameless TEASE! “The End” but not really the end!?? Grrr… LOL
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 11:54 Edit
Whew! You’re welcome 🙂
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:36 Edit
Denouement will be forthcoming.
This is why I love blogging: the feedback and great conversation.
Thanks so much Laura!
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:32 Edit
I must confess, I have never seen ‘Paris Texas.’ Although it has been on my ‘to watch’ list for some decades. After viewing the clip I have moved it way up that list and will watch it this weekend if not before. It definitely looks like a film I would love. So…thanks so much for provided the impetus to get me to it.
I took a peek at the USHypocrisy site and loved it. Now following. And I will show it to my English girlfriend. She will love it too, no doubt.
Win-Win all around!
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 10:30 Edit
Exactly! It needs that good end. We are left to wodner although not too much since you’re still alive ‘n kicking! lol
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:20 Edit
Pretty sure you didn’t miss anything. It is most likely my failing. Perhaps I do need to provide the denouement?
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 10:18 Edit
Well I for one would like to know what happened after the harley sound. 🙂
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 10:17 Edit
That’s the end? Did I miss something??
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:14 Edit
Breathe Laura, just breathe.
That is the end of the story….
(Please see comments below)
Of course if blowback comes, I will post an addendum or ‘post a postscript,’ if you will….)
Thanks so much for reading along on this one and also for your comments.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:10 Edit
Now that’s funny!
Perfect comment. Thanks for making me laugh out loud.
Cheers to you David!
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:08 Edit
Thanks so much Diana.
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 10:07 Edit
Actually Heathen, I had not planned to continue the story. This was to be The End, but rest assured, no harm came to Shonnie. If I get pushback to post a postscript, I will do that. However… I think it’s time for me to move on to other tales.
Thanks for riding along on this series. I do appreciate your time and as I have said before, your comments enrich my efforts.
lauramacky July 16, 2014 at 09:51 Edit
The suspense is killing me!
David Scott Moyer July 16, 2014 at 08:05 Edit
I wanted him to pull up along side you and say, “You forgot your hat, bro.”
Diana July 16, 2014 at 06:15 Edit
Great job Lance!
happierheathen July 16, 2014 at 05:35 Edit
I’m glad it came out in the comments that it was her decision that you’d never see her again, as otherwise I’d have to hire a guy to kick down your door and be only as nice as possible while extracting that bit of information. I hope the rest of the story doesn’t include her being harmed.
I’m just now thinking how lucky I am that the only woman I ever regretted losing eventually found her way back.
Thanks for telling a story that catalyzed such a fine thought in this contraption I generously refer to as my brain, man.
Mélanie July 16, 2014 at 03:50 Edit
P.S. Lance, if you ever have some spare minutes, please take a look @ this interesting and realistic blog: http://ushypocrisy.com/
Mélanie July 16, 2014 at 03:26 Edit
I meant… amigo, Lance! 🙂 you must be proud and honored by your native American heritage/roots/origins…
@Paris, Texas and their fake and kitch Tour Eiffel: you have to see it, to believe it and I did! 😀 btw, have you watched this film-culte(here in “old Europe”!) with excellent actors:
LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 00:40 Edit
Laughing my ass off.
(I invite you to know that I am part Comanche)
Just the best part…
P.S. I grew up twenty miles from Paris (Texas). I hated that town then; and still do.
Mélanie July 16, 2014 at 00:34 Edit
yesss! excellent job, Sir! last but not least: I love the Doors and I did see Jim Morrison’s tomb in “Père-Lachaise”, Paris, France(not Tejas!) – always with lots of flowers…
buenas noches, gringo! 🙂
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 23:31 Edit
We both may be slightly inebriated…
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 23:29 Edit
Tis okay. I got it.
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 23:28 Edit
To quote Joni at you Sadie:
“You are a woman of heart and mind.”
Thank you ever so much for all your wonderful comments.
Sincerely, they mean a lot to me.
Cheers, beers, and Tequila,
~ Sadie ~ July 15, 2014 at 23:26 Edit
Crap – that is not where that comment was supposed to go 🙂 It was in response to yours – I am tired. Obviously need to go to bed LOL!!
~ Sadie ~ July 15, 2014 at 23:25 Edit
Thanks for sharing – you wrote about your bittersweet memories in such a beautiful way – great writing, storytelling, dialogue & suspense-building! I love reading your true tales. Shit, I’d be too scared to write about some of mine . . . 😉
Tears and beers (though mine is always tears & tequila!!) – proof you are alive sometimes!!
Have a great evening, Lance!! ☮
LAMarcom July 15, 2014 at 22:40 Edit
My Good Friend,
I needed to end this. Yes there is more to the story, but it mostly involves tears and beers, and I do not think anyone would read that part.
I choose to end it here.
Obviously, I survived as did Shonnie and I never saw her again (her decision), but…hey! C’est La Vie, eh?
Thank you for reading this too long diatribe…er… history.
It is all truth, by the way.
~ Sadie ~ July 15, 2014 at 22:35 Edit
For some reason, I don’t get the impression that this was the end . . .
My best friend growing up was a Harley girl and as teenagers we hung out occasionally with a couple of Bandidos (well she did,
I just tagged along) – bikers aint exactly of the ilk to be too kind about other men & their women – especially their wives.