NOW WHAT? [Synopsis, Query, Resume and Marketing suggestion]
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAVID FLEMING, 262 PAGES, 91,554 WORDS, DATE, 8-6-
DAVID H. FLEMING 1953-20? ?
3446 MARINATOWN LANE, N. FT. MYERS, FLA., 33903
TO LITERARY AGENTS: The original thought to record my life‟s story was for the sole
purpose of highlighting my high end experiences capturing what I believed to be ambitious
achievements and adventures, while others were daringly disastrous.
I felt the content of these experiences alone would be entertaining enough to create a N. Y.
Times #1 Best Seller and an immediate Movie Contract!
I had no idea however that it was going to make me want to reach inside and find
myself,… But it did!
What happened is this became a “Soul Bearing Process” that uncovered insightful emotion,
leading to moments of discovery, admission and triumph that I feel will be helpful to others in
the quest of their own personal resolve.
MY FAVORITE QUOTE DEPICTING THE THEME OF THIS MANUSCRIPT; “I believe
that if people would keep the concept of how they would like to be remembered as a
driving force in their decision making, the world and their lives would improve greatly.”
TO ALL THE FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME INTO MY LIFE;
ENJOY, LOVE DAVID
NOW WHAT?... Have you ever found cause to say this titles cliché your self? It indicates that a
decision is in order, wouldn‟t you agree? There could be an element of challenge, risk and even
fear involved in some instances as well.
Now let us assume that your entire lifetime of “NOW WHAT” and other high end experiences
are placed on the pages in front of you, while you seek to understand the circumstances that
have led you to them.
This is what this man‟s autobiography is all about; the dealing with adversity‟s that escalated
into adventure and passions that are smitten with insight and humor.
; The recall of life‟s experiences in monumental proportions that unfolds at times remarkable
achievements and adventures, while others become daringly disastrous.
The gentle demeanor of a happy go lucky kid that escalated into a young man seeking to prove
himself with life‟s experiences, which he documented with anecdotes along the way to provide
the emotion and insight that were present at the time;
A man who orchestrated a life time of challenges, risks and sports enduring the associated
injuries and survived;
A man who discovers a theme and message arising out of the complexity‟s of his life that may
help others in the quest of their own personal resolve.
This manuscript is a must read for the All Inclusive Diehard Outdoor Sportsman, the Athlete,
the Adventure seeker, and the Adrenalin junky who have consciously engaged themselves in
sensitive, precarious or otherwise bizarre situations; who seek to make sense of their decisions
and behavior and still find ways of making light of it.
You will soon realize you are not alone in the moments that have caused you to emphatically
say “NOW WHAT”, or WHAT‟S NEXT, or even HOLY S#!T!
HISTORY; Allow me to begin with my resume.
DR.DAVID H. FLEMING, D. C. RESUME
ADDRESS; 3446 MARINATOWN LANE, NORTH FT. MYERS, FLA. ,33903
PH; 239-333-8700, EMAIL; email@example.com
WORK HISTORY/ EDUCATION;
DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC , 2/1999 to present, S.C #2314, FLA.#CH9972 PART 4
NAT.BOARDS PHYSIOTHERAPY CERT.,Atlanta,Ga.,10/1998. owner/operator of clinic,
including all aspects of business, and clinical patient care.
Life University, Marietta, Ga.,12/1998, Doctorate degree in Chiropractic
Life University Representative, 10/2006 – 5/2007, Zigong, China, instrumental in introducing
Chiropractic to the Chinese, and establishing a college for Chiropractic in that country.
OWNER/OPERATOR, Aiken County Fence and Deck ,LLC., 6/2005-9/2009., directed and
worked with crews for this construction.
REGISTERED NURSE 11/1990-11/1998; held positions in various depts. of Nursing to
include; Emergency Room, Hyperbaric, Operating Room, Circulator, and Post Op. Duties. Ga.
# R119965, FLA.#2151832; New York Regents College, Albany, N.Y.,11/1990. Hyperbaric
Diver/Observer Cert; Jo Ellen Smith Medical Ctr., New Orleans, La., 3/1990.
FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC/EMT; 11/1986-11/1990, Ft. Myers Fire Dept., Edison
Community College, A. S., Emergency Medical Science, including A.C.L.S, cert., 10/1988.
Fla.#000831C, Fla. #0050092.
U.S. COAST GAURD 100 TON OPERATORS LIC.,1/1973-9/1986, Professional Charter Boat
Captain/Fisherman, operating charters, specializing in deep sea/tournament fishing., U. S. Coast
Guard # 16047, Miami, Fla.,1979.
ATHLETIC ENDEAVORS/ SPORTS; Football, 1965-1971, Little League, and High School,
started at Linebacker as a Senior, Christopher Columbus Catholic High, Miami, Fla.
Rugby, 1971-1994, Fla. League , chosen to represent U. S., S. E. Select Side.
Soccer; fall 1971, Fla. State University.
Running, 1986 Orange Bowl Marathon, 4hrs.,12min., 10k, P.R., 43:06, 1985.
Triathlons, Half Iron man, 6hrs,12 min., Panama City, Fla., 1987.
Polo; 1999- 2007, Aiken Polo Club, Aiken S. C.
Fitness Training; 1971- present, to include High Intensity Resistance, and Aerobic.
Coaching, Rugby 1980-1984, Player Coach, Fla. Rugby Teams
Coaching, Soccer, 2002 – 2009, Citizens Park Youth League, Undefeated Four Years
ADDITIONAL EDUCATION, 3/2010, B.S. Liberal Arts, Excelsior College, Albany, N.Y
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAVID H. FLEMING
“It takes so much to become a full human being, that there are very few who have the courage
or enlightenment to pay the price. One has to abandon altogether the search for security and
reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost
of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of
every consequence of living and dying.”
Morris West, “The Shoes of a Fisherman”, 1963
Hello, my name is David H. Fleming, the discovery of the above paragraph many years ago, put
into words a recipe for living that I could hang my hat on. I took comfort in knowing that
someone had created a term for what I was attempting to become; “A Full Human Being.”
The idea to write about my life came about primarily because I recognized that I have done and
seen things that people would find interesting or entertaining. I even had a collection of
anecdotes that I have always wanted to formally record that became references capturing my
feelings at the time.
The other motivation came from the fact that for the first time in my life I thought seriously
about my mortality and how I would like to be remembered and as much as I tried to decorate it
with amazing feats of adventure bordering on stupidity I wasn‟t content with everything that I
My history suggests that I was originally driven by my adversities that perhaps became a
stepping stone that evolved into passions. My intent is to share with you how I lived, which
became for me, a way to re-examine my life. This documentation has helped me come to grips
with my behavior and decisions, and a vehicle to make amends, if not on a personal basis,
although I would welcome that.
I suppose we have all regretted certain behaviors and events from our past, at least I know I
have. When I went back to record my life these stuck out like a sore thumb that I couldn‟t
In fact I found after reading my honorable attempts to recognize the moments I was not proud
of or my efforts to let by gone‟s be by gone‟s, I didn‟t feel any different.
What was more helpful and meaningful to me was the uncovering of the history or cause
behind my behavior which I needed to, and had to explore.
The next step I took in an effort to stop beating myself up over my weaker moments or of the
moments that affected me goes like this;
You just have to admit that you are human and S#!T happened to you or you made S#!T happen
to others and bad came from this. That‟s it, you‟re done!
You know it, they know it, all you can do now is commit to doing things differently and follow
through; these can become a source of power for you but don‟t expect them to ever go away.
Perhaps they will make you stronger as in Oprah Winfrey‟s amazing case.
I suppose my next step will be to create a similar Web Blog for people seeking to overcome
their adversities or whining about their psychiatric disabilities?
Remember the popular self help book, “I‟M O.K., YOUR‟RE O.K.”? Well if reading about my
trials and tribulations helps you to recognize or overcome your problems then allow me to add
this to the title, “AS LONG AS THE CHECKS O.K”, and I will create a foundation with your
contributions and call it The S#!T HAPPENS Institute with the theme “DON‟T WORRY , BE
HAPPY” on a lighter note of course!
Seriously though, my circumstances were miniscule compared to what some people have been
subjected to, that I would never take lightly.
So yes, there was some dysfunction that I was exposed to and took ownership of in my
adolescence and early adulthood years that effected me in life. Some of it made me stronger,
some of it weakened me but it is not my intent to cry in my beer about it now; nor do I promise
to remain entirely politically correct in my observations or discussions.
It almost seemed to be epidemic in the Baby Boomer era when parents had too many children
with not enough time to interact with them; or they themselves were affected by it in their own
upbringing and passed it on.
In fact in my nonprofessional and humble opinion I believe that very few people have escaped
So the idea to write about my life to record the highlights that I believed my friends and family
would find entertaining for a keepsake which is the “real reason” I did this by the way!; was not
intended for the personal discovery that it became.
What happened is this mortality thing kept coming into view along with the associated concept
of how I would like to be remembered which forced me to address what had always bothered
my conscience as you will see.
It must be noted that the catch all term dysfunction is a new concept I discovered only after I
started piecing events of my life together and sought to understand why.
Therefore it is my hope that an entertaining and now viable message will be heard that makes
you THINK and FEEL! That my ridiculously ambitious life‟s story and the subsequent hard
earned revelations will wash over you in the form of HEALING WISDOM as it has done for
me; That this will help entire family‟s in their quest to understand and resolve the complications
of their lives as well.
I began this autobiography when I was 56 years old, but as you know I have been writing
anecdotes continually since 1973. This has giving me the ability to go back, and read what I was
doing, thinking and feeling, uncovering a glaring capture of emotion and feelings that have
jumped off these pages, documenting and creating invaluable hindsight enlightenment for me.
These are printed in italics and will be introduced throughout this book in the appropriate
Since I moved with the seasons and did many things simultaneously, I have decided the best
way to achieve some sort of chronological order is to discuss various time frames according to
subject which may span a couple of decades back and forth while each subject is played out.
There will be those who will doubt the legitimacy of this documentation, and my reply is
frankly, “I don‟t blame you.”! The occasional person that I have given glimpses of certain
events, I have always felt only half-heartedly believed me anyway.
Furthermore it has been suggested that the uniqueness and color that I brought to some very
colorful characters in their own right, does not sound the same as it did at the bar over a few
beers without the explicit and intimate details that bedazzled the story‟s we shared back then.
To these privileged few I have to concede that I had to tone it down some so that anyone else
who reads this may find it digestible enough to believe in order to derive some benefit from
“OUR” mistakes, lessons or observations.
Yes I said “OUR” I‟m not taking all the credit or blame!
It must be noted that when I think about all of the significant people that came into my life I
found it interesting that they shared common traits. Trait‟s that allowed me to perpetuate the
seize the moment type of opportunity‟s I remained poised for. These people became significant
because they were either doing something, or suggesting something, or competed in something,
or had knowledge of something that I thought was awesome; OR…, they were just as crazy if
not crazier than I was! You know who you are.
It has also been suggested that I concede to having a wild imagination and submit this as fiction,
if this works for you, so be it. Let the story begin!
CHAPTER 1 - A HAPPY GO LUCKY KID…
The oldest of five children, my parents had their hands full. We attended a Catholic grammar
school walking distance from home, where I was an altar and choir boy. We lived in a baby
boomer neighborhood full of kids, surrounded by other neighborhoods full of kids.
Unbeknownst to my parents or myself, we had some bad apples amongst us, and I happened to
be in the midst of them.
At age twelve, this bully has me bleeding and swollen, yet insisted I was going to continue my
participation in this fight. Realizing I was not going to receive any assistance from the brave
boys witnessing this beating, I fleet footedly escaped to home.
The repercussions this created were simply astounding, as I am now labeled a coward by those
brave boys afraid to help. Unfortunately this label contributed to the false perception of myself I
adopted, while I constructed the wrong solution to fix it.
I went from a humble kid trying to regain my self-respect, to an aggressive bad boy, looking for
trouble in a matter of a few years. These events are called “defining moments”, as described by
Dr. Phil McGraw.
I still didn‟t understand why the character I was reinventing continued to escalate as it did,
although 40 years went by before the possibility of this explanation came into view. Providing
an insight as to why I developed this character; Why I searched for or orchestrated opportunities
to demonstrate it; Why I made choices that possessed an element of fear, an element of the
unknown, and an element of physical challenge; Why I wanted my pursuit or attempt of
anything, to give me the freedom to try it first, without any previous knowledge or instruction,
simply because I felt it would enhance the experience.
I got on this mission to show the world I could do whatever I wanted, above all the rules and
laws governing society, and the unwritten laws of human nature. Attempting as I did, to portray
Huckleberry Fin, Ernest Hemmingway, Jeremiah Johnson type characters. I sought occupations,
sports and adventures that would be challenging, exciting or appear glamorous, as I looked
down my nose at the civilized world around me. I became accustomed to living large, as I saw
myself, pursuing anything that would exemplify or express this.
I believe that if I would have had the concept of “defining moments” and “passed on
dysfunction” explained to me back then the story of my life would have been a lot different;
but probably not near as eventful! Oh Well
DEFINING MOMENTS, 2003
This incredibly important distinction had conceptually eluded me, until I was just over 50 years
old. Explaining that I‟ve got decades of creating myself as this entity, attributed to these
“Defining Moments” I‟m told.
I had no idea I could sift through my entire life time and discover just two events that
subconsciously changed me forever,
; That my reactions and my choices from that time on may have caused my true inner self to not
In my case, I was basically a happy go lucky kid, until the day I made a run for my 12 year old
life. The neighborhood bully had me swollen and bloody, but insisted I continue participation in
The other neighborhood boys who sheepishly viewed this beating, were not about to risk their
own good standing,… desperately realizing there would be no rescue, I fleet footedly escaped,
while I was still standing.
The repercussions this created were simply astounding, as suddenly I‟m a coward to those
“Brave boys” afraid to help. The bully and his counter parts continued to engage me, I was
humiliated and afraid, and had no idea I needed help.
This comforting scenario was exponentially compounded, as my father‟s punishment technique
progressed to a fist, to a wounded adolescent trying to re-establish respect, this looked like
something I should also protect against!
In my mind there were only two choices I could take, and one of them wasn‟t going to be, cower
and hide. So the stronger and more aggressive I could make myself, the better chance I had to
This compelling desire to rescue my self-esteem took on increasingly physically demanding and
risky challenges. Call it a fear induced, almost self-destructive determination to prove to the
world, I was tough and courageous.
In reality what happened is I adopted a false perception of myself, and then construed the
wrong solution to fix it. I developed “my character” as a defense mechanism and then I
searched for, or orchestrated opportunities to test it.
Was I to blame for either of their behaviors? I think not! They weren‟t mine to begin with,…
but, unfortunately they became part of my internal dialogue, and I took ownership of something
that for me was actually counterfeit.
Would this be something that might cause resentment in authority? Could this initiate problems
with responsibility or commitment? Would this cause a young man to feel hardened or angry?
Could I have used a rational person to explain this?
The Big Idea is to recognize these moments do exist, and they will produce a positive or
negative impact. There are negative situations that can be dealt with swiftly, while others should
be allowed to simply roll off your back.
But the most important significance in conceiving this phenomenon is to make sure it is
understood by your children! Keep them from being shamed by the pathology of others, and to
know that there are explanations and viable solutions.
Teach them to be realistic about what you can or cannot control, so they will not inherit
someone else‟s poor behavior, because if they allow the negativity of others to inhabit their
psyche, it may change or weaken their true inner power.
Recognize if you have the potential to create problems for your children; before they ever
They‟re going to need you in making the right decisions, so go back and recognize your own
Not to bore anyone with demographics, it could easily be said that the first 11 years of my life
were basically uneventful. All I can remember are a few injuries that I will briefly mention here.
The first of these occurred at around age six, when I was riding my two-wheel bike, and
crashed into our neighbor‟s parked car, mangling both myself and the bike. I returned home
crying and bleeding. Strangely, after my mother took care of my cuts I went straight to bed. This
was at 10:00 am on a Saturday, and I slept the entire day; explain that one to me?
A little older, I cut a 4 inch gash into my right lower thigh, with my brand new Boy Scout knife
requiring many sutures. It didn‟t make me feel any better when my Father threw up after I
unveiled it for him!
There was a badly sprained ankle from jumping off a roof, which swelled three times the
painful size it should have, because my uniformed parents had me apply heat instead of ice!
Finally, the one my mother always recalls, is the time I got bitten by a snake. I remember racing
home to show her the puncture wounds in my hand. Immediately she piled all of her kids and
some of the neighbor‟s kids into our station wagon, and sped off to the Serpentarium. Dashing
into the building with all these kids and a dead snake in tow, the world renowned Dr. Haas
dispels the snake as nonpoisonous.
Noticing the rubber snake souvenirs, I cannot resist surprising my mother with one of them.
Already rattled by the previous ordeal, she lets out the most blood curdling scream anyone has
ever heard including Dr. Haas, who is now trying to hurry us out of his facility.
CHAPTER 2 - “IT‟S A GOOD DAY TO DIE”
It must be recognized that in general it is believed that behavior change will not automatically
occur from singular incidents that are not so severe, like the bully fight or being called a
coward. Mostly it‟s the constant pressure over time that causes the greatest problems to a person
in a toxic environment which actually becomes viewed as normal to them.
For example, I was aware of what my Mother thought about my Father as a role model which
reaffirmed my rejection of him as such, leaving me seeking or creating my own model.
Hence the search for the big incident is a good start, but there is most likely multiple causative
events; According to what the experts are saying, that is.
One of my friends has pointed out that my Conan the Barbarian persona as he describes me
back then was not a viable role model in the modern world!
He also suggests that the greatest critic of what he describes as my manliness, which required
continuous proof for me to sustain this image, was me! as recognized in this next anecdote…,
I am very grateful that the conscience of the nice kid I came into the world to be was never lost
to the “Beast”, which is the way I describe my persona back then.
THE BEAST, Dec. 1991
You become increasingly aware of the very primal characteristics, that a primitive man would
need and use to survive, affecting your approach to the modern day world, and your outlook on
; adding a Neanderthal touch to every project or contest as if this “Beast” was telling you what
to do; finding yourself attempting to conceal its presense, has people looking for fur sticking out
of your shoes!
“It” throws you out there, to endure life as a battle; seeking the roughest challenges and sports
of the day. You‟ve got no choice but to train for this continually, so that as often as possible “It”
has its way.
Keeping you ever acquainted, with the edge of your limitations, frequently leaving you battered
and bruised; injury and rehab are a way of life as it pushes you until you can hardly move.
Strangely you rely on its acceptance for your worth, knowing you‟ll do whatever it takes to
keep the feeling alive, and that a day will come when the injuries will stop you, taking you out
of the competition, or the ability to provide.
So you‟re up at dawn on any given morning, in the attempt to secure your position, carving out
what ever space or project you‟ve got going, in an attempt to safeguard against time and
It has you seeking out those you find worthy of taking to battle, knowing you find inspiration
and comfort in their company, you have limited interest or patience for that matter in dealing
with the over domesticated majority;
Incapable of recognizing the presence within you, that has you smashing into anything to keep
it appeased, and whether or not it ever leaves my presence, I always knew I was playing for the
This role did have its rewards; it gave me focus; it was a model that was achievable as long as I
didn‟t mind the hard work; it looked good physically and it proved the superiority of my role
model over my fathers. It also created an individual that would try anything, so I was unlimited
with what I would attempt or accomplish, but I realize that there were times when I did not give
people the respect or compassion they deserved, as recognized below.
When I think of the problems that haunted my past, it almost seems like I was on some torturous
Unable to get enough of what was starving me to death, eating it all up until there was nothing
But a pastry of a man, stuffed full of mistakes, made with negative ingredients, staling the cake.
That I kept covered with icing, in order to hide the imperfection, which was placed out on my
tray as a tasty confection.
But, as I grew older and wiser and unhappier about the sham, I decided one day to wash out the
Recognizing by now, that it is never to late, feeling good about yourself is what I call cake.
Thirty five years later I read a book by Michael Gerber called the “Power Point”.
Finally, someone delivers a message that makes sense to me, that provided a method and
solution that speaks my language, and a state of being I would like to emulate.
I believe that if people would keep the concept of how they would like to be remembered
as a driving force in their decision making, the world and their lives would improve
He describes an ancient people, who made life‟s decisions as seen through their inevitable
mortality. Having always believed I was 10 feet tall and bullet proof, this is a concept I had
never considered until recently, especially with the new battle scar on my right cheek,
evidencing the skin cancer excision.
These people were the Nez Pierce Indians warriors, whose lives were committed to making all
the corrections in their character; to making restitution and resolution for all the wrongs they
have committed; In order to arrive at this state of consciousness that exists for those who have
become devoid of shame or longing. That, having lived a life so worthy, so corrected, so
focused on possessing this seemingly intangible position; giving them the ability to wake up on
any given morning and say; Today is a good day to die! I want this too!
My interpretation of Michael Gerber‟s message follows which was written in 2003 to give you
an idea of how long I have been thinking about this.
“IT‟S A GOOD DAY TO DIE,” Aug.,2003
; A saying that comes from Nez Perce Indian warriors, who would spend their entire life time
preparing to die. For, to have lived so impeccably, so interested in the dignity of one‟s own life,
and the lives of the people around them, so devoid of shame or longing, that they could let go of
their lives without regret.
It is this mentality or state of being that has provided an insight that finally makes sense to me.
An explanation of the driving force that certain people possess, in doing what they do, with the
utmost interest, utmost care, with the utmost attention, and with the utmost engagement, as they
soar above the ordinary, who have fallen prey to all of the other competing priorities that drag
them back down to earth.
The driving force behind why certain individuals will actually plan on expending a tremendous
amount of energy, work and effort to “get it right”, or “make it better”, and will not rest until it
is so; or die in the process.
The force behind the intensity and fierce dedication that comes out; as new standards are
created in whatever endeavor they aspire to pursue.
It is, as Michael Gerber points out in his book, The Power Point, “this thing about dying” that
made so much sense to me! That offers an explanation into why certain people, whether they
realize it or not, have made a decision about their inevitable mortality, “to go for it all”, “to
play full out”, “to risk it all”, in an attempt to make their life a masterpiece.
Like those Warriors striving to make all the corrections in their character, personality, belief
system, business, personal and family relations. Striving to make restitution and resolution for
all the wrongs they may have committed, to those they have wronged, and with the higher power
they believe in, and answer to.
Steadily chipping away at the masterpiece they are creating so that they may arrive in that
place, that state, where they are able to carry themselves with such integrity and grace,…
satisfied for a moment with what has been overcome and achieved, but always open to the
possibility, of course, that another awesome idea may be arriving that they will be compelled to
An entire lifetime is spent to exist in this special moment, where they are able to sit comfortably
on their front porch swing, and look around at all they had to the courage and wisdom to create,
reviewing all of the important and cherished moments, the rewards and achievements, the
victories and losses, and in this moment become one with the warriors of Indian Lore,… having
lived a life so worthy, so corrected, so focused on possessing this seemingly unattainable
position where they could actually wake up the next morning, or the morning of an event or
situation that may involve the risk of injury or death, and honestly be able to say “Today is a
good day to die”. Thank you Michael!
CHAPTER 3, MY SOLUTION, 1965
My solution was to become as strong and aggressive as possible, in order to protect myself and
rescue my ailing self esteem; therefore I began a strength training and fitness program that I
have continued to this day. I became a student of nutrition, physiology and was totally
committed to this purpose as communicated below.
THE CHAMPIONS, Dec., 1985
They battle human nature, with weapons of courage and discipline, driven above the ordinary
with a spirit the rages, yet glistens,… fully aware of the innate difficulty and the tremendous
amount of commitment,… but then if it was easy, everyone else would have it!
Striving to maintain will power, the hardest of all to master, using the research to define all of
the controllable factors, developing techniques to bring muscle to failure, and the guts to go
Reaching higher plateaus of endurance and intensity overcoming the setbacks of depression or
injury,…the most formable enemy being diet, a result of American childhood ingraining, thereby
increasing meals, in smaller proportions, in the food ratios the experts are praising,... Fought
with countless hours of aerobic training, providing intramuscular fat destruction,… maintaining
the proper heart rate to elevate the metabolism.
; Keeping the ever present vision that‟s carved in stone upon the minds, of the champions in
pursuit of reaching their physical sublime.
I felt inspired to play Little League football in 7th grade, but two weeks into practice I badly
hyperextend my right elbow, that ended my season. I was unable to choke back my 13 year old
tears as I returned my uniform. My coach, Mr. Whatley in witness, quickly asks me if I would
like to go hunting with him at his camp in Immokalee, Florida. I would have to ask my Mom
waiting in the car outside, but how could she turn me down?
That was the beginning of a mentor/friendship that continues to this day. It was my first
experience with the wooded outdoors, or a real man relationship, and I couldn‟t get enough of
In eighth grade I played football on the 140lb team, weighing in at 105lbs, I was decidedly
undersized and didn‟t get to play much that season. At the award ceremony dinner however, my
coach Eddy Dunn, who also coached the U. of Miami Hurricanes for years, had something to
say about every kid on the team. Perhaps it was coincidental that I was the last one he spoke
His words were just what I needed to inspire my training efforts when he said, “This kid has
more heart than anyone on the team.” My eyes welled with tears as they are doing now
remembering this. I went home thinking that I had what it takes on the inside, I just have to
work harder on the physical, and that I did!
This positive defining moment made such a difference in my life, that later on when I began
coaching youth soccer I made a point to have an award ceremony after each season. Hoping that
I can make a difference in some kid‟s life just as Eddy Dunn had done for me. No wonder he
was such a great coach!
“You never know how far reaching something that we say or do, will affect people… or even a
planet, as in Thomas Edison‟s case.”
CHAPTER 4, HIGHSCHOOL FOOTBALL AND RUGBY
My freshman year in high school, I attended a Catholic all boy‟s school in 1968. My strength
training pays off, earning me the starting position of linebacker on the J.V. Team, instead of
running back. This position better suited my newly integrated aggressive psyche.
The next year as a sophomore, I started at this position again, but as a junior on the varsity
squad, I only played on special teams. The senior linebackers were solid, and Mike went on to
play college ball.
Our senior year “we”, meaning BeBe, Armand, and myself all played linebacker. Smaller, but
scrappy, I don‟t believe any of us weighed more than 150 lbs. My best game I made 13
unassisted tackles. I injured my neck a couple weeks before the last game, but I concealed my
injury, procuring street Quaaludes for the pain, knowing that if I told someone they may not
have let me play!
The season ended, but the injury did not, and it did not take long before I went from a 270lb
bench press max, to not being able to do a pushup. I was devastated, as my parents took me to
Orthos, and Neuros and then finally to a Chiropractor.
His first adjustment brought a tingle of warmth to my atrophied left pec and triceps, and
significant pain relief, and in no time I healed. I never forgot this as you will learn later.
It‟s March of 1971, in my senior high school year, and everything has healed, as I‟m walking by
U. of Miami intramural fields, where I see these guys playing what appears to be “smear the
man with the ball”. Standing there for a while in amazement, someone calls over and asks if I
would like to play.
“What do you call it?” was my first response, followed by the questions of my eligibility, as I
was still in high school. This was solved by his response, “Don‟t worry, we‟ll work around that,
it‟s called rugby.” My first two practices earned me a position for the Saturday game, where we
were to play a “side” from the English Navy, docked in the Port of Miami.
I don‟t know what was more fun, the game, or the party afterwards, even though I broke my
nose in that first game.
It seems I was uninformed about a player‟s option to kick the ball at anytime. Simultaneously
my face, the ball, and his foot all arrived at the same place, as I charged in for the tackle.
Immediately, I became oblivious to the game, as the short fuse I had developed, to be discussed
later, has me chasing this guy down, and pounding on him. I was pulled off and explained the
legality of his pop kick without penalty.
In Rugby, however, all is forgotten after the game. Teams shake hands, retreat to a bar, or party
and then attempt to out drink or out sing each other. The English are especially good at this and
although underage, I delighted to be amongst them and the college girls in their company.
Rugby is appropriately classified as “elegant violence”, where aggressiveness and tenacity are
rewarded, respected and honored. This suited the behavior I had been demonstrating and was a
better and more legitimate outlet for my escalating madness. I continued to play this sport for
the next twenty three years!
There are many high points deserving of mention, although I could write about this sport in
volumes. My life after high school placed me on the move a lot, but where ever I went I played
This unique situation, afforded me the honor of claiming to be on the winning team of the
Florida Cup, for the first nine years I competed. Whether it was with the U. of Miami, Florida
State Univ., Tallahassee Rugby Club, or the Old Smuggler Rugby Club, I was on the winning
team and hold that as my greatest achievement in this sport.
There were highlights in individual games that come into view as well, like the game I scored
the winning try in the Florida cup to win the championship for that year. My left thumb was
broken earlier in this game, and substitution back then was illegal, not that I would have come
out of the game anyway!
We were close to scoring, but behind by 3 points. A scrum down was in progress, while BeBe
and I were out on the wing. BeBe says to me “If I get the ball, I‟m going to take their outside
center with me, make contact, and then flip the ball out to you, all I had to do was catch it with
my good hand, and fall over the goal. It worked perfectly. Great stuff Mutlow !
I once played with Miami R.F.C., in New York, against a New York all star team. They put me
at the end of the line out to counteract the huge second row that we believed was being lifted to
the great heights he was achieving. My job was to take his legs out from under him, as he
caught the ball. This caused him to slam down hard on his back. After the second time I did this,
we were all preparing for a lineout; when he turns around and says to me in a voice almost as
intimidating as he was…, “Don‟t do that no more.” I did it anyway, but it seemed the entire
scrum had planned a tap dance in my honor. Their painful aluminum studs made so many cleat
marks that my skin looked like pizza. I didn‟t do that no more either!
At Florida State University, we earned the privilege to be invited to this huge nationwide
college championship in California. The college even paid for our travel and accommodations,
where we came in 13th in the nation. It was the 10min. goal line stand we defended in one game,
that showed the incredible heart and comradely that was perhaps the single most important
ingredient to our success. We beat teams we never should have out there, and in many other
tourneys as well.
This comradely and team spirit was never more demonstrated, than with the Old Smuggler
Rugby Club in Miami, where I was one of the founding members. We simply recruited guys
that we knew in high school to be good athletes. Since they had no previous experience, and a
lot of fire power and ego, we decided to keep it simple in creating an overload for our incredible
Positioned at scrum half, I would shout out “set” at an appropriate time, when we had
possession. This meant that whoever had the ball, must turn to create a mall, while the rest of
the pack would come to his support. I would dive the ball out in the opposite direction, and off
to the races we scored!
This new Old Smuggler team out lasted the experienced Miami R.F C. in the longest three hour
game in history, with many overtimes in the cold and rain that eventually led to a sudden death
field goal that Jerry Jeff made for our victory.
That game I played wing forward in the scrum, and was continually being held in by the shirt
by their wing forward. This was illegal, but not being called, so my solution came after several
warnings. I waited until the ref. was not looking and placed a right hook that exploded his nose,
and then quickly tucked back into the scrum to demonstrate my innocence. He was thrown out
of the game in his attempt to retaliate.
My Brother Kevin‟s response perhaps best describes my competitive desire to compete. He was
eight years younger when we both played on the same team in Tallahassee, and we were in
competition for the same position this game. Selecting me for the position of hooker ahead of
him, they added that he would be my replacement if I was injured. His disappointed reply was,
“What are they going to do, cut his head off!”
My brother, Kevin and I, are 8 years apart, with four kids in between. I barely even knew he
existed, until he emerged out of his teens.
In a lot of ways I could have influenced him. I mean, here was this kid who watched me grow
up. Having to live in the trails of my disasters, I hope he forgives me if I messed him up!
While I constantly tested his physical and emotional limits, yet he slung the huge rattler, over
his shoulder and tramped thru anything I could submit us.
I soon became aware of the “heart” he possessed, and on the rugby field I helped teach my
position, and although they might pick me ahead of him, it wouldn‟t be a detrimental transition.
He has this amusing, yet accurate insight of my existence that he would humorously on occasion
reflect. Saying I‟ve spent my entire life time, scaring myself to death!
I guess it‟s because he always seemed to be around, whenever I was about to embark on some
farfetched excursion,…Thinking nothing of me hitch hiking the 2500 hundred miles to L.A., or
dropping me off to run the 26 mile marathon.
When we played rugby together I would envision it was young Kevin and me against the entire
other team. I‟d proudly crash into the middle of them all knowing he would be right there with
I can just make out this “blur” unintimidated by down pour, racing thru the pastures in search
of a way to transcend our spirits, as he skillfully dodged barb wire, and passersby, while I drove
through the orange mud in confidence.
I like to think back on those times when we used to run so free, especially when the real world
starts to really get to me.
Enabling me to possess that “unlimited feeling” as we left the civilized world behind us… that
only a few,… like you my brother will ever possess that vision behind us.
Love you,, David
Sometimes you have to tell it like it is in order to make a point. This next anecdote is one of
those for sure. Does anyone think this would make good lyrics for a song?
CAN‟T YOU SEE, 1983
Can‟t you see you‟re compounding the pressure that gets progressively more difficult to mask.
It‟s aging your brain and your body, and soon it‟ll be your ass.
‟Cause no matter who you‟re dealing with, we are all trying to survive. There‟s no availability
to convenience yourself, these are concepts humanity applies!
And human nature you‟re messing with, the force that makes all the rules. You can‟t beat it with
your political bull crap, at gut level no one‟s fooled.
There‟s a certain amount expected of you, they don‟t make any exception to it. Why waste your
time and energy trying to fight with the shit; angrily defending any accusation as if none of this
applies. “Get away with what you can”, seems to be your battle cry.
Defending all of your short comings with an excuse for everything, somehow you‟ve twisted
your rationale, so that you never do the wrong thing…
Only to haunt and limit yourself so, with your lack of responsibility and commitment,… that
seems to have lowered your standards, as you do anything to escape it.
; Becoming harder to really count on you to do anything that you‟ve said.
How can you get anything done when you can‟t get your ass out of bed?
Not that you‟re bad or dishonest, or anything, everyone knows you have a good heart. People
need to see some good faith, don‟t you think it‟s time for you to start.
Wake up and smell the coffee brother, the foundation starts when you become a man. I hate to
see such a waste of spirit because I really do give a damn!
I HATE TO SAY IT, July 1985 Concerning one sided relationships
I hate to say it but it just doesn‟t happen, you can‟t expect one day that someone‟s wings will
Bursting this miraculous immergence of this new spirit on the scene, if this is your expectation
then you are living a dream.
Why should you have to chop all the wood for fire, when you can see there is an obvious lack of
What is this defense I am hearing when your benevolence is questioned, you can‟t change a
persons nature, you‟ll never find any protection.
Find a partner that is concerned about their heath and what they look like,
; Who try to make things happen, at least jump in the fight.
Someone that will try to help you in any way they can, not drag along behind you getting away
with what they can.
Unwilling to lift a finger without a plea from you, don‟t you think you deserve that? Most people
You can‟t stay up half the night and sleep half the day, and expect to have anything to show for
So why torture yourself supporting this lifetime of disappointment, you need more than that you
need fulfillment and contentment.
I know it has got to be hard for you to realize the sham, but I am hoping you will recognize it
has gotten out of hand.
Because it isn‟t looking good man and the concern is for you, see the writing on the wall is all
that you‟ve got to do.
I was as committed to strength training and fitness as a Gladiator would be preparing for battle.
It was a way of life for me. Rugby provided a unique platform to display attributes like
toughness, commitment, trust and courage. There was a bonding and camaraderie experienced
in this sport like no other, that made me feel at home and at ease. I believe that the only time I
felt calm or relaxed during this time, was after the game. Of course the beer may have had
something to do with it, as described by the high fluting words of this next anecdote.
WHEN THE MUG IS FULL, 1976
When the mug is full, the mind is euphorically optimistic, but with each swig of the golden
nectar, the quasi-clear panacea steadily becomes nebulous until at last the glass bottoms view
has only a little foam left to block the approaching reality. Yet optimism is seemingly restored
with each new filling, and if the content of the mug does not give an elucidating answer to the
person‟s imbroglio, it will eventually render him incognizant. Of course, this pseudo-succor
rarely solves any problems, but it does temporarily thwart their effervescence, and sleep comes
There are other rugby occasions that merit recording, like the trip to Freeport Bahamas, which is
certainly a keeper. There is Mac, who is flying the small 4 seater plane, with Nick, BeBe and
myself on board. We arrive, and play the game in a Goat pasture, and are preparing to leave the
next morning, but there is a nasty thunderstorm approaching, preventing take off into the wind.
Mac gets permission from the tower to take off in a tail wind, which he has never experienced.
The tower warns him of the possibility of wind shear, that none of us know anything about
except Mac. We gave him our O. K. anyway.
My efforts to start the plane by pulling down on the prop were unsuccessful, with one of my
hands injured. Nick got out using a Playboy magazine to protect his hand from the edge of the
prop, but the Playboy becomes shredded into the prop, and scattered all over the runway, as we
take off and climb to about 200 feet. Suddenly we drop out of the sky, probably 150feet before
Mac gets control of the plummeting plane. I‟ll never forget the helplessness we all experienced
or Mac‟s laughter after he realizes we were going to be O. K. Damn Mac!
Another occasion after a rugby game that took place in Tallahassee, I wrestled a Bear. Inspired
by my friend Rocky, who had already done this, I arrived early at the civic center where the
Bear wrestling was to occur. I payed the required $3, and signed the release form, insuring me
of a spot later that evening, in conjunction with promoting a boat show that weekend.
The rugby game I played that day was competed by 3:00, so I had 1.5 hours of beer drinking
under my belt before our arrival at 5:30. It was a short ride from the Phyrst, our proclaimed
rugby bar, in my wooden pickup truck that was completely covered with people all desiring to
watch the spectacle; more on this truck later.
The first two older men that entered the ring before me, basically got pushed to the mat and held
down by the 650lb Bear, giving little effort or fight as the trainer clapped his hands in a
command for their quick release.
There were rules that I was given by the trainer, like no kicking, no punching, and you cannot
approach the Bear from behind. I simply assumed a tackling stance and buried my head
forcefully into his chest. This places his forearms on the top of my shoulders with a „vice-like‟
downward pressure, threatening to collapse me onto the mat, while I kept my hands on my
knees for support.
Rocky, a good wrestler had already warned me of this scenario and prepped me on what I
should do about it. “Reach down in an attempt to take his legs out from under him”, he
instructed me, but each time I attempted this, the trainer gave “Victor” the command to lift his
leg. This places more of his tremendous weight on my back, and several attempts latter; I
collapsed under the bear‟s weight.
Squirming around wildly until I finally arrive on my back with my feet in the bears chest. My
hands are on the sides of his muzzle, while I am pushing thrusting movements with my feet. I
believe this angered Victor, who then leans down closer to me and begins to head butt my chest
repeatedly. One of my fingers slips thru the muzzle into his salivating mouth, as I realize the
trainer is with concern, trying to get Victor off of me, pulling forcefully at the collar around his
Finally, he achieves my release, allowing my escape by diving over the ropes into the crowd
who were unsuccessful in bracing my fall. From my position on the floor, while gasping for
breath, I can see all my friends who have accompanied me, laughing so hard they cannot stand
as well. “Of course I kicked that Bear‟s @$#!”, was my immediate response from that day on.
Below is what I wrote about this day back then.
SOME DAYS, Nov., 1983
When I woke up that morning, it was a wet Tallahassee winter day.
I don‟t know, maybe I should have stayed in the hay.
But after eating breakfast, I went off to do laundry,… I guess by then it was 10:30.
So I fiddled with my truck and rejuvenated my boots that I hadn‟t put on, for many months.
Then over to the rugby pitch, where we played a game in the mud, then over to the Phyrst, to
pound down some suds.
By then I‟d say it was getting close to about dark, but I still had another place to embark.
So I loaded up some friends into my homemade wooden truck, and rolled over to the Civic
Center, to try my luck, with the wrestling bear, that cost three dollars a spar. I‟d been by there
earlier and paid my money for the spar,…
I did a little bragging how I would crush the beast,
But after I watched it flatten, the first two guys, I must have floated in the ring.
So as I charged into the bear, I got pounced upon! I struggled to get up for the longest
time,…my friends were in hysterics, my pride was on the line,
but eventually I was on my feet, like my friend Rocky said I should ,…I struggled to reach his
hind paws, with everything I could. But the damn Bear was trained to lift up his foot, every time
someone got a hold of it.
Eventually, I toppled, under his leverage and weight, placing us engaged now, face to face,…
He appeared angered now, and began head butting me in the chest,…I could feel his teeth
grinding, thru the muzzle on his head,
My feet were now thrusting into his chest, as the trainer struggles to free me, while my friends
were now in hysterics on the floor.
To experience that size and power, and be rendered totally helpless, is something now, I will
never second guess. But that doesn‟t mean I won‟t sample it now and then, even if I have to take
it on the chin, Because it is these days that we all remember the best,… do you ever really
remember any of the rest?
Another time, there was a game saving tackle that dislocated my left shoulder, placing me in the
hospital, lying on my back on a table, holding my immovable arm overhead. The E.R. doctor
enters, unaware of the pain I was enduring, or of the protective reaction that was about to occur.
His “without warning” forced movement places my cleats squarely into his chest, sending him
across the room. Believe me; neither of us saw that coming, as he angrily stormed out of the
room screaming, “Get this man some Demerol!”
There was a whiplash type concussion that caused tunnel vision during the game, but it was the
paralyzing neck pain/stiffness the next morning that scared the hell out of me. I broke multiple
ribs, hyper extended my other elbow and broke my nose again. My teammate, Nick,
manipulated it back into place after the game, as I had done for his pronounced Italian nose in
the past. That burns like hell doesn‟t it Nick?
Late in my career in 1992, I played an Old Boys Game in Atlanta, where I got my face stepped
on that tore an open cut from my nose to my lip, severing my upper lip in half. Not wanting to
leave the game or know the severity, I pulled my shirt up to conceal the bleeding wound. It was
eventually discovered, after everyone on the field had my blood smeared all over them. The
Ref. stopped the game at a scrum down asking me to remove my concealing jersey in front of
everyone. The gushing blood sent me out of the game immediately. This was no job for
butterfly bandages, my usual method of treatment.
I looked upon lacerations and soft tissue injuries as something I could handle myself; innocently
working thru the pain with light weight and higher reps., as soon as this was allowable. The
lacerations that frequented my forehead and scalp occurred from the force of the pressure when
colliding with an opponent‟s boney legs or elbows. For this I simply would use butterfly
bandages, even though sutures were in order.
The challenge and resulting comradely of rugby was something that I needed, and respected.
The traumatic nature of the sport made me feel privileged and honored to compete for such a
long period of time.
RUGBY …A PRIVILEDGE 1971-1992
Quite possibly, some primitive recessive genes, still trickle thru the centuries of
domestication,… which could have necessitated the creation of rugged games, providing the
more aggressive evolutions an asylum,….
This increased the contact and the injury risk, as well as the rigorous training needed to
You watch any of the finer player‟s you can see it in their innate glare,
And the relentless disregard for one‟s well being, that takes over in the midst of the battle,…
totally focused on the one all important purpose, beyond exhausted, battered and bruised.
In today‟s world, it‟s hard to find people, that will endure such forceful collisions,…
Who will totally emerge one‟s self in the “elegant violence” if you will. Every game then,
becomes a “character revelation”
; One that allowed us to frequently experience our emotional and physical limitations.
Thank you everyone for such an incredible privilege!
Two years after my Rugby retirement at age 44, I entered Chiropractic College. As part of my
study, they took x-rays of my entire spine, from different views for my future analysis. The old
Doctor supervising and inspecting my films looks up and says to me, “Damn Son, what have
you been doing to yourself?” “How much time do you have was my reply?”
CHAPTER 5 – HUNTING
In 1967, I‟m still in 8th grade, continuing my outdoor relationship with Mr. Whatley; hunting,
fishing, helping him build a camp on his hunting property, reloading shot gun shells and
enjoying every minute of it. I became more interested in Wild Hog hunting than the Ducks,
Quail, Dove, Snipe and Rabbits we were also targeting. Mr. Whatley said you need dogs for
this, and I asked if he could find me one. Sometime later he brought home the cutest Black and
Tan Hound puppy I called Buckshot.
An older couple that lived outside of Immokalee had catch dogs trained for this purpose and
agreed to take him for a month to see how he would perform. You should know that these
people were poor, so you can only imagine how much they valued him after they demonstrated
his performance in the vicinity of their Hog pen, and then offered me $250 for his purchase; that
I had to decline. He was that awesome!
; The ability to drive later, places a group of guys from various high schools that gravitated
together inadvertently thru Mr. Whatley, hunting at places other than his camp. We began to
search for other areas to hunt like Montero Ranch, a huge spread of cattle land that I believe
was in the early stages of urban development. There were other properties that we snuck into,
camped out and hunted as well.
On one particular occasion, I am out Hog hunting with Buckshot, while everyone else was
hunting birds. We came upon this Cow that has been dead for days, evidenced by the parade of
maggots that are crawling from the many cavities that the Buzzards are creating. The smell was
horrendous and I backed away to lean against a tree. Suddenly I feel something splash off my
head onto my face from above. Looking up I take another blast of this milky white fluid,
smelling worse than the rotting cow. To my extreme displeasure, I realize this fluid has erupted
from the bowels of the Buzzards perched in the tree above me!
This same weekend, I detect some movement off in the distant field in front of a Cypress head.
Hoping it was a Hog, I contained Buckshot by my side as we approached cautiously. Nearing, I
realized it is a Bobcat that has just caught a Turkey, and has it subdued. Letting Buckshot go, he
chases the Bobcat while I run straight for the Turkey that only has one chunk taken out of it by
the Bobcat. Arriving in camp later that afternoon, proudly holding my Turkey in hand, it was
delicious cooked over our campfire coals.
I spent many weekends in the woods, especially during the winter months of high school. I
believe this inspired me to seek out this type of environment, and the self-sufficient way it made
me feel. It has also been pointed out that man as the provider is a very basic need for men. I was
proud of the fact that I became accomplished in the realm of Hog hunting and had exceptional
dogs that allowed me to do this.
Hunting was not without accident. One occurred when BeBe‟s shotgun, which was propped up
against a car, fell to the ground, firing on impact. The problem was that Dennis and I were in the
line of fire, thirty feet away as we were both peppered with birdshot that entered our legs.
It was a very painful procedure under video fluoroscopy to remove the 10 pellets embedded in
my right lower leg, where one still remains just under the skin today. Dennis‟s injuries were
more severe, as many pellets entered his knee requiring open surgery that took months to
recover, if he ever did.
There is so much I could say about my experience with this one particular dog I acquired after
Buckshot that time would never allow. Anyone who ever witnessed him in action would tell you
that the selective English breeding of this Staffordshire Terrier created a machine that performed
exactly how they anticipated. This performance was to the dismay of the policeman that owned
him previously, who came home one day to find his German Sheppard police dog in pieces on
his front lawn. I was totally naïve on my first take of this little 50lb black and white Terrier, and
questioned his ability to catch Hogs to the Cop. His reply was, “he will catch anything,
including my Horse”, that has the scars on his face to prove it.
Originally asking $150 in the paper, I looked in my wallet and produced two twenty dollar bills,
which he took in desperation, mandated by his Dept. to get rid of him.
A group of guys from Miami were all living together in this rental house near campus, in
Tallahassee, where I placed “Buddy” in the backyard on a short chain as the policeman had
The next day we took him hunting in a Management area that we knew had Hogs. This was
where I had very proudly shot and killed a Hog on the run with my bow, if anyone is interested!
There were three of us that morning as we pulled into the sandy roads where we would hunt.
Locating sign for Hogs, we let Buddy out of the truck, and followed him from behind as far as
we could, until we saw him dash off into the brush. We saw him leaping on occasion possibly to
get his bearings, but quickly he disappeared out of sight.
Believing he is in fact in pursuit of nearby Hogs, we sat quietly in the truck and waited. Soon
there is a high pitched squeal from a distance, placing us racing thru the woods with rope in
hand, until we arrive on a scene that has Buddy and this 100lb Hog latched together. The
problem was we did not know how to get them apart!
Our solution was to carry them both out of the woods together, tying the Hogs legs in a figure
eight type configuration. We transported the Hog in an upside down manner by its secured legs,
while Buddy tugged away at his annoying stronghold. By the way, the noise is deafening.
Placing the Hog on the bed of the truck, I stood on Buddy‟s throat cutting off his air supply,
until he finally released. Quickly we closed the tailgate while Buddy is leaping wildly in an
effort to reenter.
Now what?……..I have had to say this a lot in my life, but we had to drive home nervously
with Buddy in the front seat of my cab, looking and acting so much more ferocious than we
ever anticipated. We butchered the pig that afternoon, and were so amazed by the unstoppable
instinct Buddy demonstrated, that we allowed him to latch onto the carcass we had hanging in
the backyard as we watched in awe.
I called the Policeman that day to inquire about a method to get him to release, whose
suggestion was to make a wedge out of wood that could be inserted into Buddy‟s mouth, to be
used like a crowbar to pry his mouth open.
The following day we tried this on his next catch, making it was obvious that the Policeman
never actually attempted this. The sturdy wedge broke off in his mouth and once again we had
to carry both of them to the truck in unison.
Someone knowledgeable that week suggested we apply something unbearable to inhale,
discovering a rag soaked in ammonia to his nose did the trick. It became a process we
developed and a source of income as well. I began selling Wild Hogs for Fraternity, and local
barbeques, and also met a farmer who had an outlet for Wild Hogs, that sold them to a private
game preserve. He had a pen on his property, that we would place the live Hogs in his absence.
He would pay me for them according to size and gender, requiring their ears to be intact. I had
to sew a couple of these back on myself to make the sale. I believe we must have caught thirty
hogs that season alone.
The process I was referring to required a long stout pole that we could slide thru the opposing
legs of the hog that we secured, while Buddy held his grip. We then placed a rope on Buddy‟s
collar and applied the ammonia rag to his nose forcing him to release, as we quickly we dragged
Buddy away to be tied to the nearest tree, while we transported the pig with the pole on our
I must mention here that Buddy would watch the rag as it was applied to his nose, and then hold
his breath in order to prolong his catch, at least a little longer!
Back at the truck, we covered the tied Hog with a piece of canvas and raised the tailgate, in
order to quiet the hog, which was the key to our success. We had to “convince” Buddy to go
catch other Hogs, which would not have been possible if the one in the truck was squirming and
We would arrive on the scenes of his catch that placed the Hog and Buddy in different
positional configurations. On one occasion this 200 lb Hog and Buddy are nose to nose with the
pig‟s ear in Buddy‟s mouth. Startled by our arrival the Hog charges forward over the top of
Buddy creating a summersault type action. This also causes the ear to become detached from
the pigs head, becoming a fearful surprise for the Frat boys that had requested to be in
attendance for their barbeques capture. The Hog is charging in their direction just before Buddy
catches the male Hog in a place that stops it dead in his tracks. I killed it immediately out of
respect for the pain this must have been causing its male anatomy!
There was another occasion I arrived at Mr. Whatley‟s hunting camp, late for the morning hunt.
Deciding to drive out to meet them, I heard Buddy begin to whine as we are passing a herd of
cows. I didn‟t tell Mr. Whatley about this then, but before I could stop him, Buddy leaped from
the truck charging toward the herd of cows, which are now on a dead run in front of him. Buddy
had this instinctive desire to make his point of contact on the face. I watched him swing out to
the side of the cow he has singled out, and then make this huge airborne leap. This has Buddy
coming across the cow‟s line of direction as he latches onto its nose while his momentum and
weight caused the cow to be instantly flipped onto the ground. I was there in an instant with my
ammonia rag, but I do believe that cow did have a sore nose!
Next I arrive to find Mr. Whatley who is directing me to the other side of this pasture. There,
some of the young guys with him are trying to capture a swarm of baby pigs. I let Buddy go,
and 30 seconds later he has captured one of the piglets. Young Bruce who is close by, realizes
the piglets impending doom, and comes to its rescue. He hits Buddy on the side with his gun
barrel causing the bird shot to fire, blasting a glancing hole in Buddy‟s side.
According to the Vet, only a few pellets entered into Buddy‟s lungs on that Sunday morning that
I was the only assistant he could find, while he amazingly sutured Buddy back together. It‟s OK
Another time I am with Nick, who gave Buddy the bowling ball that he adored. Hours on end
Buddy would take the heavy ball with his front paws and forcefully pull it between his legs.
Spinning around, he would recapture the rolling ball, repeating this process all day. Stopping to
rest he would lick the ball completely clean of the mud that had accumulated.
On this occasion with Nick, we are told there are Hogs in this very dense wooded area that I
have never been to before. Following Buddy on foot, the squeal of a pig gives me direction, and
takes me to the edge of a swamp. There I see Buddy struggling in the water with four Hogs that
appear to be trying to drown him. I charge into the water with a big stick and begin hitting the
Hogs away, while taking Buddy by his collar. No sooner did we get to shore, Buddy takes off
again in hot pursuit. All I can do is wait. I didn‟t know where Nick was at this time either, but
perhaps 10 minutes goes by before I hear the deepest squealing roar I have ever heard. The
splashing lets me know they are in the water again, as I begin making my way thru the vines
and brush that are obstructing my quick response.
Next, I hear a loud snorting noise coming in my direction, which suddenly appears as the
largest hog I have ever seen; probably 3 ½‟ tall in the 500lb category. I had leap to my escape
onto an overhead branch, while Buddy is not far behind, with blood coming from his side. I
made a diving effort to stop him, but the two were out of sight quickly in this dense terrain.
Rejoined with Nick, all we can do is wait again.
There was no calling Buddy by name to get him to return. I learned the best way to attract him
was to keep your self hidden while breaking sticks or rustling leaves to sound like an animal.
He used hearing a lot as a way of finding pigs.
Twenty minutes go by before he comes limping back to us, with intestines hanging from his
side and punctures wounds everywhere, leaking blood. Removing my jacket, we make a gurney
that we use to carry Buddy to the truck. On our dash to the Vet‟s office, Buddy is standing in the
back of truck as usual, barking at everything in sight, with his intestines hanging out, and
bleeding from everywhere, like nothing had happened!
Dr. Robert E. Lee, DVM, who eventually hired me, in exchange for the many services he
performed on this dog, put everything back together again! I felt light headed at times during
this ugly operation.
Every other Saturday his office people would amuse at my efforts to mow the two acre tract his
office was situated on, as I ran behind the push lawn mower in an effort to get to the rugby
game on time.
My first day as a Vet. Assistant has me trying to restrain this peacock from biting Dr. Lee and
myself, which he referred to later as its death rattle. Apparently he knew that the spastic
symptoms were an indication of its impending doom, but I thought I may have squeezed its
neck to hard!
One miserable night, myself and Buddy spent buried under the mud I used to protect us from
the mosquitoes. I followed him into this swamp for hours but it eventually became too dark to
see. I found an area above the water created by this huge Cypress tree. We climbed up to remain
there, and had to cover ourselves with mud to keep the mosquitoes from carrying us away until
the following morning. It was so cozy!
I brought Buddy back to Miami, during one fishing season where I kept him in a pen I built in
my parent‟s back yard. Daily I would allow him to run behind my truck for his exercise on a
vacant section of road near our house.
Buddy was friendly to people, as long as he was not chained protectively in the back of my
truck, or if you were a “Mailman”. I found this out one day while I was hosing Buddy off in our
side yard, when the mail truck pulls into our driveway. This is where I witness him leaping into
the windshield, to attack the unsuspecting Mailman. Following this collision, he then begins to
search for another entrance for his attack, finding the rear door window open, he leaps inside.
Climbing over the crowded boxes slows him enough to allow me to open the door, and make a
dive for the Mailman‟s life!
We were all lucky that day, including my parent‟s liability, and I got him back to Tallahassee on
a short chain the next day. He produced incredible offspring like “Chance” my brother Wades
dog or “Jessie” Chance‟s brother that was my brother-in-law Taylor‟s dog.
He was a liability and I knew it. I knew a guy from construction in Tallahassee that was also in
the business of catching cows, who knew of Buddy‟s experience and was so delighted and
amazed by his presence. The rest is history.
It could be said that I sought out men or even animals that showed courage, commitment,
toughness, and single-minded pursuit as appreciated in this next anecdote.
BUDDY SHOWED ME, 1974-1979
I‟ve witnessed his reckless courage, and I‟ve seen him nearly die, and never once did he cower,
as he viewed death thru his slitty eyes. He made it look so easy, same as he, Black and White,
unaware of any limitations, the battle was always for life,…
This made that fifty two pounds so ferocious, because, for him it was win or die,…from this I‟ve
interpreted a message that I carry on thru life,…
“Forget about limitations, and the odds against or for”, as this could deprive you of a real life,
that costs sweat and blood to play!
After Buddy, I was on another hunting excursion, with Cruddy Mike and his dog “Bubba”, and
my brother, Wade with Buddy‟s sister “Chance”. We are in pursuit of any game that could be
served at a wild game party we are invited to attend that evening.
The dogs begin barking in the distance, as we arrive on a scene that places this huge rattle snake
with its head high in the air, rattling wildly, threatening to keep the dogs away. The dogs are
darting cautiously in and out, but not far enough away from striking distance, we all agreed.
Immediately I have my 357 pistol out of its holster, trying to aim at the snakes head. The dogs
are moving in and out of the line of fire, while everyone is calling to the dogs and screaming for
me to shoot, as the snakes head is moving slightly side to side. Finally I pull the trigger killing
the snake instantly, as it cuts the snakes head in half. Call it a lucky if you want, I do, but those
dogs lived to see another day. My youngest brother, Kevin, gamely carried the heavy snake the
rest of the day, as we hunted.
Arriving at the party with our 7‟ rattlesnake, we offered this as our wild game presentation.
Skinning it in front of everyone present, we discovered it had a whole rabbit in its stomach
contents. We cut it into steaks and fillets and marinated it for a while, before throwing it onto
the grill. Made a nice skin too!
CHAPTER 6, HIGHSCHOOL/STREET FIGHTING/BOXING 1967-1971
Back in high school my aggressive nature and associations on the football team got the attention
of the schools rotary club that we called “Wheel”, and I got invited to pledge. This club was
composed of some of the tougher and popular guys, including the bully from the earlier days. It
was a tough hazing, but the black and blue paddled butt I endured far outweighed the internal
stress it relieved. I began to seek challenges that would reaffirm my toughness to myself, in the
form of street fighting.
Realize its 1969, the Vietnam was on, there were no girls in our high school, there are rebellious
hippies in Coconut Grove, and I was in the notorious Wheel Club. Suddenly one of your fellow
brothers‟ fights becomes yours as well type scenario. Every football stadium, school sock hop,
7-11 store parking lot, or public school party that we crashed, became a place of conflict. Early
on in these skirmishes, I instinctively used my tackling skills, and low center of gravity, to
develop a fighting style that worked for me.
This was not so if I was outnumbered, occurring at a Prom I attended, for one of the public
schools. I knew I would be in the company of guys that had heard of me, or my clubs
reputation. Eventually there was a derogatory comment that came from across the table, that I
couldn‟t resist the urge to remedy it, and a huge fight ensured. I carry the scar on my right chin,
after being thrown into the bands cymbals with their sharp edges, and had to purchase the
bloody rented tuxedo, and was asked to leave early. Sorry Jeanne
One very stupid night in Miami Beach, it appears that two of my friends were in a skirmish on
the opposite side of A.I.A... Charging over to help, I soon discovered that they were hand cuffed
to the chain link fence they were standing against, while I was fighting with the unmarked
police that had handcuffed them there. In a long scuffle, that includes breaking one of their guns
as the lengthy report read, I was taken to jail and charged, but not convicted with assault and
battery at age 17.
Another occasion I called out a kid at a football stadium, a good wrestler I found out, who was
winning until I bit down on his finger as he attempted to rip my mouth open. I was soon tackled
off of him by the police that took me to jail again released to my “proud” parents that evening.
We missed our ride one night and decided to hitch hike home from the party that night, to Joe‟s
house. We were picked up by these guys from another school who recognized my notoriety, and
when I stepped out of the car, this huge guy in the front seat gets out and sucker punches me.
The same occurs to Dennis and Joe, who decide to make a break for it to Joe‟s house. I run the
opposite direction to create some space, but was caught from behind by this amazingly fast big
guy, who makes the mistake of falling over my back, taking my shirt with him. This gave me
the opportunity to put my feet to his head and face multiple times, before I decide it was time to
further my escape for home swimming across Snapper Creek Canal in the dark!
I actually started thinking like I was some Barbarian warrior and the rest of the civilized world
was going to have to recognize this as recorded below.
OVER DOMESTICATION, May, 1982
How is it that some men are more physical than others, as if their existence is closer to their
ancestral brothers,…For it‟s the very nature, of the primitive survival game, that we as civilizers
are trying to tame.
What happened to respect for cunning and fierceness, in this domesticated world, it‟s rendered
almost worthless. I have to wonder, are we evolving as we should, or are we letting our
“genius” do more damage than good.
You can see it in dogs, in an instinctual sense. Some are more powerfully game and intense,…
and some are over domesticated lap dog wimps,…
This could explain it then, why some men are more driven, like their blood still flows with the
untamed and forbidden,…
Our ancestor‟s passed on the innate characteristics they possessed, genetically enabling some
to have more than the rest,…
If somehow this could be documented, then different reactions could be predicted,… we could
all wear little tags, stating what degree we inherited,…
As wild dogs have a system, deciding which one is greater, the toughest and gamest puts down
all takers,… with this there is gained a healthy fear and respect, something that civilizers are
trying to omit.
So, the next time one of them gets in my face, it will be his problem for not looking at my
tag…The art of civilization is doing natural things in an unnatural way.
It turns out that Joe and Dennis got pretty beat up, and Joe‟s father decides to press charges. In
front of the Judge in court, she begins questioning the huge guy that accosted me, while he is
telling her the account of all the injuries he received, when she interrupts him. She asks, “You
mean a man of your size received all of your injuries from him”, pointing to me, “Standing
10inches shorter and at least 50lbs lighter. He appeared embarrassed, there was a chuckle from
behind in the audience and he discontinued his testimony. I did not know that I broke his nose
or chipped his teeth.
Just out of high school, my friend Mac receives his pilot‟s license, so we decide to fly over to
Nassau, Bahamas for the weekend. Our other two friends, Bart and BeBe, not trusting Mac‟s
flying skills or a plane I had to start the engine by pulling down on the propeller, decide to meet
us over there, by way of Cruise ship. Mac and I arrive in Nassau the day before, and rather
enjoyed the ability to drink in the bars with our underage U.S. status; Maybe a little too much,
as we stagger down the street practically holding each other up.
Suddenly Mac is kicked from behind by this white guy that was about our size, but he is
accompanied by a black guy who is not! This guy is at least 6‟7,” and when I see this I
encourage Mac to keep walking. Again, the white guy kicks Mac and a fight ensures. Mac
receives these huge scratches on his face from the white guy who also makes the mistake of
allowing Mac to bite down on his finger. He lets out a scream that encourages the black guy to
bend down to help.
I always knew those once popular wooden clogs I was wearing would come in handy for this,
as I planted one squarely into the side of his face and then to the white guy where ever I could
kick him. Eventually they both lay in the street in a semi-unconscious state. Surprisingly more
sober, we are now jogging away from the scene, turning down a side street to regroup ourselves
underneath a house.
Twenty minutes go by before I break a broomstick in half for moral support, and hurriedly we
make our way back to our room. The screech of tires announces the station wagon with many
black guys emerging, running in our direction. Our decision to run, has me hurdling over many
walls that were dividing the properties or home sites I am encountering, with two guys close
behind me. Curtailed by an 8‟ wall, I run around a corner and await the first face to appear, as I
remain poised to greet it with my broom stick. Whack, to the first guy, but the second one
tackles me from behind and the fight ensues. Instead of only beating the hell out of me, they
also capture me with one arm bent around behind my back, and proceed to walk me prisoner
style back to their car.
There I find Mac in the same predicament. There‟s an argument amongst them, as they try to
decide the appropriate punishment for injuring one of their Olympic Hopefuls in the high jump.
They even had the tall black guy, who now has this huge swelling closing his eye, to
demonstrate his ability, and in a single leap and bound he clears the hood of their car.
In the midst of this arguing, I suggest that I am willing to fight any or all of them, as long as it
remains a one on one situation. Mac agrees to this as well, but this was not severe enough, so
the decision was made to take us to an out of the way place where we would be drugged by this
hallucinogenic substance for our punishment!
Crammed into the station wagon, and underway for a short distance, Mac whispers something
undetectable, and then begins to yell out that he is going to be sick! Everyone scrambles to let
him out of the car, where he vanishes to his escape. The search for him over, I am repacked into
the car for my torture. I make the decision this is not going to happen, and begin punching and
kicking everything in sight. Finally they have me out of the car, squirming around on my back
in the dimly lit dirt street. From there I am attempting to avoid the repeated blows from their
feet, as they encircle me, eventually leaving me there, in a pool of blood. Getting up, I stagger
to a nearby porch that has a couch on it where I remain until morning light.
Knowing that the Cruise Ship would be arriving, I made my way down to the docks, to find
Mac, who has spent the night in a filthy dumpster. He reports that they almost caught him again,
after they left me. You should have seen us and the look on BeBe‟s and Bart‟s faces as they
peered down on us from the bow of the Cruise Ship. I literally had to open my swollen eyes
with my fingers to see.
It was the beginning of my senior year in high school that some kid takes my seat with my
lunch bag in front of it, after I got up to get something to drink. I know now that my aggressive
response is not the appropriate way to solve problems. This time I was given a new place to eat
my lunch for the remainder of the year, on the steps, outside the door, with my new friend
Donde, who was also a “bad boy” for swiping a cheeseburger!
My fighting nature gets the attention of one of the college guys on the rugby team, and I agree
to train for boxing, with his Cuban trainer, down at Dinner Key Auditorium. A month goes by
when the decision was made that I am ready for my first real bout.
There was even a segment in the Miami Herald, announcing that a senior linebacker from
Columbus High would be fighting in the featured bout. My opponent, a tall black guy, still in
prison was going to be allowed under custody, to enter the ring.
The auditorium was filled with people, 50 or more were my friends, family, or acquaintances. I
weighed in at a ripped 148lbs, and was fit enough to go 10 rounds, but this fight was over in
less than one. The adrenaline coursing through my veins made it difficult to concentrate on my
defense and instructions. I took a left hook to the chin, that hit me almost as hard as my face hit
I was helped to the locker room, showered, and back out into the stands under my own accord. I
rejoined my friends to watch the remaining bouts as a couple of rounds go by when I turn to
Moosey who is sitting next to me and ask, “How did I do?” His surprised reply was, “You don‟t
know? You got knocked out in the first round.” Can you believe that!
Another time I had what I call my John Wayne fight that occurred in a parking lot late one night
outside a Tiki Bar on Key Biscayne. I had met a Swedish girl who was with me, when we
arrived at my truck. It is the only one left in the parking lot, by the way, but there is a guy
stretched across the hood apparently sleeping.
Shaking him, he awakens, gets to his feet, and then proceeds to punch me in the face. I
remedied this behavior that places me punching the back of his head as he is trying to cover it
up, while lying face down in the parking lot. Turning to approach my truck, I find him flying
through the air, back on top of me.
The fight continues and ends very similar to the first bout, but this time I back away in case he
should retaliate, which he does. This time he kicks me squarely in the groin, which has me to
my knees, almost puking, while he is unloading everything he has. He soon tires, allowing me
to keep the vow I have made to myself after I recover. I left him in such an ugly state that I was
afraid to read the paper the next day.
It was the shameful fight with my father, frustrated with his lack of control over me, who called
me outside to discover just how quickly he could land on the ground, but I never laid a punch or
kick. Instead I decided to remedy this ugliness in the home of Mr. Whatley, where I lived for the
remainder of high school and many other periods of time when I was in Miami.
It must be noted that parents are the ultimate authority figures for children therefore a loss in
trust would show itself with the loss in trust in other authority figures as well.
It has been pointed out that that Mr. Whatley acted as a counter balance to the rejection of my
father. If there was one word that describes the man I wanted to become, tough was that word.
Over time I finally recognized this, it was also recognized on the rugby field or any physical
endeavor I indulged myself in. I no longer had to prove this to myself and I most certainly did
not feel I had to prove it to my Father in law!
Perhaps he secretly didn‟t approve of my marriage to his daughter, and he was looking for a
reason to knock my head off.
Any way I might as well get this out now, while I‟m discussing my younger years of fighting,
but this one occurred when I was 40 years old, I am not proud to admit.
I believe that after 23 years of rugby I was looking to fill the void that was left after my
retirement with a new challenging endeavor
I will catch you up on what has happened in between at a later time. All you need to know is
that I am married, we have two babies and I am involved in Polo. My pursuit of this sport has
me renting our home in Tallahassee, to return to Ft Myers Fla., where my wife‟s parents live.
There, I am employed as a surgical nurse in an OR for six months, after I found a way to join
this newly organized Polo Club.
My arrival in Ft Myers, I am accompanied by my 2 year old son Sean and the four horses
tailoring behind us. Placing the horses in their 3 acre pasture behind their house in the rain, we
are led to the 34foot 5th wheel trailer they have nestled alongside their house for our stay. I reach
for the wet handle with my son in my arms, when I am almost knocked off the steps by the jolt
of electricity I received. It seems her father, 16 years my senior, has attempted to wire the
electric himself and was not aware of the short. In fact the trailer is not ready to move into at all,
like we were told it would be!
Sean and I remained in his grandparent‟s bedroom for several days watching him half heartedly
collect, plumbing and septic connections and hopefully remedy the electric. Aine, my wife who
only recently delivered our 2nd son Zach, remained in Tallahassee, awaiting for my return via air
to drive them back down there myself.
I, am committed to dig a make shift septic system, but I am going to work each day and do not
return until late, so I don‟t have the time to purchase the materials to accomplish this. Nor did I
anticipate this next uncomfortable scenario.
It‟s early in the A.M., and I am making coffee in their kitchen; Her father who is from Ireland,
had been very involved in boxing throughout his life, is also involved in coaching this now. He
comes out once again discussing what I will need to perform the work that I have been
promised on the fourth day I have been impatiently waiting for it!
I guess I couldn‟t resist the sarcasm, when I teased, “What‟s the hurry?” He comes into the
kitchen and approaches me from behind, and suddenly grabs me by the head with both hands
and begins shaking me, angrily admonishing my disrespect.
I do nothing, as he turns and walks away.
He then says something else derogatory that I return with more sarcasm. This time he runs into
the kitchen with his fists up taking jabs at me. This has me retreating with my open hands,
trying to avoid this type of confrontation, which eventually places me at the end of their walk-in
pantry with no place else to go. His rage and jabs continue, that has me with fists up to defend
A glancing miss inspires me to counter with a straight right jab that splatters his nose. He gets
up and runs to retrieve a Shalala, an Irish club. These hurt when you are hit by them I found out,
as I ran to open the front door. Outside in the grass, he charges toward me with the stick, but I
lowered in for a tackle that lifts him into the air, and back down hard onto the ground. That was
it, from there he did not retaliate, perhaps it was my choice of words, or the tone in which they
were delivered that coerced him to get up to go tend to his bleeding nose, as I went and got
young Sean into my arms.
Cautiously I await his next response, to the predicament that is racing through my mind. His
decision that I could remain here for the duration, came after I began packing to reside
somewhere else. Although he threatened to have his best boxer come over to teach me a lesson
to my bring it on reply, but this never happened.
Get this, when my Mother-in Law came home and found out about this, she says to me, “I
knew this was going to happen”. I replied, “I wish you would have given me some warning!” I
believed he owed me at least an explanation in the form of a man to man talk but he refused.
Furthermore I was not allowed in their house during the 6 months that I lived there receiving
my evening meal in the camper. I did receive an apology 3 months after our return back to
Tallahassee that I believe occurred because I required it before he could enter my property as
well! I have always felt bad about this incident, as you can imagine.
Chapter 7 – Miscellaneous Adventures
The year or 1971, was one hell of a year for me, I‟m only realizing this now as I write. That
summer we had a going away party at Nick‟s house, the evening they were to announce the
lottery numbers for the Vietnam War draft. I can still hear “Bye Bye Miss American Pie”,
blasting from the record player, as I received my #110. In the next two years they called up to
the #80, but in 1973 the war ended, Thank God!
I‟m mentioning this next experience mainly because it would not be done today. Can you
imagine two 16 year old boys hitch hiking the 500 mile trek from Miami to Tallahassee on two
different occasions? We made these trips to visit BeBe‟s older brothers who were attending
college there, because we wanted to get a taste of college life. On one of these occasions, I
found the wallet of a missing girl from Miami, by the way side on the Florida Turn Pike. I
turned it into the police, but she was never found I‟m told.
This next, not so humorous situation for me happened in my senior year of high school, when
we skipped school and went to the Zoo. We arrived early that A.M. to the now defunct Crandon
Park Zoo, on Key Biscayne, to find no one site. Sneaking into the facility we arrive at an area
that has a series of lower pit like compounds surrounded and separated by cement walls. This
allowed people to look down into these compounds to view the animals. A chain link fence
across the front contained the people from falling into these lower cages. The farthest pit
compound housed a Hyena that is sitting near its shelter about 30 yards away.
Upon a dare, I was to jump into the pit with the Hyena and then out again, or so I thought,
recognizing that it would be an easy climb for my escape if the Hyena charged. As soon as I hit
the ground, the Hyena charged, but the escape I had planned was curtailed, when my “good
friends” Mike, Billy and Ed, decided to push me back into the pit. I had only seconds to get
myself over the dividing wall of the interior before the Hyena, who actually leapt up for me as I
narrowly cleared the wall. Can you imagine being mauled or killed by a hyena? “No sense
being dumb unless you can show it.”
The next compound housed a small heard of Javelinas. These were smaller South American pigs
that as a group began chasing me around their compound. This was to the ever increasing
amusement and vigilance of my friends.
Vowing to inflict sever retaliation, I leapt the next interior wall, unaware of what might be over
their lurking. There I find two pigmy Hippos in their pond basking, giving me a chance to catch
my breath. I continue my threat upon their lives, when the Hippos begin moving slowly towards
me as they exit their pond. Pygmy or not they still weighed over 800 lbs., and I was certainly
not going to wait around and pet them. Over the next interior wall I go, which is the last of these
compounds, and there is nowhere else I can go, except back over with the Hippos! The only
thing I see is this old dead tree in the middle, possibly placed there for habitat.
Breathless, I reach my hand out to lean against it but the stumpy branch I selected turns out to
be an inconspicuous Owl, whose wings have been clipped, and is now wildly fluttering on the
ground before me. What next?
What‟s next, starts out as movement emerging out of the sand in the 200lb category. It was a
creature I had never seen. It had a trunk like snout, similar to an anteater, but was much larger. It
began approaching me as I moved to huddle into a corner poised for my impending escape or
doom. The large trunk began sniffing my shoes, then up and down my legs as I wait for any
signs of aggression. Thank God Aardvarks are insect eaters.
That summer of 1971, I continued to live at Mr. Whatley‟s house. Mac and I are working
construction. You should have seen us some days driving to work, waste wrapped tool belts full
of tools, with hard hats on, riding tandem on my 125 Yamaha motorcycle. Zipping to almost
downtown Miami, where we were building a bank.
I‟ll never forget the horror we felt after Mac pulled a nail that dropped down to the level below
us, where some older men were working. There was a yell indicating pain from down below, as
we looked over the ledge to see one of the older men looking up at us holding a nail that
“appeared” to be imbedded into his eye!
Another time I was forcefully removing a 16 Ft., 2x4 from the cement forms when I lost
control. It stabbed another older man in the forearm with the nails that were protruding from the
end of it. They began to give us a greater distance in the future.
We worked and saved, because we had a plan. A group of us had purchased a 1967 Dodge Van
that we were going to take a trip around the U.S. that summer. This included Mac, BeBe,
Donde, Docbuggy and myself. Mr. Mac was very helpful in re-creating the van for our tour that
I would like to honor in this next anecdote.
MR. MAC, Nov., 1987
When I first met Mush, I was in my teens, when he was helping us renovate an old Dodge Van.
That we eventually took across the country, while he delighted in sharing our plan.
If you had a dream or idea, he was there to make it come true.
He never lost sight of his youthful outlook, like a lot of the grownups we knew.
If you hung around there long enough, you became an honorary Son, whether you needed a
place to stay, or you needed something done.
You could always find a bed, or a place to camp out in the yard, and stay there for months if you
had fallen on hard times.
He became a central figure for all the kids that we knew if you needed any information he was
the one to talk to.
Whether there was a party or wedding or any special event, you knew he would be there in the
thick of it.
With a perpetual towel draped over his shoulder, as he over saw the events festivities;
Making sure you had what ever you needed, with his open-ended hospitality.
From the Sebastian Inlet clam bakes, to the many rugby trips we took in his Van, somehow he
enjoyed anything we could toss at him; he was just that kind of man.
He inspired and instilled something in all of us, anyone that knew him could easily feel it;
Remaining forever in our hearts and minds, and with us forever in spirit.
We love you Mush.
We also had a small enclosed trailer in tow, carrying all of our gear and supplies. We drove as
far as we could get each day, trying to stop at colleges and their associated partying spots or
camp sites along the way.
We headed out west as far as Colorado and Wyoming, across the badlands of S. Dakota, and
then across the bread basket states back east to New York. Returning down the east coast back
to Florida, I think we were gone for 4 weeks, with many highlights on this adventure worth
The first of which has to do with a large male Buffalo, who is grazing away from the herd,
positioned about 150 yards from the road. BeBe cannot join us over the fence because he is
having trouble walking after Donde stabbed him in the thigh with a knife the day before, don‟t
Mac, Donde and I climbed the fence and made our way towards the Buffalo, while Mac has the
camera to his face so he thinks we are farther away than we actually were. The Buffalo never
even looks our way and quite possibly did not even notice us; When suddenly, just after Mac‟s
snaps the picture, the Buffalo charges at full speed, bearing down on me first, easily gaining on
my top end. I make an airborne leap to the right just before he impales me with his horns,
causing him to run right by me.
This changes his field of vision toward Mac and Donde as He resumes his charge toward them,
who are also racing toward the fence as well. All of us make it over the fence in time, and I have
that picture, but no one enjoyed this more than BeBe, who remains in uncontrollable hysteria!
While in Colorado, we drove a short distance out of town from Boulder, and chose the highest
mountain we could find to go Big Horn Sheep hunting, is what we declared it. Climbing to the
top took ½ a day, where we found a cellophane wrapped letter in a crevice on the highest
boulder. This was written by a guy discussing all of his problems with relationships, and many
pages later we discovered that he didn‟t jump after all!
Rain on the way down, places us in an animal‟s den we realized, because it was infested with
ticks, which were crawling all over us unnoticed, for awhile. I so hate ticks!
Inside Yellowstone, I stopped the Van for a road kill Skunk, that I skinned unseen at our
campsite. This caused many vacancies to occur, and for me to throw away the clothes I was
wearing. I had to take a tomato juice scrub to get the smell off of me.
Next we see a baby Moose just off the side of the road and stop the van to get a closer look.
Suddenly its full grown mother appears chasing everyone around in the wooded scene, and runs
right over the top of BeBe in her protective mode. Now that was funny!
Quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life occurs next!
We arrive to find a Bear sitting on the road eating jelly from a jar, with other tourist‟s onsite
watching as well. Donde wants to a get a picture, and decides the best angle would be taken
from a standing position on the wood bumper we had attached to the front of the Van. Mac, who
was suppose to “ease” Donde up closer to get a nice picture, could not resist giving Donde the
thrill of his life, puts the gas to the Van and then slams on the brakes catapulting Donde just
over the top of the Bear! The startled Bear begins to chase him around the locked doors of the
Van as the rest of us are paralyzed with laughter. Can you imagine what those other tourists
were thinking, or what the Park Rangers would have done to us if we had to kill it to save
Our eastward bound tour has us shooting Pheasants from the open side door of the Van that
Donde prepared at our campsites in spaghetti sauce.
I got into a fight in a bar in upstate New York when this one guy makes a comment about my
earring. We all got involved for a short while before we made a dash for the van toward our
Our homeward bound tour brings us back to Tallahassee, where I am elected as the soberest one
to drive the short distance to a nearby dorm, to stay with some friends. This was the first of two
chain link baseball backs stops I would run into in the next two years! This one causes an abrupt
stop leaving me unconscious from the head trauma.
My comrades‟ drunken solution was to drag me around to the passenger‟s side of the front seat,
allowing someone else to drive. They leave me in a heap lying alongside the hot engine cover.
Hours later I awake with 2nd degree burns on my left thigh, right through my jeans. I have no
idea of the dorm room number, so I must wait in agony for hours, for their return.
CHAPTER 8, COLLEGE BOUND
It is late summer of the incredible year of 1971 now, and I am registered to attend college at
F.S.U. in Tallahassee for the Fall Quarter. I have enjoyed the freedom from parental pressures
living with Mr. Whatley. I recognize now that he sensed the wild child side I was trying to
contain, but I didn‟t listen to much of the wisdom he attempted to share with me.
I had this feeling that I was not going to live a life like my father or the other parents of the
kids I knew. This was too mundane of an existence for my escalating rebellious mentality. Forty
years later, I have just attended my oldest son‟s high school graduation, where I listened intently
to their commencement speech. The theme is “remember who you are”, and be proud of the fine
Catholic education, and morals you have received. Let this be your guiding conscience, as you
leave high school toward your future.” Remember who you are, and where you came from“, as
you embrace higher education, community, or country.
I watched as various students were honored for their achievements in academics, athletics, or
Christian community type involvements.
This made me feel bad about my rocky climb in life that did not inspire me to contribute to my
community in this way. In fact I believe it was commonplace in my era to rebel or resist
authority and I was primed to jump on the bandwagon. This was the same type of message, and
example that Mr. Whatley was trying to deliver I realize now. The next several anecdotes
demonstrate my recognition of the problem, along with my attempts to either argue, plea or
resolve my case.
LIVE WITH YOURSELF…Sept., 1984
Honesty used to mean, whatever I could get away with, and freedom meant no strings attached.
And money was always a problem; Up until now everything has been scratched. There was no
real respect, for what others were feeling, from the problem‟s with my parents, and the
neighborhood kids dealings.
I became a problem is school, acting out for attention, too bad a young person‟s environment,
can cause so much tension. So I was certainly not, someone to be admired. I became cocky and
cool, setting my “fake” world on fire. And I was tough, all right, and I had everyone believing
it. I demonstrated it so much, I even believed it.
Then I dropped out of college, to become a fisherman. Another “glamorous” move, to make my
life glisten,… and to rub it in their noses, that they didn‟t have me by the balls. Such a chip on
my shoulder, funny how I built walls, all up around me, even from those I really loved. ;
Couldn‟t handle a commitment that would be hanging up the gloves.
Only I was missing out on so much, idealizing my life so, having convinced myself, I really put
on a show...
; So after many years of jumbling my life all around, wanting to fall in love, but, always playing
I found someone that made me feel safe and happy, and everything was clearer as if somebody
slapped me,… And I woke up remembering all about this bad dream, with this angry person in
it, and I could hear a scream. I‟m tired of feeling bad, I hate feeling guilty, its time to be good,
my life has been filthy.
So I decided that day, to make a lot of changes,… Clean up my act. Learn from the bad pages
and wrote a new book. That deals with love and caring, patience and consideration, giving and
sharing. So now I try to express these qualities, every day, in all my actions, with everything I
say, and it‟s been a hard lesson, but it holds the world‟s wealth,… and that is being able “to live
Makes all of your attempts become something to admire. So whether you achieve them or not,
you will remain inspired. Giving everything you do, a label of pride, because if you let yourself
down, where can you hide? And if you let others down, and they get wind of the sham, then your
name is erased, as a trusted man.
Regardless of the legality, or the nature of the game, that person deep down inside still watches
you sign your name,…
It doesn‟t matter if your dealings have been legally recorded, be certain that in some way, you
will be punished or rewarded.
You‟ve got one life to live, so live it, proud of yourself,… Can‟t you see it there‟s your wealth,
and there lies your happiness, and peace of mind, based on a principle, so abused by mankind.
Be assured the injustices, the hurt and the pain, go with you to the grave, like dirt for your
name. Piled high on the greedy b------d‟s that slithered across our surface, abusing everyone
they could, to achieve their selfish purpose.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR, Aug., 1982
Just hold on a minute, I‟ve heard your speech, I want this off my chest, you let me speak my
So just who do you think your are anyway, bowed up with your condemning eyes,… like a big
fat elephant of “suppose to‟s”, and I‟m a little thorn in your side,…
That you can‟t seem to scare enough, into doing what you are saying. Anyway, I‟m out of money
again, so I guess I best get “playing”,…
So I can give you more to scrutinize about, with something farfetched and unreal,… lose myself
in the glory again, no matter what the outcome of the deal.
All of the time everyone else was getting organized,… I‟ve been playing E. Hemingway and
Jeremiah Johnson. And although some of you were with me, what little you could,… you always
kept your civilized socks on.
While I lived out of my wooden truck, that we‟ve laughed at for years, sacrificed comfort and
security, threw myself at my fears,…As I hoped it would be worth the risk, or I‟d discover
; Something better.
If only you could see, the road I run, feel the sweat and mud and pound,… gasp the breath I
stain for, stumble on my ground,… and smell the blood, that frequents my face, accept the pain,
know the taste!
Endure the catastrophes and chug the beer, run along beside me, year after year.
Then you may see what‟s driving me,… I can‟t help it, I have to try,… everything I‟ve ever
dreamed of and that‟s where the culprit lies.
I must pay for my freedom, just as you do for your security,… And although we pay in different
tender, I‟d say the cost is the same, nearly.
A KID IN A MANSUIT, April, 1981
The world as you see it has been growing up around you, and now thinking about it, really
astounds you. There‟s nothing like time to help make it understood, that you‟re beginning to
notice a little wear under the hood. So the ageless kid, you‟ve always tried to be, has started to
realize both mind and body don‟t coincide.
It hasn‟t helped any, the way you pounded yourself so, ten years of rugby, does wonders for your
Even if you still fight, the inevitability of age, you can see it in the morning with the wrinkles on
your face. You need things to be new and exciting, with an element of risk. You‟ve got to be right
on the brink, each catastrophe a near miss. Or you‟re bored real quick, and it‟s time for a
change, staying long enough to be responsible, is like having the mange.
At least that‟s what you‟ve been telling yourself, not wanting to miss out on any fun. Believing
that as long if I can keep this pace, I‟ll continue on this run,… allowing the boy inside to pursue
his hobbies, running around in a grown body. PS notice how I said hobbies.
Mr. Whatley did inspire me to build my own house; however, as I was always amazed that the
one we lived in he built himself. I knew that when I got the chance I was going to attempt this
My parents bought me a $200 car for graduation that blew up the second week after I owned it.
Working at a gas station, has me walking across the greasy floor carrying 75 lbs of its engine,
when I slipped. My left hand and the engine part hit the floor simultaneously, with my hand
underneath. Damn that hurt, and required many sutures, but nothing was broken unbelievably
I remedied my car less situation with my own purchase of a 1961 Desoto for $35. It had those
big long rear side fins that I painted black. I also customized the front side panels by painting
teeth, like those older fighter planes have, and replaced the damaged bumper later on with a
heavy duty wood timber and called it the Shark!
That car had a 383 H.P. V8 engine that could cruise at 110 mph and sometimes did, more
routinely than I care to admit. This fall I‟ve got the Shark all packed for college, but I took that
detour my mother begged me not to, and went hunting anyway. Sorry Mom.
Arriving at the dorm three days late for classes, I encountered Ira, my roommate, a smaller
Jewish kid from New Jersey, with that unmistakable accent. He was walking down the hallway
toward me, wearing one of those nifty snap-on shower towels, while I‟m filthy in camouflage
standing at our door. An odder arrangement could not have been possible.
I take a shower and return to the room where he is still primping. Putting on his underwear is
followed by a little dusting of his manhood, by this lavender scented power that I am trying not
to watch. I would have never admitted this back then, but I gave myself a little dusting after he
left, and discovered how comfortable this is. I have continued this practice since that time, if
anyone is interested!
I didn‟t last long in that dorm room after I discovered an abandoned shack while out hunting. It
was along the Mysterious Waters River and I decided that it fit my mentality and needs enough
to move in. I did not necessarily sleep there if I was going to be alone or too buzzed to drive,
and heard a lot of classmate‟s comment that I smelled like wood smoke that semester.
F.S.U. did not have a rugby team in 1971, but it did have soccer, which I participated in for the
season. My need for the contact of rugby and my aggressive competitive nature was not suitable
for the finesse of soccer.
Most of the time I made legal contact with the ball before I ran straight through our opponents,
but it was obvious, that this was my intention. What they did not anticipate was my defensive
reaction following a derogatory comment, gesture or conflict. There was no diplomacy with me.
On two accounts I made the college paper with pictures taken of this insanity I must recognize
CHAPTER 9 – WATER SKIING
My first significant memory of water skiing, I‟m probably 15 years old, and we are skiing in an
inland man-made rock pit known as Miller Lake in Miami. My approach toward shore has my
mother waiting to trailer the boat back home, but I was unable to slow myself down, as I
shattered my new Dick Pope Jr. skis into the rocky shore. I was flipped end over end for a
couple of rotations in the process. With the blood gushing from my head and shoulders, I stand
up and say, “I need to go to the hospital this time Mom, now!” (Sorry you had to see that
Years later we are pursuing skiing at dare devil and endurance levels now. I once skied the 8
mile distance across Biscayne Bay in a moderate chop for bragging rights.
Rod and Bobby, who were already accomplished in slalom courses and delta wing kite skiing,
allowed me to participate in this as well. My turn in the kite has me losing control and
plummeting down toward the water. At the last moment I get my skis underneath me which slap
down hard on the water, righting me and sending me skyrocketing back into the air.
There was one occasion with my brother Wade that I made a sharp cut on a slalom ski in an
attempt to demonstrate the new skills I had been learning. My ski slips slightly causing my
shoulder to hit the water. I don‟t know how I bounced back up and did not fall, but anyone who
has ever water skied will tell you this is a rarity.
We even skied at night in the Miami Harbor on our way to Miami Beach on one of our
“campouts” we told our parents. We certainly were not going to tell them about our plans to
sneak into the girly clubs or x-rated movies…,
Or ask permission to ski blindly in the harbor at night that could have large debris lurking
anywhere. “No sense being dumb unless you can show it again!”
CHAPTER 10, SKIN DIVING
It was in the early high school years that I have previously reported, that a group of guys from
different schools that came together because of our outdoor and recreational interests. My first
underwater reef diving trip we went out on Bart‟s old boat; that eventually sank the following
year, almost costing some of my friend‟s their lives; I was supposed to have been on that trip!
On this diving trip, however, we struck the shallow reef on the way out of Bocacheeta Cut and
began taking on water. My disappointed remark was, “We‟re not going back in are we?” This
apparently inspired Bart, who stuffs rags into the leak that slowed it down considerably, and we
went out there diving all day, planeing the boat between dives to drain the excess water. We
entered water not to exceed 40ft. with snorkel, mask, fins and spear guns for the sole purpose of
spearing fish underwater, and that we did!
; Some 15 years later Bart and I got together again inspiring this next anecdote.
WE‟RE NOT GOING BACK IN ARE WE? Jan.1986
My first day with Bart, we were skimming out to the reefs, when his boat nicked shallow bottom
in Bocacheeta Cut,…
With the water pouring in we beached the boat ashore, the outlook for the rest of the day
looking pretty rough.
In novice disappointment, I asked in distain, “We‟re not going back in are we?”,…
I believe this inspired Bart, in spite of the fact that this could be potentially risky.
Because he simply packed that leak with a couple of old rags, and we went out there skin diving
the rest of the day.
By now a couple of decades have wizzed on by, our paths have ventured into a thousand
different directions, after all the experiences we endured together, finding people to relate to,
has always been a problem.
So when we met again the other day, it felt so good to talk to someone that has actually there,
keeping us up half the night catching up with it all, as we drank way to many beers.
At least that‟s what it felt like the morning after, as I watched him rumbling around looking for
his keys, lost amidst all the gear strewn everywhere, a true sportsman down to his dreams!
It was happy hour I found him down at the local pub, shooting some pool, pounding the suds,
Playing lets make a deal with the vices and the women, so that early morning he might still be
Napping away the day between pisses and meals, and when he‟s feeling better, he‟s back on the
That he drives like a steamroller at 150 miles per hour, that‟s got a big shovel up front that
scoops up the powder.
Making the heart beat faster, as it did when we were kids, like when the Boston Whaler flipped,
or those icy mountain skids.
Like the cross country trip, we took hitching trains, when we lived on charm and guts, certainly
I was disappointed to see him puffing on those weeds, still drinking too much, and slopping
down the grease.
On top of that they now pay him for deep dives under water, where he pushes the dive tables,
while decompressing in a chamber.
Making that small leak in his boat to get prematurely larger, as our lives move further out to
sea, Dammit Bart take care of yourself, We‟re not going back in early are we?
In fact, it eventually evolved into a competition, knowing that the first person to enter the water
and begin encircling the outer edge of a typical isolated reef we selected, had a better chance of
Fast forward a couple of years, and my parents, pleased with the fresh fish, especially the Hog
Snapper that I was bringing home, buy a family boat. A 16ft. Boston Whaler that transported us
almost daily in my senior year of high school, out to the reefs beyond Biscayne Bay.
We would arrive at a suitable reef, throw the anchor, sometimes not even checking if it was
secured, as we hurried to get into the water, with everyone scattering in different directions.
Now view a 10ft. Bull Shark approaching you in 15ft of water, while you are equipped with a 3
band Arbolett spear gun aiming directly at its enormous head. The Shark runs directly into the
point of the spear that remains in the gun you are holding outstretched, scraping over its head.
This causes the shark to thrust its head directly into your stomach, a bumping technique they
use as they size you up.
Yeah, that was me and I am terrified, screaming at the surface for help, when I can. I can see the
boat, but nobody in it, while the Shark continues circling in close, attempting to nudge or
perhaps take a chunk out of me. I say attempting, because I am desperately trying to not let this
happen. I place one hand on its dorsal fin and the other one on the side of its head. This creates
an effect that as the shark turns toward me; I turn with him, in a circular motion. Still at the
surface screaming when I can, I finally see Armand, who enters the boat.
In his haste to come to my rescue, he forgets to pull the anchor, that by the grace of God, has
secured itself, and the Shark swims away as the boat approaches. I could live without that chunk
of transom anyway. Bubba, who is now the Mayor of Clewiston, was on that dive, needless to
say I never really felt comfortable in the water again.
In fact we purchased Bang sticks or Power heads as we called them. These were shotgun shells
secured into a firing device on the end of a pole, which were supposed to fire on impact. I said
“suppose to”, because our false sense of security did nothing but “piss off” the big Lemon shark
Mac impacted at least a couple times as it came thrashing up at him and me; Circling angrily as
we swam back to the boat warning the others out of the water.
Another time, I shot a Spanish mackerel free spear that tries to escape the large ensuing
Barracuda, by swimming around me several times. The Barracuda‟s pursuit has me tucking all
of my extremities in close. The mackerels attempt to make a break for it, is torn to pieces in
front of my eyes, so I quickly retrieved my spear from the 30ft. bottom, leaving that bloody
reef, before the Sharks got a whiff of it.
While lobstering in a Ragged Key cut one day, I am near the bottom when a dark shadow comes
from overhead. Looking up, I see this huge Manta Ray with 15‟ wing span and a 30‟ tail pass
There were many such experiences that I know my friends would like to relate, but it was the
day a hurricane was brewing in the mid-Atlantic that I am sure they would vote as number one
on this century‟s Blooper list. This hurricane was creating huge long swells over Triumph reef,
that were breaking into 20ft. waves over the shallowest areas, to resemble “Pipeline” in Hawaii!
Involved in surfing as well, I cannot resist trying to surf one of these in the 16ft. Boat. There
were five of us on board that day, to include Herb, Bart, Mac, Ed and myself, with all of our
dive gear tucked under the dive platform as well.
Somewhat successful on the first attempt, the second try places us being swallowed up by the
close out of the curl that full speed could not out run; Becoming a perfectly legitimate Holy
Everyone jumped out just before the boat flips over, but me. I held on to the steering wheel,
and went upside down with the boat at speed. As soon as the engine died on its own accord, I
emerged to the surface, to find another wave crashing overhead.
Returning to the surface again, I am relieved to see everyone else popping up, uninjured! Next,
I swim under the boat to inspect for damages or loss, and painfully discovered that when I got
close to the battery, dangling from its cables with the key still left in the on position, it caused a
startling shock to my eyes and my teeth. I tricked Bart into experiencing this as well, I‟m proud
We were able to bring the unsinkable boat back upright, and eventually attracted another boat to
come to our rescue. Instead of the “award” we should have all received for our survival, these
people began scolding us, after we told them what had happened. Can you imagine that!
Years later, I have the opportunity to experience diving Australia‟s Great Barrier Reef, on a day
we didn‟t go fishing, skin diving in one of the straits that lead out to the deep ocean. I am with a
friend who takes people out on these excursions professionally, who is totally unnerved about
the Sharks that are darting all around us, or the huge 300lb Grouper that came up or to our
faces, sizing us up for a meal. At least, this is what I was thinking, as I placed him in front of me
on a couple of occasions for moral support.
On the bottom, you could see these giant wavy clams that do not look at all like the shiny white
specimens outside our bungalows on Lizard Island. These, were filled with water that we
dipped our feet into to remove the sand from our feet, prior to entering. In demonstration, he
dives down and rubs the huge gray meat inside the slimy green open shells. The clam closes
shut rather quickly, as he warns me of the danger this could imply. I chose a smaller one to
create this response, and then tried to swim it to the surface. The weight and the slippery slime
would not allow this, and would have been an illegal souvenir anyway.
The huge Stag Horn coral reached to heights of fifteen feet, and it felt like we were in the way
of the teaming schools of fish passing by. The grand finale occurs as we arrive at a cave, that he
is aware of, that‟s home to a 1500 lb Grouper, “Grooper”, as they pronounce it. Cautioning me
not to get too close, I descend down at a distance to view what appears to be a Volkswagen
parked in someone‟s garage!
On this one particular charter out of Miami with Jerry, we are drawn to an Ocean Sunfish that
we located, because it jumped its huge body out of the water somehow! These strange fish look
like a giant football with large fins opposing one another from the top and the bottom, with a
very large eye on either side indicating the head area.
I am describing these details because the charter asked me to take some pictures of it with their
underwater diving camera. I cautiously entered the Gulf Stream with mask and fins, and made
my approach toward the 400lb Sunfish.
At a closer range, I detected multiple shark teeth marks all over its body. As I Touched the fish,
I realized why the sharks were unsuccessful, because its body felt like a series of impenetrable
armor plates! I didn‟t stay long, because I started to hear the music they played in the “Jaws
Great White Movie”, DunDun DunDun Dun…
By the way I recently read an article in a fishing magazine that has a picture taken around 1920
of an Ocean Sunfish that weighed over 3,500 pounds!
CHAPTER 11, FISHING
We have to return once again to 1971, and it‟s the Christmas Holidays, that I have returned
home to Miami on break from my first quarter at F.S.U. in Tallahassee, you may recall.
During this time, I am introduced to Capt. Jim, a charter boat fisherman out of Key Biscayne,
Fla. His mate was throwing these huge fish up on the dock, as I watched in amazement of the
size and variety that we did not encounter diving on the reefs. Naturally, I wanted to do this too!
I called him on occasion thru out the holidays, to “remind” him that I was still available! It was
the day before I was to go back to college that I called him early on a Sunday morning, to hear
his reply,” how soon can you get here?‟
Two years went by that I spent working with him, either on board fishing, or on the dock selling
fish, or booking new charters. It was an incredible opportunity that had a segment of my destiny
written all over it.
Believe it or not fishing was a fast paced life style requiring long hours, precise skill, timing
and especially a sense of humor, as indicated below.
CHARTER BOAT MATE, 1996
Ten o‟clock, eyes half-cocked, five a.m. comes way too soon,… can‟t be late, I‟ve got to pick up
the bait,… and rig up, by the light of the moon.
For its charters we run, to fish and have fun, in the hope that our party is pleased,… and I‟m
the mate, with pliers and bait, and that calloused hand you just squeezed.
Lines, and Anchors, and bags of chum, live bait drifting off in the lee, leaders and test, drags
and sets, drop backs and cut offs, and weed.
He jumps like a Marlin at the sound of a click, in a split second, he‟s got to react,…if the line
comes tight, he sets the hook, knowing the outcome is on his back.
Gloves and gaffs, fish and laughs, sun and salt and sea, wire and cuts, hooks and guts, tan and
weathered and bleached.
Fish in the box and then up on the dock,…blood all over his cut-off jeans…, pictures and
mounts, commissions count, fillet knives that work like machines.
Had a great day, glad you could come, hope you come back and find us,…he‟ll take care of the
extra fish and beer, unless you think “Tipping” is a city in china!
Thirteen hours later, drag racing home, he quickly showers off the ocean and fish, then over to
the Pub, to eat and chug and maybe find a pretty lady to kiss.
You think he was snorting “rocket fuel”, and some days he almost does! There‟s something
about the pace he runs that requires a steady buzz…
So as the Sun is coming up, he‟s been rigging or catching bait. And this is the story of a Charter
On my second week as a charter boat mate, we hooked a Sailfish that fought hard for 15
minutes before it approached the boat. A closer inspection, made it apparent that the fish was
hooked vicariously in the bill. My wiring technique was still green, and I missed a pull creating
slack that dislodges the hook, while the tired fish turns to swim away.
It was 45 degrees cold, with 8ft. seas, and I was fully clothed for winter, but I was so
disappointed and determined that I jumped overboard, grabbing the Sailfish by the tail with one
Instantly we disappeared underwater, out of sight, but I felt the fish tire at about 15ft. below the
surface, allowing me to swim us back to the surface with my free hand. There is much thrashing
and movement, which eventually places me near the bow of this 52‟ boat, where Jim was quick
to provide me the hook end of a long handle gaff. He then drags us back to the stern, where I
put the gaff to the fish, Jim boats it, and then helps me aboard. The amazed charter had the fish
mounted and took pictures which I have in my possession if you find this as hard to believe, as I
Have you ever seen an osprey, peering out from his giant nest…, that‟s built upon a telephone
pole, along some coastal highway stretch,… And wonder what he‟s thinking, and why he‟s
nested there…, or if he really likes his home, and, if he even cares… About the roaring traffic,
above the cement and noise…, How does he remain there, and keep his perfect poise..? Why
doesn‟t he just fly away, and head for “untouched land” what makes him put up with, the
cluttering had of man.., Well.., maybe he really likes his place, its high and straight and strong..,
and we are entertaining him, as he watches us fumble on.., Or maybe he isn‟t happy, we‟ve
challenged his territory rights and although he can‟t remove us, it‟s become a personal fight..,
That will end the day, the land developers appear.., with condominiums in their eyes.., and cash
registers in their ears…, Then what about the Osprey, with his joke or fight unclear.., as they fill
in the marshes and wetlands, and clutter up the shore.., How could he think anything else,
except that people don‟t care..! Lacking the concepts of greed and money, at least he appeared
to share…, eventually; he‟s forced to leave his ancestral shoreline, in search of a new place to
build his fort.., from which to fight his endless battle.., against the next winter Resort. December
1976 (wrote while cruising from Miami to New York with Capt. Jim delivering a 38‟ boat up
The Piling, Jan. 1976
Those of us who depend on them, to hold our boats in place, to keep them floating freely, not
slamming in disgrace…
Become aware of a certain substance, that is a greenish whitish paste…,
Be careful not to forget about this, when tying the boat to rest…
The piling‟s top will usually have, an accumulation of this slimy mess,
So if you are the one, who secures the boat to sit,
Be careful not to put, your hand in pelican shit…,
Like I just did!
I will get back to the subject of fishing, that I returned to seasonally for the next 12 years, in-
between stints of college, travel or construction projects, but fishing was my main source of
It‟s late in fall of 1972, and my parents desperately want me to continue my college education.
They even told me I could attend anywhere in the country, so naturally I chose a college in
Huntington Beach, CA. because this was a surfing destination, in one of the Beach Boys songs.
So as not to leave Capt. Jim empty handed, I brought my friend Rod on board and got him
orientated to charter boat mate duties before I left.
Still living at Mr. Whatley‟s, there was a wild ride in a nearby park that some car accidentally
runs through another base ball back stop. This time it was the Shark, and I am informed there
were witnesses that reported this incident to the police, who were now searching for my easily
That day, on the way to Mr. Whatley‟s, where I intended to park it inconspicuously in the side
yard, I picked up a hitch hiker, discussing an interest in possessing a vehicle of his own. I can
only assume that my $25.00 asking price made the Shark irresistible, and he agreed to return
back in five days for its purchase. I did not drive it again, except for the short distance where we
arranged to meet, where I wished him lots of luck.
My grandfather, a mechanic for 50 years, offers to help me with my car-less situation, and
purchases a 1971 Datsun pickup, that he believes it will suit my needs. He was not aware, and
not very happy that I turned around and drove it out to California, a 3 day, 2300 mile journey,
and adventure that will be discussed at a later time.
My return home in May of 1973, I resume fishing that summer, working with Rod and Jerry
filling in the gaps by working some construction with Walter, Little man, Jerry and James, and
My transcripts indicate that I did stints of college off and on in Tallahassee, from 1973 to 1978.
I would fish seasonally and return to Tallahassee for either college, or to work on my log cabin
that I was building in stages up there. So I am back and forth a lot, for the next 12 years, to give
you an idea of how I lived back then.
You recall Rod took over for me, working with Jim on the Queen B, but there comes into view a
few more instances with my experiences with Jim that merit recording. Recognize that Jim
rarely ever anchored to fish, but on this day, however, I am pulling the anchor on the bow, just
after I tossed a few of our remaining live baits over board.
Standing on the bow of this boat, I am about 15 ft above the water, when suddenly a larger
Kingfish skyrockets one of our live baits, reaching my eye level about 5ft. away from my face.
The live bait has somehow escaped, and is positioned about 2ft. above the Kingfish, that is
continuing to rise open mouthed toward its capture. A seagull sees the live bait in the air and
dives down in pursuit as well, colliding with the Kingfish, which falls back into the water, while
the seagull flies away with the fish in his beak! How‟s that for a Kodak moment?
Some trial and error allowed the discovery of a technique that would allow me to catch Pelicans
out of mid-air. This I performed on our return trips back to the marina, holding up a Ballyhoo
bait with the boat at running speed, brought the Pelican‟s flying in cautiously close. An up and
down type movement with the bait would eventually entice one of them to come in close
enough, to where I could grab it‟s bill with my free hand. I would then spin with the Pelican that
would come to rest in my arms unharmed. Our charters were always so amazed by this; they
took pictures, petted and fed the Pelican before I let it go free. Realizing this would increase my
tip; I caught and fed them on a routine basis.
On another charter with Jim, we unknowingly hooked a Sailfish in the eye, but amazingly this
fish fought tremendously. The problem occurred when its eye pulled out of its head, as I wired
it, and the fish escaped. Unaware of the horror this would instill in one of the ladies sitting close
by, I brought in the bloody eye, with arteries all dangling out of it, which causes her to throw up
on my feet!
By the way, the loss of an eye does not kill these fish, because I have caught a couple of others
that were missing one eye that were alive and well.
While I‟m on the subject of fish eyes, we once caught, only the eye of a swordfish that was on
one of the leaders, as we retrieved the long line in the morning. What makes this significant is
that this eye was twice as big as the six hundred pound Swordfish we occasionally caught. Can
you imagine how big that Swordfish must have been Jerry?
On another occasion, we are catching Kingfish on the wire lines, trolling spoon lures, and it is
red hot. Our charter is reeling in this one particular Kingfish when a 300+ lb Porpoise that
looked exactly like Flipper decides to inhale it. It gave an incredibly acrobatic performance for
our charter, but it was illegal and we needed to recover our expensive wire as well.
I took over the rod and fought this Porpoise for almost an hour, before getting to the leader on
several unsuccessful occasions. Finally the Porpoise tires enough to allow me to begin wiring it
to the boat, with the intention to cut the leader or remove the hook if this is possible.
To everyone‟s surprise, right at the boat, the Porpoise throws up the Kingfish with the spoon
still hooked in its mouth, and swam away free, but probably a whole lot hungrier.
Charters from the mid-west or any inland destinations in the U.S. would ask questions that were
so innocent to approaching bazaar, that we would have contests or planned answers for the
stupidest question of the week.
If someone would ask me where the life preservers were, my standing answer would be, “They
are still at the dock drying from the last time we used them.” Quickly I would walk away before
they could reply. Reappearing, donning one of them on myself, the next question would be “I
thought you didn‟t have any on board today.”? My usual response would be, “I know, but I
went to look for one for you anyway, and there was only one left so I decided to wear it myself,
after the last fiasco!
“Is fish blood red?” won the contest that week, after my quick response was, “No, it is green,”
moving away quickly, so there could be no reply. Hoping we would catch a Bonito first,
knowing that they have an emerald green bile, that if penetrated with a knife in the precise
location, it would come flowing out looking like green blood. Luckily, our first fish was a large
Bonito that I worked my magic with my knife, showing the woman the green blood without
making much to do about it.
Many fish later, that are producing red blood everywhere, the same lady peering into the fish
box, full of red blood, says to me, “I thought fish blood was green.” How can you not laugh at
that! As long as we are on the subject of comedy, see below…
As crude or graphic as this title may appear.., given the proper background it presents the
potential for humor…, as it not only describes an important bodily function, but it can be
referenced to the anatomical package, from which it occurs.
In preparation for this knowledge, let‟s take one hysterical moment, to recognize that women
engage in this function as well, although it is not something that I intend to recognize or
envision, it does play an integral role in the situation I‟m about to tell.
So there I was back then, a young fisherman of the sea, sitting next to this Old Salt down at the
docks, when after the passing of a shapely young woman he uttered, “Would you look at the
Turd Cutter on that”!
Spearheading my fascination with this type of humor,… you could have scraped me off the
sidewalk after that one. Today, I am extending my collection of these terms and scenarios, while
attempting to address proper delivery and presentation…,
; Empowering you as readers with a new slant on certain situations, that may be employed for
any variety of humorous occasions.
Like the next morbidly obese woman appearing in spandex in public, her‟s could be upgraded
to “Log Cutter”, for obvious reasons.
As long as we‟re on the subject of “rear end” conditions, I witnessed a scenario that should not
become public domain, a condition that afflicted a crew of back woods laborers, to withhold
this from the masses, would be generously humane…,
However.., this project took place in a wooded setting, with the only toilet availability, taken
out in the woods, one can only assume that between the “leaves” and the heat, “things”, may
not have been so hygienic down there, gross!
; Because, by the third day, I noticed them all walking slowly and stiffly. It was the leader‟s son
“Bodell”, who informed me at last,… although he tawlked like marbles were distorting his
dictation, there was no mistaking the condition he referred to as red a_ _,…
This gave me, the opportunity, to become somewhat heroic in their eyes, after my purchase of a
large tube of antifungal ointment. In fact, I was later gifted with a view of their dental hygiene
as well, as their rather destitute looks, took on sparsely toothed smiles…
I have no intention whatsoever, in turning back now, there are other related issues, that should
be included in this discussion,… like the term Ant Eater, given to men, who‟s parents lost their
ever loving minds when they made the choice to by-pass circumcism!
Women have come a long way from the sixty hippy‟s when they cultivated body hair in places
that should never have it, like under arms and legs and anywhere on their chins. We used to nod
in distain, “Hey, check out the pit!”
Furthermore, with the recent changes in women‟s underwear apparel, some of the younger
generation have gravitated to the thong, and with this a welcome consciousness of how to don
these attractively. To wear this sexy garment “unshaven” is simply just wrong!
Let‟s take this sensitive implication further via recent magazine interviews, discussing the huge
percentage of women never reaching the big “O”,… without some sort of manual or oral
stimulation.., If you are still not getting this, keep those “Grammies” on down below…
Gay rights, have pushed through, with marriages on T.V., while viewers witnessed lines of guys
holding each other in anticipation,… could this ever resend the clique, “sweating like a fag
writing a love letter”? Or the term “fudge packing”, in describing their marriage
As an R.N., I was always confused with the condition “acute angina”, when applied to elderly
women, about to have an operation,… having worked for years in the surgical setting, I have
damaged my sexual portfolio, as certain legs went up in stirrups…!
The word “Abenubenarten”, I was told by our crafty guide, was the polite way to say “excuse
me” in German. When I applied this to what “appeared” to be a German woman in the
terminal, the somewhat disturbed American replied, “No, I haven‟t been farting!
What about this female affliction, diagnosed with visual inspection, for the condition they are
calling “Edzackly”, where they examine her face and derriere for similarities, in order to
determine what the problem is… exactly!
What to do with a fellow Rugger, visiting from Scotland, deciding his first baseball game, could
only be fun,… shortly after our arrival, a batter got a big hit, the crowd up and cheering, as he
charged his run,… Following our short explanation of the game‟s objectives, our Scotsman
leaped to his feet on the very next hit,… gracing us with cheer, in brogue from abroad, shouting,
“Run.., you bloody bas---d.., Run!”
The next batter however, never even swung the bat, but was still rather casually making his way
toward first, with only our perplexed Scotsman encouraging his hustle,… emphatically he asked
“shouldn‟t he be running on the burst”?
After we attempted to explain, what it meant to receive four balls, our now amazed Scotsman,
was to his feet in a stride, shouting in a tone, indicating great honor toward the batter, “Walk
with pride, you lucky bast---d, walk with pride!”
Allow me to close with a story, about a man from Russia, who was chosen to be granted one
wish.., desiring an eternal source of vodka, in true Russian tradition, he challengely requests to
produce vodka, with every P--s.
After he and his wife get over the vulgarity of the scenario, they find in fact he produces the
finest vodka in the land. Enjoying their good fortune, every evening the next week, his wife
joyously at the door, with glasses in each hand,…
They over indulge in their new spirits, until Friday arrives, when Ivan realizes that
“something” is out of sorts, conceiving a solution to remedy this problem.
His persona changes as he arrives home from work, sauntering into the house, he rather
flirtatiously announces, Wife, tonight we will only be needing one glass…, “Is there a problem,
she asks that we don‟t drink together? “No problem, Ivan say‟s to his wife.., tonight, you drink
from the bottle!” to be continued…,2006
Does anyone think I could go on the road using this material for my standup routine?
In Palm Beach one season fishing with Capt. Mark, I had previous experience in dealing with
Hammerhead Sharks, and knew that if you grabbed them by the eyes that protruded as much as
3ft. on each side of their head, they were basically defenseless. This presented an opportunity to
enhance the experience of our charter, and our tip as well.
Can you imagine what their friends back in Ohio thought when they told the story, with pictures
of the mate, as he repeatedly head butted the very much alive Hammerhead Shark before their
Eventually I got my captains license in 1986, knowing this would land me a job running the
Semper Fi, just slips away from the Queen B, on Key Biscayne.
This was a 40ft. Monroe with a single screw Detroit diesel that was basically open-air, with a
small tower overhead from which I could steer. It was bare bones as far as comfort was
concerned, but we stayed busy enough.
I hired my friends to serve as mates, possessing names to include Herb, whose real name was
Randy, Poor Poor Pitiful Bob, Gabby Wahoo, of course Rod, and even Rocky, my friend from
Tallahassee, who came down for a short stint.
On one rough day, with Herb as my mate, we have my parents on board that have never been
fishing with me before. It is rough on the way out and my mother falls down and begins to cry
that she wants to go back in, just as I see it.
There is a greenish brown color in the water, that covers the area of a foot ball field, with birds
diving all over it. I convince my mother to hang in there a little longer to arrive on a school of
bluefish, a rarity off the coast of Miami. We caught 52 that morning and were back at the dock
by noon. Those fish bite, don‟t they Herby!
HERB A DOE PANTHER July, 1986
I first met Herb after swiping his shorts, when he cautiously approached after practice, the way
he tells it, word was out, I was some sort of a crazy bad ass.
So I guess I gave them back that day,…By now it isn‟t important, but it turns out, we had a lot
in common, except he was even more distorted!
The kind of guy who shakes your hand, by touching clenched fingertips together,
Who always has a new position to describe that he‟s metaphysically discovered.
With the mysterious toenail and the developing fongue, he‟ll have you in hysterics for hours.
The ever increasing size of the blue woods dimensions, or the housecat head it flowers.
His off the wall philosophy, matches his precarious life style, making him an amazing feat of
There are plenty of times they should have found him or me, dead before arrival.
I‟ll never forget the strain on his face as that Amberjack freight trained his jigging mullet,
Or the way he describes how it took the bait at full speed from the opposite direction!
Or the time that Marlin swam up, on his split-tail mullet, and how my excited over-reaction still
makes us sick to our stomachs.
Just to scratch the surface, of things he‟ll never let me forget, like when the Whaler flipped, or
my spear shot that just missed!
He‟s a rare documentary of some good times past, glad to know ya Herb, let me fill up you
On another day with Herby we had a 300lb. Blue marlin come up on a flat line that he was
trolling. It went to two other baits and jumped out of the water when I attempted to hook it on
the long rigger, to our extreme disappointment.
Rod and I took out a charter that we begin to see something white at intervals, miles offshore.
Finally we decide to run out there to investigate, and come upon this huge blue area, underwater
that we believe maybe a school of Dolphin. I‟ll never forget the eye of the 60ft. Humpback
whale looking at us as it surfaced, or the spray that soaked us from its exhale!
Another occasion, with Gabby as my mate, we came upon a Whale Shark about the same size
that has many Cobia traveling in escort as well. I remain in front of the largest and most
beautiful creature I had ever seen, while we hooked and caught the Cobia. Maybe an hour goes
by when I get distracted and take the boat out of gear. Suddenly, we feel the boat surge foreword
as the Whale Shark bumps into our transom.
I‟ll have to say that one thing stands out in my mind most, when I think back on my experiences
with this boat. This occurred as my youngest brother Kevin was present, watching from the
dock, alongside the usual crowd waiting to purchase fish. I make my turn to get us into position
for backing, when the engine dies, leaving us heading forward toward the adjacent yachts in
front of me.
The only choice I had, as I steered from the tower, was to aim the point of the bow at a vacant
piling, in an attempt to slow us down. The bow makes contact squarely with the piling, but to
my amazement, does not glance off the side. Instead the force bends the piling backwards,
creating enough tension to not only stop us abruptly, but springs us catapulting backwards,
knocking down everyone in the charter that was standing. The boat then glides perfectly into the
slip stopping just short of the dock! There was applause from the fish customers, as I came
down from the tower, while I took a bow and said to my brother, “I don‟t just do this for
It was during this time frame that a 30ft. wooden lap strake boat from New Jersey, sunk in a slip
across the marina, that upon my inquiry, the owner said I could have it. I hauled it out of the
water to begin the work of rebuilding it, which was accomplished in between charters on the
A month later, I had it was back in the water, on its maiden voyage, with everyone that had
helped me on board. We headed south, to a wreck I knew that was red hot with 60+ lb
Amberjack, that we filled the boat with around thirty of them. My people got so buzzed and
tired that I had to reel in 10 of them myself.
Back at the dock, all of the other fishermen were curious what I was going to do with all that
fish. This was back in the days when Amberjack was not considered choice. Earlier that week a
man approached me to buy a large amount of fish for his company‟s fish fry, to feed 150 people.
I butterfly steaked every last one of them, smiling all the way to the bank!
I called my new boat “Davys Navy” and went fishing most days with or without a charter,
It was the rough water charter that made me reconsider its sea worthiness, verses the liability,
when we almost went under in the Gulf Stream, loaded with fish.
Noticing the boats sluggishness, I looked into the bilge to discover water up to the fly wheel of
the engine. Immediately I am bailing water with a five gallon bucket, with everything I have, as
the rather drunken and oblivious charter is throwing ice at me. I say oblivious, because all I
could think about was danger that all of those bloody fish would attract.
The thing that I will never forgive myself for is that I gave up that choice slip.
Rod and I had some great and entertaining fishing trips that we took in his 20‟ center console
Mako. There were days we caught dolphin to approach the 200 count. On one of these
occasions we took along my brother Wade, who under the multitude of dolphin loses the knife
that we needed to cut open their stomach contents to get more bait. I then demonstrated his new
function, chewing open the stomach with my teeth, Wade, gamely performed his duty, while
Rod and I continued to bail them in….Way to go WadyWoo!
On another occasion Rod and I are knee deep in dolphin again, when I catch a big Remora, that
was amidst the heat of this action. These are the fish that have large suction cups on the back of
their head; they use to attach to larger fish for a ride.
This one had a sucker about 4inches in diameter, that I cannot resist sticking onto Rods back.
One that he cannot remove by himself either, but I am laughing so hard, that I almost cannot
produce enough force to remove it, leaving a big welt on his back. Back at the dock I decide to
filet that fish to inspect the meat, looking very similar to Triple tail, and just as tasty.
Another time we are bailing yet another school of Dolphin, when I see a larger bull down
underneath the schoolies, unable to get to the smaller chunks we are providing them.
I take a short length of 100lb test, tie a hook and put a whole Ballyhoo on it, while wrapping the
heavy test around my gloved hand to secure it. My idea worked perfectly; as I watched the large
fish come up from the depths to inhale the bait using his upward momentum to snatch him up
and into the boat, before he knew he was hooked. Seriously, we didn‟t know where to hide as
that fifty pounder beat the s--- out of us, and the boat.
By the way, I once saw Rod free gaff a 50lb Amberjack that followed the one being reeled in,
all the way up to the surface. I had the leader of the one on our line and was retrieving the last
several feet, when he came flying down from the bridge and grabs a long handle gaff and sinks
it into the unhooked and very energetic fish. I don‟t know how he ever hung on to that gaff, or
stayed in the boat for that matter, even as I desperately clung to his belt. You were awesome
The season was slowing the time we decided to go down to the Islamorada in Rods boat to try
our hand at long-line commercial fishing over a wreck! We devised our home made long-line
using a wooden spool from an electric company. We mounted it on a frame allowing it to rotate,
so we could pay out the line with our many baited hooks.
The first set over the wreck has us beginning to retrieve the line, but we can feel there is
something large on it, making the retrieval difficult, and the line came in all twisted and tangled.
To our disappointment, the culprit was a large Nurse Shark. We looked around at the tangled
mess and then at each other and then gave that awkward rig a toss into the icy depts. where it
We did not come in empty handed, by any means on any day of the week we spent there. We
sold our fish to the Lums Restaurant and slept on the lounge chairs outside the Tiki Bar in
It was on one of these nights that we meet a guy who is in a band playing at the Holiday Inn,
who joins us after his gig for drinks. He also provides a little something extra to go with our
rum runners coercing us to go out to hit the local bars that night.
He was not famous then, but we both recognized him on his album cover years later. Here‟s to
you Jimmy Buffet!
I could mention here that Capt. Jim and I chartered some celebrity clients as well; Joe Robby,
who had a football stadium named after him. Don Shula, the coach of the Miami Dolphins in
the golden years, with various other pro football players in his company.
; One Marlin tourney in Chub Cay Bahamas, Rodger Daultry of the “Who”, was in this
tournament. I sat next to him in the bar on several occasions, where we had conversation in-
between people coming up and asking for his autograph.
It was during this time frame that Jerry learned through Cuban fishermen, that there were
Swordfish off Miami, in deep water, being caught at night.
He eventually evolves his successful operation to a hydraulic spool with an 8 mile capacity, as
we had to painstakingly had to pull the earlier prototypes by hand into a large wooden box. We
caught many Swordfish, almost filling the 36ft. Prowler to capacity some nights, having to walk
on them to get anywhere, reaching upwards to 600lbs.
One night, frustrated by the numerous assaults from Hammerhead sharks, I decided to teach one
of them a lesson. Opening the transom door we pulled the Shark onto the deck, as I placed one
of my knees on top of the head, where I proved I could bend the eyes upward to approximate
each other. A quick wrap with a piece of wire, made this a permanent arrangement. Back out
into the water, this new field of vision turned a Shark that would never jump, into a thrashing
acrobat, surely to get the attention of the other bad boys down there. It was quite a spectacle.
We also provided a hazing of sorts for the newcomers on board, knowing that Hammerhead
Sharks were basically defenseless if you grabbed them by the eyes protruding on each side of
their head. This was to the bewilderment of the rookies who witnessed the repeated head butting
ordeal, but it was the bewildered look on their faces that made this so entertaining.
Did you know that if you hang a white sheet up at night, with a spot light behind it, you can
attract flying fish, to be used as future bait? Beware though, that a one pound fish flying at
speed can be quite the projectile, I once discovered!
During the early years of fishing, I developed footwear in support of this purpose. Tiring of
sloshing around all day with water in my shoes, I decided to remedy this problem, by cutting
the topsider soles out of my shoes and attaching sturdy nylon straps in sandal like design, to
secure them to my feet. This is not only gave me the traction of nonskid, but allowed my feet to
dry. I remember everyone teasing me about them back then, but a few years later Ocean Pacific
also came up with this idea, and now you don‟t have to make them yourself own anymore!
Does anyone suppose I should be receiving royalties?
We caught an Oil fish one night, a prehistoric looking creature, that could have been attracted to
the light sticks we attached to leaders to attract Swordfish. I‟m pulling in the leader, as our
spotlight identifies the protruding needle like teeth and the iridescent yellow eyes. We gave it
plenty of space, after it was flopping around on the deck.
The highlight of my long lining experiences occurred one night with Ronnie and two younger
guys on board. We are tending the 8 mile set that is drifting north across the Gulf Stream,
probably 18 miles off shore. Suddenly we lose all power to the boat, and quickly realize we are
drifting north faster than the long line. We also can see we are not going to cross over near any
of the flotation beacons that were positioned at ½ mile intervals.
Ronnie‟s attempt to hook the long line with a fishing rod as we passed over it also failed, so our
next idea involves the diesel engine‟s cover, which we placed in the water upside down, to
become a make shift row boat.
We volunteered the two young guys armed with 2 x 4 paddles into this engine cover, who were
suppose to paddle over to the closest floating beacon carrying with them fishing line from one
of our reels. The idea was to secure the fishing line to the floating beacon thereby securing the
boat to the long line. Ronnie and I paid out the length of three entire reels to our concern, before
the line went slack. We could hear the engine of the speed boat that cut the line, but
interestingly enough, it did not have any running lights on at 1:30am, 18 miles off shore. I
wonder what they were doing!
Next came this huge freighter bearing down on us, veering only a couple hundred feet away, as
they finally realized our whereabouts. Eight stories above, there is a guy with a loud speaker,
yelling “Turn on your f____g running lights!” Ronnie‟s return reply was, “Turn on your f____g
Luckily we located another boat with running lights on that came to our assistance. We tell them
the bizarre situation, and they immediately head south and locate the two young guys bobbing
around in our engine cover. They also radio Capt. Jim to come to our rescue on the Queen Bee,
but we still had to retrieve the eight mile set by hand though!
In this time frame, I was hired for a Billfish tournament in Walkers Kay Bahamas.
Unexpectedly I receive a ship-to-shore phone call from the district attorney in Tallahassee,
requesting my presence in a court case. There was an incident occurring 9 months earlier, and I
was their key witness. They needed my presence to make their case, and offered to pay for my
round trip travel. The Chalks seaplane lands in the Walker Cay Basin, and back up to
Tallahassee I go.
My position as a bouncer, in a strip club bar up there, has me dressed in a tuxedo, watching the
door for underage ID and dress code enforcement. This tall black arrogant football player from
one of the colleges decides he wants his backwards baseball cap to remain on his lofty head.
Refusing my request, I sneak up behind him and take it off his head, running just outside the
front door, anticipating his pursuit. He comes storming out the front door in the attack mode,
but is very surprised when my fist connects with his jaw, as he bears down on me. My next
move is to return inside, slamming the front door shut behind me. Perhaps a minute goes by
before I decide to peak outside to find he is no longer there. Uneasy about this, I send someone
to go find Ron, our other bouncer, who is also a big strong professional wrestler.
Another minute or two goes by, when the door bursts open and this guy now has a gun and is
screaming he is going to blow my f___ brains out, while I am leaping over the counter, to land
on top of our cashier, who is now huddled down below, screaming at the top of her lungs. He
runs around to our side of the counter and begins pistol whipping me in the head.
In desperation I grab the gun just as he pulls the trigger, and the hammer becomes lodged in the
web of my hand, halting the firing mechanism.
A struggle ensues, that places me being shook around like a rag doll with both of my hands on
the gun, struggling to keep it pointed into the air, as the two shots he did fire, entered into the
wall behind us.
Finally Ron appears, taking down the guy from behind, with everyone now struggling to get
control of the gun that I am not letting go of. This includes two off duty policemen, who came
to our assist.
Finally, we have him face down on the floor in a dark hallway, due to damage to the lighting.
The policemen and I are closer to his head while Ron has his legs in some fancy wrestling hold,
at least that‟s what it appeared to me. Suddenly there was a rotational twist, producing a loud
crack, causing the guy to scream out in pain.
I met with the District attorney to give my statement prior to appearing in court the next day.
There I see this guy appearing ½ the eerie size of what he was that night. They put him away for
a long time, I am told, and I was on the next plane back to Walkers Kay.
My fishing relationships place me at Sailfish marina on Singer Island, Florida, where I hook up
with Mark, a boat captain I knew from Key Biscayne. This area is hot in the winter for Sailfish,
and we had many days we would catch or release these fish to number in the teens.
The technique of choice would employ a kite as an outrigger of sorts that allowed us to keep our
live Goggle Eye baits tantalizingly at the surface.
This boat‟s transmission flaw, caused me to develop what I called my 8 second gaff, due to the
eight second pause that occurred when going from forward to reverse. This caused Sailfish
“going on the wall” to be dancing in places they should not have been. The extreme length of
this gaff allowed me to gaff some of them even out of midair, as they attempted to escape.
Mark and I gained in popularity with the tourists, after we discovered the large amount of
Sharks below in the 180 foot deep Sailfish alley that we kite fished routinely. We had days we
would hook up with a large Shark on our heavy deep rig, and have a double header of Sailfish at
the surface. Sharks in the 600lb class, would fight for the entire 4 hours of the ½ day charter,
while at the surface, we continued to catch or release Sailfish. On occasion this would place me
in the fighting chair, as our exhausted anglers were unable to make enough progress on the large
Sharks, in the allotted time frame.
Those days I could make $90 before 7:30am as I woke up early to jig for the pricey Goggle Eye
bait fish we called Sailfish cookies from the bow of our boat that I lived on as well.
It was from this marina that I was employed to mate on a 55‟ Hatteras, with a charter going to
West End Bahamas. In April and March, this is perhaps the Wahoo and Yellow Fin tuna capital
of the world. We caught many with the charter on board, and gave the Bohemians all the
Barracuda they could eat. It was after the charter departed by air, that I had the most eventful
fishing day of my life, up until this time.
Realizing that an area known as Yellow bar, just north of West End was the place to be, we
planned to fish there the next day, prior to our return to West Palm that evening. I must have
rigged over 50 swimming mullet, and that many Ballyhoo, realizing I would be our only angler,
as the inexperienced captain remained on the bridge all day cheering me on.
Upon our arrival, I quickly discovered what a waste of time it was to attempt to place the line of
the three heavy rigs I chose into the outriggers. The Wahoo, Yellow Fin tuna and Dolphin were
so plentiful, that they would take the bait before this could be accomplished.
My belt rod holder was employed to retrieve the fish in the order that they were hooked, while
the two other rods remained in the gunnel holders, jerkily paying out line, via the drag, with fish
on them as well.
I‟ve boated over 20 Wahoo in the 50lb class, before I began wiring what appears to be a White
Marlin. Strangely though, it elected not to perform on the surface in their usual manner. Nearing
the boat, I am wiring the heavy fish when the color and stripes indicate it is a Wahoo, which
weighed in at Palm Beach scales at 133lbs!
I am also catching Yellow Fin tuna, the largest approaching 200 lbs, to numbers exceeding 15,
not to mention the 15 Dolphin in the 30lb category. One Dolphin I hooked, in the fifty pound
range took an airborne leap, perhaps 12ft. above the surface, where it met its demise, after a
huge Wahoo cut it in half, in mid-air. Another Kodak moment that the rest of the world will
never see, but it looked like the entire sky was splattered in red.
Exhausted, we toasted our way back to Palm Beach in the dark that evening, and cleaned fish
into the wee hours. There was a nice cash reward that awaited us at the fish house the next
A day later, in that spring of 1982, a captain out of Cozumel, Mexico, called Sailfish Marina in
search of a mate for a Bill Fish tourney, and I was contacted and on the phone in minutes. A
short interview he hires me on the spot.
I arrived in Cozumel two days later, but this was 12 days before the tournament was to occur. At
the airport, the captain, from the USA, warns me of this Englishman‟s idiosyncrasies, and of his
determination to continue his winning streak of this tournament. He‟s so determined that he
brings me here early so that we can practice daily catching Bill fish!
The Captain and I share a small apartment near downtown and the marina, and are provided
mopeds for transportation. The night life was wild at Carlos and Charlie‟s, where seating was
arranged by back to back couches. This created highways for the nimble waiters that walked on
the backs of these couches during crowded times.
At your request the waiters, would squirt wine from glass vases into your open mouth. A precise
force of air propelled the wine thru the glass tube spout, never getting any on your person or
The other night clubs had dancing as well. The favorite hit song that year was “Gloria, I think
I‟ve got your number“, that was played at least three times every night. I was always yanked
from my bar stool by Mexican girls requesting my presence every time this song came on.
Our fishing practice produced results, after I figured out that Sailfish in Mexico only want
mushy, sloppy looking Ballyhoo, finding that a pretty crisp one rarely got any strikes. White
Marlin could be produced if, and only if your swimming mullet rig did not have any lean what
so ever to the left or right. I spent a lot of time in between fish, dragging these baits in the wake
behind the boat, determining what corrections were needed. Although it is against my religion
not to catch Dolphin or green hornets, as they called them, when I saw them knifing through the
water toward my hard earned baits, I was there in an instant to their rescue.
On one practice outing we were accompanied by his girlfriend and her friend, both were fashion
models from England. They have requested to visit the ancient Mayan ruins on the island of
Islam Moheres. This was a distance that required us to anchor out and spend the night. It was
also the filming site of that steamy love scene, from the movie, “Darker than Amber”, with Nick
Nolte and that girl. I made a point of seeing this place in person in their honor.
Fishing practice continues the next morning as usual, but I would like to comment on something
that I found, upon my arrival on this boat. All of the hooks, swivels, wire, etc, were in neat little
packages or boxes that were hard to get to in a hurry. My solution was to dump everything that I
required into a short walled box, in order to make me more efficient. I believe this hurt his a-
retentive nature to see me do this, making it so much more enjoyable for me. He saw the results
Just off the island, we arrive on a scene I have never experienced before, with numerous
Sailfish circling in large schools at the surface, possibly to corner bait or mate or “sunshing.”
This caused the somewhat useless rubber squid teasers they required me to drag in close, to be
sprung back at us like a slingshot, entangling everything in sight, as the multitude of Sailfish
that did not get to eat one of our baits, searched for a meal.
The five Sailfish that we had on for most of the day, required us to recruit the two ladies who
were sun bathing topless to man two of vacant spinning rods, we used for the catch. I so hated
Eventually we positioned ourselves in a row facing the stern so that we could exchange rods, as
our fish began crossing each other. When a fish got close enough for me to take the leader, I
would place my rod in a gunnel holder, bill and dehook the fish if possible, and then would put
a “chunk” of Ballyhoo free spooling back out there, for the next hungry fish that I hooked
seconds later. We caught and released 33 that day!
Shortly after my arrival in Cozumel, my pursuit of fitness leads me to the “Hymnosium” that
was hidden back in the poorer section of Cozumel where the tourists don‟t go.
This post and beam type structure, with canvas sidewalls that housed a boxing ring, and some
handmade weights made of driveshaft‟s and fly wheels. To my surprise, I was allowed to enter,
but later on I was welcomed with open arms after I began bringing them fish.
The boys and guys in this gym were all younger than the 30 years I was approaching, and they
would gather around to watch me workout with weight that none of them could handle. There
were also older men who were coaching and refereeing their boxing matches.
One day I was asked if I would like to box against a guy in his early twenties, who was not even
close to my size. You may recall, that I had already had a bad experience in a boxing ring in my
late teens, and now ten years later I had an opportunity to redeem myself, and that I did!
Guiltily, but cautiously, so as not to hurt any of them, I began facing a new kid the coaches
presented to me on a daily basis. We had protective head gear and oversized gloves, but I still
put a couple of them through the ropes anyway.
I received a startling awareness one morning on a day we didn‟t go fishing, after I showed up
early for my workout. I found the place crowded with boys sleeping in their colorful hammocks
suspended from posts supporting the roof. Realizing the poverty, I let a lot more green hornets
take my baits, requesting that someone meet me at the boat, as I could not carry that many on
My extended stay in Cozumel, allowed me to become recognizable by the locals and apparently
desirable in this one girls case. She came back to the apartment with the captain one night;
because she knew I lived with him. Arriving home earlier, I was in bed, when I heard them
enter. Rolling over to appear sleep, I was as unaware of her desire as the captain was. His fluent
Spanish conversation and efforts toward intimacy failing, He, frustratingly speaks to me in
English, announcing that she has just told him the reason she came home with him, was to get
to me. At the boat the next morning, he arrives and says “How‟s that for room service” as we
both break out into laughter.
We won the Bill fish tourney that year and I received a personal standing ovation, not for our
victory per se, but for the footage I provided the photographer that was on our boat for the day.
My White Marlin baits now perfected, we caught and released five that day, captured on film.
The highlights of this filming were presented on screen at the awards ceremony dinner.
I‟ll never forget the look of horror on my face, when the White Marlin I was holding up, got his
tail, and thrust upward stabbing its bill into my left upper pec. Several inches more it would
have been in my neck, an hour away from any civilization!
Pulling its bill from my chest followed the gush of blood, inspiring the 50 people in attendance
to their feet. I was “signed in on” as they called it!
During my career I fished with various people requiring my expertise. One of them was a
“nervous guy” by the name of Sy., who owns his own 30‟ boat and just needs someone to go
fishing with him occasionally. I was still operating Davy‟s Navy at this time, and had a dock
where I could sell fresh fish. Our deal was that I got to keep all the fish that he didn‟t eat
This places us out fishing on the weekdays, away from all of the weekend warriors. Sy with his
fly rod and me; fishing for meat!
One day we approached this huge mass of rope, tires and debris that stretched across 100ft, also
inundated with fish. After Sy hooks his thirty pound dolphin on the fly, I begin the process of
bailing them hand line style as usual.
We have the boat in gear circling, but neither of us are paying attention. Eventually, we run into
this mass stalling the engine, entangled with rope. I know this because I went underwater with a
dive mask to inspect, only to find 20 Black Tip sharks charging in my direction. We had to
devise a plan to give me some time underwater to cut through this rope, and free us.
I tied a line around a 10lb Dolphin‟s tail, swinging it like the Hammer toss, to create momentum
to heave the fish a long distance away; in theory I would slip back into the water, while this kept
the sharks occupied. Sy‟s job was to keep a watch, informing me of the sharks return, by
stomping his foot on the deck, that I could hear underwater. That foot stomping came much too
soon and I was unable to free us. It was a long tow for the Coast Guard, especially when that
debris mass came with us.
On another occasion, Sy wants to try his hand at catching large Amberjack with his fly rod. We
are over a wreck off Miami, with several other boats fishing it as well, when we are informed
that the other boats are getting cut off by this Shark that follows their fish toward the surface.
This happens to Sy‟s amberjack as well, as I could see this Shark chasing our Amberjack, just
after I reached the heavy leader. Retrieving Sy‟s fish with everything I had, right at the surface
the 50lb amberjack was cut in half, just behind the ears. In protest, I stuck that bloody head on
top of mine, as one would wear a hat, to the humor of everyone present, except Sy, who was
mortified by this sight and never took me fishing again. What…What did I do?
My experience with fishing and my connections on Key Biscayne placed me in a position to go
Black Marlin fishing off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
It‟s late September, in the year 1981, and I found trucker‟s and hippy‟s willing to oblige me on
my transport, to L. A., California, from Tallassee Fla., where I only got shot at a couple of
I was walking down this rough street late at night, in New Orleans, where I hear a guy from
across the street outside of a bar. He is yelling at me in language that indicates anger, while I
quicken my pace. Keeping my eye on him, I see him take a gun from his pocket and aim it in
my direction. Already zigzagging on a dead run, I hear the first shot ricochet off of the
pavement ahead of me, followed by another.
I continued my run for as far as that adrenalin rush would take me, arriving at a bus station.
Deciding to take the bus out of this town, it departs immediately, driving right back by the bar,
with blue lights now flashing and that guy in handcuffs, while I am slunk down low in the seat.
In line for the Qantas Airlines Jet in L.A. Airport, I realize I am in front of this gorgeous girl,
who is returning back to Melbourne, with that sexy Aussy accent!
In conversation, she informs me she is returning from a photo shoot at the Playboy mansion. I
told you this is hard to believe! We sit next to each other, we get a little lubricated, and I spill
champagne on the Russian man sitting next to me. He gets up and starts yelling at me in
Russian. The Flight Attendants solution is to remove me and my„“Sister“, as I claimed her, to
another compartment, that is not crowded at all. In fact, we got tired and comfortable enough to
lie down side by side on the long row of empty seats, while we watched movies or passed out. I
hated every minute of that!
Landing in Sydney, I still had another 2000 miles to go to get to Cairns, in N. Queensland,
arriving 2 days ahead of George and his wife. George invited me to replace the Australian mate/
wireman, and the captain reluctantly agreed to honor this request. At this time the largest fish I
had wired was in the 600lb range. The professionals over here called a Black Marlin of six
hundred pounds, a puny rat.
That afternoon in Cairns, I‟m out for a jog around the city park, where I observe many
Aborigines that appear to be camping out. I was told later that it was routine for some of them
to come into town for their monthly government subsidy check, and party/ gamble in the parks.
This gambling, lubricated with alcohol, also led to fights among themselves, that I witnessed as
Noticing I was being followed by two late teenage looking Apo‟s jogging not far behind, I
finally stopped to confront them about this. They stated that they were amazed by my shirtless
psyche and running speed, and thought I might be someone famous, but they appeared gay to
That evening in a crowded restaurant, I was seated with a single man in his early twenties,
whose story deserves mentioning here. His job was to ride fences, while packing another horse,
in the escort of several Queensland heeler cattle dogs, mending fences for months at a time as
he camped out alone in the vast cattle grazing lands. He appeared tough and lean for his early
age, and noticeably humble and naïve, but there was an honorable manner about him that
reminded me of an unsung hero trying to shun any reward for his accomplishments. I was truly
amazed by his story, because I always wanted to ride horses myself.
I ate Calamari for the first time at his suggestion, as Squid had always been bait for me prior to
this sitting! He joined me afterwards for drinks in the bars, where the locals were friendly and
especially wanted to hear me speak, attempting to imitate my slang expressions, while I did the
same with theirs. The Sheila‟s and Molly‟s, “getting pissed”, with us were especially friendly,
and gave me accommodations for the evenings that I awaited my charter.
The next day I took this cowboy on a tour with me on a Submarine, looking forward to seeing
his reactions toward this technology, because it appeared to me, he was still fascinated with a
Out of Cairns, we arrived at Lizard Island, via a small 4 seater plane that came to a halt at the
end of a cliff overlooking the Great Barrier Reef, viewed off in the distance.
The first day of fishing, we trolled for bait, in the straits that allow access to the deep ocean
side. We caught bait with names like Scaly Mackerel and Dog Toothed Tuna, the latter stripped
an 80lb outfit that I so desperately tried to stop. Bringing in a large Scaly mackerel in the 60lb
range, my comment was, “We are going to eat good tonight.” This mates reply came in the form
of a demonstration, placing one knee on the mackerel‟s spine while he began breaking each
segment of the Mackerel‟s back bone, stopping when it flopped around like an accordion. Next
he opened the mouth and placed a large, thick gage hook into the roof of its mouth and pushed
it through the top of its head, using waxed twine to sew the mouth shut.
It splashed like a child waterskiing as it trolled behind us.
George, who is 6ft, 8inches tall, has his first hookup that is a “Rat”, around 600 lbs. They, then
asked this powerful man, to increase the drag considerably, and then proceeded to back down on
the fish so fast that I had the heavy leader wire in 4 minutes and 44 seconds, I was told.
“Let‟s test the yank”, was written all over this scenario, I suspected; Even more decidedly after
they cut the wire leader just in front of the swivel, and stood the 130 lb outfit up in its gimble.
Now, I am trying to gain on the thirty feet of leader wire, while this Marlin is doing cartwheels
on the other end, as everyone watched from the bridge.
Eventually I convinced the captain to keep the boat moving ahead, so I could get the Marlin
swimming with us, “or not!” How the hook didn‟t pull or straighten, I‟ll never know, but how
my arms were remaining in the sockets, from this dead boat situation, was concerning me the
Finally I eased the Marlin to the boat, and it gave a gentle pet on the back as I removed the hook
with my pliers, that can be a difficult feat at times. Without looking up or saying a word, I had
our baits back out trolling in no time.
“How do you get a large bait like that to stay in the outrigger anyway”, was one of my earlier
questions to the mate, a man of few words, I discovered.
To answer my question, he took a section of bicycle inner tube that he used to tie the line into
the outrigger pins. When a marlin would approach the bait, most of the time, you would see
them slap at it with their huge bills, followed by an airborne, mouth wide open leap to inhale the
large bait. The tension this created would cause the inner tube to stretch to the point of breaking,
sounding exactly like a shotgun firing.
They also used a second drop back looped into the wake, which was attached to an outrigger
clip mounted on each corner of the stern. It was also tied by inner tube which fires another loud
shot. If you are not strapped into the fighting chair by then, you‟re not from this planet.
Did I mention that after my first demonstration, the Captain yells down, “Spot on mate”, which
means good job in Aussy slang. I didn‟t know this so I replied, “Spot on what?”, as everyone
After George and his wife left, I now needed a job, and announced this at the nightly buffet
dinner before the 50 plus people, that were a mixture of anglers, tourists or professional
Three doctors on holiday came to my table requesting to go fishing themselves. I approached
the Island manager about this, while they waited for my reply. I told him if I had a boat and
someone to drive it, we could take these guys fishing, and charge a nice sum of money for it as
well. He then walks me out to the dock, where the” Lizard Lady” is docked, an old wooden
commercial boat not rigged for big fish, but doable, in my “wide open” opinion
The doctors agreed to our proposal and went fishing with me the following morning. You
should have seen this fiasco, after we hooked a 400 pounder right away.
I‟m giving the cook they provided me, “how to” instructions on steering, the other two doctors,
the same, on flying gaff usage, at the same time I am wiring the fish!
Lacking a stern door, we dragged the fish behind the boat to the Island, which they had mounted
later. We got a round of applause that night, as it was announced that first Black Marlin ever
caught on the Lizard Lady.
The next day I was hired by a captain that had a charter, wanting to fish for a Great White
Shark, staying on one of the “Mother ships” as they called them. These were large floating
hotels at anchor behind the Great Barrier Reef, not far from Lizard Island.
I can see us now, dragging a large Marlin carcass in tow, in route to pick them up to go fishing.
The bloody carcass first attracts a multitude of smaller Sharks, but soon this huge Tiger Shark
comes into view, approximating the size of the Shark in the movie Jaws, estimated to be in the
2000 pound class in everyone‟s opinion, at least that is what I thought about it then. Only
recently I read an article about Chris Fisher who was on ESPN2 Offshore Adventures working
on a tagging project to understand the Great White Shark documented that his crew has tagged
and weighed 20 Great Whites to this date, four of them weighing more than 4,000 pounds!
What did I know, I still haven‟t seen a Great White to this day.
This was not a Great White, however, so as I watched it taking these huge chunks out of our
carcass, it reminded me of a similar plan we used to get the Jaws out of another large Shark in
Palm Beach years earlier.
I suggested this plan to the charter and crew and to my surprise, everyone agreed!
We would pull the carcass close to the boat, and have two flying gaffs poised to shove into its
unhinged jaws as it took a bite. Immediately, we would then unload the rifle on board into its
The plan is accomplished accordingly, but it slung that 45ft. boat around for several minutes of
white water, before coming to rest alongside the boat. I didn‟t want to say it out loud then, but
for a while the line from the movie, “We‟re going to need a bigger boat” almost parted my lips
as the transom appeared to submerge to the top of the gunnel a couple of times. We struggled to
hoist just the head out of the water with the gaff lines.
I climbed onto the dive platform, cautiously aware that there was still some more life left in
him, as I two handedly thrust this very large sharp knife into his head, just below the jaw line.
This caused the shark to spin 180 degrees just like the one did in the past. This rotation nearly
cut its head in half, as arteries as big as garden hoses were severed, spraying blood in
tremendous spurts everywhere. I continued cutting until the huge body drops off into the depts.
The head alone had to weigh 300 lbs. I spent several hours excising the jaws, and mounting
them on a board, wiring the jaws to an open position. I could step inside these jaws and raise
them above my head without being touched by the teeth.
Regretfully, I showed these jaws to the Doctors after our fishing excursion, who were going to
fly me back to Cairns the following day. They begged me to sell them to them, for a handsome
price, I thought at the time. I would love to have them in my possession today.
You should have seen our landing back in Carnies, after the pilot and his buddy‟s threw back a
couple in route. That 4 seater bounced alarmingly high, up and down four times before we
began to make steady contact with the runway. They offered to take me further south, if I so
desired, but no thanks, was my uneasy and relieved reply.
The Marlin Bar in Cairn‟s, is the fisherman‟s hangout, where I meet up again with Angus, a
rugby player and Pig Farmer from Perth that I met on the beach at Lizard Island. After relaying
my availability to everyone present, that I was seeking a wireman position, I took the offer that
had the most days booked. These charters were on board one of the Mother ships, close to
Lizard Island and would not begin for several days.
It was the enormous size of Angus that got my attention, discovering we had two things in
common, rugby and fishing. Angus was hired by one of the wealthier men in Australia, that
reported he held the record for the most Black Marlin caught over one thousand pounds, or
“Granders” as they called them.
Secretly I believed that Angus was his bodyguard turned wire man, which became more evident
in our conversation, as the Garrig teasingly portrayed Angus as a Neanderthal who was capable
of pulling or straightening any hook with ease.
His boat was a 70ft. Motor Sailor, customized for Sport Fishing and luxury beyond belief.
Yearly they motored and sailed this boat the treacherously long journey around the Cape of
Queen Land from Perth, without any ports of call to speak of.
We had drinks and dinner, as I told them of my new obligations that would occur in several days
out of Lizard Island. They offered me a ride that I now believe was a ploy by the Garrig, to get
me to wire his fish, for the two days it would take us to get there.
Myself and Angus slept on the two bunks on either side of the console on the bridge that
evening. We anchored out after fishing the first day behind the Great Barrier Reef with nothing
significant to report.
The next day, I wired and released two huge Marlin in the approximate “Grander” range, before
1:00 pm. You can get a fairly accurate weight appraisal by measuring the girth just in front of
the tail. Out of curiosity, I requested a girth measurement while I held steady on one of the tired
fish. Angus took the measurement that I would have found hard to believe, if I had not have
seen it myself. Can you believe these fish attained measurements over 7ft. around the girth, with
the overall length, exceeding 16ft?
This morning was a record for Garrig, who wanted to continue fishing, impressing me with his
exceptional fitness level for a man of his age.
We hooked up again an hour later and by four o‟clock, we had released three “granders” in one
day! “Not one hook was pulled or straightened,” he teasingly reminded Angus.
I must mention here that this man realized that the key to his success was to never give these
huge fish a chance to rest when reeling them in. By the time I got the leader wire they were so
tired it was actually easy to bring them close to the boat for measuring and tagging purposes; So
much unlike the tourists who needed us to back down as we watched in agony, the long drawn
out ordeal that allowed the fish to rest and make the wiring process difficult.
At Lizard Island I meet up with my new Captain and boat that was a 40ft Mustang out of
Brisbane, a far cry from what I was accustomed to in the U.S. We fished daily with different
charters from the Mother ships, returning to Lizard Island where I had my own bungalow again.
I kept fit by running up and down the cliff of the runway, usually just before dark, accompanied
by swarms of these large Bats flying overhead or an occasional 8ft. Lizard with its long black
The buffet style dinner at Lizard Island, always had Prawns, which are giant shrimp in excess of
a pound. Barramundi, which is an in-land prehistoric looking fish, was the local favorite. The
weather and seas are such that fishing is only possible up until early December, because of the
harsh current and wind affecting the seas.
It was routinely 20ft. seas on the ocean side, when I was there, but it was a calmer rolling sea,
however, with deep wide troughs. The boats appeared to be climbing up and down these swells,
but it was not bouncy rough!
This scenario could make a nearby boat disappear for a minute or so, if the timing and position
Once, when we we‟re down in a trough, an 800 lb marlin hooked by another boat, “grey
hounded” over the top of a wave that we were down in the trough of. It crossed 10ft. in mid- air
above our transom lines and drop backs, an incredible sight to see, in spite of the mess it
On another occasion, our hooked Marlin is “grey hounding” hell bent for leather in a direction
that causes it to land on the coral formation of the Great Barrier Reef, that protrude out of the
water, at low tide. We backed down to the struggling fish, very close to the edge of the water,
where my efforts at tugging on the leader causes the fish to make one last effort to free itself,
flipping back into the water. Swimming off again, trailing a serious bloody red trail in its wake.
The bad boys discovered this just before I could take the wire, and all we got back was its head,
that the charter had mounted in the Marlins honor, I am delighted to report!
In order to wire a fish of size, you must employ leather padded gloves that have the greatest
thickness, of approximately 2 inches, on the back of your hand. This allows you to absorb the
great pressure involved, but not cut thru your flesh theoretically. This may not be so if you
misjudge the trajectory of an 800 lb Marlin as it jumps straight out of the water in front of you. I
thought I could make it fall towards the boat with the intense force I introduced, but this good
The double wrap I have coiled around my left hand proved to be a mistake as well, as the
Marlin falls away from the boat, slamming my armpit into the gunnel and relocating the wire
wrap to approximate around my fingers. Thankfully the fish stalled, allowing me to create some
slack, as I loosened the tight noose of wire cutting into my fingers.
The task of removing the glove, with the feeling that I may have sections of my fingers still left
in it, was not something I looked foreword to ever doing. To my relief they were all intact, with
only the fourth finger unable to flex, indicating a severed tendon.
The Flying Ambulance came to my rescue, which was a sea plane out of Cairns, employed
because of the distance away from civilization and the vast liquid terrain. Landing alongside our
boat, I make the transfer to arrive in Cairns, impressed with the ability to land on the runway as
The Catholic Hospital staffed by Nuns, reminded me of my Grammar school days. I awoke with
my hand suspended in a sling that was hanging from a pole to support it.
I phoned a girl I met earlier, that came to visit me shortly thereafter. The vacant room has her
teasing me in an intimate way, but this was witnessed by the shocked Nun, as she entered the
room. Escorting her out in disgust, she then punishes me for my sins, by cutting off my pain
meds. By six o‟clock that evening the throbbing was reaching threshold limits.
I decided I could at least drink my way to sleep, if I was in a place that served. Removing my
IV, I put on my clothes and began creeping down the hallway to my escape. Only to be
confronted by two Nuns that are standing in front of the door. “Where do you think you are
going?” one of them demanded. My reply was accompanied by a quick sideways maneuver,
brushing between them and out the door. “To relieve some of this pain” was my reply”, as the
door slammed shut behind me. I am not sure what their reply was, but my best guess would be,
“You‟re going to rot in hell, you bloody Yank!”
The Pub I selected had rooms for rent on the second floor, for $10 a night. Even more perfect
was the view of the street below from the balcony. There was a continual procession of fights
between the Aussy locals, and the Pummy bastard English Navy, as they called them. The
police would arrive, incarcerate the fighters, and then 30 minutes later have to come back to do
it‟ll over again.
That night I had a dream that I was wiring a big fish, squeezing my left hand tightly, and was
awakened by a sharp pain. Fearful I had re-injured my newly attached tendon; I rolled a wash
rag tightly into my hand, so that I could not compress it again. To this day that finger does not
The next morning I concede that “this” has ended my fishing season here, and decided to make
the most of my funds and time here, by seeing some of the country.
On the bus that day, I am in route to a zoo outside of Cairns. On board, I meet a girl that is an
odd mixture of Malaysian and Aborigine; an unlikely combo, but a stunning one at that. A
model by trade “again”, she is on holiday after a photo shoot in Cairns (I‟m not making this up),
on the same mission of seeing the sights that I was. There were Kangaroos with Joeys peering
out of their pouches, all kinds of unique birds, adorable Koala bears, well most of them anyway.
The one they passed to me nipped me in the finger.
There was our Alice Springs Outback excursion, where they served Vegemite on toast in the
morning and so on. Sadly I departed Australia after only 24 days “down under”
The magnificence of these incredibly beautiful and powerful game fish inspired this next
SPORT FISHING, 1983
Some of the oceans creatures give a battle so grand, that we troll around in their arena
spending millions to command,…
You would not believe the equipment we have created for the catch,…the sophisticated yachts,
the tackle and crap
As the great Tunas and Marlin are given countless hours each day,… for to combat their power
is well worth the stay.
The thrill is never satiated, the record books cannot deny,…the bigger the fish, the greater the
high, or the lighter the tackle the sportier the guy.
The memory remains forever in your mind, you will tell about it endlessly, to anyone you can
As you hang your trophy fish, proudly upon the wall, evidence to everyone that you have made
Carrying on the imposter that you conquered the oceans best, when in reality there isn‟t any
man that could ever meet that test.
Back in the USA, I am informed, after my injury healed of another fishing job in North
Carolina. My wooden truck was very popular on the car ferry‟s, with kids climbing all over it,
and people posing in groups or families to get a unique souvenir. Eventually, I arrived in
Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.
The greenhorn captain/child that hired me here was very anxious to make a name for himself.
He started shitting yellow on our first day when we hooked a Blue Marlin in the 250 lb class.
Eager to boat the fish as soon as possible, much too soon in my “inexperienced” opinion, but It
was his boat, so I obliged him.
I took pleasure in this thought, because I knew a “green fish” like this could cause damage to
the cluttered mess I was provided to work around. Instead, the thrashing Marlin breaks my
thumb as it crashes into the underside of the gunnel, while I„ve got a death grip on its bill.
The drive back to Tallahassee became eventful, when the rear end differential in my truck locks
up in Georgia somewhere needing replacement that would not arrive for 48 hours. It was a
miserable wait in that junk yard, with a swollen throbbing thumb, as I zipped up in my sleeping
bag underneath my truck for the next two nights. I thought I was supposed to be leading a
glamorous life. I arrived back in Tallahassee with thoughts of pursuing a new career.
CHAPTER 6B, CALIFORNIA HERE I COME!
We have completed my fishing career escapades we must return to the winter of 1973. I am to
drive out to Huntington Beach, California, to attend college out there for one semester. Driving
the used Datsun Pickup my Grandfather purchased, it was a long 2300 mile, 3 day journey,
sleeping under the camper shell over the bed. Upon my arrival, I immediately joined the surfing
team, and met some guys looking for a roommate, that insisted I join the gymnastics team with
them, which I did; there was no rugby.
I went surfing in the cold early mornings and snow skiing on the weekends, up at Big Bear
Mountain. I did this in tandem on a couple of occasions on the same day, for the bragging
Bart came out for a visit and by avoiding the stopping point where tire chain‟s were required we
were the first to arrive in the large icy parking lot at Big Bear Ski resort that morning. Driving
my truck I noticed on a turn that the truck began to slide out of control. Naturally I wanted to
explore this capability further so I got a running start and turned the truck sharply in one
direction. This caused the truck to go into a series of 360 degree spins to our delight; Repeating
this performance on multiple occasions until we slammed into a snow bank under a tree that had
these large ice cycles dangling from its branches. These fell onto my truck like sounding like
baseball bats falling from the sky.
We were way under dressed on this cold 11 degrees day especially after falling on multiple
occasions the first two downhill runs, making my jeans, rugby jersey and gloves get wet and
seriously cold. We decided that we needed to go inside after this next run, but half way down
the slope Bart took a spectacular spill up ahead of me that broke one of his skis in half. I
stopped to help him and really empathized with his situation, but I was way too cold to watch
him limp down the mountain on one ski, so I promised I would meet him in the clubhouse down
I dated a girl, uninformed that she would be in Penthouse magazine that May of 1973. You
should have seen the envy, and surprise on all of our faces when one of my roommates brings
home the magazine with his excited discovery.
On her birthday she invites me to attend a party in her honor, at the Steve Miller band‟s mansion
in Beverly Hills. In their studio I heard them play” Happy Birthday” and “Some People Call Me
the Midnight Cowboy”, in my presence. There was way too much paraphernalia for my taste, so
I left her there, and rather enjoyed driving her Porsche, for the next two days. I returned to
Miami in June of 1973, another long hot drive.
CHAPTER 7, MISCELLANEOUS ADVENTURES
This next long distance outing occurs in August of 1974, when I am about to attend college
again in Tallahassee. This time, I was going to be entering the pre-med program where I
overheard other students talking about cadavers that came from the famed Mayo Clinic, in
I was told that in the name of research, this Hospital would purchase your body for $1500, after
they tattooed your foot to identify you as their property upon your demise. They then reclaimed
your remains for spare parts; in an organ donor or cadaver type exchange.
Bart, who inspired this next idea, with a previous experience, has me watching the freight trains
depart slowly from the train station near campus.
We have several weeks before school begins, so I present Bart with the idea to go out to the
Mayo Clinic and sell our bodies, hopping freight trains to economically get us there.
Researching this no further and possessing $180 to my name, I didn‟t have to twist Bart‟s arm,
to join me either.
We began our journey the next day, waiting just outside the train station in Tallahassee. An easy
toss of our duffel bags was followed by the effortless climb into the slow moving box car. There
is no way we could have predicted what we were getting ourselves into as usual, but that‟s how
I wanted it. This adventure presented elements of disaster and predicaments much higher on the
pucker scale than anticipated.
Did you know that train authorities are very against freeloaders, and will go to great lengths to
catch you, as they signaled ahead at each stopping point, giving our approximate location? Then
they sent men with flashlights in the dark for our capture and subsequent beatings we were told
Bart‟s idea to remedy this one night, was to climb on top of the box car after we saw them
approaching from a distance, while I remained in the car, huddled in a corner on this pitch black
I will never understand why they turned off their flashlights prior to arriving at our car, perhaps
they thought they would catch us sleeping? Regardless, one of the guys enters our car without a
light, and walks straight towards me. He stumbles over my duffel bag, catching himself on the
wall just beside my face. I am standing poised with clenched fists, holding my breath, as he
turns and walks away, shouting to the other guy that we are not in here. The only thing that
allowed me to remain still is that I was unable to see him stumble and lunge toward me, it was
that dark! The next time this was going to happen, we got off the train and hid in the bushes
until the coast was clear.
This allowed the train to get moving faster than we would have liked, forcing us to choose one
of those cars that have the ladders going up the sides that are not box cars at all. These are grain
silos, open at the top, with steep angled sides that are open at the bottom as well. This places us
vicariously clinging to the top of the ladders, speeding into the night, at an extremely jerky 70
mph, for a couple of hours.
We got as far as Birmingham, before we departed to find food, and soon discovered a Hobo
camp with many men asking many questions. We‟ve got long hair to our shoulders, I‟ve got my
“Serpico movie” inspired silver earring in one ear, and my solution was to present a cocky
attitude, to Bart‟s dismay. No one messed with us until we got to Boston 10 days later, though.
After the police, who caught us hitchhiking escorted us to the outskirts of town, we hopped
another train that day, that appeared to be heading northwest, but we had no way of telling
where we were headed anyway! It was a short trip to find ourselves coming to rest in a train
yard, or so we thought. A loud rumbling noise that preceded an abrupt halt had us sliding in our
sleeping bags from one end of the car to the other.
Unable to tell the direction of our trajectory from the sound, I am peering out the door to try to
understand what is happening, when my head slams into the door, creating a nice bleeding gash.
We found out later that this is a method they used to take the slack out of the trains unions,
before the next excursion.
The train beside us however, begins to move in the desired direction, while ours begins moving
the opposite way. Our decision was to at least take the train heading in the “right” direction,
which was steadily increasing in speed. All we had to do was to time the 6ft. jump into an
“open” box car if we could find one. Many false starts later we committed, successfully rolling
athletically onto the floor, as we followed our duffel bags in unison. (Ah!; To be young and
Somehow we ended up in Washington D.C., further north, but not in the westward direction we
desired. Bart knew people here, and after an afternoon of jogging and sightseeing, in our
country‟s capital, they invited us for dinner and to spend the night. My sleep was interrupted
when their daughter snuck down into the basement for a visit. Dam, I worried that Navy
Admiral would catch us.
Reading the paper the next day, we learn about a company that hired drivers to transport cars,
but they only had one, that needed to be delivered to Chicago. It was further north, so we took
The windy city wasn‟t much to look at and the Great Lakes water was cold. Our decision was to
hitch hike the rest of the way to Rochester, Minnesota. Our first ride took us all the way to
Mazomanie, Wisconsin by a large family with many young children that even fed us and put us
up for the night.
The next day‟s ride in this psycodelic Volkswagen, with a bad exhaust leak, has me with my
head outside the window, where I could witness firsthand the hair pin mountain turns this wild
man was attempting
Arriving in Rochester, Minnesota, we are greeted by a friend of ours from Miami, whose
family relocated here. Thanks for the hospitality Bob, but the Mayo Clinic‟s anatomy
department declined our offer, informing us they discontinued this practice two years earlier. It
seems the resistance they were receiving from surviving family members desiring a proper
burial, put an end to this.
Oh well, I had spent most of my money frivolously on jewelry at an art show and food and beer.
We still drank for free that night in a bar where a hypnotism demonstration was in progress. All
these cute nursing students were everywhere, so Bart decided that pimping me might be
entertaining for him, and may at least buy us a few beers, which it did.
His casual suggestions to the co-eds found two nursing students desiring to brush up on their
anatomy physiology, and I did not see Bart for 24 hours. What did we do before cell phones?
Departing Rochester, with the plan to head east, via hitch hiking, while we attempted to stop at
all the famous Ivy League colleges, the first of which was Notre Dame, in Indiana. Our plan
further required that we hook up with co-eds for our food and shelter.
We worked out in Harvard University gym, in Boston, Mass, and then gave an unattended
concert at Copley Square in the rain, just outside the Red Socks base Ball stadium. Performing
songs like, “We‟re Big Rock Singers, we‟ve got golden fingers, and we‟re loved everywhere we
go”. It was the acoustics that made this work for us anyway.
The decision to store our bags in the downtown bus station, proved to be significant, when one
sugar britches kept peering to get a peak of my manhood, standing next to me at the urinal.
When my verbal warning did not remedy the problem, a well placed fist to the jaw did. This
brought out a lot of guys that were participating in something behind the enclosed private
toilets. I gave the first one to reach me at the foot of the stairs another surprise, before we made
That evening we each met girls that lead us in different directions, for a couple of days, while
we communicated by leaving notes at the bus station lockers. The day of our reunion, we were
invited to one girls home, where her sister would give us a ride to Cape Cod. Bart walks into the
door ahead of me to be greeted by her 10 year old sister, who looks at me, coming in behind and
say‟s to Bart, while pointing at me, “Is that your sister”, in that unmistakable Bostonian accent,
that he relentlessly employed to remind me of this often!
We arrived at Hyannis, on Cape Cod that evening, and offered to wash dishes at the back door
of this busy restaurant, and were obliged. We packed up many left over steaks and lobster for
Later on we met two ladies that were slightly older, on their way to Martha‟s Vineyard via ferry
the next day. They offered us a place to stay on their hotel room floor and an invite to join them,
the next day. This we declined, staying behind in Hyannis at the beach where we meet new girls
that ended up camping out with us that evening. A nearby restroom facility offered showering
facilities as well
The Richmond Va. Police picked us up for hitch hiking on a major highway and took us down
to the station. Our parents wired us money via western union, which provided enough money to
take the bus the rest of the way back to school, which we did.
That semester in college, a group of us from Miami, rented a mobile home outside of
Tallahassee in the sticks, where a couple of significant events occurred.
There was a night when an intruder enters, as we are all sleeping, heavily breathing over Mac as
he sleeps. This wakes him up to see a man with glasses peering over the top of him. Mac‟s
outburst wakes everyone to hear his footsteps running out our front door. We found out later
about a recent rape in the area, and we slept with our guns close by in the future.
Donde, was having problems with his girlfriend at the time, taking great offence to my singing
“their song”, “Color my World”, by Chicago. “As Time Goes On,… I realize,.. Just what you
mean,… to me”eee…, was retaliated by an arrow penetrating the door behind me, just above
my head. Damn Donde!
Have I mentioned how I lost my mind, by purchasing that 125 Yamaha Motorcycle? I brought
it to Tallahassee with me, for school transportation, and here‟s why I got rid of it!
I was following Mac in his boxy International truck, out some road near our trailer, traveling at
50 mph. I decided to pass Mac on the left, at the same time Mac abruptly decides to turn left.
My only option was to lay the bike down, sliding at least 30ft., until the Yamaha collides
underneath Mac‟s truck, while I was bounced hard off of the door. This was the worst I have
ever had the wind knocked out of me, but it was the only injury I sustained, unbelievably so.
The final straw came when the bike slipped out from underneath me on a damp track, which
drove the foot rest into my ankle, avulsing a nice chuck of meat. I have never gotten on one
since…, “Hey, there‟s some wisdom for you!”
CHAPTER 8, LOG CABIN BUILDING AND THE LAND
The year now is 1976, and I have dropped out of the Pre-med program, because of the stringed
math requirements. I returned to Miami, continuing fishing and working part time construction
to fill in the gaps.
I received my Captain‟s license soon after, and began to run the Semper Fi charter boat. I am
living at Mr. Whatley‟s and saving money, because my plan is to return to Tallahassee in the off
season of fishing, to purchase a suitable piece of land to build my own log cabin home.
While still in Miami, I purchase the Foxfire Log Home Book, reading it cover to cover, and buy
a Sears Craftsman chainsaw and various other tools that I would require, to attempt this feat.
Thru a Rugby Team contact, Jim told me of a lady he knew that had 50 acres of land east of
Tally, and he put us in touch. The attractive lady decided she required my presence that evening,
so next morning we walked her property and picked out a 2 acre building site situated on a
corner. My purchase was in cash and we closed in days.
Excitedly, I woke up the next morning to begin harvesting trees for construction, that she
allowed me to take, as a way of thinning her forest.
The first tree I selected was a 60ft. Pine tree, that I cut naively straight across the trunk.
Halfway through, the tree leans back and pinches the chain saw blade in the tree, wasting that
entire day. I had to recruit my brother, Wade and his truck the next day, where we attached a
rope to the tree and pulled it off the chainsaw blade with his truck. Seriously, I did not know
that there was a process in falling a tree, which requires angles and wedges in order to drop
them where you wanted!
I would go out there daily, by myself, to cut down appropriate trees in the wooded terrain,
removing the branches with an axe or machete to prepare for transfer.
This goes on for about a week, when I meet Rocky, a fellow rugby player that has recently
joined our team. His possession of construction knowledge and curiosity, I suppose, inspires
him to come out and get me started.
Not only was he very knowledgeable, but he was also very entertaining as well. Through and
with him, and the many weekends I could entice the college rugby players with beer, we had the
man power to carry those trees to my home site. On two occasions, we had pretty co-eds in their
bras and panties under taking the process of removing the bark.
Eleven men or so would line up according to height, and then hoist the 40ft. long 16inch
diameter logs onto the tallest guys shoulders and then fall in behind, until the log was resting on
everyone‟s shoulders. We then marched the logs underway to the chant of the soldiers at the
Witches‟ castle in the “Wizard of Oz”.” Owe we owe, we all owe”.
Before I headed south for fishing that year, we had a foundation consisting of stacked cement
blocks, supporting the main foundation of logs lying on top of them, and notched at their
unions. We flattened the top of the logs with axes, the best we could, and nailed down a pretty
blond colored rough saw pine floor, that did not look that way ever again, after the weather got
We mounted a door frame onto the floor indicating where the front door would be, and took
pictures as we sat at the make shift bar, that was supported by two whiskey barrels. I had stacks
of logs ready for use upon my return.
I must mention here that the purchase of the wet pine boards from a local sawmill took some
creative transportation, because all I had was my little Datsun P.U. truck.
It was the second load that we placed the 16ft. long boards on end in the truck bed as before,
allowing the other end to rest on the roof, as it protruded way out in front of us. Stacking them
up like before to maximum capacity, or slightly over we found out later.
There were three of us in the crowded cab on that trip, to include, T-Bone, Wade and myself,
chugging along with all this weight cantilevered out overhead, when we hit a bump. This causes
the rear window to shatter and buckle, as the roof overhead caves in vicariously, leaving me just
enough room to see out to drive. We continue driving in this crouched position worrying about
the possibility of being crushed, a little!
The next trip to the sawmill we take Wade‟s older model Chevy truck, with the huge hood, that
encompasses at least 1/3 of the side panels and fenders.
We are traveling around 55 mph when suddenly the hood comes unlatched, flying up to crash
into the roof. Thankfully it extended out slightly farther than the windshield. Talk about taking
your breath away! “If life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath away” that was one measured moment. Great stuff Wade, keeping
The whole process of this log cabin construction took several years of back and forth.
I would arrive in Tallahassee after a season of fishing, with money to resume building, working
on the cabin until my money ran out. If the rugby season was not completed or I ran out early, I
would take jobs in Tallahassee to support myself. I worked construction with Rocky, Oyster
shucking at Barnacle Bills, Strip club bouncer at Fannies, fence builder with Ted, fitness club
trainer, or whatever.
My success during this time frame depended on my ability to be resourceful as indicated by
this next anecdote.
OCEOLA HALL, Dec. 1986
Having spent some years living hand to mouth, I learned to make do beyond a shadow of a
doubt; delighting in my cunning, while poking fun at the rest, and bragging about not having a
But there was always a place I could shower, at any time at any hour,.. As long as I could stand
the cold and inconvenience, thru the cussing and shivering, I would bear the nuisance.
But after it was over, and I was all clean and warm, I‟d laugh at myself for having felt
forlorn,… and even gathered some pride for having a spirit that roars, above the ever present
obstacles from which my strength was poured.
This has helped me to appreciate what might have been missed,… because I don‟t get the
message until it bounces off my chest,… causing me to think for minute (God forbid), this is
what something I need!,… as soon as I build a house, I‟ll get one of these things,… except I„ll
have “Hot” water coming out of it, and possibly enclose the stall,… or maybe I‟ll put it indoors,
with towel racks and all,… and then I‟d go on about my vagrant life style with no
responsibilities at all, with the help of pool side showers like the one at Osceola Hall.
Eventually the 1200 sq. ft., two bedroom, 1 bath home was a reality. It had plumbing and
electricity as well, and not one building permit was obtained whatsoever, I would be proud to
report to Abraham Lincoln.
My brother Wade moved in while he continued his college schooling, and I gave Rocky my
blessings to build an addition for himself as well, and off I went to go fishing.
Well, I‟ve tried to prove my method while showing you my aim, but trying to beat this system is
like trying to stop a train. I wish I could know the outcome of the efforts and the strain; do you
think they could take it all away, and make me board the train? [regarding the threat of building
I appreciate all the help I‟ve had, it won‟t be long until I can give the same,…then there will
always be a bed or couch, or closet you can claim. „Cause, I‟ve been liven from your closets
and sleeping on your couch and you‟ve been paying rent, so I can build a house. And you‟ve
helped me with the building and listened to me shout, and seen me nearly panic when my money
and patience were out.
And maybe you‟ve given up on me; I know I‟ve been too rough. I was lost inside my shiny
dream, not thinking of you enough.
But, I‟m going to finish this house and then you can count on me, and rent and all the other
crap are suddenly going to be free.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year …Thanks for all the help
I returned the next season to witness the “cool room” as they called it. Rocky‟s room had a 60ft.
pine tree growing out of the center of the roof, with a plantar down below to catch the rain. The
walls were made of colorful wine bottles cemented together, but it was the A.C. unit he installed
that really made it cool. Rocky is truly a unique and talented individual that I was drawn to
because of this, not to mention the fact that He was so fun and daring, as described below.
YOU CAN NEVER GET IT BACK, March, 1986
When I first met Rocky, he had hair to his shoulders and wasn‟t donning his two front teeth.
Performing one of his infamous party acts, squatted on top of a table, after the rugby meet! The
next time I saw him, he had moved to Tallahassee after being heavily recruited for our team. At
a time I was attempting to make a log cabin home, more than a young mans dream.
He came out to the site to see what I was doing,… his building knowledge and creativity was
amazing. His clear and simple way of approaching the project, the building codes, we didn‟t
mind evading…, made him the “perfetc candidate” to oversee my proposals,… Giving form to
the ideas, we scribbled down on coasters,… Befriended by everyone with his casual and fun
way, he worked and practiced so that he could play.
Crashing thru the years, we did so many crazy things. I seasonally went fishing, while he
supervised construction in between. We shared this common bond that somehow tossed us
together, as we sought to create our own destiny, inventing ways to make it better.
Perched high upon our mountain of ideals, we watched the civilized world go by us. Reminding
me of what he said one day I became tempted to “look back” behind us. “If you make choices
that compromise your own convictions, you can never get that time back”
My brother Wade inspired this next anecdote when he lived in the log cabin while attending
EXAMPLE CHICKEN, 1982
My brother Wade once bought a pair of chickens, so we could have some eggs and eventually
But our dogs killed one right away, and this was when he was heard to say,
That the example chicken had to die, so the dogs would know the reason why,
He smacked them hard, and treated them rough, but the other chicken never got touched.
The expression also lived on because of its humor and truth,
; A funny little analogy with a whole lot of use.
; Being a common event to use examples, while a touch of humor can enhance your sample.
Whether it be easy or hard to swallow, most animals need examples to follow.
So, if your example chicken has a hard time or is killed,
Hopefully the sacrifice will be thoroughly instilled.
So that something good will come, from you taking a licking,
Just like my Brothers example chicken!
I constructed a fire brick pit in the center of the great room coming up thru the floor that we
used for heating and cooking. It was covered by a huge metal cone that extended thru the roof
as a chimney, while the grill fit snugly over the coals for cooking.
The log walls were sealed from the outside with cement, which clung to the many large head
nails we drove into the cracks for this purpose.
I even painted creosote into the cracks, to protect the wood, before applying the cement that we
slung into the cracks with gloved hands. Unknowingly I applied this creosote, shirtless and in
shorts and got it all over me. The soap I first used to remove it with did not work, and when the
neurotoxic symptoms began to interfere with my vision and consciousness, I had Wade and
Rocky hurry me to the hospital.
The treatment involved a rough scrub brush with Phisohex, followed by the application of
cocoa butter placing me in a room for observation. Hours later, with the symptoms subsiding
and the room unattended, I made my escape for home.
Fast forward 2 years, and its late September of 1981. I have arrived in Tallahassee on my way
out to California, where I am to catch a plane to go fishing in Australia. I spent the night in the
cabin that night, and I drove into town to get a haircut, in my newer model Datsun pickup. My
shorts had no pockets, so I removed the one thousand dollars in cash bulging out of my wallet,
and slid it under the seat to hide it. I locked the door, and hid the keys under the mat in the bed
of the truck.
I am giving you these details, because when I returned to the truck 30 minutes later, I retrieved
the keys under the mat, unlocked the door, to find my money was gone!
Then I walked across the street to the “Pub” to drink a remorseful pitcher of beer, and to report
this to the police, who almost laugh at my story. I then drove back out to the cabin to find it in a
heap of smoldering ashes, with Firemen all about dousing out the remaining embers. Talk about
having a BAD DAY!
The Fireman suspicioned that lightening struck the tree growing out from Rocky‟s room
igniting the entire house. I believed the ruthless behavior that I was demonstrating during this
time may have had an effect on my karma.
WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITH ME NOW? Sept. 8, 1981
Who put all that smoldering tin on the ground, and threw all these nails and hinges around?
And what are all these ashes, piled up in one place? It must have been one hell of a blaze!
I‟m standing right here, where it‟s suppose to be, and I‟ve kicked around in these ashes, but
there‟s nothing to see,…
Can someone tell me, where‟s the rest of my stuff? All I have now, I‟m wearing and my pickup
truck. Come on now, I‟ve had enough of this crap, where are my books, clothes and hats,…
where are my trophies and furniture and pictures and the big pine box I made, full of everything
I‟ve ventured.,… where is the stereo, the refridge, the T.V.? And my cowboy boots, I‟ve had since
I was three?
Where are all those “heavy” logs, we notched together from the trees,…“what are they going
to do with me now”? I was already a “mess” before,… just give me back my thousand dollars
and keep those pitchers poured !
What will I tell everyone and who will tell me, because I can‟t believe it, someone else better go
see, this just didn‟t happen, it can‟t be true somehow and “what are they going to do with me
I wrecked the Datsun pickup my grandfather bought me into a telephone pole one night, which
buckled the frame in five places. I knew a guy with some mechanic experience and the required
tools, and I approached him with an idea to solve my car less situation.
We could remove everything from the frame and replace it with a recycled frame, from a junk
We would only re-install the running gear and engine, to the frame, while I would replace the
body and bed with wood. I believe this notion inspired Cruddy Mike, as we called him, who
called me Monkey Paws.
It only took several weeks to get me back on the road, already late for the fishing season.
CRUDDY MIKE, Dec., 1982
After spending a “Lifetime”, practicing on all his friends shit, he could fix cars, and boats and
even airplanes a bit. Very casually he‟d begin, taking the machine apart, undaunted by the
difficulty, he easily captured your heart, so that even if you did end up with all the parts in a
box, at least you knew he tried he tried his best, regardless of the cost.
Because all of the times he was so very ingenious, made up for any of his mistakes. His
excellent comprehension and mechanical ability made his stumbling blocks easy to take!
His dwelling places all seemed to look the same, scattered with tools and spare parts he‟s
always trying to save,… I would arrive at his house, to work on my truck, to find him Bar-B-Q-
ing chicken, on his truck, in the front yard. We rebuilt an entire truck together, whose body was
made of wood. He gave me his time and patience, so I want to give back by making this
That his heart is filled with good intentions, while his adventuresome spirit screams anything
goes,… It was always a good time with you my friend, as we screeched down the road of life,…
That‟s my buddy, Cruddy Mike.
It must be noted here that Cruddy in 2010, holds a speed record in the quarter mile on a
motorcycle, and routinely does this in competitions around the country. Does anyone think I had
him figured out back then?
Things happened to some of my friends that inspired me to write something about it as a way of
dealing with the pain and loss associated with our mortality. I thought about this a lot back then,
perhaps because of risks I took. No wonder Michael Gerber‟s passage made so much sense to
Fate vs. Destiny…, for Cruddy Mike, 1993
Although the dictionary might define their meanings as synonymous, I see a crucial difference
between the two, because I don‟t feel there is any pre-determined course of events that has its
hold on any of you…. I believe we all have some control over our destiny, our fate…, “the final
moment” we have none.
Even repeatedly placing yourself in precarious situations, as I have done, will give you no
definitive knowledge of your impending destruction,… unless you are gasping for your final
breath, from some terminal type illness, you won‟t know how or when your demise will come.
So when someone close is suddenly snatched from amongst us, I refer to this crucial difference
in the struggle to overcome,… the devastating reality of this gone forever concept, in the
helpless wrestle with the permanence of our mortality. I force myself to remember that my own
fate is still at large, which gives me the strength to move on after my destiny…
So that no matter how unbearable this loss may be, we have this comparison to cling to in
trying to ease it. You have to make yourself recognize you still have some control of your destiny
and you make damn sure, you never let go of it!
THE “ULTIMATE LESSON”, Jan., 1978
How many of us ever get to see it come as it‟s slashes your throat and makes its run.
We‟ve all seen it happen, we know it‟s true, we‟re all living proof of an “ultimate lesson”,…
Because one minute you‟re here, the next one you‟re gone.
Nobody‟s spared, with some “magic wand,”.
Poof! You‟re worm dirt, way down under, where I don‟t believe you‟re having any more fun,…
At least the last dead person I was associated with,… made me have to just get out and run,
until I could feel the pulse, pounding in my head, and the sweat pouring out of my skin, and then
I went and jumped in a pool and felt all refreshed again.
Negating any hard ship one might endure, at least you‟re alive to endure them. For those who
capture this concept respectfully, find life‟s outlook transform before them.
Giving all the people you know, a special kind of glow,… and your intention‟s all compiled, to
make people smile.
So when it comes your time or someone‟s you know, you may be devastated but, you can let it
go,… having lived your life, with a happy expression, that came about when you learned the
“Ultimate Lesson”. For Tom Deemer‟s family and friends
ON THE BRINK, 1983
The only people thinking about dying you know, are those who are about to die. Most of us kind
of “sweep” it under the rug; Like it‟s some sort of big fat lie. But for the length of this writing,
put yourself on that brink,… sit down for a moment, and let yourself think.
Oh God it‟s here jumping in your face, they‟ve done all they could, but you‟re a hopeless case.
The first thing I think of is all those who I will miss. I want my woman right next to me, so I can
die in her kiss.
I want to hug my parents and brother and sisters, and say something to each of them in a little
I want to see my old friends, drink a few more beers, tell all the stories, get everyone here,…
and wipe the slate clean, with God and the crew, hopefully heaven will provide me with stuff I
The gift to my family, I‟ve been working on all along, hopefully, I will have created a
“homestead” or income they all can live on.
For some reason I don‟t think about all the exciting stuff I did, even though I spent a lifetime,
hell bent after it!,…
Inspiring my message to those of you still alive, realizing what I regret at this moment, is that
my “heart” is going to die…Love David
To describe this truck, it had a” boxy” look as you can imagine!
The plywood siding was painstakingly brush painted in three color camouflage. The one piece
plywood hood and front fenders were hinged in the front, and lifted forward to expose the
engine. The wood framed Plexiglas windshield was also hinged to fold down onto the hood, the
way I usually left it. The windows were Plexiglas that slid up and down on a track inside the
The dashboard was a 2x10 plank with instrumentation notched into the wood. There also was a
bench seat in the cab that was hinged both ways to accommodate storage underneath and
The entire plywood cab was secured to 4 x 4‟s that were bolted to the frame, while the bed was
made of 2 x 8‟s, and covered by a roof made of plywood, supported by 4 x 4 vertical supports.
There were large wood tool boxes on each side of the bed, but my favorite addition was the
aerodynamically shaped wood box I mounted on the cabs roof, which carried all of my clothes
making me truly mobile. “Where ever I went, there I was.”
I took great pride driving down the highway at 60 mph, with the windshield down and the radio
blasting; While in Miami, with the newly established Old Smuggler Rugby Club, I got inspired
to paint the teams Pirate Ship logo on the hood. This included our theme “You can‟t argue with
a sick mind,” inscribed underneath. I also cut a tire in half, securing these to the front of the
truck to create protruding shock absorbing bumpers resembling a Tug Boat.
If I slightly bumped the unsuspecting car in front of me, these tires would depress. The impact
was not only silent, but the recoil, would push my truck back a distance away. People would
became aware that their vehicle had been bumped, while we acted like nothing happened,
looking away before that immediate glance in their rear view window.
This created an assortment of amusing reactions as you can imagine!
There were those who would do nothing, perhaps the absence of sound caused them to blame it
Others would throw their car in park and rush out of their car in anger. Unable to detect any
damage whatsoever, while we tried to remain nonchalant, for as long as we could. A quick study
of my bumpers would sometimes produce a smile, while others stormed back into their car,
angry to be the subject matter of our hilarity.
I could be seen in places like Palm Beach proper, alongside the disturbed glare of Rolls Royce
owners, or the car ferry‟s in North Carolina. I drove that truck for four years before I eventually
created a plantar out of it on my new property in Tallahassee.
In 1982, I approached Rocky to purchase another piece of land as a joint venture that also
included 2 other friends. We decided later there would be too many restrictions and codes
affecting us in this commercialized area of town, but finding a buyer who pays us twice the
price, was just what we needed.
We found another 5 acres that bordered the natural forest on the south side, that was secluded,
and wooded, giving us the freedom to do just about anything we wanted….which we did!
Our new property was located on the national forest south of Tallahassee that included 2 acres
and 4 partners at first.
Rocky and I decided that a stilt type house would best suit our needs, and he also had access to
free telephone poles that could be used for the infrastructure.
The Plan was to help him get these poles into the upright vertical position where he would build
his house on the upper level. I would claim the underside; where by his floor would be my roof.
Rocky‟s talented creativity constructs this incredible loft type dwelling in the tree tops. My
dwelling down below, was modeled after an Island Tiki Bar. I would return from fishing with all
of these nautical procurements I had been collecting that would be incorporated into my design.
For example, my kitchen sink was a reclaimed teak and stainless fish box from a Sportfishing
In the early days of this construction, we likened ourselves to be primitive mountain men of
sorts, as we sat around a camp fire proudly eating food from wood boards with our hands. We
even began talking like we imagined they would… It was a fun time.
THE LAND, FEB, 1982
Well, thangs are pertner as good as dey kin be. Bought us „dis property sommers yonder, „an
toated out some trees (Lube at toat!). Toreckly building a fine shed, dat‟s give up at be a Log
cabin. An attair cement bobby cue „n chimbley, Liken‟s to the one in heaven. So we‟ll prolly
fence it all awf, the whole two an‟ a‟ haf akers. F‟ar a token shot on the Unmurkin Gobberment
and draw up our own name an papuhs. Offering asylum to the fine Kumpny, that we‟ve carried
out to the land. We‟re ever beholden of their hep, it‟s all been so rewarden and grand. Standen
in need of idy‟s and talent, we‟re flat eat up wif thangs to do. Maybe wup us some arsh Tatter‟s
„an roasten ears, when the worken‟s all thru, yup, wee‟s ahmoannah build a fine house, sort of
liken to a fort, dat some wore out rugby players have believed they could contort. So yee all
bear wif us, if we tawk a little funny, cause wee‟s been a worken outchear, fer a munth of
Sundeys. Ah‟ll tell ya its Ketchey, find out fer yeeself, and git yer butt on outchear and pitch in
This primitive mindset we had adopted inspired this next anecdote.
FANCY MONKEY, Feb., 1982
Boys are you intelligent, there‟s nothing you can‟t solve, you‟ve learned to use your thinker, and
bounce this planet like a ball. You‟ve made machines and tools and rockets, and a bomb that
could end it all, while you drive around in your shiny car, feeling like you‟re ten feet tall.
As you sit inside your computerized office, central A.C. and tinted glass.
You‟ve got colleges clocks and candy, health spas and pools and clubs,… and the things you‟ve
done with medicine, of course don‟t forget your drugs.
You‟ve triumphantly evolved throughout the ages, lost some hair and shaved your beard. Swung
down from the trees, and covered up your rear.
To name a few of your fine advancements,… More power to ya, I‟ll bet you feel lucky. I just felt
I needed to remind you; you‟re nothing more than a Fancy Monkey.
P.S…. I‟ve got your monkey.
In the hot summer months, we even did some grunt work in the buff to save our clothes. This
presented an uncomfortable situation when 8 naked guys are attempting to walk up a 20ft.
telephone pole to an upright position. When it approached near vertical, this places us crowded
together, where more than once, some guy‟s package hit me in the butt… Gross!
It was on one of the early days of this construction that Rocky and I are on our way out to “the
land” as we called it, when we came upon a nine foot Alligator crossing the road. It‟s early in
the morning not far from the land and we are in my wooden pickup, that I have recently
installed a considerable length of heavy dock line wrapped around my front bumper.
Our decision was not to kill it, although, I had a pistol behind the seat, but rather to catch it.
Stopping, I remove the rope from my bumper and slowly began approaching the alligator in the
truck that is now in the center of the road. Avoiding the loop I tossed at him the Alligator walks
himself under the truck, to hide, we assumed. We get out with a plan that places me on the roof
of the bed with a slip knot loop at the end of this heavy line. Rocky is in search of a long stick
to entice the gator to walk out into the loop I have ready for it.
This works as planned, and I pulled hard on the line to get the knot to slip around the gator‟s
neck, creating such an explosion of energy, unlike I had ever seen out fishing. The line is
burning thru my hands from the rotational spin of this reptile, causing it to approach a near
vertical position, spinning and banging as it rose upwards toward me. I used the remaining
several feet I had left to take a wrap around the metal railing above the roof, as the gator spins
its self into an immovable position. Still no cars have driven by to witness this, but the
Alligator‟s head is above the level of the roof with its jaws are open wide. Now what? See I had
to say it again,… It was just like you see on T.V., as Rocky finds a smaller piece of line, and
climbs to the roof to assist. Cautiously, we begin to apply pressure to squeeze the mouth shut.
Once we get it closed, I wrapped the line around its jaws for many rotations, and tied it off to its
two front legs. I then removed the line secured to the railing and incorporated it into the wraps
the alligator created in its spin. The remainder, I used to lower the Gator down to Rocky, who
allows it to come to rest on the road. Together we lift it into the truck bed, tied him securely and
continued our unwitnessed capture out to the “land”.
It was so funny to see Rocky, game as he was, with both arms bear hugging the gator just
behind its front legs. My one handed effort at the tail I know was not much help, but I was
concerned with the damage they can inflict on you, using their tail as a weapon.
Into our clapboard shed he went that we had constructed to lock our tools and building materials
into, in our absence; A perfect home for “Wally”, as we named him.
Our professional looking rope harness that I was so proud of, he got out of quickly and was now
free to move about in the shed.
Dom, one of our partners, was notoriously late for his appearances to help us work, so upon his
arrival, we have already planned the surprise of his life.
Rocky asks him to go to shed to get a tool, slamming shut and locking the door behind him. Still
unaware of Wally‟s presence, he begins to move about in the shed, disturbing Wally, who is
hidden behind some lumber. He then sounds out his signature roaring hiss, stopping Dom in his
tracks. Everyone watching is in hysterics, peering thru the cracks, as Dom cautiously
approaches where the noise came from, where he gets a view of Wally‟s magnificent teeth as
We kept Wally for a couple of days, to show all of our friends, and then rationalized that since
we caught him by hand, we were deserving of his meat and hide. It was also a good way to
entice people to come out and help us work, offering all the beer and gator you can eat.
Several hours later, I had him skinned, mounted, and salted on a board to dry, in our shed. The
meat was chewy and much better if pounded prior to cooking, but everyone agreed that ribs and
cheek muscles were just as good as the tail.
A week later, we got a phone call from a game warden, concerning a confiscated alligator hide
that was discovered in our shed. We remained steadfast to our open ended story, but we still had
to pay a fine. It was the Game Warden‟s son who lived close by that came snooping around our
shed and discovered it.
In the spirit of the time, I wrote this next anecdote that Rocky has the original framed and
hanging proudly on his wall.
WALLEY, May 10, 1982, my birthday!
Me and „ol rocky, was a driven along, when out jumped a gator, „bout nine feet long,… we could
of kilt it, with the truck or my gun, but we couldn‟t resist having a little fun.
So I unraveled my rope, with instinctual wonder and tossed it at him, making him crawl up
under. Which scart me up on the truck, while Rocky fetched a big stick,… to poke at the big „ol
lizard with hope it would git… and out it came, right into my loupe, and when I jurked it tight, it
almost pulled me off the roof.
So it spun around like crazy and got itself all tangled up. Somehow I got it tied off, with the last
two feet left,…It was like you see on T.V., we grabbed it‟s jaw and tied it shut,… and threw „em
in the back and headed for the hut.
Course he came untied again, but we handled it O.K., we carried him into the shed, with Rocky
leaden the way! With visions of hanging him proudly on our wall, we were puffed up bigger than
high school seniors in fall.
Wouldn‟t you know it, somebody turned us in, made us pay a fine, confiscated our skin, but I‟ll
tell you it was something, that I‟ll never forget and we‟ll always be damn sure proud of it. Won‟t
Have you ever seen copper strand wire burn in a bon fire? We had, and we were also engaged in
a remodeling project for a department store, that was throwing away this wire by the truck
It was at this construction site, that I stupidly drilled a 1/8 inch drill bit through the palm of my
hand that was visually protruding on the back of my hand, but did not pierce the skin. It was not
coming out either, as hard as I pulled on it. I showed this scenario secretly to Rocky in the
bathroom who advised against putting the drill gun in reverse, but that was the only way it was
coming out. It was the meat left in the spirals of the drill bit that did me in.
Oh, and did mention that we had parties out at the “Land, well this one surely deserves
The burning copper wire puts out the most intense and beautiful colors of blue, green and red,
corresponding with the heat of the fire. This evening we have the usual 20 or so people sitting
around a large fire on the massive decks we have built for this purpose. We back a pickup truck
loaded with this copper wire on top of the large blaze we already have going. Within minutes,
our unsuspecting guests are witnessing spectacular 12ft. flames, with the copper wire colors
coming thru! Now can you imagine what this would look like if it was intensified 10x‟s after
you added a little something that creates a distortion?
THE RING GAME, 1980
Around the Era of The Land and our newly constructed split level stilt home construction, I
returned one season after fishing in the Bahamas. It was the Island of Bimini that I had spent
most of my time after hours at the bar that Hemmingway made famous over there. It was in this
bar that I was introduced to the ring game; a simple conception that involves eye hand
coordination and practice of course. The local Bohemian kids would bet and win large sums of
money from the tourists and fisherman by simply making the small ring that was attached to a
string come to rest upon a hook secured to a post some distance away. I practiced enough to
where I got good at this myself in an attempt to win some of my money back, which I did.
Upon my arrival in Tallahassee I was rummaging around at the nearby city‟s sewer system junk
yard and came upon the largest mechanical nut I had ever seen. Most likely created to join huge
sewer pipes together, but as I spotted it the thought of making it the “ring” of a ring game
immediately entered my head. It was every bit of 24 inches in diameter, and weighed around 35
I presented this idea to Rocky and Cruddy who contributed to its installation. Eventually this
huge sewer pipe nut swung from 40 feet of 5/8‟ nylon line tied to two 10ft. 4x4s that were
secured across large branches high in a Live Oak tree. Cruddy welded this heavy metal hook in
one of his shop classes that we bolted onto one of Rocky‟s telephone poles buried into the
ground perhaps 20 feet away from the ring.
In order to make an attempt at placing this ring on the massive hook, one had to drag the ring
back another 20 feet from the pole making the total distance to approximate 40 feet and then
give it a skillful heave toward its destination; quite the exaggeration from the one I had
encountered in the Bahamas.
If you were successful you were not only rewarded by this accomplishment, but also the intense
metal clanging noise that accompanied this feat.
Naturally we took this event to greater extremes that required a mighty heave of the ring in a
direction and angle away from the hook creating a pendulum type effect on the ring that would
swing back and forth with each resolution getting progressively closer to the hook. If you were
successful the ring would clang onto the hook on one of these resolutions that depended on
many variables as you can imagine; of course the greater number of resolutions was the desired
achievement. I once put it on the hook after 12 resolutions I am proud to report.
It was unusual games like this that became tradition for us especially during Thanksgiving,
where we developed the Woods Olympics as we called it.
There was the anvil toss that required picking up the awkward 100 pounds onto your shoulders
and skillfully tossing it as far as you could. I say skillfully because if you could get it to tumble
end over end this would increase your distance. This anvil could place a nice gash in your
forehead if you weren‟t careful I once found out.
There was the pin game played while balancing upon two bowling pins with your hands while
your feet remained behind a line as you attempted to walk out on them in order to place one of
these pins as far out as possible. You were then required to pull yourself back to a standing
position using the other pin without touching the ground. The person that placed the pin out
farthest away from the line and returned back successfully won. I would like to see any of us try
We played basketball on a dirt court that the only way you could make a foul is if you didn‟t say
you were sorry.
Somewhere I found a real Civil War cannon ball that we used for a shot putt. We actually took
some of our woods games with us to other party‟s we were invited to, as well. On one such
occasion I found a plastic ball that had been buried underground that looked exactly like this
cannon ball that I brought along with us to the party. The plan was to compete in the shot putt
event using this lighter plastic ball for my toss after this huge guy tossed the real cannon ball
much further than any one else. We would then have some one from our team retrieve the
cannon ball and make the switch. To everyone‟s amazement I couldn‟t resist the urge to double
the farthest distance the big guy had achieved telling them that I had been practicing for this
event for months! We let them hang on this feat for a while before we told them.
I also found an unusually heavy log practically submerged in the water out in the Gulfstream
while fishing one year. After we caught all of the Dolphin that were attracted to it, I decided to
bring it on board because of its beauty and dense character. Back in Tallahassee it became the
log toss, like those guys do in Scotland; damn that log was heavy!
Stump rope, one of my favorites, engaged two people standing on 12 inch diameter poles that
were protruding two feet above the ground, at a distance of 12 feet apart. Both opponents were
holding on to the same length of heavy rope that generously allotted for some excess beyond the
distance these poles were secured into the ground. The object was to remain on the pole or
stump as it was called without letting go of the rope. This created a tug of war type scenario that
involved balance and trickery. Imagine if you will two people struggling to gain on the length of
rope while balanced on a small stump, when suddenly one of them allows the rope to slide
through their hands for a distance, while the other person frantically struggles to stop their
backward momentom with a rope that has suddenly lost its tension! It was unusual for a bout to
last more than 20 seconds therefore it was usually played the best out of ten.
Circle the Wagons Ping Pong was developed so that any number of people could participate.
There were no teams per se; it was every man or woman for themselves.
Picture if you will perhaps 15 people in lines around either side of the table. When it was
you‟re turn you simply picked up the paddle that the last person left on the table for you and hit
the ball one time. Immediately you returned the paddle to the table and rushed the get in line on
the opposite side of the table to await you‟re next turn. Eventually people would either miss the
ball or miss the table on the opposite side and would be required to sit out until the remaining
contestants were eliminated leaving only one person victorious. It got progressively more
difficult as the line got shorter, since you had to run to arrive on the opposite side of the table in
time to pick up the paddle and hit the ball. It must be noted that it was considered “mean” to hit
the ball hard making it difficult for the next person to get to it, so everyone hit a nice easy lob
over the net in order to keep the game going. There was another version of this game that could
be played involving the removal of articles of clothing when you were eliminated that could
eventually render everyone flopping around the table in their birthday suits!
CHAPTER 13, A NEW CAREER
The year is around 1983 and on the first day of fishing out of Oregan Inlet N. Carolina a 250lb.
Blue Marlin has broken my thumb, causing me to return back to Tallahassee when my wooden
pickup truck broke down you may recall.
The transmission part finally arrived to that junkyard in Georgia, where I had been camping out
for 2 days miserably waiting for it. I replaced it and was back on the road, vowing to myself to
try something different besides fishing.
Since I was already involved in strength training and fitness, I applied for a trainer position in a
local gym in Tallahassee that had a protocol that involved the new Nautilus equipment and their
associated high intensity strength training principals.
They sent me down to Orlando to get certified in this system, where I am exposed to the
research and results of, Mr. Arthur Jones, Dr. Ellington Darden, and Casey Viator, respectively.
I began this high intensity type training myself, while I pushed men and co-eds thru our “one set
to failure” circuit. In this capacity I met a guy, who after our training session, makes me an offer
to become a working partner in his new Gold‟s gym franchise, that falls thru, however.
In this same capacity, I meet a girl, who entices me to move down, to be with her in Boca
Raton, Florida. There I acquire a position in another health club, which also gets me involved in
sales, but our relationship soon fails.
Out of curiosity, I take the computer generated aptitude test at the local college, that after two
hours of answering hundreds of questions, it is determined I should have been an actor!
On my way out of this facility becomes significant, when I run into an old rugby opponent that
has chosen a Firefighter career. This was allowing him to go back to school on his off days, and
he gave me specifics on how I should go about pursuing this.
A few phone calls later, I was moving back to Miami, to attend the Fire Academy in Davie,
Florida, in order to attain a certification that would insure my hire. I began my pursuit of
acquiring a fire fighter job the summer of 1985, at 32 years of age. Ultimately, I wanted to
arrive in Tallahassee, but the affirmative action I was facing negated my high scores and
superior fitness level.
I took the job in Ft Myers, Florida, solely to get some experience under my belt. Hoping this
would be looked upon above and beyond the other candidates.
I thought about what I would say when I finally got a chance to interview, and wrote about it
privately to myself for my own piece of mind, but certainly did not relay any of this information
MY INTERVIEW, 1985
The last half of my life, I‟ve spent scaring myself to death, because I needed the excitement,
adventure, and test. So I pursued big game fishing, became a world class mate,… 1,124lbs is
the largest marlin to this date. Just to mention a few classics, at the risk of getting out of hand, I
once wrestled a bear, caught an alligator and even caught a sailfish by the hand.
I‟ve stayed in perpetual training, always striving for top condition, a requirement to be a
contender, with the standards I‟ve been keeping. Since high school I‟ve enjoyed the elegant
violence of rugby, allowing me to test all that training, following suit with the rest of my
Recently though, I have skidded to a halt, seeking stability and security, in a job I know I will
So I‟ve concentrated all my efforts toward a fireman‟s career, taking all the requirements to
make my efforts clear. So what else would I be better qualified for, I‟ve dealt with fear, and
disasters‟ all my life!
This would be just fine with me and hold up to my integrity, which is the driving force behind
all my endeavors. Thank you gentlemen for hearing my letter
I‟ve always called this my first real job, where I received a pay check that started at $9.36 an
hour, which accumulated to $18,000 my first year, that I got audited for, by the way.
One of my earliest memories as a firefighter has me standing in a truck fuel spill holding a fire
hose, while The Captain and Engineer are inspecting the damaged vehicles on the other side of
A crowd has gathered outside in the convenience store parking lot, and emerging from this
crowd, is a man in an inebriated state, holding a cigarette walking in my direction. When my
verbal warning does not stop his approach, the large stream of water hitting him in the chest did.
The uproar from the crowd brings the Captain back around to witness this drunk, wet guy
struggling to get to his feet. My explanation completed, he replies, “I have been on this
department for twenty years wanting to do that, and you get to do it on my second week.”
The problem with this fire department was that I didn‟t fit in. To demonstrate this, there was a
conversation at dinner on my second day that they are talking about fishing, although it could
have been about anything, for that matter. I listened to their tales about the bass, bream and their
coastal catches, when it appeared to be my turn to share my biggest fish story, at their request.
I realize that I should have learned by then not to share certain achievements people because
they are hard to believe, but I did it anyway stating that the largest fish I ever weighed in was an
1124 lb. Black marlin, caught off the Great barrier reef in Australia, a few years back.
There was a silence, that didn‟t last long, as they quickly returned to their local fish stories, but
no one asked me anymore about it.
I realize that these were local guys, who were delighted to have the security and respect that
firemen are given. Some of them were second generation, and this was their chosen career, but
it was a stepping stone for me and they sensed it even more so after that tall tale!
I was the only one that volunteered to enter into the new paramedic program that was being
offered at the local college, paid for by the city as well. I waved that A.S. degree in Emergency
Medical Services very hard at the Tallahassee fire department, to no avail.
I had the rewarding experience of saving lives that inspired this next anecdote.
CAPTAIN AVENGER, June, 1986
You have studied, and trained, and drilled, reporting for duty each 24 hour shift, you deal with
all the routine calls, and the maintenance work that goes with…,
Then one day it happens, there are people trapped inside a burning building, feeling your way
thru the smoke and heat, with time and danger impending.
But you come upon the victims, quickly dragging the first one outside, signaling for assistance,
you find him still alive.
While the Medics go to work on him you are right back inside the fire, allowing you to
experience the rewarding awareness, that it‟s not just because you are hired!
I delivered a baby in a car on one of my rescue calls that was not the text book scenario we had
studied. I arrived on the scene of a small car with the lady about to deliver, sitting in the
passenger seat, leaned back as far as it could go, with her feet on the windshield as I approached
the car. She takes one look at me in uniform and is so relieved, that she pushes the slippery baby
out into my bare hands. My partner arrives with the paramedic kit, as I quickly suction the
baby‟s nose, because at this point it was not breathing or crying. It started crying then, thank
There was quite a mess in that car, as I even had to cut the umbilical cord prior to transporting
the baby in a separate ambulance.
I played rugby in Ft. Myers as well, and I had various jobs in my off days to include fitness
instructor at a local gym, construction and paramedic in the emergency room in a local hospital.
I got interested and competed in triathlons, which distanced me even further from the fire boys,
as my Spartan like diet, was so different than theirs.
I was constantly aware that we only had a handful of men that stayed fit on this department and
it bothered me enough to write about it.
THE LEMMING DIET, 1985
Why does it concern me so much? Because there is so much I want to do, therefore I maintain
my diet with this in mind, trying so hard to avoid the same crap they are feeding you.
They have researched this subject extensively, and know exactly what is going to happen, to the
health and capability of a person, who eats too much of the foods that fatten.
How do people become so oblivious to something that is so important, yet it is listed as the
leading cause of death in our land.
Not to mention the loss of quality of life, and the unattractive display this has on your
appearance, placing this life threatening decision in your chubby little hands.
Think of the health care cost to provide for these people who have eaten themselves sick,
Or the pitiful situation they have arrived at now that they can‟t do much more than sit.
If Momma and Daddy don‟t know no better, what‟s going to happen to their children, who are
bombarded with the media and fast food joints, while their parents allow this to happen.
What about work that takes physical endurance, that places a fit person in their company,
becoming out of breath after a flight of stairs, who are they going to send to rescue me?
It‟s a mentality thing that starts with desire, even self esteem should be a strong enough issue,
but they continue to abuse the gift they have been given, and the suffering and illness continues.
Reminding me of the Lemmings lined up each year, on the cliffs that will lead to their demise,
It‟s such a waste of humanity, that has become epidemic, all you have to do is open your eyes!
I bought a keyboard and tried to learn how to play the piano, on duty, using the ear pieces to
practice silently to myself. I also secretly took private voice lessons just in case that aptitude
test was right.
I was so bored, that when my voice teacher got word about an actor that had dropped out of a
musical play, I became his replacement.
I played the part of Pawnee Bill, in the musical “Annie get Your Gun”. We got standing
ovations for all 12 performances in the downtown theatre. My parents came over from Miami,
and recorded one showing on film, which I am sure everyone will be interested in seeing.
“There‟s No Business, Like Show Business, Like No Business I Know”.
I almost wanted to shoot myself for getting into this half Iron Man triathlon, held in Panama
City, Florida, just outside of Tallahassee. It was a familiar road trip for me, however, with my
brother, Wade in escort and moral support.
This was the longest distance I had ever run, besides the Orange bowl marathon, in Miami,
where I dragged myself over the finish line 4 hours and 12 minutes. Afterwards, I drove straight
home and went to bed. What fun is that?
This triathlon, however, had obstacles I never anticipated. I could swim 1.5 miles in the ocean
without much problem, but I was worried about all the Sharks this splashing would attract, so I
kept in the middle!
The 56 mile bike ride, I was equipped with a bike that was apparently not fitted properly, it was
suggested later, as it made my “junk” become numb, and my neck locked in pain. I told Wade at
the transition, I was going to attempt to run one mile of this 13 mile run, and if my condition
didn‟t improve, I was bailing.
My neck pain was relieved somewhat by the Midol tabs this girl gave me, but it was this older
man, over taking me from behind that speared me on. Noticing my pain and disheartenment, he
says to me, “You can do this if I can”, “Just stay with me, I am not going fast….” We crossed
that finish line together 6 hours and 12 minutes later.
My package remained numb for the four more scary hours; needless to say I never rode that
bike again, would you?
It was this same weekend in Tallahassee that Rocky and I negotiated a buy out for my interest in
our property. I had been eyeing the five acres next door that had a low area, suitable to dig a
pond. The owner would hold the mortgage, at an interest rate of 12% back then. I had the land
paid for by the time the Tallahassee EMS accepted me for hire.
Four years later I was finally returning to Tallahassee, at 34 years of age. This is the age I got
married by the way, and since I have dedicated an entire chapter to relationships, I chose not to
go into detail about this now, or ever…….just kidding!
I remembered this next concept that was employed during the dating years and decided to
record it for posterity and the humor of course!
THE OBLIGATORY BREAKFAST, 2006
Emerging almost two decades beyond the dating scene myself, a friend‟s recent divorce has re-
surfaced this admission, through conversations about his dating trials and tribulations came a
maneuver from the past, that entered our discussion.
It was my wife actually, who brought up this titles disclosure. Recalling a conversation
occurring on one of our early dates, when I explained how a “roommate“, approached any
potential awkwardness, on the morning after dating encounters, that may have gone all the
Claiming his technique addressed various issues in the dating world, for instance, if you were
interested in taking a closer look, a little sobriety and lighting over breakfast and coffee,
provided an honorable way of shedding more light upon the subject!
My wife remembers feeling somewhat relieved by this information, recognizing that our own
breakfast outings were becoming a repeat performance. Taken in the context that something
spectacular was happening as she had been receiving her obligatory breakfast in sequence!
His simple procedure involved choosing a nearby restaurant, and having something
convincingly pressing to do immediately following. In the event that the encounter appeared to
be going south, he had his escape exit, with a vigilant commitment alibi.
For any tension or misgivings surrounding conscience or dignity, he claimed both parties were
absolved with the sharing of a meal, and any coyote-type relations were appreciated for what
they were, leave your appendages intact.., take it to breakfast no big deal!
The intent is to maintain, a certain amount of bilateral dignity, in the pursuit of romantic, or
otherwise relations with some class. It is then the consciousness following this protocol and
gesture that became appropriately known as the “Obligatory breakfast”.
CHAPTER 14, MARRAGE AND CHILDREN
It was my paramedic training that finally lands me a position in Tallahassee, but driving an
ambulance, I saw things I should never have. Teenage hangings, a child taking her last breath,
or a guy‟s head still in his motorcycle helmet detached from his body. That‟s all I have to say
about that; As Forrest Gump would say.
In preparing for my move, I purchased a 16‟ flat bed trailer, along with a 1968 International
Harvester Pick up to transport it with. I have written about this truck and still drive it to this day
that will be included here.
THE GREEN HULK, 2005
First of all, some preliminary history must be provided,… in order to appreciate this feat of
American ingenuity, because no doubt the International Harvester Company was committed to
doing things right; Two decades of service later this old man‟s truck stood soundly in front of
In fact the old man drove it daily all those years, after purchasing it new when he was forty
eight. A carpenter by trade, he was retired upon my arrival; at a time I was experiencing how
you cannot control fate!
I could not have predicted how my life was going to change, from a simple search for a vehicle
to move me 12 hours further north.
; A truck that could haul a heavy trailer, carrying all that I owned, to my parcel of land
bordering a national forest.
You must also know that in my experience with machinery and equipment, I will routinely test
its structural and physical limits. In other words, I will break or run most equipment into the
ground! If it has flaws or weaknesses, I will uncover these inferiorities.
With this being said, and the old man riding shotgun beside me, I couldn‟t help but notice his
look of concern, as we rapidly approached 70 mph, on my test drive excursion. “She‟s got a lot
of life left in her”, were his rather nervous words.
The date of this inscription transcends another 18 years later, with no words to describe this
trucks incredible tenacity.
It is not my intent today to engage in the many feats of the Hulk, but rather to engage in a
situation that occurred only recently.
; One that caught my 12 year old son, Zachary off guard, as we were about to leave the ball
park after his practice.
The moment he visualized that my old truck was his ride he says “hurry up Dad before anyone
His reaction should not have come as a surprise to me, ever since this boy was able to
verbalize his desires, his cars of choice were always sleek and shiny and highly energized.
To him this truck was a brush painted relock from the past that none of his friends parents drove
anything like it. It‟s not fast, it‟s not shiny, its got parts made of wood,
This was the ugliest vehicle on the planet, as he saw it!
Even uglier is the thought that he might be seen in it, as he kept himself hidden until he was sure
we were out of site.
I cannot resist waving enthusiastically to all his friends, trying to coerce him to show himself in
It seems like only yesterday, I was handing him his brush on one of the many occasions I was
inspired to paint it, while I followed behind the toddler, correcting his drips and strokes, thrilled
to be helping his daddy to paint it.
It is also not my intent to influence my son‟s taste in vehicles; however I did feel the need to
explain why this truck continues to receive my reverence. Perhaps later in life, he will come to
appreciate how much this machine contributed to our very presence and existence! I love you
I bought the Jeep I always wanted, to replace the shiny Red Karman Ghia, I was driving that
replaced my wooden truck, which now is an outdoor plantar, you may recall. This Jeep
overheated 10 miles from the cheesy car lot I purchased it from, so I replaced the water pump,
but was wary of other problems, and sold it as soon as I could.
That day, I was looking in the classifieds and noticed a V.W. Thing for sale. Although it was
made of metal, it did have a windshield that folded down, which I truly missed, and the doors
were optional. I painted it to replicate the black and white stripes of a Zebra, safari style, after I
My entire single man‟s life is now haphazardly loaded on my open flat bed trailer, as I make my
way back up to Tallahassee, to begin my paramedic job, and to purchase a suitable mobile home
that “we” could live in during the construction. We were married in March of 1987, in a
Catholic wedding in Fort Myers.
I had to attend classes to make sure I was worthy or something like that.
This little Irish priest with bouffant hair, and a difficult accent, says repeat after me….
I thought he said “bludgeoned”, instead of “pledgened”, and repeated it that way to everyone‟s
entertainment at a rehearsal.
I paid around $3000 for our single wide, needing a little work, but it was perfect for a couple of
newlyweds that only required a bed! It was during this time, that I also acquired a R.N. degree
thru a correspondence school. This I believed would improve my life experience greatly, if only
by eliminating the 24 hour shift work that I hated so much.
I was immediately hired to work in the hospitals hyperbaric chamber, where they needed some
muscle to move the obese patients to and from.
We came up with our own floor plan, for the 2000 sq ft, log cabin we were planning to build.
We began the construction process, paying up front for what we could afford or do ourselves.
With the help of Rocky‟s construction expertise, we looked at the slab we had poured, with
roughed in plumbing, and perimeter lag bolts awaiting our logs for quite some time.
The potential construction loan required adding a contractor license into the equation, and the
company we selected to provide the nicely milled cypress logs, offered to provide the use of
their contractors name. In return, we had to hire their crew to assemble the log walls.
It was this contractor and his crew that provided the subject matter of the next description.
I don‟t know where they found these guys, but it was hot and humid, that July in Tallahassee,
and they were in such a poor state of physical condition, health and especially hygiene, that it
was hard for me to encompass, especially when I was paying their wages.
I quickly appointed myself as their ground man, moving logs to them at a pace that I‟m sure
they weren‟t used to, or had ever seen for that matter, from the looks of them at the end of the
We even fed them, in an effort to provide some energy, but it is difficult to digest food, if you
don‟t have many teeth to chew it with!
The morning of the third day I watched them moving stiffly about like zombies, presenting with
that wide gait staggering movement. I asked “Bodell”, the son of the contractor what was ailing
his crew. He confided in me that they had all come down with a case of the “red ass”, a fungal
situation down below that I am trying not to visualize. A quick trip to the drug store provided a
large tube of antifungal ointment, that saved the day, and I was rewarded with many toothless
Three and a half days later, we had nine foot high log walls completing our exterior.
The construction loan was distributed in increments, and we had work parties just as I always
had in the past. Aine cooked food in our massive rock smoker with all the fixings to go with the
beer and music provided at the end of the day, of course.
Our great room had 19 foot ceilings that were vaulted by three; eight by eighteen inch, 25ft.
cypress beams, whose massiveness would not allow us to walk up a ladder as hard as we tried.
A phone call to the man that dug our pond solved this problem, when he got into his crane and
drove it down to road to our house to save that day! Thanks Bob
Rocky had friends in all of the construction trades that I worked alongside, as we subcontracted
plumbers, electricians, and trim carpenters. I did all the stone work myself, to include a massive
fire place, outside steps and skirting, and six months later, we sold the mobile home we lived in,
and moved in.
I have to be honest with everyone, by admitting that I was not very employable at this time. I
think it was because I was so into this log cabin project that I did not want to do anything else.
Therefore if I had to stay later than the usual quitting time I was bonkers.
I had no patience in dealing with people whose poor organizational skills were such that they
caused me to endure the poor outcomes. This was in spite of my efforts to show them a way to
be efficient. Also, if there was “ego” involved, either from the women nurses supervising me or
the doctors, with their little temper tantrums; I would not stand for it.
I got fired from the hyperbaric chamber, and an out- patient surgery center that pointed to my
subservience problem as their reason.
I still had that short fuse deep inside of me, and I knew I needed to develop some diplomacy,
but my answer to this, was to become Self Employed!
CHAPTER 15, CHILDREN, HORSES, CHIROPRACTIC
The trauma of rugby finally took its toll on my ability to recover in between games, so at the
ripe old age of 40, reluctantly, I decided to hang up the cleats after 23 years…, with the
exceptional Old boys games I entered.
Becoming restless, after our log home was completed; I decided to fence in our front pasture for
the purpose of getting the horse I always wanted. I had no idea how much this would change the
course of my life, but it did.
We had our first son, Sean, on Jan 6, 1992, who I wanted to name Scout Oak Fleming, around
the same time I purchased the young mustang for $75!
FATHERHOOD SO FAR….. For Sean, April, 1993
My confirmed bachelorhood lasted for nearly thirty four years…, and then the right women, at
the right time, suddenly appeared,… Following our very romantic courtship and marriage, we
began to build the house of our dreams.
Although, she worked tirelessly, her eyes sparkled, knowing she was building her nest.., soon it
was going to be time for me to sire her a family, surely I knew, this was going to come next..
Nine months later I witnessed the miracle of birth, which had me wondering if I had oriental
cone heads in my genes! But there he was so tiny and soft; as I witnessed his glowing mother
fulfill a dream…
And then everything I had heard and feared begins to come true… Spontaneity and
responsibility take on different meanings… You no longer hop in the car and go anywhere
anymore; I had this guilty for being selfish, lonely feeling.
Soon this cuddly little blob, emerges as a person, that recognizes his Da Da, and gives hugs and
kisses,… It almost seemed his bright wide eyes were looking right thru me.
Now I can take him with me, early weekend mornings, after breakfast we traipse around our
homestead. He loved to ride in the wheel barrow or wear out his knees, because he won‟t be
able to walk until he grows into that head!
We had an orchard, a garden, a fishpond, and horses that I would be tending to as he explored
his world by crawling over it, in the dirt!
His vocabulary has expanded to important stuff now. Ask him “What‟s the doggie say”... He‟ll
say “Whuff”, the kitty, the duck, get him started on the chicken and he‟ll be crawling around
saying “Buk, Buk, Buk.
When it‟s, dark we go out to see the moon, which he points out with a chubby finger. On nights
we have roaring outdoor fire, He becomes wide eyed, as the upward fiery ashes linger.
I notice he is continually glancing back at the moon and the stars as they twinkle, witnessing
this pure and simple innocence.
Instinctively now you become aware of the danger this presents… this child needs your
protection, last weekend we couldn‟t make ourselves lie back at the beach… and we had other
people watching him.
They don‟t come with any instructions you know… “These”, I probably would have read! ;
Especially on how to resolve crying techniques, which has so very much rattled me.
So in essence what happened is I fell in love with a woman, we have a son, so now I‟ve got two
people to love and care for…This concludes fatherhood so far…Now What!… just kidding…
If having a child doesn‟t change your perspective on life, then nothing ever will, at least that‟s
what I thought it would do for me,.. But I still needed a challenge.
Instead, I wrestled with my need for the adrenalin rush, I had become accustomed to,…
I wrestled with my inability to be content with a mundane career, as coined it…
Why couldn‟t I be content with having and raising children, in an incredible home that I built
myself, in a career, any career, I would scold myself guiltily.
I began building outdoor Adirondack type creations that I called “forever furniture”, not a very
successful source of income.
“Don‟t Fence Me In”, was the name of the fence company I created to subcontract a seven mile
DOT fence around the airport.
There were only two of us that performed this 3 month job and one of them was female, thank
you very much Cathy. Ted, our friend, who owned the fence company, took Aine and I snow
skiing in Colorado after it was completed. I loved the hot springs at Steam Boat.
I got hired in another hospital outside of Tallahassee in their surgery center, and had some
circumstances that occurred here that inspired this next anecdote.
THE GOOD WILL PREVAIL...1993
In all walks of life, you will always find those who take advantage of others.., so in dealing with
this problem I am recording this discussion, to help those who must endure them, feel better.
The first thing you have to realize is, it‟s not just you, they‟d like to “F” over,… if you were to
delve into any of their affairs, I am sure it‟s just as ugly, under the covers.
Since their conquest does not discriminate, toward any one person, eventually everyone feels
angry and deceived.
They become “artists” with their manipulations, so they manage to keep the majority
As long as everyone is letting them have their way, they‟ll be pleasant and charming as can
be,… taking every opportunity, to point out what they‟ve done for you, but after a while, no one
The ugliness will surface when things, aren‟t going “their” way. Someone‟s always fed up with
their conniving act, they‟ll have excuses coming out of the woodwork, or just as quickly slap the
blame on your back,… And jump in your face, when you catch or confront them, any “rare”
apology‟s will come from the “3rd person”,… because they‟re not sorry for having “used you”.
Just sorry you can see thru their treason!
Some of them become so damn good in their deceit; they‟ll have you giving up on Justice and
Virtue. But sooner or later, they‟ll push everyone to hard, and their despicable existence will fall
We all possess the power, to “crush” these people, it‟s your own morality that will see them
nailed, and they‟ll be discarded like weeds from the garden, for “Only the Good Will Prevail”
I raised and sold catfish in our pond by the thousands. We had fruit trees, a garden, a micro
brewery with a hand made Adobe brick floor and a front porch swing that I declared I was
going to die in, but I never sat in it longer than a few minutes, however.
We used to go to Posey‟s during this time, so I thought I would include it here
POSEY‟S Feb., 1993
Perhaps Birdie and T. J. Posey‟s „old house has finally found it‟s calling… Seventy some-odd
years of changing hats and hands, has created quite a unique place to fall in… Very simply, it
offers an escape from suburbia, just across from the marsh and cedars… Where you can
“hangout” on the dock side bar, watching life on the beautiful river,
It could be the colorful history of the place that casts an “aura” on those in the vicinity, or is it
the frontier atmosphere of the building, that can make a person feel frisky…
Especially the way time and ingenuity, have so gracefully “signed in” and “scabbed on”…,
Creating the various additions, and slants in the floor, each contributing to its character and
Huge, Whole house fans strategically positioned, keep the band and dance floor cool…, People
dancing, like nobodies watching, tough competition for a stand out fool.
All walks of life may be found there too, sharing a common bond that negates all issues,
Assuring a good time is felt by all, whether you pick your nose, or use tissue,
The local help is honest and friendly, …indulge yerself in some home grown tawlk, While ya
slurp down „dem oysters and drink that cold beer… and you can have all this, while sitting at
Still something seems to happen, as the highway turns to lime rock, and then just drops off into
the river,.. That makes it so easy to let it all hang out, is it because you can‟t go any further?
Whatever it is, it‟s always… a trip…, if you get a “hankering” to take a mosey…, Take
Woodville Hwy 263 until it don‟t go any more, and you‟ll slam right into Posey‟s…
I learned to ride my first horse, or I should say, he just let me ride him, and this was at full speed
in the national forest.
LET THE PONY RUN, Spring 2003
It is with great pleasure, I present this incredible experience. I sincerely hope I can find the
right words, of course! As I describe the last decades source of adrenalin for me, and that would
be at “full out” on the back of a horse.
One of my purposes in sharing this information with you is to enable you to exchange positions
with me; Similar to putting a camera in the cockpit of a race car. I want your presence to feel
there is a “real horse” underneath,…since this has been such an incredible adventure, I must
take you back to the beginning…, that young boy poised before the candles and cake…, Is me…,
and I‟m still wishing,
Although it took me 37 years to finally get that horse, I did have a few camp rides, if you want
to call that experience, so as I exchanged the 75 dollars for this Mustang colt, I had no idea,
how this would affect my life ever since…,
I began by taking him on my daily runs. Human and hoof tracks in the national forest floor,
while I was collecting tack, and started asking questions and waiting for him to grow a little
Out of curiosity one day, while I kept the pace, I nonchalantly unclipped his lead, upon
discovering his freedom, you could sense his delight as he half danced and galloped away from
me, and quickly disappeared out of sight and sound,… I simply continued running the narrow
wooded course, until the rumbling of hooves, off in the distance suddenly became a full out
horse!,…; Exploding into view, thru the mist of the morning almost on top of my dog and me. I
truly did not see any other option, than to dive off into the weeds.
This was my first real sighting of the awesome strength and speed that these animals so
magnificently possess and this is the type of spirited young horse that you and I are going to
ride… no less!
Several weeks go by and then one Saturday morning, a friend stops by to check my progress. I
demonstrate how I have been lying across his back as he eats with no reaction or duress. At his
suggestion we put a saddle in place that I was instructed to take astride. Again, this caused no
adversity or commotion. So, the next suggestion was, “gently nudge his sides”…,
The slow walk escalated into a frisky canter as we circled around paddock fences. I had two
white fists full of mane and “almost ducked” all of the lower branches, but this is not the ride
you will be taking,… You will have somewhat more of the ability to steer, and it will take place
on the three mile loop we‟ve been jogging, where he can attain the speed of highest gear.
While I‟m trying to get air past this lump in my throat, my friend is ecstatically cheering me
on,… and miraculously the horse stops on his own accord while my exuberant body, limply
By the end of the day I had procured bridle and reins and “We” had essentially learned to stop
and steer. I basically felt he responded to my commands. (What did I know?) ; In a paddock, at
a slow trot.., or canter.
Remember that jog, when I let him go free and he raced wide open around the woods? This is
the only type of speed that is acceptable, in order to achieve the full impact of what I want
So any more instruction or expertise at this point will only diminish your experience
emotionally. Remember I did this, with the same amount of information, so it‟s very important to
duplicate the intensity.
Now, this is when we exchange positions. First light the next morning has you excitedly in the
saddle. You‟ve reassuringly sat on him while he ate his oats, and now you‟re walking toward the
familiar trail. You and I both have the same experience and preparation, so we have no way of
predicting what is about to happen. In less than a minute you‟ll realize, any butterflies you‟re
sensing now are not even close to the emotion you should be feeling, because a slow trot turns
into a serious gallop, as you realize the “Bit” is not exactly working! So after several
inexperienced attempts at slowing him, you realize, you only have control over steering,…
This is the moment! I want you to experience,… “We” could have taken progressive lessons on
a broke horse, and learned to ride! It‟s the thrill and intensity of this situation; I am trying to
share here, because at this point there are tears, streaming from my eyes. So we‟re on this horse
approaching all he has, and stopping him is not one of your options. We could have chose to
jump or fall earlier,… but this looks about as safe now, as staying on top of him!
Believe me I know you are petrified with fear. Absolutely flying down a trail of 8 to 10 feet,
even if you do jump or fall at this speed, you‟re very likely to bounce off a tree… So we have
arrived at this unpredictable position; with every emotion hitting you simultaneously. I don‟t
know about you, but I didn‟t have to make a choice, I had waited a lifetime to have this moment
Whooossh…my birthday wish, far exceeds any expectations. I am absolutely blown away by the
power and speed,… and equally amazed at how I‟m overwhelmed with emotion. I‟m crying and
laughing, and it‟s hard to see.
OK… so take a deep breath lean forward and stay low, because more lower branches are
coming. Put your weight in the stirrups, find a rhythm in his gait,… We‟ve still got a couple
more miles to go,…
Which, after you begin a long downhill decent, it becomes more than obvious, he has been
Believe it or not we‟re about to make the final turn home. I felt more alive then, than I ever
The tears in my eyes only physically blur the vision. I have this memory to remain forever
Having made this attempt to allow you to share in this moment, I sincerely hope that more than
a visual can be yours. It certainly has helped me to understand my reactions and the emotion
that brought me to tears,…
Because I don‟t believe an experience of this magnitude can be attained by being extremely
lucky or naively dumb. (Although both of these should not be ruled out in my case) I was just so
proud I was able to accept this privilege, and when the moment arrived.., I just let the pony
It should be more than obvious that I recognized this Mustang colt, who‟s now a 13 year old
horse we call “Hawkey”, who‟s honest demeanor and incredible athleticism has always
returned me home, and safely,… who has forgivingly attempted all of my requests with courage
that has never hesitated. Endured my mistakes and unconventional methods and somehow
managed not to get me decapitated (so far!) For the countless miles that we have run together,
to the “full out” rides that number in the thousands, possessing an uncanny ability to stay on
his feet, no matter what the terrain or challenges.
For the many years of polo, he‟s played consistently two chucker‟s and for defining what a
great horse should be capable of,…; For being such an outstanding representative of the
species he will always command my deepest respect and love. This first ride took place in the
Apalachicola National Forest in Tallahassee, FL, Spring of 1993! I love you Hawkey!
One day Aine came home with a polo magazine she found at work, that I read cover to cover. I
was scheduled to play an Old Boys rugby game in Atlanta, so I contacted the owner of a polo
club that I knew they had up there. Thinking that polo may be something I would like to pursue,
he agreed to allow me to observe and learn about this possibility.
This next anecdote depicts my first day with Hawkey jogging through the woods together that
spans to my first ride and the acquisition of more horses for the purpose of playing polo. The
thrill of this made me feel like I was born again so to speak.
Auto Pilot, 1993
It was a crisp foggy day break in the National Forest as we ran down the woodland dirt roads…
Tears in my eyes, gasping for air, so proud I was about to explode… It‟s a crystal clear memory,
of this magnificent animal, so gracefully trotting along… half dragging this overjoyed human,
who finds another place he belongs he belongs…
This was our first run together, sometime later, I hoped to be his rider,…I knew little about
horses, and he had never been ridden, but his incredible presence, stoked the fire,… of what
seemed to be a natural progression for me, after the ravages of a couple decades of rugby,
surely I can ride, and swing a mallet,… I think I have that much, still left in me…, Bedsides,
there‟s no running or taking of any tackles,… they wear helmets, and knee pads for protection
By the end of that run, we were in the prestigious “Rolex Cup” against the incredible odds and
wealthy… Shouting out bring on youth and domestic equine breeding! Let‟s see how survival
instincts and tenacity can stand up against them! Not that I had ever seen a polo game, but I did
read the magazine in its entirety!
I had whitened knuckles, full of mane, the day I eased myself astride, having no riding
experience or tack to control him, I let this horse do the steering, on our first ride… “I needed
to trim those lower branches anyway”, and those trees will grow back their bark. Damn, it‟s
amazing how fast, a horse can turn or stop, it‟s like throwing a car in park!
Six months later, we‟re playing polo in Central Georgia, with other horses and rules, in the
way,… But shining thru the sleet, came the warm exhilaration that this was a game, we knew we
Becoming ever more evident, of what we must do, and more horses are on the agenda,… I‟ve
adopted one mulish looking filly in Tallahassee… and possibly the rankest stud from the sale in
One must realize by now, I‟m not in control any longer, we‟ve dug in so deep, there‟s nowhere
to pile it. We‟re going as far as fate and destiny will allow… I guess you could say we‟re on
I only applied the slightest pressure on the bit of this Thoroughbred the owner of the polo club
had me riding that came to an abrupt and unexpected stop. My forehead crashed into the back of
the horses head, causing a bleeding laceration above my eye. Witnessing my surprised and
embarrassing demonstration, he asks me if I‟m O. K. “Damn, your horses stop quickly” was my
reply. “Your horse doesn‟t stop like that?” was his next response.
I didn‟t know what to say then, as there were no brakes to speak of with my horse, because we
were galloping at full speed in the national forest the way I wanted it to be.
So, “How do you train your horses to stop like this?” was my very impressed next question.
This opened a whole can of worms that I had to master as well, called horsemanship.
I found it difficult enough to ride, with only one hand on the reins, much less lean out and hit a
little ball, even at a walk that day.
“We‟ve got more horses that need to be exercised”, he says to me as he is leaving. My groom
will have them tacked up and ready for you.
There I was, out there alone on that huge polo field, riding polo ponies like prince Charles of
Wales. After the 3rd horse I was humbled and exhausted, and I decided I should rest if I was
going to play rugby the next day, which I did.
This rugby game I got my face stepped on, ripping my upper lip in half. I showed up at his door
the next morning, looking like the Elephant man with sutures and swelling that has almost
closed my left eye. “Forgot to get a mallet and ball from you”, I said, as he looked at me with
concern. I bought a mallet and ball for thirty dollars, vowing to return when I got good enough.
Six months later, I could hit the ball on either side of the horse, backwards and forwards, at full
My practices were held in a near by cow pasture that had a lot to be desired, I realize now. The
lower oak tree branches and cow turds can be annoying at times.
One practice, Hawkey, my mustang horse, fell at speed, causing us to slide on the ground until
we stopped. Neither of us were injured, but I still wanted an explanation. I found a two foot
deep excavation created by a previous fire ant hill, the same diameter as my horses hoof.
Hawkey had stepped into that hole at a gallop, but was athletic enough to pull his foot back out,
before it snapped his leg. I was truly amazed. “You were so awesome, Hawkey”.
Desiring to demonstrate my new ability, I was invited to come up the next Saturday to compete
in an actual Polo game, where I would be given two chucker‟s of play.
By the way, I taught Hawkey to stop, by running him at a fence, and he got where he would
slide to a stop. He also learned to follow the ball, looking ahead after each hit and veering
toward where ever I hit it. He would also collect himself anticipating a sharp stop or U-turn, if I
missed it, well most of the time anyway.
It was the rules that got in our way this first game or the occasional terrified opponent, with our
On this neatly manicured field, without any cow turds, the ball now looked as big as a soccer
ball, and I put it thru the goal four times that game. People in witness, could not believe that this
was the first time I had ever seen polo, with the exception of the other players on the field!
I was exhilarated to say the least, and I began to seek out other people in Tallahassee that may
be interested in playing polo.
I now cringe when I look at the manner, approach and mentality I took in my early pursuit of
this sport as demonstrated in this next anecdote.
CORNER EYED, 1993
I could see them all looking corner eyed, as we awkwardly squeezed in among the shiny
Duallys, arriving in my brush painted 1968 pick up truck, hauling a trailer looking equally
Humbly I unloaded my two ride able horses, the others baulked at the trailer in protest,brought
out my hand made polo mallet, that I hoped the other players wouldn‟t notice!
I then got out my one and only chewed up excuse for a saddle, had the usual struggle with the
semi hand made bridle.
Next was my fleamarket motor-cross boots, and my construction grade knee pads from Lowes
It‟s the best I could do from looking at the pictures, where you purchase this stuff, I certainly
Warming up the adopted wild mustangs, easily identifiable by the U. S. freeze brand on their
necks, just in case anyone was wondering what breed these little horses were, this particular
breed descended from mutts.
Let them scoff at our inexperience and unorthodox methods, there is no denying that I am going
to play, and I have outgrown the unopposed cow pasture practices, I hope the other players
don‟t get in our way.
I‟m still trying to figure out which goal is ours and I don‟t quite understand the rules and right
of way, so forgive me if I am continually penalized, or I happen to get in your way.
These horses and I have all attained masters degrees, from the school of hard knocks, just see
us thru a few more chuckers, and we‟ll show you what we‟ve got.
This is the first polo game I have ever seen, which has become quite obvious wouldn‟t you
No wonder everyone was keeping their distance and looking corner eyed at me!
I also began trying to find other horses suitable for this purpose. The expense was such that I
decided that the economical adoption of wild mustangs might fill this need, after all, Hawkey
was a mustang!
This is how I met Chris, an Australian horse trainer with an incredible story of his early
childhood. Growing up with his family on an Island off the north Queensland coast, they raised
cattle. They worked the cattle, by capturing and training the wild Brumbie horses that inhabited
this island, so this where he got his experience and understanding of wild horses. In America, he
was retained to perform demonstrations at the Wild Mustang adoptions.
The first demonstration I witnessed was at the Mustang adoption in Tallahassee, where he was
riding that wild horse in less than three hours. He made it look so easy, so predictable, this did
not happen in my case.
“Nevada Philly”, I called her, was so shy and gentle that she allowed me to ride her in days and
took to polo in weeks.
Eli, a four year old stud I adopted from the Tampa auction was another story. He grabbed me by
the jacket with his teeth and lifted me in the air, before dropping me. He then proceeded to
stomp me with his hooves, as I rolled to my escape out of the round pen as recorded in this next
ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP, March, 1993
Is what he calls it, I scoffed to myself, as I barely escaped thru my round pen slats,… nowhere in
my “notes”, or during any of his demonstration were there indications the mustang would
stomp my a__!
In a flash, he snatched me up by the shirt, yanked me off the ground, and shook me into the dirt,
and then proceeded to try to hoof me to death. I know now I could have been dead, never mind
the colorful bruises, I‟m lucky (or maybe not!), I wasn‟t kicked in the head.
The demonstrations I witnessed, he made it look so easy, standing on top of the wild horse for
the grand finale.
Gasping for air, and checking my pants, my trembling hands pushing the phone keys, “You
have reached Chris‟s training stable” sounded his recording, that I left a very “colorful”
message on his machine. Having grown up with wild horses, I knew he‟d be amused, at my
fearless efforts, and now fool hardy pain.
Always quick to diagnose the obvious problem, he says “The horse must feel you are dominate”
“I‟ve got family to think of now” I said, with this vivid memory of being stomped into
I had previously watched him break mustangs on two occasions,… and even took down
procedure notes in writing, stapled them to fence posts in proper sequence,… where I was
shown the importance of subtle cues and timing. Never mind trying to ride the horse in three
frigging hours…, getting close enough to touch, was a disaster for this beginner, because if you
don‟t go about this systematically, they‟ll make you promise to remember, if you live. There is a
survival language horses understand, that must be mastered before you proceed. “I‟m not here
to hurt you, but I‟m also not afraid”, is the message that must be nurtured and conveyed… I
actually mounted this horse a month or so later. The first step looked like I was riding an
Armadillo,… this horse didn‟t feel the need to land on his feet, I came real close, to providing
him a pillow, ouch! Chris has spent a lifetime “paying for this information,… that you won‟t
learn at some “Dude Ranch resort”. Somehow I missed pieces of his message, that he calls
giving them “proper support”. Some people call it “resistance free training, where all that
“Bronco buster ruckus” is totally skipped, but if you truly understand horses as Chris does..,
then you‟ll be “establishing a relationship!” Thanks Chris
It must be noted that Chris allowed me to have the experience of riding a champion cutting
horse one day that he has probably regretted ever since.
This was in front of a small herd of young cows on this incredibly trained horse with a western
saddle that I had never experienced before.
I tried to lean back, keep my butt in the saddle and let the horse move as he was trained to do,
but my first instinct in keeping my balance was to use my legs, applying a clamping pressure
that put us into this 360 degree spin. This was to the misfortune of the young cows that are
attempting to avoid this spinning whirlwind that eventually knocks one of them to the ground.
All I had to do was remove my legs from his sides, but what did I know.
By the way Chris is now located in Texas, and has his own T. V. show devoted to horsemanship.
SPEAKING OF ARMADILLOS, 1978
Once while in route to a rugby game over on the west coast of Fla., Bart and I see an Armadillo
off the side of the road, and decide to catch it. Neither of us knew any thing about these animals
and most certainly didn‟t fore see what was about to unfold. Regardless we thought it would be
amusing to let it go on the rugby field upon our arrival.
Since the terrain was open it had no habitat in which to hide and we eventually ran it down.
With Bart sitting in the cab on my Datson pick up truck I attempted to pass the Armadillo over
to him but it jumped out of my hands on top of Bart.
This is how I came to know that these odd creatures possess the greatest vertical leap of any
other animal on the planet, to Bart‟s dismay, and my intense enjoyment of course.
They also have sharp claws that when moving rapidly become similar to a weed eater, as it
leaped up and down clawing Bart as we struggled to get him subdued.
With this achieved and under way we have him covered and positioned on the seat between us.
Out of curiosity I request Bart to pull back the cover we have over him to expose its peculiar
head and face, unaware of scenario that was about to occur.
Immediately the Armadillo springs upward colliding with the roof of my cab at least three times
sounding like someone was hitting the roof with a baseball bats again leaving dents and
bleeding claw marks all over us as we struggled to collect him once again.
Remember I‟m driving probably at 60 M.P.H. so I am limited in my efforts that eventually
places our Armadillo on the floor of the cab crushing the gas peddle to the floor as the engine
and truck accelerates to top end. There was no getting him off of it either; Not a comfortable
situation when you are driving a car that has attained full speed that you cannot stop! Now
My only choice was to turn off the engine with the key which eventually coasted to a stop
allowing us to get out of the truck and recapture him once again. Our début at the rugby field
was amusing as well to see this Armadillo racing all over with children and other people
chasing after it.
“You have reached Chris‟ Training Stables,” was the next phone call I made,… he responded
with humor to the explicit massage I left him. He came over with nothing but a pocket knife.
We lassoed and hog tied the horse onto the ground, and he castrated it before my empathic eyes.
A month later, I am able to saddle and mount him, but there was something about that first step
he reluctantly did not want to take. It would send him springing into the air, with no intentions
of landing on his feet, crashing to the ground on his head or back and almost on top of me many
times, still not fully engaged with the fact that horses can hurt you!
Chris agrees to come check this out, and enters into the round pen with a huge western saddle
weighted down with sand bags. Repeatedly Eli, came down anywhere except his feet.
When one of the top horse trainers in the country tells you he wouldn‟t get on this horse, I guess
I should have listened, but I didn‟t. My solution went south, I mean literally south one day after
he is dragging my shirtless body thru briars, causing my release.
I took him jogging for a couple of weeks, as I had done with Hawkey, before I tried to ride him
again. I thought this may create a bond of friendship between us, but he spooked and escaped in
this National forest that was situated on 60,000 acres. I was required to contact the Mustang
adoption authorities and the local game wardens, who received many reports of Eli‟s sighting
over the next month.
Finally, a man caught him that had experience in breaking and training horses he boastingly
reported. I told him he could have Eli with proper adoption proceedings, and if I could be there
when he was going to break him!
I got a call from him the day before I was to witness this demonstration. In a humble tone he
agreed with Chris, that the horse was just as dangerous to himself, as he was to the unsuspecting
person that got on him, he humbly assured me.
Eventually, I procured three horses that were playable, as I continued my travels to Atlanta for
Saturday games or at another arena for indoor polo.
In the early years of riding horses, I used to ride one and pony several others with me, that I
held with lead ropes, attached to their halters.
In Tallahassee, I would gallop/trot out this dirt road away from our house and then turn around
and let them race back home. Horses do this, I discovered, especially when you are on the
return trip, attaining full speed for a couple of miles, which I truly enjoyed. On this one
particular afternoon, we are racing back home, when this new horse, begins to get out in front,
causing the other one I had on a lead rope to try to keep up.
The horse I was riding was slower, with my 165lbs weighing him down.
My efforts to slow them down, was failing as we are getting close to reaching the hardtop road,
we had to cross to get back to our farm. Even the horse I was riding was not responding to the
hard pressure I had on the bit, forcing me to release the two horses I had on lead ropes to allow
me to use two hands on the reins, in an attempt to stop him.
This is what is known as, “Being run away with,” not a comfortable situation, especially when
there is the possibility of cars crossing the road, we were about to encounter.
My two handed efforts on the bit, slowed him some, but I decided to turn the horse off the dirt
road, into the wooded terrain in an effort to stop him, which I thought would be better than
flying blindly across the road colliding with a car!
Instead my horse was able to avoid the collision with a tree, with a quick little side step, but I
was not! I collided into it, while my horse continued his race for home, impacting the tree, with
my chest and forehead. This left me unconscious for a short while, and I awoke with a dizzy
feeling, and a bleeding gash, and walked back home.
This tree hugging occurrence happened one other time practicing polo, in the cow pasture, but it
was not nearly as severe.
Thru polo connections I was introduced to a guy from Ft Myers who had just started a polo club
down there, offering almost free membership.
Aine‟s parents and sisters lived there. The operating room I was working at had to close, after I
discovered our Nurse Anestisist with an I.V. in his arm! He was practically passed out on the
toilet from the Demerol he had been abusing.
Our son Sean, was two and our second child Zachary had only just come into the world,… she
could use some family support with our babies. I could get a job as an R.N. down there…, Her
father could buy a 34ft. camper trailer for us to live in…, Their property had 5 acres of pasture
for the horses…, We had friends in Tallahassee that needed to rent a house for six months.
This all happened accordingly.
The plan was for Sean and me to drive down with the horses to get situated with our living
quarters and my new job. I would return by plane to drive her and our new son, Zach down to
Ft. Myers. You have already been informed of the harsh environment I encountered with her
father in their pantry. The problem with this is, I had to tell her the story on the drive back
down! I did have my left Achilles tendon debreded, which had been bothering me for some
time, in the O.R. on the last day of my employment.
Returning to Tallahassee that May of 1993, I was as content as a cat in a room full of rocking
chairs. What happened to dying happy on my porch swing?
The challenge and thrill of polo became my driving force. It was on a return trip from Monroe,
GA, that I arrived with a plan to solve this problem. I have played rugby against Life College, a
Chiropractic school in Atlanta. I could apply to see if I would be accepted. I could get a job as a
R.N. in a hospital where I could work part time, while attending school. I could locate a suitable
home with acreage that could board the horses. I could work at the polo club in exchange for
game time. We could sell our house to afford this new home in Atlanta. If there is a will, there is
a way, was the theme for our move once again
I have never gotten over that we actually sold this incredible log home that we put our heart and
souls into its accomplishment. I believe this truly demonstrated my need for the thrill of
competition, and Aines need for me to find a career that I would finally be happy with.
Looking back on this now I believe I could have created a polo community in Tallahassee if I
would have been patient enough! We could have rented that log home for the time I attended
school in Atlanta, and returned to Tallahassee to open my Chiropractic practice there. But this is
hind sight which is always 20/20. The following demonstrates my feelings then and now.
SHED RAIN, Aug., 1994
We poured an incredible amount of energy into our log home dream, which we began building
back in 1988, and for over 3 years now, we have lived in its magnificence, it‟s now August of
„94, if anyone‟s interested, how long it might take.
Yet we strived to build, not only a home, but to also take a good step toward self-sufficiency,
five acres includes a fish pond, fruit orchard and pasture, which could make retirement
comfortable with some gardening!
It seems I‟ve always had just this in mind, and I wanted to leave something substantial and
worthwhile to my children. I looked forward to hearing the pride in their voices as they
explained this feat to their children,… then a series of events has practically relocated the
dream, as injury‟s finally made rugby a young man‟s sport,…so I decided to fence in the pasture
and soon after I got my first horse. This opened up another world of challenge and excitement,
as Polo has become my new passion. We even went down south this winter so I could play.
Lately I‟ve been building fences and decks and furniture, and the weather has been very
instrumental in making this, a not so prophet able misery!
Still I‟ve kept my spirits with the new local interest in Polo, which has turned out to be a bunch
of rag tag no shows, just recently one guy backed out on an away game, after we‟d already
loaded and wired my trailer!
So in desperation, I humped it up there alone,… That morning‟s “confusion” almost made me
late for the game, exhausted and exasperated, I stayed over at the club‟s stable, in one of the
worst rain storms Georgia‟s ever seen.
That evening, I concluded that I could no longer fight it, as this location negates Polo for
Tallahassee, and even if I get another job as a surgical nurse, the subservience has never
seemed to suit me.
I arrived home the next afternoon, with a new proposal for my wife, as it seems Tallahassee has
little left for me, I am now considering going to chiropractic school to pursue a career that
might better suit me.
I still hear myself bragging, how I was going to die on this front porch, although, I‟ve never
been able to sit there very long comfortably,… assuming I reach the point where this is all I can
do, it would be nice to drool, on one I built, anyway!
I‟ve even planned to build a ramp, up over the outside shower, where I could be rolled in and
easily hosed clean. This way they wouldn‟t have to change my diaper, I‟ll have a removable
flap, up under the seat!
But in all seriousness, I‟m feeling like I‟m prostituting our monumental efforts, and the
triumphant “heirloom” and it‟s equivalent in pain,… which seems to belittle it to nothing more,
than a make shift shelter to shed the rain.
Aine stayed behind for the short time it took to sell our log home in Tally. Luke, our third son
was born not long after her arrival in Austell, GA., a suburb outside of Atlanta. The house and
property was older, and I spent a month getting it back in shape. The next 4.5 years I continued
these improvements, to include a gallop track, barn and stables etc., and sold it for considerable
profit, when we left Atlanta.
I was devastated when I failed physics my first semester of pre-recs. What is so important about
math now that we have calculators? A tutor got me thru this the next go around.
I have tried hard to keep life simple around me, although my adrenalin addiction usually
compounds the challenge. So for financial and self-employment purposes, I decided to go back
Some twenty years later, I reattempt the “cerebral” approach, which has been a humbling yet
enlightening experience, as to why the calculative approach to problem solving has for the most
part been an unsuccessful determinant.
For example, as long as nobody cared if the structure was the exact proposed dimensions, I
could quickly get close to the size and shape, and as long as you don‟t mind moving the lumber
a little more,… I could practically avoid using a tape!
I‟ve had to concede the more complicated details of projects, to those who possessed the
capacity for calculation, while I, of course pressed on with the grunt work and in an amazing
time, the job got done.
As to whether or not this will be detrimental in my studies, has yet, or may not be seen. As
physics and organic chemistry reactions, are constantly cluttering up the screen.
Thankfully the art of Chiropractic is a physical skill, the proper analysis follows speed and
coordination,…I‟ll probably take all the analytical crap and excrete it down the toilet, after the
It‟s not rocket science we‟re dealing with here, yet people can‟t seem to get enough of it. The
technology, the computers, the schooling involved, once again I don‟t want any part of it.
However, I did wallow thru all the mire, and graduated in pretty good standing, but I knew all
along, that it is an art more so than an exacting science.
So for those not understanding how I could choke down 4 difficult years of chiropractic
training,… and take away 2 hours worth of education,.. It‟s because I knew in my heart, I
couldn‟t change my nature,… The only way I got around it is thru adaptation.
Adaptation - Look it up!
PROLONGING THE ENEVITABLE (1ST DAY OF CLASS 1995)
You have asked me sir, why I chose to study Chiropractic, while I‟ve listened intently to my
classmates suppositions,… and suddenly I realize that the guts of my answer lies mainly in my
pursuit of athletic competition. Because the sports I chose are very physical in nature,… it‟s
optimal performance that has spurned my interest,… although I realize nutrition and exercise
are certainly not optional, I give chiropractic and stretching number 3 on my list.
Having endured a very traumatic life style, I have discovered limitations that become evident
with time,…if you continue to crush yourself long enough, you may heal,…but your
performance will progressively decline. You can adjust my spine until you are blue in the
face,…but if the muscle and ligaments remain scarred or shortened,… you may get me to
balance while I‟m on the table, until the proprioception that stimulated stops supporting.
As my vertebra are now demonstrating signs of stress, as the calcium has been called in to my
rescue, you look at the lipping and spurring on this spine and you‟ll get an idea as to what I‟ve
been up to!
Stretch as I may, it helps me somewhat, but these discs have seen higher tide,… and there are
times when the imbalance causes pressure on the nerves and the resulting muscle spasm makes
it difficult to ride.
And yes, the thought of self-employment and the hope of increased income do make this
endeavor more desirable. I hope I can do both, and still have fun! Remaining amazed that the
federal government allowed me to attend college at 42.
I‟ve been walking around here like a kid at camp,… after a couple hard decades of real world
pursuit. Although my life may have undergone significant changes, I‟ve found that not to be true
of my expectations.
It‟s optimal health and fitness I‟m interested in,…removing nerve interference offers it‟s healing
dimension, in my constant search for the right combination that will allow me to continue at
In the pursuit of my dreams and athletic endeavors, I‟ve entered this college to learn and
achieve,…to know in my heart I did all I could,… in the pursuit of prolonging the inevitable.
IF THE GUYS DOWN AT THE DOCKS COULD SEE ME NOW, 1995
I was thinking this to myself,…, as I clicked along on my high tech calculator, perched over an
organic experiment,… enduring the pre-rec.‟s, in the pursuit of becoming a Chiropractor.
It seems power to the 13th, since I sat at a dock, awaiting to book a charter, or sell some fish,…
twisted a leader wire, or sharpened a hook. Did I really used to do that, or just wish,…
That I could be once again skimming over crystal clear reefs,… on our way out to the ocean,…
I was seeing it all so clearly again, I must have said it out loud, “If the guys down at the docks
could see me now”.
Several much younger students asked,” What do you mean“? I told them how I once was a
fisherman and for a short while they let me recreate the scene.
A scene that portrays me as a charter boat captain and mate, and not the rebellious young
man, escaped out on the sea. The glamorous travel, the tournaments, the exotic fish, is all I ever
let them see,… not that I thot they believed me wholeheartedly, I was reliving it for me.
Most of them were kids just beyond high school graduation,.. I had 20 plus years of life they
couldn‟t create in their dreams.
As usual they all have their own fishing tales that I always join in with the others, a gasp!
Recognizing that everyone has their special moment‟s it‟s just that the magnitude is not on the
same scale,…So, I have found it necessary to keep a lot of it to myself, in order to socialize and
try to fit in…
But those who were with me way back then, got up every morning before dawn,… and lived a
life without higher education, entertaining others, as we so romantically harvested the sea..
Thanks guys, you know who you are!
I learned some diplomacy at the O.R. I worked in, I can proudly report. The head nurse treated
me like a red-headed step-child, but I hung in there long enough to see them fire her ass.
It was a good environment for the boys, on our 8 acre farm. We had a wood burning stove that I
installed for heat. I befriended a tree surgeon company, who brought us in excess, all the
firewood we could burn inside and out.
The stove inside kept us warm, but the outdoor fire pit, that I have always required, soothed my
soul. Many dump truck loads of wood chips later, we had a ¼ mile gallop track I used to keep
the horses fit.
THE LAWNMOWER, fall, 1998
I have felt the need to discuss this awkward situation, as I have not found any support groups on
this matter,… It may have to do with feeling “committed” or “domesticated” or come from the
days,… when a couple bucks really mattered.
As a kid I grew up in middle class suburbia, in our neighborhood we all had our ½ acre to
mow,… I would endure this weekly chore all summer, because I either had to, or I needed the
My rebellious early adulthood, I spent trying to remain elusive, believing some glorious
opportunity may present,… baggage like a mortgages or even rent for that matter, I avoided and
roughed it, hoping it made sense!
Confiding in myself, if I ever owned property, I would surely leave it natural and wooded.
So now I‟m 45, married with several children, I went from fisherman to fireman, to nurse. Built
2 other homes, now rebuilding another,…while going back to college again in the search,… of
the finances and flexibility that would permit a new passion,… that is played at high speed on
the back of a horse.
Suddenly pasture and fencing has become important and very expensive. Even this small farm
has a lawn and 5 acres of pasture, that I let the horses keep it mowed for 3 ½ years.
But you know horses have a way of leaving certain vegetation that required countless hours of
a managing the weeds. So when it came time to put it on the market again, I reluctantly had to
concede…As neither horse turds or weeds made a proper presentation, to those who were
looking to buy,…especially in the yard around the house!
I found I could mow the entire 5 acres with a mere 21” mulching blade,… that had to be
replaced on a regular basis, as I worked it harder than it was made for as usual.
But, you know we made a substantial profit on that property, as that mower had it looking it‟s
best,… which made it easier to swallow my earlier convictions, and now I‟ve finally got this off
I took the boys fishing a lot in the pond next door, catching bream and bass routinely to their
delight. They were so sweet and trusting of my suggestion to give their fish a kiss on the lips as
a way of apologizing for taking them out of the water. It was so cute.
The Bobber, summer, 1997
One summer my boys and I went fishing almost daily, we caught some fish and an occasional
turtle…, one day Zackary cast out his bobber and worm, and something quite curious and
This has been the topic of many discussions.., as to whether it was the shape or the size,…
But as Zack started to reel, this huge bullfrog “captured” the moment, grasping the bobber as
it slid across the surface,
Riding it the entire length of the pond, releasing it, as it neared the dock!
We are always interested into any insight on this event,… Some say it was the thrill of the
chase, others have said it was love at first sight!
Regardless, You show should have seen the look on those boys faces as we watched that frog
take a ride,… I thought they never would stop laughing.
We still tell that story that we will never forget…, the day the bull frog took a ride on the
bobber. I love you, my boys, Dad
For my Boys
Look at you two, all brand new.., those big new chompers spread across those joyful faces,…,
splashing, laughing, naked as a jaybird, that pudgy fat, bulging all over the place…, your soft
skin smells so clean and sweet, and those bright eyes I can look clearly thru, how did your
mother and I get so lucky, to be given these gifts like you…,
With bath time over, you do “run run naked…, as the Daddy monster stammers behind voicing
Raah!…, Someone doesn‟t like to be caught “very much”, I keep my approach slow with my
Outside, you roam our farm and paddocks, enthusiastically pointing out every suspicious
looking mound of sand, while letting out a concerned and alarming yell…, so daddy would
know we had more “Ants”!
The walk around the pasture has both of you pointing out each and every pile of manure.
Saying “more horsy Pu-pu daddy”
I would grip you like a football on the horse back as we rode, while you grab the leaves that
came within your reach,…
My favorite you must know is how you say the words,.. passing the apple trees, you shout out
“Bapple”,… but the cutest thing is your description of the two apples growing together, for this
phenomena you shouted out “Bummy Bapple”
At night we go out and search the sky.., we sing “I see the moon” every time it appears,… and
then twinkle twinkle little star…, as we sat around our fire burning outside. Zachary favorite
meal he called “Bar Ba chew chick-chick” you‟d ask “Where did Daddy doe?”, when they
couldn‟t find me…, As for your important responsibilities now, you‟re both on the constant alert
for the “chip man”, the tree service that brought the firewood, and chips,…
Bedtime has us all in the same bed, I think both of you nursed long enough to request which
ONE you wanted,… If someone happens to experience some flatulence, it might have been any
of us but it‟s the funniest to blame it on Mommy, especially if they knew, it was really done by
me! I love my family, Dad
The first polo season in Atlanta, I received an award for the most improved player. This was
probably because I learned some rules, and was less dangerous. On some work days at the polo
club, I would bring my horses. At the end of the day, we would saddle up and go “stick and
ball”, a term used for practicing.
The Big “4...0”…May, 1993
Almost ten years from half a century, I guess any “view” should be beautiful to these wrinkling
eyes,… when I consider the last 15, as purely a gift…as I never should have made, even 25!
Somehow I got off to a rocky climb in life.., refused any of the “easy choices”, I could have
followed.., looking back on those years, brings a dry throat swallow... (gulp!)
The confusion erupted in the high school years.., problems were “solved” aggressively, or
avoided altogether, almost believing I was running toward greener pastures… whether it be for
the evening, or the whole damn summer!
This method; Gave way to a lot of foolish mistakes.., too bad this is the way, I had to learn…, I
don‟t know why I always had to test the Laws and Rules.., because I‟ve hated looking over my
shoulder, waiting to crash and burn …
Never have the consequences, broken my ever driven spirit, as the many challenges have called
for something to protect me…, Thru out the years I‟ve maintained constant physical training,
allowing me to harness an exceptional amount of energy,…This has pulled me thru in many
ways, and became an outlet to those early frustrations, and gave way to what I consider my
ultimate passion…, the thrill of athletic competition,
The inspiration behind the physical training…,was having something exciting to look forward
to,… completely enthralled with the dreams I chose to follow justified the risks and pain, I must
Having had a multitude of jobs and work experiences,… thru correspondence, I‟m now a nurse
in surgery,… but never have I felt contented, in any “so called” career.., considering this one as
I can only hope that in the next 40 years.., my mind and body can reach some common
ground… Trying to visual myself at twice this age.., will gardening and grand children be
enough? Will I become fat and feeble, like most old people.., planning in the morning, what
we‟ll have for lunch,…Even at this age the choices have narrowed considerably.., Just feeling
there‟s a chance to complete at a higher level, makes it still too early, to predict,… Totally
inspired.., by this new competitive endeavor, although at 40, I‟ve slowed down some.., I thrive
on the thought of what might lie ahead..,
Besides.., I‟ve got fast young horses, to carry me around!
So there you have it.., I‟m 40 now… and I have yet to sit on my porch swing comfortably,… but
I have gained a certain amount of insight from this writing, and since you‟ve read this far, I‟d
love to take you with me,…
You‟re galloping down the field at full speed on a horse,… riding a magnificent specimen of a
athletic ability.., oblivious to everything except the ball and the goal.., Wide open only grass in
front of me.., Eyes streaming with tears, rolling down your cheeks, as years of hard work
spectacularly unfold.., because you had the courage to pursue your dreams! This is where I
have arrived at the Big 4-0..!
My other car was that V.W. Thing I bought in Ft. Myers, that I drove the 20 miles to and from
school and work. The absence of windows and a heater made this quite a feat in the winter.
Taking pride in my perseverance, I would wave at the “warm” people staring out at the snow
drift accumulating inside my car.
I have been driven by my adversities, which led to my passions, can I say that now?
NO ONE BUT YOU, Jan., 1985
By examining the driving forces that spur me on and the misgivings that hold me back, I‟m
hoping that this will help me to come up with the perfect act. To compliment the ambition I‟ve
had, without the means of achieving, or to highlight what I consider my finest point and that
would have to be my believing,… that I could control my destiny and make all my dreams come
true,… by finding a rewarding and satisfying career I might pursue,… because it‟ll be a cold
day in hell, you find me contented, with just any mundane existence,… For as long as I live, I
know I will always have the persistence,…I made mistakes, like depending on others too
much,… So rebelliously naïve, I needed the crutch.
Now I‟m trusting in my own judgment in persisting with what I must do, finding the answer lies
in believing in no one but you.
The pursuit of occupations, careers and businesses were not in my mind, for security purposes,
although this would have been nice.
I had careers that could have given us financial security, if only I could have committed myself
toward this long term endeavor.
Security to me is to have something to do the next day that will pay the bills, and get me one
stop closer to the next adventure or challenge I am pursuing.
Financial independence is something I aspired to achieve through real estate acquisitions and
rental property, problems with tenants on multiple occasions turned me off this concept.
Contentment is a fleeting concept, that can be achieved with a good cup of coffee, or a cold
beer, or good food, or a hot shower or great s_ x. Did I mention great s_x?
I considered my children as my greatest accomplishment and will do whatever it takes to help
them grow and succeed.
I loved my wife and children, but I had to work myself to a frazzle trying to provide for both
them and me. I would be in bed by 8:00 pm and wake before dawn seven days a week in order
to do this.
Nearing graduation, it was suggested we consider Aiken, South Carolina as a choice for my new
Chiropractic practice. Aiken had historic polo, it was a small quaint town, it had the Catholic
school Aine required…, It was perfect for both of us.
WHERE WILL I BUILD MY FIRE? Dec., 1998, our arrival in Aiken, S. C.
We visited this place a couple years back, on a “tour bus” through the city we drove,… passing
polo fields and race tracks, in-between stables and mansions, and for the majority of time, we
were still driving on dirt roads!
Just adjacent to this equestrian dream lies the largest urban forest in the country, two thousand
acres of woods, with sixty-five miles of sandy trails, conceived exclusively for the horse or
buggy. Now there are people who would say, this “might” appeal to me,… After this visit, I‟d
say it was truly after my own heart.
So we began leaning hard, after “Chiropractic camp” was over, into making Aiken, S.C., our
new start,... Camp did prove hard and time consuming interfering greatly with my polo training,
although I played most Saturdays during the season,… I also gave a day in manual labor for
trading (thanks, Dolph)
Then there was the resurrection of the old farm we lived in, although the commission was well
worth the pain, I can now add new abuses to all the nagging injuries,… any respectable old
rugby player can claim.
I still drive the old truck and acquired another V.W.Thing” sired our third son, this now
completes the team,… all I‟ve got to do is stay healthy for 18 more years and I will have truly
exceeded the dream.
Finally those four long school years went by and we‟re now poised strategically in the midst of
this famed Horse District.
We would not have had the need, to rent this old house, If the first right of refusal hadn‟t shown
up! We had a contract to purchase 45 acres that I was even going to be able to grow my own
Yes, our stuff is still parked out there, in a semi tractor trailer, scarring the poor deer, until we
find a new location. Disappointed? Yes, still looking, yes, I‟ve scoured the entire country side
doing everything in my power, but after these last four days, as I worked the horses, I‟ve been
grinning like a possum, that‟s eaten something sour.
Imagine if you will, a close-in trailer ride each morning, to breakfast in the local “Track
Kitchen”, then walk outside and stick and ball the horses. It‟s all here, it‟s this easy, I‟m not
kidding,… or I might run with the horses, for a 30 minute jog, on this wonderfully packed sandy
track,… and then take my turn at hitting the ball as I balance above their well-muscled backs!
No, we have not purchased a place at this time, but I‟ve all but con vinced myself, I could
perpetually wallow in this equine mire.
I know this not exactly what I‟m accustomed to,… a crackling blaze out in the country, matches
my evening attire. I‟m getting this visual of myself in Top Hat and Tails, sneaking around some
manicured yard,… in search of a place to put my fire…”but of course”
Upon our arrival in Aiken, S. C. one of my first acquaintances was Joe K., who leased 400acres
of cattle pasture raising cows and horses, where I boarded my horses as well. He was also
involved in polo and we had regular rag tag type polo scrimmages out there that I enjoyed
almost as much as I enjoyed him.
On one occasion he was in the process of catching cows on horseback and he asked me if I
would like to join in. I soon realized that Hawkey rather enjoyed chasing after the two young
Bulls we were trying to single out finding myself riding along side them with ease. Joe who was
equipped with a lasso was quick to realize this and passed me the lasso that I had never used
before. My solution came after I tried and failed to throw the rope overhead which would have
been more official in the cowboy world was to simply ride up alongside the Bull at speed and
drop the rope over its horns.
The problem with this was I was riding an English saddle that had no horn in which to wrap the
rope around in order to slow the racing Bull down. Now What?
Now I‟ve got this young Bull lassoed that has 400acres in which to maneuver and this coarse
rope burning thru my hands. It was only a matter of time before the Bull outdistanced the rope
pulling it out of my hands. Upon seeing this one of the guys with us jumps from his horse, dives
for the rope and is now being dragged thru the grass on his stomach. The Bull make a turn
around a tree that allows this guy to get to his feet and take a quick wrap around the tree
slowing the Bull to a stop. Yeah, we had some fun out there! Love you Joe.
COME TO MY FIRE, Dec., 1993
Having had the misfortune of growing up in suburbia, it became obvious I wasn‟t meant for city
congestion,… it wasn‟t long after moving to the woodlands atmosphere, I discovered this
magical appreciation,… for every night we‟d spend around our vigilant campfire,… of which
I‟ve come to require more frequently,… You‟ll find me out there, on most cool nights now, and I
don‟t expect that will ever be decreasing.
The Plains Indians harnessed their more necessitated fires, centered inside their teepees,
Where they cooked and warmed, and lived by the flames,… Now people sit inside and watch
I prefer to watch the ever-changing embers, that allow you to focus so clearly,… In the words
of a friend‟s wife, when told they must go, “I can‟t leave yet, all my troubles aren‟t through
Before this time, I never felt the need to announce it, but I feel It should be spoken, in a Native
American tone, out of respect for these people as I am sure they would have appreciated it,
when someone honored them by saying,…Come to my fire!
I got some bad advice from a chiropractic instructor, and opened my practice, using his game
plan, which proved unsuccessful in the early years, no wonder he had to resort to teaching. I
hired a business consultant to get me on track again inspiring this next anecdote
The Coblet is half full…,May, 2002
“Meg & Mog” is the title of my 4 year olds first book that has become a “must read” every
night. Not that he can actually read words, per se, it‟s the pictures he cues in on, while
adlibbing his own words and insight.
Meg‟s a witch you see, that he pronounces a “woutch”, or her cooking cauldron, he calls her
coblet, It is how he says the words that, we would never correct, that provides the most
It‟s midnight Halloween you see, the woutches spell party impending, that inevitably runs into
some trouble, as they stir in various rodents, bugs, and a bat.., abracadabra, flash and boom,
Poof, all the woutches suddenly turn into mice, which are now being chased by Mog her striped
cat…, with Meg making promises to turn them back next Halloween. Oh well, something went
wrong… , fancy that!
Of course my words could never do justice to hearing our little Lukey‟s version, But you need
this background to understand this title, as I embark on a new business regime this day I
requested my coffee to be served in a coblet!
You also need to know, that in preparation for my boys future, I am continually presenting them
with information I feel important. Today‟s message discusses people who view the glass as half
full, while others will say that it is just the opposite. As our discussion leads to comparing both
ways of thinking, a positive attitude was the message for the day.
My boys must have sensed my lighter spirit this morning, remarking,” Dad, your glass must be
half full today!” So I stood there smiling with my “coblet of coffee”, proud of my efforts in
teaching them as well.., and then Zachary makes this correction, using little Lukey‟s
pronunciation “No Dad, actually the “coblet” is half full!” I love you boys! Dad
We eventually bought a 10 acre farm that had two residences, one that we rented, while
I played polo, eventually owning six horses.
Polo…It‟s the Horse
Prior to my first semi-official season of Polo…, I spent 6 months in a cow pasture, attempting to
ride and hit… Although I did roughly manage to accomplish this, my technique relied heavily,
on athletics and grit. This in no way means I was comprehending proper horsemanship, and
perhaps could have created some bad habits in the horses I trained,… I simply believed that if
we kept chasing after the little ball, we (the horses and I) would all eventually get the hang of
Still, halfway into this season, we have no strategy or technique, as the seasoned Pro‟s and
their thoroughbreds blazed on passed us. Then finally, someone who realized I had no formal
instruction, showed me how horsemanship could be so much more exacting,… The ever so
subtle, yet critical, U.S.P A rules, has also presented an uphill mental battle…I regretfully
I could hit the ball by now, on both sides of the saddle, but the truth of the matter was, I didn‟t
have much choice,… I was a novice rider, on green horses, with heavy handles,… I felt
fortunate, to steer the horse close enough to take a shot, which was not always reachable, or at
a difficult angle
What I was focused on even back in the cow pasture, was to make sure I hit it when I got a
Let me say, that it is one hell of a lot easier on these perfect fields, without any cow turds or
lower oak tree branches. It‟s only now that I begin to realize, the amount of variables to be
mastered in order to play in the higher levels.
As it has becomes obvious everyone else possesses higher degrees of this information, so the
horses and I are trying to re-educate ourselves.
I just could not have envisioned how precise the training is, in order to control a horse at full
speed, when I think of how little control I had at this time, I‟m even more grateful to be alive.
It‟s the horse that makes you or breaks you in this game…
FASTER HORSES, July, 1997
Heavy spring rains, beautiful fields, still this season has started slow. Picked up a new horse,
retired another, if it wasn‟t for “Hawkey”, I guess I still wouldn‟t know,… what it feels like to
ride, a top notch pony, except that he‟s smaller and lacking speed. He makes up for it in
athleticism and heart, which tops the list of the following needs “faster horses, and more
money. I‟m already happily married, but I will take another beer, it‟s the horses and cash it
takes to get them, that continues to hold me back on this 3rd glorious year,… in the pursuit of
capturing the king of sports. That‟s becomes frustrating in the heat of competition. I‟m just not
in a situation where I can do it all right and school‟s still a year out from graduation. There‟s
something to be said about determination. Evidently the “obstacles” have not been strong
enough forces,… realizing that my quest and desire at this point in my life,… lies in the pursuit
of faster horses.
BLAZE A TRAIL, Aug., 1993
As I make my way along this incredible endeavor, I face the usual doubt and disbelief,… along
with the pile of dollars and experience I„m lacking, that make this all the more challenging to
You don‟t just break a two year old mustang, and teach yourself to ride and hit,…then after 12
chucker‟s of playing time announce, “Looks like a high goal Polo is near!”
As you charge in, off of a cow pasture, onto this perfectly manicured lawn with no trees,
delighted in how this wonderfully smooth surface, can allow such elegant ease.
Hey….Did you see that rookie just score, from under the neck and nearside,…Oh… he was just
I don‟t think so, after a year of daily practice, along with the physical training and stretching
involved,… hopefully the two decades of rugby preceding this, won‟t take too much of a toll.
So it is strongly evident, the path I must follow,… Fate permitting of course, there will be those
who will appreciate what I‟ve got,… as I gallop ahead, toward higher goal pastures, I must
acknowledge the mountains, that must be scaled,…as usual, I‟ll go about it in my own
unorthodox way, and that means “Blazing a Trail.
THE WORST DAY OF POLO IS STILL ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE, Spring, 2000
It seemed like our team just couldn‟t get it together and the other team all played above their
ratings,… Sure I was a little disappointed at our surprising loss, but I was more grateful I was
out there playing,…we probably could have won on any other day, but we all know how that
goes,… The fact that I was even in this 5 goal tourney was a gift from a friend and above,…
The 2 pro‟s on our side seemed decidingly disheartened at their performance and horses in this
game,… and yes, the horrible field took away a lot of their skill, even the next morning, sand in
my eyes still remained.
But what the heck “it was very close for a while”. One of the on lookers shouted out as he
drove on by. What surprised me was a reply which came without any premeditation. The worst
day of polo is still one of the best days of my life.
Have I mentioned that Polo is expensive? I could afford membership with the Aiken polo club
but as far as the fees required to play in tournaments and hiring pros, this was beyond my means
and irked my soul that I had to pay someone so I could play in the higher level games! Waiting
for the call” is how I lived with this.
It must be recognized that polo is also dangerous as well. Players get injured, and on the
average two die on the field each year. “Waiting for the call”, meant that when someone got
injured, I was there ready to step in, in a moment‟s notice, which I did with great pride.
In a polo game in Aiken, on the famed Whitney field, I took a “near side” shot that disengaged
my right stirrup, from the saddle causing me to roll off the galloping horse, landing on my back.
This broke four ribs, two of the fracturing in the front of my rib cage, just under my right
The adrenalin places me back on the horse to see if I could continue playing, but when I took a
swing with the mallet, I felt a grating sensation, that took my breath away from the pain.
Stopping the horse, I was assisted to the ground, and transported back to my rig. I could barely
speak, because the swing of the mallet displaced one of the fractures in the front protruding
I asked Bob the paramedic, my friend to attempt to reset it by standing behind me with a bear
hug type motion, which he declined at first. Somehow I convinced him and when he did we
both felt it clunk back in place to our amazement. Don‟t try this at home…
It must be noted that the nerves that innervated my right nipple, passed by this non-union, and
at certain positions or movement, would cause my nipple to burn, like it was on fire, for at least
a month before it healed. Ouch!
Out practicing polo one day, I was ahead when one of the pros hit the ball, that I saw just before
it was about to hit me in the face! I put my arm up at the last second, and it hit me directly on
the point of my elbow at 75 mph! I threw-up as I was sliding off my horse from the pain, and
my elbow swelled to softball size, thinking my right handed days were over.
Days later after the swelling subsided, I could feel little bone chips, floating around that are
still palpable today, but I regained full usage, to my amazement.
In a practice game, I had a horse stumble, after a long full out run to the goal, most likely from
oxygen deprivation, driving my right knee hard into the ground. The swelling and pain made
ambulation difficult for almost three weeks!
I was given this paint horse, to try to make for polo that had been a failure to the professional
that allowed me to do this. I believed, after a month‟s time, that he was ready to play, as
demonstrated by our stick and ball, club side practices.
It was a 12 goal tourney, that I was recruited as a substitute, the highest, and fastest level of play
that I had encountered. It was the third chucker, that I was playing him, when we received
pressure from either side, as we raced toward the play, while the pro in front of us, turned the
ball, creating a squeeze from all sides.
This made this horse panic, exploding into violent bucking, with me trying to stay on his back,
and the other horses and riders, trying to get out of the way. Eventually I was sky rocketed into
the air, and came down on my feet, that painfully tore my groin muscle. I gave that gorgeous
horse back, as much as I didn‟t want to.
Another time, I purchased this young thoroughbred that has never been ridden, but responds
easily to my round pen training and I was riding him in three days. After a long slow gallop, I
was returning home at a walk, when something spooked this horse rearing up on his hind legs,
like the lone rangers horse, Trigger.
I am hanging on with my arms around his neck, and decide to jump off in an attempt to land on
my feet. I stumbled however, and fell onto my back, which also makes this horse lose his
balance, hopping on his hind legs backwards, on top of my stomach and chest for a couple of
hops. This happens so quickly, I was unable to avoid it!
Although it was painful, surprisingly it was not disabling, but my friend Jack, who was in
witness, strongly suggested I go to the hospital to get checked out for internal injuries. I decided
to ice wrap my torso, and lay down for a while, after he left. An hour later, I got up and went
outside to do something with my boys, when suddenly I felt light headed and began sweating
As long as I remained on my hands and knees, I could focus, but standing made me feel like I
was going to pass out. I called my wife who was grocery shopping, twenty minutes, away from
her arrival home, and then instructed my boys on dialing 911 if I should lose consciousness; and
crawled my way to our front porch to wait for her arrival.
I suspected internal hemorrhage, as did the ER doc, after he took one look at me, while I am
requesting two large bore IV‟s to replace the blood volume I suspected I was losing, which they
did. They ran scans, x-rays, and urine samples, via a Foley catheter, which was the most painful
part of the whole ordeal, finding only traces of blood in my urine.
Several hours later, my color came back, I stopped the profuse sweating and my vision was
clear. But, they wanted me to spend the night for observation. I told the concerned and
perplexed ER. Doc.; that I would like to walk around for a while to see how I felt before I made
my decision on staying overnight.
I felt fine, after walking around the ER. ; With an IV bag in hand for 15 minutes. I called my
wife to come get me and signed the release form against medical advice again.
I got a call early the next morning from the still perplexed Doc, worried I might have died in my
sleep who now labels my diagnosis as psycho traumatic shock, for lack of any other medical
term he could pin on it. This might be a good episode for the medical TV drama House, do you
I hired a chiropractic consultant, and read gurus in business, and real estate. We purchased some
rental properties, and on the surface it appeared like we were doing OK, but we were just
I rode a bull in a professional rodeo, my second year in Aiken, under the protest of my wife,
who was not in attendance. My two oldest boys took 2nd and 3rd place riding sheep, or “mutton
busting, as they called it. It was one of those unforgettable weekends that I recorded for my
boys to remember after I‟m gone.
The Campout, and Rodeo, Love Dad, Nov. 2001
Sometime down the line, I won‟t be around any longer, so I thought I‟d bring back a time;
when I was.
Remember the weekend of our first wooded campout and the next day‟s rodeo?
Zach was five, Sean you were seven, we packed up food and sleeping bags, and walked out
back, into the deepest woods we could find. We found a little clearing, that we all agreed was a
good campsite. We lay down the tarp, piled the sleeping bags on top and then gathered some
wood, as it was just before dark.
We then went for a walk, to explore the wooded area. I kicked arrows in the dirt at strategic
places, so as not to get lost. To our surprise we came into a clearing that was the field I had
often time jogged with the horses.
Thankfully Sean, you paid attention as I led us astray in the wrong direction, but you
recognized a clearing where one of the arrows was waiting to “my” relief and followed them
back to our camp.
Soon we had a fire going, because I think it dropped below forty degrees as we heated up that
can of stew, Mom had so thoughtfully suggested,… to go with the sweet potatoes, corn,
marshmallows and fruit. You both peeled the corn, while I cut up the taters that we wrapped in
foil over the coals
You boys both were bent over that stew, like it was the best you ever tasted, as there is
something about campfire food that is more like food for the soul.
Zachary, your marshmallows usually became a torch, your blackened lips, sounded with a
crunch,while Sean, and I preferred the browning technique, either way they added just the right
Sean sited the first star and we recited the poem, in order to attain the right to “the wish”.
Nervously, I visualized the events for the next day, with the Rodeo heavily toping my list. Our
heavy jackets became pillows, as more stars appeared; you both were asleep, within a few
minutes. I sipped a little something, sitting by the fire listening to all the critter noises and
I collected the B.B. gun and knife, placing them strategically by my side, in case the pack of
coyotes I was hearing beyond my vision decided to give us a fight.
As chilly dawn arrived, we hiked home in a hurry; you went to church with Mom. I was called
to go adjust someone‟s horse hurrying to get back home to prepare myself. While on my warm
up jog, I did a little praying myself.
You both should know I had no business riding a bull, so I asked God to look after me. It was a
“seize the moment” opportunity for me boys, the kind I so predictably cannot resist.
I hoped you and Mom would forgive me, if I got injured, as I choked through the act of
contrition. It was “mutton busten” for you boys, and Bull #57 for me.
I recall shouting sheep riding encouragement over the noisy crowd, as I studied your faces, but
it was oblivious that neither of you were scared or phased.
Zack you looked like a bug, shot from a rocket on a rug, seventy-five yards away from the gate,
your sheep literally had to run you over, to get you off her, as she dragged you thru the dirt.
Sean, your sheep zigzagged everywhere, I don‟t know how you ever stayed on her so long.
The crowd went crazy, as I stood in awe; the tears welled in my eyes, as they presented your
awards. Out of fifteen contestants, you took 2nd and 3rd place.
Mom, stayed home, you remember, protesting my insanity, so I found a place I could watch you
in the large crowd.
I can still see you both kneeling there, peering thru the railing, even after this bull and I had
become firmly bound. The site of you both brought out the fierceness I summoned, as my
survival was paramount in lieu of what‟s at stake. I have been given you boys to love and
provide for…, as 1800lb of muscle, exploded out of the gate! Although, I‟m sure we will have
many more cherished moments to remember together, this is one day I will never forget! I love
This next anecdote depicts the intensity of Bull riding that I assure you I will never experience
No Sense Being Dumb, Unless You Can Show It, Nov., 1999
There was so much adrenalin, rushing through my veins, that it felt like I had become suspended
somewhere high above the arena,… simultaneously spectating and participating as it appeared
in slow motion,… and that was “me” straddling the hump of that black and white Brahma!.
Eventually, all the professionals began to recognize my innocence,… As it would soon be my
bull‟s turn to be released from the chute, somehow this seemed to escalate the urgency of the
situation, from out of everywhere emerged those, I hoped knew what to do!
Each one shouting his own discovery of alarmed declaration,…as they realized I was without
gloves or vest, frantically capturing the last cowboy, crumpled in the dirt, to provide me his
protection, to keep the horns from my chest!
Then up runs this guy, who‟s heart was in the right place as he begins to offer me his “left”
hand glove, still everyone who approached me, had this same “cautioning advise”, after you hit
the ground, “get up and run”!
My favorite was this gruff guy, gifted with the most tact and reassurance, as he realized there
was no time for any more adjustments, “Ah Hell, we didn‟t use to use all these damn
precautions, it‟s those damn safety people, who started demanding it”.
You know I meant to bring gloves, I kept scolding myself, as they wrapped and packed seriously
around my bare handed fist, I am now quite firmly attached to eighteen hundred pounds of
muscle, with this concern as to whether, I could get free, if I so wished?
Especially after witnessing the very fortunate rider before me, just miss clanging off the
unforgiving steel gate,… I fought the visual of a polishing all the railing in this arena but at this
point my concerns, were a tad too late.
Besides.., the level of sympathetic adrenal output I had produced, had created an outer body
experience, you remember…, allow me to convey this in a more graphic terminology. “It was
very high, on the scale, of pucker factor!
I had no idea, a bull could achieve so much air, it seemed forever before we gracefully hit the
ground, which made the precious seconds we got to spend together, quite an athletic endeavor, I
so humbly found.
So much so, that even after we parted (thank god), He graciously decided to spice up my event,
which coerced me to take that advice they all kept giving, which was over on the spectator side
of the fence!
Just then, one of my patients, rushed out from the crowd, somewhat questioning my sanity and
judgment, I replied with an expression, I‟ve had to recite more than once, “No sense being
dumb, unless you can show it!”
Having entered into the privilege and pleasure of child rearing, I wanted to capture the love
emotion and uniqueness that every family shares by recording these next several anecdotes.
“Gimmie My Sleeper Boys…” March, 2005
I admit, I have hesitated, to record this most endearing family interaction, simply because, it is
not that common of a practice. At least, I have heard no discussion, by the experts of family
dynamics, even from the honorable crusades, led by all the psychology experts.
Certainly, in my own Industrial Age family experience, we did not share the same bed with our
parents, we said grace, ate dinner, and said bedtime prayers together, but we most definitely
went to sleep, in our own childhood barracks.
With our offspring however, our babies slept with us from the beginning, while that beautiful
maple crib took its non-functional place among decorations. As we received each new bundle of
joy we just made room in our bed, for the sweet new addition.
But, as the nudging, chubby legs, increased in size and number, my wife began to re-think her
position on this arrangement,… especially when our third son arrived on the scene, as the first
two are making gains in strength and ballistic movement!
Unfortunately her valiant effort, in later carrying them to their own beds, gave way to the more
conventional arrangement…, against my own efforts, to retain their presence with us, although I
knew it was inevitable, it was something I dreaded.
Because this closeness had become a source, of inner peace and contentment for me,… unlike
their father‟s restless spirit, had ever known. I more than cherished the nightly ritual, as I
gathered my boys all around me,… It was a centering experience that inspired my purpose.
So my intention has been, to re-capture this wonderful memory, that my boys will remember, as I
called them to bed…, creating a “Steeplechase” type race as they dove in beside me, followed
by the negotiation of who got to sleep next to Dad!
But most of all to remember how MUCH, I treasured this time, and to thank THEM and God,
for allowing me this joy,… Even now, I can feel it, as I hear myself call out…, “Gimmie my
“Don‟t Rust Me Up Dad”, May, 2003
Once Again, A child‟s viewpoint provides moving and humorous subject matter that I simply
cannot resist attempting to capture. So in order for you to comprehend this message and title,
there is background information that must be made aware.
His first grade homework included a series of questions, words that his father had to actually
read. It is in the beauty of his reply.., “to where he felt most happy,” that defines any
background, you will ever need.
Because without out hesitation, he spontaneously replied, “Oh, that‟s when I‟m snuggling my
mother”. The tears welled in my eyes, to witness the love that will always be special, between a
child and his mother… It is bedtime now, and I have an opportunity to snuggle him, although
I‟m allowed this closeness, it‟s always short lived…, Within a few moments of receiving this
parental pleasure, the attempt will begin to get back to “her” side of the bed.
A retreat I had to attributed to this innate Mother relationship,” or in the morning, that babies
can be quite fussy,… but on this particular occasion he verbally announces that “my feel”…,
resembles something rusty.
His rough and now enlightened father realizes, I am no comparison to his mother‟s gentle
softness, but did not consider the sensitivity of a child‟s gentle skin, when placed. up against his
father‟s stubble and calluses.
So a paraphrase has emerged, associating my own weathered roughness, terminology that has
emerged into our family vocab…, so when I reach out to pull him close to me now…, I am now
humorously warned, “Don‟t rust me up Dad. I love you Luke
“Champage”, Oct. 2005
In a previous discussion, I disclosed our decision, which allowed our young children to sleep in
our bed, a cherished family tradition that ended too soon for me.
However, from this tradition, emerges an endearing family memory, that our youngest Luke,
made so virtually predictable, that we labeled it according to the action, and incorporated it
into family language, giving him title.
Although the word has its roots, in the action of a verb, it is the personal aspect, I am
attempting to describe…, as we embraced and endured his unique sleeping posture, that
occurred very soon after he is settled in alongside; Taking our family‟s closeness to yet another
level, by physically locking you in for the duration. Very soon a leg would be slung over your
being, clamping you into his now famous position.
I had a discussion with him on how this may be communicated. For example” Give me my
clamper boy,” would request him to join us for bed, fully knowing that someone would be
“clamped,” as it also was said. It is this action then that authentically personalizes, and
captures this loving boy‟s demeanor. When asked if he had any preference of what to name it he
answered without hesitation, Dad,” let‟s call it” clampage“. I love you Luke.
“Sponge Bobby”, 2004
Since I thought it to be an unusual request of our six year old son, in asking for a “pillow”, on
his seventh year birthday? I found inspiration and answers in my quest to understand this more
fully, making such a beautiful observation, that I decided to record it today.
For those of you unfamiliar with my “creative” spin off of this “title character”, a popular
cartoon that in fact takes place “under the sea”, Would you believe the last time I informed
people of my discovery of this observation they all looked at me like I was the only one who
didn‟t get this, Please!
Ok, so now that I have established “Sponge Bob‟s” aquatic environment, I must inform you
that it has no bearing whatsoever, on why this is what he named his pillow. This name came
about, because of my wife‟s decision after its purchase…, to cover it in a case, depicting a
caricature of this odd fellow.
You also must know he is very fond of his mother‟s pillow, still it was the reason for this that I
was most interested in hearing,… His reply was that he really liked the fluffy softness of her
feather pillow, but what he loved about it the most, was that it possessed her “wonderful smell”.
So of course, we gifted him with the same type of fluffy feather pillow, sporting as you know, a
colorful Sponge Bob from under the sea. I even applied the sweet essence of a cotton candy
perfume from a sample that captured it exactly, we all agreed.
So we spent the next week, making a fuss over his new “Sponge Bobby” and then I decided to
see what would happen, if he were asked to choose,… It was in his reply that allowed me this
moving human connection and the reason I have recorded this wonderfully refreshing news, as
the essence of his mother, in her “old feather pillow” totally blew away the “new one”, which I
attempted to lobby, clearly demonstrating the presence of the powerful mother and child bond,
because the other choice was none other than his Birthday Sponge Bobby! Happy B-day Luke
“Wanna Play “Man‟s” now Dad?” Sept. 2002
Once again, my 4 year old , Luke, has inspired documentation with his newly invented game of
imagination, played predominately in bed, with various toy characters. A game that virtually is
unending, and is always won!
You are provided with a toy character, possessing extraordinary powers that may be on
important intergalactic missions, often challenged by aliens, or impossible physical feats, with
the main goal, to keep the characters in motion!
“Whatcha gonna do now?” is the “eternal” question, which means I must come up with
something new to do, of course I can always fall back on my repertoire of stand bys, I have
discovered over time, like flying or swimming or firing at intruders,… to the more essential acts,
like eating and chewing,… any of these activities, are of course orchestrated with sound, for
example, drinking is appropriate after significant physical activity, simply announce your thirst,
while swallowing exaggerated gulps,… or sleeping may be initiated, by lying your man
horizontal, while making snoring noises, like they do on cartoons.
You can move your character rhythmically to emulate dancing, while singing a catchy little
song like “Hooo Deee Dooo”. All of these will work in a pinch, while you‟re stalling. I‟m rather
proud of the dancing and tune you must know!
Hide and Seek is accomplished on an arm‟s reach dimension, for this distance determines the
universe. You may hide your man in pillows and under covers,… An eyes closed count down,
opens the search,… Once you become aware of the location you could conceal your
awareness,… by looking elsewhere or perhaps very close by,… so as to keep the one who‟s done
the hiding in “suspense”, who will eventually assist you, if you continue to fumble by!
So, my attempt to capture any rest, I may have required, is immediately given some pep and
zoom, because he is patiently waiting for this opportune moment,… which is the reason it‟s
always played in the bedroom.
One time I kept dozing off, after hiding my guy, only to be awakened by someone sounding a
little mad, who had not only uncovered my character, but emphatically wanted to know “you
still want to play mans now, Dad! Sept. 2002
You didn‟t do it…,Feb.,2003
From a time when my nephews, were ages 3 and 5, there emerges a human nature
demonstration of the purist kind…, Kevin, the oldest was asked to model some clothing to a
crowd that was accumulating in size, so as customary he gets his younger brother to test the
water, to ensure this is not something he will be shy to do, unafraid Travis walks right out there,
and proceeds to steal the show. Upon witnessing young Travis‟ bravado and reward, now Kevin
is eager to give it a try…, “Can I do it now” he asks his brother? Giving rise to this now classic
reply…, Indicating that Travis recognized his own 3 year old achievement and grit, requiring no
further explanation or discussion that day, as he simply looks at Kevin and say‟s, “YOU
DIDN‟T DO IT”.
Love you guys, Uncle David
PEE WEE POLO, 2004-2009
I don‟t expect many people to grasp, the complexity of this innocent heading, but you can rest
assured, this is not another line of designer clothing for children, because there are only several
thousand people engaged in the sport of Polo in the U.S., and these “Peewee” contestants,
come mainly from their own children.
Pee Wee Polo then, is a term describing children learning to play Polo, which combines riding
a horse, and striking a ball with a mallet,…as most people realize horse riding, in itself, “is an
undertaking”, so.., at any age, to hit a ball, from a moving horse, is a challenge,…
You must also be informed, the complexities in Polo are such, that this sport becomes more of a
“passionate way of life”…, simply because you just can‟t decide to “play a little Polo”, around
breakfast one morning, and then casually call up the friends, you would like to invite!
It involves years of horsemanship, to achieve the skills and confidence, the same is true in the
preparation and training of the horses,… Who also must be conditioned to the unique rigors of
Polo.., not to over look the effort and expense to maintain them, of course!
For it is the “horse”, that becomes paramount, when dealing with children, that any “horse
person” will admit, presents an element of unpredictability, defining the only horses these kids
are sat upon comfortably!
So there is an exchange that takes place, to enable your child to learn Polo, that begins with
confidence in the horse, and your child‟s own ability. In order to minimize the fact, that there is
some risk involved, just as with any sport, there is the potential for injury.
My 12 year old son Sean, is demonstrating tremendous talent, as his father proudly watches the
years of riding triumphantly unfold, the sight of him playing with such poise and skill, is a
vision I will cherish more than he‟ll ever know. As to whether he continues the tradition, I have
so humbly started,… it will always be regarded as a “special time”, in both of our lives,… and
a rare opportunity for either of us, it must be acknowledged,… and a memory that will always
put tears in my eyes! I love you, Sean ---Dad
It was during this time frame that I applied to be on the TV Show “Survivor”. My wife and
children were the ones that inspired and encouraged me. My plan was to act like I had never
done anything in my life remotely related to survival or physical endeavors. I would have make
things happen in a way that gave someone else the credit.
Their questionnaire asks you to identify several items you would choose to take with you if you
were selected. I have always wondered if my request for baby powder, as one of my choices is
what eliminated me. Damn you, Ira!
The Ultimate Survivor, March, 2001 by Dr. David H. Fleming
I‟d like to thank you for this opportunity, to apply as a candidate, with the understanding that
contestants should possess certain traits. So I thought if I could discuss some high lights of my
endeavors, you may be better able to decide, if I‟ve got what it takes.
I can claim firsthand experience, thru various attempts and careers, as I‟ve balanced adventure
with self-sufficiency. I like to throw myself out there, and become absorbed in the pursuit which
creates a more challenging way to achieve proficiency.
For example, at 24 years of age, I bought 2 acres of land, cut down trees and notched them
together,… building a 1200 sq ft log home for myself, including electrical, plumbing, and
This occurred during the era of my professional fishing career, which has taken me to exotic
places. My favorite of which is Lizard Island, Australia, where as a “wire-man” we caught
Marlin in thousand pound sizes.
I should mention I grew up in middle class suburbia, and had no prior experience when it came
to building, but I‟ve gone on to build two additional log homes, and just recently a 430 sq. ft.
I created a pond and raised thousands of catfish, had a business building hand-hewn furniture,
became a civil servant in rescue as a firefighter paramedic,… and an RN surgery in those years.
I built miles of fences, especially after I discovered the horse, which is the mustang I‟m riding
in this video.
A humorous story in itself the transition… from the elegant violence of rugby, to the even more
challenging sport of Polo!
So yes my inherent nature and curiosity, have placed me in precarious situations,…but I regard
the endurance of 23 years of rugby as my true test of character identification.
Although I‟ve wrestled a bear, rode a bull in a rodeo, jumped overboard and caught a sailfish
by hand (got pictures!), took a nine foot alligator home, alive with a rope, received a hard
bump, from a large shark… and it wasn‟t on land!
My children have called me “Runs with Horses”, which I take with me for my daily run‟s, did
the Orange bowl marathon, back ‟86 and my share of 10k‟s and triathlons.
One can only hope that some of the latter experiences have mutated into a concept called
“wisdom”. As I recently received my doctorate from esteemed Life University, and at this point
my past is in the setting sun.
You could say I‟m educated, but still in the struggle. The student loans always impending…,
and the opportunity to achieve financial independence, will bring out the best in me, if I‟m
placed on location.
I‟ve been blessed with my beautiful wife and children. They are now the inspiration and love in
my life. In fact it was my family who decided I should enter your challenge and for them I will
contend with all my might,… there‟s never been any choice, but to train continuously, as I
remain poised to “seize the moment” for new adventure, and you present a magnificent
opportunity, that could alter destiny. You can bet I‟ll be a contender for the ultimate survivor!
A Star is born…April, 2001
Used to mean… the Phillips head slipped, whoops!, creating an unwanted star like indention *,
Of course this was not the desired outcome of the task, so we‟d shout out this cliché, like a
comical form of cursing…, some decades and too many projects latter. My screw gun and I were
constructing a barn,…the first time I slipped off and embedded the head, from the depths of
subconscious, I blurted, “A star is born!”
Instantly I was carried way back in time, where memories appeared I forgot I knew,... Suddenly
a whole circuitry of people and even music, steadily came into view,… I smiled to myself as I
followed the memories,… Just as suddenly I was back in the now, and I began to wonder about
all those people and what they were doing now,… and if they ever thought about me too, as
another picture suddenly came into view, what if they did select me to be on “Survivor,” and
this December I appeared on the Tube!
Allowing the multitude of people, I have met along the way, to sit back on Thursday evenings,
and have their say.
From anywhere on the planet my ears might be burning, from all of those who I in some way
have touched. This could make for some interesting conversation, I assure you, as I tried to keep
it adventuresome enough,…
There will be those who will have recognize inherent nature struggles I endured,… in my quest
to overcome what that may have held me back,…
I can only hope everyone will feel connected to my emergence, cheering me on, or having a
There will be those who will remember a certain tenacity, that I bring, to anything I am
inspired to achieve, and I would like all of them to know I still cherish this possession,… it will
definitely be with me, when I arrive on the scene.
Who could ask for a more magnificent opportunity,… to reconnect me to the past, and to all of
those who may have wondered about my destiny, Whoops! “Another Star is born!”
Ten years went by in Aiken S. C. I also coached soccer for six years in the youth league, with
my sons on our teams, inspiring this next anecdote.
A Glimpse of Greatness, Nov. 2004
Before I indulge into my interpretation of the subject of Greatness,…that I am proud to say, was
inspired by one of my sons,… I would like to pay tribute, to the parents of our young athletes,
your commitment and sacrifice, deserves more than this honorable mention.
I must also attempt, to qualify my own credentials in addressing this subject, in order to
support my ability to identify this concept, hopefully you will accept my six year involvement in
kid‟s baseball, and soccer, or the forty plus years of my own participation in team sport
However, this discussion must include more than the viewing of “gifted players” as they
demonstrate the mastery of two distinct qualities…, possessing a higher percentage of the
physical ability, that is empowered with desire, even more importantly.
My own personal attributes were derived from the latter of the two, but I had the good fortune
to have this recognized by a former coach,… who credited my “desire” in an awards ceremony
before the entire team, that was such a powerful message, I now try to emulate his approach.
Because I emerged from those words, holding back the tears, with a sense of pride, that was
formerly never realized,..; the heart, as he described it, that I demonstrated in competition, gave
me something that could overcome, my below average speed and size,…
This has now become my purpose, in working with the kids, I too, want to create “defining
moments” that change their lives. So I look for “special qualities” that can be developed and
nurtured, and then personally recognize them, before peers and family; Because there is unique
position and opportunity given to coaches…, due to the unbiased nature, of their meaningful
discoveries. So my words may not have anything to do with the particular sport, because I know
the greatest impact lies, in reflecting upon a player‟s internal essence.
This season I had the pleasure of watching my own son Zack emerge…, into a player that an
entire league respected his competitive presence, since I wasn‟t his coach, I watched his games
from the bleachers, where I proudly listened to the remarks from the other parents.
It wasn‟t his dominating performance that would occasionally tear my eyes,… but rather, the
determination, he so magnificently possesses…, Thank you Zachary, for allowing me to share in
this proud emotion, and for giving everyone who watched you “A Glimpse of Greatness! I love
you Zach…, Dad
I fenced and crossed fenced our land for horse paddocks and built a 12 stall barn. We boarded
horses for income and had many visiting polo players and their pros frequent our farm. We had
a vigilant fire going in our huge outside fire pit all winter.
In honor of my Indian heritage, I purchased a 25 ft diameter canvas tepee that I nestled into a
wooded corner of our farm. It took 18, twenty five foot pine trees that we cut, hauled and peeled
for this purpose.
It served us well, for many reasons, but my main objective was to give me a glimpse of the past
that I had always wanted to experience.
I believed then and now that the plains Indians who lived in these mobile structures had it
Snuggled around their fire inside their tepee, with hot stones buried underneath their warm fur
beds, all they had to do was lay back when they were ready to go to sleep.
My squaw, however, chose her bed over this. Eventually, we added modern appliances to
include plumbing, electricity, and AC., that we rented to visiting polo grooms, or hippies,…We
had this one couple stay in it for two years.
I CAN SING JUST AS GOOD AS I CAN DANCE, 2008
As I sat in our kitchen, with my two year old, Luke, singing yet another chorus of “Show me the
way”…, my wife directs this infamous title “phrase” toward me, inspiring the incite full
You know bachelorhood was very good to me, any opportunity to enhance it, I most certainly
would. Over the years I enjoyed dancing to break the ice, with my own signature movement, I
felt was acceptable.
Envision if you will rhythmic shoulders leading the motion, accompanied with foot work that
includes a dazzling spin. I can change gears for various speeds of rhythm, and really never
think about how to begin.
But no one has ever made comment, until this day, insinuating that my dancing may not be up
to par…., because obviously my rugby party vocals never escalated, into any career offers, that
made me a star.
This has given my kids newly acquired cheesy grins, whenever I am encouraged to show them
how I dance, now they are attempting to mimic my movements, leading me to suspect, they are
doing this in jest!
Delving into her reasoning, that she rephrased as a “lack of artistic creativity”
So what was it then, out on the floor that evening, that was so inspirational to her on this one
particular dance, when she threw herself at me, in a passionate kiss, It didn‟t matter then
whether I could sing … or dance! I.L.Y., Aine
Eventually I had two secretaries in my office, another chiropractor, a massage therapist, an
acupuncturist, and was still breaking even.
I have decided to include several anecdotes that go along with the theme of injury or aging
since this is how I was feeling at the time
Did Ya get the License Plate?”, Oct., 2004
I believe the time has arrived, to record this more pressing phenomenon, especially as I squeak
by the first half of a century….., Recognizing that I have been gifted, with survival, of even the
last 25 years, So the rhetoric for the day, is to re-examine aging and injury.
It‟s been over a decade since I‟ve pounded the rugby pitch…, quite casually, I thought I‟d
solve this retirement, on the back of a horse,… Searching for excitement, with a lot less
“elegant violence”, because in Polo, the horses do the bumping, But of course!
But this sport has proven to be, no game for sissies, as I naively believed, I‟d just learn to ride
and then score! It has also proven to be more, than a thrilling experience, because in the
beginning, I don‟t remember ever getting very sore…!
Instead, Polo has contributed, to the decline I‟m presenting, as I regretfully discovered horses
do occasionally fall. And, it is painfully possible, for me to lose balance at speed, or get hit in
the elbow, by the projectile-like ball.
Even last week‟s frenzied match, and the associated “endorphin-effect” perception, allowed me
to score five goals, toward a victory by three, Yet, almost as soon as the adrenalin begins to
subside, quite rapidly everything begins to seize…
Making ambulatory moments, all the more challenging, even simple procedures, like rising from
a recliner chair,… These must now be performed, with the assistance of momentum, or pitiful
little sideways steps, to get downstairs…,
These, are the annoyances, that I am considering “new copy”, along with certain other feats I
now recognize I should not do,… I just can‟t snatch around massive stuff, to where I want it
anymore, as I have paid for this, a time or two.
Naturally I‟m going to experiment, with any detriment to my passion, so I committed a week, to
do nothing but rest…, I woke up on the 3rd day, comparatively asymptomatic, portraying Garth‟s
Rodeo song character, “cold & restless”.
The more sensible crowd may be proclaiming, “Well, there‟s your solution, it‟s simply a matter
of choice, “Obviously all the injuries that have occurred over time”, “are now appealing in a
louder voice” NO DAH!
God forbid there come a time, when I may succumb to this solution, as intend to “skid in
broadside, trying to fuel the addiction, enduring this annoyance, and whatever it takes
actually,… If this is you, allow me to grace you with an observation,… as I‟m hobbling toward
the kitchen, on this particular A.M., I passed my children, reciting this title cliché. Replying with
grins, after I had to translate the implication, “No truck hit you Dad…, it‟s only old age!
Thanks a lot guy‟s…….love Dad.
GETTING OLD IS NOT FOR SISSY‟S, June 2000
Not to rattle the minds of the psychoanalytic community, I call this an “escalation of the human
spirit”.., requiring an exceptional amount of tenacity and dedication, It‟s these people I really
hope get to hear this.
Your body‟s response to traumatic insult over time, is to produce scar tissue and calcium
toward your rescue,… which eventually causes pain and range of motion loss, as the
competitive years near pasturing in the fescue.
The medical way of thinking, addresses the symptoms, prescribing drugs for your pain and
inflammation,… then after some time of taking these drugs, they be digging thru your innards,
for the drug induced perforation.
This leads to the role of proper absorbsion that you won‟t receive without a healthy digestive
tract. You can‟t pour drugs and antibiotics into this sensitive environment and expect the
digestive flora to come bouncing back!
; producing an individual that radiates with vitality, when they are unable to assimilate the
typical diet that‟s poor at best. On top of that they immunized our children from all of the “bad
germs” and give flu shots to our immune suppressed seniors no less…
“Come on now… this is not working, Epidemiologists have demonstrated this cause and effect
for years. There is a recipe for health and longevity, but you won‟t find it in a drug store for
Back to your success with traumatic injury, as soon as possible introduce movement with
exercise,… providing the joint and surrounding tissue with blood flow, so you heal in a manner
that least affects your life.
The problem is that this involves considerable discomfort and effort on your part, in
comparison to the M D.‟s anti-inflammatory prescription,… who also fails to address the
nervous systems role in cell function, resistance and regeneration. This exit‟s the spinal cord via
your spine. Any pressure on these nerves creates an interference, so if you‟ve had trauma
introduced into your spine, don‟t expect your medical doctor to know what to do about this!
My firsthand involvement with strength training and athletics, I know what happens if you must
stop,… even just 2 weeks of inactivity produces considerable losses, the „old “use it or lose it”
scenario truly slows down the clock.
Look at what the medical paradigm is doing to the majority of seniors, bent over, and drugged,
as they hobble to the mailbox.
If this is your idea of aging gracefully, then excuse me for getting up on my soap box.
But if you are tired of waking up, reciting the title of this discussion,… you‟ve got to get off the
couch, throw out your drugs and take your health into your own hands.., while you‟ve still got
After pounding thru the seventy‟s, in my post teen years, I celebrated the “Big 3-0”, in „83.
Looking back on those days, I‟m tempted to consider my survival a truly significant feat…
But regardless of how the world might rate this accomplishment, I feel I‟ve at least gained
some perspective on what‟s important, and yes without going into details of the last decade, it‟s
quite possible my opinions might be distorted..
But these days when I‟m with the more civilized sector it becomes quite amusing to hear how
they think, especially those around the age of my folks, who I‟m sure have endured some rough
Now their kids are grown, their hair is blue, the golden years have set in, like Elmer‟s
glue…And whether they‟ve got a small set income, or they made it rich.., there‟s always this
subtle, yet pressing subject, that‟s ever present on their lips.
So that within any given, four hour time frame, there‟s an eminent celebration about to
occur…, whether it‟s baloney and mayo cement sandwiches, or Filet Mignon,… their whole
social and physical being will have been stirred!…
As if their world has arrived into one big cafeteria and everything you need is there waiting in
line,… because eating seems to become the #1 priority, it‟s what they do to have a good time!
So every time I witness this, I chuckle to myself, could I possibly get that tired and bored. Will I
end up grazing in the very same pastures, and come to regard eating, as anything more.., Than
simply fueling the machine, and making a turd, could this ever be regarded an eventful feat?…
Will I inevitably wake up one day.., with this concerned look in my eyes and ask, what are we
going to eat…..NAA…
SLINGING LIZARDS…Sept., 1985
You lie there hooked up, to all kinds of crap, they‟ve got tubes coming out of you, and
I.V.‟s putting it back, They‟ve got machines and computers, monitoring all your shaky vitals,
skilled doctor‟s and nurses and Gideon‟s Bible…
Who knows how long, you might possibly last,… without any complication‟s 10 years could go
past! Attempting everything, our technology has discovered, but they don‟t expect you, to ever
recover. They can‟t undo something, you‟ve abused all your life,… that shit you inhaled, put that
way out of sight….
For if you luckily survive the cancer risk, and the accelerated blockage of vessels, then you too
can expect your last years to be,… in agony as this poor fellow.
Look at him now, a guy that could speak three languages his poor wife mumbles, thru the tears
and the anguish,… recognizing he ignored all the warning‟s and precautions allowing us to
observe the senseless outcome…
Whether it was ignorance or attitude, or not thinking ahead,… his already shortened life,
He spends rotting in bed…
So it‟s a struggle each breath, thru that dried mouth gaped open, straining to exhale, thru the
fluids that choke him.
His painful darkened tongue, hasn‟t swallowed, for many moons, swiveled and swollen and
looks like a prune… He‟s a withered bag of bones, minus the muscle. Unable to even control his
bladder and butt----!
“Who wants to get old”? “65 years is plenty?” You don‟t really believe, it‟s going to be sweet
I created this visual, to give people the ugly view,… because he‟s suffering proof of what
smoking will do,… It really doesn‟t matter how old you get, there‟s an irreversible effect, from
every cigarette lit. So, this decision is educated, everything is proven and known, the very same
agony, you can choose to clone… So tragic and stupid, you know the score, but it‟s still
happening to millions. Please don‟t smoke anymore.
Have you ever seen a Lizard that has been trapped inside, becoming dehydrated, and mal-
nourished,…well Slinging Lizards is a term we would apply to nursing home calls via
ambulance during my paramedic days,….as we lifted them onto our stretcher, by slinging them
in their sheets, a sad but true analogy.
Then it happened, an injury preceded by a horse fall, ruptured L5 - S1 disc. I tried to
continued working, concealing my pain from my patients. I would have to lie down, to rest on
the table myself, after they were out of sight.
Eventually I was on crutches, and slipped one evening while attempting to negotiate our wet
front porch steps. This sent me flailing in pain on our driveway. I tried to shake this off but the
pain became such that I requested an ambulance that evening, as I could not move to get into
my house. I was desperately hoping they would give me some pain medication, and help me
into my bed.” Why did you come”, is all I could say to them after I realized they were not going
to do this, which two of my friends in witness have never let me forget! “Why did you come?”
They did help me into bed via stretcher, but that was all, and by morning the pain was an 11 on
the scale of 10. This time I begged them to take me to the hospital!
Two months went by before I could negotiate getting out of bed for any length of time.
“Applied Kinesiology “June, 15, 2005
For the purpose of “re-living” this endearing family moment one must conceive something
about Applied Kinesiology,… “Energy work”, as it is described, that becomes a vehicle for
obtaining answers, assessed in a manner that results in changes observed physically.
For example, one technique requires the “light feel” of gently rubbing fingers together, as the
tester intently focuses on the subject with questions,… which he enters into this concentration,
as potential answers to the problem, which may cause reactions, by creating noticeable friction
to this motion.
The Kinesologist then re-tests suspected answers in various sequences, to determine if any
particular answer causes friction consistently. One can only assume that my downfall prior to
this evening came from.., teaching this method to my offspring,… the other took a lifetime of
physically induced trauma .
From this polo related accident I had to concede to transport via ambulance,… as rolling
around in bed only served to make the pain more unbearable…, and for several of weeks now,
my poor wife and children have witnessed my agony and the ugliness involved with being at my
Let me be the first to admit that ruptured disc pain has got the best of me, but tonight my son
Sean, has already volunteered for my sentry,… thankfully replacing Zachary‟s heavy headed
sleeping nature, making it all but impossible, to wake up to help me.
But since all my boy‟s were already gathering in my death bed, I asked Zack if he wanted to
stay,… from under the covers he responded in the form of kinesiology type questions,… that
when uncovered, it became obvious he didn‟t want to,… From the blatant observation, that his
fingers, were not making contact, and his smile that was spreading from ear to ear.
How could I blame him for not wanting to stay with me, after having to witness the pain of last
evening being the worst thus far! He had devised a way to avoid the agony of his Father,… by
declaring a negative response to my invitation,…
That he was being guided by the universe to sleep in his own bed,… which immediately created
this family hilarity!
I‟m not expecting anyone other than our family to appreciate his humor, that almost brought us
all to tears,… Even I, in my most pitiful state of pain and agony, haven‟t laughed like that, it
seems for years. I love you Zach
My employees and other associates left. The three year lease option for my office came due, but
the owner baulked, and a two year law suit ensued, that was eventually purchased in my favor.
I made some unfavorable business decisions, or had problems with employees inspiring the next
In Good Faith, Aug., 2005
As I search to bring clarity, and more so, closure to this matter, I turn to the dictionary to
provide certain words with definition. “Human nature words if you will, that go without saying
in relationships that have remained basic and ever present from the onset of creation.
Words such as loyalty, defined as faithfulness to obligations, or faithful, specifically, loyal to
duty or promise, gratitude arises out of appreciation for kindness, while obligation is a state of
indebtedness for service.
These are words that communicate directly to your conscience,… that reside in a realm, beyond
the formality of business,… although, we are required to operate from written documents and
agreements, there is no escaping your gut level awareness.
For example, some business agreements require exclusivity of your product, recognizing your
presence may bring clients to their business, or your service may enhance their operation in
some way, so they take you in, promote you and receive a take in percentage. Today, I am
recalling one particular agreement that I entered into to for most of the same reasons. Although,
there was a humble projection concerning his income potential, it was the licensure
bureaucracy had kept him unemployed for a season.
It was easy to become enthralled with his likeable demeanor, I was also impressed with his
client interaction,… His treatment success was receiving rave reviews, he gained my friendship
and trust and I wanted it to happen,
I had to recognize I needed liability protection, and a percentage for the use of my office and
the only way to accomplish this in the legal world is to draw up the agreement, we call this
Our negotiation focused on two key elements, recognizing his potential, I sought exclusivity this
1st year, I even conceded to a lowered take of his earnings, as he pointed out his lower volume,
should reflect this figure.
I was forever impressed by the way we signed our agreement,… how he put his arm around me,
graciously thanking me for the opportunity,… although exclusivity, was something that perhaps
limited his exposure… on this day I was assured, his first year was with me.
His success became phenomenal by most standards, as I actively promoted his service to all of
my clients. I was neither aware that our agreement contained ambiguous clauses or that my
below standard take was becoming increasingly extravagant.
But, eventually I was given a 30 day notice, as he decided our agreement was in need of review.
Although I was aware of a clause that allowed for this injunction, I did not fore see, what was
coming into view,…
As he chose to challenge certain flaws in the wording of the document,…over the unwritten
laws residing over humanity. The betrayal I was feeling, ignited a heated discussion as he drug
me over the coals of ambiguous terminology!, Where I conceded to a loss of income and
Even my wife was given an uncomfortable opportunity for comment. I can‟t imagine what he
expected her to say…, Congratulations on your victory over my family‟s income in public!
Something swayed this man to override his conscience, because it was more than obvious, that
a purely strategic business maneuver would not take on such an uncomfortable looking
It is not my intent however, to jump on my high horse, while passing judgment on the human
race, but rather to principal myself in virtues that honor humanity, so that I will remain
committed in keeping my affairs IN GOOD FAITH!
THROW A WAY‟S, 1984
A term I have given to a lot of the modern stuff, like cars, and toys and lawn mowers. They don‟t
expect or want them to last for years; they‟re counting on the break down for profit turnover. I
know I could get ugly, discussing my opinion of this waste, because “cutting corners” has
spurned this discussion. It‟s the people who actually want this to happen, that have gotten me
Like the scum bag who will tell you anything, without having any intentions of following
through, making up excuses along the way. God forbid you question this seemingly acceptable
behavior, your word is not meant to be binding. It was only meant to appease, while they are in
your face,… any real confrontation leads to the long list of excuses and/or whining.
Too bad we no longer depend on each other for primitive survival, because today the cowards
are no longer weeded out, which has created a sizable amount, increasing in numbers,
attempting to feed off those who actually work,… as we endure all the disappointing promises,
often left holding the other version of a “pie in the sky”, there is no shame or guilt associated
with this, as they can look you straight in the eye.
Not that I believe, I have all the answers,… I can only attest to what I‟ve experienced 1st hand,
they either lost respect for their role models or the view of strong character, they just didn‟t
have,… because if you miss the very important messages, you are most certainly at risk for
becoming a throw away too!
Which has theoretically placed me into this bull dossier today, burying the promises only meant
to last long enough until I look away,… right along with all the junk that wasn‟t made to last,…
into the ever increasing heap of throw a ways. Jan 2000
Unconditional Conditions”, April, 1993
The people who don‟t do what they say they are going to do, upset me way more than I should
ever let it, so in contempt for every consistent abuser, I felt compelled to write something about
In an attempt to have some profound effect on those, I find lying to me in the future,… I‟ll
calmly hand them a copy of this writing, although I‟d really like to kick it up their rear!
Knowing my written words will never be punishment enough, who in the hell do I think I‟m
kidding,… but I will have at least, voiced my opinion, for having to endure this despicable
Although it appears to be more of a modern consciousness,… this concept has been around
since the beginning,… when you tell someone you‟re going to do something dammet, your
words place your integrity on the line.
This makes you responsible to come thru with what you have said, your reputation is not built
upon good intentions,… People need to be able to rely on your word, which is one of life‟s
Honor is a gift a man gives to himself. No one else can give it to him, and no one else can take
it away. - Rob Roy McGregor,14 Century Scotland
I went to Atlanta to try this special traction machine that made my condition worse.
An older polo player came over in my behalf who had a similar experience. This man possessed
none of the higher education in the field that I was suppose to be an expert. He took one look at
me squirming around in my bed, sweating in pain, and says to me, “You have got to stop
moving”. I replied that the “burn” I was experiencing on the top of my left foot was so intensely
constant that I couldn‟t stay still, even in my sleep. His reply was, “Do you have anything better
I followed his advice, starting out with 5 seconds of non-movement, then 10 seconds, and so
on….By the end of the day, I could, although trembling and sweating, remain motionless for 20
This demonstrated that the diagnosis I was given via MRI of herniation was incorrect. A disc
rupture is what causes the fluid inside the disc to leak onto the nerve root causing this burning
The daily traction sessions I was enduring, along with my constant movement promoted this
leakage, and did not allow the outer fibers of the disc to seal off and heal. Go figure.
The following day I was 40% better, and I continued this “non-movement technique” until I was
back on my feet.
I sold a few horses to keep our debt afloat, but we were heading toward deep financial dudu, as
you can imagine!
I needed to know if I could ride again, but one of my horses stopped more abruptly than I
anticipated, causing my butt to hit down hard on the saddle, returning the shooting pain down
my leg again. I got off that horse and have never gotten back on one to this day.
These next series of events or occurrences are evidence that we only really remember things
that were close calls, near death or are unusual in some way to make them come to mind as you
go back in time.
CHAPTER 16, STILL STANDING
When I was building my first log cabin in phases, in between fishing, I worked at Barnacle Bills
shucking oysters. While at work one night I noticed this pimple or ingrown hair just under my
right nostril and decided to squeeze it. I‟m telling you this because I believe that the oyster
contamination is what caused this infection and this next ordeal, although I could be wrong.
Anyway, this pimple turned into an infection, that entered my sinus cavities, threatening to enter
my brain, is what the hospital told me. This was after my face swelled so much that my lips
began to split and bleed.
“What took you so long to get here”? Was the doctor‟s next question that I didn‟t want to
answer, but “hardheadedness” may have been the real truth. Needless to say, they were very
concerned about my condition that became so painful, I soon received hourly shots of Demerol
to go along with the IV antibiotic drip for the next 24 hours.
Finally, I feel a slight release of the pressure, coming from the site, below my nostril that got me
out of bed, to look in the mirror. My roommate, then hears me moaning in ecstasy leaned over
the sink, with both hands squeezing either side of my swollen face. This is causing what appears
to be a quart of green pus to exit thru this infection site into the sink. It felt almost orgasmic,
and in two hours time, I was released.
Electric grinders, with 36 grit can be dangerous, especially if you remove the guard from them
and they jump out of your hand and become entangled in your pants.
This one not only twisted and stalled in my nylon warm-ups, but carved a deep ravine in my
upper right inner thigh too close to major arteries and my manhood! I had to unplug the
machine before I could remove it from my leg and clothing.
You may recall, I purchased my first polo mallet, from the polo club owner in Atlanta, but the
head of it wore out in a month. The cane was still good, so I decided to shape another head, out
of a piece of hickory, on Rocky‟s table saw. This proved to be an awkward and dangerous under
taking, as my left thumb was nearly severed. Only glancing the bone the decision was made to
simply sew it back together creating a tension that caused the tip of my thumb to narrow, so that
now I can pick my nose with it if I so desire!
Once, while working at the polo club in Atlanta, I was cutting trees down with my chainsaw,
when one tree leaned into another and didn‟t fall to the ground. I decided to cut another tree,
attempting to make it fall onto the one that was leaning to remedy this problem.
This was successful, but the leaning tree still did not fall all the way to the ground, but rather
bent with tension on top of another tree on the way down.
I say “tension now”, because I did not suspect this when I cut into it near the base of its trunk,
causing the 70 ft, 16 inch diameter tree to spring upwards at least 25 ft into the air, just grazing
the hair on top of my head. A little further lean forward, I am sure it would have taken my head
Another time, I got between two horses that didn‟t like each other and got kicked so squarely in
the butt, that it lifted me off the ground. This hurt so bad, and debilitated me so much, that I
couldn‟t talk or move for a minute. Finally I was able to faintly call for help 50 yards away
from our house, that took quite some time before my wife and some neighbors came to my
assistance. The leg attached to the buttock, that was kicked, was immovable, as I dragged it
behind me, with my arms draped over their shoulders. My wife took a picture of this perfect
black and blue hoof mark, as I lay on our floor three days later.
“High Ho Silver”, is what the Lone Ranger used to say, as I show my age, but this what
Hawkey started doing early in my riding experience with him. At first I thought it was neat that
I had a horse that would rear up and pivot around on his two hind legs, until I fell off one time
and he stepped on my ankle.
My solution to this came after my ankle healed, when I rode him to a soft sandy area, in the
national forest. I got him to perform his rearing up act, and then placed my hands around his
neck while standing in the stirrups, then; I gave a hard pull, backwards, causing him to topple
over helplessly onto the ground. I believe this embarrassed this incredibly athletic horse,
because he never did it again!
Also in the beginning of my horsemanship days, I did not have a horse trailer, but I did have a
sturdy 1968 International pickup truck. I devised a cage like structure, made of chain link fence
panels that stood 6‟ high, secured to the wooden flatbed of my truck. I then made a sturdy
wooden ramp, that I used to walk him into the pickup truck bed, and closed the gate securely
My first test run, I drove proudly down the road, about four miles to the nearest gas station,
with this young horse standing in the back of my truck.
You should have seen all the looks of amazement I was getting as people crowded around to see
the spectacle, as it turned out to be.
It was on the ride back home that I was traveling about 50 mph on this one lane highway, when
a semi truck came blasting by. This scared Hawkey who sees it approaching, to begin to move
about in the back of my truck, causing the truck to rock dangerously side to side making it hard
My solution to this was to cover the cage with a tarp, so that he couldn‟t see out, but he still
moved about when he heard the noise of another car going by.
I tried placing heavy pipes alongside him, so as to create a stall to steady him, but his 1000lb
weight would lean into these during turns and threatening to topple the truck over. Finally I
bought a horse trailer dammit!
Before I even rode this horse, I discovered he had a playful side that I used to show off, that I
demonstrated to my brother-in-law Taylor. He was small at 18 months and when I hugged him
one day he rose up and put his front legs on my shoulders while I danced around with him
standing on his hind legs. After a while, all I had to do was lean down pulling upwards on his
legs and he would do this automatically.
One time with Taylor in witness, Hawkey stumbles forward collapsing on top of me, with his
front legs pinned underneath him, that were on top of me. Surprisingly this does not injure me,
but it wasn‟t all that comfortable either. Now what?
Taylor‟s concerned rescue reaction was to get a running start and plow into the horse‟s
shoulder, in order to drive him forcefully off of me. This startled Hawkeye, who then struggles
to stand up, raking his hooves across my chest and face as he did…
The best play I ever made in a polo game occurred when my mallet swing got underneath the
ball too much, sending it high overhead in the air. My horse was at speed, as we raced toward
the airborne ball, realizing I may be able to tap it in the air with my mallet before it hits the
ground…, which I did.
This places the ball traveling just to the right of the upright goal post, with me riding full bore
trying to intercept it. I reached wide right, and was able to tap the ball once again in the air, thru
the goal post for a score! This cause‟s Hawkey to perform his side step move to avoid the goal
post, as it hits me square in the face. Thank God those goal posts are padded, unlike the trees I
had become accustomed to!
This next episode occurred only one year ago, in 2009, at Gold‟s Gym in Aiken South Carolina.
I am at the bench press, with 45 lbs plates on either side, but after one repetition, I decide to
change my hand placement to a narrower grip. Without reracking the bar, I gave it a little
upward toss, in order to reposition my hands, but failed to catch it. Instead it came crashing
down on my sternum. Instinctly I caught the upwards rebound, to place it quickly back on the
rack, and then rolled off the bench onto the ground with the wind knocked out of me once
Many people have gathered around, an ambulance has been called, as I remain on the ground
on all fours, breathing deeply, sweating profusely, barely able to speak. The ice on the back of
my neck did wonders, but the fractured sternum, and ribs did not.
My biggest concern was pericardial tamp anode, a condition where blood fills the sac
surrounding your heart, that eventually won‟t allow it to beat. This was the concern of the
paramedics as well, as I am now up on my feet trying to decide if I should go with them, which
I declined, once again signing AMA release forms.
I did request my oldest son Sean to come to the gym and follow me home, to stay with me for a
while, in case, this condition occurred and I passed out at home alone. Thirty minutes later I
was hungry, so I knew I would be OK, but once again laughing, coughing and sneezing, were
out of the question for a while.
On a philosophical note, if there is a higher power involved with the human experience and
survival, and I have a guardian angel assigned to me for protection, I believe mine should be
awarded a metal of honor!
The real estate market was good, but my relationship with my wife was not. We decided to sell
the farm and buy separate properties.
I decided to include this next observation that challenged our relationship because I was a
morning person and she was not. This was also compounded by our differences in energy
Prior to writing this autobiography my reason to go through with our divorce was her
indifference to my painful injury and this escalating heavy headedness. I believe that the
possibility that I may not ever recover to help provide for our family weighed heavy on her
mind as well, and may have paved the way for an escape she desired anyway. None of these I
believe are totally inaccurate but I cannot speak in her behalf.
HEAVY HEADEDNESS, 2007
One would not describe this clique, as a purely lethargic condition, it appears as an inherent
nature, that requires a lot of rest…, One that becomes noticeable to people with average drive
and activity level, and even more so to those, who desire to live life with zest!
Therefore, in order for me to discuss the title of this passage, it becomes necessary to make
statements about my nature; pertinent to this reading are comparisons of time and energy, and
the concession that I am a very energized type creature.
I must also admit, to a convincingly real feeling that the majority of people appear in slow
motion. It is then, my exposure to this “Heavy headed” type persona, that has encouraged and
inspired, this written inspiration.
What I discovered in my early experience with this condition, is that it has a tendency to run in
families. It was overheard in a family conversation as they discussed a younger sibling,
evidencing that it is an inherited genetic trait,… there is a concern, because they realize it is not
normal, but since this entire family was afflicted in varying degrees, only severe symptoms or
episodes attract attention formally.
Unless you are spending your life, or entire days with these people, the outside observer would
not detect anything out of the norm…, you must be placed in their midst, for example on
vacation or holiday, where you may suddenly look up and notice, you‟re all alone…
Because sleep is their most demanding requirement. So that after any given segment of wakeful
activity, they will be returning from somewhere, to eat and rest, leaving you chaperoning
yourself, with the remote of the T.V.
Although they do get the average sleep, required by most, these little disappearance naps are
still required throughout the day, yet I have seen them motivated beyond any noticeable
symptoms, and can be quite good at concealing these, by the way.
Their night time sleep is more of an attempt to contain the monster, that when disturbed, will
elicit anger as the predominate emotion, “It” prefers to capture this alone, in seclusion or
silence, so any closeness or snuggling, is out of the question.
I believe it is their “morning disposition” that inspired this clique, as they attempt to embrace
all remnants of lasts night sleep, remaining reluctant to communicate, or show any pleasant
emotion. It is a zombie like demeanor, demanding all their attention to keep…,
On days they know, they will have to get up early, a concession of snooze alarms, urges them to
begin,… after several of these disturbances, they arise like count Dracula; Annoyed enough
now, so that anyone is a possible victim.
It becomes a frustrating and lonely experience, for the unsuspecting partner, committed into a
relationship, with someone of this affliction, there is no “good morning, dear, I‟ll put on the
coffee… or … how about a little loven, before the day starts in motion.
On the other hand, as long as the days activities do not directly affect anyone else….this
becomes a green light for them to sleep in…., Maybe somewhere around late morning, they will
awaken from the trance, no matter how many pressing projects of their own are impending.
Unlike people who are excited about what they want to accomplish, there is rarely any rise
early and charge into the day. It is all they can do, to maintain an ordinary existence, and only
so much energy, they can afford to give away.
Dragging themselves home from work takes considerable conscious effort. Healthy notions like
exercise or hobbies are started and failed. They often become sick after extended family visits,
having reached beyond what their energy has available.
With age, they become angered and depressed with this condition, their mounting frustration
has them criticizing significant others,… for their inability to cater to the sleep they so
desperately desire…, which demands even more time now, just beneath the covers…,
; Leading to an apathy concerning health and appearance, succumbing without fight to the
challenges of aging. If there was once a thriving sexuality in their relationship history, now
anything becomes an issue, if it involves interrupting precious sleeping.
Children and immediate family are given everything they have, a better spouse choice may
have been surrogate in nature, as evidence when their spouse requires some unforeseen care or
attention, any effort toward their support becomes something of a bother.
The criticism is always directed, at the core of ambitious nature, condemning the pursuit of
challenging ideas, projects or sports, quite possibly the causative reaction behind this titles
symptomology, presenting its sluggish demeanor in the form of heavy headedness.
It should be noted that Sleep, in my opinion is highly overrated. Once I was exposed to the
research that defined the concept of R. E. M. or Rapid Eye Movement sleep this changed
everything. I stopped trying to force sleep on myself for fear of being tired or not recovering
from my training routines. As long as I went to sleep early which is the only time you will
capture this critical sleep, even if I woke up at 4:00 A. M. I was delighted; seeing this as extra
useful time that allowed me to get so much more accomplished.
I bought a 110 year old historic house in downtown Aiken, zoned for business, in order to
reopen my Chiropractic practice, while she bought a house in suburbia 3 miles away.
I also became licensed to construct fences and decks and pursued this as a source of income as
well, that led to and inspired this next anecdote.
Prior to pouncing on why I chose to critique this title phase, you must be given knowledge of my
strong belief in capitalism. An economic structure I can not support any more emphatically. It is
principals within this system that gave this discussion direction.
I also must make clarifications concerning business in this title. Applauding the “win win”
decisions, honorable in nature,… the direction I am taking examines a gut level conscience,
concerning personal relationships, changing the way things were…
It also becomes necessary to expose a more common implication, please be receptive to the
subtleness of the following passage, “Nothing personal you understand,” as it is commonly
predicated, precedes the intent to legitimize certain actions or excuses.
While we can easily agree, there are personalities and skill levels, that are obviously going to
be detrimental to your business or purpose,…
What I am addressing is subtle integrity issues, lying just beneath the surface,… that I cannot
seem to stomp on any harder,…
Surrounding a timeless consciousness, admired in the essence of the Samari warrior, who‟s
exemplitory existence, followed loyalty to those deserving of this honor,…
My own efforts to inspire men engaged in my business are a perpetual attempt to emulate and
Committed to a premise that rewards these characteristics, for the men who make on effort to
follow me purposely,
This has also served to expose degrees of conceptual excellence, and physical limitations
involving technique and skillful artistry,… because no matter how emphatically my protocol is
explained or demonstrated, I must believe for my sanity, there are some things they can‟t see!
Unfortunately, the inherent nature of the construction business is such, that there are periods
between jobs when work is slow,… although we have remained relatively active in our first
fiscal year, a week in a half unemployed, is still an unnerving spell to go.
So,… I was also subjected to the same financial concern, after I discovered two of my men
accepted a moonlighting opportunity,… A decision I have struggled to legitimize in my mind
when there was no intent, to include the company or me.
Becoming more unacceptable after, I received more work, when they gave me their assurance
of when they would join me in the future. A commitment they promised, before accepting
additional work from their client, yet they placed their loyalty secondary to an almost perfect
Mean while, I am now hustling, with material delivery and layout, unaware I was going to be
without the manpower to commence in a timely fashion.
How I proceeded with this job, is irrelevant at this time, because we have reached the issue,
inspiring this passage,…
I could find no honor or loyalty in their decision, nor do I believe you can truly separate
business from personal,…
My attempt to determine their employment status in my company, led each of them to an
opportunity to apologize,…finding that neither of them offered to extend this
concession,…which I believed would have provided evidence of good conscience.
Still, I allowed them to return to work under my employ, because I had failed to give this type of
Unfortunately this affected the personal relationship we had previously enjoyed, as I could no
longer view them as men I admired or trusted.
Serving to provide the awareness intended in this passage, exposing a mentality that is
epidemic amongst us…, as there is no justifying your decisions when you ignore conscience or
loyalty, or when you choose to take the path of least resistance.
So spare me the lameness of your “nothing personal” preposition, its always personal, simply,
because people are the business!
The bills were paid, the boys were doing well, but we decided a divorce was in our future.
Through a chiropractic publication, I casually responded to an article about a potential position
in China. To my surprise, in four months time, I could be that doctor.
I worked hard, rented my house, and paid bills months in advance, for the 3 month stint I
intended to do over there.
This incredible opportunity was sponsored by a private group promoting chiropractic in foreign
countries. Our success over there soon got the attention of Life University, my old Alma Mater.
In China, I worked in a hospital setting and was provided college age interpreters to overcome
the language barrier.
When people asked me about my experience over there, my reply is, “It‟s exactly the same, but
totally different!” This is also the title of the journal I have written about the six months I spent
over there that will be included here. Three months later Life University officials came over to
negotiate a shared learning experience with China, and they asked me to remain until it was
I missed my boys, but I also felt I had become a part of something important. I spoke to my
sons telling them of all the people I had helped including a multitude of babies, with neck
injuries from the birthing process. I believed that if I left early, this would not be in good faith
for these people, so I stayed on with conflicting emotions
I was a guest speaker everywhere I went, and was treated like a celebrity. The food was to die
for, and the people were awesome.
I returned from China in May of 2007. I would have been home a week earlier, but on May 10,
my birthday, I was arrested at the airport in Beijing with an expired passport.
“EXACTLY THE SAME, BUT TOTALLY DIFFERENT” China 2006- 2007
Anticipating the question, “So how was China?”…., I brace myself for my return back to the U.
S. A…., the complexity of this question, has me considering diversion…, like, “I‟ve never seen
so many Chinese people in one place!”…, or, “It was exactly the same, but totally different”,
“Just like being in a foreign country”…, when the more appropriate question, that no will ask is
…, “What did six months in China, do to me?”
However, this title gets the closest, to explaining my experience in China…, as I relearn
everything from toiletry, to crossing the street…, five weeks into this adventure, I have finally
started the journal, Mom!…, for this collection of new experiences I am prepared to debrief…
My presence here briefly, was neither accident nor fate…, I consider it more of a” seize the
moment, vigilante treat…, recognizing the potential for Asian adventure with purpose, an
inquiring phone call gave my destiny a cultural tweak!!
Immediately you will observe that driving is exactly the same…, it‟s just that there are no rules
enforced, when it comes to navigation…, as long as drivers continuously honk at pedestrians or
other traffic, no one will bat an eye, even if you just miss them by inches… Reminding me once
again, how I lost my ever-loving mind…, after I chose a motor bike operator to keep me on
time…, there is nothing to prepare you for the intensity of this experience…, as a bicycle came
the closest to my knee cap this time!…, So Chinese traffic, I wanted to scream, is a symphony of
close collisions…, as we squeaked around two buses into on-coming traffic, at a time when
there were opposing vehicles adjacent to the bus, giving us the customary inches to squeeze in
between…, Hey, this is standard, for anything traveling the road, whether you‟re shouldering
heavy baskets or a cart on wheels…, You must train yourself to unconsciously, enter into
seemingly disastrous situations…, with the assumption that other traffic will avoid you, no big
deal!…, There must be a Chinese proverb, forecasting all traffic must be passed…, and
intersections or curves, provide the best opportunity to do this…, It is common that two
opposing vehicles will pass cars ahead of them…, forcing these cars to move laterally, to allow
room for this…, Envision for these precious seconds, that, by the way, you‟re never getting
back.., when suddenly a two lane road becomes four cars abreast…, with all four of these cars
no more than centimeters away from one another…, while the approaching on-coming traffic,
becomes the next video game test!…, With amazing poise, it becomes apparent, as certain cars
move ahead.., the others brake, or swerve anywhere, to allow this to happen…,
The same chaotic insanity applies to crossing the street.., where one must not hesitate, or make
startling movements…, drivers are expecting you to remain semi-unconscious in your course
and speed.., I got herded between two buses, just then when I was getting used to this..,
In defense of this system, evolving without much authoritative direction I‟m told…, It may have
happened so quickly, I don‟t think they can see the disaster…, analogous of the snails statement,
after being run over by the turtle…, but their driving has to be defensive, with the array of
I am told, that after the 1979 allocation of Western introduction and influence…, the common
Chinese were exposed to technology and convenience…, until this time the government
basically allowed them to fend for themselves…, so I am respectful of this, in spite of my
humorous assessments…, Their greatest resource is manpower, that they so desperately need to
employ.., therefore, problems are solved by throwing more people at them.., this is especially
evident in the bureaucracy of public agencies.., creating so many unnecessary steps, and the
“hand written” paperwork to accompany them.. Allow me to illustrate by my detainment, as my
Visa unknowingly expired…, and I was driven down to the Governmental Agency to reapply.., I
am not going to re-live the six hour nightmare I spent there.., what I would like to impress upon
you is what happened later.., because they required my passport be left in their possession…, in
order to complete the “five day” process of reapplication.., Issuing paperwork and mug shots,
for me to take to the police.., who would then provide me credentials for required
identification.., demonstrating what happens, when you throw more people at problems..,
cooperating agencies can‟t keep up with the changes or paperwork.., The reply from the clerk at
the police station, “as evidence”… stating he was unable to process, without my passport!…,
This is a good place to discuss the statement of the snail, after turtle ran over his back…, when
they asked him to describe what happened at the hospital.., he replied; “I really don‟t know it
happened so fast!”
This is exactly what is happening in China today.., you‟ve got what the third world has carved
out of “necessity”, along side the explosion of modern technology…, with too much
bureaucracy to ensure regulations or safety..,and personal decisions or favoritism, when it
comes to interpreting policy, just like the U.S.A!
So I can only unofficially claim, to be one of the few Chiropractors in China.., with some
“unofficial” verbal permission, that I could practice in this hospital in Zigong.., I have Chinese
student interpreters, allowing me to communicate with the patients…, from out of this
arrangement, some humorous conversations have come along..,
“Mouse Lady”, we immediately named her, after only three minutes of her presence.., because
of her fidgety movements, and mouse-like appearance.., provided us with a statement that
received our “award” for that week.., there is no substitute for being there, but certainly you
should hear this.., After we were finally able to comprehend, her neck pain complaint.., and we
got her relatively quieted on the table for analysis.., as I was about to perform an adjustment to
address her problem.., she blurts out some Chinese, that squeals from her lips.., with serious
concern I halted, to her alarming sounding language.., “She‟s got back pain”, is what she was
telling us now.., “She‟s got back pain at this moment”, I cautiously questioned?.., In her precise
Chinese words she reply‟s; “Always, but not now!”
The Chinese are all about pageantry and celebration.., participating in this whole heartedly and
without inhibition.., so that most of them could be asked, to become immediate performers..,
dancing or singing instantaneously, with or without talent, or reservation…, Since my arrival in
Sichuan Province, I am treated as a celebrity.., with coverage on T.V. and various articles in
print.., scheduled for speaking engagements, that may include two hundred plus people.., and
the guest of honor at every table, I am so frequently asked to sit… My purpose in China,
perpetuates the introduction of Chiropractic.., through a cooperative effort between U.S.
initiatives and my hospital in Zigong.., where I am presently seeing patients, in an in-house
based practice.., embraced by Doctors and Nurses, and the many referrals they send along.. So
I am inspired to perform, in accordance to my unique presence.,…, realizing that public
engagement, without entertainment, is considered somewhat empty…, I‟ve come to honor them
with speeches, in my phonetically learned Chinese.., followed by singing English songs, like I
had just won an Emmy… Because these people provide such a non-judgmental, enthusiastic
environment.., that it was relatively easy to find the latent performer with-in me!
Providing the reason I must describe K.T.V. in neon everywhere.., illustrating a comparatively
similar form of wildly popular Chinese entertainment.., in which your party of friends or clients,
without need for occasion.., rent a room in one of these, usually luxurious establishments…
Karaoke Theatre Video, exemplifies, their passion for entertainment fulfillment…, place yourself
amidst twenty partying people in a sound proof room.., with a professional grade sound system
and echo-acoustics to die for.., and know it will soon be your turn to be handling the
microphone.. So you may become one with the entertainer, recording your song…, on the giant
video screen encompassing an entire wall.., throughout your performance pretty girls are
placing, flowers around your neck…, the audience is dancing or clapping, rhythm throughout it
all… their only objective is to make everyone feel “special”.., whether you have talent or not, it
has no bearing.., this is especially true if your words are in a language foreign to theirs.., I have
ad-libbed Chinese songs in English, deliberately without daring.
“GOM BAY” !
Here‟s a good place to announce the effect of alcohol is still the same…, what‟s totally different
is the method in which it is consumed…, there is no casual drinking from glasses of appropriate
dimensional size.., it‟s served in shot glass size vessels, so you may toast everyone in the
room…, and this is done on a continual and impressively honorable fashion…, whether you are
toasting in groups, or with only one person…, the traditional approach is done standing holding
your little glass with both hands.., while your recite your meaningful words and the
complimentary reasons.., Gom Bay!, the word for cheers, has a slightly different requirement…,
in that you must show proof that your glass has been emptied.., If you are toasting with this
“clear wine”, possessing an usually strong flavor.., know that the potency of this rice Bijo, and
sobriety don‟t agree,…
Although I joked about their language, prior to my arrival.., I had no idea I would make an
attempt to ever speak it…, but last night after two months of my Chinese exposure.., I gave a
speech in Chinese, that I learned by phonetics…. I did this to demonstrate that my learning
method is viable solution…, for people that do not have the luxury of time on their side…, I
simply wrote the English words I intended to communicate to them.., and worked with the
translation until I didn‟t feel tongue tied…, deciphering the phonetic sounds of the Chinese
words.., while my student translators exaggerated these in slow repetition…, I am not sure if
they understood everything I said.., but I did receive standing ovations.
W.C. (Water Closet)
The function of bathrooms, also exactly the same in China…, but, if you‟ve got bad knees,
you‟re in trouble right off the bat…, their rather simplistic design creates a new challenge in
performance.., especially if you are a female, either way you‟re going to squat… Because for
the most part, there is no appliance, upon which to sit.., open voids in the floor, provide various
portals, over which you must perch… The girls in my office demonstrate no conscience about
discreetness, a wave of toilet paper in hand, signals the graphic visual for their absence… The
first week I was here, I had to contain my laughter.., each time I employed the W.C., as it is
universally called…, to see men reading the newspaper, squatting like monkeys…, over the open
in-floor trough, kept me humorously appalled… “Buddha‟s revenge”, however, put an end to my
comical disposition…, as my stool took on a more stream like and violent pace…, you should
have seen the monkeys then, as I relieved myself before their eyes…, every head was turned, as
my affliction took place!... Baby‟s however, are granted privileges beyond the W.C.…., wearing
crotch-less panties that easily exposes their plumbing…, so that their mother may relieve them
on whatever crowded plaza deemed necessary…, creating another excretory avoidance, and site
that everyone is ignoring!… Although newer establishments are adapting to modern sanitation
and sewage…, it will take some doing to enforce these as regulations…, the older buildings are
usually oblivious to appearance or odor…, I‟ve experienced W.C.‟s that make the Por-to-let‟s in
the U.S., a blessing! This is also true of city sewer drains, just under the sidewalks…, where
there are larger gaps in the fitted stones, creating it„s lid.., the foul methane that is escaping
from these unsealed troughs…, is always a delightful experience, whenever you get a nose full
The clearing of one respiratory passages, I assumed would be the same in China.., but quickly
discovered an appalling difference in attitude and “even” location.., observing that the Chinese
must believe excess saliva or mucus.., is something that calls for immediate expulsion!
To“Laowhi”, or foreigners as we are referred to, it becomes a disturbing reality.., to observe
people in restaurants, or building for public usage.., loudly mustering for their accumulations,
before they fly to the floor.., in full view of anyone, without remorse or excuse!… The #1 Peoples
Hospital, in which I am currently employed…, has taken crude action, in an attempt to contain
this.., throughout this establishment, are placed what resemble bed pan spittoons.., I almost
gagged the first time I actually looked into one of these… What really ruins it for me, is to see
an attractive woman doing the „old one finger, over the nostril, snot slinging act…, call me old
fashioned, or chauvinistic, or anything you want .., It would take a while, if I was with her, to
feel romantic after that!… As long as we are on the subject of disrespecting the floor.., I should
share with you a practice I now find amusing…, After you recognize the table top takes
preference for cleanliness.., and it is rude to leave anything unsightly remaining… You also
must grasp the reasoning behind their laborious food preparation…, since you are not provided
utensils to cut smaller pieces.., therefore, everything is chopped with cleavers, bite size, prior to
serving…,In order to conform to high heat cooking in chopstick size pieces…, this is especially
true of any type of meat they are serving.., originating out of traditional times, when portions
may have been small…, most meat bearing creatures are prepared, skeletal framework intact..,
this includes consuming the internal organs, feet and all…, bones are considered to be unsightly
table clutter.., it is impolite and rude, to compile your store…, leaving you the “Chinese way” to
dispose of these properly…, just let yourself go, and spit them from your mouth to the floor!…,
No one will take offense, in even the finest of restaurants…, Mind your manners please, toss or
spit it to the floor…!
This also brings to mind another oddly noticeable observation.., especially in cities where the
predominate surface is cement.. With few structures, provided to sit upon, without actually
touching the concrete…, no coherent Chinese person is ever going to make contact with it..
Giving rise to this same awkward position employed in the W.C…., the common site of this is
achieved comfortably, with apparent ease…
It was from the window of my bus, I discovered another form of personal hygiene.., that I
assumed was some type of quickie sidewalk acupuncture.., I was seeing people on city
sidewalks, balancing rickety sawhorses.., with some man working intently, in the direction of
their ear.., when I finally approached this scenario, on foot on day.., I knew at once, what those
cotton tipped sticks were for.., Bare-handedly extracting earwax, with home-made instruments..,
his top pocket provided the refuse where the gooky cotton was stored!
The preparation for new clients required manual cotton replacement.., generally starting the
procedure with eight of these held in one hand.., you may be relieved to hear, when he replaced
the cotton tips.., at least he thought enough to wipe his hands on his pants!
GROCERY STORES, “Huanying Guanglin”
The indoor grocery store concept is exactly the same in China.., the difference lies in the variety
of living, or crudely raw presentations.., You will also notice that most stores will be heavily
attended.., the wine section aisle alone, has three girl employees in attendance…, But whatever
section I entered, at whatever time of day, I was always greeted by a Chinese sounding “Good
Morning”… Out of respect for this attempt, at what I thought to be English.. I would “Good
Morning” them back, even if it was evening.. A month later, I was shopping with a Chinese
friend.., the employees again wishing us this poorly executed greeting.., my conversation with
him, concerning this misuse of words.., had him to the floor with laughter, and me still
wondering.. It turns out, I was informed, after he regained his composure.., store employees
recite this “welcome to you phrase” as common politeness… It just so happens that the Chinese
sounds is so phonetically similar.., that “huanying guanglin” to me, sounds like “good
morning” in Chinglish”…
DEODORANT AND POWDER
After some time came the need to purchase deodorant and powder.., I found myself trying to
explain this via the action of their application… with the motion of shaking powder, or applying
deodorant underarms.., to the ever accumulating team of employees, taking interest in my
expedition… moving from aisle to aisle, with at least eight of them now escort…, all trying to
sell me anything from skin cream to toothpaste…, created a scene that attracted curious
customers as well…, until my entreage of participants looked like 20 people playing charades..
This is a good place to inform you about their intense interest in Americans.., therefore, nothing
was sacred about my food choices, or purchases…, since I could not walk by anyone, without
them peering into my basket.., I began holding it toward anyone, with interested faces… This
received looks that implied either gratitude or shyness.., because in China there is a different
concept in confidentiality.., anyone will walk right up, and become engrossed in your situation..,
especially if you‟re the American, they are starting to believe is crazy! Anyway, when I finally
identified a container of powder at last…,. To a cheering crowd, I danced euphorically around
with my prize… deodorant, on the other hand is such an uncommon application.., no wonder no
one was getting my perfectly orchestrated mime.
Can you believe the largest supermarket in this 3+ million city.., in contrast to the U.S. billion
dollar deodorant industry… could only produce two obscure roll-on specimens in total.., a
reflection of the healthy diet that keeps them relatively odor free… In fact, people commonly
wear the same clothes for days at a time.., and in my close association, I have yet to detect any
odor.., Breath, on the other hand is quite a different matter…, last night‟s garlic on my attractive
assistant one morning.. Not only filled the room.., but almost knocked me over…
“For all the tea in china”, remembering this clique from my youth.., when a comparison was
implied for this rather insurmountable asset.., still, you have no conceivable idea how
humongous “green tea” is to the Chinese.., and the significant role it plays, in their social
existence and diet… there simply would not be an inhabited place without a teahouse nearby..,
or a shop within walking distance in which you can buy it.., you cannot sit down to dine without
it being served before eating.., or exist in a normal day more than an hour without it.! Certainly
you would never play “Majung” without volumes of green tea.., a hugely popular board game
that resembles Dominos to me.., what is truly amazing, is how they spend hours, engaged in this
game.., sitting perched around the table sipping one of the 100 varieties of this tea… Becoming
the main reason water is always served hot, by the way.., one would simply not serve it to
guests, unready for tea.., the first water I was served with this steaming temperature.., I almost
choked from the surprise, and even more so the disbelief!
Realize the following discussion is determined by a city‟s Western exposure.., therefore my
“little 3.2 million” city has only two establishments to dance.., because the traditional Chinese
relationships are so conservative in nature.., that going to disco‟s to meet someone, or casual
dating has no chance…, for example, the students in my clinic are typically seniors in college..,
with none of them older than twenty-five.., still at this age, the majority have remained without
relationship or intimacy…, strict parental influence on these matters, is driven with serious
future in mind… Developing a closeness in same sex relationships, not observed in the Western
world.., if there are two females walking, they will always be arm and arm… my first encounter
on a dance floor was not with some women I had asked.., I was snatched from my barstool with
two guys on each arm!…, To become a part of a larger group of men, all dancing together…,
thankful that the fake Smokey atmosphere was making this a little less clear.., even if I wanted to
dispute or at least discuss this scenario.., the deafening music is such, that conversation cannot
I must say their food is one of their greatest treasures.., let me begin my saying, there is nothing
that the Chinese don‟t eat!… arising out of necessity, from the tremendous 1. 3 billion
population.., they continue to cultivate it with pride, their extremely varied and spicy feast… It
would be insurmountable for me to mention all the bizarre food I‟ve consumed.., equally
impressive is how it is so freshly prepared and served.., they bring all their dishes traditionally
into the center of a rotating table.. You just reach out with chopsticks, toward the dish of your
desire… Last night for starters, we were served marinated pig ear in thin slices.., along with
these brown tofu looking chunks, from blood of a duck.., followed by two trays of whole frogs,
cut into bite size pieces. Frog faces and feet everywhere, the colorful green spotted skin still
intact… This particular restaurant specialized in what they call “hot pot cooking”…, where the
center of the table is a boiling cauldron of fiery liquid.., Every dish is submerged and eaten
directly from this spicy cauldron.., Even the Sichuan Province Chinese are sweating from the
amount of hot pepper in this fluid…!
So what is out there then, beyond what I have described as my city‟s limits.., encompassing the
land between towns and cities… It is dedicated in its entirety to crops and fish ponds.., every
valley is an ingenuous drainable pond or rice patty… Neatly cultivated rows of produce, as far
as the eye can see.., evidencing the centuries of back breaking labor to achieve this..,
continuous water movement in the numerous fish ponds, allows stocking without aeration.., An
occasional Water Buffalo presented the heaviest equipment, I have seen… Farmers live in
village communities on elevations amongst their cropland.., I have joined entire families with
hand tools working a plot.., where I shouldered stout poles with heavy buckets on each end..,
ladling liquid from these buckets into the site of every plant… From the ungodly smell of this
concoction, one could only assume.., that fish entrails were the most common ingredients..
Fermented in cement holding tanks, dug nearby into the earth.., where they are perpetually
brewing their “own” fertilizing experiment.. Grazing land for cattle is not possible in this hilly
terrain…, I am assuming it is done somewhere else.., although beef in an accessible source of
food and protein.., rabbits are the easiest and most prolific to raise and sell.. Many, restaurants
raise their own rabbits, fish and chicken… these will be found alive, in cages, around the back..,
but with your order and the skill of the sharp cleavers and knives.., they will quickly appear as
the entrée on your plate! To be continued
CHAPTER, 17 BACK IN THE U.S.A………May, 2007
Back in Aiken, South Carolina, I resumed Chiropractic, and the fence and deck operations, and
life went on. This was without the new experiences I remained poised for.
Having always had an interest in woodworking, I discovered a saw mill outside of town owned
by a Mennonite family. They had these huge logs that I had them cut into 4ft. sections, and then
again in half.
I made massive benches out of these ½ logs, and then engraved, or burned the logos of various
businesses. These were placed in front of their establishments for advertising.
Eventually my wood creations gained in popularity, and I contacted tree surgeons with my need
for large exotic trees. I would meet them on site with my trailer and haul the trees to the saw
mill for milling.
I built a shop in my backyard and began this on a more full scale operation. My patients would
walk around to my backyard to get me for their adjustments. I would simply dust myself off,
wash my ands and wahlah, I was halfway presentable, for the moment.
Eventually I converted and constructed a show room onto the front of my house to display my
In July of 2009, Aine informs me of her desire to return home to her family in Ft Myers,
Florida, which I declined at first.
Then my neighbor tells me of a friend that was trying to get rid of a house boat that had been
sitting in the backyard of a home he recently purchased for the past 14 years.
I went over to see this trailer less boat, on blocks, in a dilapidated condition, and decided to
pass, especially after I appraised the expense of a trailer to accommodate it.
A week later I told a friend, who was an engineer, about this possibility, and he offers to go over
and inspect the situation.
I liked his “nonchalant” plan to transport it on one of my flatbed trailers. He sent me to buy
some 5”x5” timbers and towing straps, while he went home to get an assortment of serious
hydraulic jacks and wenches.
Two hours later, we had that 26‟ boat balanced vicariously, but securely on my trailer, and I
towed it home to my backyard. My idea was to remodel it for the purpose of resale, but
After I gutted it and reinvented its interior to my tastes; it began to grow on me.
The “Turd Cutter”, as I called it at first, did have the possibility of an economical live aboard.
There was also the possibility that I could drive it down south the 600 miles to Ft. Myers, by
water. “It was the drive it by water”, part that sold me.
We agreed to put our homes on the market, and move back down to S. W. Florida.
I believed my 110 year old historic commercial home would sell first, her‟s however, sold in
one week! She and the boys moved down there shortly thereafter, leaving me with an unfinished
“Ted shed on a hull”, is how she described it, with some justification!
My home, housed the components of tools, furniture, and the stuff of three businesses.
“Stuff! It‟s all just stuff”, became my motto, after I got over the overwhelmed phase that hits
you when you condense a lifetime of stuff onto a boat. I no longer look at things in the same
My large backyard of course has a vigilant fire pit burning in the center.
It has a shop, hot tub deck and enclosed outside shower on one side. The other side was totally
occupied with wood stacked in massive quantity of exotic varieties.
I loaded to capacity what I could haul down south to a saw mill outside of Ft. Myers, where I
rented a shop to continue my furniture creations.
Next, I drove the boat down there with my 79 year old mother aboard that took eleven days, a
story in of it‟s self. Her journal and my prologue will be included here.
PROLOGUE TO SIMPLIFY‟S VOYAGE by David Fleming 10/17/09
To be honest with everyone, I had to wipe a little moisture from my eyes after reading
My mother‟s Journal of our 600 mile boat trip…the type of tears that come from pride
and accomplishment…that come from overcoming the odds and naysayer‟s…that come
from having a loving mother who endured this for me .
; An eleven day excursion that began in Augusta, Georgia Sept.24, 2009. Starting in the
200 mile Savannah River and following a course or allow me to admit right here and now
NavaGuessing the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida waterways…; Crossing
Florida via Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River to Ft Myers, Fla.
Some background you should know;
I was given this 40+ year old house boat if I would get it out of the owners back yard, where it
had been rotting for the last 14 years years.
My half hearted plan was to attempt to re-build the mess it had become and sell it. But as
fate would have it, the project eventually evolved into a life changing solution for two
Reasons; It could become a home to live on the water for me, as my family decided to re-
Locate to Ft. Myers, FL…..and it offered the challenge and adventure of getting it down
there by water.
From the onset, I wanted to share this experience with my three sons, but their mother,
and even my own Mother were against it. “It would be too dangerous…They would
Get bored…It might take too long and school was starting”. None of this computes to a
person who would risk his life on a coin toss if he thought it might make life more exciting.
Therefore, I asked many other people if they wanted to take the trip with me, but everyone had
their reasons for not being able to go.
Suddenly, I was rebuilding it for the purpose of living on it myself!
This took considerable vision and planning. Downsizing from a three bedroom house/
Woodshop, possessing all the stuff and more,… that people accumulate over time is;
Very overwhelming at first. I believe this was more difficult than ripping out and re-creating the
entire boat, from the deck upward. It finally came together, appliances, electric, plumbing and
I no longer look at stuff in the same way…It is quite liberating…hence the name of the boat
“SIMPLIFY”. The plan is to be free from mortgages and real estate taxes (as soon as my now
vacant house sells in this declining economy) .
Along our journey other names occurred to us due to circumstances or comments from people
we met along the way. For example, when a 60 foot Sport Fish yacht came from out of
nowhere, in a narrow channel from behind us, and overtook us at speed we nearly capsized. The
side of the boat almost touched the water, but it popped back upright…hence the name
Then when people would ask us where we were going and they‟d say YOU‟RE GOING WHERE
IN THAT?” Or, when we would find our way successfully, get a hot shower and a good meal we
would think of the name “NOW I‟M HAPPY” in honor of my sister‟s son who proclaimed this
statement after being calmed down by promises of food and fun years ago by my mother. But the
cute dock master‟s term for what we were somewhat successfully attempting each day was
definitely the most appropriate name for our boat,… “NAVIGUESSING”
Having spent many years on the water as a professional fisherman and boat captain, I know
there can be unforeseen situations that occur quickly, require quick action and may be difficult
at times for a woman of her age….still she insisted on going with me (get this) as long as I did
not take along my “heavy snoring” Boston Terrier, Scrunchy.
LET IT BE KNOWN that I did not for see any serious danger or difficulty for my mother. I
argued this based on the idealistic assumption that we were always going to be close to land. In
the event of a “breakdown” or other situations, we could either drift or swim with our life
preservers on of course to shore. I was not overly concerned with the possibility of heavy sea‟s
breaking over the bow, top heavy capsizing, or the extended play in the steering because we
were going to be safe in the “protected Intracoastal Waterway” OK!
I warned her of long tiring days at 8 mph, of the possibility of engine breakdown and those
unforeseen difficulties. I even jokingly promised my siblings and family that if something
catastrophic were to unfold, I would die first trying to save her…,and I would have. I also
thought that this would be a nice gift (scenic cruise) I could give her for having to endure all the
trials and tribulations of my somewhat colorful life
The houseboat, which was not intended for water rougher than a light chop and is romantically
described by my ex. as a Ted Shed on a hull! Its rather flat bottom and boxy roof that extends
above the entire 26 foot length, does resemble this flattering description. Thankfully, it has a
self-bailing bow area, but as far as the top heavy roof was concerned, my limited knowledge of
its seaworthiness came from an inland calm river, which we would be traveling on anyway….no
I originally looked into powering it with one of the new electric motors, but the limited range
and speed would not allow passage of the 200 mile stretch down the marina-less Savannah
River. Finally I settled on a 35 year old 65 horsepower Mercury outboard that had been rebuilt
five years ago on assurances by the owner. The demonstration of its cold start convinced my
son, Sean and I and we bought it on the spot for $650.00. (a new engine costs $6,000)
Now for the launch….wouldn‟t you know, the combination of the steep boat ramp and the
submersion of my trucks rear tires allowed the boat to float right off the 16 ft. flat bed trailer
that it had been vicariously perched upon for the last 2 months while being recreated in my
backyard, but I‟m getting ahead of myself.
As the saying goes with horses,“no hoof, no horse” the same applies to boats…”No engine, No
boat”. Therefore it wasn‟t very encouraging when a very well respected boat mechanic I hired
to help me fine tune a throttle adjustment told me that he wouldn‟t even venture as far as the
Jackson Lock, 18 miles down river, with my engine!
I went with my gut on this one and simply refused to allow this to alter my plans. Although, I
did not speak of this with my mother, it became alarming especially after the engine began
running poorly just outside the Lock. In fact this “bogging down” as I describe it, occurred
often throughout the entire Savannah River excursion. It took me a couple of hours to recognize
with embarrassment and some relief, that the reason was that we were running aground in the
shallow muddy water that gave no indication or color change to delineate this. Positioning
ourselves up on the bow solved this problem most of the time.
I did not, however fore see the pressure that was going to be placed on me by having my mother
on board. Therefore, as situations occurred, and they did quite often, the urgency seemed
compounded for me. I could have looked at the maps before hand or hired someone to teach me
how to use the G.P.S.navigation, or at least installed a compass on the boat….but I didn‟t. I
honestly felt it was going to be a simple, head south; paint by number, slow moving casual
event….nothing could have been further from the truth.
I did remain consistent with my history and nature to dodge around the technical aspects of
problems, insuring that we would be on an adventure but, again, I did not think I needed a
survival specialist for such an “easy” journey.
I did not know that there would be large bodies of water called Sounds, that spanned a mere
2.5 inches on the chart were in reality were 15 miles wide! “How about that !”…and the
markers were miles apart, obscured by endless savannahs that were hard to see considering our
low proximity to the water. Even when I located them, the paint by number scenario I was
counting on changed in sequence in larger portals of entry from the Atlantic Ocean, in order to
guide larger ships out to sea.
We found ourselves heading out that way on several occasions, as I was lured by the site of any
channel markers. Distance made the marshes appear continuous and layered so that the
openings to the channels remained obscured until you got right on top of them.
All the while, I am attempting to steer, read maps, locate markers, transfer fuel, avoid obstacles
and spoils, make phone calls to marinas, hear my mother over the sound of the engine, and so
on….you get my drift!
Yet, when you read her Journal there is a peaceful serenity and calmness in her demeanor as we
embarked on our scenic tour down to Florida, with her son , an experienced boat Captain and ,
thankfully, God on her side.
For anyone interested in duplicating our journey, let me inform you that if you are navigating
solely by looking at charts that are in a book like form you are headed for trouble. When you
move from one page to another, it distorts your sense of direction in regards to heading. The
writing on the charts is so tiny that you must use a magnifying glass….try that in bumpy water.
That marinas are usually closed by 5:00...That desirable mooring would be undesirable…that
our boats 7ft.8inches vertical height just barely fit under the 8ft. Bridges, tide permitting. This
situation placed me on the bow physically pulling the boat through by hand using the underside
of the bridge itself.
One of the low bridges we were passing under had the added excitement of a passing Amtrak
train flying across it with the associated deafening noise and tremor,… That a Seaplane would
land in a narrow channel directly in front of us,… I told my mother to lie down on the floor and
brace herself for impact, but instead she took a picture of it as it narrowly sped by.
Then there was the Airboat ordeal that you will read about that had me thinking that the guy
who was towing us through in-navigatable water hyacinth channels was crazier than me,…yet
she felt safe and was unafraid knowing that at least some one was attempting to get us to
safety…finally managing to tie off at some broken down abandoned dock near the Morehead
Lock where a group of drunk men began arguing nearby at 2:00AM,… refusing to keep from
peeking out our curtains, risking being seen with all the inherent risks, stating “You‟re not the
boss of me!”; Seriously.
I, on the other hand, quickly developed Plan A, B, and C, which placed her on the nearest bus
or plane home. Then I thought of hiring someone to take the boat out the water and trailoring it
down south. Plan C was tying the boat to the nearest tree, if we could find one on the shore
where we drifted or swam upon, and then walk to the nearest highway and call a cab to rescue
I am not sure how many 56 year old men who have been away from home for 35 years get the
opportunity to spend 11 days in close quarters with your mother. I am sure you will learn about
each other on a completely different level from when you left home!
Just how many 79 year old mothers, without any knowledge of what they are getting themselves
into, take the opportunity, or should I say “will” the opportunity to enhance their life
experience by virtue of a true desire to help their son?
What impressed me the most about her was her strong will and independence. Hey, maybe
that‟s where I get it from! Although tired and strained, I would ask her at every resting point,
“Do you want to go home now, Mom?” to no avail. She was in it for the duration.
So, as you read my mother‟s Journal, keep this background in mind. You will notice it does not
at all depict the potentially disastrous imbroglio I myself was mentally enduring. In fact, it was
her seemingly tireless focus on the difficult chart reading, and her innocent determination and
strong will to succeed that kept me going. I could not have done it without you Mom, Love
THE S.S.SIMPLIFY, By Suzanne Fleming, her journal
The beginning of our voyage from Augusta, Georgia to Ft. Myers Florida began the morning of
September 21, 2009 in Naples, Florida. David and his mother, Suzanne, had prepared all week
since David‟s arrival from Aiken, S.C. to begin his big move to Ft. Myers. This move would
involve three trips. The first was just completed, after he drove a trailer load of lumber down
here rested out of sight in our side yard. Now, to get back to Aiken to bring the house boat down
by water to Ft. Myers! That was the next mission.
The decision was made to go back by Amtrak and David arranged our passage after it was
agreed upon that I would make the trip down with him on the houseboat. Much conversation,
pro and con ensued, but the final decision came down to my need to be there for David so that
he would not attempt this alone and my love of adventure and the scenic beauty that lay ahead.
Amy and Taylor drove down and took us to the bus station in Ft. Myers, where we made our way
up to Tampa. There we connected with the Amtrak train and were happy to get on board with
all our stuff . David had reserved a Coachette, which turned out to be the most ingenious
combination lounge chairs, which became beds…one above and one below like bunk beds.
There was a sink and basin, a mirror and even a discreet toilet; All this in an incredibly small
area. We were fascinated!
David stowed our luggage overhead with incredible strength and we sunk into our seats. It was
about 5:30. The conductor announced that the bar was open and that dinner would be served
at 6:00. Our attendant came by to make sure we were all settled in and said she would be back
by 9:00 to get the beds ready. At this point, we couldn‟t visualize the transformation process.
So, off to the bar we went, careening off the narrow passageways through the cars for a
welcome drink. The “dinner in the diner” was amazingly good and we shared a half bottle of
red wine and desert.
When we returned to our compartment we were tired but satisfied. “Why wait until 9:00? we
said, so we summoned our attendant and told her we were ready to lie down now and would she
please make up our bed. In the wink of an eye, while we waited in the corridor, she did her
magic and “voila” two beds all made up and ready to go. David climbed up to the top….not
easy….and we settled down to sleep. We had been on the go for over 12 hours.
Now Amtrak, has never been known for a calm, peaceful sleep and we went clickity click all
night long. Sometimes we stopped at stations along the way and when I was awake I watched
out the window at the towns we passed through. The red lights of the guard rail crossings and
the houses so close along the tracts. Our wake-up call was for 3:45 but we were up by 3:00and
had coffee down in the dining car. We enjoyed talking with the conductor and find out about
rail travel; Off the train in Columbia S.C., and now on to Aiken.
David found a taxi which we were going to take to the bus station but after some bartering he
agreed to take us straight to Aiken for $40.00. It was a rather speedy ride and I prayed for his
tires all the way, but we arrived safe and sound at David‟s house. It was about 5:30 am. After
we got our bags in and had a bite to eat I had a hot shower and a change of clothes. David was
anxious to check out the boat, so off we went to the marina in Augusta. Now, I see first hand my
future sailing vessel and home for however long it takes us to get to Ft. Myers.
The houseboat looks very sturdy and really not too bad looking either. In fact it was kind of
cute. My spirits soared when David turned on the engine and it cranked right up. We didn‟t stay
too long as David had a patient coming at 9:30. That afternoon I took a long nap. The next
morning we went back down to the houseboat. I took some cleaning products and David added
bumpers and gave me a lesson on boating lingo….bow, stern, never look worried and never say
Oh,Oh in a loud voice. I think I can handle that! Both, Amy and Wade called to hear the latest
and wish us luck.
Day 1 Thursday Sept.24, 2009; Down the Savannah
We arrived at the Augusta marina early this morning and packed all our gear, supplies, extra
gas and chests full of ice and drinks. It was going to be a day full of fun, excitement,
frustration, exhaustion…but I‟m getting ahead of myself.
The sun was rising as we came down the river and the sky was streaked with pink. It was cool
and the time was 7:05am. With our Guide Book in hand, we searched for the landmarks and the
pictures described by Captain Mike Stacy…the railroad bridge, Buzzards Roast as we made our
way down to the Savannah Bluff Lock and dam 18miles south. We were not able to make the
G.P.S. work so this book was our only guide and we used it all along the way. The dam
keeper…you can take that both ways…left his post and promise to open and lower at 9:00.
David had to call a Captain Bates, who came to our rescue. The whole process took over an
hour. We had to wait for him to come, then open the upper lock and let us come in, then wait
until the water level dropped 15 feet. Then he opened the lower gates so we could be on our
way. As we thanked him, he asked when we would be returning. David quickly answered
“Never” and he replied “Then I won‟t wait for you!”
The scenery was lush and green, with some cypress trees and the knees in the water. It was then
that we began to experience shallow water called “spoils” that plagued us all day. At, first
David thought it was the motor because it would slow down and almost stop. I had to rush to
the bow to add extra weight up there. In fact, we both spent a lot of time going up there when
this would happen. The fact that there are no marinas between Augusta and Savannah should
have rung a bell. Nobody wants to travel it unless they have to. We only saw three boats all
day and they were small. There were places you could walk across with high boots. Once
David had to get out of the boat and use a pole to push us out of the sand.
Whenever we passed a dock or some sign of civilization, David would say, “This would be a
good place to break down”. It was becoming that kind of a day! Our goal was to reach
Cohen‟s Bluff, the half way mark to Savannah. It was described as a good place to tie up with a
floating dock and an artisan well. I could just feel that cool water. However, such was not the
case. We were so ready to stop for the night but there were some creepy looking fisherman and
the floating dock was too small for tying up, plus this is where David had to get out and push us
off the sandy bottom. We decided that the next dock we saw would be it, it was almost 6:30. We
finally found one and tied up at a vacant house and turned off the engine.
What a relief! Of course we had no running water and limited electricity, but never mind.
David took a bath in the river and I took a sponge bath with the melted ice water. I had my cool
water bath, after all.
The Memory foam beds were very comfortable and after a bite to eat and a glass of wine we hit
the pad. We did try to call Amy and Taylor but the cell phone couldn‟t get any reception. We
weren‟t exactly sure where we were ourselves, except it was good to be stopped for the night..
We were blessed to find that there we no bugs or flying critters.
Up early Friday am and continuing on our way to Savannah. It was same old, same old, trying
to find names and places on the chart, dodging the spoils and hoping the boat would fit under
the numerous bridges. David got out on the bow at one point and pushed us by hand to see if
we could fit. I held my breath. We finally arrived in Savannah at 5:15. The harbor was lined
with enormous cargo ships loading and unloading goods from all over the world…Britain,
China, you name it. We tied up at the public dock which was right down town on River Street
with the historic cobblestones. There was an old quaint hotel right across from there and I
decided to spend the night. David had to stay with the boat because we were told that the “tree
people” come out at night that have sticky fingers. After a bath…and I really soaked…I
stretched out. David came up and showered and then we went out to dinner. It turned out to be
the same place I had been with Dad years ago. We had the famous “Pine Bark Stew”.
We found the Intercoastal waterway after a missed turn, not a fun start for the day. “Why can‟t
they put out a big sign, for heavens sake? All the channels look the same with grassy banks.
David, obviously frustrated kept repeating” They said it was like painting by numbers, a piece
of cake! No way. After a day of second guessing and similar worry we got lost in a savannah
and had to turn around and retrace our path. I didn‟t see the alligator, thank goodness. Back in
the channel we flagged down a passing ship, asked for directions and wound up following them
to the entrance channel of the marina a tied up. Sprucing up we relaxed after a long hard day..
We even found a great seafood restaurant next door and had a delicious dinner. Talk about
fresh…we could see the shrimp boats. The name of the marina was Kilkenny. Tired but safe at
last, we went to sleep.
Back on the Intercoastal, heading south, we had to cross St. Catherine‟s Sound. We must have
been close to the Atlantic because the waves were pretty big. We were both soaked trying to
look for the markers out the bow. That little ordeal lasted over an hour. After we crossed and got
in-between the land masses, the water calmed down and I was able to change into some dry
clothes. Next came Sapolo Sound and after crossing that, we went down the Mud
River…another shallow deal. We missed Marker 178 and had to go back again and by this time
we were ready to quit for the day. We tied up at a dock by the Georgia Marine Institute and
thought we would be OK when a large sighting boat pulled up and a big group of black tourists
got off. The Captain, who was also black, told us that us that we couldn‟t stay here although
David asked him if we could since we were already docked. He said it was private property and
we could anchor on the other side. He then left with his group and never came back…and we
never moved either. Poor David said that he was “fried“. I later learned that he was having a
melt down and could go no further. The sunset was lovely and it was cool that night.
The Captain was loading up his tourists around 6:00 and it was still dark. David and I were still
asleep.” Sorry to wake you up” he said with a grin. He had given us good directions the night
before so we headed off bright and early in the direction of St. Simons marina. You have to go
slightly past it when going south and then turn north and approach it from that direction. It was
very big and full of the most gorgeous yachts I had ever seen. The dock master was a cute girl
named Melissa and she couldn‟t have been more helpful. David‟s goal for the day was to buy a
G.P.S. and hopefully take the guesswork out of finding our way. The locals call it
So off to town we go by cab to Wal-Mart, buy one, back to the marina, couldn‟t get it too
work…it wouldn‟t convert to marine. Took it back and went to West Marine a bought a more
expensive one and spent the rest of the day studying the manual and trying to find someone to
help him get it working. The amazing thing to me was that no one was able to help. I did get the
marine signal but couldn‟t go any further. Discouraged we gave up. I went to the showers and
David met up with a nice couple, who also had a 23 foot boat. He was trying to figure out the
G.P.S. too. We had dinner with them in the marina restaurant. His parting comment was, If
you‟ve come all this way without one, you don‟t need it. We bought a new chart and turned in
for the night.
The weather report was not too good this morning and the dock master, a man, said that
crossing the Jekyll and St. Andrews Sound with the possibility of 4 ft. seas could be dangerous.
We sat there depressed and wondering what to do. David was fearful for me and even talked
about getting the boat towed somehow. The dock master was very sympathetic and the more he
talked the more he seemed the guardian angel the Lord had sent us in our hour of need. “You
could go the back way” he said. We jumped up with joy. Maps were reorganized, new lines
drawn and off we went, wind to our back, zigging and zagging our way south. It worked so well
that we were able to cross over into Florida. When we came to the St. John‟s River, we were
planning to stay at the marina on the north side. A phone call told us that it was closed for
repairs so tired and hungry we pressed on, crossed the river and found a marina 12 miles south
called Palm Cove. The office was closed but the dock master welcomed us, signed us in and
gave us the combination to the showers and laundry. I took care of that and David shopped for
groceries at a nearby Publix. We called family and they were amazed at our progress. It was a
12 hour day but we felt a sense of accomplishment having made it to Florida. Had a bite,
cleaned up and got ready for the next big day.
Our plan was to go either to Daytona or New Smyrna. We made good time all morning. At St.
Augustine, crossing the inlet we turned left too soon and found ourselves in the Atlantic. I could
see the beach. So we turned back, but I got a great shot of the lighthouse. From there on down
the Intercoastal was lined with river front houses and docks, all very pretty and well
maintained. I was surprised to see so many, one after another for miles. At one point, we could
see A1A and the beach houses across the road. We had to buy gas at the next marina and David
sprang out of the boat to help the dock master. When I came forward one of the men on the dock
patted his hair and pointed to me. Later, when I told David he said “Just tell them I like older
women”. The rest of the day went well and we reached the Halifax marina about 6:45. We
called Amy and Taylor and gave them our location…one mile north of Daytona Beach. I
continue to be amazed at the size and supplication of these marinas. Classy might be a better
word. Someone has sure spent a lot of money on them. We had dinner at an outside bar and
grill. I had the seafood chowder and a salad. It was big enough for two meals so we had doggy
bags. Even David had left over‟s. A three-quarter moon was shining down on us as we went to
We were on our way by 7:00, and had another beautiful day. we were trying to get some time
frame to see if we could see Wade and Natalie in Melbourne, so David called Taylor to work out
a math problem…2.5 hours on 12 gallons equals 20 miles… Then David called Wade and told
him that we could be there by 6:30 -7:00. Wade asked to speak to me. “Hi, is this Huckleberry
Suzanne?” I guess Huckleberry Sue sounds better, but I appreciated the humor. It was a pretty
straight shot down the river and I felt relaxed until David kicked the stress level up again with
the discovery on the map of J.and J. Railroad Bridge that we had to cross under. It was being
repaired and was only open between 11:00 am and 1:00pm. We had about 2hours to get there
or have to sit and wait for 5 hours for it to open again. Talk about cutting it close. We could
see the raised bridge in the distance, one huge arm up in the air and time was running out! We
squeaked through at 12:45! But now we knew we could make it to Melbourne so David called
the dock master to tell him when we would be arriving. He abruptly informed us that the office
would be closed at 5:00 and no boats were allowed to dock after that. This was the first time we
had come up against this rude persona so we found another marina just north and pulled in.
They were happy to have us and said “You‟ll find the key in the blue box, for the showers. Wade,
Sophia, and Nat arrived by 7:00. Snapshots were taken inspections were made then off to a
great seafood restaurant for dinner. Wade treated us all and when David thanked him he said”
This is for bringing Mom down safely this far…You‟ll get more when you bring her all the
way!” Then he bought him a tee shirt asking for continued help on our journey”
Our goal, David calls it our “challenge” today is to make it to the Port St. Lucie Inlet. This is
about 76 miles. He called his friend Emilio along the way and told him he planned to stop for
fuel in Ft. Pierce and would like to see him. He and his wife both came down to the marina and
we had a nice visit. He also made a very important contribution to our steering problem by
knowing what to do to fix it; another guardian angel in disguise. The afternoon was wet and
wild. It was our first thunderstorm and the water was splashing over the bow and we were
battered from all sides. Our “Little Engine that could” just kept plugging along. I was worried
about making the right turn off the Intercoastal to go up the St. Lucie River. My job as
navigator had me following the red and green markers, calling them out for David and turning
the huge pages of our chart to keep us going in the right direction. It could be pretty stressful.
The weather finally cleared and we made the turn right into a blinding sun. We decided to go up
the river to a marina at Stuart. It was closed as usual but they said to come on in and find a
spot up front. Finding it was another matter. Oh well. Had dinner at a Mexican restaurant (a
short walk) fajitas and wine and yummy dip. A bunch of girls were having a party and it turned
out to be a pretty lively place.
At 4:30 I heard my “wild child” making coffee and banging stuff around. He wanted to squirt
oil in the engine…so there I was in my pajamas, holding a flashlight and leaning over the
engine so he could see the spot. I knew it would be another fun filled day! We left the marina at
7:30, cruising down the South Fork River to the “Ditch” as the St. Lucie Canal is called. We
had to wait at the first Lock until the water filled up enough for us to continue. A manatee came
up to the side of the boat. And now we‟re cruising along the “ditch” minding our own business
when suddenly we see a yellow airplane coming down on the water in front of us. It landed and
was headed in our direction. I yelled at David to go right and the plane went left and around us
and all was suddenly Ok. I turned around to see where it was going and to my surprise it
turned up a ramp, over the grass and out of sight. I couldn‟t resist taking a picture. I thought
the canal was boring, but David loved it.” Land on both sides and flat water”, he said. I read
him a book. We had about 2 hours before we reach Port Mayaca and Lake Okeechobee. It
should be about noon. It took us about 35 minutes to go through the Lock and there it was large
and beautiful, shinning before us. It was decided, on the advice of several persons to take the
“rim route” instead of crossing the middle. It takes more time but is safer. Since we were
headed for Moore Haven we decided to go that way as far a Clewiston and then swing north.
We seemed to be going along alright and crossed over in 5 hours but unfortunately we over shot
M.H and had to retrace our route. The water hyacinths‟ were so thick along the canals that we
could hardly get through and the engine kept conking out. In desperation we flagged down an
air boat and asked for directions, He said to follow them but we got even more bogged down
and they finally had to tow us. It was getting really dark and the mosquitoes were pretty bad. I
could see that David was in a state of panic especially for me. In spite of all this I never really
felt fear since we had these people there and they stayed with us all the way to the Moore Haven
Lock. We had expected to arrive at 6:30. It was now almost 11:00. It was such a ghastly way to
spend our last night after all the good things that had happened. We tied up to an old broken
down dock, got out the mosquito netting and suffered it out. David got upset with me because I
was peeking out the curtain to see if the drunk guys were coming over our way but he had my
best interests at heart. They didn‟t thank goodness. But, what a night!
As soon s the sun came up, we called the Lock to see how early they would be open so we could
go through. By 6:30 we were on our way. The mosquitoes had gone back to their swamp and
things were looking up. Taylor called and David told him that we expected to get to the
Marina by 3:00 and would call when we knew better. Gas was becoming a problem, again, as
we couldn‟t find a place that had some. The North Ft. Myers bridges came into view and it was
hard to believe we were almost home. Still, the gas gage was really low and the thought of
running out of gas at the entrance to the Marina was unthinkable. So, we crossed over to the
other side of the river and stopped for fuel. It was a good thing we did, because when David
tried to start the engine on the old gas tank, it sputtered and refused to kick over. The transfer
to the new tank was made and we crossed over to Marinatown Yacht Harbor and down to our
slip! We looked pretty beat up and sweaty but felt like we had conquered the world. We kept
saying,” We made it” and our joy and disbelief were all one.
The showers felt so good and clean clothes were a must. We wanted to look good for the
welcoming committee. Amy and Taylor came to greet us with Champaign and horns. We toasted
on the boat celebrating our journey and the „little engine that could”. It was an amazing
experience, one that I will never forget. We hung in together, supported each other through all
kinds of situations, the good times and the hard times. It was a great adventure and I wouldn‟t
have missed it for the world. Two Taurians who wouldn‟t give up! THE END, BY SUZANNE
FLEMING Thanks mom, David
Next I rented a truck that I jammed full of my furniture creations to transport down to Ft.
Myers. These are on sale at various consignment shops, stores and rustic establishments. There
is a website for this www.fleming-furniture.com.
I will resume chiropractic as well as soon as the state of Florida sends me my license which
arrived yesterday, May, 2010
CHAPTER, 16 RELATIONSHIPS
My years as a bachelor could be described by the lyrics from the Eagles song, “Desperado”
“There have been some fine things laid upon my table, but you only want the ones that you
can‟t get.” This is not entirely accurate but……
I know that you never get away from the sound and vision of a woman that loved you, or that
you loved. I fell in love, but I was not ready for the commitment and responsibility that this
involved. I felt guilty, I got hurt, I moved on. Regrets I have a few… Does this sound like a
Frank Sinatra song or what?
The next several anecdotes have to do with how I felt and dealt with the opposing positions you
will find yourself in regarding relationships and/or the soul mate that people are always
THE GARDEN OF BROKEN HEARTS, 1970, something
If it aches and it hurts, more than anything else, it‟s only because it‟s the most important…, Let
this enable you to see, the loving person that you are, and never let that be distorted…
Let it be your assurance, that you‟re on the right track, proof of what you put first, and be
proud you were able, to give it all, no matter how much it hurts…
Let it build character and strength, with every attempt; so that you may grow and blossom,
watered by the tears, of heartbroken eyes, in the “garden” of hearts that have lost one…
Let it bring comfort, so that all pain endured, will not even be considered, When substitution or
replacement impossible, happiness without it is withered.
FOCUS, Oct. 1987
I must constantly focus in on what is important to me, in order to keep it out in front,… As I seek
the direction, of my needs and goals by standards I set, and at times confront!
For if I became, dishonest with myself, then I am also dishonest with you,… and as weak as I
may appear at times, it‟s not the me I have to follow.
I‟ve approached you for any number of qualities, I felt or hoped you might possess; because
it‟s only by getting to know each other that we can determine if there‟s a chance for us.
With all the qualities and obstacles that must be met and over come, not to mention the
importance of timing, it‟s a wonder it‟s ever been done.
I‟ve come to know myself by now and there‟s something special burning inside, that knows
what I need to be happy and that‟s why I have to try.
IT‟S NOT FAIR, 1985 Concerning love at first sight relationships.
I myself cannot explain it, it happens so rarely I am at a loss to name it;
But when it does it becomes so powerful and clear, as if you‟ve known each other for a hundred
Enabling you to sense shared closeness, unshackled by the presence of time.
That becomes such a amazing feeling, it almost seems like a crime.
; to let anything become the deciding factor, when a lifetime could blink by without the joy and
That could be shared by two people that share the same glove, wouldn‟t it be wonderful to have
a chance for us.
I just wanted to express this special feeling I have been so lucky to have tasted, assuring me
once again that my heart won‟t be wasted.
Knowing what feels right, as it lights up like bright stars, thank you so much for warming my
Even though it‟s not fair!
LOVING CONDITIONS, 1986
In order to be loved and wanted and needed, one must have in some way successfully
In becoming a giving and loving and respected human being, so that everyone else cannot help
That you really are great to be around, that you are caring and trustworthy and sound,
That you‟ve dealt with adversity and now everyone can see that you can be and do well,
You have asked yourself what do I have to give, and found the answer is being able to give.
You become accepting of imperfections after dealing with your own, lending a hand so that
And they can recognize that you keep a vigilant fire, realizing by now that people are survivors.
Knowing that it is human nature here applying all the pressure; you can‟t just make it go away,
with some magic eraser!
Besides the rewards are priceless when someone special discovers your success, and in my case
she will be wearing a short little dress,
And she‟ll take me in her arms, letting me know it‟s all right, saying “I see you can do this, I
want to help you survive”
Then you are in it together and it‟s not nearly the struggle, when you have someone to love, and
someone to snuggle,
And someone to wake up with who puts love in your eyes, you see the world from this
perspective as you touch other peoples lives,
With the warmth and the kindness, that is nourished at home, whatever your ambition where
ever you roam,
Because you have what this love, has placed in your heart,
And you pass it on like striking a spark,
And stoking the fire becomes your major ambition,
Once you have achieved these loving conditions.
My conscience knew all along what I needed to do, but I was lost to my adventures, travel and
challenges, and women were in this realm in my early years.
My unfavorable outcomes with occupations, careers and businesses, occurred, I believe,
because I simply did not take them seriously.
I naively believed that the career choice of Chiropractic would be easy and lucrative…..that it
would allow me to provide for my family and pursue my passions. I felt people would flock to
my office, because I excelled in the physical art of providing a good adjustment….that I would
change lives, as my own had been rescued after my foot ball injury. I found however, that the
business of chiropractic was just that “a business”; A tough business at that.
; A concept that you must focus on and tend to with the utmost precision, planning and patience.
My focus was on polo. My planning was an orchestrated process that did anything, that would
allow me to continue this pursuit. My patience was nonexistent.
Since high school, my life became such a whirl wind, that I became accustomed to getting
things done at a fast pace, and my fitness level was such that I could out work 2 younger men
This placed me on a self- appointed pedestal, frustrated with the rest of the world as it moved at
a snails pace behind me…
I was goal oriented, but once I reached “it” I realized that “it”, was replaced by a new “It”, and
off I dashed in pursuit.
I am only comprehending now, that the true joy of life is this pursuit.
How could I blame my wife for her indifference as I rolled around in agony in bed? After all, I
took risks that threatened the financial well being of her children, our children, and she knew I
was disheartened with my career choice once again.
Was my exhausted demeanor at the end of the day something that would encourage a
relationship to grow and blossom? I think not, as I take a hard painful look at this now.
I see it now; I‟ve got no excuses, as I place the blame on no one but myself for our divorce.
What I did not envision is how much divorce changes everything. Your assets are split, your
debt is increased, your daily chores are increased, and your children are no longer ever present
in your life as before; which has been the most difficult for me.
The plans I made in my early years, if they were written, were scribbled on beer coasters in a
bar. The next 56 years, I am going to take a more cerebral approach by writing a detailed
discussion of what I want to create with my life.
Let me mention something about technology here, as I am just now recognizing that my
physical approach toward life caused me to shun the technological advances in communication,
or anything for that matter.
The only time I sat still was around a fire at night, just before I went to bed anyway. So for me
to sit in front of a computer any longer than it took to turn it on was annoying enough. I didn‟t
want any more choices or options other than on/off, I used to say…, and still do,… but as I start
over again at age 57, I am realizing that the only way you are going to get in touch or stay in
touch with anyone or any business is through this world wide web!... I am nauseated to report.
This time around I am going to take a more humble and respectful approach that hopefully
makes that contribution to humanity.
CHAPTER, 17 WHO NEEDS A BUCKET LIST?
I have learned to; “never say never”, when it comes to life choices and decisions, so I will say it
this way. I am done with owning real estate, unless I win the lottery! If this happens, I would
make the owner of the log home we constructed in Tallahassee an offer they can‟t refuse.
My desire now is to see and experience as much of this planet as possible, while making a
contribution to humanity in this pursuit.
Having come to terms with my outlook and decisions concerning my own mortality I must live
a life that is played full out, so be it, se la vie, end of story. I will also continue to develop a
written expression of experiences, observations, discovery‟s, lessons and humor that may serve
as references or guidelines for others that have an interest or need. Perhaps the journaling of
these experiences for publication may become a possibility.
My new plan, involves the ownership of a boat that is set up for world travel and fishing of
The thought goes like this. I will write about, teach, perform, speak, and work among and for
people in domestic and foreign counties as an exchange for the provisions and currency to allow
me to do so.
I am going to live each day with the consciousness of how I would like to be remembered and
wholeheartedly believe that keeping this up front will allow everything else to fall into its
I cannot express in words how incredibly empowering the documentation and then
reexamination of ones own life has been.
It may be that a person has something to say to old friends, acquaintances and family, but
doesn‟t know what it is, or how to say it. These messages or statements are invaluable to a
person who wants to move on, or pass on with their life.
Some of you may be saying that your life was not exciting or you are not practically proud or
inspired to write anything about it. I must say this is where you are mistaken.
I found it is how you felt and dealt with people and situations that is most important to you,
regardless of the intensity of the memory‟s you choose to record. It is the inclusion of this
recognition and understanding that makes it worth recording for posterity, and desirable
heartfelt reading, as well. I started out writing this memoir in a very factual manner but soon
realized that the event or relationship was nothing without the emotion behind it.
There has never been a better assembly of expressions describing what I have been trying to
communicate and achieve as demonstrated by this next work by H. Norman Wright. Thank you
To laugh is to appear the fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before the crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person, who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.
He may simply avoid suffering and sorrow. But he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow,
love and live..
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave. He has forfeited freedom. Only a person who risks is
-copied from H. Norman Wright,“Quiet times for Couples”
I have also always believed that timing is “everyshing”, so what I thought was going to be a
discussion to help me delineate these next two concepts for myself changed its course and
finally arrives at a conclusion that has nothing to do with the original discussion. Now What?
INTELLECT VS MENTALITY, June, 1994
You wouldn‟t think there would be much difference, between your intellect and your mentality.
But your mentality, defined as your mental power can differ from your intellect or reasoning
Creating a range of differences for those possessing the same intellect, affecting their overall
quality of life,
Simply because your mentality can override your intellect, making decisions that your intellect
knows are not right.
I can only draw from my own first hand experience and certainly make no claim to any more
than average intelligence. The only reason I feel semi-worthy to indulge in this issue is because
of my lack of intellectual diligence.
; Which became the reason I took a physical approach in life, while I sorted through the
information from those who know more.
; Inspiring me to take up discussion on this matter which is evolving into somewhat of a
Especially when it comes to critical decisions like health or occupations or finances, choose
any topic or subject for that matter and you will find equal intellect scattered all over this
Making poor choices, sabotaging their very existence because their mentality won‟t let them do
the right thing, and while they realize there is a problem it holds them back until they decide to
correct the thing!
Yet these people can be brilliant on some dimensions and draw strength and value from their
skills, but the overall self portrait they inherently are painting are missing important details that
haven‟t been filled.
Although they may have definitive excuses for their predicaments they also know they are
avoiding the solution; but you could beat them over the head with shovelfuls of information and
they still won‟t make the necessary changes.
Then every once in a while I will run into a guy who blows this entire comparison out of the
water, whose mentality and intellect are practically as incomprehensible as their attempt at the
What do we do with these simple people who have come from a deprived situation, living day to
day and hand to mouth yet appear happier than you could have ever imagined.
I am taking the position that they survive because of their mentality even though their intellect
has never been challenged academically
This is the way I wish I would have left myself, unshackled from intellectual pressures, hunting
and fishing in the Islands and wilderness oblivious to the anything other than actual physical
But I was destined to struggle within my environment, constantly trying to tweek my own
destiny. I couldn‟t just humbly get up and go to work for someone if it was not leading to
something that was going to place me…, One step closer to my next adventure or challenge that
I was always pushing to accommodate, which has always led me to believe that my biggest
problem is that I was born 500 years too late!
; Regardless of my intellect or mentality.
FOR MY SONS, 2010
In many society‟s the producer of Sons is the epitome of manliness; a concept I have spent this
much of my life struggling to define. The marriage to your mother provided a proving ground
for me to determine if I have been successful in overcoming the obstacles that I myself had to
It is through you my Sons that I was given the opportunity to become the Father that I wish I
would have had. I wanted to provide an environment that gave you the love and support to go
out in the world and succeed without being scathed by the pathology that myself or others may
have created. I strived to give you a childhood that was filled with good memories; One that
gave you the freedom to discover who you are instead of having to prove who you are.
I knew you would eventually recognize that I have lived a life that is quite different from any of
your friends parents, and I wondered how you would react.
I was intense in providing you with the fitness and strength training to prepare you for the
participation of sports. I did this because I wanted to protect you from injury [remember the
knee and elbow pads I had you wearing for your first soccer practice!] and I wanted to give you
the opportunity to excel.
I also believed that it would provide the centering confidence and self esteem so important in
an adolescent‟s life. I made it a point to tell you about my childhood experiences, the concept of
defining moments, and even fighting techniques in case you found yourself in hostile situations.
I did this because I didn‟t want you to have to seek the same ideal for manhood that I created. I
decided that it was better to admit and discuss the problems I experienced so you would at least
have the ability to identify that something is wrong. My own mother knew that my father was
detrimental to us but overwhelmed as she was with five children she chose to ignore it hoping it
would go just go away.
I got you involved early in sports because I believed they teach you and prepare you for life.
I held award ceremony‟s after each season in order to show you how important I thought it was
to find something positive to say about even the worst player on your teams, and the benefits
that they may derive from this.
I made a point to get it in your heads that as long as you tried your best you were never a loser.
I talked and communicated with you through the medium of sports because this is where I lived
and breathed myself. It was my asylum.
I did this in the hope that you will not have to play for some beast you are trying to appease,
but rather for you, your teammates, your school and your community.
I admit that I wanted to give you the opportunity to pursue athletics as a means for college
scholarship as does any parent, but I want you to do, what you want to do.
I am proud of you for your own unique achievements, and hey, you are only getting started.
I would like to be proud of the role model I provided you, but I know I was wasn‟t perfetc. The
proof is in the pudding my Sons….I love you. Dad
MY DESDERADA, 1984
Put your integrity, above everything else, for to be without it, is like living in hell.
By the same token let your convictions direct you in life, for to live in hypocrisy surely is not
Keep your heart out, on your sleeve, so everyone can see, you are not here to deceive,
Regard your contributions, as the sum of your worth, and don‟t be deceived, by your wallets
Treat material things as gifts to be shared, because you can rest assured, no one is spared.
Take away your stuff and what have you left, only the memories and that is enough,
To inspire a full life, that is full of good friends, so your memory will be packed, full of them.
Concentrate on being, the best person you can, accepting imperfection, and lending it a hand.
Let your experiences be, your dedicated teacher, for it is hard to know, if you haven‟t been there.
Turn your challenges into inspiration, to keep your health in perfect condition.
Use your mistakes, as little reminders, that we all make them, so treat everyone kinder.
Strive for peace, and find someone to share it with, putting an emphasis on, being able to give.
Which is really what life is all about,… the most important ingredient for living no doubt!
It has been written, “Success should be measured not so much by the position which one has
attained in life, but by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed!”
The way Sam Keen sees it in his book; “The Faces of the Enemy” people deserve a C minus in
life just for showing up and making a living”.
“To get an A, a person needs the right kind of wildness, not the pent-up anger that results in
random violence, but the kind of wildness and ease with self that comes from exploring the
lovely and fearful wilderness of the psyche. That comes from daring to know and love your self
and the world as they are and caring enough to work so they may become something yet more
I want this too! , and welcome the opportunity to help people write their life story as well; to be
continued…fate permitting of course!
“A Full Human Being”, “The Shoes of a Fisherman”, by Morris Wright, 1963
“The Power Point”, by Michael Gerber
Dr. Phil McGraw, Info on Defining Moments
“Risk”, “Quiet Times for Couples” by H. Norman Wright
“The Faces of the Enemy”, by Sam Keen