Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day post on General James “Jimmy” Doolittle

Several years ago, after a family funeral, I became acquainted with my grandmother’s cousin, Ella, for the first time. I was just beginning to become interested in family history and genealogy. Ella is an expert on Mrs. BigandMean’s (aka Mom’s) side of the family. We began trading emails, and she was full of great family stories. I had heard that we were related to Air Force legend/Aviation hero General James “Jimmy” Doolittle, and Ella turned out to know quite a bit about him and how we are related. I won’t bore you with the branches of the family tree. To sum up – we’re cousins.

I began doing some research on my own. It bugs the heck out of me that most people only know Gen. Doolittle from that not-so-great 2001 Ben Affleck movie "Pearl Harbor". In that film, Gen. Doolittle’s "famous 30 seconds over Tokyo" raid is sort of the climax of the film. Gen. Doolittle is portrayed by Alec Baldwin, which kinda chaps my Republican ass a bit (loathe his politics. UGH!), but his performance was one of the better things in the movie.

(Side note – my Great-Uncle Marvin on my Dad’s side was actually at Pearl Harbor. I remember Dad/BigandMean talking about asking Marvin if he ever saw the “Pearl Harbor” movie and what he thought about the realism. I can’t remember the details. Dad, maybe you can post about Marvin and the movie some time this week?)

Back to General Doolittle, one of several of my family members who have had their own action figures... :)

Here's a quote by my favorite President about General Doolittle:

“I like to think that many of the dreams of a strong America that we had [during WWII] are coming true today. This is only one more reason why the name of Jimmy Doolittle remains an inspiration to me and to the American people. The name's very mention reminds us that no matter how difficult the odds or how great the potential sacrifice, a dare for the sake of freedom and our fellow men is a dare well worth taking.” Ronald Reagan, paying tribute to General James “Jimmy” Doolittle at a dinner in Doolittle’s honor, December 6, 1983

Doolittle was promoted to lieutenant colonel Jan 2, 1942 and went to Headquarters Army Air Force to plan the first aerial raid on the Japanese homeland. He volunteered and received Gen. H.H. Arnold's approval to lead the attack of 16 B-25 medium bombers from the aircraft carrier Hornet, with targets in Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, and Nagoya. The daring one-way mission April 18, 1942 electrified the world and gave America's war hopes a terrific lift. As did the others who participated in the mission, Doolittle had to bail out, but fortunately landed in a rice paddy in China near Chu Chow. Some of the other flyers lost their lives on the mission.
- - - -
On April 18, 1942, 16 Mitchell B-25 medium bombers took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, positioned 750 miles off the coast of Japan. They dropped bombs on Tokyo, then flew on to China, where most of the crews had to bail out. The raid caused little damage to Tokyo, since the bomb load had to be decreased to accommodate the extra fuel weight. But the boost to morale was great. It gave Americans something to cheer about in the bleak early days of the war. Doolittle was advanced two grades to brigadier general the day after the raid and also received the Medal of Honor.

Doolittle spent the rest of the war as commander of various air force units. He led the 12th Air Force during the invasion of North Africa, the Strategic Air Force during the invasion of Italy, and in late 1944 he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned to the 8th Air Force in England and the Pacific. He became known as a good commander of bombing groups, frequently inspiring his men by flying with them. He was always a proponent of daytime, precision bombing,feeling it was a "basic American principle" to harm as few civilians as possible.

While the 8th Air Force was still stationed in England, Doolittle was excited about the opportunity to be the first commander to lead air raids on the capital cities of all three of the enemies. He had led the first bombing raids on both Tokyo and Rome. When the 8th began to organize the first raid on Berlin, which would occur on March 4, 1944, Doolittle thought he had a chance to make history. But because he had been briefed on several top-secret operations, it was decided that his capture was too great a risk and he was not allowed to fly over enemy territory. Though Doolittle understood the reason, he was far from happy.

After the war, Doolittle retired from the air force and returned to Shell Oil as a vice president. He continued to serve the air force as well, serving on special committees concerning space and ballistic missiles issues. He chaired the board of Space Technology Laboratories and served as the first president of the Air Force Association. During the late 1950s, as the last chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), he laid the foundation for its successful transformation into the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

On April 4, 1985, at a ceremony at the White House, Jimmy Doolittle was promoted to the position of general and given his four stars. Eight years later, Doolittle died at age 97 and was buried at Arlington Cemetery next to Josephine, his wife of 71 years. Many pioneers of flight died young, often through accidents. But Doolittle survived to live a full and illustrious life. When asked the secret of his longevity in such a high-risk profession, he replied that he never took an uncalculated risk but that he also had a lot of luck. He added that he wouldn’t want to live his life again because "I could never be so lucky again."

- - - -
A few more highlights of his extraordinary life:
- Received one of the first doctorates in aeronautics from M.I.T.

- Doolittle's doctoral dissertation, "Wind Velocity Gradient and Its Effect on Flying Characteristics," disproved the popular theory held by many pilots of the day that they could tell wind direction and the level plane by instinct even when they could not see the ground or horizon.

- As one of the first “scientific” pilots, he worked on aircraft acceleration tests and the development of instruments that would enable pilots to fly when they were unable to see the ground (called “blind flying”)

- Record holder – a daredevil pilot, he performed the first “outside loop” (aerobatics), made the first cross-country flight in less than 24 hours…and the list goes on for days….

- - - - - - - - - - - -

He was awarded the Medal of Honor, and was promoted from Colonel to Brigadier General for leading the first carrier-based bomber attack on mainland Japan in 1942. His citation, presented personally by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, reads, in part: "For conspicuous leadership above the call of duty, involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to life. With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, General Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland."

- - - -
The first lesson is that you can't lose a war if you have command of the air, and you can't win a war if you haven't. General James "Jimmy" Doolittle

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Road Trip

My brother Mike and I are off today on our annual road trip. Last summer we went to Nashville for the Grand Ole Opry and on to Louisville and Churchill Downs, The Louisville Slugger Bat Factory, The Jim Beam Distillery and The Kentucky Horse Farm among other places. When we go somewhere together, we're up at daylight and running all day - almost attacking the place, trying to see as much of it as we can.

This summer, it's Pensacola, Florida where our mother grew up. We still have family there and will be visiting with uncles, aunts and cousins through Monday.

Things are different everytime we go to Pensacola. The old folks are dying, which is the main reason we're going when we are. Uncle Aussie, the water well digger who raised turtles in his back yard and was afraid of ghosts died last month. But that's another story.

I'll see you on down the road.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Howard Dean

After watching Howard Dean's performance on Hardball with Chris Matthews, I've decided that anyone named Howard must be suspect. I don't personally know any Howards and can't think of many well known people with that name. Besides Howard Dean, there's another real depraved slimeball named Howard Stearn. The most admirable Howard I can think of at the moment is Howard the Duck. My apologies to any of you decent Howards out their in cyberspace.

After viewing Dean's interview and then reading a transcript, it's obvious to me that the man is totally devoid of grace and decency and is completely consumed - obsessed with politics to the exclusion of every thing else, even his own humanity.

I'm not certain whether it's his obsession with politics or his lack of tolerance for other's beliefs, especially those of Christians, which has made him into such a mean-spirited, morally deficient little man.

After all the accusations and inuendo about Tom DeLay, if any evidence indicates his guilt, we'll dump him post haste, just as we've done others from Nixon to Gingrich who crossed the line. We wouldn't tolerate a Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy if they were Republicans and we wouldn't tolerate Dean's behavior either. He's an immoral embarrassment. If Democrats continue to embrace him and condone his behavior they can kiss the elections of 2006 and 2008 good-bye.

Besides, I hear he's a cross-dresser and is dating Marv Albert.

And that's the truth.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Let's Litigate

Our legal system has come a long way since the days of feudal England when many of the disputes between neighbors were settled by the King's Lords who were living on the land on which the dispute arose(hence the term landlord). Many of the lords had no legal training whatsoever, and had attained their position either because they were born to it or had married into the priveledged class.

While this was not a perfect system, it did improve somewhat upon the popular, yet often fatal system of dueling to settle a dispute. There was nothing quite so final as death, and appeals were minimal.

We are the most litigious people in the world. Houston has more lawyers than the entire industrialized nations of Japan and China put together. If you have an auto accident in Houston and you're lucky enough not to get hurt in the accident, you could still get trampled in the lawyer stampede that will usually follow.

Remember the recent "finger in the chile" at Wendy's? Or was it a windbreaker in the chicken fingers at Chile's? At any rate, the lady who perpetrated the fraud got caught, but how many times had she and others like her sucessfully pulled off such shenanigans in the past? How about the creep who actually did discover an employee's finger in his cup of yogurt? It had just been severed in a yogurt machine and ended up in the cup amid all the confusion. He refused to give it to the victim to take to the hospital because he wanted to retain it as evidence! It might have been reattached but for the unconscionable greed of someone who thought he had struck the lawsuit lottery.

I think sanctions against vexatious litigants such as these ought to include being banned from access to the courts for life. Make them revert back to being required to challenge someone to a duel to the death if they want to litigate. Let's see how serious they really are.

There is, of course, a legitimate purpose served by so much civil litigation, but only if the plaintiff and his lawyer are honest and ethical. Remember the case in Florida where the surgeon amputated the wrong leg? The doctor amputated the patient's GOOD leg. Late for a golf game doctor?(hint-don't have anything that's important to you examined on a Wednesday-that's golf day). This poor patient then had to have his other leg amputated as was originally planned. He filed suit against the doctor, hospital and anybody else who was even remotely connected with what happened but he lost.

He didn't have a leg to stand on.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Doo Wop and Rock and Roll

Each generation seems to think the music of their time is the best and anything that came before or after is awful. That's actually true when it comes to the music I grew up on - the music of the 60's. Before our time there was Big Band Music, and ballad singers like Nat King Cole and Rosemary Clooney. It just didn't move. The stuff that followed us, like rap, is just plain bad with no musical talent required to write, sing or even listen to it.

My generation's music is Doo Wop and Rock and Roll. Elvis, The Beatles, Little Richard, Chubby Checker, The Righteous Brothers, Sam Cooke, Janis Joplin, Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons and everybody who was at Woodstock - that's us.

Our music was good and the words even made sense. Since the 80's the words don't have to rhyme, they don't have to be relevant and God knows they don't have to have any real meaning.

I heard one of George Michael's songs from the 80's a few minutes ago and that's what set me off about this subject. While the music of Careless Whisper (song title edit by Jen) isn't bad, it just bugs me that he laments that he can't dance again because his feet are guilty. It seems that he was unfaithful and now he can't dance because "guilty feet have got no rhythm." It's important to remember that feet are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers. If what I read in the papers was true, George was guilty of participating in lewd acts in public restrooms but his feet were completely innocent.

Consider the words to Ebb Tide, a Righteous Brothers song from the 60's: "First the tide rushes in, plants a kiss on the shore, then rolls out to sea, then the sea is very still once more". That's beautiful.

Now consider the words to a rap song I heard a few days ago that I'll have to paraphrase: "Hey bald headed woman, I've got this piece of biz for ya. Why don't you let my bald headed friend jump right in"? Did somebody stay up all night writing that? Were they drunk?

Now one more from my era, when the words were elegant,romantic, poetic and had real meaning. Just to drive my point home, consider the 60's classic by Otis Day and the Knights called Shamma Lamma Ding Dong. The words: "shamma lamma, shamma lamma ding dong. You put the um mau mau, back in my smile, child". That's about it. Notice the subtle near-rhyme at the end. See what I mean? Ah man, the 60's.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shoulda Been A Cowboy

I learned to ride a horse on my grandfather's big white lazy mule named Ole Jude. Ole Jude acted like a grumpy ole man - he was at least 20 years old the first time I rode him. My brother Mike and I would throw a saddle on him and both jump on, me in the front and Mike (three years younger) holding on for dear life behind me. We'd ride all over the farm, pretending to be Roy Rogers, "The King of the Cowboys" and his faithful sidekick riding on Trigger in hot pursuit of Black Bart. I never told Mike that the faithful sidekick was a girl.

I never did get Ole Jude to break into a gallop. The most he'd do is trot with an annoyed look on his big white face. Once in awhile he'd just stop completely, then turn and look at me as if to say "to hell with it - I ain't moving and you can't make me." It was probably a good thing because Mike was constantly sliding off the back and if we'd been going any faster he might have gotten hurt. Come to think of it, maybe that's why Jude refused to gallop.

Now, Ole Jude is long gone to that place in Heaven where all animals that tolerate children go when they die. I ride an ATV now instead of a horse or a mule, my 660 cc Yamaha Grizzly or my wife's 400 cc Kodiak. We ride the same roads and hillsides Mike and I chased Black Bart on aboard Ole Jude.

The last time I rode a horse made me glad I gave it up and took up 4 wheeling. I was riding a little paint when it threw me and my foot got hung in the stirrup. I was hanging up-side-down with the horse running in circles, completely out of control. I'd have died if the manager of the Wal-Mart hadn't come out and unplugged it.

And that's the truth.

Or not.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Doug Escapes Certain Death

Jen mentioned it yesterday so I'll share the story about the time I was supposed to spank our son Doug but couldn't do it. I couldn't manage to stop laughing long enough to pull it off.

Doug was about the cutest little fellow anyone's ever seen. His sister Jen is five years older and treated him from the day he was born like he was her personal property to do with as she pleased. He was an unwilling guest at her tea parties, pretended to be a thrilled audience of one when she performed a one girl dance recital and even let her dress him up in one of her tutus. This is and never has been a kid that anybody could ever be mad at.

When he was three though, he did something that pushed it to the limit. His mom, the BW, was painting the back door when the phone rang. She left the brush and the paint bucket on the patio while she answered the phone.

Doug and his buddy from next door, also three years old but going on eight, had been paying more attention to the paint job in progress than anybody realized. Apparently, as soon as she answered the phone, they decided to pitch in and help with the painting until she got back.

They only had one brush between the two of them so somebody had to paint with his hands. They painted the concrete patio, a brick wall, the walls in the garage and each other. Then they knocked over the gallon can of paint and walked through it, leaving tiny painted foot prints everywhere.

After the phone call ended and the screaming subsided, the BW gave Doug a bath, then told to stay in his room until I got home. She told him that I was going to be up to spank him as soon as I got home from work or as Bill Cosby said in his famous To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With bit, "the belt is going to wail tonight."

By the time I got home the mess was cleaned up. The only unfinished business was for me spank Doug. He obviously had thought about it for quite awhile. He didn't know what to expect because he'd never gotten a spanking. He knew it would be bad and obviouly knew it would involve hitting and that he would be the one getting hit.

I dreaded having to do it but decided that I'd just grit my teeth give him a couple of stearn swats on the butt. He was ready. When I bent him around to start the dreaded (for both of us) punishment, I couldn't help but notice that his little rear end was about twice it's normal size. I pulled his pants down and discovered that he had on not one, not even two, bit three pairs of pants. He even had a pair of shorts stuffed inside his outer layer. He had on two long sleeve shirts, a pair of boots and an old cowboy hat that was pulled down so low I couldn't see anything but a pair of eyes. No part of his little body was left uncovered. If this spanking he was supposed to get was half as bad as he'd been told it was going to be, he was getting as much protection as he could get. He looked like a mummy!

I couldn't help myself. I laughed so hard my side hurt. Doug laughed too. I said it wasn't funny. "Then why are you laughing Daddy"? "OK, it's funny. Now let's go downstairs". "Is the spanking over Daddy." I said, "yes, it's over - if Mom asks tell her it really hurt, OK.?

"OK, Daddy."

As a spanker, I was a total failure.

A Story For Jen And Doug

With Father's Day approaching, I think about my Dad - Jen and Doug's grandfather, more often than usual. He's been gone for 17 years but it seems like only yesterday that we lost him. There has never been a kinder, more gentle man. He was the caregiver in his family, taking care of his parents in their old age, then watching without any bitterness or complaint as some of his siblings took advantage of his good nature. As my Uncle Marvin said, even the animals on the farm they grew up on liked him best because he was always so kind to them.

I saw him get mad only twice in my life - and both of those times I was the source of his anger - but I'll get back to that later.

He was a vigorous and athletic, very healthy 69 year old retired career navy man when doctors discovered he had colon cancer. He fought hard for a year and a half. He had radiation therapy first, then chemo therapy and finally surgery. Nothing worked. He never gave up, he just gave out. He was 70 when he died. We all thought he'd live to be 100.

The first time Daddy got mad at me was when I ran in front of his car. We were living in Memphis where Daddy was stationed at the Naval Air Station. I was about three years old (yes, I remember it) and had been playing outside when Daddy got home from work. I ran to greet him and ran directly in front of his car. He slammed on the brakes, got out of his car and hollered at me. LOUD. This from a man who seemed incapable of raising his voice. I ran into the house with him in hot pursuit. He caught me and gave me the only swat on the butt I ever got from him in my life.

The other time I saw him mad was when I was 9 years old and we were stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. He and I were fishing on the St. John's River. He was in the front of the boat and I was in the back. I walked up towards the front of the boat without warning just as Daddy was about to cast. A hook caught me in the left upper thigh and buried itself about an inch into my leg. He cut the fishing line, then cut through the lower portion of my jeans. The only part of the hook that was visable was the eye. Then it started raining. Then the motor wouldn't start. That's when I heard him say the only curse word I ever heard come out of his mouth. He let out with a very loud "shit-fire". I'd never heard that one before and figured it must have been a navy thing.

He was mad at me for not minding him by going to the front of the boat without warning. He was mad that I was hurt and he was mad at the weather and the motor and he said so.

Fishermen in another boat saw our predicament and towed us in. At the emergency room, the only pain I felt was when I got a pain killer shot just before they cut the hook out. I didn't cry but I did react in a time honored navy fashion. Just like Dad, I hollered "shit-fire"!

Dad laughed out loud. So did the doctor. So did I. On the way home, Dad asked me not to say that anymore. He said he wouldn't say it anymore either. As far as I know, he never did.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

More On Cheerleaders

Speaking of cheerleading, has any human endeavor ever become so totally useless?

Some little girls start off dreaming of making the cheerleading squad when they're as young as 7 or 8. And for what purpose? To cheer for their favorite team? Of course not. Most of them haven't a clue when it comes to sporting events or to the team they're supposedly cheering for. What they're after and what they'll get if they make the cheerleading squad is a fast lane to popularity.

In the meantime, those who don't make the squad may be heartbroken, doomed to a high school career of relative obscurity, perhaps four years of playing the bazoon in the marching band and hoping they'll at least be elected treasurer of the math club.

Damn it, I say that anybody who wants to be a cheerleader should have that right! Parents should ban together to demand that their pubesant daughters be allowed to titillate thousands of strangers and shake their groove things at sporting events if they want to. No one should be hoisted on the pyramid of failure and forced to tell their mothers, "Mom, I didn't make cheerleader." Let's demand that the legislature declare cheerleading to be an egalitarian extracurriculum endeavor , open to all. If cheerleading squads consist of every damn kid in school who wants to do it, who cares? Five hundred cheerleaders on the sidelines? Why not? Nobody's watching them anyway except their parents and a few perverts with binoculars.

Football's a different thing though. Don't mess with football.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Bump and Grind

The Texas House of Representatives just voted on a bill presented by Houston Representative Al Green to ban sexually suggestive dance moves by cheerleaders at public school events. They haven't gotten around yet to banning impure thoughts or making lust a misdemeanor but that could still happen.

It's not likely that the Senate will approve of Representative Green's proposal, or if they did that the Governor would sign it so it appears that it will be bump and grind as usual on Friday nights this fall.

Professional cheerleaders like The Laker Girls and The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders present something completely different for the legislature to spend their valuble time pondering over.

These women don't actually cheer do they? What they really do is appeal, to a limited extent, to the pruient interest of the predominently male audience at professional sporting events. They could put on a much better show and have the freedom to do what we all know is the real purpose for their presence if the legislature would simply do the right thing.

I'm talking about passing a law allowing professional cheerleaders to perform buck naked if they want to. Yes, I mean totally bare-assed naked with lap dances for the entire front row during time-outs.

Now that's entertainment.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the legislature - make yourselves useful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Halfastros

Houston Astros baseball fans are back for another year of torture. It looks like we're really going to suffer this year. Two of our best players from last year's team, Jeff Kent and Carlos Beltran, signed with other teams. Our best all-around player, Lance Berkman hurt his knee in the off season and is just beginning to play again. We have no hitting, a bungling defense and our relief pitching consists of Brad Lidge and a group of amateurs. The Brewers may be better than we are! The Brewers!!!

The Cubs are still the same old lovable losers. The Red Sox may have ended their curse last year but the Cubs won't end their's anytime soon. The Phillies are bad, even though we gave them Billy Wagner.

The Texas Rangers have an exciting young team and my boys and I will probably venture up north one week-end this year to see them play. I love baseball and will watch high school or college ball if nothing else is available.

My Uncle Weldon was the same way, as was a friend of his he visited in the hospital once who was so ill he wasn't expected to live. The friend told Uncle Weldon that he hoped there was baseball in heaven. Weldon didn't hestate. He said that he'd prayed about whether there was baseball in heaven and had gotten a response from God. "There's good news and bad news. The good news is - there is basball in heaven. The bad news is - you're pitching Thursday."

That guy would joke about anything. Even baseball.

And that's the truth.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Dead Politicians

The Mayor of Hedwig Village, Texas died last month but is still on the ballot. By all accounts, she's running a good campaign and is expected to easily win re-election.

The rumor is that she may win by a larger margin than she did the first time. The electorate of Hedwig Village seems to be pleased at the prospect of having a dead mayor. She won't be in the pocket of special interests groups. She won't drain the public treasury with pork barrel projects for her friends and supporters. She won't interrupt others at council meetings and she'll never, ever have an extramarital affair. In fact, she most likely won't do anything.

Maybe we should re-think the requirements for public office. Would we be better off with nothing going on at all in the state's capitols and in Washington? Maybe. At least they couldn't mess things up any more than they do now and the incidence of political graft would shrink to zero. Why don't we give it some thought? Getting our career politicians to pass a statute that would require them to agree to die before they could be re-elected or retire from office might be tough to get done but I'm going to work on it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, The fifth of May, is not celebrated to any great extent in Mexico. It's celebrated in Texas because we have lots of Mexicans and they want something to celebrate.

Our major celebrations of patriotic origins are Cuatro de Julio, better known as The Fourth of July and San Jacinto Day. The Mexicans living in Texas pretending to be Texans of Mexican descent have never enjoyed our San jacinto Day celebrations, so in deference to them, we don't emphasize it anymore. San jacinto Day, for you non-Texans, is the day that General Sam Houston and 12 or 13 farmers won a battle against Santa Anna's army of some 20,000, killing about 3500 of them and leaving the rest of them running away screaming like girly men.

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of a Mexican army over the French invaders in 1862 in Pueblo, Mexico and is also my nephew Dan's birthday. Yes, even the Mexicans kicked some French hiney. Didn't everybody? Come to think of it, if we celebrated a special day for everytime somebody kicked the hell out of the French Army we wouldn't have time for anything else.

So, let's celebrate something. Happy birthday Dan. And how about another pitcher of Margaritas for my table Jose? And happy Cinco de whatchamacallit.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Uncle Royal

My Grandmother's brother, Royal Weatherford was a real character in the truest sense of the word. He'd do anything for a laugh and take any dare, even if it meant risking injury or getting arrested. In fact, the whole family was that way, even my Grandmother.

My Dad told me about the time when Uncle Royal was 19 years old or so and one of his friends bet him $5.00 that he wouldn't ride his horse through the front door of the church and out the back door during services.

It was an easy $5.00. Just when the preacher had invited all sinners to come down front and confess their sins and the choir had begun to sing "Just As I Am", Uncle Royal came galloping down the center ailse on a big white horse while letting out a rebel yell at the top of his lungs. While the preacher and the choir scattered for high ground, Uncle Royal and "Old Whitey" scooted out the back door and down the dirt road towards home.

That evening, his friend stopped by to tell Royal that he had been IDed that he was going to be arrested the next day for disturbing the peace. Royal didn't hestitate. He bet his buddy another $5.00 that not only would he not be arrested, but that he would be welcomed by the congregation at services the next week.

Royal went to visit the preacher the next morning. His story was that he was riding by the church and his horse, inexplicably, bolted and ran right into the open door of the church, even with him doing all he could to restrain him. He told the preacher that it must have been God's will that he be in church that day and it took a runaway horse to lead him to the way of righteousness. The preacher forgave him on the spot and invited Royal to church the following Sunday. He contacted the sheriff and told him that he was dropping all charges.

Royal showed up at church the following Sunday and gave an impassioned testimonial. After church he collected another $5.00, then doubled it playing poker that night.

And that's the truth.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Order CBFTW's (aka Colby Buzzell) book now!

CBFTW's book is now available for pre-order on! It is currently scheduled for release on October 20, 2005. Tooooooo cool.