Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Free Watermelons, Waterloo, Indiana

In the summer of 1963, Harvey Wells, Waterloo Chief of Police, pulled over a truck loaded with watermelons for an infraction of the law. The truck was on the street just west of the cop station.
The driver was arrested or abandoned his load, and the truck sat there, and the boys who hung around Hamilton's Rexall Drugs didn't miss a lick.
The boys decided a watermelon would taste pretty good on a hot day, and somebody crawled up into the truck and took a prize melon. Then another boy did the same..then ALL of them, some under cover of darkness, likewise claimed a piece of the bounty.
I said I wanted no part of stealing a watermelon or anything else. I was called a "chicken" for my lack of courage.
Well by God! I was no coward OR a chicken! I'd show them. As soon as Harvey drove off in the patrol car, I sprung into action; I climbed that trailer and plucked a fine watermelon! How proud I was of my boldness!
I took my prize home and right away mom said, "Where did you get that watermelon?"
"Well, a truck broke down and..."
Mom was so disappointed in me that she called Harvey and turned me in for the theft. I was lower than snake belly at that moment.
Harvey told her that if I return the melon he wouldn't file charges...I know that Harvey knew every kid was taking a melon and nobody , especially Harvey, cared.
So I took my watermelon back to the truck and my buddies watched as Harvey Wells, Waterloo Police Chief, watched me nicely lay my prize back into the truck.
In the middle of the night, some kids went into the truck and smashed nearly all the watermelons onto the street ... I noticed them when I arrived at 4:45 A.M. to fold my Journal-Gazettes for my route.
Darn kids, anyway!
I learned a valuable lesson, though: don't always follow your peers!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lyle Lovett - Flyin' Shoes (Townes Van Zandt Tribute)

A Tribute

Friday, March 09, 2007

Senator Schumer was nearly ripped in two on "Imus in the Morning" today.

Schumer avidly defended himself from Imus' onslaught by saying he had paid many visits to NY vet-centers.

Imus has been nailing the heart of the matter this week...the US governmentt shows CONTEMPT for the wounded that become a burden.

Did people think Ron Kovic was joking when his excellent book "Born on the Fourth of July" hit the newsstands 30 years ago? It was a Tom Cruise-starring movie, too.

It exposed the deplorable conditions in a Brooklyn VA hospital...there was no outcry by ANYONE then. These conditions have been stagnantly unattended for decades...it's not just the current generals who are to blame.

Military protocol is based on the chain of command. Complaining about anything is career killer.

This will blow over and patches will be applied. And by the next war it will be sad and decrepit again.

The wonderful care some vets receive does not make up for all the shortcomings in the VA system.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rockin' in the Jungle Clearing

Introduction by my brother:
This little piece by my younger brother, Dexter ben al-Dogg of War, a Viet Nam veteran, was apparently inspired by a recent Internet hoax involving Capt. Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers and Lee Marvin.
--Brother Miles

The night we threw our M16s down

I was in the war that the US was in more than a generation ago, Vietnam. Bloody it was, and I saw my share of action.
One night a firefight broke out ---we were ambushed, and many were getting shot with small arms, AK47s and M16s.
They had us retreating , and we heard a commotion in between bursts of fire.
We had stumbled onto a USO show.
Alvin Lee and his band, Ten Years After, were entertaining. The Vietnamese must have been awed at the sound...soon they quit shooting and started whooping it up.
I realized what was happening and took off my bandolier and my helmet and stood up and waved at the opposing soldiers.
They waved back and we joined up and strolled up closer to the stage. One of our guys offered up some toke to the Viets and we all kicked up our heels and toe-tapped as Alvin played his amazing licks.
When the show ended we and our new friends back-slapped and laughed back to the place where the fighting had ceased.
We gave them our Chiclets and C-Rations and they gave us a pass from killing us.
Now this story is true and I should know, as I was the one who started the whole thing off, our night kickin' and jammin' with Alvin Lee and the Viet Cong. Rockin' and Rollin' was better than killin'.

We had noticed Lee Marvin, Bob Keeshan, and Fred Rogers in the crowd, and the Man-in-the-Moon smiled down and winked a nod of approval.