Sunday, December 21, 2014

Point Cadet - A Christmas Tale

 Keane walked into the Point Cadet Marina’s office, immediately greeted at the counter.
“Hey, Keane, g’mornin’, how may we help?”
“Good go see you again, Rob. My boat’ll be in Wednesday afternoon, sometime, and I want to get things goin’.”
“Such as…?”
“Like getting her name painted on.”

“Best guy around,” Rob offered, “is working in the yard, now. His name’s Ricky and he’s down toward “J dock. The gate should be open. Just around the corner towards J,  about 500 feet down. Can’t miss him, well, the at least not the Bertram he’s working on.”

“Thanks,” Keane replied as he shook the clerk’s hand and heard the doorbell alert his exit.

A behemoth cabin cruiser was cradled, suspended  by straps on a steel rack-like structure, akin to scaffolding, with a ladder leading up to the swim step off the transom. A workman focused on centering the stencil just so, one that would eventually sport the cabin cruiser’s name on its sea-worn finish. He didn’t hear Keane’s muted footfalls as Keene approached to silently look-on before speaking.

“S’cuse me, Ricky?” Keane called, “Can I bother you a second?”
“Sure, how ya doin?”
“Fine, thanks. My boat’s getting delivered here, Wednesday.”

The workman rested his materials on the transom and turned to sit and dangle his legs, looking down at Keane.

“Congratulations! What’ja get?”
“The boat of my dreams! A Donzi 35 I picked up, right. And it’s got twin Mercury 300 Verados to push it!!”
“Sweet Jesus, now I know why you picked the Mississippi Coast for a berth, cuz of our low gas prices, but I still wouldn’t want your gas bill, sir!”
“Did you ever hear the sailors’ lore, that it might be bad luck to rename a boat? I mean, it’s what keeps me working, but some folks just don’t do it. I figure it’s my yeoman’s duty to tell people.”

“I’ve got to make her mine. She’s getting rechristened,” Keane said with resolve that made Ricky wonder.
 “A boat that size…. Usually…I reckon it’s gonna be somewheres in the range of eleven.”
“Huh?,” Keane asked.
“Eleven hundred.”
“Whoa!,” Keane blurted, shifting his weight in his unscuffed Sebagos.

The painter reacted with a puzzled expression.

“I guess I just thought it would be less. I mean, a lot less.”

Ricky rested his palms on the swim step, and looked at the new owner.

,“Mind if  I ask you something, sir?”
“Sorry, my name’s Keane. I got yours from the marina office. Fire away.”
“What do you drive, Keane?”
“An ’07 Nissan pickup.”
“Gospel truth… You look surprised.”
“Most guys who can lay into a 300 hundred thousand dollar, ocean-capable speed boat usually got Jags and ‘Vettes,” the craftsman observed.
“I scrimped, saved and invested well, Ricky. A dream come true.”

“Well Keane, lemme ask you this:  how much would a Nissan dealer charge to take a crane and lift that pickup out of the ocean, swing it into a steel rack until a sling could be strung, store it there for ten days, and then get the crane to drop it back into the ocean, cuz that’s what we’re talking about, here.”

“Okay, okay. I get it. It’s perspective,” Keane chuckled, a little embarrassed.

Ricky responded, “I lump-summed it for you. Only $250 of that’s mine.”
“Seems fair. I’m sorry about the reaction.”

“I’m wondering how and when we set this up?”
“You give me your card, I check with marina office for crane availability, and then give you a call.”
“Sounds easy-peasy.”
“It is.”
Keane fished a card from his chinos pocket, extending it to the outreached hand.
“I’m an independent architect. You can get me on the office or cell, anytime.”

“By the way, I’m sure you gotta name for her or you wouldn’t already be looking me up… ‘Course the cost is based on the number of letters because of the stencil and my materials and all, you understand.”

The painter watched Keane’s chin bob slightly as he mentally counted characters.
“I count thirteen. Oooh, maybe unlucky, huh!?”
Ricky broadened his lips to a grin with an accompanying wink. “We already know you’re not superstitious because you’re renaming her. Besides, ya gotta count spaces, too, for the sizing and letter style and all.”

Keane was about to answer when a curious expression reshaped his face and demeanor.
Again, his weight shifted in his shoes. Unexpectedly, Keane put his hands on his hips, turned away from the painter, and stared downward. When he turned back toward the painter, Ricky knew Keane was emotionally off-put.

Neither man stirred.

Keane looked up, “I’m gonna square with you. I didn’t tell you the whole truth, and I really dunno why…. Well, I guess I do know,” stammered the boat owner. “I lost my wife to breast cancer. We talked about buying a speed boat someday. We’d only been married three years, and” Keane snapped his fingers, “she’s gone. She loved the ocean and adrenaline rushes. I bought the Donzi from insurance money that’s been sitting in the bank going on four years, now.”

It was Ricky’s turn to shift himself, forced by uneasiness of what he’d just heard, noticing Keane’s misted eyes.
“Oh mah-golly, I’m sorry for your loss, man.”
“Thanks,” came from Keane, with an audible strain.

“My wife’s middle name was Caroline. On our third date, I had a little too much wine, and I can’t sing for shit. But, in the middle of a crowded Italian restaurant, there I was with a snout full of chianti bellowing, ‘Sweet Caroline,’ the Neil Diamond oldie.”

A long silence passed before Keane continued.

“Cathy…well, Catherine—that was Caroline’s first name…. Well, Cathy later told me that singing to her in that restaurant was the moment she fell in love with me, and even though it was only our third date, she knew she was going to never let me go.
That never arrived way too early, ripping out my heart and insides,” his voice faltering as he went.

Keane began to lose it a little.
“So, we’re gonna call her ‘Sweet Caroline,’ Ricky. Cathy called me her ‘big boy,’ and always said we would name our dream boat “Big Boy Toy,” but I just can’t. An’ you know why?”

With a slight shake of the head, the painter just listened.

“Because, if anyone else should ever walk into my life, she’s gonna have to accept and understand something. She’s gonna have to share. Because I’m always gonna be in love with Cathy, my Sweet Caroline.”

Ricky surprised Keane with a grin.
“Way I see it, Keane, you ever tell that to another woman? She’ll latch onto you like 900 barbed hooks on a squid jig. That’s a nuclear powered chick magnet if I ever heard one, like walking a puppy or strolling in a park with a baby carriage,” and Keane’s countenance changed, momentarily, with a sheepish grin as he saw Ricky’s reasoning.

Another long pause came leaving only sea sounds on the air.

This time, Ricky spoke first.
“I gotta say I didn’t reckon you’d be a speed demon kinda fella, Keane. I figured you more for a sailor, maybe a 25-foot Catalina or something.”
“How’s that?”
“The look:  faded jeans an’ sweater, but boat shoes that the new ain’t been knocked off of yet!,” and both laughed, shearing off the sharp edge of discomfiture.

“Tell ya what, Ricky. I did a pretty good sea trial when I bought her down in the Keys. But once she’s here, maybe I’d like someone else to be with me when I take her out and open her up. Someone who knows the local water. You wouldn’t be interested, would you… because I’d like to have you there if you’re at all interested?”

Ricky, with his legs now alternately swinging easily back and forth, said, “Know what? I’ve had a few invitations like that but turned ‘em all down. I think I’m gonna accept yours… Yeah! I think I’d like that, because my little 23-footer’s Merc one-fifty won’t get up and scream like your Donzi! I think I’d love a chance to get out there and get my hair and cheeks blowed back!”
“Well, Ricky, I’m hopin’ the blow-back and spray’ll be enough to kill the fire that’s been gutting me since Cathy got taken away,” Keane shared, more steadiness in his voice and on his feet.

“Keane…if it don’t? We’ll just go a li’l faster till it does. And if it still don’t? We’ll add a 6-pack for each day we gotta go out and try ‘er again, friend.”

With that, just as drunken singing had won Cathy’s love, Ricky’s simple solution won Keane’s friendship.


There’s a little marina and boatyard right behind the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino on Beach Boulevard in Biloxi. That and its parking structure are so massive you hardly know it’s there. I mean, you can see boats back in there, but there’s no real signage of how to get back in there.

Owners and guys from the marina office and yard like to knock-off work and hit happy hour inside the casino. None of that really has anything to do with me, except that I used that information.

Two blocks North of Beach is a side street of small businesses. That’s where I work, at Diana’s Financial Services. She’s a public accountant but not a CPA. What that means is that she’s a bookkeeper and tax preparer.

After my divorce, I was a suddenly single parent, desperate to find work and a friend of Diana’s referred me. We seemed to hit it off and, with hard work, I became Diana’s right hand.  

Diana’s been doing Ricky’s books and taxes since before I got here, about six years I guess. There are a couple other girls in the office, clerks really, whom I supervise. So I don’t exactly sit in a public area and haven’t taken outside calls since my first year working for Diana.

I guess Ricky’s okay, but if first impressions are lasting ones, mine of Ricky was an argument I overheard between my boss and him. “Jerk,” was my first impression, and although he hasn’t ever really done anything I’m aware of to keep that reputation, I just go about my work, deluged in paperwork and tax forms and bookkeeping stuff for our growing list of customers.

It was at our own happy hour hideout after work, having a couple glasses of wine and some tapas with Diana one particular evening. I know it was April, because we were eating, breathing and buried in tax stuff. She talked about this friend of Ricky’s, a guy named Keane. From the sound of it, Keane and Ricky were polar opposites: architect and redneck blue collar worker. But they each owned boats and loved the water. When Keane wasn’t out fishing with Ricky, Ricky was goading Keane to go out on the bay in the high performance boat Keane owned.

Diana said her pre-formed notions of Keane before meeting him were incorrect. Youngish professional, hot rod boat. Probably a skirt chaser and quasi-alcoholic pretty boy…all wrong. But Diana met Keane hanging out at the boat yard one day when she had to run over and get some signatures from Ricky. Keane was quiet, polite, not particularly attractive, an average dresser. Sure nothing special. Keane excused himself and got into some rusting little pickup truck and left so Diana and Ricky could get down to business in Ricky’s office, not much more that a tool shed, really. Ricky told Diana Keane’s story.

A few months and three glasses of wine later, Diana told me Keane’s story and I was curious. And I did something bad.

I didn’t exactly want to meet this guy. I just wanted to see him, compare him to this kind of romantic larger than life story. Diana’s description of him sure wasn’t all that and a bag o’ chips, but hey, curious isn’t a gender trait, right?

I was betting Ricky probably wouldn’t know me enough to pick me out of a crowd. Oh, he might have that, ‘I know I know her from somewhere notion,’ but I was back-office at Diana’s. Even if he did recognize me, so what.

It only took three Fridays of tries. I’d walk over to the Nugget from work and head up the escalator, just off of which is a big, open bar. To the right, is a bank of slots, some shops, and the large walkway to the buffet, hotel check-in, and farther down the walkway, the hotel/parking elevators. I’m not a big gambler, but to catch a glimpse of this guy, I’d grab the corner slot and casually glance around it scoping out the bar traffic. Serious drinkers sat on the back side of the bar that opened into the restaurant, an area I couldn’t see from my dollar slot. I was thinking these guys would roll up to the closest open spot to order a beer and was right.

Ricky came off the elevator yammering to a guy behind him, one I thought and presumed to be Keane. What I didn’t count on was how short lived their visit was that day. Ricky no sooner downed a beer than he appeared to be taking off. The other guy had barely finished half his wine, and didn’t seem pressed to leave.

End of spy mission and no big shakes, right? So I sat there and ordered a cocktail when the girl came around. I didn’t have anything to do, really, and was betting a buck at a time on a machine that wanted me to wager $5 per spin.

My Baileys and coffee arrived and as I put the cup to my lips, oops! My eyes met the guy’s, the one I presumed to be Keane. I looked away but know he might have seen me a titch rattled. Anyhow, ‘Relax, Casey, take a sip, play off the money on the reel and get home. This was stupid.’

Everything might have been alright until all hell broke loose. Before that, a couple more times—maybe it was only one more time—my eyes had met Keane’s, and truthfully, there was nothing there, just a smiles exchange.

Then hell. 

I raised the Irish coffee to my lips with my left hand and hit the “Spin” button while doing so. It sounded like an ear-splitting fire alarm coming from my slot, so startling I spilled the hot Irish coffee onto my white ruffled blouse. In shock, and I still don’t know why, I looked to Keane. Then at my slot. The center pay line was flashing on five icons that looked like gold money bags, and the pay meter was rising wildly. I found the pay line and saw that I had hit for $2,000 with only one coin in! I also sensed my soaked and stained blouse, and, had it not been for my bra, would have probably been burned by the spill. Worse, there was someone walking toward me. Keane.

That was two years ago.

It’s about twenty til two in the morning, and they’re going to be bringing the baby to me for her 2am feeding. I shouldn’t be awake but I couldn’t sleep and picked up the tablet. After all, I’ve just given birth to Keane’s and my daughter who we will name Christa Marie.  Although I’m hammering my tablet’s keypad telling you all of this, I’m in a private room and the keypad’s quiet.

My jackpot coffee spill disaster led to a date which led to another. And because of the season I’m feeling a little like it’s confession time.

I want to tell you that I fell for Keane because of his character and compassion. Not looks or boat or architect’s degree. Not a syrupy sob story. I’m a woman who fell truly in love with a man for all the right reasons. But…

There was a point I also had to confess to Keane. I’m three years younger than Keane. My name's not "Kacey," but even my parents call me that and I'm sure that few actually know my given name. I've been 'Kacey’ my whole life. I didn’t know how or when to tell Keane, but I wanted to wait until I could see if our relationship was going to go anywhere. When I was sure that it would progress, I was comfortable the whole truth wouldn’t have made me look or seem deceitful or manipulative in the worst womanly light. 

I was christened Karolyn Cathleen. My maiden name is ‘McSweet,’ and when Keane finally found out, he was speechless for five minutes if it was a second! He cleared his throat, raised his bottled water to his mouth and, just before taking a sip, I heard a parched whisper “McSweet, Karolyn. Sweet Caroline. Sweet Jesus. My God,” and a couple tears slipped from the corners of his eyes. He later admitted never been so overcome, literally speechless, “emotionally ambushed,” which seemed like an odd turn of phrase although I was good with letting it slide.

Christa Marie, we are sure, will get along famously with her step-sister, Mamie Jane (“MJ”), eight years old and enchanted with ‘her’ Keane. We still own the Sweet Caroline, and Keane has actually taught me how to run her ‘just in case,’ but I know it’s really because he gets a kick of hearing me squeal when we’re out there doing sixty, smacking along the bay. Ricky and LeighAnn will be Christa’s godparents.

In about six hours, the love of my life will come in with MJ to bring gifts for Christa Marie and me. They’ll have presents because it’s Christmas morning.

If Christmas isn’t the ultimate Mother’s Day, I don’t know what is:  the birth of hope for us all, and all about love. Love. I have it. Feel it. Love it, more now than ever, and for all because 

Oops, here’s the nurse with Christa. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis Accepts the Staff

Holy smoke, and it was white.

"His election was the election of a rejection of power," said a Jesuit priest in the Vatican's press office--a brother-member from the same Catholic 'religious order' from which Pope Francis has come to us.

Italian was spoken in the pontiff's childhood Argentine home, taught to the son of a railroad worker who emigrated from Italy to South America.

That he's of Italian ancestry should delight all of Rome and Italy. That he has been called from the Americas, a Spanish speaker, endears him to most of the world's Roman Catholic population.

That he rejected palatial surroundings of the Cardinal's residence in Buenos Aires, choosing instead to live in a downtown apartment and ride the bus to work is testament to his humility, and more, to his focus on the mission of his life's work rather than its trappings. Were one to accuse him of being out of touch, as Cardinal, he regularly visited the slums of Buenos Aires, and if one can't find humility in any slum, then where, spiritual or not?

That he bowed his head, asking the world's church to pray for him in silent prayer, silencing the wet and cold thousands rejoicing at St. Peter's Square was a departure from his predecessors. Again, recognizing weaknesses of humanity and his place among it, recognizing from where the Church and its faithful draw our true strength and leadership.

Italian. Spanish. American. Latin American. Humble. Student. Scholar. Teacher. Leader. Leader by example. So far, so good?

Each of the religious orders has their charisms. The Jesuits are regarded as scholars, teachers and missionaries, the Catholic community that dedicated itself to promulgate "The Sacred Heart of Jesus."

Pope Francis earned a degree in chemistry, taught, learned, served, and continued learning and serving and leading. One might cite fearlessness in leadership, when, in the 1990s, he challenged his community, calling for reform within the Society of Jesus ("Jesuits"), and not so very popular a notion within its ranks. Yet, here he is, Pope Francis, the first Jesuit ever to become the Vicar of Christ, testament that even the voice for reform in one of the Church's most structured and respected of Catholic communities, he not only survived politically but continued to earn the admiration and respect from the hierarchy of the Church, in the persons of its College of Cardinals.

Of thousands on thousands of words I've read to research my new shepherd, there was a speech someone called "fiery," where he was compelled to remind his peers--without mincing words--words to the effect that Jesus bathed lepers and broke bread with prostitutes. It was an impassioned plea to emulate Christ, to tell his brother servants that it was time to climb off their high horses, and to serve prayerfully, with humility.

Pope Francis seems to have every ingredient for which I'd wish in a spiritual leader, the ingredients in proper proportion to the whole, in perspective.

The first non-European pontiff in over 1,000 years, he's being hailed as a Pope "...from the New World.." And I think those pundits have it right. Nearly. It's my feeling he's not just from, but for a New World. His holiness, Pope Francis, may just deliver that to his faithful and beyond, a new world, for the betterment of all.

He's accepted the staff as our shepherd, and history may well reflect that Pope Francis was, in the truest spirit of Christ, one who walked softly with bold confidence, carrying that big stick from the moment he said, "Yes," accepting the burdens of a troubled world, the sinfulness and failings of its people that reach into the depths of his own organization. He accepted responsibility to carry and deliver, exemplify hope and forgiveness, with the path toward our salvation constantly enlightened.

My prayer is that he is as I perceive him to be. My faith tells me he'll succeed in a job I regard as one which no man could take lightly, especially when told by peers that it is his torch and cross to bear, God's will.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bailey Call Collect

Bailey Gallagher played with dollies, jumped rope, had tea parties, got good grades, dreamed of princes, driving a car, a boyfriend, prom dresses, a husband and motherhood. 

She played soccer, was a cheerleader, in drama club, Spanish club, and somewhere along her path of her Irish-Catholic upbringing, specifically high school, she encountered a nun and a priest she liked and to whom she could relate. They taught a couple of her religion requirements, and their passion for and presentation of their classes awakened the unexpected in Bailey. She spoke nary a word of it to another soul. 

The girl was popular, dated alot, but was never considered as 'easy' or 'slutty.' Bailey had  intercourse only a few times with her senior year's boyfriend. To Bailey, sex was in context of a balanced life, normalcy, not a burdensome obsession. She would often revisit whether sleeping with him had been a good decision, and left it with her father confessor. 

She graduated from high school and accepted a scholarship to attend Franciscan University with hopes of getting a degree in education and teaching high school. 

Three years later, she was in front of her academic adviser, confessing she felt called to a spiritual life. The adviser guided her to prayerful and academic/research approaches of discerning answers to, "Me, really?," "Why me?," "Okay, but there are hundreds of  communities of nuns so how do you pick one?."

Four years following, Bailey was was before a bishop, with tears of joy falling along with her hair from tonsure's sacred rite, followed by her profession of solemn vows. 

Thirty-one years, five months and nineteen days later, Sister Mary Bailey was on her lumpy cot in candlelight, under a corrugated roof's rain pounding. She lay there reflecting on a life spent in the Congo, nursing and teaching children. Just four years of those nearly thirty-one and a half  years were spent Stateside, required restorative time to spend among her sisters at the order's 'mother house.' 

Her career's reflection wasn't in wonder of having spent or misspent her life. She was thanking God for all the disease and hardships and deaths encountered in her assignment, grateful that hers was the caring heart, helping hand and available ear chosen for the less fortunate. She knew that few would ever understand, even from the beginning. 

To her, it mattered to the one who mattered --the one who had called her--the one who told her she mattered. 

A gust from the African savannah's storm extinguished the candle, leaving Sister Mary Bailey in darkness but for an instant. In the same instant, her hands quickly found the cruicifix on her chest, and she clutched it tightly, one hand over the other. 

Her death arrived silently, leaving  life with a smile for the hand she saw reaching out to her through her last living thought, and the light, that beautiful light.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Arizona Can Get Coyote Rich

Here's $400MM the State of Arizona can have to relieve some of its financial woes.

Illegals pay upwards of $1000 and more to be brought into Arizona, usually through the desert, at night. Where do you think they're getting the money? Illegal workers in the U.S. send money home to Mexico. In the future they need to send an extra $1000, and the illegals need to bring that extra thousand.

Let's pretend...just suppose Arizona issues a citation, like a traffic ticket, to any illegal that's caught. The fine is $1000. With 400,000 streaming in each year what if we only catch 20% in the act and cite them. That's $80 Million. Or they can pay $500 for a 'free' flight back to Mexico City on a State-contracted charter with in-flight salsa, chips, and bottled water.

We're now $80 million to the good. Now, what about the illegals already working in-state? If Sheriff Joe--wait, he's perceived as a bad guy for enforcing laws. If any law enforcement officer finds an illegal and issues a citation, I figure there's another $320 million or so that is income Arizona hasn't enjoyed in the past.

Here's a cruncher:  how about if we make it illegal to send, wire, or transfer money to Mexico, so there's no money to pay the coyote, because you don't think that a 75-cents/hour minimum wage is going to yield an extra grand for the coyote anytime soon, do you?

"But wait," the liberal cries, "What about my Uncle Reed who got his wallet picked in Mazatlan and I need to get money into his account?" Call an airline and buy a ticket to get him home, transfer money into his account and have him call his bank to pay his hotel bill.

If a coyote can charge $1200 for me to risk my life following him through the desert with no water or gear for the elements, there's Arizona money for the taking.

Coyote money is good money, and ours for the taking if we would only do it.

"But wait!," Uncle Reed cries, now back in the U.S., "There's bipartisan legislation coming to our rescue for the 11 million poor souls having to lurk around within our borders." Yes, and once we've given a pass to those 11 million, ten million more from 'down South' are going to do whatever it takes to go North and attempt to contrive documents and conditions to qualify for the non-amnesty's amnesty [ed. It's amnesty. A frijole or free citizenship by any other name is still a frijole pass.]

My ancestors paid the fees, did the paperwork, waited, and even struggled to make English their primary language and were proud to do so. They wanted to do it the American way.

 Next thing you know, Canadians will exodus en masse seeking warmth and Obamacare and want a free pass to get it. Heaven help us all, then, eh?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

...e'er so gently down

I awaken and it’s night, the return of blue-black's canopy stretched o’er me and light of softness sent from the stars is arriving, coming e’er so gently down. Ignoring the hour, hot water is backing up in a cone awaiting passage through the grind, about to invisibly weave wafts of aroma’s comfort into the air, as water becomes a brew that fills a carafe, as it trickles e’er so gently down.
There were times, once, that her neck lay upon my upturned wrist, head nestled in my hand, her angelic baby’s smell there but not enough, the love in my face wondrous and oh so close to hers, as into her crib, I placed her e’er so gently down.

There was the yellow balloon hiding behind the couch, seemingly at hover and forgetting the party of days before, wanting and begging, if it could, for up but coming, imperceptibly, so slowly, e’er so gently down.

I know too well the worst of me, those times I retreat, relinquish control to anger, and only after it’s been dealt find regret braided with remorse because I permitted weakness to sap true character’s will to leave it and grow by walking away after putting it e’er so gently down.
At times when 'blest' is forefront of mind it urges me to take this time, my now, to thank the one living between some- and everywhere and I know to give my gratitude, whispered or silent with the nod of affirmation from reverence itself and so few days left, to do so, and I kneel e’er so gently down.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Badly Numbered Days

Something didn’t feel right about its approach.  

I don’t like that others fear it on tippy-toes when it comes up,  while roulette players reach to cover its black space in antithetical hopes of good fortune.  

As a biker, I’m amused that an infamous ‘bad boys’ biker club lays claim to and brandishes it and to its juxtaposed “31.”  
On its odd-as-in-funny face, it’s been cast to represent “M,” midway through our alphabet and whose very reputation can be construed to mean “marijuana.”
Thirteen is tattooed on my calendar and life again and again this year.
A baker’s dozen, harmless as one of its doughnuts.
I’m not superstitious. I confess to calendar dread of thirteen, different than superstition or so I tell myself. 
There are unavoidable, inescapable collisions of health and finance in my 2013. 
That 2013’s early September marks my sixtieth birthday, there are wistful farewells to youth's bygone days. There’s increased, unwelcome frequency of misspent thought about my mortality that shadow boxes with my moods bank, as annoying and real as the fly you can’t seem to avoid or swat.
Should I die before December 31st, thirteen will necessarily be engraved on my headstone sunk into the limestone and clay of a hilly cemetery in central Kentucky
Thirteen will will have beaten me, ad infinitum and for all to see, just as it's the odds-on favorite to make losers of roulette bettors. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who's the Enemy, Here?

When I raised my right hand to join the United States Army, the oath I swore was this:
I, Joe Gensle, do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Support and defend the Constitution...against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Skirting Congress, the sitting President, our Federal Community Organizer as I like to call him, may issue and edict, an "Executive Order" requiring me and you and other citizens to surrender our guns, protected under the Constitution.

In an America of choice, I can choose to follow law or suffer its consequences. In the Federalism we enjoy with rights and freedoms born of our Constitution and its Amendments. I'd rather stand behind our Constitution than follow an Executive Order from an elected official, whether his or her name was Mickey or Minnie Mouse, Ted Nugent or Ted Kennedy or Marco Rubio. You get the picture. That it happens to be "Barack Hussein Obama" just makes me want to scowl before I spit.

My own government ordering me to surrender my last bastion of order, America's very last resort of defense? Could, in a worst case scenario, we have to protect our very selves from governmental tyranny? Is there a molecule of cerebral possibility that it can be cloaked in "Executive Orders?"

This is [sic] seriouser than you know or can imagine.

Washington refuses to act upon the illegal entry into our country, an assault upon our borders. It refuses to address the root cause--mental illness--for mass murderers' unconscionable acts of human destruction.

And now we're teetering on the brink of having to swing golf clubs or baseball bats, or iron skillets to defend our homes and homeland?

I don't think so. And they just plain don't think, those Liberal Washingtonians.

Proof positive:  If there's amnesty for illegals, or "Dream Children" allowances and legislation, what will happen to illegal border crossings? Will they decrease? Or will there be a massive overrun of our borders (and laws) for swarms of people hoping to gain for free what others have died to protect and defend and sustain?

It couldn't get seriouser, for, those who fashioned my oath must have been convinced that the enemy may come from within, be "domestic," against whom  I swore to defend the United States of America.

Don't vote with your weapon.

Let your vote be your voice,  and your voice be your weapon while those freedoms still stand protected and unchanged.