I need to begin by apologizing for my long absence. Our Veteran’s Tales project has been eating up all the writing time I can find. I haven’t forgotten y’all I’ve just been busy. The CP is still secure, the claymores are still in place and the dogs and I just checked to make sure “Front Toward Enemy” still faces out. There’s nothing like 700 steel ball bearings in front of a pound of C4 to dissuade an enemy from visiting. I’m still in the market for some M21 anti-tank mines for the driveway if anyone has a couple lying around in the garage.
After being gone so long I feel I owe y’all a little soul bearin’ and some explanation. It all started one night Vassar sent me an email sayin’ he was takin’ his wife to Waffle House for their Anniversary. Now right off the bat that sounds like Vassar wears bib overalls, wife beaters and goes bare foot most of the time. I don’t know his clothing style but he explained that his wife liked Waffle House. Hell, who doesn’t?
I replied, “I haven’t seen a waffle house since I got up here. (SW corner of MN) WH was a weekly ritual at the tattoo shop, the whole crew would hit it at midnite after we closed and the shop always paid. WH is the only place I know where six employees and customers from a tattoo parlor can walk in, sit down and never warrant a second glance. Hell, I open carried a 1911 .45 in a fine brown leather 1930’s era shoulder holster (like Elliot Ness). I even sat beside deputy sheriffs while we enjoyed our late night breakfasts.
That conversation digressed into more personal information from me, we’d been trying to speak over the phone but that’s easier said than done in these parts. Most towns here have good cell service but the hinterlands aren’t covered for shit. Every cell company claims to have the best service but best is a relative term. They all suck ass. If I need to call 911 I’ll just take care of the emergency myself and call later, if at all.
This is prairie farm country. I rent an acreage on a farm four miles from my parents home, the one where I grew up. I knew the guy who built my house, in 1910, Anskar Synding. It doesn’t get any more Norse than “Anskar”. Lots of empty farm houses here, a lot of kids, like I was, run like hell at the first opportunity, usually they don’t come back. My folks also have a house in Blount, South Dakota, near the Missouri river, for the walleye fishin’, pheasant and goose hunting. Dad swears the election of Senator Smalley is what prompted them to move. Who wants to be associated with that? They also have the camper they take to Texas every winter where dad hunts feral hogs, nilgai and alligators. They retired 12 or fifteen years ago and rent the land to a big time dairy farmer just down the road. I am continually amazed by my parents, being a farmer and trying to get the best price for his produce Dad started out playing the futures market then expanded into commodities in general. Dad’s funny, he’ll pitch a fit ‘cuz the price of a new garden hose was twelve dollars but he fishes in a Ranger boat that cost 80k plus 10k for the auto-erecting trolling motor and a sonar/radar/video suite that makes “Hunt for Red October” look like a battle between rowboats. In his defense Dad used to fish the pro-walleye tour, he finished in the top 5 a few times. There wasn’t room in their pickup truck for their dog, Tank, to be comfortable so they bought the dog a 70k Chevy Tahoe. Tank’s eight years old and 110 pounds of Black Lab, when they go goose hunting Tank runs out a hundred meters from the blind and takes the goose away from the dog who retrieved it, he’s 110 ponds in an 80 pound breed. The other dogs don’t seem to mind, hell he’s old. When Tank goes for his nightly walk dad takes him for a ride in the Polaris Ranger till he barks, that means he needs to get out and do his business. Mom and Dad worked their entire lives and made it. All they do now is what-ever-the-f*ck they want to do. Except for doctor’s appointments, that shit is starting to eat up all their time. Its a bit frightening.
I couldn’t be a farmer for the same reason I fled the farm so quickly. I hate fixing broken shit with a white hot passion. Farming is all about breaking shit, like now, spring planting season, we have seven techs and every day for the last two weeks they’ve been out fixing broken shit in the fields. I was mechanized infantry for two of the worst years of my life, I hated being reliant on unreliable machinery. It was also an armor unit, absolutely pitiful. Some of those SOBs had to strip naked and smear themselves with lard to get into the tank. A Buck Sergeant in a tank squad is a gunner. He won’t lead a Soldier until he’s a Staff Sergeant and then its three soldiers. I was a team leader with three soldiers when I was a Specialist, by the time I was a Staff Sergeant I had 42 Soldiers. Tankers wouldn’t recognize Leadership if it walked up and choked them out. The Battalion used to do two mile battalion runs because anything farther involved so many fall outs it was embarrassing. The combined weight alone of the CSM and Bn CDR would have given them a title shot as a professional wrestling tag-team. Like Dad and Senator Frankin, I couldn’t be associated with that.
I’m gonna let Peewee Moore stand alone on the musical front tonight. He was born and raised in Tennessee just across the border from Ft Oglethorpe, GA, near Chattanooga. His 2015 release “So They Call You an Outlaw” says all I need to say about politics. You’ll hear it.