Ned Christie

by larry on March 1, 2014

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Who is this guy? I asked Gram pa. He said, oh I don’t know, just an outlaw these vigilantes chased down and shot I guess. We were looking at an old post card from the 1890s on heavy paper stock turning brown with chipped and worn edges from grandmas little cedar chest full of old photos of days gone by. But this one I knew I’d never forget, it was of a dead man on a door sized piece of wood standing upright next to a railing of a brick building with cut stone window sills. He had a Winchester type rifle between his stiff hands and his waist. There were seven men with their rifles sitting around this guy, one or two wore a badge. I was about 8 or 9 and didn’t remember ever seeing a dead person yet, even in a photograph. Many years went by and my wife and I paid a visit to an aunt and uncle in the same little town of Bois’ Darc MO where my Gran pa and gran ma Bolin had lived so many years ago; they had both passed away and my aunt and I were going through that same little cedar box of old pictures when I picked up the old post card and said wow! I told her the story and she said take it home with you, I guess she could tell it meant a lot to me…….fast forward another ten years; I had ordered some Time Life books on the old west and the first one of the series was about the outlaws……in the back of this book was a full page picture of this same outlaw in the same place and though he had not moved, there was no one around him. His name was Ned Christie a Cherokee Outlaw. Some time later at the Har-Ber village museum in Grove OK I saw an old wanted poster For Ned Christie, and again later in the movie True Grit John Wayne tells Robert Duval’s character Ned Pepper that “I aim to kill you Ned or take you back to Fort Smith to hang at Judge Parker’s convenience, which will it be” Ned say’s “that’s mighty bold talk for a one eyed fat man”…..Rooster says fill your hand you son of a bitch”. while in Guthery OK last week I looked for something on this old outlaw but found nothing so when I got home I looked him up on the Computer and there was the whole story. It is all detailed out but very interesting to me, maybe you,ll find it that way too…….http://www.historynet.com/ned-christie-cherokee-outlaw.htmNed_Christie's_War_1892 http://www.historynet.com/ned-christie-cherokee-outlaw.htm

Not a Tooth In His Head

by larry on July 7, 2013

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Image0006Some time at the end of a hot summer many years ago I was fast asleep in bed with my brother J.D.on the old farm near Ash Grove Mo. (I was about 8 or 9 he was about 13). When Ol’ Major (part hound and German Shepard and Teddy a red colored Chow that uncle Eldon gave us because he was too mean for the city life) started a ruckus in the front yard under an old pear tree. Everyone was trying to sleep but the dogs wouldn’t shut up no matter how much dad yelled at them. Finely I hear dad say J.D. get up and see what them damn dogs are up too. He came back in just his jeans and said they had a Raccoon treed in the old pear tree and he couldn’t handle ’em. Dad got up slipped on his pants cussin’ under his breath and the two of them went out to the tree. Dad looked up in the full moon light and saw the biggest coon he had ever seen, half way up the tree. He looked at JD and said well we’re going to have to let ’em have it out if we’re ever goin’ to get some sleep ’round here so get a stick, climb up there and knock him out and lets see what happens.
When that coon hit the ground the fight was on. Now this was many years ago and it may seem cruel to let two big dogs attack a single coon but that coon was as tough as a boot and mean as a bobcat and he was not going to go peacefully. He would jump on top of Ol’ Major and Teddy would pull him off then he would jump on top of Teddy and Ol’ Major would pull him down . Now Ol’ Major was not Old he was in his prime and he was a huntin’ dog and no coon was goin’ to come into his territory and get out with out a fight. Teddy didn’t know what this thing was, but he was not going to let him go either. And so it went on and on; Dad was whoopin’ and hollerin’ at the dogs sick him Major, come on Teddy get ‘im….ahhh look at you two, that coon gonna chew you up and spit ya out; sick ‘im (dad always liked a good tussle you could tell by his nose bent a little to one side). They fought their way back to the old chicken house about 30 yards away. The coon backed up to the old chicken house and stood up and when a dog came in at him he would slap him down and it would yelp and back off then the other would try his luck and get slapped and scratched with a right cross or a left hook. The dew on the ground was heavy and the temperature was dropping and Dad in his bare feet and stepping on a Missouri flint rock now and then an’ J.D. starting to shiver and gettin’ cold even though the heat of the battle kept him jumppin’ around like he was right in there with them. Dad noticed there wasn’t much blood on any of the combatants but the dogs couldn’t finish off this coon and so he found a stick and knocked the coon out with one blow and pulled the dogs off (who by this time had, had enough anyway and didn’t protest too much). He picked the coon up by the tail and put him in the empty old smoke house and said “we’ll sort this out in the morning”.
The next day dad carefully opened the old smoke house door fully expecting to see a very capable and very mad adversary but instead found the animals lifeless body…… He was bigger than he remembered from the night before. He knelt down on one knee to look him over feeling a little sorry he lost and discovered he didn’t have a tooth in his head that wasn’t worn down to a nubbin and so must have been very old. He put the coon in the trunk of his old Ford as he went to town to get some feed and showed him to the local farmers from the area; he told the story and they all agreed “that’s the biggest coon we ever saw” and Dad said yep and the toughest too. He told the story many times for many years after that, because his last battle was his bravest and his best and should be told over and over again…..

The Lex

by larry on March 9, 2013

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On a trip to Corpus Cristy Texas with my wife and a friend of mine, we took a tour of the USS Lexington. My friend Danney had served on her from ’68 till ’72 as a Boiler Tech and he wanted to see her again and maybe go down in the bowels of that huge vessel to his old station about 5 decks below. He got on free sence he had served on her while Rosie and I paid the and fee and walked on board the 873 foot 24’580 ton flat top. To say she was BIG is an understatement; one link of the anchor chain wouldn’t fit in a five gallon bucket. Walking on to the 2nd deck you could play an NFL game with no problem. They told Danney to go to the Bridge and the ensign would announce his name and welcome him aboard over the intercom ( now hear this now hear this….). After we had toured the Vessel through most of the public areas and since he was a Boiler tech he was allowed special permission to go below where the boilers were. One of the guides took a flash light, (because it was off limits to the general public and there were no lights and nothing had been prepared for the public). Off they went, with me and Rosie in tow. We went down I think five or six decks to the engine room where he sometimes stood watch with the Turbine Engine Tech and then to a dark and dusty part that hadn’t been seen in a long time. We made it to Boiler Room #2 where he was Stationed and listened to how you had to keep all the Gauges exactly at the right place or else…he said the Engine room was so loud you had to use hand signals to communicate while the boiler room was so hot it was hard to breath. Everything was wrapped in asbestos, the turbines the boilers as well as the pipes and they ran in all directions. While standing in that place I wandered how many young men had to stand watch down in this hot as hell greasy deafening roar and hope a torpedo didn’t hit them today during the World War and Korean conflicts. My hats off to them and to the family’s who had to wait and pray they came home safe. USS_Lexington_(CVS-16)_underway_in_the_1960s.JPEG

Movie Critic

by larry on January 21, 2012

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I’m no Rodger Ebert not even close but I do have my own ideas about what a good movie should be like. I went to see Red Tails and I  will say it had great special effects, it might even get nominated for an award in that categories. But it could have been so much more. I think it’s target audience is for the younger crowd and that’s fine, the story needs to be told to them in a way that will keep their attention, Lucas is very good at that we all know. But you never get to know the correctors; what makes them tick, why did they want to do the things they did. Where did they come from and what was their family life before the war? These men were the best of the best and brightest, they had to be, and yet they still used the accent that we have all heard before. Maybe they did; they were very young and full of life but it didn’t seem likely to me. ( just my opinion I wasn’t there ) when looking up the history of the P40 Warhawk (the older and slower plane that the movie indicated they were left  to fly in before they got the faster P 51 Mustang) there was no mention of the European war front. While further research would be called for I think that in short it could have been a little more accurate in its portral. There is no doubt that they were not treated fairly and that they were very well-trained and wanted to prove themselves under fire and they did that without a doubt. They flew 200 escorts for the B29 and never lost a single bomber, a record that still stands and there medals for valor is a story in of its self but was only touched on. In short the movie fell short of my expectations…………………




The American Legion

by larry on January 7, 2012

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Last night the band (Stranger Creek) played at the American Legion. There was a good crowed (inspite of the Cotton Bowl Game) with lots of dancing and a good time was had by all. Before the festivities started they had a moment of silence for all the troops who were in harms way. I started thinking about how many times we’ve had to send young men out to fight for freedom during just my life time. How many times old men stood  in silence for young men in harms way. I never had to serve and I consider that just dumb luck. I had two kids and a wife when the Veitnam war broke out so I guess I didn’t make the cut and I’m not sad about that. I’ve seen news footage of war and it looked bad but you don’t see the reality of war on TV they can’t show that. What we see is the cleaned up version. But you can read about it; there are books that try to tell it for what it is, but unless you’ve been there I susect you can’t know. I got a book at Christmas called Fly Boys by James Bradley. It’s about eight Navy and Marine pilots that were shot down and held prisoner on a small island called Chichi Jima not far from Iwo Jima in the Pacific in WW II. The mental state of the Japanese soldier at that time was that they had a divine right to treat the enemy any way they saw fit to advance their cause. I always wandered how humans could act the way they did (and i’m shure there were attrocaties on both sides) and I guess I understand it better now, but I think first place would have to go to the Japanese soldiers of WWII, and these young Fly Boys were right in the middle of them with no way out but death by torture. But after all this time after all the wars and all the people that think they have the divine right to do as they see fit……..well you know the rest of the story.

Paul, Jennings and Harry Young

by admin on August 24, 2011

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My Father told me a story about the worst gun fight, Officers of the law ever had and still holds the terrible record for a gun battle “killed in the line of duty” to this day. January 2nd of 1932 Police went to a farm southwest of Springfield MO to arrest three brothers of the Young family Paul, Jennings and Harry. What happened next is told in detail in a pamphlet written to prevent police officers everywhere from falling into a trap of this nature. The Young brothers were known to be very good with a gun and they proved it many times in shooting contests around the area. Six officers lay dead around the farm house after the battle and two wounded managed to get away in a patrol car that was riddled with bullets. Later Jennings and Harry were surrounded in a boarding house in Houston Texas and committed suicide in a bathroom. I don’t remember if he said he knew the men personally but he must have known of them since he didn’t live very far from the farm. He was 19 years old at the time and he said he went to the farm the day after the gun battle and saw the bark on the trees shot away “bout as high as a mans head” and the blood on the ground at the base of the trees. The Family was well respected in the area except for the three brothers who for some reason went for a life of crime while the rest of the family did their best to be upright citizens. The whole story can be read on line from the pamphlet… The Young brothers Massacre