This was a required story for Myth and Modern Times (an ESC course)

When the little panther was born, it was a very hard year, and he became the only cub that survived. It was harsh on all the panthers everywhere; food and water was scarce. Through it still, the little cub not only survived, he seemed to prosper. He learned quickly how to hunt on his own and could always find snacks in small prey. His parents had named him Earnest, and by the time he had entered into his 4th year, he had 3 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters.

He was about to come into his own and be free to roam about, but before this happened his mother sat him down to have a talk with him. She spoke of many great things; she spoke about the beginning of things on this earth and how “Sisa” (Hogan, p. 73) was the first cat to slice through the veil and taught a great many people many things. He roamed when all the earth was one land, before the great thunder came and broke the land into many pieces. She told him about family or clan as she called it and his responsibility to his younger siblings.

Recently poachers were seen in the area watching and searching for younger forest animals of this jungle and when found their parents killed; all the offspring taken and sold. Many of their friends had disappeared only to be taken to zoos and circuses for a good sum of money. The mother suspected that this was also why the smaller game they would hunt was also disappearing. She made Earnest promise that no matter what, he would always be there for his brothers and sisters.

It was during a warm summer day when Earnest was out hunting with Clyde, his best friend and a great hunter in his own right, when the poachers came to his area. Just like all the other areas they killed the mothers and fathers and took all the young, hauling them away in large carts with cages attached on top of them. By the time Earnest and Clyde got back each with large kills to share with their families, they found nothing. No sign or trace of anything but the death and destruction the poachers had left behind. Clyde became quite upset and ran off to find his family, only to return a few hours later alone; the poachers had left nothing behind; Clyde’s parents were very young and he was the panther from their first litter. Earnest explained to Clyde that he had promised his mother to always care for his family and that he would be leaving soon to go find them. Clyde tried to insist on coming along, but Earnest knew he was an only cub and had no obligation; Earnest waited until Clyde was asleep before he left. He decided he wanted no “good-bye’s” or Clyde trying to follow so with a quick glance back as what was his home, he went quickly on his way.

About three hours into his journey, he stopped for a quick drink of water and saw a young impala dash; feeling hungry and knowing he would have little time later to hunt, he leapt after the rabbit and was quickly rewarded with a fine lunch. After eating his fill, he climbed a tree and hid the rest for later as his father had taught him. As he finished his lunch and climbed back down the tree he turned to leave and there in front of him was Clyde with a huge grin from ear to ear. Clyde let out a ferocious roar to let the forest and Earnest know he was no kitten and he was going on the quest with or without Earnests approval. He was a grown panther and he would be going with Earnest. Earnest seeing the futility of arguing any further agreed and set off again with his friend. A few more hours into the journey they came to a high rising in the land and could see a compound off in the distance. They set off at a very quick pace with the hopes that this was the compound where his siblings were.

What neither of them could see from that distance was the human police authorities creeping up from the other side of the compound. They had been investigating the disappearing forest creatures and were about to close in to both capture the poachers and free the animals. The poachers had various alarm methods and before the authorities could get to the compound, the poachers started a hot fueled fire, then made their escape through a hidden tunnel. By the time the panthers made it to the compound it was fully engulfed in flames; they stood in disbelief watching. It surely seemed that Earnests siblings were gone forever. Tears started to flow and Earnest roared loudly, he could hardly bear the grief of it all. How could he go on? He had failed. He lay there watching the fire, deciding to wait until it was burnt out so he could gather his sibling remains and give them a proper rest. Earnest fell asleep waiting.

The next morning Earnest was still filled with grief, but Clyde had already been awake, wandering around the compound giving it a thorough inspection. He knew this place had only smaller animals in there and told Earnest so. He became animated because the siblings might still be alive and Earnest needed to act. Earnest would have none of it; he was so physically tired from his journey and did not want to face the possibility of facing another compound fire. Clyde moved closer and spoke to his friend about what he had promised his mother, and how important his brothers and sister were to him; Clyde had no family left at all and he knew Earnest would one day regret not continuing on, finishing his quest. Eventually he made his argument and Earnest began to ready himself to continue on. Suddenly they heard a rustling off to the side and surrounded the noise. It was a monkey from another jungle community entirely who had traveled miles to rescue his family that were actually prisoners in the compound. The monkey spoke of passing a compound filled with cages of cats and told them he could lead them there, as it was on his way home.

In 2 days they made the journey and were but a ½ mile from the compound. They could see a small moat with a few Hyenas wandering around waiting for kill refuse. The poachers did not mind because their cry was like that of an alarm and they would easily know of anyone coming and could protect their catch. The monkey immediately hatched a plan; first they would from a safe distance circle the compound and find the escape tunnel. Then once the poachers had left on a hunt for more animals the monkey used some sort of magic that would make him appear in one spot and suddenly reappear a short distance away. Using his skills and tricks he managed to lead the hyenas a good distance away to a small cave opening where Clyde and Earnest were ready to push a large rock down from overhead. All went as planned and the hyenas entered into the cave thinking the monkey was in there. The monkey suddenly appeared right where the rock was falling and Earnest thought they had killed the monkey. Again he became quite upset; Clyde was quick to point out that they had a limited time to get in and free the animals before the poachers returned.

As they entered in through the escape tunnel, they could see the monkey suddenly appear inside the compound Earnest was overjoyed at the monkey being safe. The monkey informed him that he had too much magic inside to be squished by a dumb old boulder and they set about freeing all the animals who made their escape the same way the panthers had come in. Finally they found the cages with his brothers and sisters, freeing them; they kept at the task until finally the last of the animals they exited through the tunnel and none too late. The poachers were just returning from the other compound where they found all the animals gone and the place in ruins and their fellow poachers missing. They were certainly not prepared for the site that opening their own compounds gates provided; hundreds of empty cages with their doors swinging on their hinges and not an animal in sight. They were very angry at the lost bounty and resolved to hunt them all down, recapturing what they could and killing what they could not.

The animals quickly spread out each group going in the direction of their home, with the panthers moving quickly along together. Earnest could hear the poachers starting out and knew their time was limited. His brothers and sisters had been in cages with little food and they had no energy to run far; Earnest knew they would have to hide and hide in a way that the scent dogs the poachers had could not find them. Remembering a trick his father had taught his when he was a little cub, he led them down by the river intending on having them roll in the mud to conceal their scent from the dogs. The river’s edge however was rocky with not with a lot of mud so he had them do the best they could. They were quite the site. Polka dotted panthers that smelled of river mud. Suddenly he knew the poachers were closer, and had his siblings all hide among the rushes with Clyde and him. The spots broke up their shape making them not easy to see, while the mud masked their smell letting the dogs and poachers run right by without a hitch. Earnest was very relieved, but they were not safe yet. Both he and Clyde went for a quick hunt bringing back a small gazelle and a small deer to feed everyone. When they had eaten their fill, they all had much more energy to make the journey back home. They way back went pretty much without incident arriving safe back at the compound. They were so grateful to the monkey, they offered him a home until the end of his days, be he declined and at once vanished in an extraordinary way. Earnest set about the task of ensuring everyone had their sleeping places back and would now be responsible for their proper upbringing. In turn teaching his siblings the ways of the forest like his father did for him. It would be no easy task to be mother, father and big brother to his siblings, but he knew with Clyde’s help he would surely find a way.

The next day there was a strong wind storm and many trees were downed leaving wide areas of the jungles forest exposed. In the middle of one of these areas was a mound made of hard green emerald. It looked like a green pillow sticking up from the ground except it was not so soft. Earnest sniffed and scratched around the mound when it began to vibrate. Earnest leapt back and watched as a bolt of emerald green light shot up from the ground that was so bright that is filled with air with green light. It was all anyone could see. Finally it let up and standing on the mound was “Sisa”, standing tall and proud. A roar like none of them had ever heard before came from “Sisa” and they were all afraid. They knew “Sisa” was their great ancestor and held the power of life or death before them

“Sisa” spoke: “Arise! Get up off the ground! Arise! I shall not harm you in anyway” “You are mine and belong to me”. Earnest arose and approached Sisa, who turned to Earnest and said, “You have done well my cat child in keeping your promise and bringing your family home to safety. It pleases me greatly. I have decided to reward you for your cunning; stealth and sheer bravery with having you keep your spots as a reminder to all the cats of your deeds. I shall call you leopards for you are now above the common panther and hold a place in my kingdom when you pass over.” “You, your siblings and all your and their ancestors will be born with these spots and they shall remain with you forever.”

And so it was that all the leopards from that day on were born with spots. Earnest lived a long and happy life becoming a father of a very large clan of his own. He taught them all like his mother had; about where they came from, their proud heritage and how they became spotted.

Works Cited

Hogan, L. (1998). Power. NY: W.W. Norton & Comoany, Inc..

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The long ride to work

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view” (Kerouac, 1957)

It was 10:27 pm as I stood on Pennsylvania State Highway 209, as it passes through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, listening to the death groan and final breath of a 6 point white tailed buck. My first kill lay on the road; its death steam rising and life blood spreading out on the highway unceremoniously while my friend and worker Wayne was standing in front of my now damaged 77 Chevy Van. He was surveying the damage (deer antler through the radiator) that would certainly put the monkey wrench into our trip. Inside, the van were tools needed, as well as other tools we would probably never use but included “just in case”, to complete the jobs we were to undertake in North Carolina as one half of a Satellite Reception Installation crew for the North Carolina Board of Education and the Tie-In Network. The plan was to travel down a few days early in a direction that would include the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, then with the early arrival, scope out the jobs for both teams and get a day of rest in before doing our first job, in Elizabeth City, N.C. I stood there with no answer to a question I was sure I hadn’t asked and wondering what the hell I was doing here.

It was Super Bowl Sunday Eve, Jan. 26, 1987, an event that neither of us cared about in the least. (The humble writer must be clear that not only did I play the position of left out in most forced school educative sports, I really could have cared less. I historically have hated any televised sports, and quite especially football and due to my complete lack to co-ordination I really suck at sports) It had been an unmercifully cold day, with temperature lows of 3º (Weather History for Pittsburgh, PA, 1987) and in fact the temperature never got above 19º the entire day in Pennsylvania, while it was even colder in upstate NY where the journey began but hey, that’s just how it rolls in winter in the north; it gets cold and sometimes damn cold. We were well stocked for the anti-super bowl party that was historic in my house, but this year’s event would take place with only 2 people in a motel room in Elizabeth City. Neither of us drank but seeing how it was super bowl Sunday and there would be beer guzzling freaks everywhere, we felt the need to consume something, and chose my father’s favorite Courvoisier, and though he mixed it with ginger ale, were we not men? Or something like that. Neither of us was huge on beer, a commodity I would learn to enjoy much later in life in a non-commercial dark beer way. A wise man once told me to never trust a beer I could see through.

It was about 6 months before; when my friends Wayne and Bob, both of whom I was in a musical group with, convinced me it would be in my best interest to come work with them creating and installing Satellite receivers designed for home reception in a Chestertown company servicing the surrounding areas. Chestertown was at that time a far cry from Cable TV of any type, and the Dish™ Network had not yet even begun so for the immediate area and much of the outward areas there was a lot of installation work. It was pretty simple work; a land survey would get completed and a marker laid for the installation of the pipe cemented into the hole we dug. After a few days of curing the customer would again be scheduled for the crew that would come install the dish, actuator, and inside reception equipment, which was essentially a motor to move the dish and a receiver/amp; it could be quite unwieldy for the uninitiated. Bob was with engineering and sometimes would assist a highly technical install, but the brunt of the work and labor was done by Wayne and me.

These were pretty large dishes, 10’ – 16’ of rolled aluminum (conforming to a mathematical parabolic dimension of which I cared little about) heavy as hell with a custom frame, that mounted and connected onto 2 ½” well casing pipe which in turn was cemented into the ground, though later on they started distributing mesh dishes; they we no easy task to install and once installed trying train the poor backwoods people who could barely operate a TV remote control was a mind numbing chore that was hideously worse than writing a report on “Corine Corrina”.. In more than one instance we would again travel to homes for an unceremonious uninstallation, because the remote control and complicated many satellite uplinks and channels within them made it quite difficult and complicated to watch any program, let alone the guy who loosened the dish on the pole and tried to move it by spinning the dish back and forth, quite “soonly” breaking off the bundle of wires and cables connected. He was heard to ask “Motor?” like it was a new concept. A tech guy called them “woodchucks” and seeing stuff like that, how can one argue and worse how is a service technician to cope with this kind of lunacy?

I reckoned that even though I was going to the same rural situation to install satellites, it was after all for educational purposes, so how bad could it be? I agreed to the proposal so Bob (the electronic assembly person on a genius level) and I went about creating a business, getting insurance, and creating a work van for me. I bought a used Chevy Van that needed a transmission and some body work, the transmission came from a friends Camaro, as his car body was dying hard, but the transmission just was rebuilt. On the passenger side (of which side I was never seated because I am horrible and dangerous passenger was a custom light we installed, that would throw light straight down into Wayne’s lap, which would then be used to facilitate the rolling of joints for our trip. We created rules where we would require the smoking of 1 joint an hour and then an additional one when anything ceremonious happened, like the transport between states or the successful transport across a bridge or through a tunnel, in fact anything at all could be envisioned as a major success and require a celebratory joint. The dead smoking deer was not one of these occasions

I remember driving instructions tell you to drive straight ahead and do not brake, so realizing I had released the accelerator with my foot in fear and anticipation of hitting the deer and my foot hovering over the brake pedal, I pressed down again on the accelerator, only to have the deer turn back into the ¾ ton Van looking me right in the eye as it chose its particular sense of martyrdom and slid its mighty rack into the radiator goring it through. Yes by God, I was in Pennsylvania and this Buck wished to simply demonstrate just how friendly a state it was. What’s the saying; “Friends to the end”? I think this buck had demonstrated it perfectly, and then checked out to leave me as the executor of its estate.

The first people to show up where two guys in a pickup truck who were quite animated about who “owned” the deer. I thought to myself, “Jesus, It’s been slammed into by the front end of a Chevy Van before being run over and is probably bruised, besides, how I hell would I clean it, where would I store it and still make it to Elizabeth City?” As it turns out, my not being a resident was unfavorable and I had no problem letting the eager men trot off with my kill. The officer told me how lucky I was to be where someone was actually staying through the winter (the only person within a ten mile radius) and that the tow truck would be here shortly. I was to be ceremoniously dropped off with the van and my only worker in the middle of the night in Stroudsburg, PA, while all the Inn, Motels and Hotels were booked solid with no rooms anywhere. The levels of anticipation rose with every turn

I had thought ahead and brought sleeping gear with me, while Wayne had his Parka and was already shivering. To be fair, we were going down south in February, which tends to be much warmer than “up in them thar hills”. Wayne also was no boy scout either; what he was, was an arm chair military commander, because he would not be allowed in due to some old injury with his knee, but even then it would be a fail, as a survivalist/military conqueror would at least come with an emergency blanket. The floor of the van was carpeted, and still I have an extra blanket to lie down, and I shared the sleeping bag for the night, because our Inn for the evening was the van. Inside of the station/junk yard was some sort of attack dog that snarled and went into so sort of catatonic freak out every time we had to relieve ourselves. It was a pretty much sleepless night that ended with day break and the opening of the diner across the street.

After breakfast I got out the tools I’d brought with me and pulled out the radiator to be ready for the yard owner’s arrival. He had told me on the trip to the shop that in fact he had the radiator I needed and would be opened on Super Bowl Sunday. I did ask him on the trip to his shop if I could buy the radiator now, and he must have envisioned trying to pull a used radiator out of the vehicle it was coming from and putting it in our vehicle with temperatures well below freezing, because his answer was a quick and firm “no”. In his retrospect he had no idea that these two lunatics would actually have the tool required to perform the job not only quickly but well, and he actually apologized for it.

The tow truck driver/junkyard guy/repair center rode with a bulldog up front. They say the owners looked like their dogs, and this was no exception. Adding to the fact that it was night and this was the back woods, this guy had a loose fitting jacket, suspendered pants and a wife beater on; he fit the backwoods redneck persona to the sweat stains you knew were just below the underarm. Couple that with the ugly dog in the front seat, the shotgun in the window rack, when he told me no I felt I was in no position to argue at all, as was more than a bit relived to be once again on my way. Through this entire ordeal, Wayne had been strangely quiet; I saw how he viewed the redneck tow trucker and there was fear in his eyes.

As a side story, I have some sort of weird radiator karma, my former El Dorado on a road trip to Key West, after blowing a hole just at the end of the NY State Throughway near Suffern, popped again (after stopping at a store and getting some radiator repair in a bottle, it finally gave up its ghost in Wilmington Delaware. We were on the way to Key West for a series of band gigs/working vacation. I once again was saved by a kind individual who stated “I’ll need to rebuild that entire rad-e-ator” yet only charged me $120. He was in the back of a large building in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, I was an obvious out of towner and he could have doubled the price and I with no way of knowing or anyway to get a better deal. So here are two instances where I was unmercifully robbed of precious journey time due to a radiator, yet in the end the cost was very reasonable.

Kind of pissed but happy to be in a position to get the Van fixed and underway, we set about the task of changing over the radiator after paying my towing bill and the cost of the radiator, in this case $80 for a tow and $80 for the used radiator on Super Bowl Sunday, was a deal in anyone’s book.. It was about 10 am before we got rolling again and were far behind schedule. At this rate we would be lucky to make to North Carolina before dark, and fall behind with the debauchery we felt we should put ourselves through to balance the armchair football hero’s that were getting wasted themselves. I always felt we could do it better and without the resources that a super football game would provide. People all over the world would be doing shots for touchdowns (along with other forms of mind numbing chemicals) and just because we did not favor football, should not mean we should be left out. It also made the celebratory joints in line with the “program”, because we knew how to celebrate we simply needed any excuse or no excuse at all.

The trip went pretty uneventful on the way down after all that nature business. We left Stroudsburg and continued clearly rolling more joints just in case. We used to joke about rolling joints until you could not smoke any more, and then roll two more joints; one before bed and one to get you rolling in the morning. Clearly though after reexamining the map, and google maps in their own browser works really well, that it was pure madness the route we took, that on the return made it seem even more unnecessary. In some fantastic ways, google maps can deliver more than you bargained, like the through towns on this route.

I had worked for 2 consecutive years in Bethlehem PA, for a company that contracted work inspecting and repairing municipal sewers. I was my then father in-laws right hand worker and we stayed for those two 3 month commuting trips staying in Nazareth PA at a motel with a bar. In all my years working on the road, this had never happened, as neither of us really cared, but as it was he agreed to put us on the other end which was nearest the hot water tanks and much more beneficial to sewer workers if you catch my drift. We would work 4 10 hour days and drive the 5.5 hours home, leaving again Monday morning at the wee hours of 1 am, hitting the day as soon as we arrived.

Bob’s wife was pregnant with their first child, mine having already been born, and Wayne’s not quite conceived yet. This was to become in later years a theme of first my wife conceiving, then Bob’s and finally Wayne’s, where after the arrival of the 2nd child for all of us, the question of me getting fixed came into the male club conversation. This woman carrying Bob’s offspring filled out like nothing anyone of us has seen, with quite a few of us thinking that she would have twins, Bob was not happy. In his mind we needed to make money and this was business; it amazed me how far off the track he later got.

Bob is/was a functioning genius; that is to say he could design circuitry for amplifiers and satellite receivers, but did not possess the common sense to think his way out of a paper bag sometimes. This here is a guy who designed, built and programmed the head end for the cable system in Crown Point, NY and he ended up a heroin addict. Does too much brains lead to such behavior?

All that aside, he knew both Wayne and I smoked entirely too much and could still out install him; us on our worst day and him on his best. Mind you I am not bragging, just showing you what a damned Nancy he could be, the poor little hippie kid. I did toughen him up through the years, as I have a tendency to do in a way and manner that is completely out of my control. My former father in-law, grew a moustache as a kind of tribute to me (and later gave up the cigarettes through my urging), while one night years before at a party where there was acid, cocaine and obvious marijuana smoking, I looked up to see him standing in front, smiling at me, amazed I could know an Elvis tune, let alone perform it, knowing my feelings about Elvis; to this day we are still friends; it was his ex-wife who hated me and as we found out later.

It was around 10am when we left Stroudsburg and we figured that traffic would be of a minimum, but sunset was begun as we neared the Chesapeake Bay and with it the bridge and tunnel. It cost about $10 in 1987 to cross the bay and I am sure it is much higher by now. I remember the leafless trees silhouetted in the indigo sky with a blood red sun setting to the west as we trod on through the end of the afternoon. I seem liked forever to get to the entry point for the bridge/tunnel and now it seemed like nearly a half an hour of driving on a causeway (a large raised mound of earth and rocks onto which they place a road of all things) to reach what I would consider a bridge. You drive around a corner towards the beginning of the bay bridge-tunnel and off to the side was a building on sunken piles with a boat tied to it; looked pretty neat, seemingly worth investigating and something you always wish you had more time to find out about.

The bridge itself was pretty boring and a little disappointing. The sun was nearly spent and you could just make out shapes into the inky depths. There were few cars but still there were evident two solid lines preventing passing and no way to pull over with the space between the roads right white line and the actual edge of the roadway was maybe 2 feet. In heavier traffic with a car broke down in front of you, the help was backing up from however far it was to a space where a tow truck could turn around. These thoughts were discussed as we nervously rolled more joint to still our anxious nerves and Wayne instinctively rolled a few more for bridge-tunnel celebrations. I could see somewhat into the distance yet something seemed to obscure my view and in the dusk, it was difficult to distinguish. By the time I realized it was a huge ocean going vessel I seemed to be about to crash into, the road dove down at a crazy angle as we dove down under the water. I have to be honest; the whole experience was kind of freaky in the near dark. Here you are driving in dusk and realize that there is an enormous ocean going vessel that is several stories high suddenly taking up your entire view, and before you can even really react or wonder where in hell an ocean going vessel came from or was doing there, and just before you take your eyes of this huge monstrosity that holds your gaze hypnotically, the road just dives right down at a crazy angle into the bay. The horrors. I imagine it is not unlike being on a major roadway and seeing an airplane land on it.

So very uneventful from Stroudsburg; boring little cities and towns with boring billboards and odd little names, like Bear, Delaware and Smyma for Gods sakes; if it was named after a guy, you know he got beat up or became tough quickly. All this rural calm, two northern guys driving down the road stoned out of their minds and suddenly just before they drive, at a sharp angle down into this hole in the water there is a huge boat to scare the crap right out of you.. I thought for a minute that it is about things like this that one might not want to smoke pot and drive, but at that moment, Wayne was handing me a joint and I forgot all about it. It was not unlike driving to the Atlanta, Ga. Airport, where you actually drive under the runway and then over it again at one point. It from the airplane passenger (which I have flown out of Atlanta when in the Marines) that it freaks you out. Here you are in a monstrously huge and heavy commercial jet and you drive over and under the highway. Somewhere in the back of your mind rests the thought that you are much too heavy for a bridge of any sort and much too high for any underpass; and God help you, you are about to go up in the air with this thing.

In a very anticlimactic way we came upon our motel in Elizabeth City, NC a day late and few extra dollars short. Fortunately, my Dad had wired money ahead and there was a nice little check waiting for me at check-in. The good old days before cell phones were common at all and you could wire someone money and the check would be waiting at their destination. Now you need 6 forms of ID, 2 pints of blood, finger print scanning and the rights to your first offspring to be able to pick up a check from a western union vendor. We had arrived finally and would get a nights rest before we went off to start our first job, which was nearly next door to our accommodations.

You had asked before about Hunter S. Thompson and phantasmagoria, meaning whether or not it really took place. Both Wayne and I read of Mr. Thompsons adventures extensively, and we even carried some of his books as a roadmap biblio-reference. Like what would hunter do in such and such a situation? Both Wayne and I believed in the order that surely came from chaos, though sometimes the outcome was not favorable; that was just too bad and part of the consequence of living one’s life in this manner. We lived by the Grateful Dead song’s creed from “I need a miracle”, which states “Too much of everything is just enough”. (Barlow, 1978) Sometimes it’s only the inner cobwebs that need cleaning out, sometimes it’s the entire ego.

It seems like a sin, that Wayne ended up in life with bad knees and angry at the world. He is an arm chair warrior who could never serve, but can tell you all about how it is supposed to work. He can identify most aircraft by sight, and if we are ever attacked it might be a good thing. But to sit and be angry, that’s not how I envisioned his story ending up. That is the kind of thing cannabis was to prevent; which gives me thought and pause. Cannabis is supposed to mellow one out, not make one to be as angry as Dick Cheney. Bleeding heart liberals this and left wing that. Such anger makes one blind to the fact that there is no difference between Republicrats and Democans; greed, fear and war mongering. In the end I think it made Mr. Thompson a bit paranoid, and though I feel none of that, it appears this kind of outcome is more common that I thought.

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who see it coming and jump aside.” (Thompson, 1998)
I have discussed the other side of my partnership too in other stories/reports; while not into the excess as Wayne or I, in the end it was excess that got him too. A man with a high IQ that is smart enough to design and implement an entire control center for Time Warner’s Cable TV for The Greater Glens Falls area as well as Crown Point, became a serious heroin addict and as a result spent 5 years in prison. Just before his arrest and conviction was when I had my accident and missed out on some serious public ugliness. A small price to pay if you weigh all the odds and options. In the end, I feel I win, though in all honesty are there any winners in this human race? I think it is something inside that just refuses to give up; I am the type of person who will not stop, will not quit and will not give up. You will need to kill me to make “me” stop.

Jack Kerouac sums it up as neatly as any crazy man could; “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars. (Kerouac, 1957)”

North Carolina to the outside contractor can be a wonderful place to work, as many of the board of education people we had to deal with, had wives who only wished to ensure we received our share of southern hospitality, and were fed properly. I must say it is some of the best feeding I have ever had while working on the road in any capacity. We would work in North Carolina for 3 weeks steady before wrapping things up in a temporary way to head home for a week’s break before heading back down and finishing the work laid out. It felt like an omen the intense 2 days of travel to get to N.C. and we were not disappointed. The work provided a large pallet of adventure both on our side and the Tie-in networks support/inspection crew that followed us around from job to job. Our final job was in Chocowinity, NC and was in itself an equally intense addition to an already evolving adventure. There are no merciful insights, no moral to this story; somehow we made it out and home alive, but all that as they say is another story.

Works Cited

Barlow, J. (1978). I need a miracle [Recorded by B. W.-T. Dead]. Mill Valley, California. Retrieved from

Kerouac, J. (1957). On The Road. Viking Press.

Thompson, H. S. (1998). Rum Diary. Simon & Schuster.

Weather History for Pittsburgh, PA. (1987, 01 25). Retrieved 11 15, 2014, from wunderground:

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Ernest Corkscrew


Third lamb of triplets, back is twisted. He is so full of life

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When my brother was born, in 1968, glens falls was just getting a repeater for WMHT in Schenectady, and suddenly programs like Sesame Street and Mr Rodgers Neighborhood, were available. My brother began watching when he was about 2 yrs old, fascinated by the Muppet puppets and their interaction with humans. Even at 10 years of age I recognized the value of what he was watching, and I would sit many a day and watch it with him, because watching him learn and participate was actually fun.

Years later as i watched my friends daughter, she sat amazed that I was singing along with Oscar the Grouch and “I love Trash”. Its funny how some things will stay with you. Sesame Street has changed a lot i am sure, and Mr Hooper is long since passed away. I recently got to think of Mr Hooper as I was working at my wife and her partners whole foods store helping close the store and end operations (it is still in limbo) so she could reopen her own store, and continue on. The store was only open from 10 – 6 tuesday – Saturday and 11 – 5 sundays, but they were long days, and aware enough to make me know, I do not want to be Mr Hooper.

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Hello world!

started this as a way to keep up with myself and then forgot all about it.

Now I am about to take a course where this will be required.

I am now one step ahead

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