Friday, June 25, 2010

The Great Watermellon Bust

One night in Bell City in the heat of summer about 1963 some of us young guys were having a water fight and having a good time. We finally tired and couldn't figure out anything to do. One of the guys said it would be nice to have a watermellon. Another said he knew where some was. The local barber Bill Fisher had 8 or 10 piled up in his front yard. His son and a nephew were in our little pack. Also two brothers Ray and Gene Sicism along with Jimmy Griffin and Ivan Griffin no relation. So here we go sneaking up to Fishers place and got all of his watermellons where we took them down to the local lovers hangout, an old oak tree at the edge of town. There we eat all the watermellon we could hold then proceeded to have a watermellon fight with the rest. We looked like we had been drug through the local dump. We finally went home for the night. A couple days later the news was going around town that if Bill didn't get paid for the mellons or get them back he was going to have all of us arrested. We met that night and deceided we needed to do something to stop him from going to the police. Return the mellons was the only thing we could think of, but all of us were broke and did not have the money to buy the mellons. Then a great idea hit me as we were trying to figure out how to get the mellons to return. I had a cousin in Vanduser that had a watermellon patch, mabe we could get them from him and pay him later. Se here we go to Vanduser and to Jesse and Violets Whittley's home to see what we could do. Well Jesse told us after hearing our story to go to his patch and get all the watermellons we wanted.So we got enough to return Fishers and had another watermellon bust. This kind of juvinile thing went on all the time in and around Bell City. We never forgot the time Jesse got us ot of trouble. He also had a good laugh about it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This is a true story about a dog named Bitch that was my closest companion in VietNam. It all started in May 1969. I had just arrived in Viet Nam and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. A cherry boy as the new ones were called. Hamburger Hill was being fought at the time. I was not involved with the front line operations but later got to see the top of the hill, as we flew over it. What a sight. I was getting settled into my new home adnd getting to know the guys, and naturally they were giving me hell as the NG "new guy". I had been in country about 60 days when a guy named Hollenbeck came in the "houch' barracks with a little pup. She was skinny and weak. No one knew what to call her and as she got stronger she became rambunctous and a normal puppy. She grew quickly and I named her Bitch. She would sleep on the end of my cot, and I would bring her food from the mess hall. She and I grew into pals. Her hearing and sinceing of danger were very good. She could since when were going to be attacked. One night she woke me up barking and pulling on me, I knew something was about to happen and sure enought we got hit and one rocket hit where I had just been. She saved my life. She would always alert me and the others when something was about to happen. About this time I received my last letter from my "faithful wife" which was very hard, being where I was, we were getting hit at least 3 times a week. Bitch would sit on my bunk and listen to me talk about the things I could not change being 10,000 miles from home. She became my counsler and my greatest ally. As I cried and drank as much as I could to forget the things back home she listened and licked away the tears. As time passed things got better and my company was reassigned to the north, just south of the DMZ. We got packed and ready to leave and went to the airport to get on the military plane. I had Bitch on a leash and we were getting on the plane when and Air Force sergeant in charge of the crew stopped me and said there was no Fn dog was getting on his plane. As I tried to explain my situation and she was my pet, things esculated into a shouting match because I had as much rank as he did, finally I told him what he could do with his Fn plane and Bitch and me returned to our old company area that was already empty. The next day I got a large cardboard box and put Bitch in it and made some air holes and put food in it for her. We finally made it up to HUE and to our new home. This was around the first part of 1970. We had a pretty easy life up north and didn't get hit as much as in the south. As was scheduled to DEROS back to the world I began to get paperwork ready for Bitch to come home with me. About two weeks before we were to leave Bitch got run over by a duce and a half and killed. The driver knowing she was my dog and comming home with me stopped and buried her. She was my friend in a time when friends were really needed. I have some pictures of her and will share them with you on FB. I will always miss her and the friendship we shared in a place most would like to forget. She was a beauty. Bitch this story is for you as I always said I'd tell our story someday. Love you girl.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Three Young Hoodlums

This could be a true or untrue story. Only those involved will know the truth.
It all started in 1965 when three young men were not very industerious and a little on the wild side. These three would lay around all day and run all night drinking, partying, and raising hell. They were not working at the time, and would get their running gas from the railroad trucks that filled up there trucks and left them sitting in Bell City overnight. They got very good with an Arkansas credit card. The cash they could put togather was used for six packs and spent on girls. This went on for most of the winter and summer of the following year. These guys I will call Curt, Frankie and Donald. One night in 1966 after filling up with gas and purchasing the necessary beverages they were driving around and looking for the necessary female companions, being unable to locate any they hit upon the idea of becoming a little more brazen in their unlawful actions. One of the three said he knew of an old country store that would be easy to get into and get a few cigarettes and a couple bucks for drinks. So these three rode around all night discussing the actions they were about to take. They cased the place for hours becoming more sober as the night wore off the booze, finally as the sun came up they went home to sleep off the nights party. The incident was forgotten at the time, but a few days later on a night when nothing was going on the three after drinking up all the cash they could muster togather they deceided to follow through with their criminal act. They drove to the old store, drove up and down the road discussing all the things they were going to do with their ill-gotten gains. Finally they deceided to go for it. They approched the old store with extreme caution. After gaining enterance they became sober very quickly, for from their first time of casing the store and the night of the breakin the ofd store had gone out of buisness and nothing was in the store or on the shelves. After leaving and laughing so hard it hurt This ended the criminal life of all three and not long after all three were in the US Army where two of them served in Viet Nam and both came home highly decorated and none of the three ever broke the law again or went to jail. There will be more to come on one of the felons, on his tour of duty and a dog named Bitch that save his life and was his greatest companion in the war.