Game Changing Moments – WIF History

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Historical Moments

That Changed

Everything

Like the moment when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was taken out because his assassin stopped for a sandwich, some small moments in history can have absolutely incredible impact. While most things in the world take place because of boring and tedious work done over decades, there are those times when things hang in the balance, and the wrong move can alter the course of history forever. Below are several scenarios where the history of the world changed in a very short span of time – if these things had happened differently, we could be living with a very different world today.

 10. James Comey Releasing The Final Report About Hillary Clinton

Certainly, there are many factors involved in the recent election that caused it to come out the way it did, and no one can say that Hillary Clinton was an incredibly strong campaigner. However, when it got close to the end, most of the polls said that Hillary Clinton was going to win handily, and yet somehow she did not manage to do so. In fact, while locking up the popular vote, she lost the Electoral College by quite a lot. Some of the reason for her inability to cross the finish line at the end is that her candidacy was not the most exciting, but the folks at FiveThirtyEight, who perform statistical number crunching of elections, believe it was at least the final straw.

They believe that the final Comey letter about Hillary Clinton, her “October Surprise” as it were, was essentially the straw that broke the camel’s back. After all the various election ads against her, and all the various things that she was questioned over such as Benghazi, a final suggestion that she was once again being investigated, after it was supposed to be over, likely tipped the final scales in favor of Donald Trump. While we cannot know for sure how Hillary Clinton would have governed, it is safe to say that she would have had a very different presidency from Donald Trump, and left a very different mark on the world.

9. The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

Just weeks before the American Civil War came to a close, Abraham Lincoln found himself inside Ford’s Theater to relax and take in a show. Then, as we all know, the actor and southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head and ended the second term of his presidency early. Unfortunately, while Booth shot Lincoln in the head, he may have also shot himself, and the South, in the foot. The problem is that right after the Civil War, Lincoln’s plan was to try to get the South rebuilt, forgiven and friendly with the North again as soon as possible. He wanted true reconciliation and reconstruction, and he didn’t want to waste any time. However, the so-called radical Republicans in congress wanted stricter measures against the South, for which the South didn’t want to cooperate.

Then Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor, was much more of a Southern sympathizer, which meant that the radical Republicans did not want to work with him on Southern reconstruction, or really on anything. This led to an atmosphere where, instead of both sides working together to rebuild and reconcile, the South tried to get away with as much as it could, and the North tried to punish them for past crimes. This eventually led to Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, and poor leadership that caused the Jim Crow South to be an issue to this very day. The South is still a bit of a mess, all because one angry Southerner’s misguided desire for revenge caused him to take out the man with the plan and influence to fix it. And while some may think Lincoln couldn’t have done it, there is evidence that Lincoln already had support for plans similar to those presented by Andrew Johnson, but that support was withdrawn when Johnson was sworn in, because many politicians did not want to work with a Southern sympathizer.

8. The Yalta Conference Reinforced Soviet Hegemony In Eastern Europe

The Cold War raged up until very recently and if you asked some, it never ended at all. Certainly, even if it did end temporarily, it would seem that a serious conflict with the Russians is nearing again. People are once again getting worried about a violent and global domination-hungry Russia, and tensions have not been higher since the early days of the Cold War. However, it is possible all of this could have long ago been avoided, or at least been very different from how it is now. At the Yalta Conference, in the final discussions between the three major allied leaders, Franklin Roosevelt was nearing the end of his life, and his skills as a negotiator were greatly slipping.

It was said Winston Churchill could not convince Stalin (and did not get along with the man), but Roosevelt was able to get on with him as a friend and equal, and get a lot out of him in terms of negotiation. Experts say that at the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt was exhausted and gave away far too much to Stalin, basically giving away the Eastern European countries that went on to be held by the Soviet Union for decades. While Stalin already held some of the territory, Roosevelt basically gave it up without a fight. If he had managed to get Stalin to back off from much of Eastern Europe to begin with, Churchill may never have given his Iron Curtain speech, and we may not have a man like Putin today who thinks half of Europe belongs to his country by birthright.

7. The Challenger Disaster Was Caused By A Dangerous Few Moments Of Groupthink In A Single Meeting

The Challenger was set to launch, and people were incredibly excited to see it, with NASA promoting it as much as possible. Then, disaster struck. After watching the shuttle explode on national TV, with school children watching around the country, it turned out that the issue was a faulty o-ring that messed up the heat seal and caused the whole thing to be consumed. Immediately many people wondered how the shuttle could go up like that at all. After all, there were procedures in place to test every last part down to the last decimal to make sure there were no issues.

However, it quickly turned it that it did indeed come down to human error. At a meeting the issue of the o-ring had been brought up, but those who were in charge of the meeting seemed uninterested in seriously discussing it, and even though many in the meeting knew it needed to be discussed more for safety, they did not want to upset their superiors. In the end, the meeting became such a perfect example of the psychological phenomenon of groupthink – where people make bad decisions to not rock the boat in a group, even when they know the decision is catastrophically terrible – that mock ups of the meeting have been made using professional actors, in order to help teach the concept to psychology students.

6. The Hessian Commander Neglected A Note Saying George Washington Was Crossing The Delaware

The Crossing of the Delaware is one of the most famous moments in the American Revolution, and has been immortalized with an incredibly famous painting, which stirs the imagination of the bold deed performed by George Washington and his men, in order to take the enemy off guard when they were at their most vulnerable. It was a crucial point in the war that we all know very well, and it could have turned out very differently if the Hessian Commander had taken the warnings he got more seriously.

The Hessian Commander was found much later with a note that told of Washington planning an imminent attack, something a spy had slipped the commander days before. However, he did not take the warnings particularly seriously, and was caught up not properly prepared when Washington came for him and his men. Part of the issue was that they were constantly being harassed by local militias, which made things more chaotic when the full attack from the Colonials arrived. However, the simple fact of the matter is that if the commander had prepared himself for a full blown attack (not just from the local militias, but from Washington) and stayed alert, the entire plan may have been foiled.

5. Andrew Wakefield’s Fake Anti-MMR Study Is Causing Deaths To This Day

Andrew Wakefield is a man who has more blood on his hands than most people who have ever been called a doctor – which he isn’t anymore, because he was kicked off the medical register in the UK for his fraudulent nonsense. Back in the late 1990s Wakefield published a fraudulent medical paper that he was later forced to retract, claiming that vaccines caused autism in children. Despite the fact that the study was swiftly disproven, and Wakefield shown as the scam artist he is, this is still causing horrible problems to this day.

His paper was a catalyst that started a movement, now endorsed by multiple celebrities, to not vaccinate your children. This nonsense has already led to outbreaks of measles in the United States, and has led to more bouts of whooping cough and other potentially deadly diseases that we had previously had under control. Just one fraudulent scientific paper is causing increased deaths decades later, due to so many people that listened to bad medical advice, and decided to embrace conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, it’s hard to convince these anti-vaxxers to protect their children and everyone else’s, because anti-vaccine believers tend to have a cult-like mindset. If you believe that vaccines don’t cause autism, in their mind, you are a part of the big cover-up, or a sheep unwilling to see the truth.

4. President Truman’s Controversial Decision To Launch Two Atomic Bombs On Populated Cities

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a moment in history that will remain in infamy forever. Some people defend it saying that at that point, nothing less had any chance of convincing the Japanese to surrender peacefully, and that otherwise we would have had total war that led to way more deaths on both sides overall. Others would argue that the Japanese were already low on resources and morale, and we could have possibly worked out a peaceful surrender from them without dropping two giant bombs on populated cities.

However, whether you agree with the decision or not, it was an historic moment that forever shaped the globe. Since then nuclear paranoia set in, and countries immediately started racing to build as many of their own and test them all over the world, releasing untold amounts of radiation. This global arms race persists today, where many people still face the possibility of nuclear annihilation daily, and are only comforted by the fact that nuclear war would be unlikely to happen because it would be a no win scenario.

The world could possibly have been a very different place. Even if nuclear testing had continued in various countries, without the historic example of heavily populated cities being leveled in a moment, the true paranoia we see today would likely not exist – we might have had a world where people knew a nuclear weapon existed, but didn’t particularly fear them and feel so paranoid, because they had no proper context in which to put a real life nuclear attack.

3. Teddy Kennedy’s Actions Immediately Following Chappaquiddick Ruined His Presidential Dreams

Most people have heard of Teddy Kennedy, one of the three original Kennedy brothers and often called the lion of the senate. Some wondered, as he got on in years, why he never sought the presidency, and the answer is that he once did, and ended up being sunk by his own actions. Back when he was younger, he was a very powerful up and coming politician, and was indeed running for president. He was charismatic, had a lot of support, and likely would have won the Democratic primary, with a good chance at the general election. And while we cannot know exactly what kind of policies he would have had, the Kennedys never did anything small, so it is certainly likely he would have had a strong historical impact as president. However, just as his star was as bright as it could be, he got himself into big trouble.

He was out with a woman in his car on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, when the car crashed over a bridge into the water. He managed to make it out of the car, but not with the woman – Mary Jo Kopechne. He did not notify the police until many hours later, and not until after he had had a good talk with his lawyers about how he could get out of trouble. Many speculated that he did not go to the police immediately or report it because he was drunk and wanted to sober up – he suspected he would be arrested for things like manslaughter and drunk driving if he went to the police right away. Still, he was a Kennedy and they were known for being playboys, he could have potentially managed to avoid it sinking his political career if he had went straight to the police, but the way he handled the incident sunk him. Most people were rather disturbed how callously he left the woman to die.

2. Reagan’s Firing Of Over 1000 Air Traffic Controllers Has Had Lasting Repercussions For All Unions

Many people do not remember the firing of the air traffic controllers under President Reagan, but it still has vast ramifications to this day. The short version of the story is that the then-union for the air traffic controllers was on strike for better pay, and the negotiations were simply not going very well at all. Both sides kept going back and forth, and an agreement was not being put in place quickly enough. Fed up with the entire thing, President Reagan declared it an illegal strike and threatened to fire each and every single one of them if they didn’t stop striking. Unfortunately for them, they called what they thought was a bluff. It wasn’t, and they were all fired.

At first people thought this would be a huge disaster, because air traffic controllers are really important, but he put in military controllers until others could be trained and everything worked out okay. This was a huge blow to unions in general and greatly set them back over the years. However, this wasn’t necessarily something Reagan would have wanted. He didn’t think unions in general were bad or that workers shouldn’t have rights, but he saw a situation where these were vital jobs that absolutely must be filled, and the terms could not be agreed upon. He saw it as an extreme act in an emergency – he did not plan to break the backs of labor unions.

1. Colin Powell’s False Presentation About Iraq Got Us Into War With A Potential Ally

Colin Powell’s presentation about WMDs before congress will go down as one of the most pivotal moments in history. Now, there is some debate and confusion as to whether Powell was simply being used, or was complicit in what was happening. Either way, an incredibly false and misleading presentation made it look like there were WMDs in Iraq when there actually were none at all. This led the United States into a full blown war in Iraq that has had lasting ramifications to this very day. And to make matters worse, there is reason believe that if we hadn’t taken out Saddam, we may have had a stable ally in the region who could have been of great help.

When Saddam Hussein was captured, he explained that he was actually shocked and confused that Iraq was attacked. He thought that the United States would want to ally with him to help find terrorists after what happened on 9/11, and didn’t understand why he was a target when none of the terrorists were from Iraq. He had thought he could help us and that what happened would bring Iraq and the United States closer together. While some may believe Saddam to be brutal, he kept the region stable, something we have been unable to accomplish. If Saddam had remained in power and his words are to be believed, we may have had both a stable Iraq and a solid and stalwart ally in the region.


Game Changing Moments

– WIF History

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #332

Chapter Twenty

CLOSURE

…From the desk of Gwendolyn Kim Hoff…

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A personal guide: to deciphering the fact and fiction behind THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR; genre of Historical Fiction.

          Well readers, here we find ourselves, at the end of a book that may have:

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  2.  Dismayed
  3. Confused
  4. Confounded
  5. Conflicted

Not on the list, ‘6.. Pleased’ is my wish, but there is quite a twist from where you thought things were headed. Was not A.O. Campbell tried and convicted, in a court of law, of the things we read of in Chapter One? In real life, sadly he was, pretty much the way ALPHA AND OMEGA was laid out.

I myself met the granddaughter of the doctor, more than a dozen years ago. She found out that I was writer and as many of us who set words to page are told, ‘I have a great story that needs to be told.’  I happened to be between projects and thus began a journey that has led me to this point.

In my files are pictures, articles and memorabilia from the life of this Southern Black Doctor. Legendary is the word that can describe what I have accumulated, in fact strewn around my office at this moment. So much of what I have written is flat-out true; real people, places and things littered from 1896 to 1955. In fact, had I been true to the facts, we would have continued on from Chapter One to 1959.

arrow-down But, and it is a big BUT, as I came to Chapter Eighteen, LOOKING DOWN, I knew I arrow-upcould not bring myself to play it out the way it really did. I began to plot an amended beginning, which morphed into the last chapter, TRIALS AND TRIUMPH. All along, #19 was going to be about the trial, of which I have the majority of the original transcript here as well. 

Depressing, is the only way I can portray the trial of a 67 year old. Did he do wrong things, sure, but he was of ill health and did not deserve the ending that ultimately came to pass. And yes, his wife really did die 1 1/2 years into his incarceration.

What actually did happen during that sad time? I don’t have anything to go on and that is where ‘historical fiction’ comes to bear; the word fiction, look it up. Creation, vision, fable, fantasy, tale are all used as synonyms. I prefer the latter. LATOBSD is a tale of epic dimension.

LATOBSD covers roughly 60 years, more than enough trips around the sun to both meet and say goodbye to too many fine people; From the spring of youth, to the winter of maturity – from the dawn of unrighteousness, to the sunset of discontentment.

In the interest of accuracy, I will sort through the most flagrant fracturing of history perpetrated by little ol’ me. Remember “The Rocky and Bullwinkle” feature: Fractured Fairytales? If you are too young… get over it.

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          So… here we go, hop-scotching from through the pages of The Life and Times of a Black Southern Doctor, sifting from front to back. Feel free to leaf back to the earlier pages, to refresh your memory. And I will try not to rush.

If you want to leave well enough alone and believe that all things I penned are true, thank you investing your time  to read LATOBSD… a real roller coaster ride…

 

Tune in tomorrow


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #332


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #314

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #314

… “Damn right, Carolyn! Well actually, I did not know that, but when it came to the rights to Cinderella and of Peter Pan… $500,000 drunken dollars, probably parked next to their whiskey barrel.”…

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Disney holds out his silver cigarette case, as a deal-sealing gesture would look.

“I don’t smoke, thank you.” She pauses thoughtfully, continuing, “Don’t you think that all the smoke you inhale may have long term health effects?”

          “These?” he closes the case, “Clark Gable has been smoking since he was 15 and he isn’t slowing down. 60 damn movies and he lights it up in most of them. Beside that, my doctors say I’m as healthy as Prince Charming.”

“Ah, a Cinderella reference,” she comments, then adding a historical tidbit, “Did you know that Sircigarette-smoke James Matthew Barrie has relatives in Tallahassee?”

“Damn right, Carolyn! Well actually, I did not know that, but he, or rather, his family was a sticky wicket when it came to the rights to Cinderella. And of Peter Pan… $500,000 drunken dollars, probably parked next to their whiskey barrel.” His bitterness boiled to the surface, but settles down, “By all accounts, Barrie himself was a literary genius. Too bad we weren’t contemporaries.”

Lyn Ford nods, easily empathizing with collaboration and will abandon the smoking issue for the sake of consolation. But she does not jump up and down.

“I am Walt Disney, Carolyn!”  No ego here! “Am I chopped liver in your world?”

Not exactly, Walt, more like steak tartar.” She has not made up her mind.

“Oh yes, with a thick slice of Vidalia onion on top. But you seem to be dodging my proposal.” He is used to getting is way. As he will gladly tell you, ‘I am Walt “the man” Disney!

Lyn comes up with a solution. “How about we make a hand shake agreement to start an open-ended project? No hurry, no deadlines. You are in the full flower of your creative bloom.”

          Another massive cloud of smoke rises into the California air~~~~~~


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Episode #314


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Purchase One of My Books – Gwenny from WIF

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Buy Gwenny’s Books

You will be redirected to the “Gwenny’s Ebook Downloads” page. Click on the corresponding PayPal icon to start the process. You should receive a PDF file of my book within 24 hours.

Buy Gwenny’s Books

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You may have read one of my books here on WIF, which I craft & so lovingly blog (500 words @ a time) with graphics, pictures, Youtube music videos. Or maybe you are following along with Alpha Omega M.D. as we speak. I will be finishing up THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR quite soon and you may ask… “Where can I download this great book, so I don’t have to click thru the Episode Catalog? I just want to read it from ‘cover-to-cover’.

Well wonder (or wait) no longer. Click on Buy Gwenny’s Books and you will have your choice of:

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  4. THE NULL SOLUTION – The Space Family McKinney cont… (0004)

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 Purchase One of My Books

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– Gwenny from WIF

 

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 309

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 309

… “We have a warrant to search the premises, nurse.” One of Tallahassee’s finest is in the company of Attorney Jordan Essington of Jacksonville…

Reliable Lettie Golden is working at LBMH this day and needs no prompting in locating the ledger book appointment-book2from two years ago. She was not working that evening in question, but she did book the appointment. She is able to go directly to the right page. “Here it is Mr. Clavitt… Sanders.”

“Good work, Lettie. Now do you see why it is a good idea using a pencil instead of a pen to take down names?” He removes Missy Sanders from the 7:00 p.m. space with a clean eraser. A clean fresh eraser is the key, leaving behind nary a trace of graphite. The lone entry for the evening is the admission of Edwina Stevens, the one of broken ankle fame; must have taken all night to set it proper. That’s going to be their story and they’ll stick to it.

“We are going to change the rules here,” the lawyer continues, “and I want you to promise me that you’ll stick to them. But let’s get over to George’s Store to talk this out. I’d rather you weren’t here A.O., in case the police show up. Lettie? Put that book away like no one has seen it since it was filed.”search-warrant-001

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“We have a warrant to search the premises, nurse.” One of Tallahassee’s finest is in the company of Attorney Jordan Essington of Jacksonville. They expect to encounter some resistance, perhaps in the form of foot dragging or pleading of ignorance. Neither is present here at LBMH.

Lettie is a God-fearing woman, not well versed in lying or covering up, but she would perjure herself if and when the doctor’s career was on the line. She is polite, while trying not to look as if she were expecting them. “Yes, officer, what can I do for you?”

“We need to have Doctor Campbell’s appointment book from 1952, specifically January 24.” Fifteen minutes earlier, they would have found what they were expecting to find.

          “This is 1954, sir. I don’t rightly recall where it is, but I’ll do my best to find it. I ain’t the head nurse, but I knows a few places where it might be.”

          “Do your best and I’m sure you will find it.”

  Lettie goes to the back storage rooms and basically spends the ensuing half-hour praying, pretending like she was having difficulty. She tries the patience of the men in the lobby.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode # 309


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #298

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #298

…What began in Ceylon has landed Bob Ford in the midst of a dream; some of it good, some of it bad, all of it surreal…

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Exploding Raphaelesque Head by Salvador Dali

Bob Ford has been down this slippery path every step of the way. If it were not bizarre enough to be caught on the wrong side of Pearl Harbor, eleven years ago he lost a passenger named Sara Fenwick to what he thought was a random act of foul play. Now today he is looking up into the sky he has flown for decades, wondering where one of those flying disks is going to turn up next.

He has mixed emotions about the creatures that are in those ships, poking, probing, and playing God as they go about their merry way. God forbid that these out-of-this-world creatures ever choose to do Earth harm.

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Yet, if not for “them”, he would not have had continuing contact with Carolyn Hanes, the woman who would become his new wife; no New Mexico, no Vincent Smith, no Newt Swakhammer, no vanishing women… hence no Mrs. Ford.

What began in Ceylon has landed him in the midst of a dream, some of it good, some of it bad, all of it surreal.

“When Sara gets back this time, and I cannot believe I’m going to say this, but I think we should tell Sgt. Smith what is going on. One of these times she won’t come back and we will be kicking ourselves in the ass for not trying to get help. We don’t know how to deal with things like this and I’m not sure we should suffer in silence.”

“He could be demoted to Corporal Smith by now. He hasn’t handled this whole mess very well, because if he had, he would have kept Sara from the beginning and none of this would have ever happened. I think the whole bunches of them were caught off guard.” If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a very merry Christmas, she thinks. “In a way, I wish I never had gone there.”

Ouch  Ouch, that hurts Bob, “Without New Mexico, you would be without one interesting book and one terrific guy, I’ll have you know!”

“That’s supposed to be my line, mister. What has happened to that humble, quiet Bob Ford? Has he been abducted as well?”

“I don’t remember anything about last night.” His face goes blank, feigning a vacated mind… bad choice. Last night was pretty memorable in the romance department. It gets him a punch in the arm. “Ouch. Seriously, maybe they will do a better job of protecting her? We don’t even know when she was snatched this time, or if the aliens have her at all. Maybe she forgot where she was and is just plain lost. We are running out of options.”

“I know, Bob, but I feel like we are abandoning her. She doesn’t have any friends beside us.”

          “What about her family?”

          “Her mom and dad are dead and her brother won’t have anything to do with her, ever since she moved in with me. He could not get past how close we were.” Lyn draws a deep breath from a hidden part of her being. “I know you and I never really talked about it… but we were lovers.”

          There, she said it out loud.


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #291

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #291

… For someone who sports a Hicksville personae, the rancher who had a spaceship drop onto his land, actually has organized his collection in a logical way…

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Llano Estacado Briscoe County ,Tule Canyon TX

10,000 acres covers a lot of ground and Newt’s “Fer Piece” is all that and ten miles more. About half way to San Angelo, a solitary butte rises out of the parched earth.Image result for san angelo tx

Llano Estacado is the northeast marker of my spread.”

Image result for apache indians “I thought I saw a band of Comanche back there.” Lyn has never seen so much nothing.

“Apaches, maybe, not Comanche, they’re up north, but all the injuns is up at Twin Buttes reservation, ‘bout a day’s ride from here.”

“This will do just fine, Newt.” Lyn takes off her hat, which has spared her face the forces of a midday sun, and fluffs her skirt. She spits the dust from her bone-dry mouth.

  “Hey, Bart, give the lady a canteen, can’t you see she’s parched!”

Once the horses were lashed to a batch of mesquite bushes, the quartet of long-riders skirts the base of the huge rock rising hundreds of feet straight up. Invisible from anywhere but a few feet away, they are Image result for hicksvilleled through a narrow slit in the small, flat-topped mountain. Bart strikes a match, applying its tiny glow to a ring of torches, revealing Newt Swakhammer’s secret treasure.

For someone who sports a Hicksville personae, the rancher who had a spaceship drop onto his land, actually has organized his collection in a logical way. Like items are gathered together. “I tried to fill my truck with one of everythin’, sepptin’ the little guys.”

“You did well, Newt, though I suspect the government might frown on your actions. But I would suggest that some of this should be examined by scientists. I think I know someone who will be able to help.”

“I don’t know you well, Mr. Ford, but I am a trustin’ you and Miss Lyn is who you say you is. And if you say this stuff should be looked at, then it will, by golly.”

“Great Lyn, if you can stay here with Newt, Bart and I will ride back and get the Cub? West Texas seems to be one big airstrip!”Conspiracy in the Cactus-001

          “Remind you of anything, Bob Ford? You live for these adventures.”

Not unlike his partner, the one of them that takes adventure, real or invented, and applies them to the printed page; arrange and rearrange words, make and remake life experiences until they tell an interesting story.

          When they finally take off, in the waning light of an enormous day, they leave behind a story that may take decades to unravel. Will man ever come face to face with the builders of that unfathomable ship of space? Questions will always outnumber answers, yet even if we knew more, would we like what we hear?


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #291


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