Monday, March 20, 2017

Coolest Rest Stop Ever

This rest stop, on US 95 in southwest Nevada, merits the Coolest Rest Stop Ever Award.  
That truck is pretty cool, too.

Yeah, that's my new truck, 2017 Silverado 2500.  Trish likes it but Ranger and Artie are reticent, apparently unimpressed with the heated leather seats.  We're on our way to Las Vegas on a shopping spree, racking up break-in miles so the truck is ready to tow the RV.  
I'll divulge the main objective of the trip in a later post.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Shot in the Head, Part 2

I worked my way through college.  Worked semester breaks, holiday breaks, summers, part time jobs and night shifts when school was in session.  Many of my school friends spent their semester breaks skiing in Colorado and doing other fun stuff.  Finally, I opted to bag work for a few days and have some fun myself.  Of fun, there was naught.  I went back to working during breaks.

Above, Wayne and I peer through the opening where the rear window used to be.  There were 13 bullet holes in the trunk, in addition to the lead that blew out the window.

The incident occurred in 1965, not 1966 (next time, Wayne, do your homework, you turkey!).  Here are a few other details.  The 1st day in the Sallisaw lockup, a young man came into the facility and we had a 'lineup' - which included the 4 of us and nobody else.  He took one look at us and said, "No.  Those aren't the guys."  At that point we thought were outta there. Wrong!  Back in the slammer.

The next day, a middle-aged man came in and we had another lineup.  We'd seen this guy before, hanging out with the sheriff in Waldron, Arkansas, when he kicked us into the holding cell.  The guy, never got his name but Lying Sumbitch works, pointed at me and said, "He held the hammer!"  Then, Mr Sumbitch pointed at Rich and said, "He took my $25!"  Naive no more, we fully realized we were in deep doo-doo, probably destined to end up in a landfill or chain gang.

We were never formally charged with anything, were never fingerprinted, were never read our rights -which was appropriate because we obviously had no rights whatsoever in Oklahoma.  Miranda rights did not exist then, became law in 1966.

Wayne and I, the wounded pair, wanted justice - or was it revenge we thirsted for?  We wanted to go back down there and hang 'em out to dry.  Rich and Mike F were willing to drop it.  We met with the MN governor and the state attorney general - who agreed with Rich and Mike F, advised us to drop it and get on with our lives.  And so we did.

Above, we meet with the Minnesota State Governor and Attorney General.  L to R, Attorney General, Governor, Mike F, me, Rich and Wayne.  The Governor is holding the double-ought buckshot pellet that hit me in the head.  The meeting took place a few weeks after the incident and our wounds were healed by then.  Wayne and I both had glass embedded in our faces, plus the wounds themselves, and looked like hell for the first couple weeks.

The story made national news via the Associated Press.  There were articles in dozens of MN and ND newspapers, some of which debated our innocence.  I wrote letters to a couple of the papers, words of caution: get your story straight or prepare for a libel lawsuit.  In my dreams!  When it came to financial means, I envied the wealth of the proverbial church mouse.  I couldn't afford to even look at an attorney, much less hire one.

It has always struck me as ironic that I was wounded in the US but not in Vietnam, despite being under fire numerous times.  And, despite having several fellow warriors get nailed right beside me.

Support from the College
In addition to our college president rounding up support and getting the governor involved, the college dean of students wrote a letter on our behalf.  Here are some quotes from that letter:
"I am personally acquainted with these students and am able to testify to their character and reputation as well as their academic performance and leadership abilities."

"The list of their collective and individual achievements would be too long to outline in a letter of this nature.  However, some specifics might be briefly mentioned.  Mr. Delaney has been a member of the student government, and outstandingly served on student government committees, as well as having served on faculty-student government committees by appointment of the President of the College."

"They are the kind of young people that Moorhead State College is proud to have enrolled as students."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Shot in the Head

Yes, I was shot in the head.  Then, I was thrown in jail and framed for armed robbery - as were 3 of my friends.  It happened in 1965 in the friendly little state of Arkansas in the wee hours of the morning.  We were college students on spring break, driving south, trying to escape the bitterly cold winter of northern Minnesota for a few days.

Many readers of this blog have heard about the incident but don't know the details.  Although I've intended to write the whole story for many years, I never got around to it.  Recently, Wayne, a fellow traveler who was also shot in the head, did write the story.  Here it is:

I'll add some background information and comments in a future blog.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

3 Trees

Is that a creative name or what?  Not really, but nothing else came to mind, slow flow day for the creative juices - probably weather related.

This is one of those paintings that took on a life of its own right out of the chute.  I like the way it turned out, even though it has no resemblance whatsoever to the original concept.

3 Trees
Acrylic on Canvas
12" x 24"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

All the Way

We're talking the movie, not the Frank Sinatra song.  Bryan Cranston played LBJ in the movie, All the Way, and he did one hell of a job.  Nailed it!

"All the Way With LBJ" was the slogan when Lyndon B Johnson ran for president in 1964.  He was already president, not elected but elevated to the number one slot when JFK was assassinated in November, 1963.  LBJ won the '64 election, then orchestrated the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voters' Rights Act that gave black folks the vote - 100+ years after they were 'emancipated.'

 LBJ was one rude, crude dude but a consummate politician.  He was instrumental in passing several other pieces of legislation, medicare among them.  He was a hard guy to work for and a hard guy to live with but that shrewd, good 'ol Texas boy knew how to get stuff done.

If you're 65 or older, this flick will bring back vivid memories of those turbulent times.  It especially did for me - on several levels.  The day JFK was shot.  The 3 student civil rights workers who were murdered in Mississippi in June of '64.  The attempted murder of 3 of my friends and me in Arkansas in early 1966.  My military service as an infantry officer and combat advisor in Vietnam in 68-69.

It's an awesome flick.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.  Wikipedia.

Who knew?  Not me - until a few days ago when the Trish dropped the term on me.  Turns out (chagrin) I'm currently reading one.  Even worse, I have to confess I've read several!  Do real men read cozies?  Damn straight!  They eat quiche, too, contrary to Steve Martin's pronouncement.  Go suck an egg, Steve.  Anyway, there you have it: I'm out of the cozy closet.

Cozy examples you may have heard of include the Murder She Wrote series and Miss Marple mysteries.  To my knowledge, the only cozies in my checkered past are the M C Beaton series, main character Hamish Macbeth, set in Scotland.  Beaton's stories are an exception to the genre in that Macbeth is a policeman of the male persuasion.  The main characters in virtually all other cozies are females with regular jobs who do their sleuthing on the side.      

My current read was recommended by a college friend who was raised in a small Minnesota town near my own small MN town because the stories are based in yet another small MN town.  Battle Lake is the scene of the crimes.  It's about 15 miles southeast of Perham, my home town.  The author is a woman (as are most coziests), Jess Lourey, full time teacher, part time author.

Not to worry: my future reads will remain the edgier, beefier fare I've always enjoyed.  I've not really gone over to the dark side, don't have a full-on case of cozy-itis.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Growing Fish

This cylinder contains 4000 rainbow trout eggs approaching hatch time.

Having done a quick walk through of several fish hatcheries over the years, I wasn't overly excited about visiting another one.  But, it was nearby, we were (mildly) curious, didn't have anything more exciting to do, so off we went.  And we were delighted we did.

Recently hatched rainbow trout.

The Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery is huge, quite sophisticated, appears to be well managed, and has a knowledgeable staff who did a fine job of explaining the operation.

This is the inside part of the operation, where eggs are hatched.  The newly-hatched minnows pictured above are fed every 30 minutes.

The outdoor facility has dozens of tanks, aka raceways, that contain rainbow trout in various sizes.  The whole area is covered with chicken wire to keep hungry birds at bay.  A huge volume of river water is constantly circulating through the tanks.

Link to more info and pix: