A brief endurance…

In seven hundred fifty-five words or less, this is what happened from late infancy until now: I struggled between the grip of Mormonism and the squeeze of Christianity. Made it through adolescence without killing myself in a car. I switched colleges six different times. I graduated with a right nice lookin’ piece of parchment. I’ve collected lots of recycled crap from dead trees, all with signatures and seals showing that I bought into and played the game. I learned to play the harmonica half-ass, lived on the beach, lived in the desert, lived in the Rocky Mountains, all without gettin’ laid or having to go to Viet Nam. In school I studied politics. What’s to study? No one keeps their promises, everyone spends too much money, everyone lies and covers up their immoral and illegal acts, everyone works as little as they can, talks a lot of crap WAY too much. But, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in that pursuit, just like Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama. I drove back and forth and up and down the United States of America, Canada (including the Northwest Territories) all the way from the Arctic Circle to Chiappas, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Flew over both oceans and beyond, and went more places than Columbus, Magellan, Leif Erikson and Ameilia Earhart combined. I’ve been broke, wrecked, bankrupt, shot at, divorced, lost, confounded, cheated, slapped, kicked, robbed, drunk and insane (right before going totally crazy). Lived straight as an arrow and as a crooked, old man. I’ve caught, arrested, chased, shot, fought and threw a whole lot of punks, crooks, pushers, thieves, murderers, politicians, lawyers, drunks, druggies, hippies, truckers, cowboys, bankers, brokers and illegal aliens (from distant worlds) into the worst jail in the entire United States of Anarchy. I spent winters in Polynesia and summers in the North Pole. Somewhere, I met the right girl, got shuck of her, met another right girl, gave her everything and started over, met yet another right girl started over and gave up, met another right girl and held my breath until I turned blue, right before I found that the “right girl” was a reality in my past. I helped make, deliver, raise and slightly ruin and greatly spoil a mixture of two (or three, or four, or five daughters), two sons, got them ALL partnered up with outlaws and inlaws, and found that the best part of all that was the baker’s dozen (more than less) of grandchildren that heal my heart, restore my soul and teach me the world is real and real fun. I’ve lived in Frisco, Fresno, Mormon country, the Rocky Mountains, east Texas, western Canada, on the Florida coast in southern Alabama and on the Mexican border. Been cursed with way too many lawyers by an old gypsy I shouldn’t have thrown in jail and way too many of ’em were divorce lawyers. I’ve learned how to read and write, throw the houlihan, kick shit, kick ass, kick habits and kick my heels. I’ve done dope and quit dope and done it again and had it quit me. I’ve been wet and dry, drunk and hung over but never hanged…not yet. I tried to learn how to fly, jump out of perfectly good airplanes with a few strings tied to a real big silk handkerchief. Learned how to shoot pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, cameras, slingshots, curls, the shit and the breeze. Been a ranger, a sailor, a teacher, a preacher, a poet, a stranger, a prophet, an officer, a gentleman, a goldurned sonofabitch, a trucker, a logger, a farmer, a rancher, a lover, a writer, a reader, a breeder, a bachelor, a husband, a father, a brother, a uncle, a grandpa, a gambler, an aviator, a horse trader, a thief, a hunter, a trapper, a miner (49er), a pirate, a devil, an angel and a ghost. Climbed mountains, scaled cliffs, rafted on rivers, wandered through canyons, trekked through forests and burned my feet and face in deserts. Built a few homes, tore a few of them down. Put seeds in the ground, in female flesh, in minds, in gardens some very strange places. Watched things grow, watched things bear fruit, watched things age, watched things die. Tasted the bitter and the sweet, seen the light from the dark, felt both sorrow and joy, but I’m still tryin’ to figger out what’s right and what’s wrong. Never learnt to sing a note real good, but have found I can carry a song in my heart.

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