Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family Secrets - So Don't Tell Anyone!

Oh! The things we do as kids that we later look back on and laugh!

   I remember when my Sister was about 3 or 4 years old. We lived in a rural area of Logan, Utah. It was a former Fox Ranch. They raised fox for their fur. My Dad and Uncle used it as a base for raising mink for fur. There was also a large fenced pasture next to the house for two horses - Star and Tony (correction added - 10/21/12)

   I recall one winter when my Sister and I were walking with my Dad to the mink pens for feeding time.

   The mink were kept in wire-mesh cages with 1/4" mesh on all sides. There would be a small wooden box inside each cage for the mink to make their nests. 

   Feeding the mink would entail grabbing a hand full of ground horse meat and plopping it on top of the wire mesh. The mink would raise up on their haunches and eat the meat through the wire mesh.


   The weather that day was very cold and we were all bundled up in our coats and mittens. When we were done with the feeding and got back to the house, my Mom found frozen horse ahhh... droppings in my little sister's coat pockets!

   "I found 'ball-o's'" she said (balls). 

   My little sis had seen the droppings frozen to the ground and thinking they were balls, she put them into her pockets.  Mom threw them outside and then threw the coat and Sis's mittens into the wash.

   Some kids grow up with odd hobbies! I wonder if she still collects crap?

   Around the same time, certainly while we lived in the same house I had an experience that still makes me chuckle when I think back on it...

   I mentioned the mink food being ground-up horse meat... well we didn't grind it up ourselves (we only had two horses!). There were several mink ranchers in the area so they had formed a cooperative, a "Co-Op". 

   The Co-Op would have the horse meat ground and delivered to the mink ranchers weekly. The truck would arrive in our driveway and we would place large wheel-barrows beneath the chute at the back of the truck and several hundred pounds of ground horse meat would go into each tub. They were then wheeled into the barn to await being taken to the mink buildings for feeding time.


   Often times the full wheel-barrows would remain in the barn overnight. When we would go to the barn in the morning, we would find the loads of meat covered with feeding rats. 

   The rats would be so fat from eating all night that they couldn't run away and were very easy to catch.

   One morning I went to the barn and managed to catch eight rats. I held them in my hands with each tail between my fingers so that I could hold them up and they would dangle from my hands. I was excited to have caught so many and I wanted to show someone what I had done! I was sooo proud of myself.

   I made my way back to the house and shouted to my Mom. She called back from inside the bathroom. She was taking a bath. I told her that I had something very cool to show her so she said, "Come-in". I went in... holding the rats behind my back so as to surprise her...   I did!



   "Look what I caught" I said as I held out eight rats dangling from my little hands.

   "Yeeaaaggghhhhhaaaeee!" my Mom screamed (Very loudly). I was so startled that I let all the rats go at once. They promptly all fell into Mom's bath water while at the same time my Mom was making a valiant effort to walk on water, wrap herself in a towel and scream all at once. It all happened so fast!

   Okay, it wasn't very funny at the time. I cried as I pulled drowned rats from the bathtub and put them in a bucket. Mom was screaming at Dad who was laughing so hard that Mom got even more angry. 

   My Uncle Ted, who lived a half mile down the road had come running because he had heard my Mom scream (She was only 4' 11" tall, but she could scream!), was also sitting on the floor laughing so hard he couldn't stand up.       

   Mom pouted for about a week before she came out and forgave me, but I don't think her heart was in it.

   I learned that the rats belonged outside and that no matter how many I had managed to catch, Mom didn't want to see them. Ever!

   I was in my teens when I was reminded of this incident from my childhood by my Dad retelling the story to a relative... It all came flooding back to me! This time though, it was funny! I have never forgotten it! Great memories!

   The Geezer is slowing down but my precious memories keep me young! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Obituaries (Not For the Squeamish)

   Michael Eugene Carver, 23, a noted rock climber fell to his death Saturday while climbing Yosemite's "El Capitan" the 3000 foot massif in Yosemite Valley.

   Carver was making a traverse of the cliff face while free-climbing the daunting granite wall when, according to witnesses, his grip failed causing him to fall nearly 2000 feet to the jumble of rocks below to the horror of onlookers.

   Witness James Slayter was closest to the point of Carver's impact had these comments, "Dude! I got splashed! I thought I was going to hurl! Oh, yeah. Too bad about Mike!"

   Carver's family noted when interviewed by KBSX reporters that, "Michael will be missed, but at least he was doing what he loved".

***O***

   Stanley Lee Gabrosky died as a result of a shark attack off the coast of Miami Beach while Wind-Surfing. Gabrosky was "Catching Air" when he fell from his board according to witnesses. The Great White Shark came up from beneath Gabrosky and nearly severed his torso with one gigantic bite.

   Gabrosky's remains were fished from the water by the Coast Guard and turned over to Miami Coroner's personnel.

   Gabrosky's fiance, 19 year old Gina Clemmens, while extremely upset over the incident claimed that she was happy that "Stan died while doing what he loved best, well, next to me that is".

***O***

   William Gaines Finn, 35, was killed Friday in a Bungee Jumping accident in St. Louis, Missouri. The "Bungee Dare" amusement operated by Crazy Carnival and Amusements, LLC was the scene of the accident.

   According to friends, Finn was celebrating his birthday and had been drinking on and off during the day. His wife of seven years, Earlene Finn, 24, dared Finn to jump from the "Bungee Dare" attraction.

   Mrs. Finn told reporter Mark Steele that she told her husband, "He was a real wuss if he didn't make the jump". Reporter Steel noted that Mrs. Finn had a black eye and several bruises on her arms.

   According to the police report, Finn was in such a hurry to make the jump that he didn't wait for the carnival employees to attach the bungee cords to his (Finn's) ankles. Finn leaped almost 200 feet to his death.

   Finn's parents, Bill and Kate Finn, told reporters that William Finn died while doing what he loved, showing off to his "Purty little wife".

***O***

   James Joseph Mills, JJ to his friends, 21, of Myrtle Beach, Florida, died of an overdose of heroin last Wednesday night while partying in his parent's basement apartment, where he lived. Mills was found the following afternoon at 3:30 pm by his girlfriend, Lauren Dickey, 19, also of Myrtle Beach.

   Dickey was interviewed by police detectives where she stated that they had been celebrating an upcoming job interview JJ had been called to attend that day. "It would have been one of the best jobs he had ever had". she explained. The interview was with Chang's China Cuisine as a dishwasher and chopstick repairman.

   JJ's parents Cord and Elizabeth Mills were very introspective about their son's death. "JJ always liked to live life on the edge. He had such a zest for life and wasn't bound by society's conventions" Mrs. Mills stated. "Even though he dropped out of High School, he made his life his own. He died doing what he loved most, brown heroin".

***O***

   Leon Tyler Brown, 47, of Battle Creek, Michigan was shot and killed by Battle Creek Police while in the act of raping college student, Michelle Johnson, 19, of Detroit, Michigan.

   Police were called to the 600 block of Prentiss Avenue at 9:36 pm with reports of a woman screaming and crying. When Police arrived, Officer Todd Wyatt called for Brown to stop what he was doing. Brown reportedly turned to the officer and brandished a firearm resulting in Officer Wyatt shooting Brown. Brown died on the way to the hospital. Michelle Johnson was treated for minor injuries and released.

   Brown's wife of 27 years, Andrea Brown, stated that Leon had always liked young college girls and commented the she never thought that he'd resort to rape. Police stated that they believe Brown to be the so-called "West Side Rapist" that has been terrorizing Battle Creek for the past 16 months.

   Brown's wife stated that she was happy that he, Leon Brown, "Perished while doing what he loved".

***O***

   The body of David Carleton Ross, 56, of Billings, Montana was found dead in the Billings Morgue. When employees arrived at work Monday morning at the morgue, they discovered Ross on the floor of the storage room. An unidentified corpse was found face down on a morgue gurney. 

   It appeared to investigators that Ross had been sodomizing the corpse when he suffered a heart attack and died. Morgue personnel found several other bodies that had been similarly molested.

   Ross' aged mother, Eugenie Ross stated that her son was always "different" in his tastes. He is reported to have never been married or had a girlfriend. "I'm happy to find that he at least had an outlet for his energies" Mrs. Ross stated. "I'm glad that he died while doing what he loved"!

***O***

  I, The Geezer, 64, hope that when I die, I do so while doing what I love...
While the names above have been changed, the incidents have actually happened... so do what you love, but watch your back!