Monday, September 29, 2008

Cowboy Real Estate The Bailout and the Peach Tree

Back in 1998 -2004 My wife and I owned a Dairy farm in Missouri
Our milk house was a three on a side /side open gate type parlor, and I milked the cows on one side and my wife the other , That is when she wasn’t line dancing to the country music we always had playing on the radio. We had developed quite a system to save energy, electrical and our own, as any fresh cows (that is a cow who had as recently as the last three days had given birth to a baby calf)that still had colostrium(milk that contains natural antibodys,for the baby calf) would be milked last after all the others. In doing it this way we could just pull the pipe that the milk ran through in to the milk tank from the milkers, out of the tank and into a bucket that we would use then as calves milk. Then when finished we would flush the lines, and wash them as usual at the end of milking.
I always kept the new mommas in a corner stall of the big barn which was about fifteen yards from the milkhouse,but on the opposite end from the holding area.
Dairy cows like to be milked. For one it takes the pressure away from a swollen udder and makes them feel good, and as an added bonus we would give them grain in the milk house as they were being milked so that always insured they would be lined up at the door ready and anxious to come in.
This particular night we had finished milking and all that was left was Katie. She was a cow that had just given birth to a beautiful registered Jersey heifer calf two days ago. The rule is you keep the new milk separate from your regular milk for the first three days so we had Katie and her calf in the main barn and I went out to bring her around and down the fenced alley into the holding pen and then into the milk house.
This particular night It was pitch black out side, and as I opened the gate Katie instead of going straight and down the alley like she had the last five milkings ,turned left, through an opening between the gate and the alleyway and headed out into an open field.
Keeping in mind the fact that I played college football, and also the fact that I was in excellent shape from carrying buckets of grain into the milk house every morning and night for the last couple years. I took off after Katie to head her off and had two steps at a full sprint when I ran flat out into a 20”around Peach tree. On that pitch black night I saw stars. Well Katie after seeing she had gone the wrong way just turned around by herself and headed down the alley into the holding pen, and through the back door into a stall and when I stumbled into the milk house she was munching ground corn and my wife was milking her and looked at me standing there with blood running down my face, and said “What in the world happened to you?”
With this bailout I’m wondering if maybe running out into the darkness, might not be the prudent thing to do, that it could be the market will see it’s going the wrong way and turn around by itself. Even though it seems like the thing that needs to be done at the moment, I certainly wouldn’t advise running without knowing for sure what’s in front of you. It could be a Peach tree.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cowboy Real Estate the Squeeze Chute

When working cattle one of my jobs was usually running the squeeze chute. You pen the cattle first then usually(If the pens were built right, )You worked the cattle counter clock wise around in to smaller and smaller pens until you are at an alley way leading to bright sunlight for the cow ---but really they have to get through the squeeze chute first. The reason they see all this light like at the end of a tunnel is that you have the squeeze chute gate open for them to look through. Once they have their horns through you have to slam the gate shut quick or they will bust right on through. You can’t be day dreaming if you are running the chute. If a cow would bust through the chute it doesn’t get worked --as to say we wouldn’t be able to give it the preventative medicines and fly control we give them for their own good and health. So actually even though the cow doesn’t understand --Getting caught up in the chute is a good thing for the cow.
I was watching the commercial expired list right before the forth of July and saw a ten thousand sq. ft. warehouse listed for 1.1mil had expired. A lady in my office had told me that she had a buyer for exactly that so I sent the owners of record a letter.
The July fourth weekend came around and I went up to Rainbow River and floated the river with my kids and just kicked back. Bright and early on Monday morning I drove over to the warehouse to walk around it and see where in the world it sat. That is to say where it sat in relation to the world outside .Just something I do on land Was Taught that years ago .
I saw a sign on the front door saying where the prior occupants had moved and low and behold it was the same name as the owning company, so I headed on over to their new location to see what I could find out.
I walked into the showroom counter sales area and stood patiently in line and when the person behind the counter asked me if he could help me, I responded that yes I was going to be easy ,Who do I need to talk to concerning your old warehouse, I am in Commercial Real Estate. He told me the asst manager would be the one who could help me, and walked me over to an office door. The asst manager was on the phone so I stood outside the door and waited for him to hang up. I introduced myself and told him why I was there and asked him for a contact name and phone number at the main office of the decision maker. He gladly obliged and commented that It was over priced and that the owner of the building they were in presently had made an offer considerably less than the listing price. I thanked him gave him my card and asked him to pass it along to anyone he cared about that might need some real Estate help, and headed home.
When I got home I called the number and got a recording, so I left my number and said I would be calling again before the day was through. I called again later in the afternoon and got a lady who was not sure if the property had been relisted but promised to find out and call me back.
The next morning I called and left a message .Later in the morning a gentleman from that company called me and said “I know we have spoken before and I thought you were sending a listing proposal to me” I not thinking said Oh no I don’t believe we have spoken before but I would be glad to send you a listing proposal. He then told me that they were listing it with one of my competitors(MY Guess the company that apparently was day dreaming). I thanked him and then said By the way what price are you listing it at? He told me and it was 325thousand less than what it was listed at before I thanked him and hung up.Immediately redialing and getting the receptionist “What is your fax number?” I wrote up a listing agreement, at the price it was lowered to and faxed it off. I guess you could say I slammed shut the chute.-------I am showing it Monday morning at 10:00.---

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cowboy Real Estate--Step back and Take a look at your Resources

Back in the early nineties the Real Estate market was just rolling along at an even keel not much happening, not much fluctuation. I went along with another Broker to a listing appointment, as It was closer to my home than the listing Broker, and It was a Horse farm.
I am not an authority on Horses by any means. In fact, rather than use horses the old traditional way to gather up cattle I used the low stress approach, of a feed sack, and as long as the cattle were familiar with me, it worked pretty good. To me even though I defiantly qualify as a real cowboy, as far as I was concerned you can leave the horses over in the next county on a horse farm, as that way I won’t get kicked, bit, or run under a clothes line , but that was all in the past and a different story and I’m getting off the subject.
We pulled in the driveway and Bob, the Broker who was taking the listing started telling me the background story of the place. Seems as though a divorce was involved and the wife was selling the place to move into town.
We pulled up to the house and a nice lady came out to greet us .As introductions were made, we went into the house to look at it and find out a little more about what the motivation for the sale truly was. It seems that this place was her lifelong dream, and it was just tearing her apart to part with it. She went on to tell us about her background, in equine husbandry(that’s taking care of horses to you city people)and I was impressed of her knowledge and experience. We then walked out to the stables where she explained how a new buyer could rent the stables and charge fee’s for the feeding, grooming and exercising of over twenty horses. We walked behind the stables where she had a new exercise ring built, and she explained its operation. All and all I was so impressed, with the facilities, and the well thought out business plan she laid out for the buyer to enable them to cash flow the farm that When I had a moment to confer with Bob the listing broker in private ---I said why doesn’t she implement her own plans for herself? He said simply, she can’t picture herself in her own mind doing what she so plainly see’s someone else doing.
Sometimes it is easier for us to look at someone else’s problems. Someone else’s financial,challenges,and someone elses,family disfunctions,because when looking at someone else we aren’t emotionally blinded, to the obvious.
So I hope that I can somehow remember. when pondering an issue , when trying to make the right decision, When feeling somewhat overwhelmed.---Just take two steps back,and get under whelmed. Let go, and take a good look at the big picture. Opening my eyes to realize all the possibilities and resources I have at my disposal .
Then picture myself Implementing the corrective measures needed to keep moving ahead towards the completion of my goals.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Wonder if the Bucs are Hiring

Some people make it a career ,others get to live the life for several years ,most only a few, and some never at all. I’m talking about playing the game of football.
I started playing when I was probably eight years old with my older first cousin ,Allen and anyone else we could get to play.
My cousin Allen was three years older than me and considering the fact that I really didn’t start growing until my freshman year of high school, I was very small compared to everyone else. This mandated the necessity of becoming fast quick, elusive and mean, I excelled.
There was a game we played at our grade school that by today's standards would probably be deemed politically incorrect, as it pitted the mob against one. The name of the game was politically incorrect as it was called Black man. The game started out with one person (it )and in the center .Our playground had a fence on each side so the fences were base. The object was to run from one base to the base on the other side of the play ground without being tagged(or tackled if we were playing tackle).As each person was tagged(or tackled) they too would be the hunters till at the end you had a mob all trying to get one person. That person was usually me as this type of game honed my running back moves survival instinct ,and technique.
When I started my Freshman year in high school I finally got to play the game .Even though I could outrun all the running backs I was so fast explosive and mean that the coach put me on the line as Strong side guard on offence and weak side guard on defense. I quickly developed a preference to defense ;as on defense I got to go after the quarterback. One memorable play the strong side guard pulled to block for the halfback .As soon as the ball was snapped I shot across and of course the guy I usually hit wasn’t there he was pulling to the right behind the line preparing to block for the halfback who was running on the other side of the quarterback with the intentions of pitching to the halfback who was running around the right end. The play book somehow forgot to take into consideration a little farm kid who grew up playing football with all the older kids and was fast and meaner than …well you know.
I shot through the hole left by their guard, I grabbed the quarterback’s shoulder pads with one hand and half jumped half catapulted myself over him and slammed that halfback into the ground for a loss. The whole time the coach was screaming ,(That’s what you! are suppose to do)to everybody on the sidelines. I became particularly fond of playing kickoff and return special teams as I got more than my share of tackles. I played both offense and defense on the freshman team some games with only a couple plays on the sidelines before coach would put me back in, I hated the sidelines as I wanted to be in there. We were undefeated and I played the rest of the Jr varsity schedule and was one of only four freshman the coach let dress for the last varsity game of the season. Ironically the last varsity game The coach pulled my cousin who was a senior out of the game and put me in as his replacement. I forgot to mention the fact that as a freshman I weighted 120 pounds, and was only five foot two. Allen to this day says that it was a proud moment for him .
The same team I played with as a freshman, won the state football championship as seniors, but I was not with them.
My dad because of several reasons two which were farm commodity prices, and an opportunity to ease into retirement, took a job which took me away from my beloved river bottom farm, my cousins which I had grown up with and football, which for me was the most important thing on this earth. We moved over the summer to a small town in Ohio that did not offer football. I would find a ride to St Marys on Friday nights to watch them play football, On Sunday afternoons I found a that a bunch played tackle on the football field So yes I was there playing tackle football with no pads. The good thing was that no one could catch me. We usually played until someone was bleeding I made some lifelong friends out there beating each other up on Sunday afternoons out behind the High school.
I excelled at track and cross country, having some records that have stood even until my daughters were in high school ,however my main goal through all the track and all the running in cross county was to stay in shape for football college style.
I was accepted to Heidelberg college in Tiffin Ohio, and upon arriving went straight to the athletic department to introduce myself.. And they said who? From where? Never heard of you are you sure you are in the right building? I said yes I wanted to play football, and the coach told me that all the football players were there on scholarship, so you know they would be playing the chances of me playing were not good ,But they had no Idea the desire they were looking at.
\I Picked up all my equipment and practice uniforms and put everything in my assigned locker, then showed up for practice. I can imagine what all the other players thought .
At Heidelberg The way the varsity practices for its opponent each week is by running against the offence of he team we were playing that week from the films the scouts had brought back .The assistant coaches (One of which was coach Gruden--Jon Gruden of the Bucs Dad)would have us (the slaughter squad)Run the plays of the opposing team and the Varsity would try to stop us --Well all well and good except a halfback like me If I blew through the line for a huge gain the coach would say run that play again A) they know where I’m going coach B) That’s why they called it the slaughter squad.
I ended up catching the eye of the varsity coach because of my hard hitting and ended up playing special teams and backup halfback behind a guy names Simone who was an all state halfback from Niles McKinley high school In Cleveland.
We were getting ready to play Whittenberg and so we were running their plays . The coach called a play where I got the ball and ran between the guard and the tackle well I blasted through and ended up breaking through for a touchdown. The coach blew the whistle and started yelling at the Line backers then said run it again. When I hit the hole I had run through the play before I was met by zippy a 280 lb 6’4”defensive end and all the rest of the defense. Zippy hit me so hard that I ended up straight up and down with just my feet sticking out of the top of the pile and Zippy with a bloody nose where his face guard has cut his nose. Head coach Malmusar yelled Shriver if you can run the next play I’m starting you next year, I ran the next play but by next year I was on my way to south East Asia and Viet Nam I had joined the Marine corps.
I guess for most people that would be the end of the story but for circumstance it would be for me also.
Thirty years pass and My wife and I are milking sixty head of Jersey dairy cows on two hundred twenty acres in Missouri. We (After a successful Real Estate career in Florida) had sold our properties in Florida and basically moved to the Missouri Ozarks to raise cattle and retire. Our milk house had a large grain tank outside but was missing the flex auger that was originally there So I improvised with three large garbage cans in the pit that we scooped grain a scoop at a time for them when they were actually being milked. I carried grain in to fill The garbage cans every morning and evening in two five gallon buckets in the milk house ,down five steps into the parlor pit empty the buckets then back for more until the garbage cans were all full. This was my daily workout so needless to say I was in good shape. One of my neighbors came over as I was preparing to milk one afternoon and watched me as I carried those buckets trip after trip ,carrying those heavy buckets down the steps over and over, I just looked at him as he was shaking his head and I said to him--- I’m not Amish, I’m just poor.---
We were at the local high school football homecoming game when a friend of my wife’s nephew named Garrett Paulette looked over at me and said hey are you going to play in the alumni game tomorrow? I said why I didn’t Graduate from here ,and he said that they were short on players and asked me to come play he said his uncle was playing and he was almost as old as I was so I said sure. Turns out his uncle was playing but his uncle was in his thirties and I was fifty.
I was there the next morning at the high school locker room, signed the waver, paid my twenty dollars for insurance, and was issues my equipment full pads ,helmet, been a long time lets see where do all these pads go?
I played, and I hit hard ,I lined up across from Garretts uncle and he lasted about two plays then moved to the other side of the line .I found out that most of the guys that played had graduated only a couple years ago, and they really hit hard. I was able to get rid of a lot of pent up aggression and frustration that day ,I had such a great time I actually played two more years until the last year I had a couple ribs get broken as I got clipped, and that was the end of my football career. Well maybe,---who knows ,Maybe Jon Gruden will read this and want to use me for one play. Yeah that’s it I’m only fifty nine I bet I can still run one more play.

Friday, September 5, 2008

You can call me Cap'n

In the movie Lonesome Dove A scene involving Cap’n Call the trail boss and retired Texas Ranger played by Tommy Lee Jones, His Son Newt, Played by Rickey Schroeder, and a US Calvary unit, captured my imagination the first time I saw it and continued to make an impression, there after.
In the scene the army officer confronts one of the cowboys at the livery stable in town, and wants to requisition his horse. The cowboy tells the army officer the horse isn’t for sale and the officer, wanting to show his authority, infers that to refuse the army that particular horse would be treason, and proceeded to try to take the horse by force. When the cowboy is knocked down “Newt” grabs the reins and reiterates that the horse is not for sale. The Army scout at that time begins flogging Newt with his crop as the “Cap’n” is walking out of the store down the street. The Cap’n drops the sacks of corn meal he was carrying as he see’s his Son being flogged by the Army scout, jumps on his horse and at full gallope down the street and crashes into the Army scouts horse throwing the scout to the ground. What followed was one of the most intense and brutal exibititions of pure rage I had ever seen as the Cap’n first beat the scout with a branding iron then ran him head first into an Anvil. He then picked up a pair if tongs with deadly intent only to be roped by his friend Gus and after some rather fast talking and a lot of yelling to bring the Cap’n back to earth so to speak, the capt’n settled down checked Newt and everyone on his crew to make sure they were all right ,Mounted his horse and then calmly said to the startled onlookers” I hate rude behavior in a man,--------- I won’t tolerate it”.

So I was a Marine .Well shouldn’t say was you know once a Marine always a Marine anyway,when I came home from “ITR”(Infantry Training Regiment) for my leave right before going over To Viet Nam. My sister picked me up from the airport with a stranger in tow ,whom she introduced as her FiancĂ©. She proudly and innocently added that Rich was also in the service. If you know anything about Marines you know that they scorn all the other branches of the service and especially loath the lax, undisciplined, anybody can be one Air Force.
So I took one look at her brand new fiancĂ©’s and said whats he in the Air Force ? She very apologetically said Yeeeeees. So we drive home and as soon as we walk in the house this new guy calls my Dad Dad. My blood boiled.
Keep in mind that I grew up on a farm where I was the only son. I had worked side by side with my Dad ever since I was six years old. I had weeded beans, in the hot August sun in the gumbo river bottoms, I had plowed and disced the fields from early morning till after dark, I had paid the price, over and over, for years, Where was this guy coming from where He thought that he had any right to call MY DAD Dad.
Years after that, I relayed the story to my daughters and apparently that story made an impression because at my oldest daughter Tracy’s wedding after my new Son In Law had kissed the bride and I offered my hand to shake he said well Dad and my daughter said -real hush hush, -Oh No you don’t want to call him that So he looked at me and said “well what do you want me to call you?” I looked him straight in the eyes and said You can call me cap’n.
The story doesn’t stop there, Fourteen years later, I am at my daughter and Son In Laws house and my middle daughter brings her new boy friend over to meet the family. In the course of the evening, while playing darts Kristy’s boyfriend calls me Cap’n.I guess when my Son in-law picked him up and threw him on top of the bicycles on the other side of the garage He found out the hard way that he hadn’t earned the right. Hmmm I guess my Son in law felt the same way I did all those years ago, and I understood. Of course that guy that happened to make that innocent mistake---well he never came around anymore go figure.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Grow House

As Vice Pres, acquisition for Flag development My first assignment was to find developable Florida real Estate to invest approximately thirty million dollars. Of course that was the fun part of my job.
One of my responsibilities with Flag development ,after we had all The land bought, was interim use. Coming from an agricultural background ,that was a pleasant job for the most part, however there were snags from time to time.
We had 560 acres in West Palm Beach, which I would travel down and pretty much just make sure no one dumped trash on it.
The two thousand acre Orlando site I had a hunt club ,and a cattle lease going on it making sure we received an ag exemption so holding cost were kept as low as possible.
The Lakeland property I had the previous owner lease back for cattle, did some sod harvesting and also some timber.
The headache as it turned out was the Brown Ranch ,Halfway between Zephyrhills and I-75,as it had the only house on all the land we bought.
I had a cattle lease worked out on the land and the previous owner, had one of his employee’s in the house, and then the guy moved out. I was informed by our insurance company that sitting empty the house liability insurance would triple so----I ran some adds.
I had a call from a guy saying he was interested in renting the house and made arrangements to meet him. When he pulled in I could see he brought the whole family. It was he ,his wife and three small children, they were driving an older Cadillac Eldorado,the car was clean inside and out that can tell you sometimes how they take care of there house. They liked the house and we came to an agreement on rent and they were to move in the next day. Problem solved or so I thought. A few weeks went by and we received the Electric bill and it seems they had never had it switched over to their names ,so My wife drove over to the house to give them the bill and to tell them to get it switched over pronto. When she pulled in she could see that no-one was home .She went to the back door and saw that someone had covered the glass with black plastic on the inside. She had a key, so she unlocked the door to investigate and was met with a strong Odor. Stepping in the house she saw no furniture and the upstairs was completely blocked off with black plastic around the stair well. She pulled the plastic aside and was almost blinded with bright light coming from the upstairs and as she made her way to the top of the stairs she was greeted by the sight of pot after pot of pot with drip hoses going into each one, and huge stadium lights acting as the artificial sun on this indoor growing field. She made her way quickly downstairs, now fearful they might come back and find her there. She went back out side to her car and called the Sheriff on her cell phone.
When the Sheriff got there they removed over 50 plants. No arrests were ever made as the real nice guy with the nice family I rented the house to, said he sublet it to someone else and he of course was no-where to be found.
This all happened in the late 80’s so they were pioneers, I know that it is a lot more prevalent now. So if you have rentals might want to watch for tell tale clues, high electric bills, no-one ever home, lack of furniture, because over and above the legality issue, a grow house is high heat and super high humidity and will wreck your property.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Boogey Man

I was laying on my stomach on top of the levee In the darkness, watching ,waiting, Because we knew they were coming.
Phil Schultz and I had volunteered to go on a more or less recon mission . I had the only bike ,and It was my families farm. Actually it was what we called it the River farm, as It laid between the levee and the Mississippi river. All in all it consisted of around 600 acres of the best soil Iowa could send down the river. Every spring and sometimes in the late fall the river would come up and deposit some more silt or top soil on our land. Sometimes in the spring we got the crops in late sometimes not at all, but when It worked out to our advantage weather and river wise we had killer corn and soybean yields.
But we weren’t down there working the farm this night. We were a part of the junior youth group at Calvary Baptist Church in Quincy, and the rumor was the senior youth group led by a notorious prankster, who was rumored to have been a professional wrestler called the masked marvel, Was going to bring his band of cut throats( the senior youth group)Down to terrorize us and we were bound and determined to be ready. His real name was Buster Mcfeters and he was the leader of the senior youth group.
Phil and I had made our way from the cabin to the only way in or out. A dirt road lined on each side by huge fields of towering corn. It was just turning dark and the late October wind made the seven to eight foot tall corn sway and crackle. I thought we would see headlights as the river bottoms stretched totally flat for twelve miles until it reached the towering bluffs. Well we waited for about a half an hour, and no headlights coming down that single flat gravel road--they must not be coming. Time to head back to the cabin where everyone else was and maybe have a couple hot dogs or something this recon work can make a guy hungry.
I hopped on my bike and Phil got on the back and we headed back down the dirt road toward the cabin. The road went straight from the levee for about an eighth of a mile and then it turned a ninety degree angle and went on up to the cabin .We had just made the turn and were only fifty yards from the cabin when all of a sudden someone ran out from the cornfield right next to me screaming.
I jumped over the handlebars of that bike and hit the road running. I left poor ole Phil right there on that bike and he was too scared to pedal. I sprinted the fifty yards to the cabin ,yanked the screen door open just as a water balloon burst through the screen, and a cherry bomb exploded behind me. I jumped inside the cabin just as a cherry bomb exploded inside the wood stove. They had gotten on the roof and dropped it down the chimney.
The preachers son Dave Bower had his bb gun as did a couple others so they grabbed them and out the door we went running for the cover of a small woods just about fifty yards from the cabin. As we headed for the cover we were chased by countless bottle rockets, cherry bombs going off and terrifying war hoops.
There were five of us all laying still in the tall grass at the edge of the woods, waiting for the attack to be over. Finally our leader along with the group of boys that were still up by the cabin made a formal surrender, and it was over.
We sat out there for about another hour until we thought they all had left, then started around the edge of the woods. As we went past a shadow a form stood up and waved his arms., David Bower opened up with his bb gun and the others did too. The figure was making groaning noises, and they kept shooting it with bb’s just shooting and cocking shooting and cocking, finally the figure stumbled back into the woods and we all took off running back to the cabin.
Back at the cabin ,all the angels of terror were gone and we talked and laughed about the whole night.
We found out later that none of the guys that came down with the senior youth group were anywhere near the woods nor had anyone been shot at with bb guns.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Baby Calf

One Sunday I went for a walk back into my cattle pasture behind the house ,just watching the cows as they munched on grass, and just slowly making their way around . The baby calves were either playing ,(They like to play tag,) or just lying in the sun taking a snooze, always close to their momma. I had a pond about a quarter of a mile back from the house so I ended up there. I sat down on the ground just watching the water bugs dart around, pretty soon I just laid back in the soft grass and fell asleep.
I awoke to a hot rough tongue licking my face --As I jumped up startled the baby calf took off at a run, headed for its momma. I laughed and wished I hadn’t scared the baby because what it had done was so sweet. Coming up to me so inquisitive and innocent.
Makes me wish sometimes in my own relationships I could just open one eye and relish the moment.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Should have been a Doctor

Back when I was growing up we lived about a mile and a half from my first cousin Allen so I really didn’t have anyone my age to play with until my dad hired a new Hired man named Mr. Bradbury .Mr. Bradbury had four sons and one daughter, and they lived in the old house that my dad grew up in. All the kids were older than me but Earl, and he was about three years younger than me and a late life baby if you know what I mean? Since I didn’t want to hang out with my sisters all the time sometimes I would go over to Brads house and ask Earls mom Bessie if Earl could come along so I had somebody to do stuff with.
One day I went over and got Earl and we walked down the gravel road toward the bluff there was a hedge tree down in front of Schnelles that always had a bunch of hedge apples laying on the ground that You could hit with a stick like a baseball. We did that for awhile than I said “Hey I know where there is a mulberry tree and we can go eat Mulberries, Ole Earl always liked any Idea that I would come up with, so we headed up the road a little further and came to the Mulberry tree, climbed it and sat up there in the tree munching on Mulberries.That got old pretty quick so I said hey lets go cut through the woods and go down by the big pond and check the Apple tree out . Of course Earl was all in favor of getting out of the tree so we headed through the woods. We went on through the woods playing like we were shooting at each other, and crossed the hay field to the barn. Once to the barn, It was a really cool place to play even though I do believe my Dad had told me not to play in the barn ---In we went. We were jumping from the manger thru an open window when Earl hit his head on the top of the window opening. He was bleeding pretty bad (as head wounds do) so I remembered my first aid class in
4-H taught us to clean the wound. Off to the cow tank we went. I chased all the fly’s away (the sorghum lick was right next to the concrete cow tank) and so the water had kind of a sweet sour smell. We got his head all cleaned off with cow tank water and I said lets go get us some apples. As always Ray liked my ideas so we headed down past the hog house and down past the Chicken house to the little orchard down by the big pond. It seems the apples would never get red ripe before the birds would get to them, so we picked a bunch of green ones --so sour and good we ate a bunch.
It was about time for me to go home so we walked up to Rays house and I dropped him off at his yard and headed on home myself.
Later that night Bessie(Earls Mom) sent word over to my Mom asking what in the world we two boys did today, Earl is sick as a dog.
I was just fine must be a bug going round.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Day in Commercial Real Estate

I was watching the commercial expired list right before the forth of July and saw a ten thousand sq. ft. warehouse listed for 1.1mil had expired. A lady in my office had told me that she had a buyer for exactly that so I sent the owners of record a letter.
The July fourth weekend came around and I went up to Rainbow River and floated the river with my kids and just kicked back. Bright and early on Monday morning I drove over to the warehouse to walk around it and see where in the world it sat. That is to say where it sat in relation to the world outside .Just something I do on land Was Taught that years ago .
I saw a sign on the front door saying where the prior occupants had moved and low and behold it was the same name as the owning company, so I headed on over to their new location to see what I could find out.
I walked into the showroom counter sales area and stood patiently in line and when the person behind the counter asked me if he could help me, I responded that yes I was going to be easy ,Who do I need to talk to concerning your old warehouse, I am in Commercial Real Estate. He told me the asst manager would be the one who could help me, and walked me over to an office door. The asst manager was on the phone so I stood outside the door and waited for him to hang up. I introduced myself and told him why I was there and asked him for a contact name and phone number at the main office of the decision maker. He gladly obliged and commented that It was over priced and that the owner of the building they were in presently had made an offer considerably less than the listing price. I thanked him gave him my card and asked him to pass it along to anyone he cared about that might need some real Estate help, and headed home.
WhenI got home I called the number and got a recording, so I left my number and said I would be calling again before the day was through. I called again later in the afternoon and got a lady who was not sure if the property had been relisted but promised to find out and call me back.
The next morning I called and left a message .Later in the morning a gentleman from that company called me and said “I know we have spoken before and I thought you were sending a listing proposal to me” I not thinking said Oh no I don’t believe we have spoken before but I would be glad to send you a listing proposal. He then told me that they were listing it with one of my competitors(MY Guess the company that had it before). I thanked him and then said By the way what price are you listing it at? He told me and it was 325thousand less than what it was listed at before I thanked him and hung up.Immediately redialing and getting the receptionist “What is your fax number?” I wrote up a listing agreement, at the price it was lowered to and faxed it off.Ill tell you tomorrow if I get a signed listing back.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Short Sales: Should We Ban Them?

A gentleman Realtor from my great state of Florida created quite a commotion in the Real Estate community when he encouraged the National Board of Realtors To Ban All Short Sales In the country.A lot of Realtors, frustrated with the whole procedure made all kinds of noise in support.After studying the situation I thought it best to just write a story to put everything in perspective.
Should we ban Short Sales---- Response----
I can understand your frustration. Looks like I need to write another chapter in "Cowboy Real Estate"
We were loading up some registered Bulls that were all destined for the Houston Livestock show. They were young all weighing approximately 400#.My Dr. Friend had made a deal with the officials that be, to take the young bulls to The prison farm in Okeechobee Florida, where the inmates would break them to lead. We had three bulls loaded when one bolted ,Knocked down a panel of our portable pens we had set up and headed for the pasture. I hopped on a 4wheeler and headed out to turn him back . Well, I got him turned around and cornered under some trees in the corner of the pasture, and the plan was to Move the cattle trailer to where we were, grab the portable pens and set them up so that we could coax the bull into the pens, trap him then shoo him on into the trailer.

The bull being a bull didn't listen to the plan apparently and as the trailer came bouncing across the pasture, he made a break for it completely toppling and end over ending an Older gentleman neighbor who just came over to help. As the bull went tearing past I jumped on grabbed him around the neck, twisted his head around and bull dogged him to the ground. I'm laying there with his head all twisted holding him down yelling bring me a rope.

Well I made a halter out of the Lasso, and half chased half drug him onto the trailer.

After all the excitement was over My Doctor friend (Who was born and raised in Texas) asked me what in the world possessed me to jump on that bull. My response was "It just seemed like what needed to be done at the time"

Maybe Short sales are frustrating, maybe they are, ugly, maybe they are difficult. But Maybe that's what needs to be done at the time..

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dancing in the Milk House

In a fit of total insanity I left the Real Estate business in 1998,Sold my 15 acres of paradise took all my equity, and with the help of a $60000.00 Commission check, went up to the Ozarks in Southern Mo right on the Arkansas line, and bought a Dairy Farm.

I had been raising cattle in Florida since the early eighties, and had amassed a herd of around one hundred ole Florida brush cows. And four registered Romognolas,and a couple bulls.

Romanogla’s are a breed from Italy known for their double muscle, temperature tolerance and gentleness. My thoughts were to use the purebred bulls to improve my calves to the point where I had a superior herd.

My wife Margie (an animal lover --especially the babies)was all enthused about the move and so with the help of a semi, and two gooseneck cattle trailers we made the move.

It didn’t take too long to discover that we weren’t in Florida anymore, land of year round green grass, as we started having to buy hay at $30.00 a round bale ,two a day. Cash flow constantly running one way is a problem, so since we had a really nice Dairy barn, We thought; why not put it to work and purchase some milk cows, and that will be the answer to all our problems. Out with one problem in with thirty more LOL.

We decided that we wanted Jerseys, because of their high butterfat milk and their sweet dispositions. After a farm sale auction where we bought eight head, I went to a large Jersey farm cattle auction in Arkansas and bought fifty two more. So we ended up with Sixty head of Jerseys and we were in the milking business.

I took a course at Texas A&M on Artificial Insemination of beef cattle and we were on our way. At one time my Wife had twenty three baby calves all on bottles in the calf barn, she loved that part. Our cattle loved Country music and we had the music playing in the milk house during milking every day.. While in Darby Fl. Every Month we had a dance at the fairgrounds and my wife and youngest daughter Holly became quite the line dancers. So wouldn’t you know it with the cattle swaying to Brooks and Dunn the milking machines making their own music and the vacuum pump roaring in the background, I looked up from putting the milkers on a cow and there she was Dancing in the milk house.

My Little Sister and the Tin Car

When I was four years old :my Mom had my little sister. I guess she was about a year old when I ran over her with my bicycle.My parents couldn't understand why I would do such a thing, and my excuse that I just wanted to see how much of a bump she would be didn't fly. Oh well,No permanent damage that you would notice.Anyway she grew up to be a typical little sister, always the favorite, got away with everything, and was really good at laying on the poor poor me to my Mom and Dad .Then one day the Gods smiled.
I can remember it as if it were yesterday.I had been down along the creek, running like an indian, exploring, pretending I was looking for settlers in a wagon train, when I saw the corner of it over behind a rock where it had apparently floated.
It was a tin car about eight inches long and four inches wide,and just so cool a find.I proudly picked it up wiped some of the dirt off of it and headed home to show my Mom this great toy I had found all by myself.
My Mom was at the back of the house when I got up there, with of course my little sister hanging on to her dress .My Mom was suitably impressed with my find,and I was beaming when all of a sudden my little sister looked up and started screaming,gimmi that, gimmi that, My Mom told me to give her my new found toy and as I handed it over, a spider that was at least three inches across ran out of the insides of the toy car and went right up my little sisters arm, onto her neck.I can still hear the total screams of terror,the jumping, the clawing and more screaming, and I smile. Come to think of it I believe she is still afraid of spiders.

Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road

It had to have been in the 1950's when my confusion really started.
You see our family was a very close family where my aunts and uncles,cousins,grandparents would all get together on a regular basis. In the summertime these get together if at my uncle Russ's involve home made ice cream, and if at our house you could count on watermelon. My Dads side of the family consisted of Grandpa and grandma ,one uncle, and three aunts. We farmed with my uncle in partnerships, one aunt lived in Massachusetts, one about one hundred miles away and the other in the neighboring town where her husband owned a lumber company. My dad always liked to take everyone down into the river bottoms to show the crops to everyone, so he bought an old retired school bus, took most of the seats out so he could haul fuel in the back, but left a few rows of seats for out crop tours . Usually on a Sunday afternoon, after Sunday Dinner and Watermelon we would climb into the old Reo School bus and go for a tour of the crops.
We went to church one Sunday morning in August, close to my birthday, had a couple watermelons in the old milk cooler, and company coming for dinner. We got home from church, and my aunt and uncle from town came out my uncle Russ, and Grandpa and Grandma and all my cousins all over for fried chicken and Watermelon. That afternoon before everyone went home my Dad brought the old school bus around we all climbed in and went down into the river bottom to look at how well the crops looked. On the way back I was sitting next to my Dad and as we were almost to our house my dad saw the cause of a faint odor we had been putting up with all day, a dead skunk laying next to the road. My Dad told me that when we got home I should come back and get rid of it.
I had watched my dad on numerous occasion get rid of things like that, so I just followed in his footsteps. Sometime in the past I had been with my Dad in the old Reo School bus on a fuel run down into the bottoms and there would be road kill of one persuasion or another ,and my Dad would take a piece of baling twine, make a loop and loop it around the dead critters foot. He would then tie the baling twine on the back bumper of the old Reo School bus and when we got down to the fields in the bottoms, after about six miles of gravel road, the critter would mysteriously be gone.
I went over to the barn and got a piece of baling twine, by that time it was getting dark, I made my way to where the stinking skunk was and looped a loop around one of its legs. The school bus was sitting in the barnyard no that won't work.
That night my Dad got a call from my uncle thanking him for the present, It seems that when I tied it to the back bumper of their car, it turned out to be a pretty tough ole skunk, cause it was still there when they pulled into their garage


Current mood: happy
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes

My Dictionary defines happy as good fortune, and well being. Of course my dictionary is the same one I had in college, copyrighted 1967 and although the world has changed ,has happy changed?

It seems everyone from Paris to Britney is unhappy ,what's up with that? Isn't happy good fortune, wouldn't you say they both have plenty of that? How about well being,----well ---being---either would just thrill the heck out of most teenagers or young people in general. I do know a couple of things and one of them is. You cannot depend on someone else to make you happy. The only person you can depend on and should depend on in this life to make you happy is yourself. It cannot be done in any other way than from your soul.

I know every day isn't going to be a skippity do dah day but If you wake up and think to yourself that this day is going to be a bad one, it will be. Instead if you start every morning off with a purpose of doing one thing ,new every day to bring happiness to yourself, then maybe you can break the destructive mode we can find ourselves in. Laws of attraction teach us that if we dwell on unhappiness that is what we attract and If we dwell on happiness that is what we will attract. I read the definition of happy that I think is much more in tune with today It said "happy is when your mind is filled with pleasant thoughts most of the time." So everyone controls their own happiness, Its all in how you think, That determines who you are

.A beautiful friend in N FtMyers gave me inspiration and actually a blueprint for this story I want to thank her for being who she is.

The Light in the Window

The Light In The Window
When I was in my twenties, I owned a one hundred acre farm. I had three small girls, A wife I loved very much and life was good. I had a full time job working in a factory and farmed on the side.The house was a nice ranch style with a full basement, and a family room with a fireplace on the back of the house overlooking a two and one half acre lake. Our fields rose gently from the pond into rolling acres.

I was disking the fields one late afternoon and as the sun started setting, and darkness began creeping on me, The lights in the house came on .I instantly realized that those lights represented everything good in my life. Although It was in the fall and the darkness also brought icy cold. The warmth security and love that surrounded me, were brought to consciousness with the burning of some simple light bulbs. Because I knew that in that house with the lights on, were the family, I loved and who loved me.

I am now at A point in my life where children are all off and married. Building lives of their own. So many things have changed,. Farms sold, loved ones have died, And love that you hoped to replace love lost, leave you for no good reason.I hope to find love and happiness again,I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to see that light in the windows .Will I ever see it again?Yes I think I will, And I am Looking foreward to it.

The Scent of a Woman

The Scent of a Woman By David Shriver

A few years back there was a movie by that title staring Al Pacino. I went to the movie and was sorely disappointed because I felt the script didn’t live up to the title. The writers had missed the point in a big way,of such a powerful title.
Wait --let me explain you’ve got to get where I’m coming from here.
Let me start where this is going to all connect.
You ever see the movie Ghost with Patrick Swazie and Demmi Moore?
OK then This will Make sense to you.
I met my wife The day of her High School graduation. After I had just gotten out of the Marine Corps and home from Viet nam. It was love at first sight and we were married Seven months later. We were madly in love and had Farmed ,worked together hand in hand, arm in arm, for ten years, working for our future together. Three months after we moved to Fort Myers She Was Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given Three months to live. My Wife passed away with Cancer when she was thirty one years old.
I was left with Three little girls and a memory.
In Ghost The feelings portrayed were so true and heart felt. To want more than anything in the world To touch her, to hold her, to kiss her, just one more time and it would be worth any price .
When I walked back into the house after the funeral, and walked into her closet, I could smell her on her clothes and I slid down the wall and wept,clinging to them.
When I met someone else the most difficult thing for me was the fact that she just didn’t smell right. She didn’t have that scent of comfort for me.Time has passed and New sights and new smells replace the old.
It has been over 23 years Ironic as it sounds but last Christmas when I gave my Youngest daughter a hug, It was like I was hit by a train. It was there, The same scent I had lost all those years ago, the unique smell of her mother. The same Scent of a women.

Rainy Wednesday

I ride my Harley almost every day. With gas prices what they are, and the economy what it remains to be ,I figure I would have run out of money to drive to work a month ago If I had kept driving the “Taco wagon“. Oh the Taco wagon is this customized van of 1990 vintage that has a thirty gallon fuel tank. Driving it to work cost a minimum of One hundred dollars a week ,while the Harley sips about ten bucks.
With the summer rapidly approaching and just a few spring breakers still partying it up at Junkaroos on the beach, you know the afternoon showers are bound to make a few,warmups before the rainy season is officially here, .Wednesday afternoon was quite a warm-up.
I have the ride from Moody Road in North Fort Myers to Gladiolus and bass in South Fort Myers down pat A half hour in the morning, (And as long as I leave by four thirty in the afternoon ) A half hour in the afternoon. If I wait until five my ride home doubles in seat time especially since all those nice Cape Coral people started taking my bridge home at night to save from paying a toll.
So back to Wednesday. I stepped out side and checked the sky, Don’t get me wrong I don’t have a degree in meteorology but I was raised on a farm, That is to be interpreted as ---I have no formal training on the subject however I do have common sense .I could tell the rain was coming. I packed up my paperwork,cramed everything in my laptop bag and strapped it on my motorcycle.
From my office it is best to always go West on Gladiolus because of traffic so I go down to A&W Bulb Road And cut across to McGregor .I just got onto McGregor when the rain started, slow at first, then steadily increasing as I got to, and went under College. About the time I got to where Winkler cuts off the lightning started . For some reason in southwest Florida whenever it really starts raining hard and begins to lightning people in cars just stop. For them It may seem a temporary respite from the violent weather ,to stop then go on, But on a motorcycle to stop and put your wet feet down on the ground in a puddle of water while lightning is crashing all around you, gives no assurance. I was almost to colonial, and I remembers some tin roofed offices with overhangs that allowed parking. I pulled into a protected parking spot and sat for forty-five minutes while the rains continued. I carry my motorcycle jacket in my old U.S.M.C. backpack strapped onto the sissy bar and was glad to put it on as I was freezing. The rain subsided, and I slowly made my was the rest of the way home safely. When I walked into my house my boots were sloshing and I had to mop my tracks, as I was dripping huge amounts of water onto the floor. Just a taste of rainy season, but things could have been a lot worse. I could have driven a car and had nothing to write about.



A group of my friends are all meeting this morning ,and heading over to Clewiston so that they can jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I can’t find any fault with that ,because I have been kind of an adrenaline junkie all my life.
I got my first Harley when I was fifteen years old, and put eighteen hundred miles on it before I turned sixteen and could get my drivers license. All those miles weren’t just aimlessly driving around either. I scouted out the best parking spots in the county --but that’s another story.
I was one of the very fortunate to have grown up in the muscle car era.
I baled hay for an alfalfa mill to make money for my cars and I had a lot of them.
Numerous 55 chevys,One two door post with a 327 out of a corvette with a crane cam, and Chrome fender well headers--I ran It on the dragstrip.I had a 61 Chevy convertible with a 348 cu. inch engine, A 66 Buick Grand Sport with a 400 big block 4speed and Positraction,a 61 Corvette, and the car I was famous for --A maroon 65 GTO That was fast --Really fast. Well with all these fast cars I had it only made since that they would take me to the Race track and of course they did.
I started out racing stock cars, then went to late models, Then one Sunday at Eldora Speedway(owned now by Tony Stewart)The fastest one half mile dirt track in the country, I was in the infield, and a Sprintcar,while doing time trials, caught a rut, got into the back wall, and started flipping end over end down the entire backstretch. You could see the drivers arms straight out over his head as the inertia pulled them to outstretched position. It was the most terrible ,most violent crash I had ever seen. I knew right then I had to drive one.
I drove Sprint cars for six years, got upside down on numerous occasions, into the wall more times than I want to think about, But other than some bruised knees after a spectacular straight into the wall flip at Eastbay one night, I never got hurt.
So one day I’m with my son-in-law and grandson Brady, out on lake Panosofkee in his Ranger bass boat with the 200 hp Mercury and we are all planed up and Son in Law says we were hitting sixty five miles per hour. Well right then Son in law yells over to me and says Hey Grandpa why don’t you just jump out?
Well really at the time it seemed like a perfectly good idea so I did.
When I came to, The boat had already turned around and were beside me. I must not have been knocked clear out because I wasn’t wearing a life jacket and I didn’t drown. So I crawl back in the boat and my son in law is just laughing his A__ off Saying he can’t believe I did that and all that stuff, and says you want to do it again? So I say no, not right now, not saying I would never do it again just needed a while to let the concussion heal a little .
So my friends that are jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with a parachute today, I don’t see anything wrong with that. I saw a guy in a movie jump out with out a parachute and freefall to catch another guy that had two. He caught up with him put the parachute on ,pulled the rip chord then floated down to the ground.
Hmmmm. Naw I better stay home.

Boating Bliss

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Boating bliss
I know that people always say the two happiest days of A boaters life are the first day he owns a boat and the day he sells it.Well I must take exception to that nasty bit of sour grapes undoubtedly made by a land lubber extraordinaire for an example of my strong belief of boating pleasure:let me just recap my 4th of july 2007.
Plans had been made to meet some friends on buckshot Island (about 5 miles east of the old 41 bridge on the caloosahatchee river Ftmyers Fl.)Even though we are on the water ---I don't have a boat lift ,so our 18 ft seaswirl spends most of her time on a trailer under an oak tree in our side yard.
The night before I had charged the batteries, poured in some octane booster as I knew the gas was kinda old,cleaned all the leaves out and pretty much got her ready for a cruise up the river Oh yes I did put the drain plugs in--.Fourth morning ---we loaded up coolers,dry clothes food,and off to the boat ramp;and to our surprise it wasn't crowded maybe because the fourth fell on A wed this year.We backed the boat in she fired right up and we cast off;heading up river. Now because of the Manatees you have a no wake zone that seems like it go's on forever so we idled along,the motor surging a little prob that old gas .When we arrived at the buoys that allowed us full speed,We could only go a little faster than the snails pace we had been on.Bad gas --I thought to bring another fuel filter so no problem I'll just put it on .As I was diligently undertaking my rendition of a NASCAR pit stop It was brought to my attention that some ominous black clouds were approaching from the North.I succeeded in getting the fuel filter on and as I attempted to restart the boat it started to rain. We had just gone under a bridge about a quarter of a mile back so I headed back for the bridge .Just about the time the boat started to plane It sputtered and quit dead in the water .We could see the bridge but shelter was not to be ours this day.A real squall blew up (later we heard that several water spouts were sighted,Not that we could see We couldn't even see the condos on the rivers edge it was raining so hard.About that time my wife began explaining to me Something about my intelligence level and some thing about my heritage and the fact that she was never going to go out in that boat again, I didn't catch hardly any of it -------------------because--------------As I sat there with the rain just drenching me the lightning flashing,the wind howling I thought how lucky,fortunate and blessed I was to be right there right then.How many people on the forth of july sit in Appts in citys with no air conditioning,sweltering,the smell of the city,the noise.
I had my cell phone and contacted the Ft myers police Seems like they have a brand new Donzi A really nice officer brought it out and towed us back to the boat ramp no charge I do love Florida.I do have a happy ending'Took the boat home changed into some dry clothes and our friend Charley met us at the boat ramp and brought us out to the island where we had a great time.So where some people might have mistaken the storm,the bad gas, the challenges of the morning as bad I found so much good and attracted more .Laws of attraction

Herons Glen


Today I rode the Harley to the northern tip of Lee County to a development called Herons Glen.
Indirectly Herons Glen and I have a long history.
Back in 1984 I was working Real Estate selling one acre parcels on metro parkway, and Youngquist road, and some pieces of raw land here and there. I approached Mr. Kanavos at Deltura about buying a piece of land that I had for sale. Mr Kanavas In his special way told me he wasn’t interested in that piece however if I could get another piece (that he identified) listed he would be interested in buying it.He told me how much he would pay and I told him what if I can get it for less? He said if you can get it for less there will be more business for you down the road I take care of those who take care of me.
So I went to work on a parcel owned by a lady who was just down forty one and on the other side from DelTura. I worked with her as a buyer, offering her a dollar figure much lower than my top price and worked and chewed and spit and finally got it bought twenty thousand less than what Mr. Kanavas said he would pay. I brought the contract to Mr Kanavas and told him if he would pay the ten percent commission, I would assign it over. He was happy to do that and that started a seven year affiliation with the DelTura group.That piece by the way became one of the key parcels for the Plaza.
Mr Kanovas brought me in his office and showed me a map and said he wanted me to start assembling these parcels one by one until I had all of them bought. As I put one under contract I would assign each piece over to the DelTura droup and they would pay me the commission when the parcel closed.In retrospect that right there was not so good for me because I devoted a year totally on putting these pieces of the puzzle together, and then had to wait another year for my money. Made for some skimpy times for a couple years.
I moved a brand new doublewide back on the first 20 acre piece I bought. I then began buying my neabors out one by one until I was the only one back there at the end of Vernon Dee’s Tap Rd. our official address.
We had a mailbox out on forty one and my daughters would ride a four wheeler out to forty one to catch the school bus then after school ride it the two miles back our road home. We had a stable back there and at one time had five horses. We would ride down the old abandoned Rail Road grade. Which went from our place clear down to the back of Suncoast.We got a couple hogs Porky and Petunia and had a hog pen and fed them culled produce we got from the produce stand. We usually just let them wander around and eat palmetto roots and whatever. One day my oldest was washing our car and Porky wanted to play in the water, When Tracy kicked at him to get him away ole Porky hooked her on the leg with one of his fangs, so she is now probably the only surgical coordinator in Tampa who has been gored by a wild hog. We got rid of them directly after that.
I went on to work as a land buyer for Flag Development Company a partnership with the Kanovas family
Key employees (including me) and Swiss investers. That took me to Dade City where with the commission money made I bought a little ranch which backed up to the Bellamy Bros(country Music Stars)--on the Del Vera deal---Later the name was changed to Herons Glen after I told Mr. Kanovas about how every morning as I was making my way down the two miles of sand road out to forty one --A heron would fly in front of my pickup seemingly leading me down the road. In The evening as I was coming home a Heron would lead me flying in front of me down the road to home.

An Indian and A Short Rope

An Indian and a Short Rope By David Shriver
Growing up on a farm ,I didn't really get into the ball and stick games the kids in town played ;other than football and track the only sports I really cared about involved the internal combustion engine .When other kids my age were reading Inside Baseball I was devouring Hot Rod, Motor Trend, and Motors manuals, Learning what makes cars and motorcycles run. One of my friends grandpa restored old cars as a hobby ;and noticed my interest so one afternoon he pulled an old buck rake( Abuckrake was a model A Ford that they had taken the body off of ,and made it into kind of a tractor)into my parents driveway and said if it was alright with them he would just give it to me to tinker with since it had just been sitting out in a pasture for years and didn't run he thought it would give me some good experience. Well when my friends parents came over to pick them up that evening they found us out in the pasture sitting on buckets on that ole buck rake just flying back and forth across the pasture. I had got it running and we were just trying it out. Needless to say Gramps came over the next morning and the buck rake was gone. So that's how things got started, I had the reputation that I could get anything running And so enters Nicky Hovie;
Nickie hovie had a real nice sixty three chevelle convertible Yellow,Black interior 327 4 spd ,nice car .Well he drove in and said he was given an old motorcycle and the motor was froze up and wondered if I thought I might want to try to get it running for him. I said sure thing ,so the next day he brought it over and we put it in my parents garage. Some one had painted it White with household interior paint and it really looked bad but It was an Indian Motorcycle. I pulled out the spark plugs and filled the cylinders with diesel fuel and let it set. In a couple of days I put it in gear and with the sparkplugs still out I rocked it backward and the engine broke loose. Now I could use the kick starter and I checked to se if I could get spark and I could so I had new spark plugs and put them in and with fresh gas I tried and tried but could only get it to pop.
The next Saturday Nickie came over to see how I was coming and I jumped on the kick starter and It popped and Nickie got all excited ."lets pull it with my car" he said So I proceeded to get a rope, tied my end to the bumper hitch of Nickies Chevelle and handed the other end to Nickie.Well we got all straight so that I could pull him straight down the street and we were ready .----These old Indians were a lot like the old Harley 74 In that they had what people called a suicide clutch as the clutch was down at your foot and the shifter was next to the tank But on the opposite side than that of a Harley for some unknown reason.
---So I eased out on the clutch of the Chevelle,the rope became taunt, and down the street we went. As we gained speed Nickie stomped on the clutch on the ole Indian and I heard bap---bap-bap-varoom as Nickie roared past with a huge smile on his face. Un be known to me Nickie had foolishly tied the rope onto the handlebars of the motorcycle. As you can guess when Nickie came to the end of his rope things progressively got worse.

I call her Reno

I call her Reno but her name is really Samantha
I know it may surprise many of you but I do read quite a bit. One of my latter readings was a Jimmy Buffet masterpiece entitled a pirate looks at forty .well seeuns as I’m looking at 58 So maybe im a little slow ---anyway I of course found some profound truths and life directional beacons within those text one such profound idea is ----Jimmy said: when he dies his only wish is that people will be able to say that he lead an interesting life.---How profound; and as I look at my own life in retrospect ;always a dangerous thing I might add ,I see Things and events that would lead me to believe that some how I must have done something right Most never have the opportunity to see what I have seen. Although I have never ridden in a Jet fighter I have been in the skies of Viet Nam In a helicopter .I have been a Marine in combat. I have been shot at ,mortars and rockets I know what it is like to have someone try personally to kill you and I know what it feels like to win. I know what it’s like to fall in love the first time and I know what it’s like to lose her to cancer. I know what it’s like to love my three girls for two as a makeup for them losing their mom. I remarried and there were some good times ;not all ups and downs maybe more downs than anyone needed or deserved but If life was fair the fox would never catch the rabbit so it go’s on, one day at a time I played college football and have watched my grandsons play pop Warner football. Brady score a hockey goal my granddaughters swimming in the pool ,laughing and just having a good time isn’t that what it’s all about? I raced The Sprint car for five years and had an all girl pit crew Margie and the girls ,and I’ve watched Kyler race go cart. I know if I had stayed working in a factory I would have missed out on .a lot of life so I never regret going out on my own and taking a chance.
So my wife is leaving to cut down on the stress in her life, Don’t laugh, So anyway there is this girl I’ve never met but we talk on the phone every day and I feel myself becoming infatuated with her, so we are going to meet, next month---Interesting ---I call her Reno but her name is really Samantha.

Class Reunion

Class reunion/ Power of laws of attraction
As an econ of American rural American life we go to high School class reunions. It may be a little red neckey but that’s ok with me If the shoe fits don’t put it on E/Bay. Actually I had maintained an aloof attitude all these years as this Big 40 was the first I had attended.
Maybe it was the guilt of missing the tenth as Billy succumbed toHodgenkins before the 15th,Maybe it was a haunting feeling of aloneness going through a divorce for the first and hopefully last time. Or maybe It was just Paul calling me out of the blue, Saying Hey Shrive why don’t we meet out at Stroh’s, stop in at the reunion, and If it gets boring we will split and head over to St Marys look up some old friends ,go to a bar and have some cold ones.
How could you say no to an invitation to guaranteed fun like that . I told him it was a plan I’d be there.
I ended up seeing my arrive time a day early so making my phone calls found out the town fall festival was going on that weekend Called Paul meet you Sat --Ok
I pulled into my Brother in laws around three --My Sister in law whirls out of the house --nice to see ya, the 566 is over there by the barn ---Run it over and pick up the full hay wagon in the field. Dennys bailing seeYa Bye.
I (having just finished showering shaving and making preparations for some serious having a good time attitude)went obediently over to a pretty rough looking Farmall Tractor figured out how to start it and where the gears were and headed over to the hay field to pick up Hay wagons.
I got over thereto the hay field, visited with Denny for just a little, hooked up the wagon and headed back over toward the barn. I caught A glimpse of Paul in the drive way, Beer in hand holding down the fort.
I Brought the wagon over to the barn (surprised my self and backed it first time right next to the elevator That they use to get the bails up into the barn)Talked with Paul for a brief Hello gotta go ( I had not seen him for at least thirty years) Jumped on the tractor and retrieved the last hay wagon from the field .Parked it and the tractor next to the barn And settled down on Paul’s pickup’s, tailgate; much deserving beer in hand.
The plan ---Fall festival party at the park, One of our friends Scott was playing in the band ,Pick up more beer head for the park. What a deal! I always could come up with some great plans.
The band was playing Really good early southern rock, a little Segar, really good music, I was walking around seeing old friends and playing guess who this is, really having a good time, Standing ther talking to Titus and his wife,When a pretty girl comes up to me and says I bet you don’t remember me. I said I bet I do ,As I had Dated her older sister right before I left for Viet Nam U.S.M.C.( If there was any doubt.)So I say you are Janie what’s you’re Sister doing ? She says well she is divorced and living in Tampa ,I said no way!.
I’m gonna have to get her number from you I say. But she was too Quick for me, as she dialed the number on her cell phone and then handed it to me. I said hello, she said who is this ? I said Dave Shriver, She told me later that she almost feinted. So we talked and I called her again, and again and again . She is picking me up in Tampa as soon as I can get down there ,taking a few days off work, and we are going to get reacquainted. Her Name Is Pam, Its funny I never did meet Samantha, Some things are just made, or not made to be. An awful lot of coincidences, or was it just the laws of attraction at work moving the world to put things in proper alignment for my happiness.
What A ride . David Shriver

Kissing 101

KISSING 101 By David Shriver

It seems that one of the main criteria I look for other than the obvious good looks body to die for and intelligence. if I am going to pursue a relationship.A girl just has to be a good kisser.
So you ask--By what standard do all girls kisses have to meet or be judged by? And I answer --well the perfect kiss of course --So then you might ask, And how do you know what the perfect kiss is? And I would most assuredly answer, because I have kissed the perfect kiss. So there --Let me tell you how I found the perfect kiss.
I was visiting friends in my old home town ,when a girl approached me and asked me If I infact recognized her, I responded by saying why yes I did you are Pam Martins little sister Angie.I hadn’t seen Angie or Pam in 30 years.
Pam was the last girl I dated before going over to Viet Nam, and was a cheerleader at our high school and graduated the same year as my little sister. I asked Angie what Pam was doing these days and Angie told me that She was Divorced and living in Tampa. I said no way I’ll have to call her some time --at that Angie whipped out her cell phone and said I’ll do better than that Dialed the phone and handed it to me. Pam answered the phone and when I told her who it was she about flipped out --talked and talked and made me promise to stop in and see her.
On my way home I said hey why not --gave Pam a call and got directions to her house and just about six o’clock in the evening pulled into her driveway. She walked out of the house, through the little gate around her yard and up to me as I got out of the car, put her arms around me and gave me that kiss.
I said Pam you really know how to kiss, She said yeah guys always say that --I aught to be a good kisser, You taught me when I was fifteen years old.hmmm no wonder. That’s right I was only eighteen, and you were fifteen --man.
Well other than the perfect kiss ,Pam had little else going for her. She had lived her life a little too fast and it unfortunately had caught up to her, She really looked rough from too many poor choices along the way.
So the perfect kiss --well maybe I should describe it a little.
It is soft and sweet, not rough
It is warm and wet but not sloppy
It is graduating in the fact that it starts out more like a nuzzle and ends with the sparks flying and stars shooting.
Your mouth isn’t closed but it’s not open either
I know it’s confusing --here let me show you.


My youngest Daughter (When she was 15 years old)was complemented once by a friends father,( Who also happened to be an attorney) as he said “for her age he was amazed at the number of times she had come to an event in her life where her direction would be directly determined by the choice she made and she always made the right choice“.
I have ran into old friends who look at me and say that they can’t believe how I look . I realize that Not all the time, but some of the time ,They could have looked just as good, Just as healthy. If they would have made a different choice. They would not be in their situation were it not for the choices made. I can look at some one with compassion, and empathy ,however I have a real rough time feeling sorry for someone who has brought grief, poverty and loneliness on themselves because of choices. You can chose to live the bar scene year after year ,Party it up with drugs, however you have to know the toll it will play on your health. It is a choice. Every person has an equal opportunity every day to be pleasant. It is a choice.
I raced Sprint Cars all over the South when the girls were in High School, So we ended up spending more time together than most families have the opportunity . We had lost their Mother when the youngest was four ,So I though it the right thing to do. It was by choice. I told people that I was retiring in my thirties to spend my retirement doing fun things, and then when retirement was over I would go back to work. An Interesting concept. I do hope to retire again some day but It was a choice then ,that I wouldn’t change in a million years. Retiring to sell Real Estate and work my internet marketing business would be I suppose like having your cake and eating it too. Not such a bad thing, Makes me wonder If maybe I had a little to do with all those good choices my Daughter has made.

Sprint Cars

Sprint cars

The first time I ever saw one I was 14 years old.

I grew up on a farm along the Mississippi river just north of Hannibal Mo; Of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn fame.We lived on the Illinois side farmed in the bottoms and raised cattle up on the bluff. My Dad had been fighting poor crop prices;unpredictable weather, and the possibility of a flood every year.

Having a degree in agriculture from Western Illinois U he put some feelers out for prospective opportunities;and one came along.My Dad was Hired by a research laboratory in Ohio,to become Assistant to the president--He later became pres.While well and good for the rest of my family I was looking at a total change in my life not the least was the school in Ohio didn't have football,Something as important to me as breathing,but I didn't get a vote so off to Ohio we went.Well this lab my Dad went to work for had a research farm so upon my arrival I rode my bike out to see if they needed any help bailing hay.This started my Hay Bailing years.I ended up working summers for an alfalfa mill bailing hay for them (all of this to stay in shape for hopefully college football)Herein is where the story has its beginnings.

We had a hay field right next to the Race track at New Bremen (an asphalt track)Well we were working out there on a Saturday afternoon and the promoter A Mr Cook, came on out to the field with tickets for the USAC Sprint car race on Sunday.So Sunday after church I hopped on my bike and rode it 6 miles to the race track.Now this was 1965 I saw AJ Foyt,Larry Dickson,Waldo Andretti--Marios brother, Eddie Sacks-Later was killed in the Indy 500 that year.It was wonderful sounds ,the smell,and the cars were soooo beautiful tried to go to The speedway whenever they had a USAC race then one day someone told me of another track not to much farther away .--By this time I had my Drivers licence The race tracks name was Eldora .1/2 mile dirt track.A life changing event the first time I went. I remember A car from Dayton Flipping all the way down the back stretch with the drivers arms stretched out over his head from inertia It was the most violent horrendous thing I had ever witnessed just knew the guys that drove those things had to be crazy ;It wasn't too long after that I knew I had to drive one.

I started out in Hobby stocks then late models It Wasn't until I was In my 30's that I finally got A Sprint car . We raced the Sprint Cars for 6 wonderful years mostly Florida With the Tampa Bay Area Racing Assoc.Then with American Winged Outlaws,we raced Florida Georga,North and South Carolina's,Tennessee,andAlabama All through my Girls Jr High and High School Years we Raced.Had the only all Girl pit crew I must say definitely the happiest days of my life ----SO FAR

The Principals Office

Back when I was in the first grade a girl named Vickie Woodworth kissed me while I was on a merry go round in the school yard . My life has never been the same ,ever since.
You see there was this other girl named Sue Ellen Arnold who really liked me . She saw Vickie kissing me and she just went crazy. She ran into the school and told the teacher Mrs. Humphries.Mrs Humphries, not really knowing how to handle a situation like this (after all she was just a first grade teacher ) These things weren’t suppose to become an issue until at least junior high, so they thought. Went straight to the principals office .
I can still remember that long walk up that long staircase,the fear the shame.The principal told me to never do it again, mentioned something about reform school, and no summer vacation, I do know I was scared and promised to never let it happen again.
Lucky for me the principal was transferred before my Third grade school year and apparently never recorded that trial proceedings as the principal we had for that year apparently knew nothing off it , or I would have been in big trouble when , This cute girl named Debbie Lock moved to our school.
Well actually her mom ended up being my teacher and looked like the wicked witch of the west on the Wizard of Oz.Mrs Lock really disliked me because I guess she thought I was too cute for my own good and her daughter really liked me, So she started using me as an example.Not a good example and not really a bad example ,just an example . I can still remember her hitting me on the head with a pencil shouting," I’m going to make an example out of you". So whatever "that" was.....I was definitely an example.
I am definitely an example today----For sure not because of ---but most likely in spite of--Mrs. Lock and The principals office.
The way I live My life ,I strive to be, for my children, a good example. An example for my daughters to look to when thy want to see the practicality in the way we look at life.
The attitude of an achiever
The never say die perseverance
The finding the silver lining in all things
The looking for the good ,in things and people
The example of love
After all I was cute and sweet enough to get kissed in the first grade.
Dern that Sue Ellen Arnold.

Late Night Ride

Late Night Ride To The Cemetery-- By David Shriver
When I was fourteen years old, my cousin Allen was seventeen. Because of the fact we only lived a mile and a half from each other, and the fact that we were only sons, surrounded by sisters, we grew up with the bond of brothers. I was included in a lot of things with Allen's friends, that no other fourteen year old around had the chance to do.
We were Baptists, and went to the Calvary Baptist Church in Quincy Illinois. On Wed nights, during the summer they would have youth fellowship at one of the members homes this particular Wednesday night was youth fellowship at My uncle Russ's so I got to go.
Baptist at that time or should I say Baptist that went to our church, frowned upon a lot of things ,and picked up some kind of evil conitation,from things that other people, didn't see apparently or just didn't let bother them. Going to movies, dancing, public displays of affection(that means what Pam Hess and I were doing in the back of the church bus)So as any conscientious farm kids would do we found ways to circumvent, and get around all the restrictions and still have a good time.
I remember one of the older kids name was Dean Jinks. He had a big 1957 Plymouth Fury with loud pipes and was always fun to be around. Dean and my cousin Allen started daring some of the girls to come along down to the cemetery . They explained that at the cemetery, was a mausoleum and inside the mausoleum was a casket with a glass top in it so you could see that skeleton. We scurried around, came up with several flashlights, and I think we had fifteen kids in that Plymouth .Off to the cemetery we went, all laughing and looking foreword to scaring the girls.
We parked in the back of the cemetery and walked single file down to the mausoleum. When we got to the front of it you could see that it had an ,old.wooden door that was barely on its hinges. Everyone crowded around the door and Allen said ok I'm going to Yank it open get ready with the flashlights.
The door was opened, and Dean jumped to the front of everyone crowded around the doorway trying to look inside. Dean pointed his high beam flashlight into the pitch blackness of the mousolesm,and everyone saw someone standing inside there looking back at them. Dean let out a horrible scream, the girls all started screaming, It was pure terror, everyone was running tripping over each other trying to get away and back to the car.
A couple days before My cousin Allen had found a floor length mirror, that someone had thrown away and thought of the perfect place to put it.

Ornery and Vinegar

When I was only four or five years old, I was over at my Grandma and grandpa's house and while playing outside I stubbed my toe on the sidewalk in front of their house. Of course I was crying and carrying on so my grandma came out and said she would go get something to make it better .After a while She came back outside with a pan half full of vinegar and held my foot down in it.
Now this was in the early fifties, and apparently people back then didn't know what we know now of chemical makeup of different things so apparently my grandma didn't know that she was submersing my bloodied toe in acid. And she must not have known that acid on an open wound would be unbearably painful. Unbearable pain at an early age ,or I guess any age, is an unforgettable experience. Well as I recall my Dad thought the whole thing rather humorous, or so I remembered.
When I was a little older, one day, my dad, while mowing the grass hit a clothes hanger with the mower and a piece of the hanger hit him in the leg. My mom had put wire clothes hangers ,stuck in the ground around her flower garden to keep the dogs out of her flowers. And my dad not seeing one hit it with the mower. Well my mom doctored it and it seemed like it just wouldn't get better. Then one morning my dad woke up and a blue line was going up his leg, Blood poisoning ;off to the doctor for tetanus ,and penicillin shots. My dad was going to be ok but was suppose to stay in bed for a few days. So my dad was in the bedroom my mom was in the kitchen and I said" Daddy says he wants you to put some vinegar on his leg"
My mom poured some vinegar in a little dish and got some sterile cloth and headed for the bedroom as I headed for the back door .I heard my dad yell HEY WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME KILL ME, I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK!--- as I ran for the barn.

My Cousin and the Movies

My cousin and the movies By David Shriver
When I was about seven years old my cousin Allen was 10.Being much older than myself he of course was allowed to do a lot more than me; and one of the things he got to do, was go to the movies with his friends. This worked out pretty well, as the next week at some point ,I would get a complete rundown and vivid description of what went on in which ever movie he happened to go to that week. Well actually I guess he kind of acted out certain scenes for realism sake Not saying he got to go to a movie every week;, no we were just farm kids ,maybe once a month if he was lucky. I think the first movie I remember hearing about was Robin Hood .Allen was really impressed by the scene where Robin Hood fought Friar Tuck on the log with poles Kind of like pugal sticks. Well Allen had to show me so we found a couple of good sized pugal sticks in the woods and started battling. It didn't take long for me to be losing big time and when I went home with mashed fingers and a knot on the back of my head ;My mom wouldn't let me play with him for a week.
The next movie as I recall was Ben Hur ;Of course everyone knows about the chariot race well seems we had a John Deere grain drill with a wood platform on the back intended for use to stand on while filling the drill from sacks of grain. But also it was a cool place to ride for a couple of farm kids. Well Allen has a great idea ;lets get some gypsum weeds, and we can have the battle of the grain drill while my Uncle is pulling it across the field. Gypsum weeds are these weeds that grow in the Mississippi river bottom with big ole thorny balls on them the size of golf balls. Needless to say it didn't take one trip across the field to produce a bloody mess in the loser of the battle, and when I went home my mom was ticked I wasn't allowed to play with my cousin for two weeks.
Then Allen and his friends went to see Tarzan I should have stayed away. Over at Allen's house he had a barn with two hay mows; one on each side ,with an area in the middle large enough to park tractors and equipment .There were two ropes hanging from the center beam So Allen has this great Idea , we could each grab a rope, One get in one hay mow the other in the other hay mow swing over to the other side with one little addition. We would try to knock the other one off on our way across. As my older cousin out weighed me by probably 80 lbs You can only guess the outcome .But I survived that and High School football, College football, and Viet Nam I guess all the preparation for life's hard knocks paid off. Today my cousin Allen is the pastor of a church in Missoula Montana Still helping people make preparations for life however I don't think he goes to many movies anymore Thank God.

The Runner

Where Barbara Mandrel was country when country wasn't cool :I was a runner when running was yet to be cool.I played football my freshman year of high school but the summer between my freshman and sophomore years my family moved to a town that didn't have football.With the Idea of playing football in college I decided that bailing hay in the summers and track in the spring would be my training plan .I did ok at track,had the school record in the 440yd but my junior year they came out with cross country and compared to flat out for a quarter mile It seemed almost easy.
My junior year I ran pretty much 2nd or 3rd on our team although we didn't do to well as a team,first year and all. I had a close friend(Iwas dating his sister) Jim Preston--Built like a runner about 6ft 2inches and a long stride:We started training together---Every morning at six I,d get up put my weights on my ankles,Pair of cutoffs and run up to the school,where I would meet jim--And we would run two miles crawl in the school basement window take a shower,go home and get ready for school.Then after school back on with the weights and another two miles .The only time I ran without weights was at a meet.And I started getting better I was beating Jim and soon beating the Senior that had dominated up to that point.By my senior year I had my training down pat Jim had graduated but when cross country time came around said you ready Ill meet you in the morning. So we ran: me with my weights jim right along with me.I won the first meet of the year ,then the second third fourth,I developed a trade mark kick at the last 50yds that was pretty close to a 50 yd sprint It was very demoralizing to the guys I would blow by to go on for the win.I ended up undefeated for the entire year up until the last meet. It was with Coldwater and coach told me their best runner ran 2nd at state last year.When we walked up to the start he came over to wish me luck;I was totally unprepared as his n6ft 6 frame said good luck son to my 5ft 8inch halfback looking self.He totally physiqued me out.Would you believe I finished third---Because I fell into the trap of thinking I couldn't beat him.In reality If I had run my normal time I would have beaten him but I didn't.The only reason I excelled was the fact that
I had a goal--To play college football---
I trained 120%
I never quit
I didn't know a short guy couldn't excel at cross country.
The year was 1967 I went on to play football at Heidleburg college as a walk on and un like Rudy I played
My cross country school record time still stands today after 40 years

Lessons From the Gumbo

Lessons From The Gumbo
When I read John Grishoms The Painted House I saw so much similarity between my growing up in the River bottoms of Illinois and his in Arkansas.His of course took place before I was born but the river is timeless. Grishams family grew cotten Ours grew soybeans;and thats where our story begins.

My dad said that a farmer is judged by the straightness of his planted rows and the cleanliness of his bean field.Well his rows were always straight as an arrow and you didn't see a weed in our bean fields thanks in no small part to me starting when I was about 6 years old .Every summer my Dad would get some old broom handles and bolt a sickle blade to the end; and that would be your weeding stick for the summer.My Dad would roust me out of bed and down to the bottoms we would go 'weeding four rows at a time and our fiels were a half mile long most of the time you would get to the end turn around and get back to the truck by noon then eat the lunch my mom had made us; then one more round and it would be dark. Time to go home sleep and again tomorrow.We would listen to the St Louis Cardinals on the truck radio on the way home In fact I saw my first world series of many on the radio.My Dad didn't talk about the war much but every once in awhile When it was just him and me He would start talking as we worked cutting them dern weeds.I heard about flying fighter planes in North Africa All about p51 Mustangs,british spitfires,P38 called the flying tigers My dad flew all of them. He told me of flying to see my mom one sunday afternoon from st Louis The whole town came out to see him off;and when he took off he circled around and buzzed the airport just a few feet off the ground He laughed and said you should of seen them run.He got lost in the fog in Italy kept losing altitude pulled the stick back still dropping untill he dropped out of the clouds in a valley he was upside down and didn't know it ;He just rolled it over and followed the valley. He said God was definately his copilot .

I always had a great dislike for weeding beans,the sweat in your eyes.had to go barefoot because the black gumbo would stick to shoes and made you ten foot high So I didn't wear shoes much in the sommer (I didn't mind that much) Bugs that would bite and sting and the hotter and madder you got the more they would bite and sting Fighting through weeds a lot taller than me facing it seemed like unsurmountable challenges every day all day

But i'd give almost anything to spend a day in the bean field with my Dad

Delta Gumbo Ramblings

Bean Field ramblings
I grew up along the Mississippi River just outside Ursa Illinois.our family had farmed for three generations that I was aware of and continues upon the tradition.I started working out in the field running a tractor(A John Deere Model A)When I was six years old . My dad had to slide a pipe down the clutch handle to give me leverage enough to engage and disengage it.The running of machinery came second nature to me and I enjoyed the command of power however one job that I did not care for and had little to do with any mechanization,was weeding soybeans.
Around middle june into the heat of August my Dad would roust me up with A (up and Ad am my Merrie lads rise and shine) For one thing I felt anything but Merrie at 5:30 in the morning;For another the term lads always gave me visions of frenchies in tights and was anything but what a farm boy was interested in. We would set off before light down into the bottoms( The Mississippi river bottoms was called simply the bottoms)My dad had taken some old broom handles and bolted a blade from a sycle on the end and these served as the best weed cutters you could find ;Alot lighter than a hoe and alot sharper.Well the early morning dew as well as any moisture from rains totally eliminated shoes as the gumbo would cake on your bare feet forget about shoes.Our rows were about one half mile long so weeding four rows would take you to the end and back for lunch then end and back go home do the chores (feed the animals) eat supper go to bed so you could do it again in the morning.
My Dad would tell me stories of his flying p51 mustangs in Europe during ww11 The only time he spoke of those The job I dreaded the most the hardest hottest and most tiring,Ended up being my sweetest memories

Plow the Field

Plow The Field By David Shriver
When my youngest grandson was just a baby, I bought him his first tractor. Understood that I came from a long line of farmers ,to check profession down my family tree it was a straight limb ,of agriculture. This particular tractor was not just any run of the mill generic type ,Oh no. John Deere of course, with a very unique feature, in that it had a button that when pushed a very authoritative voice (Which I thought sounded like my Dad ) said "plow the field". When I say it sounded authoritative like my Dad, understand that my Dad was an Air Force Captain in WW11 When my dad said to do something there was no mistake, no question and definitely no hesitation. I didn't even have to ask how high I already knew the answer.
I guess even at a young age and maybe especially at a young age we need to teach A positive mental attitude.To plow the field meant lets get the job done.
To me, that tractor stood for the fundamental keys to my parents successes ,work ethic, and spirit, handed down from their parents ,and down the line. The guiding force that helped settled the west, Made farms and ranches out of the endless prarie,And kept families together throughout the hard times which were many.
The weak turn back and the faithful plow in. Nothing states the intention of going ahead better than plowing .The initial preparation of the ground for the planting of the seed. Plowing was the initial tillage in the preparation of the seedbed. To plant a crop you had to prepare the seedbed so that it was ready for the seed Any thought of quitting, any thought of turning back, was completely squelched as soon as you plowed the field.
Indecision, and hesitation are stopped cold with the affirmation "Plow the field"
What good advice for anyone who has lost there way "Plow the field"
What do you do when times get rough "Plow the field"
From marriage counseling to how to win a football game. To making it through rough times in Real Estate.Stop everything, put everything in perspective, and start at the beginning with the basics . Lets not sit around lets get busy and" Plow the field