Monday, May 26, 2008


Resourcefulness By David Shriver
I guess I was twelve years old when I received my initial lesson on resourcefulness. Now this wasn't a lesson that was in a book, It wasn't handed down by my older cousin ;no this lesson was one I had to figure out all by myself.
You see back then all the farm kids rode the school bus to school, I won't go into this too far but I can remember my oldest daughter explain to me that If she couldn't get a ride to school, she just wasn't going. Well I jumped all over that and forced her to ride the bus,untill the pain I ended up enduring became too great then she rode with a friend, Oh well, Anyway when I rode the bus there was a pecking order in as the older high school boys owned the back of the bus. After being picked up and thrown to the front of the bus I understood this. On our bus route were a family named Vonburg,Of which there were four brothers. Three of the brothers were older and in High School the youngest,Mikey was a year younger than me. A really old way of describing them would be to label them as ruffians which is what they were; bullies.
The older ones started egging on the little brother, saying they didn't think he could whoop me, and Mikey of course rose to the challenge of his older brothers, and started slapping me around. I had been taught not to fight ,and especially never hit a girl or someone younger so I retreated to the seat next to the bus driver.
I was really in a dilemma shrugged it off and when I got home I asked my Dad what I should do; expecting to hear him tell me to stand up for myself under the circumstances. However that was not his reaction at all just the contrary. My Dad went into a tirade about his son becoming a bully, and gangs and violence, now remember this was rural Illinois in the fiftys,So he over reacted some what,and told me that if he ever heard of me getting in a fight I wouldn't get a drivers license until I was twenty one years old and undoubtedly would end up in prison. This was not the helpful advise I was looking for, and was no where close to the world I was living in.
Every day the bus ride to school and back became increasingly intolerable as Mikeys brothers saw I wouldn't fight back and cheered him on.
Then one day I was sitting with my friend who lived in the bottoms, we were talking about my going down to his house and boxing with boxing gloves.Mikey sitting in the seat behind us was listening and spouted off that he aught to come down and beat us both up .It was like I could see divine grace showering around me as I said that would be a great idea ,he could finally beat me up. So we set it up for that night after school.
We all met at my friend house and went into the barn ,had an area all set up with old horse harness making a make shift ring, Of course Mikey wanted to waste no time so I put the boxing gloves on and my friend was going to referee. Ding,Ding,I don't think ole Mikey ever got a blow in as I tore him up, We ended up being somewhat friends as Mikey had a whole new outlook on things. After that his brothers even treated me with respect.
I wouldn't and couldn't disobey my father, or dishonor his wishes as well as I could not go on being constantly challenged, belittled and, goaded.
The recourse a pair of boxing gloves, some old horse harness, and a little bully that needed taught a lesson.
Problem solved What a wonderful world we live in may we all strive for a clarity of purpose, and resourcefulness

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