June 25, 2005, 02:19 AM
Dale was already at the little private shooting range when Cindy and her five year son Jeffery pulled up. Dale didn’t look so good.

“You okay Mr. Dale” Cindy asked
“To be honest, no I am not”
“Mr. Dale, you need to see a doctor? ‘ Jeffery asked.

“No son, what I got ailing me, a doctor can’t fix. Here you go, you remember how to tape up your targets?”

“Yes Sir!” Jeffery grabbed the roll of tape and went downrange.

“Supreme Court rulings got me all sick inside Cindy, I figure you are not real pleased either”.

Dale had fought in a War, received a Purple Heart. His son had fought in one too, he didn’t make it back. The wife had passed on from cancer some years later; Dale just continued the best he could living the American Dream.

Cindy knew the feeling, one day her husband was working as a mechanic, all of a sudden his National Guard Unit was activated. Then the news came he was gone. Jeffery didn’t have to be told daddy wasn’t coming home – mommy’s tears had spoken the worst.

Cindy took what little insurance money there was, sold the house she couldn't afford anymore and most of the furniture. Seems the car dealership she was doing some office work for didn’t have enough to keep her busy. Cindy went to a smaller town with a Community College and was able to work there and take classes for less tuition being an employee. Jeffery was able to attend a Kindergarten just down the road from the college.

These three met at the barbershop, Jeffery sitting in the chair, Dale waiting his turn. When some news came on about the War, Cindy had gotten up and turned off the TV. One thing led to another, “Come on out and bring the boy, we got more in common than just wanting to shoot”.

“You know at first I missed the old house, but then without momma, and my boy to look after it and me, well this old body can’t do what it once did. Sold it, got rid of what I didn’t need, and moved into that little retirement place. My little duplex is one of seven, down on the end. We got us a nurse on property, maintenance folks to keep the grass cut, we have nice little private fence of our own – so if I want to fall asleep out back in the shade watching squirrels and birds, I can.

Yep, person not owning much on paper might be the way to go. Pay cash for groceries, gas, clothes and such, just enough to show, but one shouldn’t say too much about themselves anyway.”

Jeffery had as much fun chasing the lizards as he did shooting. Mom had already learned to double check the pockets, before doing laundry. Explaining to the campus security why she went over the curb due to a missed lizard running up her skirt…well both she and the lady officer understood how that was very distracting.

Jeffery went to take down the targets after shooting; he had another one to adorn the fridge.

“We will see you around, same time next Saturday for sure. You need anything you call us you hear”

Dale assured Cindy he would; Jeffery shook hands with a big grin, “Thanks Mr. Dale.”

Mr. Dale was always early, he looked forward to Saturday’s with Cindy and Jeff, it was Jeff it was decided, being as he was going to be big boy at six pretty soon.

‘Honey, you stay here in the office, mommy will be back soon. Cindy and the nurse went to check on Dale. He appeared to have fallen asleep in his chair, he was asleep forever. The local police was called, then an ambulance. Jeff went down the walk; he knew Mr. Dale was not ever going to go shooting again.

Crying,” mommy I want to say goodbye to Mr. Dale, I...I didn't get to say goodbye to daddy..”, the officer gave permission.

“Mommy, Mr. Dale looks like he was crying; see his face?”

Cindy, the nurse, and the officer had noted it too. They also noted he had been holding the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Cindy and the nurse noticed all that Dale had for furnishings were what came with the duplex, seemed too tidy and bit sparser than they remembered. The bookshelf was empty, that caught their eye.

Autopsy said he had a heart attack in his sleep. Cindy knew the ravages of Tyranny had taken its toll on a good man, with a good heart.


“Cindy, we have a package for you” Cindy went to the front office and recognized the handwriting. “Sorry ma’am, you know how getting mail to the various parts of campus gets fouled up at times…”

Cindy took a day off while Jeff was at kindergarten. She drove the few miles to the next town and found the storage center, entered the code and drove in. Nervously she used the key, and raised the garage style door. She followed Dale’s instructions and opened the four drawer file cabinet with the key. On top of the envelopes was another note:

“Cindy, like I said, some folks don’t’ need to tell all anyhow. Cash for groceries, gas, clothes, and for goodness sakes girl go get some tires for that car, and get a tune-up. You and the boy make a day of it in the big city, I won’t squeal on you two.”

Dale had been “filing” papers, the spending kind. In the small safe she found gold coins, the Homack security cabinet she inventoried the few guns.

She cried, she shook and then she followed Dale’s instructions, composed herself and left with a plan.


“Mommy, I would rather be shooting than sitting and waiting for the car to get fixed tomorrow”.
“Honey, I know”
“Mom, did Mr. Dale really wanted us to have his books and stuff? Are we ever going to have a house again? ”

“Honey, it is just you and me. Mommy has to take some more classes, but I am going to be able to get a better job at the college. We have to do for ourselves, nobody is going to look out for us, you understand?”
“No, not really, but if you say it will be okay, then it will be okay.”
"Honey, it is going to be okay, you and me make a home- not brick and mortar."


“Cool! That was such a good movie, and that was a really neat place to eat. Wow, I didn’t know they would let you use a car while they fixed one. Can we wash my stuff when we get home; I want to wear that new Batman shirt…”

Jeff was kicking his feet and watching the shoelaces bounce on his new tennis shoes.

“They can’t take something you don’t have”

“What mommy?”

“Nothing honey, mom just talking to herself…say the road sure feels smoother huh?”

"Yeah, and the car doesn’t sound like it is going break down and get us stranded any time soon…"

“Wish some other things were that way honey...”


Copyright 2005 by Phil Carson aka "sm."

Please do not distribute further without written permission from the author.

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1911 guy
June 25, 2005, 02:42 AM
This is what real men do. Make an impact, leave a legacy.

June 25, 2005, 06:14 AM
a great tale. when all's said and done all you can really hope for is for someone to stop , think and say " he was a good man" live accordingly

June 25, 2005, 08:36 AM
They can’t take something you don’t have

There you go. Do we have to preemptively give up everything for which Americans have fought and died for two centuries just so that they can't take it from us?

Larry Ashcraft
June 25, 2005, 09:51 AM

Thank you for another great story.


June 25, 2005, 10:25 AM
Thanks (again) Steve!

BTW, welcome back. I hadn't seen many posts from you lately. ;)

OT, but I thought you'd like to know. The family got me Bristers Shotgunning - the art and science for Fathers day. I'm now the proud owner of a Crossman 760 Pumpmaster with no sights! :D

Old Fuff
June 25, 2005, 12:27 PM
Good writing. You'll do to ride the river with ...

Do some more and then find a good publisher.

June 25, 2005, 12:30 PM
Good title Steve, it was appropriate. Thanks.

June 25, 2005, 10:58 PM
Thanks for kind words.

I whipped that up in short order to metaphorically express my disgust with recent Supreme Court rulings.

Grammaw would have to wash to wash my mouth out with soap if I were to really express myself.

Old Fuff : Ran into our buddy Phil, looked like he had been rode hard and put up wet - grinning, I got a feeling he is up to something. ;)

Rupestris : My friend, you made my day sharing about getting Brister's book and using a BB gun without sights.
Good shooters are made - not born Fred Misseldine

kudu: give them gals a hug for me.

Gonna get back into Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience - Couple of old Favorites of mine.

...you smoke the day's last cigarette
remembering what you said
turn the page - Seger



June 26, 2005, 07:56 AM
Man that is one POWERFUL story!

4v50 Gary
June 26, 2005, 01:59 PM
Neat story Steve. Perhaps you should rewrite my text for me? ;) More phun than peepul blasting udder peepul from behind trees during tymes of wa-oh. :uhoh:

June 26, 2005, 02:51 PM
Thanks Gary.

You don't want to me edit, heck I can't even write English...I just type the way I talk and feel - Southern. You outta see all the red and green squiggle lines I get. Even my office assistance Clippit got tired of asking " you sure tump is a word?" Clippit, jumped off the monitor and went outside to smoke...

Nope folks like you and pax can write.

Me, I just observe life, people and events. I file these away and use my life's experiences and observances to promote a feeling, a perspective, or somesuch in a ...err..."work" ain't the right work.

Conglomeration of red and green squiggles...yeah, that's it.

FWIW I have rec'd numerous folks sharing about loose lizards in washing machines, dryers, and suprising ladies in vehicles..."OMG ...that happened to me..."

"Honey , the lid is off the coffee can in the vehicle...did you let the critters go?"

" No mom, I noticed the lid was off too, I thought you let the critters go..."

For some reason spouses switch cars, folks run out of quarters at vacuum places at do it yourself car places or " Lady we will have to charge if we vacuum a third time..." at the Mr. Tidy.

Seems lizards really like mini- skirts....


June 26, 2005, 03:13 PM
"Honey , the lid is off the coffee can in the vehicle...did you let the critters go?"

" No mom, I noticed the lid was off too, I thought you let the critters go..."

Good grief, do you have another correspondent whose kids let creepy-crawlies loose in the family vehicle??

Heh, we had a two-foot-long garden snake loose upstairs a couple days ago. By all accounts, some kid named "Notme" brought it into the house.


Oh, yes. The original post? Topic of the thread and all that? Very engaging. Dang depressing, but engaging.


The fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of a remarkable Christian forbearance among men. -- Ambrose Bierce

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. -- Mark Twain

June 26, 2005, 03:19 PM
Thanks for sharing that story..........


June 26, 2005, 04:14 PM
Choked up,

It is not often that I get choked up over something I read, but that really hit a nerve.
Good writing and a heart felt story, keep them coming.


June 26, 2005, 06:25 PM

My dear lady, my good friend, whom I have a lot of respect for...

I are a boy! I mean I was born good looking, able to ride shoot and swoon ladies by vary nature of my genes...These genes also include how to drive parents nuts...especially mom's. :D

Okay somebody lied about them genes...only one I got was how to drive folks nuts. One must use what talents they have best can; and strive to hone those talents :D

You know if you send by taxi a deli meat tray to a PETA meeting - you can drive a LOT of mom's nuts at one time.

Save a Lizard - send a deli tray...

somebody call Big and Rich...

June 26, 2005, 06:42 PM

Yes I have a very serious side.

I get sentimental, I get down right angry, I choke up and get teary-eyed when I write some stuff. I have observed many things. I have held the old Vets hand while he died, seen the little kid shoot for the first time, been spat on by protesters standing with my friends returning from 'Nam. Had the front door kicked in before I was a teen and had to use a firearm to defend me and my sibs. Become livid when a single mom was totally treated wrong by politicians trying to get her affairs in order - hubby died in a hell-hole fighting for Freedoms.

I have watched the bulldozer take a families home down - Eminent Domain my butt. Stealing is what is was.

So I do my thing in various ways to express my feelings and convictions.

Not my fault the bull decided to chase the politician of a small town and his cohorts. All I did was forget to close the gate...Felt like one last happy memory needed to be a part of the family homestead.

Thoreau was right ya know...

June 26, 2005, 07:31 PM
That was an AWESOME story! I'll be copying that one and saving it to share with others. Choked me up as well.


June 26, 2005, 08:11 PM
Copyright 2005 by Phil Carson aka "sm."

Please do not distribute further without written permission from the author.

I have some promises to keep you understand. ;)



June 26, 2005, 11:57 PM
Great piece, sir. I shall remember it.

Yep, person not owning much on paper might be the way to go. Pay cash for groceries, gas, clothes and such, just enough to show, but one shouldn’t say too much about themselves anyway.”

I've lived this way for years. Not necessarily because I am trying to deny the government a chance to try to take what is mine, but because I believe in spending on important things. Like my kids. However, I am prepared should the government decide it has a higher right to my property than do I.

All I can do is live with dignity, honor and courage. All I can hope for is to die with dignity, honor and courage. All else in between is a gift given to us by God.


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