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Good heart


As most of us who keep up with current events know, the middle of the country, especially cattle country, has been hit several times already this winter with huge snow storms.  Some are even calling these storms “Weather Events of Biblical Proportions” – with a historic blizzard of up to 44″ inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10’s of thousands.

To me, it is very similar to what happened along the Gulf Coast with Katrina. The difference is how the people living there have responded. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

Someone sent the following to me in an email. I don’t know who wrote it so I can’t give credit to them – I wish I could. It puts things in prospective.

George Bush did not come. FEMA did nothing. No one howled for the government. No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV. Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit. Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else. Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit – or report on this category 5 snowstorm.  Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards. No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House. No one looted. Nobody – I mean Nobody demanded the government do something. Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Shepard Smith, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews. No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water. Sent out caravans of SUV’s to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars. The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn’t ask for a penny. Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families. Families took in the stranded people – total strangers.

Even though a Category “5” blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

Maybe SOME people will get the message.  The world does Not owe you a living.

Whoever wrote this has it right. Life ain’t brain surgery. You do whatever you have to do. You prepare. You react. You do the right thing. But you damn sure shouldn’t wait around for someone to do for you. Thank God this country ain’t made up by a majority of folks like we saw on TV during Katrina.

Richard

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The following compilation of stories is based on true happenings. Some of the events may be slightly exaggerated but for the most part they really happened. The names may be changed to protect the innocent. Now there are a few stories from grammar school and high school that personify bubba but the true measure of a modern bubba is found in his college days. Ah college, the heady days when one learns that his bed need not be made up every day and that drinking beer any night of the week is accepted.  Going to class is an option and generally becoming involved in foolish and sometimes dangerous acts is commonplace.  The most memorable bubba I have ever know was an acquaintance of  mine during high school and once in college we were able to forge a friendship that has lasted for 4 decades.  (If I forgot to mention it Bubbas are loyal also.)  For the sake of saving a marriage and preserving some dignity I will refer to this individual as Jerome.    

Jerome and I managed to squeak by our freshman year in college with minor bouts of debauchery and alcohol abuse. Little did we realize we were in training for our sophomore and junior year?   One must keep in mind that the Vietnam War was in full swing and the military draft was alive and well.  For example in April of 1968 the total number of individuals drafted was 50,000.  The United States Marines were even taking draftees in 1968.  This was the largest draft since 1943-44.  The draft is important because the only way most of us stayed away from the draft was to make decent grades in college or as an alternative, get married and have a baby.  We were so young and stupid we envisioned the marrying and baby idea as worse than going to Vietnam.  A key comment in the prior sentence is the “decent grade” comment.  Now this seems like a fairly simple task.  All one must do is go to class and study enough to keep their young ass in school.  If this feat was accomplished then no worries concerning being shot at by some 5 foot oriental who was protecting his homeland. Fail to keep up your grades and it was “GOOoooood Mornin VietNam.”  We somehow managed to make it until spring quarter of our sophomore year before the reality of the real world set in.  (More on this later.)   

Fall quarter of our sophomore year.  Man what a great time.  I had a grade point average of about 1.7, my roommate had about the same and Jerome and the rest of our crowd had all achieved the sought after status of being drunk and stupid, but well liked by the student body, the local bartenders and some of our professors.  This distinction was not lost on my mother who often lamented that she hoped I saw her tears in the bottom of every beer that I drank. ( No, she is not Jewish but would have made a great Jewish mom.)   The art of assigning guilt was finely honed in our family and since I am an only child I managed to be on the receiving end more than the giving end.  After receiving my 1A status (eligible for the draft) she once told me that if I did not straighten up that I would go to Vietnam and end up coming home in a box.  Instead of feeling guilty I was now determined to prove her wrong.   Several circumstances during my sophomore year helped set the stage for my remaining college career.  One of these circumstances involved drinking beer at a local slop shoot, (a redneck bar).  Four of us, including Jerome, had ventured to an establishment we had named The Star.  The Star got its name from a beat up old fluorescent sign that was shaped like a Star.  This fine establishment would serve alcohol to anyone tall enough to reach the top of the counter and lay down some money.  The legal age in Georgia at the time was 21 and we were all between 18 and 19 with ID’s from various colleges that said we were 21, not that anyone at The Star every asked us for and ID.  Anyway after a few rounds of beers, the door to the bar opened up and one of our buddies said  “ohhh Sheeeit!  A neighbor from his home town over 220 miles away had dropped in for a cool one.  Upon seeing Mac, the neighbor came over and spoke to all of us and asked if we were having a good time prior to sitting down with his group.  Once the neighbor left our table Mac said, “Son of a Bitch.” And it was at that point that we knew were in deep kimchi.  As it turned out the neighbor was a state revenue agent and a great friend of Mac’s family.  During the dark ages of 1967 you could get into real trouble by drinking under aged and returning to the college campus drunk.   

A couple of more pitchers of the local draft beer took our minds off of the potential trouble we faced and once the locals arrived and cranked up the juke box we were all lost in the frivolity of the moment.  Hell, once we quaffed several beers we all were too tan, too tall, too smart and too good lookin.  We could do no wrong.  Then we screwed up big time.  We returned to campus to find the dean of men and his assistant waiting at the dorm steps for us.  When asked by the Dean if any of us were drunk Jerome spoke up, or rather the alcohol spoke and said “hell yes I am drunk and so are the rest of us.”  We did not receive double secret probation but social probation was tacked upon our records and believe it or not we were put on a curfew and relocated next to the dorm mother.  Our dorm mother was a closet wino and this turned out to be a great move.  More on that subject will appear in the next chapter. Life ain’t brain surgery but is sometimes more complicated. 

Bubba Terry


Most of us hate to admit it but we all have a little “bubba” in us. By some definitions a bubba has qualities held to be characteristic of certain Southern white males, such as a relaxed or informal manner, strong loyalty to family and friends, and often an anti-intellectual bias and intolerant point of view. I am here to tell you that the anti intellectual bias is totally off base. For example I have friends who are PhD’s, physicians, business owners and attorneys who are bubbas. They are definitely loyal, they love Jesus (except those of the Jewish persuasion) and they are patriotic to the core. They are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents sharing a love of God and country and not afraid to state their thoughts in the field of public opinion. They (we) are often overshadowed by political correctness but true bubbas do not shy away from controversy or their beliefs.

Many of the bubbas I have known are truly characters and could fill many pages of manuscripts with their foolishness and their acts of kindness and their willingness to help those in need regardless of race or creed. Read on for a story of one bubba with a heart of gold.

Our story begins with one couple among a group of friends experiencing the birth of their first grandchild. This birth was the first grandchild in a group of 8 couples (most males in the group would identify with the term bubba) and was widely celebrated. What makes this event unique is the fact that the grandchild was born with Down Syndrome. This was not known prior to the birth and not expected by anyone. The group immediately took on the role of a support mechanism. Not expressing sorrow but celebrating the life of the child and performing numerous acts of kindness and love for the child, the new parents and grandparents. This support continues 7 years after the birth of the child and the child refers to all of these individuals as aunts and uncles. A bond never to be broken!

What does this have to do with being a bubba? Here is one example.

One bubba and his family were on vacation a few years after the aforementioned child was born. They were eating seafood in a coastal Florida restaurant when a couple was seated next to them. The couple had a child with Down Syndrome. Bubba remembering his friends decided to perform an act of kindness anonymously. He called the waitress over and gave her $100 bill and told her to use this to pay for the meal of the family who had been seated next to his table. He spoke to the family on the way out and mentioned that he had friends in a similar situation but never mentioned paying the bill. This is the same person who would go out of his way to assist anyone at any time and more stories will follow of his exploits.

I only wish more of us could be bubbas!

Bubba Terry