Meaning the mountain man of the old movie, not the running back for the Houston Texans. That’s how our OCS class president-for-life, Claude Cooper, is feeling after several days without power at his rural home in the North Carolina mountains. First the blizzard buried them, then an ice storm blew in and down came the power lines.
He’s emailing our happy group via his Blackberry on an unknown somebody’s stray wireless signal and recharging periodically at a child’s home a few miles away where power has been restored. Fortunately, he has a fireplace and plenty of wood. And a gas grill to cook and boil water on. It not being the height of summer, even the refrigerated foodstuffs may be able to hold out a while longer.
UPDATE: After 3.5 days, the power was restored, and Claude is kicking himself, once again, for failing to follow-through on his old plan to invest in an emergency propane generator. Still happy, however, to live out in the quiet boonies with the deers and the bears.
Don’t recall where I got this, but it’s in honor of David Nelson, an old OCS classmate in MA, who awoke this morning to thirty-four degrees and heavy snow. As he says: "Good infantry weather!"
When all you’ve got on Mars is a six-wheeled rover, and no prospects of getting a person there in the next generation or two, there’s no end of ingenuity you won’t come up with to get the blessed thing out of the sandtrap it’s driven into. Especially when you have no certain idea of what the sand is actually like.
Fellow OC-504-68 candidate and graduate Russell Wheat of Canyon Lake was, and is, our resident funnyman. His last market report:
"…helium was up, feathers were down, paper was stationary, elevators rose, escalators continued their slow decline, Coca Cola fizzled, toilet paper reached a new bottom, diapers remained unchanged."
Got an email the other day, at Scribbler AT Texasscribbler dot com, from an Infantry OCS grad from another class and a year earlier than mine. He was trying to track down his old classmates and unsure how to go about it. I hunted a little and found that the alumni association has a new site, which should help him and anyone else with the same aim.
Like a lot of people, I was smitten by Texan Renee Zellweger the first time I saw her. (And by one of the Zellweger look-alike moms I subsequently saw at one of Mr. B.’s first little league games.) But I knew the Hollyweird Renee was a few tortillas shy of an enchillada even before she married (and quickly divorced) that Hat Act Chesney–I wonder, did he take that stupid-looking black straw hat off in bed? Probably not.
So I was prepared for Renee’s latest big snoozer: her crush on that worm of a one-term ex-president Jimmy Carter. But, for me, the real news comes from Ace of Spades: the poor creature has turned over her bank account to Scientology. She’s another believer in Xenu’s imprisonment of sinful souls in volcanoes–one of the least toxic idiocies of the fraud. Don’t tell Jimmy, Renee. Southern Baptists (as you should know, having grown up in their midst) ain’t fond of that malarky. But me? Well, I’ve already got two former Infantry OCS buds who believe in UFOs, though only one of them asserts that the UFOs are actually running everything. So good luck, Renee. You’re going to need it.
When Dr. King was murdered, forty years ago today, a pall of shock fell over our almost-entirely white class at Infantry Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. His goal of changing hearts and minds certainly had affected all of ours. If anyone was racist enough to be glad–and many of us were Southerners–they hid it well. They knew they would find no approbation. We knew that a giant had passed. We didn’t guess there would be only midgets to follow.
MORE: The detail nobody remembers: Dr. King was a Republican. Or that a Republican won passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act that banned segregation in stores and other "public accomodations."