Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hail, Hail...or Book Em...or Something

Sometimes...things fall from the heavens. I guess we could say snow and rain for sure. Maybe hail. I think God throws hail when he's mad at us. Not really.

This time I'm throwing things...not from heaven...at least not yet. Someday. Not today.

I'm having a contest of sorts that will result in something in the future, but not in the present, and comes from the past. Makes no sense whatsoever until tomorrow...not as in Valentine's day, but philosophical tomorrow.

I am giving away a box of goodies including one autographed Women Warriors (by me on my page) for the winner of this giveaway contest non-sweepstakes thingy.

All you have to do is pick out your favorite Momma Fargo story and tell me why it's your favorite. You will be entered and picked randomly on March 21, the first day of Spring.

That gives you plenty of time. I am going to put all the past stories back up so you can choose. Please provide title, date it was written, and why it's your favorite.

It doesn't end with a box of goodies. That's only the beginning. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, enter away!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

High Flight

Pilot Paul "Hulk" Marschalk & CoPilot Leon "Crazy" Poteet from Franklin Poole on Vimeo.

I was lost and confused when my father died. You don't expect to lose a parent when you are young. I was also a student in college and soon had no place to call home or go to on breaks when the ranch was sold. The rug was pulled right out from underneath me.

Dad had one brother, Paul, who lived in California.

I always loved when Dad told the story about him and Uncle Paul sneaking into the state capitol in Pierre, SD, where they went to the top while Congress was in session and unscrewed light bulbs and dropped them on the Senators. It made the paper.

I'm sure my dad was the instigator and Paul just followed his big brother. It still makes me giggle. I can't imagine how pissed Grandpa was, but dad and I laughed about it. Knowing Uncle Paul, he was telling my dad how wrong of an idea it was all the way up to the top and the whole time until they were captured. Grandma once showed me the newspaper clipping and giggled. Back then...I'm sure she was appalled.

I never asked Uncle Paul his version.

One thing the Marschalk boys had in common, was their sense of humor...spot on.

My Uncle Paul soon stepped in to fill a void after dad passed away. He called often to check up on me, sent me cards, flowers at school. He didn't know, but dad always sent me big Valentine's gifts and flowers. Uncle Paul did the same for me without knowing the past gestures by my dad.

I still have a black stuffed bear he sent shortly after the funeral with a note stating it wasn't enough, but maybe it would comfort me as he knew I had always been fond of animals and stuffed animals. It sits in my bedroom. In fact, I still have a 45 year old musical stuffed Koala bear which still plays that he gave me as a baby.

I was lucky enough to have my dad attend my high school graduation. My brother was not.

When my Uncle Paul walked into the high school on the day of my brother's graduation, all eyes were following him. Several people said it was like a ghost walked in the room and they couldn't believe how much my Uncle Paul looked like my dad. What I realized is he was special and thoughtful and it meant more to me than my brother perhaps that he attended his graduation.

Uncle Paul was one of the most kind and gentle souls on this Earth. He passed away January 31 and had been battling Alzheimer's.

One of my fondest memories of Uncle Paul was on his first visit to our ranch in Wyoming. This was in the 70s when I was young. I don’t remember the exact year, but I remember the time was summer and I was excited to see my family from California.
My dad took us all on a camping and fishing trip to the Big Sandy area which was one of the best brook trout fishing areas and is still a majestic place in the high mountains near where we lived in the Wind River Mountain range.
Uncle Paul stuck with me, perhaps because I was the “patient one” and also he and I were worm fishing whereas my dad was fly fishing. Dad was quite “dangerous” with the fly fishing and often whipped the line all over the place, thus making “arms length” extend for quite a few feet. My brother and I were not fond of getting hooked by dad, and usually laughed when he snagged himself. Although dangerous, he was quite the expertise fisherman, so we all liked to challenge him to the biggest fish or the most fish caught of the day.

Uncle Paul was always full of smiles and giggled often. The best way to describe him is he is sunshine.  It was his giggle that I loved to see and you couldn’t help but smile or laugh with him as he lit up a room with his cheerfulness.

Anyway, back to the fishing story…which later turns into a tractor story.

Paul and I fished on the banks while Beth tagged along. She wasn’t much interested in fishing or putting a worm on a hook, but had a lot of questions. As you must know, fishermen go to the mountains for the solitude and silence, so chatter is frowned upon.  Paul giggled as I told her we had to be quiet as to not scare the fish away. My cousin Beth is full of chatter, so to “shush” her was like putting a lid on an exploding soda bottle.

Soon, I was catching fish and Paul and Beth were having a great time fighting the brookies.  I remembered Beth screamed when the fish came out of the water and touched her as it swung on the line. Once they caught them and reeled them in, they sheepishly asked me to take the fish off their hook and put them on their stringer. I carried on with my fishing until Uncle Paul nicely asked me if I could bait their hooks because he had done it the first time and it was “gross.” I actually think he said that just to make me feel important.

Of course, I complied, but I went back to “my spot” which was just a few feet away and laughed. I caught Uncle Paul looking over at me and he giggled.  I was the tough farm girl and proud of being able to touch “gross things.”

No matter how I tried to show them how to bait the hook, they did not want to touch those dirty worms. If that wasn’t all, when it came time to clean the fish, Uncle Paul watched me with curiosity and stuck his tongue out at me and giggled as I ripped the guts out after cutting their bellies open.  I think he found it fascinating and new, but I’m not so sure it was his favorite thing. He still giggled. When he told dad the story, dad just laughed and shook his head. We fried the fish up for dinner, but I can’t remember if Uncle Paul liked them or not. 

Later during their visit, dad introduced Uncle Paul to his International tractor. I think this is the time Paul was in his element because it was a “machine”.  He was like a kid in a candy store. For awhile,  I road with him while he drove and grinned, grinned and drove, and smiled big all the way. It wasn’t like flying the big planes as Paul was used to, but a different kind of mechanical operation which pleased him.

It was a scary ride with Uncle Paul at first because he liked to go fast, but not too long into practice, he was a professional tractor driver if you didn’t mind a little whip lash. My dad’s words of “drive with finesse” were told with great professionalism as I coached Uncle Paul. He just said, “Yes, mam,” and giggled.  We accelerated into the field with a jerk and he giggled again. He eventually graduated the tractor driving program and anytime the tractor was needed, he was the man for the job. ..and he always did it with a giggle.

Uncle Paul’s giggle is something that I can see and hear even when he isn’t around.

Uncle Paul was special not only as a great man, but a great patriot. He fought in Vietnam and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. His stories of war fascinated me and I soaked up every word. He wrote a book about his Vietnam adventures that I hope someday is published. He had quite the phenomenal journey during the war. I was so proud of him but I don't know if I told him enough. 

He continued flying as an airline pilot and was a pilot for US Airways.  Later he became an instructor and passed down his knowledge and skills to students.

I don't think he had one enemy. He was liked by all.

The best of his accomplishments was his love for his family and friends. He gave so much of himself to all those around him.

Thank you, Uncle Paul, for being you. It was a great honor to be your niece. 

You added a ray of sunshine to anyone’s day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Top Blogs

Imagine my surprise when I opened my email today!

I had been selected as a blog in the Top 25 Police and Detective Blogs of 2012 from  TopCriminalJusticeDegrees.org! They featured a post from my last day of work in 2012...Double Negative. A little brassy tale of my gangsta encounter!

You can view the list here...where Fargo is honored among many great authors!

Thank you so much, TopCriminalJusticeDegrees.org!