Water Tower Mystery Partly Explained

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM.

 Al Gore and I both claim to be from Tennessee. I don’t know if that makes us “kindred spirits” or not. But he certainly cleared some things up and put my whole life in perspective with his comments this past week. Perhaps you saw him on national TV explaining that his candidate of choice was hampered in the presidential debate by the change to a higher altitude. It seems that high elevation can lead to breathing problems, slowing the flow of blood to the brain which can cause some halting thought patterns that naturally keeps you from presenting your “best game”.

 Well, there you go!

 We were up on the second floor of the old elementary school when I challenged Gene Fuller to a wrestling match. Gene didn’t even bother to move the chairs back a little. He stomped me right through the oak floor! It is still listed in the annals of the school as the shortest fight ever recorded in the building. Buddy pointed out to me at recess that Gene was two years older and twice as big as I was and what, pray tell, could I have possibly been thinking? I realize today, of course, I would have never issued the challenge had we been down on the oxygen filled first floor.

 It was about that same time of my life I grabbed a couple of black walnuts off the ground, stuffed them in my pocket and climbed that giant walnut tree in Miss Boaz’s back yard. I shinnied way up toward the top and waited for some unsuspecting soul to wander along underneath. The innocent traveler turned out to be my older brother. I missed with my first shot, but the second one caught him on the right ear. I noticed two things immediately. The blow got his attention sure enough, but it didn’t knock him out. AND I was a sitting duck up here in this tree! To make matters worse, I couldn’t blame this one on anyone else and, as it was way down in the fall, most all the walnuts had dropped from the tree. 

 Leon had enough “ammunition” lying around to ward of a Hun attack. He found the range with about his third throw, and let me tell you, he commenced to lay down a bombardment that would have made Robert E. Lee proud! He pounded me until the sun went down. I couldn’t dodge and hold on at the same time. He hit me on every part of my body. He was throwing so fast and furiously that he didn’t hear my surrender pleas! When I crawled to the house for supper I looked like I’d been playing bumper tag with a Mack truck.

 Today, with the help of Al Gore, I realize that I wasn’t as stupid as I have thought all these years. I merely made a bad decision based on the lack of oxygen to the brain. If I had been on ground level, eye ball to eye ball with Leon, I would have never thought to attack him from an unprotected and un-defendable position!

 We were on the third floor of the high school when Miss Polly Rucker asked me what I knew about William Shakespeare. It was the first day in her English class and I didn’t want to show my ignorance too early. “Well, Ma’am,” I figured with a name like Bill there must be a lot of them, “he can field his position, slide on either side, but he can’t hit a curve ball worth a hoot. He lives way out past the Cunningham’s on the Como Road.”

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