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Sunday, September 14, 2008

THE WEAKEST LINK


Bill Allen and Jason Bruce

Jason's Yamaha Rhino

View From Atop Grizzly Ridge

View From Grizzly Ridge

James and Samantha Wheeler

Sambo

Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:

Due to an emergency, I had to suddenly leave the comfort of my room here at the Ol' Soldiers' Home, and drive to a friend's ranch in Jensen, Utah.

While there, I went camping with them up on Grizzly Ridge, a mountain up above Vernal, Utah, near Flaming Gorge Dam.

Here are videos and photographs of Jason Bruce (a direct descendant of the famous Scottish king, Robert The Bruce!) and Bill Allen on top of Grizzly Ridge, when they were giving me a ride in Jason's Yamaha Rhino.
NOTE: If you click on the photographs, you'll see them in a much larger format.

Their camp was repeatedly trashed by a marauding bear which smelled their food.

Back down at the ranch, everyone was amused by my encounter with Jason's five year old daughter, Kylah.

All the gals told me Kylah had figured out that I was "The Weakest Link", because every time they came to the house, she would quickly latch onto me, hauling me around and getting me to listen to her every word.
But, Stan Wheeler said he thought I was merely "the missing link"!

Attached to this message are videos of her (and the rest of the family) at the Uintah County Fair.
Kylah attended the University of Cute, where she majored in Cutie Pie, and earned her graduate degree in Cuteness.

She gaily danced on the front lawn as I strummed my guitar and sang, "I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THE RAILROAD".

She repeatedly demanded I sing "THIS OLD MAN (THE PADDYWHACK SONG)".

She would regularly take my hand and drag me down to the garden, where she'd make up stories, acting them out, and ordering me to yell, "Action!" and "Cut!".

She will soon have a baby brother, and so I asked her what little girls are made of, and what little boys are made of.

I thought I had taught her that "little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice" and that "little boys are made of snails and nails and puppy dog tails".

Several days later, as we sat out in front of the house, I again asked her what little girls are made of.

She replied that little girls are made of love and passion!

One time, when she was angry about something, she told me she was "having a mood".

When her mother took her to be tested for Kindergarten, the teacher asked Kylah, "If you have two apples, and Joe has three apples, how many apples is that?"

Kylah replied with, "Who's Joe?"
The teacher was unable to continue the test!

Another time, Kylah was leading me on a long walk around the property, venturing near some excavation work.

I asked her where it was we were walking to.

Kylah replied that we were going to the depths of despair.
As a storm was brewing, Kylah stated that she disliked the wind.
So, to try and make her feel better, I was going to play my guitar and sing, "THEY CALL THE WIND MARIAH".
But, Kylah had found a large rubber ball on the lawn near the gazebo, and as she played with the ball, she insisted I compose a new song, using the words she gave me.
So, I strummed chords on my guitar and sang, "Volleyball, volleyball, with a little kid playing".
Other verses she made up were, "Volleyball, volleyball,hide and seek" and "Volleyball, volleyball, jumping up".
I do hope that little young'un gets some really good teachers as she's growing up.
I suspect she's going to turn out to be some sort of creative genius.
The owners of the property, and my hosts, Stan and Sheila Wheeler, went on a vacation to California, along with the kids and grandkids.

During their absence, I remained behind, guarding the property and caring for Sambo, their black Labrador Retriever.

Sammy was one totally useless dog, as he was terrified of everything, and was completely bereft of any normal canine protective instincts.

When it was time to bay at the moon, I had to do it, because the dog refused to.

Still, he was fun to have around, although I don't quite know why.

A photograph of Sambo is included with this message.

I never could pet the kitty cats, because they wouldn't come close enough.

Hordes of hummingbirds frantically swarmed about the porch, sucking sugar water from the feeders, as wasps and ants competed with them.

While I was guarding the property, James and Samantha Wheeler came down to pick up a horse trailer and some hay.

James is a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, and Samantha was also a Marine.

They met when both were serving in Iraq, where James was badly wounded during his third tour of duty.

In the photograph, you can see his right hand in a cast, where he had just been operated on only a few days before, one of the war wounds he incurred.
As the resident in-house security, I wore my Ruger "Security Six" .357 Magnum revolver, maintained a detailed log, and took photographs throughout the property, in case any of any loss or damage.
Each dawn, I would post the National Colors, and each evening, I would lower the flag, and fold it properly into the traditional tricorner shape.
I had considerable difficulty performing my security duties because of being continuously plagued by severe allergy symptoms, and taking my prescribed medication would leave me incapacitated by intoxication.
The allergy symptoms originally began many years ago when I was a young soldier serving with the Phu Lam Signal Battalion in Viet Nam, progressively worsening since then, and doctors still can't figure out what the problem is.
Stan, his daughters, granddaughters, and I went to the Uintah High School junior varsity football game to watch his grandson, Emery Merkley, who wore jersey number forty-two.
They were playing against Carbon High School from Price, Utah, and Uintah High School easily won the game.
Stan and I attended the Annual Veterans' Picnic in the Jensen City Park, where I was privileged to sing "THE LAST FAREWELL" and "BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS".
One of the Wheeler daughters, Lauri Hacking, had just had surgery, and was having a rough time recuperating.
So, at least a couple of times, I went and fetched milkshakes for her, myself, and everybody else.
I figure cold creamy milkshakes are really soothing when you're in a lot of pain.
I always liked bragging about the Wheeler daughters to other guys, because every one of those girls was a gorgeous voluptuous blonde, every one of those girls owns a Chinese SKS rifle, and every one of those girls is a crack shot!
Unfortunately, for us guys, all of the Wheeler gals are happily married.

When it was eventually time for me to leave, I had a nice drive up over the mountains and across Wyoming, learning more and more about the various features of my full-sized four wheel drive pickup truck.

It's a white 2004 Ford F-150 XLT, with a matching white camper shell, and for a long trip, it's sure a comfortable and convenient ride.

I'm pleased to find that my V-8 engine, with cruise control, will average around twenty miles per gallon of gasoline, and at one point, I even got twenty-five miles to the gallon.

As I drove about, the Confederate Battle Flag proudly flew from atop the passenger window of my truck.

A lot of folks stared, but one gal at a gas station said she loved seeing that flag.
When Samantha Wheeler asked why I had a Rebel flag on my pickup truck, I told her it was mainly because it was so unpopular.
Also, I have an ancestor, Corporal Jonathan Trueblood, who served under that flag in the North Carolina Seventh Regiment, Confederate Senior Reserves, and was listed among the soldiers present when General Joseph Johnston surrendered.

I briefly visited a sister in Omaha, caught up on some much needed sleep, and learned I'm about to become a great great uncle.
Gosh, gee whillikers, I didn't know I was old enough to be a great great uncle!

Then, I drove back to Washington, D.C., and it rained throughout the entire trip.

I was glad my pickup truck had fog lights to enhance my vision.
Also, it sure is nice to listen to music on my compact disc player, since radio reception is so sporadic when traveling through the West.
I especially enjoy listening to my collection of theme music from Western movies as I drive among the scenic Western vistas.
When I need a nap, the driver's seat fully reclines.

I was surprised at the amount of traffic on the roads, for even in Wyoming and Nebraska, the highways were filled with vehicles.

I love driving, but I'm getting older.

Now, when I drive, I find I must frequently stop, get out, walk around, and run to the latrine.

When I step out of the cab of my truck, I find I'm like a drunken man, staggering about, as I strive to regain use of my legs and stand erect.

Arthritis is seizing my fingers, making it more painful to grip the steering wheel.

So, now I'm safely back in my room here at the Ol' Soldiers' Home, full of Domino's Pizza and Pepsi-Cola, relaxing in my rocker recliner as I watch movies in high definition on my wide screen television and listen to emergency response calls from the AFRH Security Office on my two-way amateur radio.

I'm quite exhausted, but I did have fun!

Thank you.

Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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