Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh Sh**!!!!!

During the Pacific campaign of WWII, an American soldier was trekking through the jungle when he stumbled onto a Japanese soldier. The American soldier said "oh sh**" and began reaching for his pistol, shown in the picture. At the same time, the Japanese soldier said "oh sh**" (in Japanese of course) and drew that katana sword and went after the American who was backing up, but stumbled and fell back. The sword came crashing down on the American's helmet as he pulled the trigger on the revolver, killing the Japanese. Look at that dent on the helmet.

For you Becca....

In Memory of the Men, Women and Children who perished and those who survived - this site is dedicated to you.... William N. Grigg Jr.
In 1937 New London, Texas, in northwest Rusk County, had one of the richest rural school districts in the United States. Community residents in the East Texas oilfields were proud of the beautiful, modern, steel-framed, E-shaped school building. On March 18 students prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet.Fifteen minutes later, the news of the explosion had been relayed over telephone and Western Union lines. Frantic parents at the PTA meeting rushed to the school building. Community residents and roughnecks from the East Texas oilfield came with heavy-duty equipment. Within an hour Governor James Allred had sent the Texas Rangers and highway patrol to aid the victims. Doctors and medical supplies came from Baylor Hospital and Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Dallas and from Nacogdoches, Wichita Falls, and the United States Army Air Corps at Barksdale Field in Shreveport, Louisiana. They were assisted by deputy sheriffs from Overton, Henderson, and Kilgore, by the Boy Scouts, the American Legion, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and volunteers from the Humble Oil Company, Gulf Pipe Line, Sinclair, and the International-Great Northern Railroad.Workers began digging through the rubble looking for victims. Floodlights were set up, and the rescue operation continued through the night as rain fell.Within seventeen hours all victims and debris had been taken from the site. Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler canceled its elaborate dedication ceremonies to take care of the injured. The Texas Funeral Directors sent twenty-five embalmers.Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. Those who died received individual caskets, individual graves, and religious services.

Taken from this site.

The moral of the story being it usually takes tragedies to teach us something that we eventually grow to take for granted.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Gentleman Gunslinger

Robert "Clay" Allison 1840-1887

Called the Gentleman Gunslinger, Clay Allison was born in 1840, in Tennessee. Even at a young age it was known he had some mental problems. He joined the Confederacy during the Civil War, but was let go for mental instability. He rejoined and became a spy and guerrilla where he began building his reputation as an unbalanced killer. A Union soldier unwisely found this out when he showed up on the Allison farm announcing he was taking valuables off the property. Clay voiced his disagreement with gunshot, killing the soldier. Clay then moved to Texas where he found work as a "cowboy" driving cattle herds across the trails. In 1870, in New Mexico, Allison led a lynch mob into a jail and grabbed convicted murderer Charles Kennedy. Kennedy was lynched, then his body mutilated by Allison who then rode through town with his head affixed to a pole. Clay's reputation with the fast draw and dead accurate shot earned him a reputation among the frontier as a fearsome gunfighter. His name alone is said to make people release their bowels then and there. Allison continued building his reputation in gunfights in New Mexico. In 1875, in Colfax County, Cruz Vega was in jail for murder (supposedly someone who Allison liked) when Allison and a lynch mob stormed the jail and dragged him to a telephone pole where he was strung up, protesting his innocence. While he was dangling, Allison felt pity and shot him in the back to end his misery. A month later, Vega's son, and two other men met Allison in Cimmaron and invited him in the bar. Sensing a trap, the lights went out. When they came on, gunman Francisco Pancho Griego (who was with Allison) was lay dead and Allison gone. In 1876, Allison shot and killed deputy sheriff Charles Faber as he shot at his brother with a shotgun. Allison is said to have had an encounter with the legendary Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, Kansas. Some say the encounter never happened, others say Wyatt and his friend, Bat Masterson fled in terror (which I don't believe). Stuart Lake details the encounter in his book Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall.
Wyatt had angered many a cowboy and their supporters with his zero tolerance policy regarding carrying guns in the city limits. Many Texan cowboys found themselves pistol whipped and in jail when they challenged the law. A high ranking politician, Bob White, tried to interfere when Wyatt arrested a wealthy cowboy and found himself in jail. Enraged, White sought to get rid of Earp by sending for Clay Allison, who came into Dodge. Earp and Clay met outside a saloon when Clay tried drawing his pistol and found Earp's in his side. Allison then backed off, and as he did, revealed White's plot to have Earp killed.
Allison moved back to Texas where he married and had two children. On July 1, 1887, outside Pecos, TX, he was driving a wagon with supplies, very drunk. He fell off the wagon and the wagon wheel crushed his head. He was buried in Pecos (as seen above). He is quoted as saying he never "killed a man who didn't need it."