“There was a unique musty smell to the place. Water would bubble up through areas of asphalt after a hard rain.”

Location of former Anchorage DMV at 2150 E. Dowling Road

I worked for the State of Alaska – Department of Motor Vehicles – for a short period of time. This was in their Anchorage office at 2150 E. Dowling Road. Before this building was ever constructed, my brother and I rode our Rupp snowmachine across the frozen property after school. It was basically a wetlands. Moose frequented the area during winter months, including giant, blood-sucking mosquitoes in summer.

Sometime in the late 1970’s, dump trucks started hauling out loads of damp peat from the bog, bringing in load after load of gravel. This was to ensure stability for a new building and parking lot. During my short tenure as a warehouseman there (1982 – 1983), I was educated by my own personal observation, and via discussion with other DMV employees, on the undue stress placed upon workers by the general public. It wasn’t unusual for a downtrodden clerk to enter our warehouse in tears. The room was a place of sanctity for some workers.

Because of such, I came away with a high degree of respect for DMV employees working behind the counter, and those in hidden offices. To this day whenever I have business dealings with either, I make sure to wear a smile. Most likely the person just leaving them wore a frown.

I recall one incident where a customer was screaming so loud at employees, that Jack Bradford and I were summoned to assist. Eventually A.P.D. showed up and hauled the angry man away. Inebriates walking in the front door and being led out the back in handcuffs wasn’t unusual.

A motorcycle test area was set up out back of our little warehouse, directly on the south edge of the asphalt. I watched one day as a guy on a big Harley, attempted to maneuver around several orange cones. He suddenly fell over with the bike landing on him. Jack and I ran over and helped lift the motorcycle off the man. Before long an ambulance arrived and hauled him to the hospital.

On another occasion, a girl taking her test drove right off the parking lot into some scraggly spruce trees. She was okay, but her large Honda bike was mired deep in the bog. Jack and I assisted in dragging it out of there. I learned from watching all this, that it was best to take your cycle test on the smallest bike possible.

Don was a driving test employee. I remember him well, because he rode along with me when I got my driver’s license on July 22, 1970. That date being so special to me because July 22 is my best friend’s birthday, including my daughter.

This particular test took place when the office was downtown, I believe on 5th Avenue. There were no parking spaces available close by, and a new driver was expected to parallel park while traffic was present. I passed with flying colors, but a couple of hours later ran a stop sign in Mt. View almost hitting a patrol car. That was no fault of Don’s.

Don, along with others doing the same job, told outrageous stories about being in vehicles with people incapable of ever driving. I suppose I fit that bill. These brave workers were basically placing their lives in stranger’s hands. Accidents during test sessions did happen.

One bizarre incident I recall involved a very popular employee. Everyone liked the guy. One day I came to work and was told he’d been arrested for embezzlement. The fellow’s wife worked in the Kenai DMV office and she was taken away as well. This story made all the Alaska newspapers. I was never privy to particulars on what actually happened, but I assume money was pilfered.

Some of the names I recall are Phyllis the office manager, Jack Bradford my boss, Don, Betty, Tom, Susan, Jo, Bob, Joanne, Margaret, Linda, and Brownie to name a few. I assume Brownie was a nick name? He was retiring just as I came onboard.

My job was quite simple. I delivered license plates, blank titles and registrations to our front counter, the Palmer office, and DMV headquarters on Tudor Road. I don’t recall a day where stress ever entered my work truck. It worked well for me because I was taking evening classes at U.A.A at this time.

The jaunts to Palmer were one of my favorite tasks. I looked forward to being called out on a 100-mile roundtrip delivery. A lady named Di was the Palmer DMV office manager. On occasion I got to mail sample license plates to people throughout the world. The plates were provided free of charge back then to anyone asking for one.

I took it upon myself one afternoon to wax our delivery truck. The forest green paint came alive after that. I doubt any other State of Alaska vehicle has ever been waxed since.

I was told the former DMV building at 2150 E. Dowling Road was built over a creek. I believe that because we often had water problems. There was a unique musty smell to the place. Water would bubble up through areas of asphalt after a hard rain. There was a corner of the warehouse where it trickled up through cracks in concrete. I left my warehouse job before Anchorage DMV moved to a new location off Spenard Road and Benson. A fellow named Barry took my slot.

If I have any legacy at all from working there, and I doubt I do, it’d be my destroying the DMV Director’s office sign by accident. One day I came in with a large box and knocked it off the wall. A loud snap echoed down the hall. I think for the most part I did a good job for this agency.

With a background in automotive technology and parts procurement, I transferred to the Department of Transportation – State Equipment Fleet in August of 1983. . I still saw Jack Bradford on occasion, when he brought the delivery truck by our shop for fuel and maintenance. By then the Ford pickup was needing another coat of Simonize.

These days in Arizona, I hear and read of folks complaining about horrific visits to a DMV office in all states. Generally speaking, the complaints deal with wait time. DMV in Alaska works with far less budgetary money than ever before. I’d venture to say that if many of these complainers walked in a motor vehicle employee’s shoes for a day, they’d have a bit more sympathy and compassion along with less gripe. It can be a brutal job at times.

I’ll always be indebted to them. Nothing but good memories while I worked there!


“My friend Jeff says that L.S.M.F.T stands for: Lucky Strike’s Make Funeral’s Thrive.”

They’re toasted for whatever that’s worth?

I’m thankful I never smoked. Being from the baby boomer generation, I worked around many people that did. Like others from my era, I’m a prime candidate for lung cancer. Secondhand smoke is a proven killer.

As a child I noticed cigarette commercials much the same as I did cereal advertisements. Some of them were quite entertaining and clever.

Benson & Hedges generally had pictures of men and women smoking their cigarettes with a broken or bent end. That’s because they wanted to tout the length of their product. I quickly assumed people smoking this brand were either blind or clumsy idiots.

Of course Virginia Slims attempted to make sexy a part of their ads. Beautiful young models puffing away I suppose was to lure in the female smoker. It worked just the opposite at times. A former co-worker smoked Virginia Slims. Something had evidently short-circuited upstairs. I often wondered what he wore under his shop coveralls.

Lucky Strike brand was popular going way back. Many of dad’s friends smoked them. Lucky Strike had a nifty little motto that was easy to remember: L.S.M.F.T. The abbreviation stands for: “Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.” My friend Jeff has a whole different twist on the letters. He says L.S.M.F.T means: “Lucky Strike’s Make Funeral’s Thrive.”

Camel cigarettes claimed their customers would walk a mile for a pack of smokes. One ad shows a man with holes worn in his sneakers evidently from making the hike several times. Even in my teenage years, my immediate thought was perhaps the guy should stop buying cigarettes, and purchase a new pair of shoes.

Winston has been around for ages. My grandfather smoked them. Their theme was quite simple, “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should!” How bizarre! I could never conjure up the thought of cigarettes tasting good. Pizza tastes good including M&M’s and cherry licorice. It’s not like people having a pack of Winston’s in jacket pocket or purse would eat the things. Would they?

Tareyton. Their claim to fame was, “I’d rather fight than switch!” Colorful ads show male and female tobacco-addicts having blackened eyes. Evidently, someone needed to teach those poor smokers how to duck a punch.

Pall Mall is another popular brand. One of their advertisements shows a man lighting up a Pall Mall on the job. Evidently he’s finished for the day, because the blue collar worker has a tweed jacket over his shoulder. Most likely somewhere down the road, instead of needing a Pall Mall, he required a pallbearer.

Of course we all know about Marlboro and The Marlboro Man. These guys kept dying off so fast that Philip Morris Tobacco Company couldn’t keep an ample supply of actors. I wonder if The Marlboro Men got hazard pay?

“Come on up to Marlboro country!” was their infamous slogan. I never did figure out exactly where that was, other than perhaps they’re referring to Heaven. Something tells me there’ll be no smoking allowed up there.

Being a big fan of Hot Rod magazine, Viceroy advertised bunches in that periodical. One full-page ad pictures a handsome racecar driver in race attire, standing next to his sleek racecar. Striking a pose with lit cigarette held in gloved hand, two female admirers watch Mr. Macho from afar. I’m sure they were both thinking, “If only he didn’t smoke!”

Salem cigarettes were touted as being Springtime Fresh. Ad executives must not have been talking about springtime in cold weather states. In Alaska, we had two dogs that routinely did their business in the snow throughout winter. When spring arrived, and snow melted, fresh air was the furthest thing to be found. Then again, the pungent aroma associated with such did have similarities to stale cigarette smoke. Perhaps that’s the springtime fresh Salem officials were referring to?

I could go on and on here. Yes, I find humor in these ads. There’s also a sad side. I’ll end things on a serious note.

Several friends, family, and acquaintances of mine died from either direct, or indirect exposure to tobacco smoke. An addiction to nicotine is as bad as any drug out there. I’m sure several of the deceased people I knew wanted to stop smoking, yet couldn’t.

Maybe if cigarette commercials back then hadn’t been so well made, and persuasive, some of them would’ve never started!

"My friend Jeff says that L.S.M.F.T stands for: Lucky Strike Makes For Funerals."
…and how!


“My friend Jeff says that CBD stands for Consumers Being Duped.”

Essential Oils advertised to cure headaches

Call me a skeptic, but whenever I see a Hollywood celebrity hawking products on television, red flags automatically go up. There has to be something in it for them, otherwise they wouldn’t waste their time.

My wife and her friends got sucked into the Essential Oils hoax early on. The company claims to have an oil for almost every kind of ill. Headaches, anxiety, insomnia, menstrual cramps, to name a few. Joleen got a bit peeved at me for calling them Non-Essential Oils.

“They work for some people!”, she said. I didn’t argue with her knowing where that would lead.

Celebrities’ Daphne Oz and Hugh Jackman tout the virtues of Essential Oils. Not to be disrespectful, but I don’t know these people from Adam. Their opinion on oil means about as much as Bob the mechanic’s advice on grilling fresh vegetables. Bob doesn’t even own a grille. It seems somewhat haughty of Daphne and Hugh to believe that their name’s alone have selling power.

Shifty salesmen years ago, traveled around the country in horse drawn wagons peddling cure-all elixirs; snake oil as it’s correctly called. The products consisted mainly of alcohol. If you drank enough your troubles went away for a short spell. A massive headache most likely followed. Essential Oils falls into this snake oil category except you don’t drink it. It’s purported magic comes from sniffing or rubbing on skin.

Another wacky product undocumented experts claim has healing powers is CBD oil. It’s in everything including sandwich spread. I’m not going to try it. I still won’t eat poppy seed muffins in fear of testing positive. A former co-worker said that happened to him years ago while testing for a job. He didn’t get it. I think there’s more to it than that but didn’t say so.

Companies are making billions on CBD oil. Some outfits peddling the stuff falsely refer to themselves as medical dispensaries. I think it’s accurate to say that’s stretching things a bit. One so called dispensary in Needles, California had a red cross emblem painted on their building sign. That merely helps suckers buy into the validity of this reefer byproduct.

Big stores like Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s currently sell CBD based products. Before long, I look for Girl Scouts to add a CBD health cookie to their selection. That’s scary. My friend Jeff says that CBD stands for Consumers Being Duped. I have to agree.

If people want to spend their money on Essential Oils and CBD oil products that’s fine with me. For them to tell me they work, I’ll have to chuckle. Personally, I have no need for either.

There’s one oil out there that surpasses everything. The name alone says it all. Marvel Mystery Oil is perhaps one of the 10 top wonders of the world. This wonderful concoction of top secret ingredients has been around since 1923.

Marvel Mystery Oil may not soothe headaches or cure menstrual cramps, but it will free up frozen parts in an engine block like right now. Real men love the unique aroma. I do.

Hugh Jackman and Daphne Oz can brag all they want about about Essential Oils. Should these two ever use Marvel Mystery Oil, I believe they’ll see fit like many of us in the know, that the stuff ‘s a cure-all unlike any other and truly works.

I swear by the product. Coming from me, that should tell you everything you need to know!

Essential oil above all others


“With high-pitched shouts from the guy to stop, Jim eventually ceased his hammering. Lozano limped away with gashes and scrapes to his head and face. That’s the last time we had trouble with him or his Rangeview pals.”

Rangeview Trailer Park

When my family arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, the spring of 1966, after a long and arduous drive from Lubbock, Texas, all was well. We spent the first night at Mush Inn Motel and had dinner at Lucky Wishbone. The next morning, dad carefully backed our New Moon mobile home into space #299 at Alaskan Village Trailer Park. We quickly went to work getting things in order.

Our first chore was to wash off the inch thick AL-CAN mud. After that, my brother Jim and I began the task of making friends. It didn’t take us long. Being military kids, we were used to doing such every three years.

We had ample opportunity to explore the surrounding country with new pal’s: Bob Malone, Chuck Staley, Danny Kunda, and Jeff Cloud. Across Muldoon Road from our home was a small grocery store named White House Market.

Lock, Stock, and Barrel gun shop was located within the two-story building as well, including Chuck’s Barber Shop. Directly to the north of those businesses was a well-beaten trail in the woods running across Chester Creek. It wound through thick trees behind ABC Auto Wrecking, ending at Rangeview Trailer Park. At that time, I didn’t know there was a rivalry of sorts between kids living in Alaskan Village and Rangeview.

This rivalry came to light one day when we were in the woods throwing rocks in Chester Creek. Three Rangeview kids came out of the trees on bikes and began to intimidate us. One of them, a tall, stringy-haired-fellow had a chain wrapped around his waist which added to the confrontation. They told us to move along or they were going to kick our butts. We quickly left.

The threats continued at random. Whenever we came across these bullies we went out of our way to avoid conflict. There came a point when that all came to a head; literally speaking.

Bob, Jim, and myself were coming back from hiking, when this tough guy with his chain menacingly approached us. For the sake of this story I’ll refer to him as Lozano (not his real name).

Because Lozano was older than Bob and me, for whatever reason he singled out my brother to push around. Jim is the most mild-tempered guy you’ll ever meet. Push him too far though and he snaps.

While holding chain in one hand, Lozano made fun of the BB gun Jim held and tried taking it away. That’s when my brother knocked him to the ground and started beating the guy relentlessly with fists and gunstock. Unlike the movie, “A Christmas Story”, where little Ralphie is stopped short from knocking a troublemaker senseless, Bob and I stood back and watched as Jim did just that.

With high-pitched cries from Lozano to stop, Jim eventually ceased his hammering. Lozano limped away with gashes and scrapes to his head and face. That’s the last time we had trouble with him or his Rangeview pals.

On my last day at Clark Junior High, in 9th grade, on the way home, our bus drove by Rangeview as it always did. This trailer park is located on Muldoon Road. Out of nowhere a volley of ice balls hit the side of our vehicle. Bob, me, and several other Alaskan Village kids yelled for the driver to stop and let us off. Amazingly, he did!

We chased the culprits for a distance, before hustling back to our bus which had remained parked alongside Muldoon Road. That’s my final and most fitting memory of the Muldoon Road Range War as I like to call it. Soon afterwards, my family moved to the Lake Otis area.

  • Final note – When Mann Leiser purchased the property that the Rangeview-Alaskan Village trail ran through, it ended our skirmishes in the trees. Sadly, the trail’s long gone, along with Leiser’s once prosperous Alaska Greenhouse complex. Alaskan Village Trailer Park is also nonexistent while Rangeview is still in business.

Alaskan Village Trailer Park


“We’ve been slowly getting rid of junk. Just the other day I sold a car that I’ve owned for 46 years. It was hard to do but I felt the time was ripe.”

Sutphen Mill Christian Cemetery – Chapman, Kansas

I’ve written about this subject more than once. Whenever I do, friends and family often think something’s wrong. Far as I know everything’s good under the hood. There are a few frayed wires and leaks but nothing serious.

During my early life I gave death little thought. The teen years were when I first remember hearing a pastor read Hebrews 9:27 in a sermon.

“It is appointed for man to die. After this comes the judgment.”

He went on to say that everyone was going to die sooner or later. Like a kick to the stomach, I quickly realized this included me. I brushed it off until a good friend explained things further. He reassured me there’s life after death.

Using verse John 3:16 as guidance, Jeff Thimsen led me to Jesus Christ. After that life changing moment, I knew I was ready for judgment day; spiritually speaking. I didn’t give my earthly preparation nary a second thought.

Over the years I’ve had opportunity to see many friends, family, and acquaintances pass away. Some seemed prepared and others not. One man had so many antique tractors, that it took three auctions to get rid of them all. He started downsizing long before his judgment day. Others didn’t make the same plans.

My wife and I made a decision 20 years ago to purchase a burial plot and have a gravestone put in place. That seemed bizarre to our children at the time. They didn’t understand such irrational thinking. Now they do. It’s just one last thing they’ll have to do when we go.

A few years back, I asked a good friend, John Ballard, how do we know when it’s the right time to start getting rid of things. John said it was interesting that I asked, because he’d just made that decision himself. He didn’t know at this juncture that he had mesothelioma. A few years later John passed away from the cancer.

We’ve been slowly getting rid of junk this past year. Just the other day I sold a car that I’ve owned for 46 years. It was hard to do but I felt the time was ripe.

Joleen has furniture and things she inherited from her grandparents and parents. We’ve hung onto it for many years, but I say it’s time to bid farewell. It’s better to start doing so now, even though we hope to be around for many more years.

The one important item we haven’t done yet is have a will or living trust drawn up. Friends tell us we need one. Joleen agrees. I see things a bit different.

If we get rid of all our plunder, the legal document will be nothing more than a blank sheet of paper. Maybe that’s reason enough for us to hang on to some of my stuff. I mean, we do need to leave the kids something!

Got junk?


“Neither one of us saw harm in using imagination to make our day a little brighter.”

Several years ago I worked with a man named Kurt Rogers. Kurt had a unique and humorous way of looking at life.

He told me a funny story about a young boy asking what he did for a living.

“I work on shuttles son!”

Kurt said the youngster was all ears.

“Yesterday, I worked on two of them.”

The boy quickly darted away to tell his parents.

Kurt was a heavy equipment mechanic for the State of Alaska. The shuttles he referred to merely shuttled, or spread sand from a huge pile onto area roads and streets. Commonly the devices were called sanders.

Kurt Rogers had an imagination as big as mine; perhaps larger. Neither one of us saw harm in using imagination to make our day a little brighter.

Several years after the shuttle story, Kurt was involved in a horrific explosion. One of the sanders he was working on had a fuel tank explosion. It was a miracle that he survived.

In spite of terrible burns and other serious injuries, Kurt still carried a keen sense of humor through it all. He often joked that he’d not be winning any most handsome man awards like in the past.

Kurt Rogers

When my children were young, I had my own way of making simple things seem large and important. After both were in the car or truck, I’d ask if they were ready to blastoff? That meant having their seat belts on. Only after all belts were securely fastened did I touch the ignition. I continued using the countdown even when they were in their teens.

When Gunnar and Miranda were in college, I still quietly counted down before starting the engine. It’d become habit by then. Eventually, I added a personalized plate to our truck with the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 numbers. That lasted for several years until Joleen asked me to remove them. People inquired much too often on what the numbers meant. Some were totally confused.

Instead of telling a lengthy story, it became faster saying our license plate number was easy to remember.

Sadly, Kurt Rogers is gone. The shuttles are now being maintained by other trained technicians. Kurt’s most likely amusing people in Heaven with his clever anecdotes. My two children have kids of their own now. Hopefully they utilize the blastoff term like me, to turn a mundane car ride into a rocket trip to the moon. Some people say that imagination is hereditary. I hope it is!

Recently, I came across a pair of those 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 license plates in a box. Although they’re no longer legal, they were slapped on my car for sentimental reasons. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I thought back to those days of having little ones in the back seat.

“Are we ready for blastoff?”

Hearing no response, I assumed all systems were go.

Today’s unplanned solo mission is a trip to the grocery store for milk.

All systems are go.


“My opponent had stuffed the ballot box!”

There are cheaters everywhere in life. Most everyone has bumped into one or more of these unscrupulous characters over time. I’ve encountered my share.

There’s even a reality television show called, Cheaters. The overly dramatic show deals with love relationships gone sour. It’s not what I’d call uplifting entertainment.

It seems cheaters are most prevalent in sports. There are so many documented instances of cheating in baseball, football, and automobile racing alone, that books could be written on the subject.

My favorite example of cheating comes from the late Chrysler CEO, Lee Iacocca’s book, IACOCCA – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

The savvy businessman tells a story about his early life, that in my opinion relates to what’s happening in our current presidential election.

I’ve included several paragraphs that tell the full story. I believe this incident played a part in Lee Iacocca not entering politics.


Looking back now, I remember certain episodes from my childhood that forced me to reckon with how the adult world operated. When I was in the sixth grade, there was an election for captain of the student patrol. The patrolmen all wore white belts with a silver badge, but the lieutenant and the captain got to wear special uniforms with special badges. In grade school, the captain of the student patrol was the equivalent of the high school quarterback. I loved the idea of wearing that uniform, and I was determined to be the captain.

When the vote came in, I had lost to another kid by a margin of twenty-two to twenty. I was bitterly disappointed. The following day I was at a Saturday matinee at the local theater, where we used to see Tom Mix movies.

In the row ahead of me sat the biggest kid in our class. He turned around and saw me. “You dumb wop,” he said. “You lost the election.”

“I know,” I said. “But why are you calling me a dummy?”

“Because,” he said. “There are only thirty-eight kids in the class. But forty-two voted. Can’t you dagos even count?”

My opponent had stuffed the ballot box! I went to the teacher and told her that some students voted twice.

“Let’s leave well enough alone,” she said to me. She covered it up. She didn’t want any scandals. That incident had a profound effect on me. It was my first dramatic lesson that life wasn’t always going to be fair.


For the past several years, underhanded Democrat politicians have fraudulently been playing the same cheating game that Lee Iacocca incurred in grade school. To put it bluntly, they’ve attempted to make it easy for most anyone or anything to vote. They don’t care if a voter is a legal resident of the United States, or a felon criminal. Under the Democrat plan, ballots from hardened pedophiles would be most welcome.

The last few days have shown us corruption in the counting of ballots akin to what Lee Iacocca viewed as a child. Votes for Democrat politicians from people that died, Republican ballots not counted, more ballots coming in than sent out, ballots lost, and ballots seemingly coming from outer space.

I saw this coming years ago. Many other informed and open-minded citizens did as well; President Trump and his team especially so.

There are some leftist politicians and liberal news people now calling for President Trump to concede. These folks are of the same spineless moral fiber as Lee Iacocca’s teacher. To them, a win is a win no matter how unlawful it came to be.

Thankfully, President Donald Trump, and millions of his constituents are solidly against him tossing in the towel. They stand firmly behind the man and are ready to fight.

I expect Joe Biden to ultimately come out on top where total bogus numbers are concerned. The old saying, “Figures lie and liars figure!” definitely rings true here.

Ultimately, I believe this presidential election will be decided by the United States Supreme Court. I have a good feeling regarding the outcome. Thankfully, Trumps legitimate victory won’t be swept under a rug like Mr. Iacocca’s childhood victory was.

I venture to say that if a Donald Trump had been in Lee Iacocca’s shoes in sixth grade, he would’ve ended up wearing that Captain’s uniform with special badge!


“Most people think of meek as being weak.”

The seven Johnston’s

I’ve been around long enough to see discrimination up close and personal. The first encounter dealt with black people. My first recollection of this would’ve been around 1960. It was a sign on a small Selma restaurant window proclaiming, NEGROS NOT SERVED. According to my late mother, after watching a small black boy turned away, I asked her,


Since that time I’ve seen gay people shunned, those of Asian descent, Mexicans, Filipinos, Indians, Jewish, Christians, homeless, fat people, skinny people, senior citizens, the list goes on and on.

Perhaps one group of folks discriminated against most are dwarfs. You never hear about it because they’re quiet and the media doesn’t make hoopla over such. They’ve been looked upon as different going back to the beginning of time. Little people were often the highlight of circus acts. Sometimes they were advertised on carnival billboards as freaks of nature.

One thing I’ve noticed about little people is that they never take their discrimination to the streets. Not once have I seen them protesting or being rebellious. Why is that? In this day and age it seems they have as much right as anyone to do so. Some might say they’re meek or afraid to speak up. I highly doubt that. Although small in size, they seem large in wisdom.

Most people think of meek as being weak. The Bible mentions in Matthew 5: 5 that the meek shall inherit the world. Does that mean that weak people will take control of the universe? I had to research this verse to see exactly what it means.

spiritually meek person is not self-willed – not continually concerned with his or her own ways, ideas and wishes. They are willing to put themselves in second place and submit themselves to achieve what is good for others.

Meekness is therefore the antithesis of self-will, self-interest, and self-assertiveness. Meek people don’t envy, don’t retaliate, and exercise patience in the face of adversity.

When I was a child, I learned right off the bat that throwing a temper tantrum would not get me what I wanted.  I received more in the way of toys, snacks, and play time from my parents if I was obedient. Meekness played a big part there.

The late Martin Luther King, Jr. believed peaceful protests were the most productive. He practiced what he preached. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I used King’s method to my advantage with my parents. When I resorted to throwing a fit it resulted in more harm than good. Being meek under the Biblical principle oftentimes rewarded me. Dr. King definitely knew this where civil rights issues were concerned.

Evidently someone needs to educate current day protesters about Martin Luther King’s beliefs. Using obscenity in the streets along with violence and mayhem will not garner what they seek. It will ultimately make things worse.

Dwarfs seem to naturally understand this ideology. The Bible makes mention of it but I doubt rebellious protesters read that book. If Martin Luther King Jr. was still alive, he’d set them straight, or at least give it a good try!

American civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King and his wife Coretta Scott King lead a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery.


“Several weeks ago I decided to break my chains and grab a handful of disobedient freedom that folks speak so highly of.”

Bill Batey

“I’m Bill Batey and I approve of this message!”

I’ve been reading about all this here controversy regarding masks. Can’t tell you one way or the other how I feel about such? Some claim it’s a “freedom” or “constitutional” issue. I can side with them or disagree as well. Does it really matter at this point?

Several weeks ago I decided to break my chains and grab a handful of disobedient freedom that folks speak so highly of.

“Go for the gusto!” as they say in Milwaukee.

I love to speed. Always have and always will! Signs, cops, and fines have been the main reasons I don’t. One Saturday morning on the way to Wal-Mart I decided to flex my truck’s muscles a bit. We’re talking 250 horses here.

“Let’r rip potato chip,” a deceased friend of mine always said.

Took the old Ford up to 85 in a 45. It felt good!

Pulling in to Wally World an hour later, I noticed a vacant spot right by the front door. Ignoring a large red and black NO PARKING sign, I wheeled on in.

Folks near the entry were putting on masks. I totally ignored that sign including another informing customers of NO SMOKING. With a lit match in my shaky hand, I fired off a big fat stogie. Smoking and shopping go together like Chevrolet, America, and homemade apple pie!

I quickly found the items I needed, and before checking out, decided to take a whiz first. Sign at the restroom door said NO MERCHANDISE PAST THIS POINT. Heck, that didn’t pertain to me. Not on this day of total freedom it didn’t!

A sign above the sink made mention of employees having to wash hands before leaving restroom. That didn’t stop this old gopher from walking out beforehand.

After paying for my goods, I rolled them to the pickup and loaded up. On the way I observed another sign asking customers to please return carts to cart racks.

“No way Jose!”

Slowly driving away, I watched that cart slowly disappear in my rear view mirror. It resembled a shimmering chrome basket in a sea of black asphalt. I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Freedom!,” I mumbled to myself. That’s what my solitary Saturday morning protest was all about.

The speeding ticket cost $300.00, plus I now have to attend defensive driving school. Wal-Mart dropped all charges as long as I stay out of their store. Unfortunately, city ordinances regarding smoking in public places couldn’t be waved. That’ll set me back $2000.00.

As far as masks go, all employees and guests in the hospital sport one. I suppose when or if I ever crawl out from under this ventilator, I’ll be instructed to wear a facial covering. Bandannas might not be so constraining. Cowboys wore them in the movies.

Doc Brown informed me just yesterday evening,

“You’ve come a long way, Batey. In another four weeks you might just kick this Covid 19 and go home!”

You know, people can protest ’til the cows return. For me, getting out of this joint will be freedom enough to last a lifetime!


“I mentioned to my friend that if you had a team made up of just black players, and one of white, that he’d undoubtedly root for the black guys.”

Perfectly cloned men

work in progress

Hypothetically speaking, if everyone in the world was brown, would there be racial prejudice? I thought about this as a young person finding no definite answer. It’s taken many years for me to finally come to the conclusion, that yes, prejudice would be alive and well even if all people were brown.

Eye color would be the next thing some discriminatory folks would go after. If all eyes were deep blue you’d think the problem would be solved? Not so. Height is another area to critique.

Create all people in this world a perfect 5’ 10” and things would be hunky dory? Sounds logical but it doesn’t hold water. There are numerous other areas to consider.

Language is a huge barrier so lets make Spanish the solitary dialect. This could be obtainable with a lot of effort although it might take a thousand years to get there. Now that we’re all brown, have blue eyes, and can speak the same lingo, things would be perfect? Hold on one minute, social class would come into play next.

Some folks having lots of money would look down on those less fortunate and vice versa. According to leftists experts, and I use expert loosely here, the playing field could be evened by introducing socialism, even though such has been tried with complete failure.

With socialism, someone smart and investing their funds wisely could easily gain advantage over the unwise crowd. Extra money would then be taken from them and distributed to all. Financial savvy socialists would definitely have prejudice towards the unwise population by this action.

Those having hair and not having hair can be added to the list. I could go on and on here.

It seems that prejudice can only be totally eliminated by having everyone cloned perfectly the same. In doing so, mindset would have to be equal as well. What a wonderful world that would be.

Several years ago, I told a black friend that prejudice was much like football. He didn’t quite get it until I further explained.

Eddie’s favorite football team is the Oakland Raiders, and mine the Miami Dolphins. I informed Eddie that color has a lot to do with team choice, and not so much the city where a team’s located. This has been proven. The black and silver of the Raiders is aggressive in nature. The white and teal green of the Dolphins not so much.

Raider’s fans have always been one of the more vocal in NFL. Oakland Raider’s supporters have been known to mix it up a bit before and after games. I can’t say the same of Miami Dolphins’ fan base. Perhaps that has a lot to do with how the fish have fared these past 20 years.

I told Eddie that if all football teams wore white, the rivalry would lessen, and that it all wore black, it would increase. Red is also an aggressive color. If you don’t believe me ask a bull or a cop.

I mentioned to my friend that if you had a NFL team made up of strictly black players, and one of white, that he’d undoubtedly root for the black guys. Thinking about it for several seconds and being honest, Eddie agreed.

I told him I’d root for the white, although I’d try not to show my bias. People inherently have a tendency to cheer for their race. There’s nothing wrong with that.

When I asked Eddie what he thought of two teams playing each other, where all athletes were white, and both teams sported white and teal uniforms his reply was,

You’re describing one boring event!”

When I turned things around using African-American players, wearing black and silver jerseys he responded,

That’d be one awesome game!”

I was hoping Eddie would say that. That gave me the opportunity to finalize my analogy,

You sound a bit racist.”

My harsh remark caught him totally off guard. He seemed angry, yet quickly chilled at the notion. Had Eddie not saw my reasoning for the statement I was prepared to duck.

Unless further generations become perfectly cloned which is impossible, I don’t believe prejudice will ever go away in our society. Much like rivalries between sports teams, the best we can hope for is to control such.

Oakland Raiders