Monday, November 09, 2015


This is a stickup

I was watching an episode of 48 Hours the other night.  This particular episode was about an inmate in a New Mexico state prison that was tried and convicted of a murder when he was 18.  He had been in prison for 19 years and his conviction was based solely on a confession he signed after being grilled for 9 hours.  The confession contained facts that did not match the actual facts of the crime.  He was innocent of the crime.

I might have been in his shoes, even though the crime was robbery and not murder.  I was a student at Texas, and Austin in the 60’s was much different than the Austin of today.  There were only two sources of good employment, The State of Texas government and The University of Texas.  I had landed a job for the summer at a Jack Ritters service station as the night attendant working from 7:00 PM until 7:00 AM.  The job paid 50 cents an hour.  My duties were to pump gas, this was before self service, soap, scrub and rinse off the driveway.  I did the driveway chores after midnight because there were almost no customers after 11:00 pm.  The gas station was on Ben White Boulevard about a mile or so east of I-35.  There were no other buildings between the station and  I-35 and probably nothing going East until Bastrop.

I had been on the job for several weeks and was into the driveway washing duties when a man. a pillow case with eye slit cutouts over his head, stepped out from behind the Jack Ritters’ billboard, pointing a shot gun at men.  I was petrified but was determined to offer no resistance in order to survive the holdup.  I readily gave him all the money from the cash register and when he asked me for my billfold, I readily complied.  I volunteered to disable the only phone at the station by ripping the phone away from the main unit attached to the wall.  I did this so I would not be a threat by calling the police.  However, much to my horror, He told me to start walking through the weeds behind the station.  He was pressing the shot gun into my back.  I though he was going to kill me when we got away from the station.  We had gone about a hundred yards when he told me to take off to the West and I started running through the weeds as fast as I could go, zig zagging.  I expected him to shoot at any moment.

 I finally came to the Austin IRS office located on the corner of I-35 and Ben White Boulevard.  I called the sheriff, we were outside of the Austin city limits.  The sheriff called for dogs to try and track the holdup man but they were unable to track anything, I do not know why.  There was nothing the dogs could use as an example of the scent they were to track.  A road dead ended into Ben White just west of the station.  I guess the man had parked there and walked through the weeds to the billboard.  I never found out those details.

I tried to continue working the gave yard shift at the gas station, but after a couple of more nights, I had to quit, I was just scared of a repeat of the holdup, especially when the sheriff told me that there were other holdups in the area and some of the attendants did not survive.  I was taking 6 hours in summer school and did find another job working in a liquor store from 2:00 pm until 10:00 PM.  My ordeal from the holdup at the gas station was far from over, the events coming were how I related to New Mexico prison inmate.  The worst was yet to come.

Two detectives started showing up about every other day at my apartment with photos of possible suspects.  I told them each time that he had a pillow case over his head and I had no idea what he looked like.  They kept asking me if he had any distinguishing scars or what rings he had on.  I repeatedly told them the only thing I could tell them was that he was black and he had this shot gun pointed at my chest.  I could not tell them anything else about the man.  After a week or so of these photo identification sessions another detective came by and asked me to come down to the station.  This new detective read the details of what I had relayed about the night of the holdup and asked me if there was anything not right or needed to add anything.  I could not offer any additional details so he typed it out and asked me to read and sign the document.  After I had signed it, he told me that they were going to check out each detail and if anything was not exactly as  described, “the monkey was going to be on my back”, his words.  I realized that I was in the same situation as the kid that has signed the false confession in New Mexico. He had just signed the confession to stop the grilling from his detective.

After a couple of more days, the detective came by my apartment and asked me to take a lie detector test. He did not give me any choices, so in effect, he told me to come down at a specific day and time and take a lie detector test. No options were offered.  I now realized that they were trying to pin the robbery on me to clear the case.  I was alone 20 years old, alone and without any idea about what to do.  I went to the Catholic Church and talked to a priest about my situation.  I guess out of desperation, I thought about my early days at the Catholic school in Kingsport, Tennessee.  The priest was the ultimate authority at the school.  He told me that he was sure the police would do the right thing and dismissed me, I was not Catholic.  The only other person I could think of was my Business Law professor, Sidney Purser.  I relayed everything that had happened, and my coming lie detector test, to him.  He said he wanted to go with me when I took the test.

The detective was visibly annoyed when at Mr. Purser’s presence.  When I was through, the test was interrupted as I was guilty.  However, Mr. Purser then told the detective that he did not want me being questioned or sign anything else unless he was present.  The daily visits by the sheriff stopped.  The phone calls stopped.  I knew that despite this, I was their one and only suspect.  The stress was almost unbearable.  

I was surprised when my monthly Texaco credit card bill with evidence that would totally cleared me of any crime.  I had totally forgotten I had the card because I did not use the, it was only to be used in case of an emergency.  I did not usually get a monthly bill.  The Texaco bill contained more charges than I would make in years.  Tires, battery and many gas station fill ups.  In those days, your bill also had carbon copies of each charge on the monthly statement, this is what made it so thick.  One copy had a license plate number for $1.50 gas purchase, the smallest charge in the bill.  The tires, battery, car repairs did not have this critical bit of information.  I took the bill down to sheriff’s office and gave it to the detective that was trying to rail road me for the robbery.   I did not hear from him so I called in a week or two and he told me that they found the guy using the one purchase copy with the license number.  He had confessed to the robbery.  No I’m sorry for all the harassment.  No I should have called you.

There was also collateral damage from the ordeal.  I was taking Intermediate Accounting, and my major was Accounting.   I had an “A” on the first quiz.  My grade on the second quiz was 40, or an “F”.  I went to see the professor, who also happened to be my advisor.  I explained to him what had happened and the mental anguish I was experiencing at the time of.   I even showed him a newspaper clipping about the robbery as proof that my story was true.  He told me not to worry about that test.  I made an “A” on the third quiz and the final.  The final test score and the overall course grade were posted on the professor’s door, with your initial for identification.  I could not believe he had given me a “B” as my grade.  In all fairness, he probably didn’t process the grades, he had a grader for that task.  He probably not told his grader.  I did not go back and ask him why he had given me a “B”.  I realized this later  because I was a grader for two professors after that summer.

 I have one regret about the ordeal, I did not go back and tell Sidney Purser that I indeed was innocent and that his assessment of my character was correct.  I am sure he is gone now or that would be on my bucket list. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Super Cat

Petie was home from school and decided that we needed a cat so she and Sharon went down to the SPCA to look at the kittens. The favorite was, of course, a little female calico. They asked me to go before they made the final adoption. I was never that fond of cats, but agreed. We all went down to the SPCA and we were allowed to be in a room with the three kittens they had left from a litter. The female calico, a male grey tabby with a white chest and white paws, and a male yellow tabby. Don't really know why, but I told them that they really should get two so the transition would be a easier. The calico was, of course, the main player and I chose the grey tabby over the yellow tabby. The two cats would always stay at our house.

The decision was made so the SPCA neutered the two before releasing them for adoption. That is their policy. Sharon brought the two little balls of fluff home in a box with air holes. We didn't know they already had names so I got to choose the names. I wanted to call the calico "Buttons" and the gray tabby "Beau" know, Buttons and Beau. Buttons name got changed to Missy over the years. They made the transition remarkable well. Kittens are really a joy to watch. Chasing a ball and falling all over their self to try to get a grasp. They get such joy from a scarp piece of paper on the floor. The SPCA sent along some antibiotics in case they got kennel cough from the neutering surgery, which of course both came down with. Both kittens were OK after a couple of days.

Sharon and I were laying in the bed, probably watching a ball game, maybe a week or two later. Kittens exert so much energy playing and then crash to sleep. Both little guys were playing hard. Buttons would lay in ambush at the foot of the bed waiting for Beau to come looking for her. I couldn't see them, but could tell they both launched a mock attack and would see both popped above the bed. When both had exhausted their reserve of energy, Beau jumped up on the bed. I didn't know what he was staring at, but it appeared to be my shoulders. He walked over to where he was looking and curled up in the crook of my arm next to my chest and went to sleep. That was it. The little guy completely stole my heart. He chose me and he would be my cat. I had several pet names for "Beau", "Little Guy", "Beauby". "Beau Kitty"and "Mr Bo-Jangles", but mostly just "Beau".

Beau recognized his name when I said it. I think that is unusual for a cat to know their name, but Beau did. I know that to be true because I could be talking and he paid no attention but when I said Beau he looked at me. Beau would sleep in my bed and if I was watching TV he would lay between my knees and ankles putting his head in the crook of the back of my knees with his paws on the other leg. He would put pressure with his paws on my right leg, forcing his heard deeper under my leg and I would pet his bunny soft fur. That would never change over the fourteen years we had together.

The plan was to keep both cats as house cats only. That would have been fine with Buttons, now called Missy, but not Beau. He saw there was a whole world outside and he wanted to explore it. He insisted. So I let them out into our enclosed atrium. One gate had enough room for them to slip under so I stuffed some carpet under it to keep them in the atrium. However, there is a large crape Myrtle growing over the roof in the atrium. Beaus discovered by climbing it, he could get on the roof. Missy took a lot longer to do this. She got really mad at Beau for going up there and swatted as well as scolded him when he came down. She was taking on a role as his mother rather than his sister. She was probably a little jealous that she was, as of then, unable to climb the Crape Myrtle, a skill she too would soon learn. When they were on the roof, I would go out and call Beau. He would stick his little head over the side of the roof looking at me, but not come down. He was observing what was going on in the outside world. Beau quickly found out there was another tree close to the roof on the outside of the house. Beau was loose and Missy would soon follow. I removed the carpet so they could go in and out as they pleased. The atrium because their sanctuary.

Beaus was still young, but it wasn't long before he marked and claimed the territory of our yard, the yards on either side of us as well as the two yards across the street. That was his to control as a male and would later fight to defend it. Hard to believe that skinny little male, never weighing over 15 pounds, was actually a silent, fierce warrior. He controlled his territory until the end and won most battles. Beau was small, but very quick and very fast. He developed a tactic that served him well and allowed him to inflict damage on his larger, more powerful challengers. Beau would never make a sound when he was getting ready for a cat fight or while in combat. He had a move that dazzled his opponents. He could jump straight up, very high. He used this tactic after initial contact and would come down on his opponents back, dig in all four sets of claws on the opponents back and bit them around the neck. I saw him use this tactic twice, and before I could get there to break it up, his opponent had already taken flight. The other cats would growl and cry trying to intimidate Beau, but he would never made a sound. When Beau was an aging pride male of 13, a very large, dirty white Tom from a couple of blocks away was testing the perimeter of Beau's marked territory. Beau would watch the Tom test his boundary from our front yard, watching his every move. Beau didn't move or make a sound. The next morning, there was white fur all over our front yard. I pick up Beau and checked out his white chest very carefully looking for wounds, claw cuts or punctures. Didn't see a thing. I guess that Old Guy won another one. I have never saw that big, dirty white Tom again.

Early this spring, Beau was really feeling bad. He still wanted to go out but just slept in the bushes in the front yard. I was setting in the swing with Beau sleeping in the bushes. My next door neighbor was walking his dog on a leash and he stopped with the dog to talk to me for a minute. He had a large, boxer mix dog. I told him to hold tight on to leash because Beau was in the bushes about 10 yard behind me, and was sick. In a couple of minutes, I heard this loud, deep throat growl from behind me.
Beau never made a sound before or during his cat fights. The neighbor said we, meaning he and his dog, needed to get out of there. I looked around and the noise was coming from Beau. I had never heard that sound in fourteen years. Beau had come out of the bushes and was slowly but steadily walking straight at that dog. He was not bluffing and was not going to stop. The growl was not meant to intimidate but rather to show his intention. I am going to tear you a new one if you don't get out of my yard. He was totally fearless. When they quickly walked away, Beau ran to the edge of our lot and watched until the dog was two house away before returning to his sleeping spot in the bushes. That big dog could have snapped Beau in half. The Little Guy was the ultimate warrior. I don't know whether he wanted that dog out of his front yard or he was protecting me. I had never seen him do this when other dogs came through our front yard. I occasionally walk down a couple of houses to talk to some neighbors. I would be walking, and you know that sense you have that someone is behind you. I would stop and look back and there would be Ol' Beau slow trailing me. I guess he was hiding in the bushes and wanted to know where I was going.

I always went out late before I went to bed to call Beau to see if he wanted in for the night. Some nights he would and some he wanted to stay out. Many times after I called his name, I would see his little white paws and chest in the distance as he came running at full speed to me. It was night and his mostly gray coat would make it almost impossible to see him without the white markings. Even though Beau was a fighter, he never once put out his claws when I picked him up, put him in the pet taxi or took him out of the cage at the vet's office. He never bit me. He hated going to the vet. It traumatized him and he would be mad at me for a couple of days. Even the last day when I picked him up to put him in the cage and took him out in the execution chamber, he would not put out his claws or claw me.

Like I said, Beau had not been feeling well for about six months. He still went out at night and often during the day, but he mostly just slept. A neighbor looked after the cats when we went on vacation in July. He had looked after the cats other times when we would be gone for more than 3 days, but we had never been gone for more than a week. When we came home the other times, Beau would scold me for about 5 minutes when we came in. This time was different. He just looked at me and then went over to eat the tuna that had been left for him that morning. I couldn't believe how bad he looked. I don't think he ate the entire 3 weeks we were gone. I picked him up to pet him and he was nothing but bones. He now wanted to eat every 2 to 3 hours. I feed him about 6 times a day. He would wake me up at night wanting food. I was hoping he would add some weight by eating so much, but he didn't. He no longer wanted to go outside.

I took Beau to the vet dreading what he was going to tell me. I was told Beau had a growth on his thyroid, a heart murmur and and had serious renal problems. The vet said he though that Beau probably had very high blood pressure forcing blood through his kidneys and that was the only thing helping him make urine. Beau only weighed a little over 5 pounds despite being fed 6 times a day for a month.I packed up the little guy to take him home dreading what I was going to have to do.

The last six months when Beau was sick, he still jumped in my chair while I was watching TV. However, he did not stretch and look totally relaxed as he had the rest of his life. He would just lay there for a little while before jumping down and crouching on the rug. He would jump in bed with me, but again jumped out after a short time. The last night I had my little buddy, Beau lay between my knees and ankles completely relaxed, just like he used to when I was watching TV. He jumped into bed with me and lay by my side all night. I put my arm around what was left of his tiny body. Taking Beau down to be put to sleep is one of the hardest thing I have ever done. I wanted to take him home so bad but knew I couldn't. Beau is gone now and I miss that little guy so much. I hope that time will ease the tears and waves of sadness, but it is not happening very fast. I still look out in the atrium when I pass, looking for my kitty's face knowing it will not ever be there again. His sister has also not stopped looking for her life long companion. She too still misses him. I also feel a lot of guilt. Beau completely trusted me and I killed him. The only difference between me and Judas is thirty pieces of silver. I wanted so desperately to carry Beau back home. I had made a appointment days earlier and had canceled. Did I do the right thing? That haunts me.

I really miss you little guy. I play this in endless loops sometimes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The Good Ol' Days!

The latest AARP newspaper had a short piece telling it's readers not to act old, even though they are. The following points were what AARP considered most typical of a senior acting old. (1) Do not always talk about any chronic illness you have or any aches and pains. (2). Do not talk about the "good old days" as a main topic of a lot of your conversations. (3). Do not talk, or act depressed, about the death of a loved one or friend after 3 months.

I do not understand number 3 and do not see how you cannot talk about your deceased spouse if you survive them. When you are old and lose a spouse, the survivor, more often than not, also passes away within a year. I am writing this one off as pure bull. I can see number one. While a health problem YOU have is very important to you, it is not to anyone you are talking to and they cannot do anything about it. That leaves number 2, so I got to thinking, were the good old days better than today, and if so how?

I WOULD much rather grow up when I did rather than today. The pace of living was much slower and there were a lot fewer people. The population in 1950 was 150 million. I don't understand one major change in the national dialog about world population. There was a lot of discussion in the 50's and 60's about the need to control the world's population. Now, when the population has doubled, there is not any discussion about the problem. There is little doubt that we are stressing the planet's resources to feed the people now on earth. Crowding makes people edgy and angry, especially while driving. I don't think it was as dangerous for a child as it is today. Were there fewer child predators, percentage wise, in the good ol' days? I don't know. Maybe it wasn't as common because the occurrences were not covered by the media. I know I had a lot more freedom then the children do today. When I was Joelle's age, I was wondering off by myself down the railroad track picking up stray dogs. I doubt if Mom even knew where I was half the time. Now, Joelle is closely watched when she just crosses the street to play at a neighbor's house. I panic if either girl is ever out of my sight line. Drugs were not a problem through the mid 60's. I was never ever exposed to illegal prescription drugs and never knew anyone who ever took them. The Viet Nam war brought the drugs home with the returning soldiers. I guess it was bound to happen anyway. Another major change is the ethics of conducting business. There were always some crooks, but deceitful business practice is the norm today. You shouldn't conduct any business transaction, like cell phone service or cable TV service without a lawyer. The deceit is intentional and widespread.

We didn't have TV or electronic games, I cannot say I missed it. Food was a lot different. Meals were mostly prepared from what was grown seasonal and and grown nearby with the exception of citrus. We didn't use any pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers in our gardens. Vegetables were canned in the summer and eaten in the winter. There were no shopping malls and you went downtown to buy everything. Parking was not a problem. My Texas drivers' license number was less that 275,000 when I got it at 14. I had a commerical license when I was 16. There are now two zeros in front of my number. Erwin didn't even have a grocery super market, but we did have one in Kingsport and in Longview. The biggest negative I can think of was the war in Viet Nam. I was not very aware of the Korean war because I was too young and not effected. We did have the cold war. I cannot ever remember being very worried about it even though there were several buildings downtown that were designated as atomic fallout shelters. We had drills in school to get under our desk in case of atomic attack. Air raid warning test were conducted every Friday at noon. I often wondered, what if they attacked at noon? No one ever paid any attention to those siren blast that lasted a couple of minutes. It became white noise. We had a saying, better red than dead.

I do not think that the 40's, 50's and 60's were a great time to grow if you were female or Afro American. The only jobs for women were school teachers, nurses, secretaries or store clerks. The education and job opportunities for an Afro American were even more limited in the south. I cannot say about the rest of the country. Medical Science has been the area of biggest improvement. Penicillin was discovered during the second world war. Before the discovery of antibiotics, I believe that pneumonia was the biggest killer, not heart attacks or cancer. No joint replacement for arthritics, no drugs for high blood pressure or cholesterol. I believe that insulin shots were the only thing available for diabetics. Medical technology has come a long way, now if we could just decide that it should be available for all people regardless of income, age or existing medical conditions. In other words, health care is a requirement, not a privilege. This brings me to another big change from the "good Ol' Days" and the present. For the most part, people had empathy for other people that needed help. I believe that almost every county in East Tennessee had a "poor farm". That's the origin of the phrase of "I am going to end up on the poor farm". People who had nothing could move to a community farm, work as much as they were able and would be provided with meals and a place to sleep. I guess the reason people had more empathy was we had just come out of the great depression that destroyed the lives of about 25% of the population. Everyone knew some family that needed help to just survive. I believe that this country lost empathy starting with the post war baby boomers....the "Me" generation.

Another big change I can see is religion and religious values. I think just as many, maybe more, people were religious then, but they didn't get in your face about it, be judgemental, and use it as a politically tool. There was a little in the early 60's when they tried to use Kennedy's Catholic religion against him during the presidential race. Today, religious issues are a wedge issues used to determine elections. I wish someone would explain to me how recognizing civil unions is a threat to my marriage of 44 years. I don't see it. I do see the injustice of denying people of the sane sex who have lived together the legal rights needed for medical decisions.

I believe that the extended families were much closer back in the good ol' days. They were closer because they all lived near one another. I guess we started the trend in the 50's when we moved to Texas. In some ways, I regret that we moved away. We had no family in Texas and I am sure I could have used some help after my Dad died in 1956.

I maintain that I would rather grow up when I did that grown up in today's environment. The reasons are my childhood memories of roaming the railroad tracks, spending all summer at Uncle Ober's and Aunt Mary's farm and the cool summer nights and holidays in Erwin with all my Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents. I also think we like to think of the good old days because we were young, nothing hurt and when you got sick, you got well. So, I think that youth and health is what makes the old days good.

I am sure that when my grandchildren grow old, they will think of the early 2000's as the good old days. Your youth is what I think makes those long lost days good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Precious moments

I guess that when you get older, you learn to appreciate little moments that you might never have again. I think I had one of those moments today.

Sharon fell and broke her foot...technically her toe, but the bone is actually in her foot. I have been trying to cut down on her walking, much to her very vocal disagreement, so she can heal. I have really enjoyed the little things....very little, that I have been able to pitch in and do. Today, I told Sharon that I would walk into the school to pick up Lil' Lisie and Sharon could wait in the car. She, of course, disagreed. She countered with Elise is a funny child, she may have a fit if it is not Nanna that picks her up. She said she didn't think Petie had told Elise that Poppa, not Nanna, would get her today. I told her that she would be in the car, 15 yards away, if the situation got out of hand. I know that Lisie would prefer Sharon to me, but come on, she knows who I am. This went back and forth for about thirty minutes, but I wore her down and she agreed.

We pulled up to the school and parked, about 15 yard to 20 yards from Lisie's classroom. I got out and went into the school. Amazingly, I was able to successfully check out Lisie on the computer....I had checked her in the day before. I had repeated instructions from Sharon how to accomplish this very difficult three step procedure. Successful completion of step one, enter her number code, now on to step two. Enter the password, step 2 completed, I clicked "finish" and I was through. I went to the door of the classroom and looked through the window to make sure I had the right classroom. Lil' Lisie saw me through the window in the door and then, with the biggest smile, pointed at me and told her teacher, "that's my Poppa". The teacher smiled at me through the window before I went in. She knew me from the day before when I had dropped Lil' Lisie off in the same classroom and released her to the same teacher. Lil' Lisie excitedly wanted her backpack, which I retrieved from the same shelf I had put it in the day before. She then proceeded to put in ten, counted them off, leaves into her backpack relaying the story behind her precious cache. I noticed three boys still seated at a table toward the back of the room and heard one of them say, "that's her grandpa".

We walked hand in hand to the car where we greeted a relieved Nanna that I had accomplished this very difficult task. I wouldn't have traded that smile and "That's my Poppa" greeting for the world.

These are the precious moments you learn to appreciate. They may never happen again.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Of anvils and coke bottles

I am sure you have heard the old joke about locking a person in a room with an anvil and a coke bottle. When the door was unlocked, the coke bottle was fine but the anvil was torn to bits. That person was me today.

Joelle's school was having a day where the children brought a loved one to their school to show them around. Petie had to look after Lil' Lisie, Chris had to work and Sharon could not get up and function at 7:30 in the morning. So Joelle called in the "B" team. I was going to get to go with her. Got a haircut, shaved put on some decent pants and was at Petie's house at 7:10. We got to the school at about 7:30 and Joelle showed me around her room. I was really impressed with the neat set up with three student desk set arrangement and a reading room.Then Joelle took me to the cafeteria. I thought she wanted a muffin and a cup of water so I got a cup of coffee. Turns out she didn't want a muffin and neither did I so I was stuck with the cup of coffee and we left to go back to her room. The cafeteria exit door was a heavy steel door with the wind blowing against it. Two boys were there first and were having a hard time opening the door I had a Valentine card Joelle had drawn for her Mother and Daddy, my cane, and the cup of coffee in my right hand and I leaned over to open the door with my left hand. Bad choice. I spilled some coffee on my hand and one of the boys. Luckily the coffee was hot, but not scalding. Joelle told me I spilled coffee on him. I was mortified. I had some napkins so I dabbed it off as quickly as possible.

When we got back to the room, Joelle told me I should go, it was time for school to start. I messed up my big chance. There is no room on the "A" team for bumbling old fool. I tore the heck out of that anvil.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Wish upon a star!

Today is December 10, 2009. I picked up Elise from tumbling and as I put her in the car I noticed an eyelash on her cheek. Not knowing if she had ever made an eyelash wish, I decided to give it a go; I told her I had her eyelash between my fingers and if she made a wish and chose the correct finger her wish would come true. I held my fingers before her and said, "which one my thumb or my finger", she pointed to the finger and that is exactly where the lash was. Then I said, "what did you wish for". She thought long and hard and then with a big smile she said, "a train". The remarkable thing to me is that is what she asked for from Santa or at least from her Mom for Christmas. (Chris and Petie this is for later use. I mean, brilliant #2, she must really want a train asking and wishing.) Love Nana

Sunday, August 23, 2009


RIP Jack

I was driving home yesterday and something in the curb gutter in front of my house caught my attention. I had a sinking feeling when I saw it. When I got out and went over for a closer look, my suspicions were confirmed. It was my antenna Ball. I have had that Jack In The Box antenna ball for over 10 years. The mouth, eyes and nose were long gone so the only thing left was the round Styrofoam ball and the yellow hat. It was like an old friend and I could always spot my truck by the antenna ball that no one else would ever have.

I told Sharon about my tragedy. She said "poor little fellow, we should bury him". The ball was on longer round because someone had run over it. I tenderly put it back on my antenna but he was a goner. It no longer looked like a Jack In The Box antenna ball missing a couple of parts. It looked like a piece of Styrofoam just jammed on the antenna.

Sharon loves Jack In The Box antenna balls. I believe she has all the special edition balls in a collection. She looked in her collection and found she had two "Party On Jacks", I believe from 2002 New Years time period. She gave one to me. The new ball is very fancy and I am sure he will lose details much faster that my old tradition Jack In The Box. So Far, my truck has not rejected the transplant ball. The next couple of days are critical as to whether my truck accepts or rejects the transplant. I will just have to get used to the "Party On Jack". I doubt it will last 150,000 miles like my old Jack In The Box ball.

I do not accept change very well.

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