Monday, April 27, 2015

“Call me Back and Let Me Know What I Can Do ...”

I'm left with a memory of a Conversation

We had long ago …

In Auburn.

After a discussion I'd had with others

In the Speech program

while sitting around with paper cup coffee

in the Basement of Haley Center.

I boasted to you that I, after much thought

(all of, I'm sure, a few sparsely collected moments),

Realized I had 'No Regrets'

Instantly, you laughed at me in disbelief;

'Jacqueline! You HAVE to have Regrets!

I know I do!'

I think in that moment, you Began

the One Greatest gift

that best friends can Give;

You began to accept me for Who I was

And to Love me through my Own


A True friend does that:

Loves you through your Lies to Yourself

because they see Succinctly

How foiled and foolish you Are,

Knowing your Real Truths while

Allowing you to Keep those lies

and gently, Slowly (sometimes for years)

Nudging you to Look behind your Veil …

And Find what's Real.

Loving your foolish contentment

AND your Potential …

I was 22, maybe 23 years old.

Today, I am 49

And I have a few too many regrets.

Although I really have tried, for most of my time, to live

Head-on and Honestly

I regret allowing Someone Else

Persuade my decisions,

My actions.

I regret because of this

Not Knowing what I Otherwise

would have Known to Do

when I hung up that phone after leaving that message.

I have learned so much about What it is,

To Hurt and Be Hurt

And one of my Biggest Regrets

is How I lost you …


'Call me back and (you) let me know

What I can do '

(what unmitigated temerity ...)

She and I had been out

Returning home

I listened to your voice

Telling me that your Dad was Gone

He had died, losing his long battle.

The Mortar under his foot had finally gone off …

I called you back Immediately

and left that Pivotal message.

Never stopping to think why it Was

that you didn't answer …

I'm sure, now, you were

Alone, in your studio apartment,

Crying …

Having lost The One

who Held your image

of a good Man, of Loving,

Responsibility, Character

of What you held in Highest esteem.

How or Why it took me 13 years

to Realize what I Should Have Done

Shakes me to the Bone

I Should Have

Hung Up the phone

Driven Over to your place

And Been There For You ….

It's what you did for me.

I had lost myself so much already

That I didn't even know to do that.

I think that it Might have not been the message

That Hurt you So ..

It's the Fact that that was All There Was.

A message ….

I Should Have driven over …

Of All the pain I caused Tammy that I wish I could erase,

Leaving you Alone

Is my biggest Regret …


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Listening to Ghosts

I'm used to talking to Spirits;
I call on them almost daily.
Those I've known and Loved ...
Who loved me and had to Go

But the Other day ...
Amidst a Culmination of different Challenges
In my Life,

I Saw a Ghost.

A Ghost of a Little Girl, not yet Dead.

Its been over a week now,
And I still can't shake the feeling
That this was one of those Moments
So rarely Presented, even more Rarely
Recognized ...
When all the worlds in this Universe Converge ...
We are Gifted the Knowledge of What Is ....

If I wasn't supposed to stop the Inevitable,
Then What?
What am I supposed to Surmise from this;
This Marker of such Rising in my own Life?


For F.N.W.

I saw you.
I saw your ghost;
The ghost of you preceded your dreadful death

And I feel a hole in my heart
From your passing.

How did I miss what you needed from us?
You were surrounded by people, including myself,
who should have been able to help.

How did I let your life simply pass me by?
'...Wasn't school in [that] day...?'

A ghost of another boy across the street;
Wondering the neighborhood somewhat out of place,
should have alerted me that something was
wrong ...

Something terribly wrong was coming for you.
I saw you,
And knew you were out of place, yourself.
I smiled at you, walked right past you;
Too busy with the challenges before me.

Something terrible took you;
And something larger than life has gained my attention ...


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Melting Out of the Tundra

        (Trusting How to Feel Again)

Fleeing from The Pain of Life
Bathed in The Beauty of Life -- 
-- Bound by how They swirl up together --

Lingering so to Understand how the Pain and the Beauty of Life
co-exist in my essence to create this Swelling of Emotion;
Tears, a Filling,
Love, A feeling
Of ever-connectedness
With humanity and Divine

It all Swells inside of Me;
Swells in Me,

Unbearably and Tender.
Unbearable and UnReachable,
Like the Climax she brings me to Slowly, Tenderly
Purposefully and Direct
Demanding I know Her Love inside of me
But Gentle ... Patient enough to Wait for my Ready;
Rising in Me a Release
Of All that I Love
Of All that I've Lost to Heaven and hell
Of All that I Hunger to Grasp.

Searching, Grasping, Longing, Yearning for the Pain and Beauty,
A Gentle Purposing of Love's Release

Since I first saw her Smile and then Saw her Eyes
I felt an Unstoppable Season of Hope
Budding the vines of Life
in my Heart that were buried in Snow.

I existed in a Tundra of Frozen emotions and breath
Bedfellowed by Pain, by Fear, Rejection

Freezing solid even the Life Force in me that Now, undoubtably,
Is Thawing and beginning, Again, to flow.

The gentle surprise of her Love, The warmth of Love in her Eyes,
Wells up in me in Tears of Joy and Fullness that I have never known ...

Springing me Again to that place of intense anticipation of Release,
Where once I Thwarted off in trepidation and Disbelief.
I warm to the Truth that it is Real, Lasting and infinitely a Freeing Bond of love and trust.

Again and again, My Mouth
My Hands
My Dark, Wet Lips --
 -- Ache for Her ...
My eyes are Cleansing the Door to my Soul
With Tears from Missing her body
wrapped in and around my own.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

"... The Last Day of Our Aquaintance ..."

All But for a Power Cord
Waking up with you Once Again
A Simple pleasure Shared by so many
But refrained by you So Often. 

This Simple kind of night
Rarely Spent between You and I
It felt almost sacrad  

And We didn't even fuck ...

I came over prepared to stay the Night with you. 
(Ever)Waiting, hoping for an Invitation,
Nevercoming, I told you I would like to Stay. 

You Sounded excited and even Glad that I did. 

**** How can I have existed with You in and out
Of my life for nearly 6 years and Never known
How to read you?

******** Because You never let me Truly know you
Your Walls so High,
Your Walls so Thick -- At times, Inpenetratable --
That, Now Looking Back, you appeared
As an empty shell.

**** But to be Near you, in the Quiet,
When you couldn't be still ...
It was obvious that you were the Opposite of Empty ...
You were always too Full -- Top Heavy with a Head
Full of Worry and Fear
Your Heart Full of Pain, guilt and Fog ...

******** Maybe my insecurities weren't really
From your rejection. 
Perhaps they were originated from a Longing
To tap those Vital organs and Release you
As you had released Me,
And realizing, in the End, that I could not. 

**** The only One strong enough to do That
-- As it should be in Every Life --
Was You. 

And so it was on this Last Morning in your home,
Alone with the dogs;
You already at work ...
I needed to Charge my phone. 

You always told me that your house was mine, that you Held no Secrets,
That I knew you Better than Anyone ...

Not Finding the Right Cord in all the Usual places,

I finally Looked in your bedside drawer,
And there it was. 
The preverbial Straw over this Thirsting Camel's back ...
An Empty Condom Wrapper

It took a Long moment to Process what it was
And what it Meant

And only a Second to be So Done
That it was Value-Less to bring it up to question you. 

The next 2 Days were filled with Pitiful sadness and Longing. 
And then I Never saw you again. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

J 9 OffSuit

Jack of Spades (s), Nine of Hearts (h). A weak connected hand. I'm partial to it for my namesake, but its value as a starting hand is minimal. I have held too much value in this hand for much too long. Js,9s only by nature of its suitedness, is a small amount more valuable. If a straight comes by the River, you may not have the best of hands. If a flush comes, still you have 3 other better hands to sweat out, the Queen, King and Ace of Spades high flushes.

If I'm dealt J9 Suited, I can see a flop especially if it is unraised. Better that I should be in the blinds, already, at worst, half-committed. Most other J9 OffSuit starting hands, especially if raised pre-flop, I'll throw it in the muck.

But deal me the Jack of Spades with the Nine of Hearts, and I get mesmerized thinking I'm going to see a Straight Flush, every time. Intellect, Knowledge and Experience, my quiet, radiant guides, tell me that this hand is no good and that a Straight Flush is not coming. After all, I've only held a straight flush 3 times in 13 years of play.

Long ago, I allowed one of my personal demons to be represented into someone. And the tempting, beguiling promise of that demon was further quantified into a hand of poker that might be dealt to this player, Js, 9h.

Pre-flop in Hold 'em is akin to pre-action in life. Its a brief moment in time, to formulate your story, your reasons for moving forward with the game or not. Its a time that you decide to be honest with, or to lie to yourself. Any action with which you precede after this, is based on the rationale used to convince yourself. If you are going to be successful in this next game, hand or life event; you must belief the story, the lie, the rationale that you sell yourself. THEN it is time to sell it to your opponents. You cannot make a good sell, if you don't believe it, first, yourself.

I once, needing so badly, to believe my distorted rationale of bad behavior, personified the chances of victorious, loving joy into the long-shot of Js9h bringing in the coveted windfall of glory and honor. I convinced myself that holding onto this hand would indeed, one day, pay off and pay off big. And then I sold the idea to my demon.

The demon is truthfully the personification of my fear and weakness in commitment and honor. I PUT that weakness into another weak human who was only guilty of the fear of being left alone and destitute. I created this demon in my own mind, gave it its own life ... in her, and asked it to keep coming around to taunt me. I dressed it up in garments of beauty and seduction, timidness and frailty, daring sultry desires that only I could feed. It was a wonderous power trip. I created the demon, because I wasn't ready or strong enough to look at my own weaknesses. Then I made the demon out to be exactly what I desired. I convinced myself that this demon of weaknesses, was instead a goal of obtainment and a desire of the treasures of my heart. And this weak human that I enveloped into this creation, albeit full of her own demons, was none the wiser for I succeeded in convincing her that holding this hand, would lead to heaven. Because even though I CHOSE to follow a blind eye, I simultaneously knew deep inside that this would never work. It would never lead to goodness for either. But I created this demonic attachment in hopes to bypass the devil, himself, and never have to deal with my own inequities. I hoped to win my way, with this weak hand, into the hall of fame of love, honor and respect. So I kept putting my chips into the pot to convince myself and the table, my world at large, that I had the nuts. All she needed to do was go All-In with me.

I never, ever meant to hurt anyone. Ever. I, for some reason, felt so early in my life that I was never going to be worthy of being desired. And out of the blue, the world turned upside down when she looked my way and wanted me. All of a sudden, I didn't have to face my weaknesses. They were going to be voided out for me by this seemingly serendipitous attraction turned attachment. And no doubt, there was love there. Big hope, big love. Just too much fear and desire for an easy win. But real winning and real love do take work, endurance, mental flexibility and clear sight.

I'm folding Jack of Spades, Nine of Hearts now. I know whenever I’m dealt it, I'll smile, feel a tingle in my heart, laugh, say a prayer of hope for her and toss those cards gently into the muck. Besides, Aces always belong together. You may have to mix up your play with them from time to time to make them successful, but your chances of winning are always best.

I'll always be the Jack of Spades striving for honor and independence. For Clarity, there is nothing wrong or evil or demonic with the Nine of Hearts. In a deck of cards, it only has one fewer hearts than one other card, the Ten of Hearts. I guess its missing Heart is the one that battles our own fear of winning in love.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bay 10

The rain clouds hang heavy and perpetual
Over the Bay.
The rain itself is incessant,
Relentless and constant
as if they pay homage to
Or keep vigil for
My Longing ...

I look out my kitchen window
While steeping my morning brew
and it has stopped.
I plan my day.

I step out of my shower;
hear it falling again.
And I remember the void in my heart
where you belong.
Where you came back
to open me up Once Again.

Of late, Neither are far from me ...
The rain, the heaviness, the longing
The love,
The hopeful expectation,
of Sun and sharing this Space with you;
if only for a few hours
to assuage the fullness that wants to overflow
With the love I have for you.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Secrets in Silence

I Talk I Talk and I Talk and I Talk .............. I Talk. And just like this redundant opening, Perhaps, I actually SAY Very Little ... Very Little Indeed .... I do come by my loquaciosness Honestly enough From the DNA of my Mother. I have a funny memory that always brings a warm smile to my face Of the Christmas morning that I received my first voice recorder. I was about 9 or 10. It was a real nice model, very professional looking, which gave me a feeling of pride for I knew that 1) my Dad must have helped pick it out because he was so big into music and felt that things should sound just right; and 2) that he did indeed respect me for the things that I liked. ( I was way too serious and analytical, much much too early in life and some habits are very hard to break) I think the nicest part of the gifting of that voice recorder wasn't the and Dad had taken time to record their own special message for me on the first cassette. (This was about in 1974 or '75 so cassettes were really very new from what I can remember. Out were the groovy old 8Tracks!) I wish I had that cassette today ... Dad's message was the nerdy old " ... Now, here's Dear Ole Dad teaching you how to properly make a good voice recording ... Hold the mic blah-blah inches from your mouth ..." But Mother's message was hilarious! (Yes, I'm coming back around to my point of how I came to talk too much ...) She gave this soliloquy about how she-didn't-agree-with-how-everyone-said-she-talked-too-much-and-didn't-know-why-everyone-said-that-she-talked-too-much-and-that-she-really-had-no-idea-on god's-green-earth-why-everyone-did-tend-to-think-that-she-talked-too-much. Whew ... ! So ... I am considering Becoming Quiet. I want to Discover What I can Learn Being Quiet. I want to Learn The Secrets, The Jewels, if you will, in Silence.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

46 Years

I've been here 46 years ...
46 years,
And I'm just now starting to feel like More than a Stranger here
in this Community of other Humans

I'm also starting to learn
that Most of the other people that I like the most
Those that I feel most drawn to,
Feel this way too ...

And This is Soooo

Those that pretend to, or act as if they, belong or know the "secrets" of Belonging here,
Are the ones I steer very clear of.

However ...
Something very comforting is turning inside of me;
And that is

There are no Real secrets about this life
Or this Community.
Those that live by by what they create or accept as the Secret Rules,
are actually limiting their lives
And minimizing their experience here on Earth.

Ironically, They are the Ones that Miss Out on the Real Stuff.
And I'm Just Now Figuring this Out!!

And what do I think the Real Stuff is??

*Connection / Connectivity

These are the things that have Moved me, Motivated me
In my Best Moments. These are the things that have Led me
to Make the Biggest and Best Decisions of my Life.

Befriending the boy in first grade as he cried while his mother drove away ...

Challenging the"popular" girls I worked with one summer who wanted to cheat  the owner of the business ... and they agreed with me and we finished the job honestly ...

Telling the truth about my weakness in wanting to belong when being suspended for drinking in high school ...

Being truthful even when it caused the worse pain ...

The decisions that I have made based on trying to guess the Secret Rules
and Try and Live up to The Belongers .... Have led to the Biggest Flat Faced Falls of my Life.

Saying so just to Get my way ...

Lying to Hide away instead of being ok with stating what it is I need ...

Being too embarrassed to confess my shortcomings to ask for the help I need, and the situation becomes a disaster that I further lie about by minimizing it or running from ....

46 years Here
And I'm just now Starting to Learn
What's Most Important .... Wow.

I'm Grateful for the Opportunities
I'm Grateful for my Life
I'm Grateful for Love
I'm Enjoying the Beauty
I'm Enjoying the Laughter
I'm Thankful for the Companionship and Warmth
I'm Yearning for Truth, everywhere
I'm Hungry for Consistency in MySelf and yet Know, it will Never be ...
So I am Praying for Peace ...




Saturday, August 6, 2011


I never knew how satisfied my Longing could be
With a Simple Touch of your Skin.

How once you Said, '... even This will be enough, at least for a while..."
When you took my hand -- a lifetime ago -- that chilly winter morning;

I, now, think, I understand. 

Funny; how I didn't really grasp what you meant, at least in a deep personal way. 
I understood the surface physical implications of your statement, but now ...

Now, I know, what an almost spiritual longing One can have for another.

For lack of a better word; 'Spiritual' best describes where inside of me I have experienced that Longing for you.

By describing it or Understanding myself in this way, I, in no means, Insult the Divine inside of Me. God, in His Invinite Wisdom and Love, gave us to one another to long for and pair. He, Himself, experienced loneliness and then created Us to be With Him. So I am thinking that to Long for One's Love in a deep Spiritual Way, is ... Natural ... God given ... 

(I pray I'm not too far off base ... But I {and it's important for you to know this} am approaching this space between us in a very Prayerful manner and Trust that God will let me know when I am 'off {such} base' ... so far, so good.)

Of course, I dream of other things, that perhaps will someday be right to occur inside of our Togetherness, but for Now ...

I am filled with Peaceful Joy and consider myself in a State of Grace to be given another opportunity to learn the Value of Touch in My Heart, with one such as kind and gentle, as You.

I wish I could express to you how;
marvelous was the feeling of your hand taking mine this more recent afternoon,

Or ...
 the miraculous stretching of moments -- Precious Time actually extending for me, you sleeping --  as I gazed lazily upon the skin of your shoulder, all speckled and milky, just inches from my eyes, my nose, my lips ...

knowing that simply brushing your skin with the skin of my fingers,

would be, and was



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Love is Separate

I believe Love is Separate
Love lives Separately in our Hearts
from our daily consciousness.

It is something Larger and Truer
than Ourselves

It is it's own Existence.
That it Lives Above Us

In Our Best Selves.

Of course, it Would
As it IS The Divine Existence,

Love is ....

I Believe Love Lives Separate
Above and InSide of us
Together, at the Same Time.

We must Become
become our Best Selves
In order to Tap into It

To Tap into Love
Inside of Us
And Then Become our Better Selves, Yet.

Better than Our Bests
Through Love.

It's already gifted to Us
We don't do Anything to Earn It.
It's Ours
We Simply Live out our Best Life
Muck and all .....

And It is Ours ...
Love ....

And then We must be Vigilant
to Live Up to Love's Standards.

No Expectations,
No Demands
Learning to sit with DisComfort and Fear

Having Peace that Love can Sustain Us
Through the discomfort
Through Uncertainty

Love Lives Separate from Us
And Invites us to Rise Above
And Live Within It's Realm ...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

At Bay

'...the situation of a person or thing that is forced actively to oppose or to succumb to some adverse condition ...'

Being "At Bay" has been, as it turns out, not adverse at all ... albiet this place was not fully desired, but certainly couldn't have been predicted to be the rich, fulfilling experience of a non-linear life that it is turning out to be.

I walk the shore, watch the Waters ebb and flow

I am joined from time to time with Lovers and Friends

And Family ...

Blessings too many to count ...

As I wait to swim once more, if only now and again ....

It is all worth it,

It has all been worth it

Just to swim again with My Bay


Letter from My Cousin Janice to my Dad When he had his First Hip Surgery, '85

Log June 11 - 14, 1992 Written By Murray Vedel (not edited from original)

It all began on Thursday around 11:30. My wife, my next door neighbors, Jack and Jessie Blankenship, and  myself were heading down to Pensacola, Florida to stay with a hunting buddy of mine and Jack's, Joe Pope. It was to be a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. Joe had a nice 20 foot, center console fishing boat with a 135 Hp. Mercury motor. Joe had called me some weeks before and told me that Jack and I should come down while the fish were biting. After a little planning with our wives, we were all set and ready to go. We met Joe at his place of business on Thursday evening and gave us directions how to get to his house. In about an hour, we pulled up to a nice house -- sitting on the intercoastal waterway.

We walked around the front gate and there was the boat, sitting right at the back door, ready to go -- boy, how nice. Jack and Jessie came down to greet us. they had gotten there about an hour before us. After looking the place over and talking about the trip down, it wasn't long before Joe came home from work. We decided to go for some sea food. There was a nice place about 1 mile from Joe's house.We had a great meal, danced to a good country band, and went home to get some rest before an early rising Friday morning fishing trip. We got up about 4 AM. I told everyone I would wake them up, but my alarm watch didn't work or I didn't hear it, and Joe had to wake me up.

For some reason my wife and Jack's wife Jessie did not get up and cook us a good breakfast. Anyway, Jack and I got the live bait we had caught in the traps we had baited Thursday afternoon. Joe got all the fishing rods and connected up the electronic equipment and we were ready to go. We left around 5:15AM and headed down the intercoastal waterway to Perdido Pass. it's actually in Gulf Shores, Alabama but Joe lives in Florida. The Pass was real calm and we had a smooth ride out, about 2 miles. Joe said: 'lets try this spot, we caught some fish here last week'. We fished for about an hour and caught a few Mingo, but it was too slow for Joe and he said: 'reel 'em in, we're headed out for another spot'.

Well, the other spot was about 10 miles out, where the state had dumped part of the old bridge that was torn down about a year ago. When we reached our destination, Joe checked the electronic fish finder and put out a buoy marker so we would know when we were close to the structure where the fish congregate. It seemed like every time Jack or I would let our line down or one of the rods we had in the rod holders on the boat, baited with live bait would hardly be out but a minute and there would be a fish on. We caught two at a time on some occasions. We told our wives we would be back around 11 AM, but we were catching so many fish, even the little ones that did not measure up to size, we were still having a ball.

Joe had put the anchor down and we must have caught 15 or 20 Mingo, Snapper, Kinger Mackerel, and Amberjack in this one spot. Joe said: 'let down one more time and we'll had in'. Jack nor I disagreed. We got back in around 2:30 and the wives said: 'well, y'all are late, must have really caught a bunch'. When we started unloading the fish box thry saw we were really hauling in the fish. Jack and I started cleaning fish. After about 2 hours of cleaning our catch, we decided to go to a little place in Gulf Shores that has the best seafood Gumbo.

Joe decided to take a nap. After having our fine late lunch of Gumbo and boiled shrimp, we rode around Gulf Shores to some of the restaurants we had eaten in the past. We also road around to some of the Mansions before coming back to Joe's house. After sitting around and enjoying the beautiful site Joe has overlooking the bay, we decided to cook some of our catch. We went to the store and got some goodies to marinate the fish and Jessie fixed a delicious spinach salad. Joe had to work on Saturday, so Jack and Jessie and Delores and myself went to breakfast. We had our stomach filled with pancakes and decided to ride around.

We bought Lotto tickets but no one has won yet. We called Gary Weekly and Betty his wife, and we were all going to get together Saturday night at Joe's house. After Joe got home, we discussed what we were going to eat.. Well after all the seafood, we decided to get some steaks and cook them on the grill. Boy, did we cook up a delicious meal! After supper we looked at the Radar on the Weather Channel and the weather looked perfect for a quick early morning fishing trip. Jack and I had planned on leaving to come home around 10 or 11 just so we would get home before dark. Gary, Jack, Joe and I decided we would get up around 4 AM and run out 2 or 3 miles and catch a mess of fish and come back around 9:30 or 10.

Delores and Jessie could have us packed up and ready to head home. We got up around 4AM, had a couple of cups of coffee and headed out. When we got out of the intercoastal waterway and out into the pass, we noticed at least 3 to 5 foot seas. We ran out about 2 or 3 miles, the sea was rough, the boat did a lots of hard bouncing. We stopped a minute to let some water come back in the live well.  Then Joe said:  'why don't we run on out 12 miles to same place we caught all the fish Friday?' Everyone agreed and we took off. We got to our destination and put out a buoy. We started catching fish immediately. It must have been 6:45 when we started fishing.

Gary had a couple of big fish on and after about 10 minutes reeling up, the line would break. Jack and I caught some Kings and some Mingo and some Snapper that were too small to keep. We were so busy catching fish we failed to notice the live well overflowing until I caught a big King Mackerel and Joe gaffed the fish and brought him in the boat.  I got down on the knees to take the hook out of his mouth and noticed my knees were under water. I told Joe we were taking on a lots of water. Joe said: 'pull the fish box out and see if the plug in in or see if you can see anything wrong'. When we pulled out the box, the whole back end of the boat was full of water.

There was a 1/2 inch hose off squirting water in the boat. I told Joe there's a hose squirting water in the boat. he said see if you can see where it goes. I tried to look under the back cover where the live well was, and a wave of water hit me in the face. I got choked and thought to myself we're going to sink. I ran to the front of the boat to get the life jackets. Joe cut the engine and tried to call Mayday on the VHF radio. The batteries were too far under water to send a signal. Gary had a .45 Auto pistol and began firing it up in the air in hopes one of the boats that were nearby may hear us.

I got the life jackets out, got Jack snapped into his, threw Gary and Joe one, and noticed Jack had a line off a rod joe was using to catch bait fish stuck in his shirt. By that time (and it was a little time), the boat went down in the back and we all jumped out in the water. The boat rolled 180 degrees and about 3 1/2 or 4ft. of the front hull was floating. We all swam to the boat and hung on for dear life. Joe and Gary got on the back where the motor was sticking up. The prop was up and sharp. Gary cut his ankle trying to get a secure place to stay.

Jack and I were on the front part, holding on to our life line, a blue bow rope. I could not believe this could have happened so fast. I finally managed to crawl up on the hull that was sticking out of the water. Jack managed to get his legs on the bow rail  that was under water now. of course we looked for boats and there were none close enough to see us. The waves were too high. I had a Red hat on and began to wave it with one hand and hold the rope with the other. The boat was rocking to the left and to the right. I was trying to balance it to keep it steady.

I was afraid it may rock up on one side or the other, and if there was a pocket of air that was keeping the boat afloat, I did not want water to fill this air pocket up and cause the boat to sink. At one point I remember Gary slid off the back part of the boat bottom he was trying to sit on and the current was so strong he had a hard time swimming back to the boat. As he got Joe's hand and Joe tried to pull him in to get on the little part of the boat that was floating, he cut his leg on the stainless steel propeller that was sticking up.

Finally he got to a place on the bottom of the boat he could sit on and tried to be as still as possible. Jack was holding the rope on the bow, but was having to take every wave in the face as the seas seemed to get worse. We began to see some boats coming out to fish from Gulf Shores Pass. We all were optimistic one of these boats would surely see us and pick us up. As he boats got closer, myself, Joe Gary and Jack would wave our arms and my red hat, but the boats just seemed to turn and way and go away! We talked about hunting seasons thru the past, how much fun we had.

I guess we were all wondering if we would ever get to hunt again. I remember looking around us and seeing dead fish we had caught floating nearby. I remember Gary saying, 'wonder when we are going to wake up from this bad dream?'. I prayed every three or four seconds - I saw Jack pray about as much as I was. I also noticed, after about 2 hours of drifting, I could stand up and could not see any buildings in Gulf Shores, so I knew we were drifting out further. I started thinking about my wife, how much I loved her, and about the place we had rented on the river and she had enjoyed going fishing. I figured that was over with.

I thought about my two grandchildren that I haven't got to see that much, because my oldest son and his wife are stationed in England. One day I was hoping they would be near and we could spend lots of time together.  That was fading fast. I remember Gary saying, 'boys, we may give in but we will never give up'. We began talking about when our wives might report us missing to the Coast Guard. We had told them Friday we would be in around 11 AM and we came in around 2PM. Our reason was we were catching fish and couldn't stop.

We felt like they would say wellthey will be in late, like Friday. We figured they would start getting worried about 3 o'clock and probably call the Coast Guard around 4 PM. No one commented on whether we could last that long. I remember looking at Jack's hand clutching the bow rope, shaking uncontrollably and asking him if he's OK and he said I OK. The he would begin to pray.

I remember thinking about all the work at the lab I had to get out Monday and what my brother would do without me. Gary lost his balance and slid off the bottom of the boat and began floating away. He finally swam back to the back of the submerged boat and Joe caught his hand and pulled him in. I saw how swift the current was.

There were some boats headed our way. I could see them from a long way off. Every time they would get near, I would stand up and wave my red hat. It seemed like every time a boat would get close enough to see us, I would wave my red hat and they would go the other way. What I didn't know was the distress signal, when you're in the water, is to wave both arms. I was waving the boats away.

They thought we were in skin divers and with the 5 foot seas on, couldn't tell the boat was upside down. I would pray for the Lord to please send a boat to pick us up and when I opened my eyes, I'd see Jack praying too.  No one said the word "shark" -- I know everyone thought about them. I remember Joe saying he saw some pilot fish down deep. Pilot fish love to hand around sharks.

We were in the bait shop Saturday. I was buying my wife a pair of gloves that hold fish with, and I heard a man telling this lady about a 12 foot shark someone had caught near the Pass righ where we came out. I believe the reason we saw no sharks is because of the rough water. I remember Gary gave me a telephone credit card: it had a reflecting part on the back so I could try to flash it towards any boat we might see.

After about 10:30 or 11 o'clock we hadn't seen a boat for I guess an hour. I looked to the north, towards where land was supposed to be, and saw a little white circle. I told the boys, 'I don't want to get your hopes up but I see a boat coming this way'. I told Jack, let's start praying. And as we prayed I would open one eye and look to see if the boat was coming our way. I said to Jack, 'keep praying he's still coming this way. After about 10 minutes of steady praying, Jack said, 'that's the boat the Lord sent to pick us up'.

I would pray and look: sure enough that boat was coming as straight to us as an arrow. Then all of a sudden he stopped probably 100 yards from us, directly in the east, 'cause the sun was shining in the background. I said to myself, I know it's going to be just like the rest of the boats have done; he will fish awhile and pull away. I said, 'everybody wave and try and get their attention!' I whistled and waved my red hat.

Jack said, with him being a big Auburn supporter, 'if that boat sees that red hat, I'll buy an Alabama had tomorrow and wear it!' I said: 'Jack, don't foget what you just said!'

I whistled so much that my mouth got so dry I couldn't swallow. Finally I saw the sihouette of a person climbing up the tower that big boat. And I said, 'there is someone climbing the tower, boys. If the he looks this way he will be able to see the bottom of the boat'.

All of a sudden the most beautiful sight I have ever seen, and the most beautiful sound I have ever heard was the engine of that boat revving up and the beautiful boat turned to the west, coming to pick us up! You talk about thanking the Lord Jesus Christ; we were yelling thanks to the Lord so loud I know he heard us all the way up in heaven.


The next time I saw my father (Jack), he was wearing an Alabama football hat like the one above and he wore it for a year ... (I think he burned it after that, but regardless .... thank you Murray....)