Rescue Memories- Crab blocks Kmart exit

crab on beach

Photo by Alexsandro Rosa de Mello on

I remembered this as I watched a crab cross the street the other day.  Human rescue isn’t the only rescue service I’ve been involved in.  Several years ago when I was volunteering for my own emergency animal rescue I received a call for a crab blocking the exit door at a local Kmart.  On arrival I could see a large group of people gathered at the exit doors but not trying to leave.  The exit doors were opening and closing continuously as a Florida blue crab moved back and forth in front of them.  As the doors would open or close the crab would keep moving in a straight line.  It was funny to see how it had everyone stopped at the exit as if the crab was going to attack or something.  I was surprised no one snatched it up and made a meal out of it.  I threw my hat over it then caught it in a net and took it to a canal next to the store. -13

Gun Control = Mass Hysteria

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I usually don’t get political here but sometimes it’s necessary.  People calling for “gun control” remind me of the hysteria of World War 2 and Hitler fanatics.  First it was books then it was weapons.  The Nazis disarmed the Jews for a reason, fear of self defense.  If one was educated/trained one would not be so fearful.  A recent example is the motorcycle backfire in New York where everyone are subjects of the state with no self defense capabilities so they ran like cockroaches when the lights turn on.  Shame on them for letting their constitutional rights being violated by politicians.

Giving up second amendment rights will not make anyone safer, it won’t.  It will place one in danger from those who intend to do harm.  If people had the ability to defend themselves they wouldn’t need to run like sheep from wolfs.  A few Jewish people I met in the 1980’s with number tattoos were very clear why gun registration and confiscation will always lead to trouble.

I don’t believe everyone should be armed, my one bullet video proves that.  I do believe that carrying a firearm since 1982 has made me and those around me safer.  I’m a person who runs toward danger, not away.  Individuals that are frighted of firearms belong in a therapy session to overcome the phobia or in a mental ward safe away from the rest of us who understand our responsibilities as human beings.  My safe space is created by my armed presence and nothing else.


It’s the reason the founding fathers wrote the second amendment, it didn’t have anything to do with hunting game.  When it comes to freedom there are no compromises nor negotiations, none.  Could anti civil rights fear mongering politicians be driving us into another civil war?  If so there is only one place for them.  -13

grey steel grill

Photo by Cameron Casey on

South Florida Water Main Break Leaves 220,000 Without Water – Are you prepared?

Photo by Luis Quintero on
coconut trees

Photo by Nextvoyage on

Broward County Florida, water main break leaves over 220,000 without water for hours with more to come.  Residents of cities Sea Ranch Lakes, Tamarac, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Port Everglades, Oakland Park, Winton Manors and Ft. Lauderdale were notified by an emergency alert text message early in the morning that the water was cut off.  We were informed we may not have water for 24 – 36 hours.  We had city water when we went to sleep, when we woke up there was none.

I’m covering this story because it’s local, it affects me directly and it is an excellent demonstration of why we have emergency supplies and equipment.  Living in Florida we have an expectation of hurricane events every year.  Due to that fact of life one must be prepared for the loss of municipal services like water, or private business services such as electricity.

alligator near water plant on body of water

Photo by Rene Ferrer on

Most of the water here comes from aquifer wells because we are surrounded by brackish and salt bodies of water.  If one doesn’t know where too look one could run out of water fast here and dehydrate quickly.  There is also the potential for dangerous wildlife encounters gathering fresh water.  It’s why we keep an average of 80 plus gallon of bottled water on-hand at any given time.  With the broken 42 inch pipe temporarily repaired we have a boil water order until further notice.  That means they consider all water entering our home to be contaminated and it must be treated before use to be safe.


That’s not all.  The repair is only a temporary one and must have a permanent solution before the water supply returns to normal.  That means we will be without water again sometime in the near future.  The other potential with this incident could have been the loss of electric power.  The pipe was broken when a power company contractor was digging a hole for new electric service.  Without water and power it would be like after a hurricane.  We spent three weeks without power after Katrina struck Miami.

How did this affect our home?  Beside potentially contaminating our pipes, hot water heater and toilets it also left us without working fire hydrants.  We have water purification covered.  We have the ability to boil water with our electric stove, portable gas stove or turkey fryer as well as purify it with a mixed oxidant disinfectant we produce our self and our hiking water filter.


Portable Gas Stove


Turkey Fryer


Mixed Oxidant Generator


Hiking Water Filter

Water purification covered that leaves fire protection.  Ft. Lauderdale Fire Rescue reported that they called for mutual-aid from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Fire Rescue for tanker trucks to provide water should they need it.  Setting up quick dump reservoirs and shuttling water is a time consuming process which may leave fire crews needing water if things don’t go as planned or the fire is a large one.  The last thing they want to do is draft from a body of water or canal.

red fire hydrant on green grass field

Photo by Mike Bird on

Without working hydrants and the slow nature of tanker trucks there is the potential for a ripping blaze by the time fire crews can supply enough water to fight fire effectively.  I’ve seem homes burn down because there was no water supply or a delay in supplying it.  If the homeowner or tenant doesn’t have a way to fight fire during a natural or manmade disaster there is always the possibility of loosing everything or someone.


The best success causing the least damage requires a quick response.  If we had a fire during the worst part of a hurricane we would be on our own without municipal fire protection.  That means during a storm we have to have the ability to put out a fire.  If not if will burn a home down and possibly the neighbors as well depending how close they are.  Radiant heat will set other homes, vehicles and anything else close enough on fire.

bazaar bottles business ceramic

Because of our preparations for those type incidents we have for the most part been unaffected.  Our water supplies were in stock there was no need to go anywhere for supplies.  We have several means to supply pure water so there was no concern should we have to use them.  And on a small scale we have fire protection covered, enough so that we could put out a small fire quickly.  We regularly wash clothing and dishes as soon as there is a load, so most of our clothing/dishes are clean.  That was a lesson learned from Katrina.

This incident should make more people aware of the preparations necessary to prevent last minute scrambling for emergency supplies.  No matter where one may live there is always the potential need for those supplies.  Everyone should be prepared.  This was an excellent test of our capabilities.  I think our preparations have proven to meet my expectations.  Are you ready? -13

Video below.














Firearm Idiots – Some people should not own a gun!

I  had to make another video on the topic of celebratory gunfire.  The other one didn’t get much attention maybe this one will be different.  Some people should not own firearms of any kind.  I rant for nearly 3 minutes and almost sure the very people who need to see the video won’t.  I hope someone doesn’t get killed by one of them this 4th of July. -13

Front Yard Food Garden Now “Legal” in Florida. Short Rant!

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I was not aware of this until I read the link below.  Food gardens are now legal in Florida.  Never knew there was an issue with them because there shouldn’t be.  During World War 2 gardening was encouraged.  I’d like to know what kind of idiot would vote to make front yard food gardens illegal.  Only an idiot would support something that stupid.  Can we bring back tar and feathering?

Good on the couple and for the Institute For Justice suing Miami Shores.  Shame on the super lazy and nearly good for nothing Florida Supreme Court for not hearing the case.  Seems like they don’t want to take on cases like this where they’ll have to rule on our constitutional rights.  Enough ranting the good news is plant your garden Florida. -13


Miami Shores Couple Celebrate Beating Ban By Planting Garden

Ambushed and shot -Payback time.

Photo by Tomas Ryant on

Ambushed and shot, bleeding from my face and eye I lay on the coffee table in the living room of the off-duty police officer who had carried me there.   Shortly I’m in an ambulance and taken to the emergency room.  I woke up the next day next to a police officer who had also been shot.  He was in serious condition.  There were two police officers guarding our semi-private two bed hospital room.  They weren’t sure if someone was trying to kill me on purpose and thought it would be better to keep us in the same room.

Nearly two years later I’m in the rescue squad explorers, have my advanced first aid and CPR training.  Soon I’d have my drivers license learner permit, for now my parents would drop me off at school.  On the way to school we were slowed down by a small traffic build up that was very unusual.  We couldn’t see far enough ahead to determine what was going on.  The traffic was moving slowly but at a steady pace.

As we moved forward, me in the passenger seat I could see a motorcycle laying on the ground.  A small gathering of maybe 4 or 5 bystanders were just standing there looking on.  As we got closer I could see the full scene.  The bystanders were looking at a man with a compound femur fracture, a thick large pool of blood was forming under his leg onto the street.

I told my dad to stop the car I had to help no one was doing anything but looking.  He said I needed to get to school.  I told him to look how much blood there was and said he was bleeding profusely and would die if something wasn’t done about it.  There had to be at least a pint to pint and a half there.  I said to dad the school was only a mile or so away I’d walk the rest of the way after the ambulance arrived.

I jumped out of the car and went to the cyclist side, dad drove off to make sure help was coming.  He was semi conscious and not communicating.  No first aid supplies on hand I followed my training and applied direct pressure to the femoral artery at the recommended direct pressure point.  I was able to see an immediate reduction of blood oozing out of the fracture site.  Wow, I thought to myself it’s working!  Looking over the motorcyclist for more hemorrhaging or injuries it was the first time I noticed that this was a police motorcycle and officer.

My goodness I said to myself how long did it take me to see that.  I must have been a little excited.  Mostly inexperienced, by myself with no supplies, my adrenaline was up.  The first police officer(Officer P) on scene knew me from the rescue squad because he would hang out at the station with us sometimes.  I maintained direct pressure while he removed the downed officers gun-belt and secured the firearm.  Soon after the ambulance arrived.

I explained what I knew and had done since my arrival and offered to get out of the way.  The ambulance crew said I was doing fine and not to move away until instructed.  They did what they needed to package him up for transport.  As they did I got a chance to see the his face clearly and it was the officer who had carried me into his living room when I had been shot.

By now there were several police officers on-scene.  With blood on my pants leg, a spattered shirt, my hands red and sticky Officer P loaded me into the patrol car then took me to school.  I went to wash my hands and arms while the officer explained to the school staff why I was late.  I was given a note excusing my tardiness for the teacher and sent to classes.

A short time later Officer P shows up at my home with a few other officers.  My parents thought I was in trouble.  Called me to the door and said the police were looking for me. Officer P introduced himself and the other officers to my parents.  The other two officers worked the area our home was in, they wanted to meet me and my parents.  Officer P said they were there to thank me and asked if he could take me for a ride to the hospital.

We went to the hospital to visit the officer who had been in the accident.  It was rewarding to see the officer recovering.  He expressed his gratitude for my actions.  I’d remembered him but he didn’t recognize me.  My face was very bloody the only time he’d seen me.  I told him who I was and thanked him for what he had done for me.  He said that the hospital staff had said to him had it not been for the boy on the scene they had heard about he may not have made it.

The staff said the ambulance crew estimated there were closer to 3 to 4 pints on the ground.  He’d been given two pints shortly after arrival at the hospital, then more later.  It felt good to have been able to help someone but what made it better was who it was.  It was someone who had helped me in my time of need and I was able to return that act of kindness.  So fulfilling and rewarding.

Karma? I don’t know about that but it sure makes one question the construct and it’s existence.  I would never have imagined that something like that could happen.  I do remember one time my father getting pulled over not far from home.  The officer ticket book in hand said  “Mr. C, unit 13?” “You were driving a little fast, get out of here” and sent us on our way.  The officer and my paths never crossed again.  It almost always has been like that with anyone I’ve ever worked on during an emergency.  Show up, perform my duties, then on to the next run.  -13

The Flashlight and The Baton -A Short Story About Lying.

Photo by Wendelin Jacober on

The Flashlight

It’s the early 1980’s, I’m still building up my personal rescue equipment.  I could use the outdated fire department issued gear or purchase my own.  If I purchased my own I could keep it with me at all times, department property had to be left at the station.  With my POV(personal owed vehicle) equipped with a two-way radio, lights and siren, I could respond from anywhere if I had my own bunker gear.  If not I’d have to go to the station first costing valuable time.  In my small city I was one of two EMT’s in the city then.  The assistant chief(AC) and myself a lieutenant.  That’s all there was, two of us.

Due to those factors, the AC and myself responded in our POV’s directly to emergency medical or fire calls for help.  This later led us and the police to put radio scanners in our vehicles so we could communicate with each other in times of need.  We called it crosstalk.  The police were on low band, fire-rescue on high band.  So there was no way we could simply put a set of crystals in their radios and talk direct over the fire frequency.  If we communicated we would transmit over the frequency onboard and listen to each other on the scanner.  It worked very good when an officer needed backup and the nearest backup officer may be a sheriff or state trooper 15 or 20 minutes away.

That’s how we did things back then because it worked.  What doesn’t work is dishonesty.  In the emergency services field honesty and trust is a must.  When someone lies it can cause lots of issues to arise and have dramatic effects on a reputation.

I’m at the scene of a large fire, my POV is parked close by as usual.  We put out the fire, do our mop-up, roll up our tools, engines one and two are ready to go back to the station to load fresh clean hose back into the hose bed.  I’ve finished what I’m doing so I put my bunkers back into my POV.  Including the new Maglite flashlight I had purchased a few days before the fire.  Cool I thought it worked well at this fire and was a good choice for a flashlight.  I had purchased the rubber cover for the light.  It covered the entire body of the light with a small opening to operate the on/off switch.  I was more like a condom for a flashlight than anything.  But worth it.

In the past I had needed to hold a similar light and use both hands so I held it with my neck and shoulder.  It was winter and dam was that thing cold.  When I saw the flashlight cover option for the light I thought it would address that issue and give me a better grip.  I was right it worked well for that purpose.  My dad had suggested that if I was going to spend the money on a nice light that I should identify it as mine in some way to prevent theft, or at least separate it from other Maglite’s that others were using.

Wow was that a good idea, I did have it marked.  I took it to the engravers and had my social security number(SSN) put on the light.  Then put the flashlight condom over the body.  Two days later I responded to a call and my flashlight was missing.  That’s impossible I thought because I double checked to make sure it was in my POV when I put my bunkers in there.  Now it was missing.

Not long after that I had occasion to work with Officer H. on a call and to my surprise he had a flashlight that looked exactly like mine.  Condom cover and all.  Because I had to leave the scene before he did I didn’t say anything but had an odd feeling about it.  I asked for a meeting with the chief officers of the fire department.  We met and I explained the situation to them.  I informed them I was going to ask Officer H. about his light the next time I saw him at the station.  They had no issues with it.

Not sure how soon it was when I was able to spot Officer H. at the police department(PD).  They often went to the station to use the breathalyzer, rest room breaks, paperwork, typical stuff.  As soon as I saw his patrol car parked at the PD I went over there to ask him about the light.  As it happens the AC was working with me that night on ambulance duty.  I told him I was leaving the station and headed to the PD for a few minutes.  He said okay, then suddenly must have realized what I was up to and followed me over to the PD.

We were buzzed in and there was Officer H. filling out some paperwork on a DUI and a guy sitting there in handcuffs.  We exchanged pleasantries then I started to ask him about the flashlight.  I said that is was cool light could I check it out?  He handed to me.  Nice light I told him.  While I was looking at the light I asked him where he purchased the light so I could get one.  At the same time I had rolled back the condom cover and right there it was, my SSN.

I didn’t say anything for a moment just listened to how he purchased the light and where.  I then asked about the cover, was it extra or did it come like that.  He said it came like that with the cover on it.  I then showed him how I had rolled back the cover to reveal my SSN.  I asked him what the number was on the light, he said it was a serial number.  Wrong I told him.  No that’s not the serial number its this number and showed him another number on the light.  Much smaller and difficult to see.  The other number I told him was my SSN then produced my social security card to prove it.

At this point I still had the flashlight in my hand.  I rolled the cover back into place picked up my social security card, thanked him for finding my flashlight and walked out the door of the police department back to the fire station.  Thought that would be the end of that.  Was I wrong

Several weeks to a month later I get a call from the fire chief to come meet him at his office as soon as possible it was urgent.  I got there and began to hear a story that only Officer H. could come up with.  I was informed that due to the charges alleged by Officer H. I was suspended until the next city council meeting to settle the accusation.  The officer accused me of refusing to respond to a call for help.

The next day I’d made contact with an attorney that not only knew Officer H. but despised him he’d take my case pro bono so he could fuck with this guy big time.  That was the first and only attorney I had called.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’d informed my attorney of all of Officer H’s doing and we were going to burn him good right there at the city council meeting.  It was something like a trial but it was a small town council meeting it was fantastic.  I wish everyone could have been there to see and hear it.

We got the officer up to make the accusation then my attorney asked him some questions.  That was all we needed.  He had been asked about the details of his accusation and personal ones as well.  As he did not provide any evidence other than his lies. It was our turn.

My attorney produced photographs of him at a hotel with someone other than his wife.  Questions he had just lied about.  Now we had proof he was lying about that.  It was my turn to speak to the council.  I denied the accusation and then went one by one to each council member right to the mayor and rhetorically asked if they had ever heard a particular thing about themselves around the city and where these things that had been said came from?  Really strange rumors kind of stuff.

I had a story for each member of the council and then explained Officer H. was the one who had told me each one of those  stories/rumors.  Officer H. was not happy.  Then I told them about the flashlight incident.  The council quickly settled the issue, cut a check for my back pay and a little settlement money to keep me from suing the city.  Officer H. left the police department within weeks of that meeting.  I have a unique way of stumbling across liars then exposing them by accident.  Sometimes it caused me a little trouble but it always works out for me in the end.

The Baton

I’m in a sub sandwich shop munching out when I see Officer A’s patrol car pull up into the parking lot.  He pulled up fast like there was something going on.  I hadn’t heard any calls dispatch over the scanner nor had he called in arrival at a scene.  Where he parked his car had been blocked by part of a building so I couldn’t see what was going on but thought as soon as I finish my lunch I’d go out to see what was up.

Lucky me I stepped right in it.  When I walked over to where Officer A. was he was placing what was clearly an army solider in civilian clothes under arrest.  I announced my presence asked if he need assistance, the officer acknowledged me then asked me to watch his back.  The parking lot was clear except for us three.  There were no bystanders, everything seemed okay.  The solider was cooperating and following instructions as the officer placed handcuffs on the guy.

As the officer was putting the solider in the car the soldier’s foot slipped on the bottom of the door frame and he fell out of the car.  Officer A immediately pulled out his baton and started to beat the crap out of the guy.  I reminded the officer that I was there to provide assistance, he was handcuffed and that the guy had fell out of the car I saw his foot slip.  After beating the guy for approximately a minute he asked me to help place him into the patrol car.

That was that I thought. Officer A had a reputation for doing things like that.  Beating people who did not require it.  I’m not against striking someone if the situation calls for it because I would do it myself if necessary.   In this case all he would have had to do is get the guy off the ground and have him get into the car.  I was there armed with a pistol and Officer A knew it.  AC(Assistant Chief, Fire) and I had been on plenty of backup assistance calls from the PD because we were always armed.  It’s why they called us.  This guy was cooperative and did not fight the officer at any time during the incident.

Some time passes, months I think, I’ve forgotten the incident.  One day I get a call to meet AC he had to talk with me.  He comes and picks me up from home and drives me off.  He tells me about a conversation he had with Officer A.  How the officer had asked him what I had said about the sandwich shop incident.  AC told him I didn’t know anything because AC didn’t know I was there that day.  I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone since it seemed to be normal for Officer A.  What was there to say?  He did it again.

I told AC about the incident.  He told me how Officer A wanted to speak with me about it so we’d be on the same page because there was some trouble coming and wanted to coordinate our story.  Make sure we would tell the same story in court because they were going to call me as a witness.  AC nor I had any idea what was going on.

I did not like what I was hearing and I could tell AC was concerned for me in some way.  I knew I couldn’t go asking questions around town, if I did the PD would find out fast.  It was a small town.  At first I didn’t know what to do.  Then I remembered a friend I had made in military police on base, he was a Sargent.  He would come hang out at the station when he could and respond to runs with us.

I got into contact with him and asked him to meet me on base at my fathers place over there so no one in my little town would know we were meeting.  None of them had access to the base like we did.   They would have had to get visitors passes and really had no business over there anyway.

We met and I told him about the incident with Officer A.  There was a look on his face that can’t be described.  He called the M.P. station and asked if a certain person was there.  The captain he asked for was not there.  The Sargent instructed them to contact the officer and have him meet at the M.P. station it was urgent that the captain speak with me.  Sargent told me he wanted me to go to the M.P. station with him and speak with someone.  I agreed.

When we got there it was about a half hour before the captain arrived.  I recognized him immediately .  It was the solider Officer A had beaten.  He was a captain in the military police.  We spoke and I told him what I saw.  He said they were going after Officer A. for misconduct and for other times he’d abused soldiers.  Dam I was thinking I sure stick my foot in it every time I should stay at home.

We stayed around the M.P. station until I gave the C.I.D. a statement.  I was told to watch my back around Officer A he had some real issues and could be dangerous.  I reminded them I carry and had been shooting on the range with Officer A he’d be lucky if he hit me in a firefight.  Everybody laughed.  Then Sargent said you’re armed right now aren’t you.  Hell yes I said you think I check my gun at the door when I come over here?

I was reminded how illegal it was and told to keep it to myself.  Sometime after the on base meeting I ran into Officer A.  He was desperately trying to find me by then multiple people had told me he had been asking my whereabouts.  Officer A came to the fire station to speak with me.  I was invited over to the PD for a chat.  I informed Officer A that wouldn’t be a good idea.  I had been on base and given a statement to the C.I.D. over there and would not testify for him.

I told him what he did was wrong.  He left the station.  I’m not sure of the timeline but he was fired.  I think the city had too.  There had been too many cases of him beating up soldiers.  I don’t know if it’s still like this but the military would make tattoo shops, pawn shops or night clubs off-limits due to the way they would treat military personnel.  I could imagine the military making certain trailer parks or apartment buildings off limits which would have effected that town in a dramatic way.  About 90% the people living there were military.  The city would collapse without all that rent money.  When our ambulance wasn’t on duty, the military would respond off base to pick up personnel and transport them back to the base hospital.  The city was more like a housing area annex of the base.

I had a sense the military gave the city few options but to get rid of Officer A.  Like I said, I have a unique ability to stumble across the liars and expose them without trying.  It’s really strange.  It happens everywhere I go.  -13

Book Collector for the Home Library -My Experience

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on

Book Collector is a database software program for books.  It’s like a computerized card catalog.  I’ve been using it for almost a year now and have been very happy with the results.  I can list PDF’s on there like a book, enter books, recipes, videos, things I make myself, product manuals or information.  It has changed the way we deal with all of those items.

The other benefit is how it has actually taken a load off my shoulders trying to remember what I have, where it is.  Relief!  Now when I get a new book or product manual it gets entered into the database, placed into the appropriate place and I can forget about it.  If I need to know something all I have to do is type my curiosity into the search box and items will start filling the screen.

There is so much details on how it works it’s too much to write here or put into a video.  I did make a 33 minute video review and demonstrate how I use it with a few tips for a new user.  If someone has a large book collection or as in our case we have multiple individuals with large volumes of books, might find this a very useful program to use.  Currently there are over 700 items in that database so it’s easy to see how useful it will be for our homestead.

Future plans include a dedicated small computer that will fit on our kitchen counter.  We will then put Book Collector on there and an inventory program to keep track of all of our stuff.  For more on Book Collector check out the video below.  -13

Anker Roav A1 Dash Camera Product Performance Review

Anker Roav A1 Dash Camera Product Performance Review.  It’s been a year now so I should be able to give an accurate review of this cameras performance.  I don’t know how those people who pull something straight out of a box without actually using it could give me an accurate review of the product.  An item like this has to be used for at least 6 months to a year in my opinion.

Two of these Roav A1’s were purchased from Amazon June 8 2018.  They have been used well.  Each camera records and average of 100+ 3 minute videos 5 to 6 days a week.  That’s a lot of video.

An important detail I forgot to mention in the review is if we use 32GB cards instead of 64BG SD cards the camera will start to record over the first videos taken.  The 64BG will record an entire day without over recording the older stuff.  I found out the hard way don’t let it happen to you.

I also forgot to mention that in the censored accident video the license tag can be see clearly.  The video features footage from the camera of various conditions to accurately represent what the camera will or won’t see.  Hope you find this video helpful in making your camera purchase decision. -13

Check out the video below.

President Lincoln Wearing Top Hat Appears In South Florida Clouds

Catching up on a hobby project the last couple days has kept me busy scanning through over 2500, 3 minute videos for dash cam content.  It’s easy to get behind each camera will produce at least 100 videos in a single day.

When I was looking over this piece of footage I immediately thought there was a cloud that looked like Abraham Lincoln with a top hat on.  Or this project is getting to me.  Sure looks like a resemblance to me.  Check out the video and see for yourself. -13

Cupcakes lead to terroristic threat at the courthouse.

Photo by Tina Nord on

I’m sure I’ve written this story before on this blog but can’t find it so here it goes.  One of the most unexpected experiences I’ve ever had was a trip to the convenience store for some cupcakes.  The assistant fire chief also operated the city water plant.  He called me one day to meet him at the city’s water pumping station.

He was very concerned by the bullet impressions on the steel door to the pump house.  Someone was shooting a very high powered rifle at the door that would almost go through the thick steel.  He was worried that if one of them made it to the pump itself it could shut off the city water supply until a new pump could be installed or repaired on site.

Either way the city could be without water for some time if it happened.  He wanted me to help surveil the area and see if  we could catch who ever was doing it.  Our plan was to make our presence known whenever we were there.  The town usually only had one police officer on duty at a time and was too busy to spend much time there.

We’d spent a few weeks working alone or together.  Mostly sitting on top of a hill that overlooked the area it would be easy to see us and for us to see others moving in the area.  Week one, nothing, week two, nothing.  We got to thinking that either our presence was having an effect or the shooting was a one time thing and the person might not come back.

It was during a conversation about what to do next I expressed the need for some cupcakes.  Assistant chief(AC) said to jump in his truck and we’d head over to a convenience store for some snacks.  We were armed with pistols and shotguns.  I put my Remington 870 in his truck, got in and he headed off to the store.

silver display shelf on brown sectional table

Photo by Caio Resende on

There were two convenience stores in town.  The town borders a military base so all the business were on the east side of the main highway.  From the state line heading north there were many businesses that reached along what was called the strip which ended in an agricultural area.  At night someone unfamiliar with the area it might appear to be far away from anything.  The police and fire department were only a mile away.

Okay that’s the layout of the area we having a conversation of which store to go to.  I wanted hostess cupcakes from the store farther away.  There’s no traffic its 3 or 4 am so we’re moving quickly.  AC pulled into the highway median directly across from the closest store before the conversation was finished.

We sat there for a moment still in discussion when I noticed the door to the store was propped open.  Thats odd I thought, it was winter and cold outside, too cold to leave a door open like that in December.  I said something about it to AC when we both noticed there was a man standing in front of the clerk and she was holding her hands up in the air.

AC pulled his truck up a couple of feet and we could see the guy had a gun in hand and was robbing the store.  Oh shit I thought what the hell are we going to do now?  We quickly decided to leave the truck in the median and wait for him outside the store with our shotguns.  We called it in on the radio and ran across the street to the store.

There was one of those outdoor ice cooler stores sell ice out of, AC took a position behind there and I crouched outside the door behind a trash can.  There would be no way for him to see us until he came out of the store.  We could hear him yelling at the clerk to open the safe.  It was a deposit drop/timer safe and couldn’t be opened by the clerk.

I think he saw the truck in the median and began to exit the store.  We had no idea where he would go because there wasn’t a car in the lot of the store.  When he came out he turned left toward the ice cooler right where AC was standing.  AC moved back next to the cooler quickly because he didn’t expect him to move directly toward him.  Turns out the guy had parked his car at a used car lot about a 100 feet or so away.

I had missed it but he had also put his pistol in the sack with the money from the cash register.  Lucky for him.  As he moved toward AC I jumped up behind him and ordered him to stop or I’d shoot him with a shotgun.  I didn’t chamber a round to make my point or switch off the safety that had already been done I was ready to shoot him.

Thank goodness he didn’t decide to fight.  He saw AC come from concealment with a shotgun and got down on his knees.  AC moved to a better position closer to me.  Robber was told to move back away from the cooler and sack of money, lay on his stomach, keep his hands visible, not to move, talk or do anything or he’d be shot.

I moved over to where the guy was laying, made him cross his legs then held him at gun point.  AC went to pick up the sack when he discovered the pistol.  We didn’t have an ETA on the police so we decided we would search him for any other weapons.  AC was a big guy so he knelt down on the guys back, searched and found nothing.

Almost as soon as he finished the only officer on duty arrived on-scene, came out of the car with pistol in hand and asked excitedly “did you shoot him?”  I said no.  He says “why not?” now sounding disappointed.  I said “we didn’t have time to he just surrendered”  I could tell the officer was so let down we didn’t shoot him.

Soon the guy was in handcuffs and in the patrol car ready to head off to jail.  The officer half scaled us for not shooting him.  Said they wanted the town to have a reputation for shooting robbers to keep them out of our little town back across the state line.  I’ve never seen anyone so disappointed we didn’t shoot someone.  Maybe I should have the story’s not finished yet.

architecture brick building church

Photo by C. Spencer van Gulick on

Time goes by we get our subpoenas to appear as witnesses for the prosecution.  AC and I show up early at the courthouse go say hi to friends working there we haven’t seen for a while.  It’s an old courthouse where everyone has to go in the same door, the accused and witnesses.  Courthouse staff instructed us to wait in a particular area outside the courtroom.

Something had changed so they requests us to move just outside the courtroom entrance.  As we waited for them to call us the jailers brought the robber to the courtroom.  For some reason there was a delay and AC, I and the robber ended up standing face to face nearly close enough to touch each other.  He was escorted by two jailers.  They had complete control and were right on the guy.

I recognized him right away.  It must have took him a moment to remember us because at first he didn’t seem to recognize us.  Once he did he leaned toward me and told me he did recognize me and was going to kill me and AC if we testified.  I got a big smile on my face because just behind him one of the jailers had leaned in to hear what he was saying to me.  I looked at the jailer and asked him if he’d heard what robber said and he confirmed he had.

I said to robber you’re the dumbest idiot I’ve met yet.  You threaten to kill witnesses in front of a jailer.  I probably should remind you I had a shotgun pointed at your head.  Now with your threat, you gave me permission to shoot you in the future.  I have no other option past this point but to assume if you approach me anytime after this day you’ve come to kill me.  But you’ll have to take a number and get in line there are others who feel the same way.  And don’t forget I always carry a firearm I’ll be waiting.  The jailers laughed.


AC and I were told to move away from the door and wait.  The jailers rushed the robber into the courtroom.  They informed the judge of what happened.  The judge called AC and I into the courtroom and questioned us about the threat made in the hallway.  The proceeding for the robbery case was postponed because robber was placed under arrest and charged with two counts of terroristic threats taken back to jail and processed there.

The case must have never went to court.  We were never called as witnesses to either the robbery or threat charges but the guy went to prison.  Somehow it came down the line he’d be behind bars for 20 years.  So far he hasn’t showed up to kill me.

As for the city pump station.  Mr. R who was the original owner of the water company.  Laughed at us and told us to go get some scrap metal plate from his pile of junk and weld it to reinforce the door and that would be the end of that.  He was right.  We should have done that to begin with.  But if we’d done that we would have missed all the excitement at the robbery.  I love working in rural areas there always opportunity for things like that to happen.

One thing I would change about the incident is that AC and I were on opposing sides of the door creating a crossfire situation.  If that guy had decided to shoot at either one of us the other would have been in the line of fire.  We should have been together or positioned differently. I love remembering all these past incidents.  You live, you learn.  Don’t forget if you plan on killing me, take a number there’s a line. -13

Ambushed, trees don’t make good cover. How to lose an eye in one shot.

Back to the 1970’s again in a setting not very different from the blogs feature photo above.  It’s fall, we’re out for winter break from high school.  Two of my friends and I plan on following the railroad tracks past the trestle and see if we could find caves to explore or cliffs to rappel.  We would explore the area and return another day if we found cliffs or a cave.

I had my M3 bag a mentor a given me stocked with some first aid supplies, some c-rations and as I remember a Ruger Mark 1 in case of snakes or we wanted to target shoot.  The pistol may have been a different one with the same look, I’m sure it was a .22 though.

We met at my friends house since it was closer to the RR-tracks.  His house was only two blocks away from them.  The three of us made it to the tracks and were about a half mile from where we started.  Off of the tracks there were some old cars and junk.  We began to explore this area and the old stuff lying around.  During this time we could hear some shooting but it was off in the distance and gave us no concern.  Sounded like someone was target shooing off in the distance.

It was decided before we headed to the trestle we have some C-ration coffee.  Made the coffee, had drank it and were cleaning up when I hear more gunshots.  Only problem this time is I can hear a flicking sound in the leaves very close by.  I’ve heard that sound before and its usually birdshot flying through the bushes.  The next sound of flying birdshot is closer.  I yell out to stop shooting that we were in the direction they were shooting.

I heard laughing coming from the direction of the shots and this time they barely missed us.  I yelled at my friends to lay down flat try to get over to a ditch like area caused by erosion.  I pulled out my whistle and started blowing it to signal our location and yelled at them again.  This time birdshot hit the ground maybe 5 or 6 feet away, I could see it move the leaves on the ground.

I finally remembered my .22 and pulled it out.  By now I had the sense they were shooting at us on purpose.  I yelled at them again to stop shooting but this time I could see them.  There were three men or young guys in a thicket of bushes on the other side of the RR tracks shooting directly at us.  Only one of them had a gun.  That’s all I saw was one.

I tried the whistle and yelling again this time the birdshot landed directly in front of me.  I thought at this point they were trying to kill us.  I yelled out I had a gun and was going to shoot back if they fired again.  The position I was in was not good and mostly exposed. I crawled over to an area where there was a clump of trees and small mound.

I reached the mound and trees.  The whole time they were laughing at us.  I moved up to the trees and fired a shot at them and missed.  Again another shot in my direction.  For some reason they all stood up.  I somewhat panic shot one of them, I know I did because I heard him say it.  It wasn’t a shot at a particular person it was more a knee-jerk kind of thing.  Wasn’t expecting them to stand up like that and it startled me.

The next shot was directly at the guy with the gun.  I missed, next shot same thing, missed him.  As I was moving positions to the right of the tree clump I felt several tiny strikes on my face and shoulder.  Didn’t hurt, burn, sting, nothing.  But, I’d been shot.  I tried firing back but suddenly realized I couldn’t see out of my eye.  At first I thought I had some dirt or something from the ground in my eye.  Everything was black.  I could still see out of my left eye and changed shooting sides.

As I did this more shots were fired at me now.  My friends safely in the ditch thank goodness.  I tried firing from my left hand and eye, what an experience.  Pretty sure I missed them without trying.  I’m not very left handed.  By now the first magazine is empty I have one left.  I see blood on my coat sleeve but am more worried about what those guys are going to do next.

Suddenly a train starts to pass by.  I had heard the horn sounding but it seemed far away.  Now it was passing in between the shooters and our small group.  I watched them between the cars as they passed.  I think they tried to shoot at me but it would hit the train.

This was a perfect chance for us to get away from that location and move toward a city street to seek some help.  When I got to where my friends were they looked a little freaked out when they looked at me.  I checked to see if they been hit, they had not.  They said that I had blood covering the side of my face and my eye looked really bad.  I’d seen the blood on my jacket it didn’t look good.

Oddly at this point I wasn’t worried because I knew from first-aid class that minor face wounds bleed profusely and make it appear much worse that it actually was.  We quickly moved toward the road then reached a drain culvert.  We sat there while the train passed.

I leaned up against a tree.  Closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the woods, wind, birds, insects.  I noticed what sounded like a dripping water sound.  I thought that is was odd to be hearing out there.  But kept hearing it.  It got my curiosity up.  I looked around and saw nothing that would be dripping.

Closed my eyes, relaxed and started hearing it again.  But now the sound was in front of me.  I heard it again then looked a my coat.  Part of my coat had bunched up and created a small trough catching the blood causing it to pool up.  As I looked at that a drip of blood fell confirming what I had thought.  Finally the train was gone.

We were worried they would be waiting on the other side for us.  We moved up along the road into the neighborhood behind some houses and started knocking on doors for help. Because we weren’t finding anyone home we split up to be able to knock on more doors.  I was starting to feel the effects of the incident and was getting slow and weak.  One of my friends came back to stay with me as we worked our way toward one of our homes.

My other friend came running up to us with an adult with a pistol in his hand.  He took a quick look at me, threw me over his shoulder and ran to his house.  As he was going in the door police officers began to arrive.  The guy that carried me used his arm to clear a coffee table in his living room where he laid me down.  The stuff crashed to the floor.

Officers piled inside the house.  Turns out the guy who picked me up with the pistol was also a police officer.  They rendered aid, I answered their questions then the ambulance came.  They never did figure out who it was.  There was a small pile of shotgun shells in the area where they were shooting from.  No more that two years later I would get a chance to return the help the officer gave me when I need it.  That’s another story. -13