"What I most remember about my grandmother were those slow summer days when she and I would walk for miles on a country road. She was a one room school teacher and a devout member of the Audubon Society and when we would see a bird she would stop and tell me every little thing about it. She could never know just how much birds would play a role throughout my life."
A true dream as best as I could recall it.
By No Sweat - November 23, 1963
The thirteen year old Kentucky boy in the eighth grade that lived in the droll apartment by the Kentucky River and flew racing pigeons and played starting forward on his graded school basketball team called "THE GOLDEN EAGLES" was having a quite a strange dream.
And then he suddenly awoke to wipe those tears that he had been crying.
Its wonderful to be awake and know you are awake, or is it?.
The dream that the boy was having was strangely wrapped in the color of green; it was a dream involving a green river that was so very verdant and so were the trees along her banks; those trees seemed sad, leaning out and trying to shake hands with the other trees on the other side; they were all shades of green with gold highlights.
Can it be August in Kentucky, July in Georgia, November in Texas and October in the Argonne forest at the same time?
Can it be 1963 in 1918?
What roamed in the soul of that boy's sleep?
Could the boy somehow be on the Kentucky River and on the sixth floor of a Texas school depository book building and in a ravine in the Argonne forest and in a Macon, Georgia peach orchard and playing basketball against his rivals, the Ravenna Blue Devils, all at the same time?
The dream was who he was.
In his dream everything was possible.
Inside and outside the boy's dream he was simply there.
It wasn't understandable.
A Dallas, Texas window sill.
Thursday then Friday.
What was so special about another day?
For the pair of November 22-23, 1963 common pigeons that were roosting so still on the sixth floor window sill of the Dallas school depository book building there was no Thursday or Friday. Why humans divided the days of the week was beyond those two pigeons, one was a sooty black velvet cock and the other, a dull blue bar hen with orange eyes. Humans could look in a mirror and recognize themselves. And these pigeons, well, they were one of the very few other creatures that could do the same. Somehow knowing you existed was more important to them than knowing when or why.
In the boy's dream, he was releasing a homing pigeon along the Kentucky River, watching it fly upwards beyond the haphazard platforms made of sticks, twigs and reeds, writhing and dancing in the light wind, patterned splotched images, unkempt great blue heron nests protruding so grey from the highest and most exposed limbs of three sycamores. In this strange dream the boy's Robert Mitchum looking father told him to climb up in the back of his big fruit truck and count the wood crates full of peaches that the sweating, black pickers were lined up and bringing in from the vast orchard field. The boy itched from the peach fuzz and began stacking the crates. At the same time, somehow, the boy was running and guarding another forward that was on the basketball floor; it was an important game against his arch rivals and the new Converse tennis shoes that he was wearing were squeaking at every cut; that other eighth grader that he was assigned to guard was stronger than him but not as fast. The boy in his new shoes felt faster than his best racing pigeon. Oddly, the other boy had been born on the same day as him. Actually, on the same minute and almost in the same room. Because of that there had always been war.
In this dream there was this blue bar owning the most desperate of expression that suddenly appeared and flew upward towards the grey sky and then three shots signaled. The pigeon fluttered back down. This bird was his last of three pigeons; it was the boy's very best Heitzman Sion. The WW! German snipers now in the dream had managed to shoot the other two pigeons The blue bar was the boy's last hope to save his lost patrol that happened to be his school classmates as he along with his comrades in arms were surrounded by the Germans and the boy's own artillery was unknowingly killing everyone around him; The boy picked up his old blue bar with its heavy wattle and eye ceres. The bird gazed outward struggling in his hands not to be held; that poor pigeon owned such a pair of brilliant red and orange and yellow colored encircled eyes with those black spider-webbed veins coming to the pupil; lighting bolts from from a black heaven. One of the pigeon's wings showed destroyed feathers and the pigeon's sharp keel was much bare, you could see a bruised crease; a bare path over its tight, pink skin where the bullet had followed. One of the bird's legs was completely gone and the blood coming from it was hot and deep a purplish red color. And there was that blood smell of iron. The boy knew that pigeons owned the reddest blood in the world because they were the most innocent of all creatures. The boy threw the bird back up through the branches and could see its aluminum tube that was harnessed across its back; inside that tube there was a desperate message from Col. Whitlesey: "WE ARE ALONG ROAD PARALLEL TO 276.4 OUR ARTILLERY IS DROPPING A BARRAGE DIRECTLY ON US. FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, STOP IT!" For a few moments the blue bar seemed to go nowhere. and then, finding resolve and all that one wing could afford, it neared the great blue heron nests up in the top of the great sycamore tree and disappeared.
One of the heron nests suddenly exploded from the force of one of the bullets and two other bullets " zinged" by so close but missed. By the time more shots were fired the blue bar was gone. It was nearly dark and for a moment everything was hauntingly still. The boy looked onto the river and along the calm surface there were groups of riffles, schools of minnows coming to the surface the way they always did before sunset. Then a heron began to make a sound.that was beyond the boy's imagination; a din of uncivilized noises: skrawking, ex-traneous, ardeid, primordial. There was something vital in the sounds and the boy was spellbound by the way they broke the silence of the universe; To hear the herons converse at roost was to hear the first birds in the world; their sounds were were the coo of a pigeon but made with rocks.
The dream then concentrated on the boy with his father in that hot peach orchard outside Dalton, Georgia. After the the truck was full of crates of peaches the boy told the man who owned the farm, "There's two hundred and thirty seven crates on the truck." The man walked over to the boy's father and got his quarter for each of the crates of peaches. After the back doors on the truck were closed and the vent doors up front were locked open on the trailer the boy climbed up to be inside the cab of the truck to be with the man he adored, his father; Both of them knew there were three hundred crates. They stopped at small place on the side of the road and in the grey light they took a shower, ridding themselves of the horrible peach fuzz. The boy's green and blue eyes looked down at his father's large and scarred hands shifting gears. That stick the boy's father was shifting with became the stick of a heron nest and down the river up in the sky the moon was nearly pink and orange and yellow, all but a ripe peach with no smell.
Danny, the boy's eighth grade classmate and sweet friend, burr hair cutted and blond, so freckled that you could see those million freckles on his scalp, hugged the boy and so did Bill, another of the boy's close friends; Bill had different freckles, fewer and so much larger; Both Danny and Bill thanked the boy for what he had done, saving the entire class. Yes, the blue bar must have made it with the note.
Those freckles were somehow heron nests not up and against the sky but rather on Danny and Bill's faces.
The great blue herons smacked their long beaks together and the beaks turned into hands.
The crowd was clapping and cheering.
The basketball game was so close.
David, the forward that the boy was guarding in the basketball game had the ball and if David made this shot The Ravenna Blue Devils would beat The Irvine Golden Eagles.
The ball hit close but rimmed out.
On the walk back from Ravenna to Irvine the boy's basketball team heard that president Kennedy had been shot. They started running along the sidewalk under the sporadic and spindly shade of so many water maples, some still holding a few stained and golden jagged leaves.
"Some birds never die as long as we are alive."
I suppose every old fancier owns one pigeon in his heart that will never be forgotten, for me it is my long gone friend, "Peg Leg."
Peg leg never owned a band.
He didn't need one.
It was back in the early 60's.The Beatles were prepping for their invasion. I had
long been in love with pigeons as they soared free all over the bridge that happened to be, well, my front yard. It was an awesome, arching, lime-colored steel dinosaur spanning 60' over The Kentucky River. I was already engaging many fanciers writing them every day. One was John McQuithy of Jonesboro, Indiana. We corresponded several times a week and he sent me photographs of his tiny loft. In that loft he had bald-headed rollers and racing pigeons. One of the birds he had was a blue bar cock bred by Roy Worether from St. Louis Its name was "Horether" in honor of its breeder.
I believed it to be the most magnificent creature on earth.
It whispered sweet nothings.
John sent me a list of birds that he would sell.
Horether was on it.
Twenty-five million, to me.
My poor home's income derived from my father--he sold fruit and vegetables on
A small street in eastern Kentucky.
So very much.
I spoke of Horether to my grandfather, "Daddy Mack."
He loved me more than anyone.
He was always listening.
He owned the old apartment that I lived in; it was located over top the motion picture theater that he also owned; that theater had evolved from a livery stable to be my real home; mom sold tickets there.
A few days went by and Daddy Mack called me into the ticket booth and shut the door. He looked down at me and gave that certain small smile. Then he proceeded to count out twenty-five one dollar bills and asked mom to buy Horether. She agreed, adding that she was also going to buy a mate for him, a smokey colored hen that McQuithy had listed for $5.00.
She loved me, too.
A couple of weeks later Daddy Mack and I went to the railway station in Ravenna, Kentucky to pick up the pair.
Oh how the sun shined bright on my old Kentucky home.
It was the happiest day of my life.
I studied that blue bar, he was blue gold owning ruby eyes; ah-h-h...Sion, Bastin and Greenshield blended to genetic perfection; his pedigree owned a father having flown 500
I put the pair together and a year later bought some more racers from McQuithy. One was AU-63-GRC-368 a small, dark blue check hen. She escaped three times and always flew back to him. During this period. I had been fortunate enough to meet the legendary pigeon racer, Mr.Charles Heitzman, Jeffersontown, Kentucky. He treated me like his grandson, giving me birds as well, sharing remarks about me with my grandfather.
Those Heitzman Sions were so special.
But nothing nearly as so as was my grandfather or Heitzman..
Horether and the smokey hen disappeared around my pitifully constructed lofts but I fretted little as the Heitzman birds owned my attention. One of the birds that Horether and the smoky hen had raised was a blue check cock. He really wasn't much to look at and even worse in the hand. Boney and common. I had failed to band him and he spent as much time flying around with the bridge pigeons as he did around my loft. One day I found him struggling behind my loft with a steel trap clamped down on his leg. I had set that trap to catch rats that were tunneling into one of my lowly lofts. I took the trap off of the blue check and put him in a cage. He couldn't stand at first but eventually reached a point where he could limp.
I started calling him, "Peg Leg."
Daddy Mack's theater was made out of old clay bricks and charcoal and the mortar
in between the bricks that he had used in transposing a livery stable into a theater owned a certain sandy texture in its composition.
Peg Leg loved the stuff.
Almost every day I would see him fly down onto the ground and walk over to the the wall of the theater and peck furiously at a particular spot where a few bricks were already missing offering an array of the special grit
Peg Leg and I grew a little older and I found myself a freshman in college swimming on one of the best swim teams in the United States. Almost all of the swimmers on my team were from out of state, including several from Florida. We swam 40 hours a week for coach Don Combs. He was a loud, powerful person with a dynamic personality. His father was Earle Combs, Kentucky's famous Hall Of Famer in Baseball; Earle played for the NY Yankees and batted on "Murdrer's Row" with team mates Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
During one Christmas break three of my Florida team mates said they were going home and would be back in two weeks. I asked them if they would consider taking three of my homing pigeons and letting them go along their journey. Since the birds were extreme late hatches and out of old Peg Leg I considered them worthless. I asked that they be set loose some 150 miles away in Knoxville.
It was snowing when I saw one of the young pigeons return two days later. I was surprised to see the blue check as it had never been tossed and was only ten weeks old. He eventually went into the small cage I had outside where he had been born.
When the Florida swimmers returned and while we were dressing out in the locker room one of the guys asked me if any of my birds had come home.
"Yeah," I said. "One."
For a few seconds there was a real hush in the locker room. "You got a bird?" again asked one of them.
"Yeah, a little blue check. just a baby."
"No Sweat, I don't know how to tell you this but we forgot that we had those pigeons. We were between Macon and the Florida line before we remembered we had them. That's where we let them go. It was over 400 miles away."
That winter my mind couldn't get over the feat of the little pigeon. More importantly, who its parents were. When spring arrived I mated Peg Leg right back to the same hen. I sent one of the birds to THE TWIN CITY GOLD BAND FUTURITY, my handler was Louie DeMao. Before the race I got everyone on my swim team to pool $270. At the end of the day of the race Louie called me to relay that my Peg Leg baby was 1st Out Of Area and Fourth Overall and that it had totally cleaned out all the pool $ and set a new $ winning record for the state.
My team mates then began calling me "Birdie." After giving each one of them their 10-1 return back on their investment they were anxious to bet on Peg Leg's babies once again.
Over the next few year's Peg Leg babies dominated the distance races that I placed them in with The Lexington Racing Pigeon Club winning the 500 Mile Heitzman Trophy and the 300 LKY Futurity and average speed. Besides that, they won the Conrad Mahr Futurity, Blackhawk Futurity, a futurity in New Orleans, Waldo Hotchkiss Futurity with Waldo flying my one entry and many other races throughout the United States. No matter who I mated him to his babies flew grand. One time one hen of his flew back from 500 miles with both legs broken and laid there in the grass waiting for me to pick her up.
When I moved two miles away to Ravenna, Kentucky I brought Peg Leg with me. He settled quickly. Many times I would see him back atop The Irvine Bridge or where my old loft had once been. I would go back there and see him at his familiar spot eating that grit in the wall of my grandfather's theater. As time went on I noticed he would sometime bring other racing pigeons I owned with him to his grit hole.
Fanciers all over the USA wanted Peg Leg's blood. Every time I went to the National Show in White Plains, NY I would take some of his babies and they would sell as fast as I would place them on display. I would earn enough money from the sales to take my family to Florida on vacation the following summer. James Carbone, Cherry Hills, NJ, a close friend of Frank Sinatra's, having grown up with Sinatra in Hoboken, was one of them.
When Peg Leg died I buried him close to the place where he had been born. It remains such an insignificant spot on this earth.
But not for me.
I thought back to when he seemed insignificant.
I love the idea of luck.
What would life be without it?
That's what Peg Leg was all about.
Napoleon selected his officers based on luck.
All the girl pigeons loved Peg Leg..
He was Errol Flynn debonair.
He could talk, smile, fight and do whatever.
Eagles had nothing on him.
Where did he come from?
My dream, I suppose.
Its the biggest race of your life. You've done everything to create the perfect bird. You put Mendel to shame with your genetic prowess. The body and and feather of your entry has been created for this exact race. You know exactly what type pigeon it will take to conquer this terrain, distance and the weather that's likely to be encountered. Moult, your bird makes Mona Lisa frown. Psychology, you are the father of Freud.
How smart are you about condition? A genius. Assuredly.
Maybe there's another way of thinking. Thinking not new. Thinking you would have been exposed to if you were a collegiate athlete in swimming or track. Thinking that involves more than physiology. Thinking that's been adopted for training thoroughbreds. Training quite the cup of tea for any animal on a given day.
What is it like to walk one mile or swim 100 yards? If you do it over and over what happens to your body? What happens to your mind? What if you decide to run one mile or that 100 yards? What is the best way to be your best?
Is your pigeon a pigeon?
Freud's father was never advertised for being too smart. But then, he might've been smarter than the ever so many genius' roaming within our sport that look upon a poor pigeon as some kind of locomotive constant. Something you can train over and over at the same distance. Your little locomotive.
That pigeon ain't no pigeon?
To get the best from a racing pigeon it should have that perfect body, feather, eye and disposition. Oddly enough, the same can be said for humans.
If you are in some sort of training schedule and you run a five miles every day or if you are a pigeon and home 100 miles every day you may eventually be be great at what you do but when can you be your very optimum best?
Strange and mindless. I suppose sums up humans. Freud concerned himself over such. When it comes to racing pigeons, it shines.
A pigeon is decidedly not a pigeon.
After you turn that pigeon into your artistic F-15 how can you get it to do its absolute best?
Of course. But you need to have an edge over love. Love can move mountains but it might not win a race.
Somewhere down the line you have either developed a sixth sense about pigeons or you haven't. Unfortunately, most of the fanciers I've stumbled upon do well to have five senses, let alone this sixth.
If you are a sheikh and come to America and buy the best yearlings down from Seattle Slew, Alyadar, Unbridled, Curlin and company, and think that's all it will take to win the Kentucky Derby--- that and locomotive training, then you will sadly learn as so man sheikhs have already experienced, it ain't that simple.
Are you one of those fliers training birds 20 to 100 miles every day believing that doing such will have your birds perfect come that one great race?
That kind of thinking and that kind of psychology puts Freud's father a genius in comparison to your wretched brain.
There is a method of training called, tapering. Tapering is not a method wherein a human or pigeon is trained to do the same thing over and over day in and day out and on any given day be its best. It is in fact a method that explores and utilizes a certain discipline and understanding of all things possible. And in this understanding, if done just so, you actually do have a given day or a given time frame wherein you or your pigeon can be at your optimum best.
And yes, there are exceptions to everything. I suppose, even exceptions to tapering. On given events, I've observed humans, horses and pigeons winning and in review of their training there was no tapering involved.
But then, that same person, horse or pigeon may well have done even better than it did if it had been tapered just so.
In something physical you need to build up to that point you are hoping to achieve. This involves a gradual increase going from a beginning to that pinnacle of where you want to go. I was a distance swimmer in college, training with 15 ALL AMERICANS for four years. I was as green as grass when I came there. Didn't know a thing about tapering.
But my swim coach, Don Combs, the son of Earle Combs, the famous Hall Of Famer that batted third on MURDERERS ROW for the NY Yankees after Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, for some reason, probably because I was a poor hillbilly like him, took me under his wing and after four years, instilled within me a seasoned knowledge of what tapering was all about and how it had no human boundaries.
I've also been around thoroughbreds for some fifty years and by some nefarious design fell into wagering on them. There was a point in my poor life where I thought I had a real handle on all there was to know about race horses. I can still remember betting $4,000 on Alyadar in The Kentucky Derby. Losing that bet was an expensive education.
I still love thoroughbreds. I still swim. And I still dwell at the track and breathe that same air that I did over a half century ago. I still read the form. And because I do study the form so closely, I've noticed several things regarding thoroughbreds that have evolved over the past fifty years. One is that now the breeding of thoroughbreds is centering far more on line-breeding than it ever once did. In years past, you rarely saw such concentration on certain blood. And two, its become obvious that many of the trainers are beginning to employ variations of tapering.
Mark Spitz could tell you about tapering. So could Michel Phelps. Both used tapering to win to make them the best swimmers in the world. The way they handled tapering put them at their very best for a given time. They beat every swimmer in the world. It was no accident. It involved much preparation. And certainly, they were not locked into some mindless training wherein all they did day in or day out was the same routine.
Tapering is complex when studied on all fronts as it must encompass everything around you as well as the basics.
Basics is the nitty gritty. For racing pigeons, tapering could apply differently depending on when and what you want to achieve. Tapering could take on several faces. But allow me to explain some simple arrangement of understanding of tapering. Let's say there is going to be a 300 mile young bird race of great importance in November. Its that race you've known about for a year and would love to win. You know how to conquer all the issues of breeding, moult, etc but you really don't know anything about tapering.
To begin, you would want to circle the date of the race in your mind. If the race is on November 15th you will have to time your training and tapering for that exact date. At some point you will have taken your young birds out for their first training toss and as time has gone by you will have them out as far as 100 miles, possibly farther. A series of training tosses increasing in distances could vary. For the sake of argument and a simple example allow me to hypothesize a basic outline you would want to employ. Let's baby these birds and take them on this toss-training-tapering schedule as best we can: 1st toss: 1 mile. 2nd toss: 5 miles. 3rd toss: 10 miles. 4th toss: 20 miles. 5th -- 7th toss: 30 miles. 7th toss: 20 miles. 8th- toss: 50 miles. 9th--10th toss: 60 miles. 11th toss: 20 miles. 12th toss 100 miles.
This is just one hypothetical schedule that starts out using a tapering training program to begin to get your birds in superior condition. You could adopt nearly any manner of distances you feel that are best suited for you just so long as you use employ the basic theme of what tapering encompasses.
First, the basic concept involves gradually building your birds up by increasing distances. Sometimes you may want to stay at those distances to make certain that you are very strong at that level. Then, at some point, you will want to regress and go back, decreasing the distance. A lot happens when you do this. But basically it will normally cause the animal to have a little less pressure placed on it that day, Less energy output. And in the doing will cause a rather wonderful expansion in psyche and muscle development. Its almost the same principle in a round about way as your employer telling you that he's giving you a paid month's vacation and when you come back he expects you to tackle some tough assignments. And the truth is, it works. Surveys have proved that people who work four ten hour days are happier and more productive than people who work five eight hour days.
When it involves racing pigeons, what you must learn about tapering is how to build up to a distance, maintain that distance, come back down from that distance and then go on farther with the distance. Continuously building up and going back at all sorts of levels. Slowly but surely reaching new levels of endurance. Its a matter of timing and understanding and with racing pigeons you must always be astute, carefully handling and watching each bird. If a bird becomes weak or is in a heavy moult you must note such. If the sky turns dark and there is likely to be a downpour on a training day you have you have to back off and re-think your strategy.
Freud's father, Jacob, was a wool merchant. He lost his business because of the economic crisis of 1857. A crisis that led to our Civil War. A great many events led to this crisis. Events beyond Jacob's control. And yet, history records Freud's father at being basically unsuccessful.
Maybe Jacob would have done better if he had understood tapering.
But then, Jacob, in his despair, would've confessed, some pigeons are pigeons.
One of the favorite tactics that race horse trainers employ is to have their chosen horse that has been racing at 11/8 mile races on a regular basis to drop down in distance to a mile or even a six furlong race for a given race. As a handicapper, you must always pay careful attention when a trainer does this as so many times such a horse will win this shorter race. This all comes back to tapering. Even when trainers are aiming at The Kentucky Derby they will work their entries previous to the races with all manner of workouts and so many are either in the building up stage or the tapering down stage. Both involving the principles of tapering.
So what about that big 300 mile bookoo race that is going to put your handsome face on the cover of The Racing Pigeon Digest and have your racing pigeon soaring in every fancier's imagination?
If it were me, I would build the bird/s up to 100 miles something like I've mentioned. Then, depending on what the race schedule happened to be. I would employ that schedule to my design. If the race schedule didn't fit my plan, I would train the birds on my own at the distances and times that best benefited them. Once you reach 100 miles many things are possible. You might want to continue several tosses at that distances. You may want to go on up to 150 or 200 miles. You may even want to fly a 300 or a 350 or a 400. Flying a 300 prior the race and then tapering back down with ample rest would be an ideal situation. Tapering down before that bookoo 300. And throughout this tapering down, you would also want to assure that your birds were beautifully content and in love with their home. I would take up residence in the loft watching their every move, psychoanalyzing their every coo. During this tapering you would want to employ all your knowledge regrading the right types and amounts of feed, the right amounts of light that the birds should have while roosting-- controlling the darkness of the a loft in harmony with tapering can help achieve superior contentment of the birds as well as condition.
If tapering didn't produce winning results, athletes and thoroughbred trainers wouldn't use it. It remains rather amazing that so many racing pigeon fliers still own no concept of tapering and how to use the method. Locomotives may be locomotives but pigeons ain't pigeons.
Not unless you are a pigeon, too.
When she was born she was all alone in the nest as the egg beside her had failed to hatch.
She could barely move after pecking her way free of her egg, being all but a small yellow-haired, blob with half-shut eyes; she minutely moved in exploration using her new found senses to measure an even newer existence. I picked her up and saw that she was healthy and put her back down. Her mother wing-slapped my hand. How dare me for having had the nerve to disturb her; that was her baby and she made certain I knew it.
A week later I checked on the baby. It had grown almost twice in size. Now, her eyes were open and she was oddly aware that I was near. She looked at me and I, her. We were so different and yet so strangely alike.Pigeons are that way, you know.
Two days later I placed a band over her leg. It was a band that told what year she was born and who she belonged to. I felt it was an honor to be using the "KY" bands that I did as they had always been reserved strictly for my old friend, Charles Heitzman. Now that he had been long dead I thought it was important that I somehow kept his memory alive.
The little bird began to have feathers and you could see that she was going to be a blue bar with white flights and white feathers among her head and face. She was tame and when I daily checked on her she began to show me her spirit as she would peck at me and flap her little wings in defiance..
Her father was a strong silver cock with the longest wings of any bird I owned. All of his brothers and sisters were good racers and I suspected their blood came more from their silver bar mom than their red check father. Her mother was a blue bar that had flown in a prestigious one loft race in Minnesota. She had done very well as she gotten better as the races got longer, finally finishing third out of 600 birds in the last race of 350 miles. She was a strong pigeon with short, rounded wings. I thought if I could improve that wing structure than I would have a baby even better than her. And that's why she had been placed with the silver cock.
The baby was a late hatch and beautiful. And my partner with the pigeons said that we should save her and fly her with the birds next year. I agreed.
The following spring she mated with the only pigeon in our lofts that owned so much white color. Actually, the bird was a full Sion and its color was a black saddle. It was odd as he had been born from two pigeons that were a mealy and a blue check. He was a beautiful pigeon and his nest-mate had flown well in The Gulf Coast Classic in Florida. My loft partner and I decided to leave the pair together. He was interested in the colors they would produce and I was interested in their racing blood being mixed together.
As summer approached the beautiful black saddle cock was caught in midair by a cooper hawk while flying around the lofts. At the time there were two of his babies in the nest. His mate, the blue bar white flight splash hen, took care of them and raised them up by herself. The two babies were a perfect blend of their parents. Both were blue bar saddles and both owned the best physical properties of their parents; they owned dark eyes like her and were smart..
Came September and we began to train all the young birds. And with them we began training the blue bar white flight splash hen. On the first toss we took them 20 miles and a cooper's hawk hit into them and scattered the birds coming home. The next week we took them 40 miles. It was a beautiful day and just as we got home my loft partner, John, and I watched as a pigeon circled overhead. We both knew who it was, that late hatch hen. She had come alone in front of 300 pigeons. She made the most beautiful wide swoop around our lofts, gliding in such a way as you knew she was happy and enjoying being the first one home.
And just as she was starting to glide in for a landing a coopers hawk came out of the woods and closed in behind her. She saw the hawk and did all she could to out fly him. She twisted in flight in one direction and the hawk did the same. She dived down and he did the same. Each time the hawk closed the gap.
And then he got her.
He flew off with her and disappeared in the distance.
I sat there a long while as the other birds came in. At the end of the day almost all of them were back in the loft.
Except the first one that came home.
I couldn't help but think of her all that night and to this moment still.
Fortunately, we still have her two sons that she raised.
Maybe they will raise a baby that was like her.
And maybe, when she comes back it will be through them.
All racing men experience this. But still we go on...
HOW SIONS SAVED de GAULLE
Earl Lowell "Robbie" aka "No Sweat" Robbins
August 22, 1961. Paris, France
The racing homer stood on one foot looking tranced into the yellowy light directed into its face by Francis Marroux's flashlight. Sometimes when a pigeon was at roost it would rest and lay on its keel keeping its legs and feet tucked just so, balancing as if it were sitting on eggs.
But sometimes not.
Sometimes when trying to roost the bird would stand on both legs.
Especially when the mosquitoes invaded.
Sometimes a pigeon would nearly close one eye while its other remained wider yet just as asleep.
And some rare times, both eyes closed and the bird dreams as birds do.
Pigeons own such rich lives in which they forget themselves.
They are aware to sunsets and shades of green and fireflies and how the moon is or is not full.
And because they see more beauty, see more light, they fly in heaven in their dreams and coo ever so gentle as they go.
In August in Paris it was impossible for a pigeon to dream for the air was warm and still, the Seine River's mosquitoes were searching for the skin of the bare legs and the fleshy eye ceres of pigeons.
Francis Marroux heard the birds tap dancing in the dark and knew his birds would have no dreams in their loft this night less the one they shared together called life.
That word Sion, kept bothering Francis.
. The Notre Dame cathedral was built on an island in the Seine River called Mount Sion.
Years ago, while Francis and the man he chauffeured and protected with his life so many times,, Charles de Gaulle, had stepped from that cathedral he glanced up at gargoyle looking down at them as the the bells were being rung when he noticed bits of rock chipping oddly around them.
Bullets hitting in protected noise.
Such close call.
Francis continued thinking.
His birds had been in the French Resistance.
And they had come indirectly from a man named Paul Sion.
Francis Marroux always found refuge in his loft.
No cathedral could compare.
It was a paradisiac place to rest and shut out the rest of the world.
And for a precious while allow his heart to be with his pigeons.
Ideologies and morals changed but the poor pigeon remained the same.
In his solitude, Francis Marroux, beguiled by his birds, thought of the car he always drove, a black Citroen Deesse, such a sleek and French beauty but still, nothing compared to his Sions.
In no way was it so bewitching.
Those Sions were brave and unsung and in this he found them as wonderful kindred spirits.
How many times had he and de Gaulle escaped death?
Yesterday, he had shifted down to third gear with two flat tires to gain control and keep the Citroen Deesse from flipping as thirteen bullets ripped through the metal all around them.
Last month, a bomb exploded in a sand pile and de Gaulle never paused, ordering him to drive straight on through the flames.
So much, yes.
The pigeons listened to Francis Marroux's confessions.
He was afraid of dying.
But if he had to die then let him die with de Gaulle.
Let him die with a man as brave, no, more, than himself.
De Gaulle mocked death. "Such poor shots," he'd say. He said it so often, And always with no expression. De Gaulle's insistence upon the right of self-determination for the French colony of Algeria caused the shots.
The huge, round, stained--glass rose window centered atop the west entrance of Notre Dame cathedral crept into Francis Marroux's mind as his flashlight moved to another racer trying to roost.
Its feathers were such a lovely red.
The reddest blood of all, a pigeon owns, thought Francis Marroux.
So very red...
Oh how the pigeons love to play.
Lindy's parents were almost fifty years old when he was born. His mother, Maybel, had a wooden leg, the results of polio. That leg had soured her on life. But when Lindy was born she changed. In him she found a certain refuge. Her life became tolerable. In him, she demanded all.
Lindy's father was a tiny man with thick glasses. He worked in a railroad office close to their home. In his spare time he was the local scoutmaster, stressing duty and honor. ln his son went all his love, all his wisdom.
After high school, Lindy was accepted into West Point. West Point in 1951; the era of the Cold War. West Point, period; an incredible achievement from a tiny town in eastern Kentucky.
For Lindy's parents and the little town of Ravenna, Kentucky, it was a time of elation. It was pleasing to know that an especially kind person be justly rewarded. While at West Point, Lindy's father died. When Lindy graduated, he switched branches of the service. He had to support his mother and the Air Force paid more. From a flight training school in Georgia, Lindy went into S.A.C. In the next few years he became a captain of one of the most destructive bombers in the world. He also fell in love and married Audry, a girl from Iowa. As Lindy became more and more addicted to flying, to power, and to spending days of never landing, his wife and mother competed for his ground time, his love. Audry thought that if she had a child, then Lindy's flying addiction would fade. She had twins, two fine sons.
Still, it wasn’t enough. Shortly after, she took her own life.
The two babies were given to Audry's mother. She blamed Lindy for Audry's death. Lindy surrendered from the skies. The Air Force didn't want a person in control of a bomber under such psychological duress; A duress soon evolved into depression. You love literature, they reminded him. If you want to teach English at the academy, we'll hire you. First you need a Ph.D. We'll pay for any place you want to go. The pension he got, he gave to his sons and mother. Material possessions meant nothing to him.
Through it all, Lindy's mother had tried to believe that he was temporarily sick. But when she looked in the mirror she knew that things were not going to change. That everything good and glorious was gone never to return.
At home, Lindy stayed mostly in his dim lit bedroom, sitting in an old rocker next to his bed. Beneath the cracked plaster in his ceiling were relics of his past. His father’s B.S.A. Silver Beaver award, his tight-tucked, grey, wool West Point blanket, framed letters from his classmates’, generals and the men who'd walked on themoon. An old brown radio always played jazz and blues. Beneath his bed, and stacked everywhere on the floor, were novels. He could easily quote from any of them, especially Hemingway. Several years ago, on a day before Christmas, I stood by my loft, looking at Lindy’s empty home. I knew that he was in the V.A. hospital and that his mother had been placed in a rest home.
That evening, I found myself near Lindy, fetching him back home. The V.A. Hospital was a tall, stark, brick building full of forgotten, lost and tortured souls. Lindy's private cubicle was not much larger than his half bed; almost a closet. "I like it." he said, "It reminds me of the Point.” Lindy could not escape his memory of glory and then what had happened to Audry and his sons.
When he was a boy, he’d been elated to receive letters back from the soldiers in the war. Now, the great war was in him. Once, he'd jumped up on a table and led the cadets in a cheer against Navy. Once he and Audrey had bowed under so many crossed swords as rice filled the air.
Lindy had lost a lot of weight since I’d last seen him. He seemed more nervous and grey, constantly burning a cigarette. Outside, the night owned a biting cold. And up in the sky, a full moon had two halos surrounding it. "Looks like two in a holding pattern," he said. Then he looked at me and pulled out a drink. "We'll never get out of the twentieth century," he assured. He couldn’t have been more serious, or pleased. Pausing, we noted a poor pigeon, all ruffled up and roosting alone just outside his window.
"Sometimes a racer gets lost and winds up like that,” I remarked.
Lindy stared a long time at the bird, just as he'd been doing day from his room.
I could only wonder what he was thinking.
June 5,1944, Paris, France
But of course trees can cry, a building, too.
And these trees and the building had been so long heart broken that their tears were now gone.
For four years their tears had fallen.
And as anyone knows there are only so many tears.
Now, the gaiety of past times was but a faint memory and all that remained was a single panzer tank with its young soldat above the turret moving slowly up and down the Champs Elysees, zig zagging in its turns.
In earth's ores.
Oh, but the trees on both sides of that special avenue for more than a mile did weep.
Their green more grey but green still.
Little wings slicing through a grey dream.
This is a dream is it not?
Grey wings still.
And grey dream, more.
But not so grey, no.
Hope comes that way.
Is it not true?
From son to father little wings flew, Robert Sion to Paul Sion.
Son in London, father in France.
From son itself in feather one loft to its own father in another loft as well.
. A pigeon knows its father, though such secret but true.
What path truer could there be?
Blood flying to blood.
212 miles from London to Paris.
Where else could a pigeon go so unnoticed?
Where else indeed.
The most common bird in the world in a very uncommon way.
A million lives in those wings.
No, tens of millions.
What message does it own?
Camouflaged hope, indeed.
The three pigeons on the Arch de Triumphe paid little mind to the tank..
Those pigeons knew nothing of little wings slicing.
They were diversions at nature's smile.
Two of the birds were were darksome, the other, white;
Two males and a hen in that ancient contest of love.
The males on either side, bent forward, tails spinning, frantically cooing, suitors oblivious except for each other.
She pretends not to see them, almost.
Nearly still, she is indifferent to their strutting and show.
But she is watching, yes
Spin small bird.
Man remains jealous.
"THE COW SKIPPED OVER THE SUN SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX TIMES," says little wings' secret message:
Coded: "D-DAY, JUNE 6."
Winds in little wings slicing face, waves below, clouds encompass.
Yes, that nowhere to land English Channel.
Death's gaping jaws.
A homing pigeon comes home.
A racing homer makes an art of it.
Home owns its heart unlike any other.
Feathered serpents fly far beyond the Galapagos, do they not?.
They see what man doesn't and feel what he can't.
The best messages are felt.
But Little Wings Slicing compared.
A message to save the world.
And all, yeah, on the leg of a poor pigeon.
And what of the face of the French Resistance?
Have you seen a bird smile in the sun?
Have you seen sparrows attack hawks?
Have you watched birds in a storm?
You see then the face of resistance.
Vestal Virgins waiting for their pigeon.
Noah waiting for that dove compounded.
Beneath those pigeons on the Arc de Triomphe, those common pigeons of little note, was a large shield lying on the ground and on that shield was a sword;
France's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier;
An eternal flame burning there.
A flame of yellow and sometimes red matching the colors in the eyes reflecting off little wings slicing as he follows his brother.
A brother not seen but there.
No markers in the sky or on the water.
Just following a feeling.
That's when the brother of Little Wings Slicing flew.
The British and Americans were boarding.
June 5 was to be the day.
Then came the storm. that crucial eye on time and place in peril.
That exact full moon and that exact spring tide so in fate, so crucial.
Descendant from Lascaux was little wings slicing.
And long before all that the men as well.
All from the sea but such diversions at survival's mold.
One with feather, the other with barrel.
And before the sea?
Do galaxies not make war?
The three pigeons on the Arc de Triomphe lifted and flew.
The hen's wings beating steady as her suitors V-winged glided.
Each landing on a shield high atop, Napoleon's Austerlitz engraved there on.
So queer that birds don't keep flying beyond the dream.
Queer too, how the sun's passing messes.
Allies changing with rotating shadows.
Could General Vandamme forecast a common pigeon courting on his memory?
Did Napoleon's artillerists throw a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary into a fire for warmth and it wouldn't burn?
That demure hen, smaller than her suitors, head cocked looking with one eye down at France's Elysian fields, that impressive promenade, seeing the tank.
As if some louse in her wing.
A pigeon sees clearer than man, does it not?
Man to pigeon, pigeon to man.
Silent wings would follow in the form of poor gliders as Basque berets with a pigeon feather brooch, destroyed railroads, bridges and fear.
Later roosting on The Croix de Lorraine.
To touch your son's words, to save your home, to dream of tomorrow.
Paul Sion, bald, mustached, a drifter in a white collar, maybe so, more common than the most common of pigeon, waited at the open window.
Beside him, another Maquis in a black beret.
Grey eyes in the grey.
But a heart not so.
Such a difference in a pigeon's coo and the sound of a gun.
One velvet, soft and powdery.
The other, time's revenge.
A fictional story
Lascaux, France, June, 1940
You couldn't see them unless they moved.
Five camouflaged German soldiers.
A reconnaissance patrol, fragments of the Blitzkrieg.
Each soldier owning a helmet woven with grasses coming from their location near the bank of the Vezere River.
Those helmets moving as queer nests with green and brown tentacles.
Come here, whispered a cave in the woods.
Caves do talk, don't they?
This cave was not so big. A hole in the ground. An old pine had fallen exposing its entrance.
In the blue heavens the Luftwaffe and their roar of so many planes were disappearing.
Then,for a moment it was suddenly quiet.
The Germans paused, surveying the countryside; so many yellow orchids, grasshoppers and black butterflies with their scarlet trim.
Though the sun warmed their helmets and gun barrels there was a slight current of a cool breeze waxing down from the northern slopes of the Pyrenees. With it was a clean and light smell of conifers and snow. Pairs of Alpine Choughs called loudly while entering nesting caves along a cliff's face. A minute later, a small and flitting bird moved across another cliff and disappeared into a crevice. Feeding on dandelion and thistle at the woodland's edge, four Citril Finch were confiding and persistent. The melodic song of the Rock Thrush was heard and a beautiful orange and blue male was spotted singing on a rock fence.
"I'm waiting," whispered the cave.
Finally, one of the patrol found it. Soon, the others came.
Footprints. Fresh. They appeared to be that of a man's and a boy.
The footprints lead only in.
The soldiers stood astonished. There was that innocent side of them that wanted to pretend they didn't see those footprints. If they found the man and the boy they would either have to shoot them or take them to an area where they would be trucked away and probably hanged.
But the cave was such a black temptress. And the German invaders were determined to impress upon the French that it was useless to resist.
"I don't like this," spoke sergeant Isselhardt.
Just beyond those footprints having once hidden the entrance there was a rock covered in fossils. On the other side of the rock there stood a paraffin lantern. Sergeant Isselhardt still had his small signal flashlight and he buttoned it to his left front shoulder so that it hung down and aimed where he was going so that he would be able to keep his hands free. "This way," he ordered to his men.
One by one the men climbed over the rock. Then, stopping, sergeant Isselhardt turned on his flashlight. "Sit down," he lowly spoke, lighting the lantern. Then he passed the lantern down to private Yoes at the end and began leading with his flashlight. The patrol made their way in a single file, so close that they were constantly touching each other.
"How's your light?" asked corporal Heitzmann, the second soldier in the line.
"I have never been in such darkness," spoke Goldshmidt, the soldier behind him with another flashlight. "There's a feeling of death here. Let's go back."
Sergeant Isselhardt felt the same but could not show it. "My own batteries are weak and I have no more," he said, overhearing the conversation. Stay close. No talking. We'll go back when I say we go back."
"When a man in a cave has his light goes out it means another man is with that man's woman," responded Yoes, grinning and carrying the lantern, causing the other soldiers to smile as well.
The first twenty meters inside the cave continued to slope steeply downward. The uncertain light of sergeant Isselhardt's signal light barely pierced the darkness.
And private Yoe's lantern cast eerie shadows.
The men's eyes finally adjusted and when they did they stood spellbound.
"Look! Unbelievable! uttered Yoes. "Can this be real? Are we in a dream?"
"Stay quiet!" ordered sergeant Isselhardt.
Above the men all along the walls in hand-painted red, yellow, brown and black colors, were a striking series of primitive wall paintings; panels of bison, reindeer and fat belly horses; the animals looked frightened; they were so vivid and real as though they themselves were seeing, breathing, hurrying, some even swimming, some having shading and three dimensional qualities.
Further along on another wall, there was another panel of paintings depicting a great black bull hiding two cows. At the back of the panel there was a horse that seemed to be dashing towards the inmost depths of the gallery. On another wall, the focal point of the composition, there was a herd of small horses and a large black cow whose distinguishing feature was an unusual movement evocative of a fall.
Man the hunter.
A dream of no end.
Nothing owns the quiet of a cave.
Except a grave.
The sound of a "coo" deep inside a cave?
A soft coo.
A lonely coo.
A coo of despair.
Somehow, each man knew that coo.
Only one bird in the world could make that exact sound, a pigeon.
But a pigeon does not dwell so deep in a cave, does it?
Once more the cave made that mourning sound.
And every few seconds again the silence was broken.
The soldiers walked toward the sound coming into another room. On the floor was the skull of an ibex covered in calcite. Beside it were two pack frames; Each frame held a wicker crate owning four small doors. In a small space at the top of each door was the head of a pigeon. At the top of each crate was a brass nameplate: PAUL SION --- TOURCOING, FRANCE.
Not just any pigeons.
One glance into their brilliant, dark eyes told they were no accident.
They were beyond nature's touch, the art of one man.
The birds held calm, a careful intelligence at play; they were the shimmering, elite representatives of the fastest flying birds in the world, a blend of peace and wonder, beautiful homing pigeons bred to race; Something about them was almost human, as though they could speak.
Sergeant Isselhardt knew about racing pigeons, having been in many races. Oddly enough, so had corporal Heitzmann and private Yoes. Even though they had been away from their birds for some time the pigeons had remained in their dreams and they were always with them. In those dreams they would stand there in their lofts finding peace. They hated waking from those dreams as those dreams were almost perfect. They hated "the other awake world" they now dwelled in. And they hated what they knew were their given orders if they found any homing pigeons: KILL ALL HOMING PIGEONS ON THE SPOT NO QUESTINS ASKED! Even though they were Germans they knew off France's National Champion in racing pigeons, the world famous Paul Sion. No person could begin to match Sion's magic with pigeons. And to kill these magnificent racers, well, caused the soldiers a moment to pause.
"Rat-a-tat-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat-tat!" opened up two machine guns hidden in the black somewhere recessed in a cleft.
All five Germans in the patrol fell dead.
Paul Sion and his son, Robert, climbed down, keeping their machine guns trained on the lifeless German soldiers. The eagle symbols on those German uniforms paled in strength compared tor the love that Paul Sion and his son owned for their pigeons."Get a couple of their guns," ordered Paul. "We've gotta get out of here -- quick!".
"I've been his neighbor since he moved up here. About fifteen years now."
"And why are you calling the Kentucky State Police?"
"Well, he's got some pigeons up there. And he's got trees planted all over the place. I know he plants them so the neighbors can't see what he's doing."
"And what is it that you think he is doing?"
"I don't think nothing. I KNOW what he is doing!"
"And what is that?"
"Well, my two grandsons were up there in his pigeon loft last week. He got to showing them the feed mixture he mixes together. He had corn and some other stuff---and guess what?"
"He's got marijuana seeds up there, too. My boys said he had two fifty pound bags. Ain't that against the law? My guess, he's only using those pigeons as a front. He's making money off those seeds as sure as I'm talking to you on this phone!"
"You're sure he's got one hundred pounds of marijuana seeds?"
"Yessir. I saw this hot-line number for reporting drugs and I immediately called."
"What's this man's name and where does he live?"
"He's called, NO SWEAT. Says he's a writer ---but I know better. His pigeon loft is in the woods on a hill behind his house at 516 Poplar Street in Ravenna, Kentucky."
"Thank you for calling, Ma'am, we will look into this."
Later the same day of the phone call. Six squad cars race to the 516 Polar Street residence. The peaceful pigeon loft is surrounded by a ready-made Kentucky squat team composed of blue lights representing The Kentucky State Police, The Estill County Sheriff's Department and The Ravenna City Police (population 369).
"NO SWEAT, WE KNOW YOU ARE IN THERE! NO USE TRYING TO HIDE! GIVE UP! COME OUT OF THAT PIGEON LOFT WITH YOUR HANDS HIGH!"
"I'm coming out. Don't shoot!"
"We have a warrant to search your pigeon loft."
"For what? I know that I wrote an article saying that an old man was using pigeons to smuggle drugs in from the Caribbean but it was just fiction. Fiction is all I write."
"The lady that called in on you said you'd try to claim that you were a writer. This ain't about nothin' you say you wrote. This here is about one hundred pounds of marijuana seeds you are hiding up there in that pigeon loft."
"Marijuana seeds? Hiding?"
"ELROY! I FOUND 'EM! TWO BAGS! ONE HUNDRED POUNDS! JUST LIKE THE WOMAN SAID!"
"Officer, I have two bags of hemp seed in there. They weren't hidden. Its not marijuana seeds. I got them from Gary Stone in Cincinnati. He owns a trucking company. He gets the hemp seed out of Chicago. I use it as a trapping mixture for the birds."
"A trapping mixture. Hemp gets the pigeons into the loft quicker."
"ANY MORE BAGS UP THERE!"
"NONE THAT I CAN FIND!"
"BRING THOSE OUT AND KEEP SEARCHING!"
"I'm the one that actually found them, Elroy. My brother is trying to take credit."
"I don't care who found them. I'm just glad we got 'em. GOOD JOB! "
"Are you taking my feed?"
"Am I under arrest?"
"Not yet. But don't leave town. You'll be hearing from us."
"I'm telling you as nicely as I can, that feed is legal."
"No Sweat, do you think we are stupid? You have enough seeds there to supply all the marijuana growers on the eastern shore board."
"Elroy, which cruiser gets the seeds?"
"Put 'em in the Ravenna cruiser. Officer Ishmael can lock 'em up in their safe."
No Sweat, dawn the next day. Richmond, Kentucky. No Sweat is sitting inside a small bathroom on an old commode. The seat of the commode is down. Close by, No Sweat is looking at an old man sitting in a bathtub trying to take a bath.
"Mr. Coy, your wife told me to come in here. I need your help. You're the best lawyer in this state."
"What is it?"
"The police raided my pigeon loft yesterday afternoon. They took one hundred pounds of hemp seed that I feed my pigeons. They are claiming that it is marijuana seeds and that I sell the seeds to growers. Hemp seed is grown in China. Then it is shipped to the United States. When it gets to California the DEA takes control of it. They bring it in off the ship in large conveyors and heat the seeds to the degree that it sterilizes the seeds so that they cannot sprout or re-produce. Once that is done the seeds are then sold to various distributors all over the United States. You can find hemp seeds in canary seed mixtures, parakeets seed mixtures, wild bird seed mixtures and all in kinds of places. All you need to do is read the back of any box of bird seed and you'll lively see that it has hemp seed in it. I get the seeds straight from Gary Stone. He and I are old friends. We played basketball together for Irvine. He now has pigeons and lives in Cincinnati. He is able to get the seeds straight out of Chicago and lets me have some every now and then.I use the hemp as a trapping mixture to get the birds to come into the loft. They love hemp seeds over any other seed that you can feed them. Tell me, what am I supposed to do? I've got all the paperwork showing where I got the seeds and where they came from."
"Did you get arrested?"
"Well then just sit back. Let's hope they bring up charges and arrest you. That will be the best day of your life. We'll sue them for all they are worth."
"Mr. Coy, my wife, Chesteeen, is a school principal. If they arrest me for marijuana she'll probably lose her job. You know how Estill county is. She's spent her whole life working hard to make it as a principal. The last thing we need is to see her fired because of this hemp seed thing."
"If they fire her that'll be just that more money we'll make. I hope they do it."
"I don't want it to come to that."
"No Sweat, the best thing for you to do is keep your mouth shut and not say a word. Get down on your knees and pray that you are arrested and that your wife is fired. That will be the best day of your life. I am advising you as your attorney not to say a word about this to to anyone."
Irvine, Kentucky. Three hours later after the meeting between Charles Coy and No Sweat. No Sweat now sits in front of Mike Moreland, prosecuting attorney for Estill County, Kentucky.
"Mike, yesterday the police raided my pigeon loft and confiscated two bags of hemp seed. They claim it is marijuana seeds and that I am selling the seeds to marijuana growers. I use the seeds to get my pigeons to come into the loft. They love them. I have all the paperwork here as to where the seeds actually come from. If you will read all of this you will see that what I have is legal. I went to Charles Coy about this and he told me to keep my mouth shut. He hopes that you will bring charges against me. He said that he would then sue you. I don't want it to come to that. You know how this place is. I am here to ask you to look into this matter and stop everything before it goes any further.
"No Sweat, I'll look into it today."
Thirty years later. No Sweat resides in Richmond, Kentucky. No charges regarding the hemp seeds were ever brought forth. Not another word by anyone was ever spoken.
And the two fifty pound bags of hemp seeds were never returned.
No Sweat supposes they my yet still be locked up in the city of Ravenna's old safe.
He would ask for them back but is afraid that one of them may have sprouted.
by No Sweat