A whimsical look at life growing up in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s, plus occasional observations from the present. Want to start at the very beginning? Click HERE.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Paul Martin, Scott County Hero

It was his smile that people remembered most, because Paul Martin didn't stand out in any crowd.  He wasn't much of a joiner in high school either; he played basketball in ninth grade, joined FFA for a couple of years, and that was about it.  He was quiet and unassuming, a country boy who enjoyed his life in western Scott County.

After he graduated from Waldron High School in 1965, Paul answered his country's call to service and joined the Army.  As a member of 23rd Infantry of the 8th Army's 2nd Division, he thrived, rising to the rank of Sergeant.  The 23rd Infantry was in the middle of the action in January of 1968, but not in Vietnam.  They were on the volatile border between North and South Korea.

The two countries had been in an undeclared war between 1950 and 1953, and the ceasefire that had been in effect since that time did not always hold.  Communist North Korea was determined to unify the country under one government; theirs.  In January of 1968, a carefully planned plot to accomplish that goal was put into effect.

In 1968, a team of 31 elite North Korean commandos infiltrated the south. Their target: the president of the Republic of Korea.
Photo courtesy of http://militaryhistorynow.com

 The plan was bold: a cadre of highly trained North Korean commandos would slip across the border into South Korea.  Once inside, they would pass themselves as South Korean soldiers, and gradually make their way toward the capital of Seoul.  There, they would assassinate the South Korean president, Park Chung-Hee.

Their training was intense.  They had to be able to traverse long distances carrying heavy packs, and they had to master the South Korean dialect to the extent that they could pass themselves off as South Koreans if they were challenged.  They were indeed an elite group of soldiers.

The plot worked surprisingly well.  After making it across the demilitarized zone separating the two countries, they made fast time.  They moved at night, mostly, and rested during the day.  But one day, as they were resting, they were discovered by four South Korean men who were out cutting wood.  But the commandos  had planned for such an event, and their orders were clear:  kill anyone who gets in the way.

But, for some unknown reason, the commander of the elite North Korean unit decided to instead try to convert the four South Koreans to the North Korean political ideology.  So there, in the frozen forest, a four hour discussion ensued.  The North Koreans had been taught that their neighbors in the south were oppressed, and that if given the chance, they would support the unification directed by the north.  Of course, this propaganda was not correct, but the four South Korean woodcutters gladly played along, pronouncing themselves proud communists at the end of the indoctrination session.  Vowing to keep quiet until after the ensuing revolution, the woodcutters were released.  They promptly sought out South Korean police, and told them of the invaders.

South Korea's presidential palace, known as the Blue House, was the scene of a desperate gun battle on Jan. 21, 1968.
Photo courtesy of militaryhistory.com
But the North Korean commandos were so well-trained that, even though their presence was known, they were still able to continue their mission.  Their goal was The Blue House, the South Korean presidential palace.  Relentlessly, they continued to make their way toward their target.

Their South Korean uniforms were perfect; their South Korean language and dialect beyond suspicion.  They were stopped occasionally, by South Korean military or police officials, but were able to bluff their way out of any questions.  In fact, they got to within 100 yards of The Blue House before anyone suspected them.

An alert South Korean police official challenged them at a checkpoint.  As he grew suspicious, he drew his gun, which caused the North Korean unit to open fire.  A horrific gun battle ensued, in the streets of Seoul.  A bus stopped at the checkpoint found itself between the North Korean commandos and the South Korean army, and almost everyone on the bus was a casualty.  The North Koreans, realizing their objective was lost, dispersed through the streets of the city in groups of two or three, with the goal of making it back across the border as best they could.  Most were killed immediately.  One North Korean forced his way into a house, and told the woman who lived there to fix him a bowl of rice.  Frightened, she complied.  The North Korean sat down at her table, consumed the rice, and then went into another room and ended his life.

North Korean commando Kim Shin-Jo at the moment of his capture in 1968.
Kim Shin-Jo, North Korean commando, at the time of his capture.

One of the North Koreans was captured.  Kim Shin-Jo was forced to reveal the plot.  In the years after his capture, he told of the brutal training that the commandos endured to get ready for their mission.  Interestingly, Kim Shin-Jo remained in South Korea after he was released from prison, eventually becoming a Christian minister.

As the North Korean intruders began to attempt to return home, American and South Korean soldiers along the demilitarized zone were put on alert.  They were to stop any North Korean from getting back across the border.  One of the soldiers manning a checkpoint was Sgt. Paul Martin.

The Associated Press newswire that accompanied the AP photo sent to papers across the country tells the awful story:

It is known that one of the commandos made it back across the border to North Korea.  It is not known whether this is the individual who killed Paul Martin, or whether it was some other North Korean hostile intruder who had crossed the DMZ.  At any rate, Paul Martin gave his life that cold January day.

Back home, the Advance Reporter carried the story.  The headline was "Waldron Man Killed In Action In Korea."  Here is the story as it ran in the Advance Reporter:

SEOUL - Sgt. Paul W. Martin, 21, of Waldron, who was killed January 24 in a gunfight with North Korean Communist intruders, was paid final tribute Monday by his comrades.

Two generals, Lt. Gen. Vernon P. Mock, deputy commander of the 8th U.S. Army and Maj. General Frank Isenour, commander of the 2nd Division, were among those attending services and saluting Martin at Kimpo Air Base.

A platoon from his unit, the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, stood on the airfield apron in subfreezing temperatures.  The division honor guard played a funeral dirge as Martin's aluminum casket, covered by an American flag, was borne to a bier, carried by six sergeants.

Capt. Clarence A. Olszewski, a chaplain, led the funeral procession and a short prayer.

Martin and other U.S. troops were trying to block off the remnants of a 31-man North Korean commando unit that slipped across the border and traveled to Seoul when he was killed.   Authorities say the unit's aim was to assassinate South Korean President Park Chung Hee.

Policemen from the Korean National Police blocked their efforts and U.S. troops from the 2nd Infantry Division launched a major effort to intercept them when they fled.  Martin was one of two Americans who were killed in encounters with the North Koreans.

Martin was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Martin.  Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.  

The next week's edition of the Advance Reporter told of the funeral, how Paul's body had arrived back in Waldron on Sunday morning, with his funeral on a Monday afternoon at Winfield Baptist Church.  Paul was buried at Oliver Cemetery with full military honors, including a 21 gun salute.

A few days later, the U.S.Navy vessel Pueblo was seized by the North Koreans, and the crew held captive for many months.  That, and the war in Vietnam, occupied the minds of most Americans, and the death of a brave soldier in Korea was soon forgotten.

But Paul was not forgotten by those whose life he had touched.  And the quiet boy from Winfield, who had made of himself quite a soldier, was saluted by generals and earned his place in history.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The GI Joe Mistake

A mortally wounded GI Joe is assisted by clones.
(In honor of GI Joe's upcoming 50th anniversary as America's favorite ACTION FIGURE, here's a rerun from 2010...)

 I blame it on the Sears catalog.  It was their yearly Christmas edition that featured the pictures of GI Joe, fully attired in his military gear, camping beside a flowing creek or fearlessly plunging headlong into battle.  It was 1964, the Vietnam War was raging, and young American elementary school boys were ready to do our part. 

In our family, our Christmas gifts were not normally a surprise.  We either picked out something reasonable from the Sears catalog or found something reasonable during one of our two yearly trips to K-Mart in Fort Smith.  That year, I was intrigued by GI Joe - America's Movable Fighting Man.  So, I showed Mama which particular GI Joes I wanted.  I picked out three; two Army GI Joes and one Marine GI Joe.  Odd, because the Yates' were Navy men.  I think I liked the uniforms.  The Sears catalog said they were wearing fatigues, a new word to me which I assuredly pronounced to Mama as "fat-ih-gyues."  So, the order was placed, and on Christmas morning of 1964 I excitedly unwrapped my three GI Joes, along with accessories.  They all three looked about the same; one had brown hair, one blond, and one had actual fuzzy red hair.  They all bore the same serious expression with the requisite scar on their right cheek.  They had guns affixed with bayonets; one had a phone-like communication backpack, and one had a little sleeping bag.

I tried to remember the scene from the Sears catalog...GI Joe was crouched over a campfire in a clearing surrounded by trees, a gentle creek flowing in the background.  Since I had no trees, no campfire, no creek, and no clearing, I set up the scene as best I could on the living room linoleum.  It was at that moment when it occurred to me that there was nothing really else to do with these guys.  Yes, you could bend the arms and legs and turn the heads, but other than that they pretty much just sat there. 

I thought they might be more fun if I played with them outside, where the background setting offered more potential.  But, one of the older neighborhood kids came by while I was setting up my GI Joes and erroneously pointed out that I was playing with dolls.  I was incredulous that he lacked the ability to differentiate between a doll and a movable fighting man.

 In spite of my lack of enthusiasm, I did feel it important to send off the form that came with my GI Joes and become an official member of the GI Joe Club.  After the GI Joe Club Board of Directors met to consider my membership, I received a packet in the mail which contained my membership certificate and official GI Joe dog tags.  Col. Pat Lawrence, Commanding Officer of the GI Joe Club H.Q., sent me this welcoming letter:

Welcome Buddy:

We here at GI Joe Headquarters are glad to have you aboard one of the newest and fastest growing young men's organizations in America.  Why just this month several thousand more GI Joe enthusiasts joined the ranks.

(Ah, I'd joined the ranks of a young men's organization...)

We hope that you will find an important place in your room for your membership certificate, that you'll use your ID card as sure proof of your membership in the club and that you'll proudly display your GI Joe emblem on your T-shirt or other article of wearing apparel.

(Never actually found an opportunity to use my ID card for anything.  I shudder to think what it says about me to note that I am still in possession of my membership materials some 46 years later...)

We here at the GI Joe Club will be in touch with you during the coming months with dependable regularity.  We'll forward to you news about the GI Joe Club and also news and bulletins about other club members such as yourself.  We'll also tell you from time to time about new GI Joe gear and equipment that will show you how to expand your hobby into all the exciting aspects of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps action.

(Actually, I never heard from them again.  Col. Pat Lawrence was undoubtedly called into more serious pursuits.  After all, there was a war going on...)

And so, my interest in my GI Joes progressively waned until it reached the point that I never played with them.  But one day, I came into the house and saw that my sister Janet had set up a little scene with her Barbie dolls, using some little boxes to create couches and chairs.  Barbie sat on a chair, and across the table from her was GI Joe, dressed in his fat-ih-gyues, evidently completely enthralled by the lovely vision of femininity that sat across from him.  Oh well, soldiers need a little R & R on occasion, I guess.

Click here to see an original GI Joe commercial from the 1960's.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Bow Wow

A rerun from 2011...

In the world of High School Journalism, Waldron High School surely had the student newspaper with the coolest name.  In honor of our beloved mascot, The Bulldog, our newspaper, the Voice of the Bulldogs, was of course The Bow Wow.  I have no idea who thought up that name, or even what year the Bow Wow first started.  But every month, a group of dedicated students churned out another edition of The Bow Wow.  And I do mean churned out; The Bow Wow was printed on a mimeograph machine. 

The Bow Wow was sponsored by Suella Ross (later Bratton), who taught typing at Waldron High.  The Bow Wow staff consisted of an editor, an assistant editor, an exchange editor, a business manager, two artists, two sports editors, and three groups of workers:  reporters, typists, and production.  The three groups were somewhat interchangeable; I was technically a typist but I got to do some reporting as well. 

Each month, we would meet together as a staff and make decisions about what we wanted to include in that month's edition.  The editor would assign various topics to different individuals, but if someone thought of something later on they could usually persuade the editor to include it.  We were given a deadline to submit our work, so that enough time would be left to type the individual pages.  We typed the paper on stencils, which were like ditto masters but a bit harder to work with.  The stencil consisted of a sheet of paper attached to a second, wax-coated sheet of paper.  When you typed the stencil, the impact of the typewriter keys made a wax impression on the back of the first sheet of paper.  This would serve as your duplicating master.  If you made a mistake, you had to take a knife and carefully scrape away the wax from the back of the page, and then make sure your page was still lined up correctly so that you could re-type over the mistake.  The typists always breathed a sigh of relief when a page was completed successfully. 

The next step was the production.  Each page had to be carefully attached to the drum of the mimeograph machine.  There was a little metal strip on the drum that raised up, enough to fit the top of the page under, and then it lowered back down to hold the page secure.  You would take your stencil, tear off the front page and discard the wax-covered second page.  Then, you carefully placed the master under the little metal strip on the drum.  You had to get it just right, or else your page would wrinkle when the drum turned, which could cause a young person to lose their religion if not extremely self-controlled.  But, if all went well, you could then crank out however many pages you needed.  Since we were a newspaper, we printed on front and back, so you would turn the printed stack of papers over and print the next page on the back.  Finally, after all the pages were printed, they had to be sorted and stapled along the left side of the page.  So, as you can see, the production staff worked hard!

Then, the fun part; selling the Bow Wow.  I believe we charged ten cents per issue.  The Bow Wow staff could get out of class to sell the paper.  We would all grab a stack of papers and disperse to all regions of school, some to elementary, some to junior high, and others to the high school classes.  Elementary kids were eager to buy the Bow Wow, even though there was almost never anything about elementary school in it. 

So, what was in the Bow Wow?  We had reports from various clubs, a little bit of sports news, occasionally some goofy survey where we asked lots of people some off-the-wall question and published their answers, poetry, a student-made crossword puzzle, occasional serious commentary about national or world events, and I even got to do a series of comic private eye spoofs.  Working on the Bow Wow was great fun, and we even learned a lot about teamwork and creativity, not to mention the importance of meeting deadlines.

But, alas, The Bow Wow is no more.  It went away quietly, no one seemed to even notice.  I don't know when it happened, actually.  It just ceased to exist.  I guess it was just a matter of time catching up with it.  High school students now have access to technology and coursework that is far beyond what we were able to learn.  And Waldron High is able to offer students training and experience in a number of high tech areas, at a level comparable with or above even larger school districts.  So, we shall weep not for The Bow Wow; it will live on in our memories, and in the copies that I've kept since 1974.  And maybe I can do a post sometime soon featuring exerpts from some of those Bow Wows.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Self Promotion Friday: Ten Things About Me

I've been seeing them for the last week or so, those ubiquitous Facebook posts in which people tell little-known facts about themselves.  Fascinating, they are, truly; I have enjoyed reading them.

So, since I have been so short of material for this blog lately, I'm taking my cue from Facebook and posting...

Ten Things About Me

1.  I have not thrown up since 1977.

Perhaps the accomplishment of which I am most proud.  I was in college at Arkansas Tech, living in prison-like conditions in a facility called Paine Hall.  Caught a stomach bug, middle of the night, made the tortuous trip down the hall to our community/prison bathroom.  Decided afterwards that the experience was far to unpleasant to repeat, and determined that I would not throw up again.  Has worked for almost 37 years.

2.  I did not see a movie in a theater until I was 21 years old.

I am very thankful for the way I was raised, but some of you youngsters today might have considered it to be a bit on the conservative side.  In my little church, going to the movies was considered a no-no.  So, I didn't go.  But, at age 21, I decided that I really wanted to see my favorite musical group, The Bee Gees, in their new movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The movie, considered by critics to be possibly the worst movie ever made, I found to be quite good.

3.  I Own Every Episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

On VHS tape, so what good is it?  But, I am a huge fan and in fact, the only area in which I consider myself to be near expert is Andy Griffith trivia.  I'm even a member of an official organization called The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Association.

4.  I am a twin.

Yes, most of you probably know that already, but I'm trying to come up with 10 of these things, ok?  I have a twin sister, Janet, who is 10 minutes younger than me.  What you might not know, however, is that my mom didn't know she was having twins!  So, when I was born, everybody was all excited and happy and then somebody happened to notice that my mom was not finished.  So, they sat me down in the corner somewhere and proceeded to assist into the world the first female to be born into the Yates family in 50 years or so.  Eventually, after the excitement settled down, someone remembered that there were two of us and, after a brief search, I was located in my corner and reunited with the family.

5.  I once worked on a garbage truck.

For a summer, in college.  Pretty sweet, actually; anything I found of value I got to keep.  That is, if the driver didn't want it.

6.  I like to do magic tricks.

For kids.  Only simple ones though.

7.  I've been to the World's Tallest Thermometer.

In Baker, California.  During a drive my wife and I made from Las Vegas to Oceanside, California.  Which brings me to my next item...

8.  I love the desert.

Although my wife hates it.  I was enthralled with the beauty of the desert on our drive; at times it seemed like we were driving around on the moon.  I guess I like it because the landscape is so different there than it is here.  But I do love it.

9.  When I'm introduced to new people, they almost always mention Bill Gates.

Which allowed me to come up with a good little laugh line, which I use whenever I speak to a group.  "The only difference between me and The World's Richest Man is one letter...and 9 zeroes!"  (Pause for laughter)

10.  I can't swim.

In fact, I'm quite afraid of the water.  My beautiful wife Marilyn can swim.  Our son Ross and his wife Maegan are excellent swimmers, as well as our daughter Laura and her husband Kip.  Even little granddaughter Kate, age three (almost), is totally fearless of the water and is on her way to swimming.  But not me.  I did, however, buy a snorkel and mask in the spring.  I thought about it all summer, and in September, on the last day Marilyn and I got in the pool, I donned my snorkel and mask, put ear plugs in my ears, and submerged my head underwater for what seemed like several minutes but was clocked by Marilyn at four seconds.  

Gotta start somewhere...

Monday, November 11, 2013

100 Grand

The Growing Up In Waldron blog has been around since July 23, 2010.  In its heyday, I normally posted one or two times a week, and then I ran out of memories, so posting has been sporadic at best for the last year or so.

In spite of the lameness of recent postings, I'm happy to say that the little GUIW blog has now reached the milestone of 100,000 pageviews!  I find this particularly gratifying; I had so much fun living those stories and I'm pleased that others have enjoyed reading about them.

So, what do we do to celebrate 100,000 pageviews?  I thought about holding a party, but my wife said I had to limit the invitees to 50,000 and I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

So, I've decided to just have a chocolate malt for myself and, for everyone else, I'd like to share a few of my favorite pictures of the town that will always have a place in my heart, Waldron Arkansas...

I paid an exorbitant amount for this old postcard, but it was worth it.  This is the oldest picture I have of Waldron.  I don't know the year, but I think the old bank building in the background is still standing.  Can you imagine what life was like for these folks?

This old postcard fascinated me as a child; the time-lapse photography is amazing.  Sadly, the original postcard is lost; maybe when my Dad took it to the Waldron News for publication he never went back to pick it up.  I would give anything to find another copy!

 When going through some of my Dad's possessions after he passed away, I came across this incredible find; the shirt he wore when he was a projectionist for Waldron's only movie theater.  For most of it's existence, it has been known as The Scott Theater, but when it first started it was The Pines Theater.  My wife had this precious find professionally framed for me.

I love this old picture of Waldron from the 30s.  I don't own it; I borrowed it from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture website.  Not a lot has changed in the past 80 years.

Here's another wonderful picture from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas website.  This one is looking south down Main Street.

One more from the same website.  My mom used to talk about how the sidewalks of Waldron would be so crowded with people on Saturday that you could barely make your way through the crowd.  

One place that at some point almost everyone in Waldron visited was Crutchfield's Restaurant.  I remember the booths with individual jukebox selections, and Madge's pies were a town favorite.  

Although taken a few years before my time, this was my church and most of the people in this picture were an important part of my childhood.  Precious Memories, how they linger.

The Methodist Church, foreground, and Baptist Church, background, were major Waldron landmarks.  I passed both when I walked to school or town, and in fact we kept a permanent trail cut through the Methodist churchyard where we cut the corner.  

I love this view of Main Street; it's one of my most prized cards.  You see the Baptist Church at the far end of Main, and I love the trees in front of the courthouse.  Lots of people in town that day, and one fellow making his way up Main Street on his bicycle.

Another great card, but nobody is really sure what was going on when this picture was taken.  One person told me that Charley Forester was giving away a plow at his store, but I don't know if that's right or not.  I hope there weren't any pickpockets in the crowd.

I got this picture from Herb Wilson, and I love it.  Maybe the only time a buffalo has been seen on Main Street.  I imagine this would have been quite a show to see.

So that's my Waldron, at least a quick view.  If you're from Waldron, these pictures may bring on a few memories of your own, and if you're not, your hometown might have looked a little like this too.  

And thanks for looking at this blog.  All 100,000 of you.  Now go get yourself a chocolate malt.

P.S.  In my candy store days, we called it the "hundred thousand dollar bar"...

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Brief Observation That Makes Me Feel Old

When I was little, around 8 or 9 years old, my family had an old Model T, just like the one above, only ours was a bit rougher.  My only memory of riding in it was the indelible image of the road zipping by beneath my feet as seen through the rusted out floorboard.

My brothers, who were older, had many more adventures with the old Model T.  It was primarily driven by our cousin Jerry, who was a bit older than my brothers and thus more qualified to drive.  I think we ended up selling it to someone for $25.

Even at my tender age, I recognized the old Model T as an OLD, OLD car.

When my twin sister and I left for college in 1974, we bought a used Buick Century almost identical to this one for the sum of $3,000, which comprised the life savings of both of us.  It was far and away a much nicer car than we ever thought we could afford.  

That wonderful car, that Buick Century, would be 40 years old now.  That's about how old the Model T was when we cruised around Waldron in it back in 1965.  

Oh, my.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Gary Explains It All

That's me and my dog Scooter and various other family
members.  That's Gary directly behind me.
Most of what I know, or think I know today came from my older brother Gary.  In a family of seven people living in one tiny little house, it's sometimes easy to get overlooked.  But somehow Gary always managed to be there when I had a question, or needed to know something.  To this day, my sister and I continue to be amazed by his encyclopedic knowledge of confidential family information that we were previously completely clueless about.  Gary, the firstborn of the Yates clan, is ten years older than my twin and I, so we have always looked up to him.  Plus, Gary and I resemble each other more than any other members of the Yates family, so much so that to this day we are frequently mistaken for each other.  Should I decide to hold up a liquor store on the way home from work today, there is at least a 50-50 chance that the wrong person would be arrested.

The groundwork for our admiration of Gary was laid at an early age, when Gary would tell us bedtime stories.  Gary has a brilliant and creative mind, so his bedtime stories were crafted with thoughtful moments of realism that seemed to bring them to life.  There we would all be, in Gary's story, hiking through the woods on some generic pursuit, pausing by a little stream to sit down and eat, almost always bringing forth a snack of cheddar cheese and crackers.  In Gary's story, you could actually taste the food.

One cold morning, Gary and I were in his Dodge Dart, for some reason heading out East 80 to get Aunt Addie and Uncle Joe and bring them to church.  I noticed a fly on the dashboard, and pointed it out to Gary.  "Watch this," he said.  Gary reached out, and to my amazement picked up the fly with his fingers.  Rolling down the window, he tossed the fly out.  "How did you do that???," I exclaimed.  Gary explained that the fly's metabolism slowed down due to the cold, so it could not react in time to fly away.

Some of Gary's scientific explanations were a little too complex for me, which sometimes resulted in confusion.  For instance, there was at some point a discussion about the Earth's atmosphere freezing.   I don't know what the actual context of that was, but for about four years after that I imagined a horrific scenario in which we were all attempting to make our way through layers and layers of thin ice.

Gary also indicated that sound waves continued on forever as they moved through the atmosphere.  In my memory, he seemed to have suggested that perhaps the voice of George Washington was still out there somewhere, possibly trapped under a rock.

I lifted many rocks in the days and weeks following that, looking for old George.

Elsewhere on this blog, I've mentioned Gary's incredible ability to hypnotize chickens, and his life-changing discovery that I needed glasses.  Those two stories are wonderful examples of Gary's contributions to my quality of life.

But perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from Gary was in the frequently overlooked realm of bathroom etiquette.  It was Gary who took the time to point out to me that a gentleman, after visiting the facilities for the purpose of Number 1, always takes a little piece of tissue paper and goes around the rim of the toilet.

And it was even Gary who took on the herculean task of The Talk.  Or perhaps, I should say, The Read.  One Saturday, when I was about 10, Gary and his wife brought down a couple of little thin books designed to explain the birds and bees to children.  I, after reading one of the books, was so amazed that I exclaimed, a little bit too exuberantly, "SO THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE!"

One of those moments in time that is still recalled by many family members.

I would not have gone to college if not for Gary.  My sister and I lived with Gary and his wife for two years while we went to Westark Junior College in Fort Smith.  We honestly could not have gone if not for this tremendous act of generosity.

And so, today, Gary is still my source of knowledge.  He has fulfilled the Big Brother job description extremely well, and there is no one else on earth I'd rather be mistaken for.