Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA


May 16, 2014

Life, liberty, and ... phobias?

Cordele — The Global Warming/climate change/climate disruption/I hate the weather fear-mongers need to adopt a better sales pitch if they’re ever going to get me on board their program.

I’m not saying they’re wrong, despite the overwhelming evidence that they are, including e-mails between the head mongers agreeing to over-hype the danger in order to get more press time. They could be right and we may all be dead in 20  years. Of course, at 55, that’s a possibility for me even if the globe doesn’t get a whole degree warmer.

I’m just not going to be afraid of it, is all.

Why, Clay, if all the terrible things they say comes to pass, shouldn’t you be afraid?

As a matter of fact, not. I’ve been thinking recently about all the things I was afraid of at one time or another and frankly, none of them ever happened.

For instance, when I was four or five, I was afraid the tigers and lions at the zoo in Albany would escape, come to Cordele, and eat me. That was back when the zoo was just off Jefferson Street. Of course, that turned out to be nonsense.

I was also afraid that the Germans would attack Cordele, Ga.,  and wreak the kind of havoc I saw every week on the television show, “Combat!” starring Vic Morrow. In fact, the only reassurance I had, at the time, was that Mr. Vic was around to save us if they did.

I never mentioned that fear to anyone because I learned better after telling people I was afraid of the lions and tigers getting out. I must have been seven or eight years old before I actually figured out that World War II was over. It didn’t help things that, at the time, my Uncle Leo was still in the active Reserve, and brought home presents every time he went to Fort Benning. I thought he was fighting Germans.

Another thing I was terrified of was the concept that the Communists would take over America. One night at a PTA meeting they showed a film about how horrible life was in Communist countries and, while I didn’t see the film, Chuck Miller did. Since we were best friends he was only too happy to share the details.

Of course, now that the Socialists and the Communists are fighting to see who gets control of America, it’s kind of like global warming. I’ll probably be dead before it ever gets to the point that I can’t stand it.

I also was afraid, for a long time, that I would die in my sleep and not know it.

People who have known me for my entire life understand how unlikely it was that I would ever die in my sleep.

As of yesterday, I’ve had five broken bones, just shy of 500  sutures including the ones that left two surgical scars. I’ve been shot once, stabbed twice, survived two bar fights, and two motor vehicle accidents in which the car I was driving was totaled. I can’t count the times I’ve been stepped on, kicked or bitten by horses.

The icing on this calamitous cake was a fall from a ladder that caused a fractured skull and an epidural hematoma, and required frantic and precise brain surgery by Dr. Kim Johnston, one of the best neurosurgeons to ever live.

Even today, over 25 years later, I still have some of the more frustrating effects of my traumatic brain injury, including the annoying one where I completely lose my train of ....


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