Posts Tagged ‘ ebook ’

THANKS TO MOM, THERE’S A ‘HAPPY FATHER’S DAY’

THE HUMAN RACE

DADS WILL NEVER KNOW THE FEEL OF IT

 

Mommy, mommy

soon to be,

oh such fun

is pregnancy.

It takes nine months

to meet fruition.

That’s when daddy

lacks intuition.

When he watches

mom deliver,

chances are his

lips will quiver.

If men could feel

what labor’s like,

quick as a wink

they’d take a hike.

Carrying life for

all those months,

isn’t the same as

having mumps.

Experiencing life

inside the womb

is one ordeal he

can’t presume.

When breasts expand

with life’s nectar,

guys go stupid with

this conjecture:

Giving birth’s

like passing plumbs,

one painful roar

and out it comes.

So for all your dads

out there (including me),

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

 

Boots LeBaron

DESPITE WWII BATTLE WOUNDS, U.S. MARINE LIVED FULL LIFE

THE HUMAN RACE

 

WAR NEVER ENDED FOR CHIEF ‘TALL SUN’

     Despite a day of living hell and an adulthood surviving as a wounded World War II veteran with an atrophied right arm and a brace on his right leg, Chief George (Tall Sun) Pierre stood tall and courageously unrelenting against the unmerciful winds of life.

     The fiercely proud full-blooded Okonogan Indian and a longtime friend of mine, died in 2011 (suffering from prostate cancer). He was the hereditary chief of the 11 Colville Confederated Tribes, a 1.5 million-acre reservation on the Columbia River near Spokane, Wash.

     Our last conversation was on the phone. George, 85, told me he had prostate cancer. He was living in a condo in Redondo Beach, Calif. What troubled him more than the thought of death was that because of his disability he feared he would never return to the heavily-timbered reservation where he grew up and for many years visited frequently.

   Like his father Chief Edward Joseph Pierre, the stoic-faced George had always been a warrior at heart. When he was only 16-years-old he enlisted in the Marines. “I wanted to be like my ancestors,” he said, “I wanted to be a hero.”

     On November 23, 1943 (two days after his 17th birthday), he was the youngest member of the U.S. Marine’s 2nd Division assault forces. Against the Japanese-held Tarawa, a heavily fortified atoll in the northern Gilbert Islands in the South Pacific, he was one of thousands of leathernecks that stormed the beach.  

     “For most of us,” he recalled, “it was our first taste of battle. Bombs were exploding everywhere. Heavy machine-gun and rifle fire was tearing us apart. Bullets hitting the sand sounded like a hail storm. We were dangerously bunched together, pinned behind a seawall.”

     As George moved away from the group a bullet ripped through his helmet penetrating his brain. “I fell to the ground, conscious but completely paralyzed. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t even blink my eyes. I could hear my buddies say, ‘Pierre got it!'”

     Had it not been for a Navy corpsman who “noticed tears in my eyes and dragged me to safety,” George would have been left for dead alongside his comrades whose bodies were scattered along the beach and floating in the water.

     “Here I was, a youngster, no different than the men and women fighting in Afghanistan today. A good kid. I hadn’t done anything wrong. Yet, God took away the use of my leg and arm for the rest of my life. It’s very difficult to rationalize.”

     Death on the battlefield, he had told me, “is a tragedy not only for the soldier but for their families. But when you have to live with wounds like this, that calls for a different level of courage.

     He was opposed to the “unjust” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where “our kids were being killed and wounded. “The older I get, the more often I pray for our combat troops. Young people never think about being physically handicapped.

     “Maybe it was God’s will that I was struck in the brain, because I never experienced pain. Even lying there on the beach, I knew something was terribly wrong. So I learned early in life that nobody is invincible.”

     Since that fateful day in 1943, George has faced life like a true “Nez Perce Warrior” (the title of one of several books he has written and self published).

     “I love my country,” he said. “I’m proud to be a wounded veteran of World War II. But life has been painful. When I walk or ride in my wheelchair, sometimes people think I’ve been crippled by a stroke. There have been times when I’d like to wrap my body in an American flag.”

     It has been many years since George had worn his ceremonial war bonnet, ringed with black-tipped eagle feathers, and the white suit of leather stitched by his late mother, Mary Teresa, a medicine woman and tribal matriarch who played melancholy songs on a willow flute.

     Chief Pierre, a former Congressman (1964-67) from the State of Washington, a lawyer with a master’s degree in political science from USC, was never without a battle.

     One war he was constantly waging was against the silent prejudice he is intimately familiar with.

     “Our society has a tendency to discard broken toys,” he said. “Many give money to help the handicapped. Yet those same people find cripples grotesque and have problems coping with the reality.      “If people could look beyond our physical imperfections they might be surprised. Life is tough enough for a person with two hands and legs, let alone, a guy like me,” he said, a faint smile crossing his chiseled lips.      

     “In any war where the enemy is fanatically suicidal, our soldiers are all potential targets. They know they’re facing death or some form of mutilation the minute they step outside of a secure compound. That kind of inner-strength is hard to describe.”

     When Pierre was 12-years-old, he was sent out alone in search of his manhood into the Bonapart Mountain Range, a wilderness in North Central Washington. During the ritual, he was supposed to survive for two days, then return as a man.

     When he failed to return on schedule, his mother and uncle went searching for him. At high noon, they found him sleeping on a branch in a towering tree. Thus, he was given the Indian name Tall Sun.

     With a hint of whimsy, he proudly proclaimed that he was “the last living Native American warrior chief.” His niece, Dr. Tracey Pierre of Seattle, Wash., said that George, who was divorced with no children, was given a military burial on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery.  

     About 25 years  ago made me an “honorary chief” of the Colville tribes and his mother, Mary Teresa, a medicine woman and tribal matriarch blessed me and gave me a tribal name:  Walk in the Clouds.  With pride, I cherish the memory of that day.  The reason I ran this story about my friend is tomorrow is Armed Forces Day.

     — Boots LeBaron —

THIS TANKER TRUCK MECHANIC PLAYS HIS ‘STRADIVARIUS’

THE HUMAN RACE

 

HIS UKULELE IS HIS ‘STRADIVARIUS’

 IMG_2074-0

The fingers are powerful and calloused from decades repairing huge tanker trucks that must transport 10,000 gallons of fuel throughout the west. The Hawaiian born Tom (Masaru) Yonamine, a lead mechanic for Union 76, is probably the world’s only amateur ukulele player who refers to his $1,200 Miller uke as “my Stradivarius.” He’s referring to violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman’s multi-million dollar centuries-old Soil Stradivarius of 1714 hand-crafted Italian violin he calls his “fiddle.” Yet Perlman, who for years has been playing his “fiddle” before SRO audiences throughout the world, and Tom who plays before what he describes as a “Sitting Room Only” audience of one — his Japanese American wife, Sharon. Yet, Tom and the famed violinist have three things in common: They are both 70, cherish their string instruments and perform concerts: Perlman at places like Carnegie Hall and The White House; Tom, before his wife, adult kids and grandchildren at their home in Gardena, Calif. “For years he’s been playing that uke,” says his wife. “Seldom misses a day. It’s like watching John Wayne parading around the house picking and strumming.” Sharon, he claims “is my only severe critic. If I’m playing too loud, she lets me know. If Mr. Perlman ever played at our house, he’d get a standing ovation. I’m still waiting for mine!” Tom’s favorite musician is Japanese born Jake Shimabukuro. “Jake is to ukulele what Mr. Perlman is to violin: A super star. They both play classical, jazz and pops to sold-out crowds everywhere.” Tom does perform with a ukulele group in Torrance known as Kanakapla. “For me,” he admits, “learning chords is tougher than replacing a truck transmission.” What has he learned from fiddling with a uke? “The ukulele is growing in popularity. It’s a social instrument that brings people together. Even for a musician like Jake Shimabukuro, it’s fun to play and the challenge never ends.” Despite his linebacker physique, says his wife of 50 years, “my husband is a romanticist. The song he plays most is Chotto Matte Kudasai, a Japanese love song. Translated into English it means: ‘Wait a Little While.'” So playing the uke turns the retired tanker-truck surgeon into a Romeo and teaches him the art of patience. The troubled world could use both of those virtues today.

 

                        — Boots LeBaron

 

(Boots is currently completing “IN THE MIDST OF SHOOTING STARS,” a memoir about a lost kid and child actor during the great depression and World War II whose rogue-stuntman father Bert LeBaron, with close ties to a powerful eastern crime syndicate, teaches Boots his own brand of integrity.The kid never surrendered his soul to Hollywood)

  https://bootslebaronsworld.com/2015/01/18/conversation-with-a-dead-man-5/

  

 

OLD LION STUDIES WILDLIFE AT STARBUCKS WATERING HOLE

THE HUMAN RACE

THE  FASCINATING PREY THIS OLD CAT GETS CHUMMY WITH       

 IMG_1973 Reeking of Eternity cologne and badly in need of a haircut, the old lion sat in a corner licking his chops, slurping coffee at a Starbucks watering hole in Manhattan Beach, Calif. It was early morning. As he scribbled thoughts on a notepad he watched a parade of morsels line up for fresh-brewed concoctions.   For weeks he had perched ready to pounce on a variety of unsuspecting characters who were sampling the dark liquid on the stage of life. It was a jungle more fascinating than the best of Broadway. Where else can one observe and even chat with such an entertaining cast of wildlife creatures — asking questions that only a scraggly old beast like me could get away with.     

Take a look:     

An unemployed wildebeest (actor) with a debilitating hangover sipping a decalf delight.   A lonely old rooster whose wealth, despite his vanity, attracts a handful of young chickadees he loves to impress.    A vulture with a prominent beak who’s always dressed in a blue suit and tie. Where’s he going? To work at the mortuary.     An award-winning body surfer who’d rather ride the waves than be the aerospace engineer whose salary pays for his surfing expeditions.   A belligerent homeless hyena who grabs the discarded newspapers, then exits Starbucks to find his own solitude.    A soft-spoken well-groomed spotted leopard, an authority on sports, turns out to be a racial bigot.    A gray wolf who calls himself “The Poet.”   He survived eight years doing hard time in three state prisons.     A fearless rhino (Los Angeles County deputy district attorney) who has successfully prosecuted and won more than 100 homicide cases, sending three men to Death Row.      A statuesque gazelle (female banker, heavy on the eye shadow) who’s tired of being hit on.     A racoon (physicist) who reached middle age before he confessed to his elderly mother who raised him as a single parent that liver made him gag. Whenever she served it for dinner, he’d wrap it in a napkin and pocket it.     An eagle (entrepreneur from New York) who decades ago maxed out a credit card to start a pharmaceutical headhunter business that now has offices nationwide.      An ostrich (buxom young woman, bellybutton exposed, butterfly wings tattooed above derriere), is poured into a clinging blouse, mini skirt, with shapely legs that stretch into stilettos. She’s looking for a “job that pays good.”          A Bengal tiger (army officer dressed in camouflaged fatigues and combat boots) who has fought his share of wars in the Middle East.      A couple of friendly pandas (English-speaking Taiwanese) who came to America 30 years ago. They diligently read the Chinese Daily News printed in their native language and discuss the editorials in Mandarin.      A chimpanzee (iron worker) who blows about walking the high beams and gushes about an on-going love affair he’s having with the woman who happens to be the mother of his children.          A porcupine (homeless young woman) coiling on the bricks outside Starbucks. Her face is dirty. Her features are classic.      A charming yet squirrely orangutan in her mid-80s who blesses every person she comes in contact with.  She claims one night she actually spoke to God.      A Hollywood gorilla (stuntman) who had injured his back when the car he was driving in a film crashed. Despite the pain, he intends to return to work.      What a parade of fascinating creatures. All tantalizing tidbits.      What a world.      What a life. Too bad I’ve already had breakfast.

                                                                                — Boots LeBaron

Click to read a preview of my nearly completed Memoir.

https://bootslebaronsworld.com/2015/01/18/conversation-with-a-dead-man-5/

(Boots’ new book, “THE HUMAN RACE,” consists of humorous and philosophic essays, poems and human interest stories focusing on life, Showbiz, love, courage, even death. It’s available on Kindle and in paperback via Amazon)

CONVERSION WITH A DEAD MAN

Bootslebaronsworld.com

 

 

 

CHAPTER OF MY MEMOIR

For those who have been reading

my blog over the past few years:

STAY TUNED. Sunday, (January 18 ,2015)

I’m releasing “Conversation With a Dead Man”,

 the first chapter of my nearly-

completed Semi-autobiographical memoir

I’ve been working on for several years.

The working title of the book is

“IN THE MIDST OF SHOOTING STARS.”

I’d like to hear what you think.

 

Boots LeBaron

FREEDOM IS THE ELUSIVE GIFT EVERYBODY CRAVES.

THE HUMAN RACE

Freedom is ignoring the consequences,

speaking truth in the midst of bellicose critics.

 Freedom is refusing to take shit from

an abusive lover or partner.

 Freedom is choosing the best path

to take when prison gates open.

 Freedom is confessing your love

for a women who might not love you.

 Freedom is buying love when

there’s absolutely no alternative.

 Freedom is having enough cash in

your pocket to feed your family.

 Freedom is the act of conquering denial.

Freedom is coping with the pain of losing a

loved one in life’s erratic parade of fate.

Freedom is to brazenly face life’s pitfalls

despite wounds to the ego you must endure

 Freedom is ignoring negative impact

with a sense of humor.

 Freedom is that feeling of elation

after you’ve said your piece.

 Freedom is forgiving but never forgetting

the act of  a back-stabbing blabbermouth.

Freedom is returning  the wrath a

 bully with your own brand of gusto.

Freedom is a gift to cherish, yet

such a pain in the ass to maintain.

 Freedom is standing bold

against any kind of indignity.

 — Boots LeBaron —

(Boots’ book, THE HUMAN RACE, is available

on Kindle and Amazon in paperback. It consists

of human-interest stories, essays and light poetry)

THEY SHOWED COURAGE, HUMOR AND WISDOM.

THE HUMAN RACE

PEOPLE WHO’VE BEAT LIFE’S RAP!

     Picture this: A B-17 bomber returning home after a devastating combat mission. Flack has damaged part of its tail rudder. The fuselage is riddled with bullet holes. One engine is sputtering. Low on fuel, will that old bucket of bolts make it back to home base?

     For God’s sake, that’s a metaphor for me! I just turned 82! In life, I’ve taken my share of hits and survived many missions over enemy territory. Yet I’m still writing and illustrating stories and essays about young and old people just like you. The final edit of my book, “THE HUMAN RACE” is now available on Kindle and Amazon in paperback.

     Whenever I touch down on life’s tarmac, people tell me that I look great. I want to believe their bullshit. After one glance in the mirror, I know better. What my book has to offer are stories, related essays and light poetry. Those are my weapons. My mission is to introduce you to you. That is, if the two of you care to meet.

     Here’s a sampling of the many men and women you might identify with: A rogue astronaut, a heartbroken single parent, a matador, cardiologists who grapple with death, a U.S. president, a psychic who doesn’t do “flying horns,” a war vet, a topless dancer studies her neurotic male audience, a movie star who despised Hollywood, a rabbi who survived memories of the Holocaust with humor, a prosecutor for the D.A. who sent three men to death row, a divorcee who knows how to rise above her woes, a LAPD bomb squad technician speaks of fear, the Picasso of shoe repair, journalistic dinosaurs who covered crime, a philosophic janitor, The Beatles, a pari-mutuel clerk psychoanalyzes racetrack bettors, 9/11 firefighters and cops, courageous men and women all…

     The guys and gals I’ve written about  have sampled triumph, humiliation, heartbreak, poverty, love and managed to laugh in the face of adversity. I’m proud to say they trusted me with their most intimate tales. Hopefully you’ll find something in common with many them. They are my professors. I want them to be your professors, too!

     So buy the damned book on Kindle or Amazon.

     This damaged B-17 Flying Fortress isn’t the only one who insists that his book is meaningful and entertaining.

     Produced and formatted by my son Beau’s  Blue Soul Publishing, here’s some quotes that pleased this  battle-weary old Flying Fortress:

     Dr. Carolyn M. Walker, a psychologist, writes: “Boots has a genuine interest in a wide variety of people and in each individual’s unique ‘story.’ He has an ability to combine their interviews with his own life experiences to arrive at some interesting universal truths about the human struggle. He uses his journalistic skills to present these thoughts in a readable, entertaining and somehow optimistic manner.”

     Jim Norris, a historian, says: “Combining humor, history and philosophy, “THE HUMAN RACE” is a book with the kind of stories and essays you can return to again and again.”

     Fern Levine, a retired airline administrator, writes: “A beautiful anthology of poetry, prose and vignettes. The stories are captivating, sometimes funny, often sad, and always kept me wanting to turn the page for more. The author has drawn on decades of experiences, and encounters with a grab bag of goodies, with something for everyone to relate to.”

     Carlos Schiebeck, a photojournalist and combat photographer for UPI and Agencee France Presse, says: “Very interesting read. This was written by someone who has thought a lot about human nature and did interviews to prove what he understands about the human psyche. Well written.”     

     Now that kind of propaganda is the kind of fuel that keeps this beat-up old B-17 still flying high.

                        — Boots LeBaron —  

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