Posts Tagged ‘ FRIENDSHIP ’


Roar Roar Roar… Friends for Evermore!




Roar Roar Roar… Friends for Evermore!

There once was a little Leopard Cub

Who lived back in the wood.

He went growl, growl! Roar-roar-roar!

Whenever he felt he should.

He chased beetles in the tall grass,

Romped and frolicked all alone.

He skipped and jumped and rambled

‘Till his mommy dragged him home.

He loved to snap at butterflies

That perched on his fluffy tail.

He’d run in circles chasing them

Until his tongue turned pale.

Then he’d sit upon his little rump

And look up at the branches.

If he saw a mouse or squirrel,

He’d start his stalking dances.

Growl, growl! Roar-roar-roar!

He’d call out in his tiny voice.

The animals would scamper away.

They felt they had no choice.

He’d find a shady place to nap,

And close his big blue eyes.

He’d snore and whistle in his sleep,

Which of course was a surprise.

And when he would awaken,

Bouncing up like a lively spring,

He’d let out with a ferocious snarl,

The cuddly little thing.

Growl, growl! Roar-roar-roar!

He’d bellow wildly to the wind.

Telling all the little animals

He just wanted to be their friend.

Boots LeBaron —





As we trudge along the wild uncharted

trails of civilization, there’s nothing

more refreshing than recognition

from another Earthling.

You know, a little eye talk, a smile,

a nod, a wink, a pinch, a salute,

or simply a pleasant, “Hi.”

It’s invigorating to encounter a

stranger smitten with acute benevolence.

After all, our journey is quite brief.

It can end abruptly, or painfully

last far longer than expected.  

So what’s the sense of traipsing

through life as sour-faced

scaredy-cats or pompous schmucks?

The laws of civilized-jungle-survival

are obvious: Steer clear of

grizzly bears in dark alleys.

Don’t tweak a werewolf’s snout.

Even at safe havens like

the Coffee Bean or Starbucks,

never fall for a line delivered by

an amorous silver back sporting a Rolex.

That beast wants nothing more than

to drag you off into the brush.

Predatory creatures definitely exist.

But that’s no reason to curl up

like a porcupine trying to hide your

very essence from passersby’.

If you bump into a wildebeest,

try not to be intimidated

by his scraggly demeanor.

Pounding beneath that gruff exterior,

you might discover a caring heart.

As those mousey mortals with

their deadpan pusses parade by,

startle them with a harsh, “Boooo!”

While they’re scurrying away,

eyes cast downward and

tail tucked between their legs,

howl after them, “Hey!

I’m just a fellow traveler

in search of a kind word…

I don’t even bite!

— Boots LeBaron —


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THE HUMAN RACE (Written on August 15, 2014)


                  NO TEARS, BUT LOSING HOEF, WOW!

I just had a hunk of flesh bitten out of my soul. I

lost my old 10th Air Force buddy, Richard (Hoef)

Hoefferlin just a few hours ago. His wife Marilyn

called from Florissant, Missouri. Hoef died from

a lifetime of smoking cigarettes. Lung cancer was

the cause. We were both smoking when we became

bunkmates at our squadron’s barracks at Clark

Air Force Base in the Philippines. We’d flip a

spent smoke into the darkness and called the act

“Pulling a Bogie.” Humphrey Bogart used to do it

in movies. When I first met Hoef at the 6207th

AC&W Squadron, I had visited a brothel outside

the base at Angeles Pompanga. It was called the

Uno Bar. I was 19, had a few Manila Rums, went

upstairs with a gal who thought I was “adorable.”

During the heat of the night, a man hiding behind a

curtain, stole my wallet. The Air Police wouldn’t

let me back on base, but Hoef came to the rescue.

“You were rolled,” he told me the next morning. So

“Roll ‘Em!” for 60 consecutive years was (Besides

pulling a Boggie) one of our cherished code words we

used on the long-distant phone and ending letters

Knowing that Hoef was in deep trouble and the Hospice

was helping he and Marilyn, I called. But he was

in a hospital bed inside their home. Marilyn answered

the phone, whispered that his lungs just aren’t working

and he can’t get on the phone. So I told her, “Just

tell Hoef, Roll ‘Em!” She did just that. She told me

that when she delivered the brief message, Hoef smiled.

That smile was worth a thousand words. The memories

he took with him. Speaking on the phone a few months

ago, I asked, You know what’s doing you in?” “What

else… cigarettes,” he said. “But I’ve enjoyed every

smoke.” He knew that I had quit smoking over 40 years ago.

We talked long distance and wrote letters regularly,

usually signing off with “Roll ‘Em!” At Clark we shared

lower-bunk cots and weren’t the tidiest airmen. We kept

our dirty laundry in bags. We called our space, The

Cobra Den. We’d go to the non-com officers’ club and

get slightly stewed on 3.2 beer. Unlike a lot of airmen,

we never passed out. When that happened, guys would carry

the “cadavers” outside, line the bodies up on stretches of

grass and trucks and jeeps would transport then back to

their squadrons. Hoef talked me into trying out for the

Raiders, one of the base football teams that played at the

Clark AFB stadium. Clark was like a small town. When I

made the All Star team, he acted like a big brother. We

were supportive of each other. He was a clean liver. I

was experimenting with life. But we were anything but the

odd couple. Our friendship lasted more than 60 years.

Following our discharge, we both pursued life in different

ways. He lived in St. Louis; was a buyer for Emerison  

Electric. I was reporter, a publicist and a free-lance

writer. We communicated by phone several times a year.

Every Christmas, he’d send JoAnne and I letters about life

in St. Louis. Many times, I told him he should’a been a

comedy writer. I can’t find his letters. But he made us

laugh many times. I had sent him many stories I had written

about ordinary people and celebrities. “My big brother”

seemed to really enjoy them. Hoef died at 84. Truly,

I’ll miss my old pal. Let me end with this meaningful

message: “Roll ‘Em!”

                        — Boots LeBaron —

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