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Surviving Bigfoot and the Dixie Mafia
By Dennis Daryl Shamblin ("Rooster")
It was in the hot dusty summer of 1964 that my young life would make a dramatic change forever. I would leave my sheltered childhood behind at six years old, and meet strange new people and creatures. They would dramatically shape my young life. That particular August I was six years old, being born March 5, 1958 in Fairview, Oklahoma.
I was born at home on Walnut Street, just a stone's throw from the First Baptist Church. That was where my family and I worshiped every week. I was my parents third child and first son. Doctor Harry Baughan delivered me one cold rainy day in March. The good doctor and mom was expecting twins, however it was only me a twelve pound baby boy. At birth I was able to roll over and crawl. The doctor told mother I was truly an amazing baby. Lots of people from church came to see mother's incredible baby. Dad named me Dennis after his friend Dennis Huff in California. Mr Huff owned a global shipping empire and dad was his collections agency.
Doctor Baughan called out from his car, "Wanda it’s a great day for a walk. Glad to see you up and around, so soon after having your baby." Wanda replied with a smile on her face, "I have too much work to lay in bed for a week. Bud and the girls are helpless around the house." "Doctor Baughan grumbled, "It wouldn't hurt Bud to pitch in around the house." Mother said, “I will bring baby Dennis in for his check up Friday he's growing like a weed. He is going through as many bottles as two babies. Can't keep him in a dry diaper." The doctor came by our house every few weeks to eat pie and drink coffee with mom. He wanted mother to run off with him to Texas, and begin a new life there.
I was an extremely active young child, from sun up to sun down. My being always on the move, made keeping track of me nearly impossible. From the beginning I had an abundance of energy that got me into trouble. I was always getting into something that was off limits, or wandering away from home. I was never afraid of the dark or strangers. Exploring new areas was very thrilling for me, whether it be a field or an abandoned house.
"Dennis where are you", shouted my mother out the kitchen window. I didn't respond because I was busy striking kitchen matches in the back yard. All the sudden a fire began in the dead grass at my feet. I ran towards the house but got trapped against a wall. I tearfully screamed, "Mommy come quick I am burning to death." When mom reached me my shoes were beginning to burn. You pulled them off as she ran inside to call the fire department.
My health was excellent so I seldom was sick with a cold. Once I did have the measles which made me sick for a week. This meant I could spend nearly every daylight hour outdoors with my friends, regardless of the season. I didn't need to wear a coat like the rest of the children, so I usually left mine at home. My running and jumping generated all the heat I required. My not wearing a coat in the winter, really agitated both great grandma Lola Herrian and grandma Alta Simpson. They began spreading rumors that mother wasn't taking good enough care of us.
Once mother accidentally burned me with boiling water, when she turned a coffee pot over. She made me hold my burned hand in vinegar, which hurt unbelievably bad. A Major county social worker came to our home, and asked us children lots of meddlesome questions. We never heard from them again, because mother broke her nose. Mother did the best she could raising us kids, with little help from my father. My sisters worried social services were going to take us kids away. I never thought much about it because I was only five years old. I figured mother would keep them ran off, because she was very violent for a woman.
Great grandma Lola visits us and remarks, "Wanda you should keep a better eye on your kids, before one of them gets hurt. Maybe you can get one of your lazy sisters to help out." mother sighs and says, "I am doing the best job I know how. Keeping track of the kids and doing my house work at the same time isn't easy." Grandma Alta comes through the door and joins Lola. Alta whispers to Lola, "I heard at the grocery store social workers were here last week." Lola muttered "Me and your mother will help clean the house for you, if it’s okay." Wanda replies, "It’s okay with me if you want to help out." Alta and Lola began mopping the kitchen floor and helping Wanda clean the kitchen.
Both my grandma's always made mom cry. They hired maids so their homes always looked perfect. The two foreign exchange boys living with us were supposed to help out around the house, but they never did. One was from Paris and the other was from Rome. Aunt Juanita Shamblin talked mom into sponsoring them, because she had two from Norway and Greece. Uncle John Warren corrupted their mind I am certain.
Our family moved across town from Walnut Street to First Street in Fairview. I was three years old at the time. My parents decided to purchase their first home together. Previously they had homes in Oregon and California, however they belonged to grandpa Shamblin. Dad owned a sawmill in Oregon when mother married him. Jake Bushman from Corn Oklahoma helped my dad manage it. After the sawmill was running smoothly, dad moved mother to Sacramento California. For three years they operated a clothing store, before moving back to Oklahoma. Mother was missing her family very badly.
Jake snarled, "Malvin this timber you bought, won't be making many large boards. You will probably only break even." Bud stated, "Jake don't forget who makes the decisions around here. Go on back to Oklahoma, if you don't like the way the sawmill is run." Jake leaves the room and speaks over his shoulder, "Malvin I should quit you, but I really need this job. Wish you would go get some new contracts because our inventory is huge." You can trust me to run the sawmill in your absense." Bud continued going over the books and made some phone calls. Dad got some new accounts and the sawmill was able to purchase larger trees. Bud sold the sawmill to Jake Bushman when he moved back to Oklahoma.
Dad saw a strange creature while harvesting trees in Oregon. He said the lumberjacks called him the old man of the woods, because it was shaggy brown with a long gray beard. Dad believed the creature was intelligent enough to use an axe and make log cabins in the mountains. Him and his men came across cabins far from human settlements. They were built in a peculiar fashion. He never provided any details since he didn't want it repeated. Dad knew I loved to talk, and there were lots of people I talked to. Dad always kept some cabins in the Rockies for his friends on the lamb. I shudder to think how he probably strong armed people to get his timber contracts.
I asked my father, "Did you see any big animals while felling trees in the Rocky Mountains." Bud grinned and said, "Yes I saw bears, elk, wolves, and moose. A few times I came across something huge that befuddled me. It looked like a hairy brown ape with a gray beard. It was chopping firewood in a forest clearing." My eyes wide with amazement I said, "No fooling dad." Dad concentrated and narrowed his eyes as he spoke, "Dennis I think that creature was more man than beast. Lumberjacks call him the old man of the woods. Now get in bed it’s late." Dad never wanted to discuss the subject again.
In Sacramento dad hired a japanese maid for my mother, since she was pregnant with LaDonna. Mother got extremely jealous of the maid and broke her neck. My dad was forced to put mother in a mental hospital, so she wouldn't go to prison. After a few weeks she was released, and they moved to Walnut Street in Fairview. Dad was always worried mother might have a relapse of her dangerous temper. That is the reason he didn't allow any large knives in our home. Many times mother broke jaws and knocked out teeth of women, who she caught flirting with my dad. Other times she would destroy their home and car with a baseball bat. An hour later she would pretend nothing happened.
Mother never did any violence around us children or her friends. As a child I forced myself to believe her bad behavior was just a pack of lies. Mother lifted weights every day and could put a hundred and fifty pounds over her head. Lifting weights was something her and dad did together. She would put on the boxing gloves and go after the heavy bag, after dad's family would visit. She didn't like cooking for killers she said.
Mother said, "Take this you dirty rotten bitch," as she punched a lovely red head in the nose. "I saw you smiling at my husband in the restaurant last night. I am going to teach you not to chase after married men. This will be a lesson you won't soon forget." The blonde screams, "Lady you’re crazy, I don't even know who your husband is." Wanda pounds the lady to a bloody pulp. Soon an ambulance takes the blonde to the Fairview Hospital. This scene was repeated every few months in Fairview and Enid. I suppose she wasn't being paranoid, because dad had children with eight different women in Fairview. He told mother he was a christian, so he was against them getting a divorce.
Me and my buddy Ricky Ewbank scoured every inch of Fairview playing cowboys and indians. Sometimes we played army, if we could get enough boys together. My sisters and me often played jacks, jump rope, or hopscotch together. Mother bought three truck loads of builders’ sand, for me and my buddies to play on in the backyard. She gave me every toy advertised on television. All the guys thought my mom was the best.
"I wish I had your parents Dennis," remarked Rick Ewbank. "They give you everything you want, and seldom scold you." "Yes I know," I said, "I feel very lucky to have them as parents. I wouldn't trade them for any in the world." The power my dad had over people, made him seem very important at the time. In his presence men cowered and women looked down at their feet. Nobody ever spoke a rude word to my dad, and everyone put on smiles for him. As a small child I didn't know that being a bully was a bad thing.
My marvelous parents hired a carpenter to build us a very nice playhouse on First Street. It had running water for us to drink and a sink to wash our hands. It also had a bed shaped like a race car for taking a nap. It was filled with miniature furniture and dozens of my sister's dolls. Seems me and my sisters LaDonna and Malva were never having a dull moment. Whenever my parents argued they sent us to the playhouse.
Our three pet white persian cats lived in the playhouse. They belonged to my two sisters. Showing the prize winning cats was a load of fun, because they received lots of ribbons and trophies. "Ladonna it’s your turn to change the litter box," I grumbled. "I hate messing with the smelly thing." Feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs, were the only chores I liked at the time. My sisters kept complaining so eventually I changed the litter box. We lost the cats when I was five, because my cousins Jimmy and Wayne Trent buried them alive in our backyard. Dad had holes dug in the back yard in which to dump the litter box and table scraps. While we were eating dinner, the Trent brothers dropped our cats down the holes and covered them up with dirt. "Ouch" squealed Jimmy and Wayne, as my dad's belt tore up their butt.
"Ricky do you wanna race," I yelled. He came running over to where I stood in the street. That day was the Fourth of July, and me and him were competing in contests. Me and him always came in first and second place. My being so tall, I had a big advantage. Rick was very quick for his size. His dad was in Saudi Arabia drilling water wells most of the time. Wish he could have spent more time with Rick, and watched him compete.
"Hey Dennis lets climb some trees," he called. Climbing trees and playing in the old locomotive were two of our favorite pastimes. Ricky was very sad when I moved to the Colony area. Only our parents allowed their boys to roam over the whole town. His fun days had ended. I said "Rick come visit sometime," but he never did. It was hard losing my best friend. Especially since I didn't have anyone else to play with.
My awesome sisters cooked snacks with their Easy Bake Oven, for me and my friends. Mother wouldn't allow us to mess up her tidy kitchen between meals. She would fine us five cents for every mess we made, and take it out of our weekly allowance. In the beginning my allowance was only a meager fifty cents a week. Back in those days money was worth considerable more. I could buy a candy bar for a nickel, and soda pop was only a dime. If I went to a movie it cost me the entire fifty cents. When I was little my sisters enjoyed taking me to the movies. Things changed when they became teenagers.
"Where is my piggy bank," I cried. At five I had already learned the value of money. The piggy bank was missing from the small desk in my room. I was saving up money to buy a cage and canary for my room. I loved my aunt Mary Simpson's birds, so I wanted some. "Did you steal my money for the movies," I accused my sisters LaDonna and Malva. They just slammed their bedroom door in my face. I went into the backyard to pout, and ended up in our tamarack tree hedge.
"Is that you uncle Melvin" I said softly. As I got closer I could see my uncle cutting my plastic piggy bank apart. He had this evil grin on his face. Dad was always telling mother her brother Melvin Simpson was a thief. Melvin finally spied me and barked, "Dennis I am just borrowing your money for a little while. I need to buy some pills from a friend and I am broke." I ran for the back door of the house, but Melvin grabbed me first. He held that big knife to my throat and scared me. Melvin warned, "Dennis you say a word about this, and I will hurt you really bad."
The threat didn't work, and I ran down to the poultry plant where dad worked. I told dad the whole story. Dad jumped in his truck and searched for Melvin. Dad found Melvin shooting pool in the Fairview bar with his drug addict friend. Dad beat Melvin so bad it broke his ribs, collar bone, nose, and teeth out. His face was so swollen, you couldn't recognize him for a week. Grandma Alta Simpson didn't speak to us for a month.
Once a small circus came to Fairview, and I was upset my grandma Simpson was only taking the girls. I was five years old at the time. The circus was being held a few blocks east of my house. While everyone was in the tents watching the circus, I unlocked the animal cages. The bears, lions, tigers, and monkeys had approximately an hour of freedom.
It was great fun watching the clowns round up the animals. Nobody ever discovered I was the person who let the animals out. The animals were completely tame and none tried to hurt me or anyone else. I suppose I was too young and naive to be frightened. Seems I was always overly curious and getting into mischief.
"Wild animals are coming run for your life," shrieked a fat woman. She was coming to pick her children up after the circus. Soon she was surrounded by big cats and fainted. The lions and tigers licked her round face then walked away. "Come back," I yelled at the animals as they headed for main street. I worried they would cause a car wreck. They were all very old so they didn't move very fast. Soon I heard police sirens, because motorists had informed the cops. Clowns poured out of the big tent and began rounding up the animals. "Did you see what happened Dennis, asked a fireman. "Not a thing" I said and ran home.
Everyone knew I was the most popular kid in Fairview, because of my great personality and good looks. It also helped that my parents donated oodles of money to the church and school. Every place we traveled people told my parents, that I was the cutest boy they had ever seen. Seems I was blessed with a great big beautiful smile and sparkling white teeth. Guess the good Lord has given me loads of tooth enamel. Countless people have remarked that my saphire blue eyes made me look like an angel. My cheeks had a pink glow to them. My Sunday school teacher Mrs Davis always said I was the picture of good health.
Having skin that is very white could have been a problem, but fortunately I tan quite easily without burning. For this reason I spent the entire summer outdoors without a shirt, developing a beautiful tan. Looking better than most kids made me feel very good and confident about myself. In fact my aunts always said I had too much self-esteem. I must confess I was a spoiled conceited young boy.
LaDonna called out angrily, "Dennis come here right this minute. You have another telephone call. Your friends better not keep this phone line tied up another day." I ran to the telephone quick as I could to take the call. This time it was my talent agency wanting me to do another commercial in Oklahoma City. Dad didn't allow me to do the commercial, if he didn't like the company or product. "Dad its the talent agency," I yelled out the front door. He was busy giving our Buick a new tune up. I had been helping to screw in the new spark plugs. Dad bellowed, "Have them call me back in fifteen minutes, because I have grease on my hands." Dad thought it was great I was earning so much money, however he didn't like being distracted when he was busy working.
Dad turned down the job because it was for Fred Jones Ford in Oklahoma City, and he was a Chevrolet man. Ten minutes later the phone rang and it was one of my friends. "Dennis can I come over, he asked. I got some new toy soldiers he added." The rest of the day we ran around the yard having pretend battles. Both Malva and LaDonna were horribly jealous I received so many phone calls. Malva called from the front door, "Dennis put on a shirt, before you and Ricky walk to the swimming pool. If you get a sunburn mother is going to have a fit." I ignored her because my fair skin seldom burned. Dad had a big skin cancer removed from his neck, and now mom was scared I would get them.
I never paid much attention to what my aunts had to say. Some had young lovers only a few years older than me. That is the main reason mother never used them as babysitters. Mother believed their mind got warped from starring in so many adult movies. Most of the family's feature movies flopped, so they made adult movies to keep the film company afloat. As a young boy I hated the creepy way they looked at me. I wouldn't allow them to kiss and hug me, because dad said they were naughty women with germs. Both dad and moms sisters wanted to make it big in show business. They gave up eventually and got married. All married outlaws and lived a life of crime.
"Aunt Avis how come I never see any of your movies on television," I remarked. You and aunt Aline have shot a lot of movies this year." Avis paced the floor searching for an answer I could understand. She said, "Dennis most of my movies are shown on film projectors in people's homes. They were not good enough for the networks to buy." I didn't realize my aunt's were making mostly sex movies. A few minutes later Avis mumbled, "If your grandma Simpson wasn't such a tight wad, she would purchase the good screenplays and hire a famous actor or two. Then our films would get some attention."
I heard mother speak about grandma Alta Simpson fleecing investors with her low budget films. Only she profited from the feature film failures. My aunts were not getting any younger and were getting desperate. I commented, "Avis maybe grandma is short on cash, because Conoco hasn't drilled any new oil wells lately." Grandma Simpson was dropped from their board of directors for insider trading.
As a small boy I wanted to be a good wrestler like Abraham Lincoln. It was easy enough finding boys who wanted to wrestle, problem was most were older than me. About ninety percent of the time I won the wrestling matches, however it was extremely difficult. The older boys would punch me when they were losing, so I had to drive my knee into their nuts. Once I even chopped down one of our cherry trees, so I could be like George Washington. The problem was I didn't have the courage to confess to it. I read my sisters school books with them, however Fairview wouldn't allow five year olds to attend school.
"Dennis I will wrestle you for that green cat's eye marble you have," cousin Ralph said. "You don't have anything I want, besides you’re too much older than me," I replied. After that comment Ralph threw a fist full of dirt in my eyes. I went in the house to wash it out. Dad asked what happened and I told him. "Dennis go get one of my golf clubs and smash his feet,"dad insisted. I did as I was told, because I didn't have any choice in the matter. Hurting people always made me feel bad, however Ralph Shamblin was a dangerous kid. When he was eight he stabbed a boy at school.
My dad's brother John Warren Shamblin was the reason Ralph was so mean. He always urged Ralph to fight everyone. While I was just five years old Ralph was nine like my big sister LaDonna. After school he spent most his day looking at the many naughty magazines my family published. Ralph was an adult magazine model and also made nasty films in North Hollywood and Chula Vista California.
"Hey come look at these pics of me Dennis," Ralph uttered. I walked over to the lawn chairs where he was sitting. He was so proud entire magazines were filled with his photos. I found it disturbing that my aunts would engage in such naughty things with their nephew. I was old enough to know that being seen naked was wrong. "Ralph I suppose you are pretty famous. Maybe someday I will see you on television or at the movies. Maybe it’s easier for a guy to make it big in Hollywood. Dad says our aunts are just wasting their time."
Ralph began smoking his parents’ cigarettes when he was only nine. He also used cuss words and stole from people. I sure didn't like having him as a cousin. Ralph might have actually been my brother, since all the men in the family married dad's girlfriends. He died at twenty in a truck wreck at Needles California. Hopefully he had found God before the end.
Every day I met my sisters at the front door of their Fairview school building, because I wanted to learn so badly. A few times a year the school allowed me come as a visitor. I was a jealous boy back then, wanting to do everything my big sisters did. Sometimes I would break their crayons having a jealous fit. To punish me dad would buy them the biggest box of crayons made, and not allow me to touch them. I learned to read and write by watching my sisters do their homework. In those days they allowed me in their rooms, without getting mad.
"Dennis if you trace all my words it will help you learn to write”, suggested my sister Malva. "Thanks for the advice Malva. I will be tracing while you are at school", I replied. "Use all the paper you want for drawing, and keep the caps on the Magic Markers so they won't dry out, she said.
When uncle Melvin Simpson wasn't working out of town, he walked me to my sister's schools. I would be happy and anxious to hear about their studies that day. "Malva and LaDonna I'm over here," I yelled with a big smile on my face. Some of their friends would pick me up and hug me. "Dennis I drew these pictures in art class," as LaDonna spoke and handed the pictures to me. It was a shame I would never have the opportunity to attend school in Fairview because I adored the teachers.
The children all stared at my uncle Melvin because he had a bad reputation in town. The police had warned everyone in town he was dangerous. Melvin often beat up store owners because they insulted him. The school principal kept a close eye on Melvin, when we met my sisters at school. "Last one home is a rotten egg," I called out as I began running home. Uncle Melvin carried the school books, and pulled my brother along in a red wagon.
Most of my tight Levi blue jeans had grass stains on the knees by the end of the day. I was always crawling and playing on the ground. Mother would always complain about how hard grass stains were to remove. My sneakers were always getting lost, because I preferred going barefoot most of the time. I had about two dozen pairs of shoes, because my rich aunt Yvonne Chambers was always buying me a new pair. She spent a lot of money on us kids, because she loved children. She was always in a hurry to do things. Maybe she sensed she wouldn't live long. Yvonne died in a car wreck and the ambulance didn't find her head. Dad found it in some tall weeds the next day, and brought it to the funeral home.
The color blue has always been my favorite. Most of the shirts, jackets, and sweaters I wore were blue. In addition I liked the color green so a few of my clothes were that color. My mother was great about letting us pick out our own clothes. She bought me heaps of shirts from mail order catalogs, so I got to wear a new one nearly every day. Fairview didn't have much in the way of clothing stores, and mother was afraid we would get kidnapped while shopping in Oklahoma City or Dallas.
"Dennis come with me to the post office," mother whispered in my ear. It was early and she didn't want to wake the whole family. She just needed a little help carrying packages. The clothes she had ordered had finally arrived. It was snowing and I fell on the post office steps. My scraped knees barely bled I discovered later at home. "Dennis are you hurt," mother said. It never took much to alarm my mother. "Dennis you sit in the car, while I go for the rest of the packages," mother said. With the Buick packed full of boxes we headed home.
Mother was a terrible driver, so I buckled my seat belts. Her on a slick road was totally hazardous. She hadn't been in a wreck yet, but she came very close many times. She drove fast then slow, constantly alternating between the two. "Mother can I begin opening the packages," I remarked as we rolled in the driveway. "Sure," mom chuckled. She knew I wanted to claim toys, before the other kids got up. Just about everything was clothes, however there were a few toys, Mother had a way of making every week feel like Christmas.
"Mother maybe you should have grandma Simpson or Herrian drive you", I suggested. "Lincoln Continentals are bigger than Buicks. It would be more roomy and comfortable riding", I added. She reminded me of the fact that she didn't get along with them. She said, “Besides I am a good driver most of the time". Everyone in Fairview knew she was the worst driver in the whole world.
Mother gave my old clothes to my cousins who loathed her. They were all insanely jealous we could afford better things than they had. Dad's brothers spent most their money on whores and gambling. Every few weeks my uncles and cousins would come visit us. Every time they would ask dad for money, promising to eventually pay him back. They would steal my toys and hide them in their car. Mother and dad wouldn't allow me to tell their parents or kick their ass. Eventually I hid all my toys before they visited.
"Dennis where are all your toys," cousin David Chambers grumbled as he rummaged my room. I had hid them all an hour earlier under my sister's bed. Even they didn't know they were there. Soon all my cousins went outdoors looking for something to play with. "Hey you guys lets chase chickens," I shouted. Knowing good and well the roosters would come attacking to protect the hens. My cousins Allen Shamblin Theresa Bond and Michael Mullins were getting a great thrill chasing chickens, until the roosters began flogging them. My cousins began crying loudly, and soon their parents came running to their rescue. Dad scolded the cousins for chasing, chickens and then they went home. Game rooster spur very quickly and it’s difficult to make them quit.
My favorite aunt Yvonne Chambers made her fortune in the adult film industry, but I didn't know what that meant until I was sixteen. All I knew is that when she became fat, she was washed up in show business. My sneakers were scattered all over Fairview, so nice women were always bringing them to our house. Mother always wrote my name in my shoes and clothing. For some reason she had to label everything. Her husband Calvin was an aircraft mechanic at Tinker Field by day, and ran a chop shop by night.
My favorite aunt was always sending my pictures into contests in magazines. Twice I won a national contest, and my picture was featured in their magazine. Every week my aunt scheduled a photo shoot for me in Enid. She got me a few modeling jobs for Sears and Montgomery Ward. Dad stopped it because they had me modeling underwear as well as clothes. I saved those catalogs for many years, but eventually they fell apart. My modeling career only lasted a brief two years. Mom and dad never wanted me to take interest in the film and modeling business, because they saw first hand how it wrecked lives.
Softly dad called me outdoors, "Dennis come here I have made an important decision concerning you. I have spent a lot of time thinking about it, and have decided its the right thing to do." Slowly I opened the door and walked outside. I was fearing the worst whipping of my life. I could see dad was still wearing his belt, so maybe it was going to be only a chewing out. "What are you talking about," I asked nervously. "There will be no more modeling or commercials I have decided. I don't want you ending up in smut movies the way your cousins Ralph and Clayton Abbott have."
Dad always thought grandma Simpson and her son Robert should be in prison. He believed nobody should be allowed to make adult magazines and films. "Dennis your grandma Simpson and her children should be banned from teaching Sunday school.” dad remarked angrily. Aunt Yvonne was furious with dad's decision, but she knew better than to argue with him. Dad's decisions were final and set in stone.
"Your stubborn dad has ruined your life," Yvonne whispered to me. She had spent a small fortune trying to establish my acting career. Acting classes wasn't fun, so I was happy they ended. She had lofty dreams of me being a big star someday. Her sons and my cousins were below average looking, so she pinned her hopes on me.
My dear dad worshipped money, calling every dollar a pint of his blood. Loan sharking was something he wasn't cut out for. He developed ulcers from his many sleepless nights worrying about bad loans. Eventually he got out of the loan business and turned it over to his cousin Opal Capps. Her husband A C "Bud" Capps was cut out for the business. Bud never worried about anything. He also was patient with people and gave them plenty of time to pay back loans. Bud however would bury you if the loan didn't get paid.
Almost every night dad took out his platinum and gold coins and counted them. He kept them in bags stuffed inside his mattress. Every month he bought a few more for his collection. When I became sixteen I sold my coin collection to help purchase a car. Since then I have had no interest in collecting coins or stamps. Dad always buried jars of money around our yard, just in case the law ever confiscated his bank accounts. His truck had six hidden compartments where dad hid money and valuables.
Mother and dad's family kept two submarines in the gulf of mexico. They carried drugs to the USA, and money back to south america. My uncle Albert Gale "Steve" bought them both for five hundred thousand, and they lasted about fifteen years. Our cousins really enjoyed the submarines, because they were nice inside. The crew got paid fifty thousand dollars each trip. The family owns a large hotel in Panama where the drugs were stored.
"Dennis bring me another welding rod," Bud called out. Dad was always making hidden compartments in our livestock trailers, trucks, boats, and tractors. Some compartments held diamonds, guns, bearer bonds, and money. At least that is what dad told me. "Dad I guess you worry a lot about thieves don't you." I said. Dad never replied. He didn't wish to discuss the secret compartments.
My dad was just about the best welder around, except for Mr. Koehn next door. Dad spent much time welding prototype garbage trucks, plows, and hay equipment. Ray Dow knew drafting and helped dad with his many patents. "Pick up my tools and put them away," dad told me as he retired to the house.
I enjoyed watching my dad and grandpa Simpson bury money and valuables. Then we made treasure maps to identify the location. We also made secret compartments in trees and bridges. Each morning our mailbox was stacked with money. Dad would take me for a drive, and the secret compartments would be filled with money. I am not certain if dad ever placed anything in the compartments, because my orders were to remain in the truck." Get out Dennis I need to run this money over to the bank," dad would often say.
Sometimes my great grandma Lola Bond Herrian who was nearly a hundred years old, made me homemade shirts. My parents forced me to wear them at least once, so grandma would be pleased. I recall this hideous orange one she made, which I called my Halloween shirt. The kids at school never laughed at her shirts, I suppose they had respect for old people. Seems great grandma Herrian sewed and quilted until the day she died. We still have a few of her beautifully ornate quilts.
Every month my dad and mom were borrowing thousands from Lola and grandpa Oliver, so they didn't want me to rock the boat. It seems they never paid them back a single dollar, yet they never complained. Great grandpa Oliver Carlton Herrian and Lola were nearly a century old when they died. Took care of themselves to the end.
Mother's brother Robert Simpson gave them both too much medicine in their orange juice so they died. They died a few years apart. Uncle Robert couldn't handle being left out of their will. I suppose mother wanted her inheritance early, so she didn't report the crimes. Both my parents were exceptionally greedy when it came to money. They never lent friends money without expecting interest on the loan. Great grandma put a lot of love into every stitch. She was a hard working woman whom I will never forget.
I spent large periods of time with my great grandparents because I loved hearing about when they were young. Both had terrific memories up until the week they died. Great grandma called our house almost every day near the end. She was begging for mother to take in her and grandpa. Uncle Robert and Melvin were giving them both death threats. Mother felt grandma Lola was too bossy, so she said no about them moving to Colony with us. I missed them lots after we moved to the farm, and especially my fishing trips with grandpa. Him and grandma kept rare breed chickens like myself.
"Help me set up my quilting frame Dennis," great grandma told me after lunch. She was making a wedding ring quilt for a couple at her church. She went to the Nazarene church in Fairview. Grandma Lola was mother's grandma and my dad's aunt. That’s how my parents got to know each other. She and grandpa lost lots of family in the Missouri Kansas Border Wars. Her and grandpa were from Bates county Missouri. Grandma Lola's mother was dragged to death by Choctaw indians, when they moved to Oklahoma before statehood.
"Dennis come read the newspaper to your grandpa,” grandma Herrian would call out. I always enjoyed the funny pages the most. Grandpa called the Daily Oklahoman the daily disappointment, because the newspaper blamed Democrats for silly things that didn't make sense. It was the only statewide newspaper, so he didn't have any choice in newspapers. Grandpa Herrian and me traveled all over America buying chickens. He had trap nested and kept records his whole life. It was suprising how many famous people had chickens in their back yards. His favorites were Speckled Sussex and Silver Grey Dorkings.
When I was ten years old mother and my aunts realized they were spoiling me rotten, so I quit receiving as many clothes toys and shoes. About that same time dad quit letting people give me expensive wrist watches, pocket knives, and mini bikes. My parents probably felt it wasn't fair to my siblings, me having so many lavish things. I always shared what I had with my brother and sisters. Being generous is core to who I am.
My siblings would let candy spoil before they would share it with me. Sometimes they would feed my plate of food to the dogs, if I were a few minutes late for a meal. This meant going to bed hungry unless I could sneak into the frig. My sisters and brother resented my always being the center of attention. They began saying untrue things about me, however my parents always seen through their accusations. Having jealous siblings was a big problem.
"Merle, LaDonna, Malva come here if you want some pop and candy," I shouted from the back seat of our Buick convertible. Mother and I had just returned from the grocery store. Dad and her usually took me shopping, because I behaved better in the stores. My sibling came running from inside the house. My parents didn't keep soda pop and candy at the house, fearing it would ruin our teeth. "Why do you always buy Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars? Next time get some Snickers and Three Musketeers," Merle complained. Malva muttered in a sarcastic voice, "Dennis you forgot I only like Dr Pepper." Soon all the pop was drunk and candy was eaten. Mother put off making dinner because she knew our appetite was ruined.
Most of the time my big sisters treated me well, or else I wouldn't do my chores. If my chores didn't get done, we both would get severely punished. Dad wasn't afraid to use his belt on my sisters. In fact they went to school many days with stripes on their legs. Both my parents took punishment to the extreme. If we got in trouble at school, we were almost too frightened to come home. I believe dads cursing was worse than the belt. He could think of the most appalling and demeaning things to say. My folks believed in spare the rod and spoil the child, like it says in the Bible.
"Come here LaDonna you’re going to get the belt," dad yelled in an annoyed voice. She was supposed to be watching Merle, but instead she had been watching television. Merle had climbed into the china cabinet and broken almost everything. LaDonna began crying before the spanking began. After the first five or six lashings, I threw my small body between LaDonna and the belt. "Well Dennis I guess you want some of this belt too," dad would roar. It hurt bad but I soon got over it. I began protecting my siblings when I was about five. Later dad would apologize for hitting me with the belt. He said he was proud of me for protecting my brother and sisters.
I hid the belt marks from my grandma's because I didn't want them mad at my dad. They were always looking for an excuse to have us kids taken away. Both of them always wanted legal custody of us grandchildren. They wanted us sent off to boarding schools, so we would grow up in a better environment. "Dad I forgive you for having a bad temper," I would always say after a beating. The idea of living in a boarding school in either England or Switzerland seemed like prison to me.
Our entire family had pinned their hope and dreams on me being Governor or U S Senator someday. They donated to many influential politicians and sent me to dinners with them. I didn't agree with many of their Republican philosophies, so I found the visits sometimes mundane. Secretly I began reading about the democratic platform. My white supremacist relatives would have been appalled. The main reason Republicans hate Democrats is because the party contains black people, which they feel are inferior.
Mother expected more than everyone else. She always wanted me to become President. Probably so her own importance would be elevated. Both my parents felt the whole world revolved around them. Everyone else was just along for the ride. They always considered their children's feelings, but not anyone else's. I suppose they saw us as a reflection of themselves.
Once I recall attending a dinner in Texas when George W Bush was governor. "The cream always settles at the top," George Bush toasted himself. "Yes and shit floats,” dad remarked loudly. Everyone at the dinner burst into laughter including George W. Dad never approved of George because he hung around with homosexuals in high school and college. As a cheerleader he often wore skirts and kissed boys. If Al Gore and John Kerry's campaigns would have released those photos George W would never had been President.
"Don't cry mommy," I said. We were eating a banana split in the Fairview drugstore when the JFK assassination came in over the radio. Everyone in the store began sobbing in grief. "Everything is going to be alright," I remarked in a soothing voice. I couldn't hardly understand why people were taking it so hard. Most of our Republican friends were hoping something bad would happen to him. They said with JFK being catholic, the Pope and the Vatican would be controlling America. "Dennis America has lost a fine President," mother said as she sobbed.
When I was a youngster my room was incredible. Model airplanes and helicopters hung from my ceilings. Dad set me up a thirty gallon tank full of awesome looking tropical fish. I had little ships and submarines that I could bathe with. I had many collections of caps, stamps, coins, insects, and toy cars. They were gifts from my dad's many business associates from around the world.
Mother thought having lots of stuff would stimulate my brain, and make me more intelligent. It was the same reason she made us eat lots of tuna and salmon. Even before we were born, she was playing classical music for us. She always subscribed to a multitude of magazines, so she could keep up on health issues.
I recall once when I had dry skin, mother made me bathe in ten gallons of fresh milk for a month. I believe I was in third grade at the time. Once a girl told me I always smelled like milk. It was extremely embarrassing at the time. From that day forward, I rinsed the milk bath off me thoroughly with water.
"Boys get your toys picked up, so you won't trip and fall down," mother ordered in a gentle voice. We had so many toys to put away it was a big job." Come here it’s time to take all your vitamins and supplements." mother called. Slowly we came because the supplements and cod liver oil tasted bad. Sometimes my sisters threw theirs away, however mother watched us boys swallow ours. Eating healthy wasn't so bad, because I loved fruits and veggies.
"Dennis be sure not to get dirty," mother pleaded. She was always expecting guests to her fancy candle light dinners. Mother lived to entertain I thought. Sooner or later people ran out of excuses not to show up. "Mother can I wear my new suit?"I pleaded. I was out growing my clothes every couple months. So I had few opportunities to wear my suits.
That life changing summer when I was six, I wore my Oklahoma University cap the most. My next door neighbor on the south Mr Eck had given it to me. He had a long white beard and big belly like Santa Claus. On many ocassions I went to Norman Oklahoma with him to watch the Oklahoma Sooners play a college football game. He owned seats near the fifty yard line. He was a sports enthusiast and he gave me lots of autographed ballcards and baseball bats. He was a retired wheat farmer, who let me help him rake his grass and leaves.
Him and his wife didn't have children so they showered us children with gifts and affection. They had many good oil wells on thier farms. They and just about everyone on First Street were Mennonites. Mrs Eck made the world’s finest cinnamon rolls and doughnuts for me every week. Mother's is good but couldn't compare to hers. At the poultry plant she scraped out pin feathers with a knife.
"Dennis do you want to rake grass for me today," Mr Eck said. "Sure just as soon as I ask mother," I happily replied. Around my house I didn't dare do anything without asking permission. My folks liked Mr Eck so I figured there would be no problem. "Not today maybe some other time," mother remarked. I guess mother was getting jealous of Mr and Mrs Eck, because us kids loved them so much. Later I told dad about it, and he reversed mom's decision." It’s good for Dennis to be helping out old people. It builds character," he said.
I had a wonderful time raking grass for Mr Eck. Afterwards his wife fed me cake and ice cream. He gave me a whole dollar, which I put in my piggy bank. The next day he pitched balls for me, so I would be good at baseball. While living in Fairview dad rarely found the time to play baseball and football with me. I suppose Mr Eck was my surrogate dad at the time. He taught me lots of stuff besides sports.
I was an exceedingly fast talking child, so people often asked me to slow down, so they could understand what I had to say. Nobody I know of can read as rapidly as me. Frequently I could be found with a notebook drawing pictures, while laying on the hood of my dad's red 1957 International pickup truck. Mostly I was drawing pictures of birds and trees. Back then one of my favorite gifts were paint by number kits.
"You’re getting to be a good artist Dennis,"my sister Malva remarked. I was suprised because she was always very critical of my work. Drawing is what I always did to relax. I enjoyed watching the artists on public television. "Do you want to buy a paint by number together," Malva said with a smile. "Sure," I agreed. It was rare for my sister Malva to be nice to me. So I enjoyed it while it lasted. That day we spent many hours playing together. When we bought the paint by number together, we took turns and had a good time.
Great grandpa Herrian once owned a railroad, that was only one hundred sixty miles long. It was mostly used for getting wheat, cattle, and oil to market. Grandpa sold the track and right of way when he retired. He leased the eight locomotives and three hundred train cars until his death. He paid to run on other tracks besides his short line. Uncles Melvin Simpson and Otis Grant Shamblin often traveled in the freight cars distributing drugs around America.
Later my mother Wanda got them all in his will, but dad kept them secretly from her. Great grandpa Oliver spent his twilight years, standing on the corner of Main Street in Fairview. He loved talking to people. He was a sad lonely man, who tried to escape his past. He found religion shortly before he died, and finally found some peace. Great grandpa Herrian murdered lots of people in his life, but none were women and children. That is the reason he never killed men using explosives. He buried all his enemies, yet was haunted by their memories. I don't recall him ever having a good night's sleep, because of his guilty conscience.
He wasn't always the actual trigger man in some of his murders. His son Arthur was more than willing to do grandpa's dirty work. Art Herrian was a big mobster just like grandpa Oliver. Both men stood well over six and a half feet tall. They both wore huge smiles and had big blue eyes. Their shoulders were wide as the door and hands were twice the size as normal. He and grandpa carried a fat cigar in their mouth, which they chewed on an hour before they smoked it.
Grandpa Oliver always carried a few pistols on him, but Arthur just carried the one. Arthur hired lots of motorcycle gangs to steal for him and sell dope. Only my dad could keep Art Herrian in check. Dad could pull a gun in the blink of an eye, and pistol whipped Art on many occasions. Father liked him even though he called him a pain in the ass. Sometimes he traveled the world with dad twisting arms. Dad knew of nobody better to back him up in a gun fight. He kept a cool head like my dad.
Mom's mother Alta and uncle Arthur hated each other. Mother's two sisters Mary Lou and Wilma Jean killed him with a poison birthday cake. Mother found the poison setting next to the mixing bowl at his house in Enid. Arthur had hundreds of thousands of dollars locked in his storm cellar and aunt Mary and Wilma had a heroin addiction. I believe Mary's husband Timothy Dewey Vaughan and uncle Robert Simpson just robbed him after the ambulance took him to the hospital. Weeks before they kept him locked up in Lamont trying to make him sign checks.
"Thanks for giving me a birthday party Mary and Wilma. How wonderful you making me a chocolate birthday cake." said Arthur Herrian. He was happy because nobody had celebrated his birthday in over sixty years. He was married briefly as a young man to a woman named Sally Cagle from North Carolina. "Now that was a great tasting cake, but the frosting was a little bitter," said Arthur.
His nieces and nephew continued to visit with their uncle Arthur. "I sure am getting terribly painful gas and indigestion,” complained Arthur. Wilma said her Mary Tim and Robert began laughing. Arthur finally realized his hateful nieces had laced his birthday cake with poison. He grabbed his chest and moaned, "My belly and chest feel like they are on fire." Arthur made his way to the telephone and called for an ambulance. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Mary called mother and she drove to Arthur's house in Enid Oklahoma. Mother took down all the utilities since nobody no longer lived there. She went home to begin planning the funeral. The telephone rang and it was uncle Robert. "Put Wanda on the phone," he ordered. Mother asked Robert what he needed. "Wanda why did you have the water cut off to Arthur's house? I need water to wash away our finger prints, because there might be a murder investigation." His doctor didn't realize what killed Arthur, so mother's family was off the hook.
Mother got kicked out of her house when she was seventeen years old, for dating Oliver Atwell a married man. He was a pilot from Vance Airforce Base in Enid. At the time mother was working for a volunteer organization writing letters, and had developed feelings for him. After he began showing up at the Cedar Springs Nazarene church west of Fairview, grandpa Simpson hired a private investigator.
Mother was sent to her grandpa Bond's house in Colony Oklahoma to live. Mother's parents thought they had drown Mr. Atwell in the cattle water tank, but he was gone the next morning. He had came looking for my mother. Grandma and grandpa Clinton Simpson were determined to keep them apart. They sent five car loads of men to hunt him down and bring him back to their farm. They tortured him for a week or two and released him. It took Mr. Atwell four years in the Fort Supply mental hospital to recover.
Mother married my dad when she was nineteen and he was thirty. She met him when she was finishing high school in Colony. Dad raped her and she became pregnant. They married June 24, 1952. Mother lost the baby due to falling from a horse. After a few years, mother said she fell in love with dad. They were always kissing and holding hands every place they went. Dad would always get nervous, when mother was cleaning the pistol kept in her purse. I think it was a silent warning regarding cheating on her.
"Wanda please finish school," Bud pleaded. It was only two weeks from mother's high school graduation when she got married. Dad thought she should finish. Mother took off a year from school, when she moved to Colony. "I don't see why I should. I don't plan to attend college," mother replied. She never finished her high school, but got her GED in 1971. Mother was a good student making straight A's. I think she didn't want to finish a research paper, so she didn't graduate that year. She was busy helping dad farm cotton and peanuts northeast of Colony.
Mother made certain each of us kids had our own pony. We weren't allowed to ride our ponies until we were eight years old. She didn't want us falling and breaking our arms. Mother always braided their manes so beautifully. She did all the caring for our horses, until I was old enough to muck their stalls. My sisters competed in dressage when they were old enough to ride a horse. Sometimes our family would go for trail rides in the desert or in the mountains.
Dad and mom enjoyed taking us on camping trips. Wyoming was one of my favorite places, because the wildlife wasn't afraid of people. When the grass in Oklahoma would turn brown in summer, dad would truck our sheep flocks into the Colorado mountains. His russian immigrant friends would then shepherd the flocks. Watching the sheep run up and down the mountains was an incredible sight. In the mountains meadows remained green all summer.
"LaDonna you and Dennis help me get these sheep loaded." demanded my dad. Every summer we would graze our sheep and cattle free on government land. If we got caught the fine was much cheaper than the lease. Dad's family had grazed public lands for years without paying a dime. Besides much of the best grazing ranges ranchers were never permitted to graze.
"Dad can I come along this trip, because I love the mountains so," I begged. "Not this time Dennis, however you can come along with me to San Angelo next week. I plan to buy a few semi loads of pregnant western ewes. Being pregnant they go for cheap in Texas," commented my dad. Hopefully dad wouldn't get caught grazing and mining on government land this year. Nobody could out smart people better than my dear ole dad.
Mother bought twenty five books for the family library each month. Our library was in a safe house, not even our relatives knew about. Our safe houses were usually a mile or two from where we lived. We were to hide in these houses, if dad got charges filed against him. In a month’s time I would read every book mother bought. Mother also bought many rare books as an investment.
"Mother why must we have a safe house? Is somebody planning to harm us," my sister LaDonna asked. "No children you are not in any danger,” mother promised. "Dad and us must be able to leave the country secretly if problems come up." That’s probably why dad kept a boat on the river, that we seldom used. Dad had drivers and pilots licenses in several different names. He always planned for the worst case scenario.
I was the kid who always asked a thousand questions, and was curious about everything it seemed. Everyone was remarkably patient with me and answered my endless questions. At four years old I began going to church and didn't miss a single service until I was fourteen. As a child I prayed lots, especially in secret. I was always concerned about my great grandparents because they were so old. In addition I prayed for all my relatives to change their sinful lives, and live for Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Malva you and LaDonna pack the picnic basket, because we are spending the day at the safe house in Cleo Springs, said mother. Us kids were all happy, because we wanted to see our new books. In addition it was out in the countryside, so we could see jack rabbits, prairie chickens, and red fox. We wasn't allowed to bring friends here, even our relatives didn't know about this secret place. "Mother we are all ready to go," I screamed from the back seat of the car. That day all us kids had a blast fishing in the farm pond. Dad had removed all the dangerous rattlesnakes from the property over the years. He turned lose kingsnakes to kill the rattlesnakes that he missed. A bluebird had a nest in the mailbox, which wasn't used.
LaDonna said, "Everyone load up dad will be home from work in an hour" Mother agreed and we sped south towards home in Fairview. On the way home I turned the radio up loud to block out the sound of my sister's singing. I hated it when people sang along with the radio. My mother's driving was impaired by the loud music, and she got caught speeding. The officer was very rude to her, so mother slapped him down and drove on. All the way home his red light was flashing and his siren blaring. She drove into grandpa Herrian's yard and the policeman shut off his light and siren.
The officer knew what a dangerous man my grandpa was. When he came knocking at the door, grandpa Oliver put his shotgun in the officers mouth. After a few minutes he allowed him to leave. My grandpa's were not afraid of anyone, because there wasn't a crime they couldn't cover up. Everyone was willing to lie in their behalf, instead of facing the consequences. Grandpa Oliver did huge favors for people yet expected much in return. I cannot recall all the guys grandpa put through college, or all the men he saved from jail.
Sunday mornings I went to the First Baptist church in Fairview with my parents. Sunday night I went to Cedar Springs Nazarene church with grandma Simpson and my aunts and uncles. Wednesday night I went to the Mennonite church with my babysitter Flora Warkentin. "Dennis time for church," yelled Flora. I always enjoyed going to church with her. Her church had lots of neat coloring books and gave cookies during Sunday school. Malva and LaDonna preferred to worship only at the Baptist church with their friends. "Flora could I please have more cookies and Kool Aid, I begged. At home I only got fruit juices and water to drink. Sometimes mom would buy us pop if we were good all week.
The first pet I was allowed to have was a southern flying squirrel that I named Rocky. I was five years old at the time. Little Rocky lived in a twenty gallon aquarium, beside my bed. We named him after the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Dad found a whole colony of flying squirrels, living in our purple martin house. He agreed to let me keep one, after lots of begging on my part. Rocky became very tame, and enjoyed being in my shirt pocket. He lived to the ripe old age of ten. Rocky got sold to my friend when he was seven. I was afraid my pet barn owl would eat him. Besides I had more pets, than I could care for. I missed Rocky for a long time.
"Rocky where are you buddy,” I shouted. He was nowhere to be found. I searched all over the house, and finally found him spinning around in the clothes dryer. It took him two days to calm down. "Dennis here is some pecans for your pet squirrel," said mother. Keeping nuts for Rocky was difficult because Malva and dad kept eating them all. Rocky learned to come when called. He didn't like red and gray tree squirrels. Sometimes I let him climb outdoors in our trees.
Mother hated my pet King Cobra with a passion. It was a birthday gift from uncle Johnny, who kept poisonous snakes in his house. The snake was twelve feet long and we fed it bull snakes. Mother killed it one day while I was outdoors playing. My uncle was really furious at mother, because the snake was expensive. She didn't like the tone of his voice, so she put a gun to his head. Johnny began pleading for mercy, and mother winked at me. She had no intention of blowing his brains out. Mom continued to let the family believe she was a bit crazy.
My uncle confessed the snake gift was meant to aggravate mom. Dad then banned uncle Johnny from our house for two years. He also forbid me from going with my uncle and Ralph, blowing up cars at the salvage yard. In addition I couldn't watch him blow up mailboxes and make letter bombs. Dad realized he was too much of a bad influence. I didn't mind because I didn't have much use for immoral people. It was quite obvious my family was different from most folks. Most kids don't have hitmen for uncles.
"Dennis make certain you stay away from your uncle John Warren and his family," mother demanded with a smile. "We don't want you getting hurt in that salvage yard," she added. Uncle Johnny was always trying to develop new kinds of bombs. He began working at the Fairview poultry plant, so mother hoped he would give up being a hitman. His wife Juanita had her doubts about uncle Johnny. She thought he was too lazy to work for a living. "My John Warren will end up in prison one day," Juanita would always say.
When I was five dad gave me a 24 carat solid gold necklace that was immensely expensive. It was beautiful and I wore it every day. It had belonged to his great grandpa Bond a United States Marshall. Grandpa Bond was so mean, even the hanging judge in Fort Smith Isaac C. Parker feared him. The judge would never meet alone with my grandpa Bond, because of all the men he killed. Grandpa walked using two walking canes. One cane had a hidden shotgun inside and the other held a sword. He would use his canes to trip people to get their attention. Other times he would grab folks around the neck with them. He liked pulling people close to look them in the eye. Relatives and the public hated these habits of his.
Fairview water was always hard. It took lots of soap to make any suds. Lots of Mennonite families in Fairview were still making lye soap from hog lard. That was the reason, I wouldn't wash my hands at friend's houses. Mother was for modern living, so she didn't have many Mennonite friends. She was so critical of people her friendships didn't last long. Mother ran for mayor once and only got a few votes. She always had a lofty opinion of herself. She had no fashion sense and often made father laugh.
We always had to eat from fine bone china, so mother always had a fit when we broke a cup or saucer. She didn't believe it was civilized eating from cheap dinnerware. All hers were imported from England, and were over a hundred years old. China was one of the few things she collected. Mother was always throwing dinner parties to climb the social ladder. Most people just came for the expensive foods she served. They would promptly leave right after the meal.
"Wanda Mae what a wonderful dinner. I can't recall when I was so stuffed,” dad said politely to my mother. All the guests agreed moms meal was delicious. Us children got to eat after the guests left. "Malva clear the table, so you kids can eat dinner," mother called out. Malva cleared the table and set the table with clean plates and silverware. Mother always made our dinner better, because we had to wait for the grown-ups to eat.
When I was six and eight years old I made appearances on the Foreman Scotty television show in Oklahoma City. One of the times I won a Schwinn bicycle that had a special gold paint job. It was such a striking bike, everyone had to give it a second look. I loved appearing on local television so my friends could see me. I was always lucky about winning drawings.
People have always enjoyed having a conversation with me, so I felt sorry for my siblings who often went ignored. This was one of the reasons my brother and sisters were excessively jealous of me. It wasn't my fault I was always the center of attention. It wasn't something I sought, it just happened. Malva began making up stories about me, but usually nobody believed her. She was the unpopular girl with thick glasses that boys always avoided. I knew sooner or later her jealousy would turn to hate. Most families have some sibling rivalry, but in our home it was taken to the extreme. All this competition for attention; lead to many bitter arguments.
"Daddy Malva flushed my Easter duckling down the toilet," I cried. "Well cry me a river," my dad replied. He didn't care very much about our feelings getting hurt. I went back to the living room and pulled Malva's long hair. Then Malva flushed my black mollies and guppies down the toilet. From then on I gave up trying to get even with Malva. I was the one with more things to lose than her. "Malva why are you so mean,” I asked. "None of your business," she said as she stomped a toy car. Malva was rarely happy, she preferred fighting with me or Merle.
That summer of 1964 I was happy as a lark, life couldn't get any better I felt. Around me the Fairview lawns were scorched brown under the sweltering sun. The air was filled with flocks of pretty songbirds, because there hadn't been any rain to ruin the eggs. The two tall cedar trees in our front yard looked like Christmas trees, because they were adorned with so many red Cardinals and Blue Jays. Mother's rose bushes were in full bloom around the house. Our fruit trees were loaded with fruit, and I was pigging out on peaches and apples. We had about the prettiest yard in town. Our yard never had a weed or sandbur in it, because mother paid my cousins to weed the yard. This made going barefoot very nice indeed.
"LaDonna and Dennis pick me some roses for the table," mother called. We both came running since we both were fond of picking flowers. Mother wouldn't serve a meal without flowers on the table. That is the reason our greenhouse always had long stem tea roses. Mother was a rose breeder and developed many varieties. "Dennis make sure you water all the fruit trees. Don't get any water on my rose leaves,” mom warned. On First Street watering, collecting eggs, and handing wrenches to dad were my main chores.
Fairview was a small sleepy southern town made up of russian immigrants, farmers, oilfield workers, and ex german prisoners of war. Every June the surrounding countryside is bathed in waves of golden wheat. Every June hundreds of huge Case and John Deere grain combines rolled through our town. They were in route to their next field to harvest. Trucks heaped with golden grains of wheat would descend on Fairview, making their way down to the grain storage elevator. This is the one time of year that Fairview streets were busy.
Around harvest time Fairview was teeming with strangers. Custom combining crews came through from Texas, and as far away as Canada. The weather was perfect for wheat harvest, because it hadn't rained in two weeks. I would sit on Main Street and wave at the crews, as they drove by. Sometimes I would run along the road, trying to get a conversation going with boys riding in pickup beds. I always figured a guy couldn't have enough friends.
"Daddy can I ride on the combine with you," I pleaded. "Sure you can Dennis, just as long as you do as I say," replied my dad. Dad always began the harvest with our one combine, but ended up hiring a custom harvest crew. Before we could cut all the fields, rain would move into the forecast. Dad wouldn't risk getting the ripe wheat rained on. The field behind our house was always left for last. Cutting wheat got hot because of the engine. Our John Deere combine didn't have air conditioning.
Fairview was a quiet safe town where nobody had the need to lock their houses or cars. Crime just wasn't existent the citizens thought. It was a place where children could play outdoors until ten pm, without need for parental supervision. The entire cozy town was like a huge extended family, because all the neighbors loved and respected each other. I loved the city of Fairview dearly because they made every kid feel special.
At the time the Fairview police officers and Major county sheriff's deputies didn't carry guns. Maybe the severe penalty for breaking the law, was a strong deterrent against crime here. My dad was not the mayor or on the city council, however he had the final word in Major county. Dad always said it’s not how many votes you get in a election, it’s all about who counts them. Nobody could fix an election better than my old man. For a price he could make anyone win an election.
Each month dad made donations to the sheriff and chief of police election funds. He said law enforcement was terribly under paid so citizens should help them out. Dad hated the District Attorney in Fairview and wouldn't give him one red cent. Whenever we run into the DA he would look down at his shoes. "How's my favorite buddy," the police chief would tell dad. "When are we going fishing," the sheriff would ask. Both of them were very nice to me as a boy. Fairview seemed like the perfect town to us, before dad got so many women pregnant.
My dad unfortunately was known as the town killer, because of his job at the poultry plant. By choice he worked in knee deep chicken and turkey blood all day, sticking their brains then cutting their throats. The humane society made him use an electric knife to stun them, so they wouldn't feel so much pain. Sometimes I would walk the six blocks to Halren's poultry plant where he worked, to climb upon chicken coops. They were stacked high upon the semi trucks. My dad was part owner in the plant so the manager couldn't forbid me being there.
I would watch my grandpa Melvin Clinton Simpson force feed the turkeys. He also took the chicken coops off the trucks, and hung the turkeys on the moving chain by their feet. All this heavy work gave grandpa Simpson huge muscles. Since I was only five and six dad would send me home, just as soon as he saw me milling around. I liked walking through the plant telling everyone hello. Dad hired most of his family members because he was trying to turn the family straight. It was a failure in the end, because Fairview wasn't a big enough city for them.
"Go home Dennis, this place is too dangerous for you," bellowed my grandpa Simpson. He would usually spot me walking up the street. Grandpa was still treating me like a baby even though I was five and six. He didn't realize how mature I was for that young age. Ignoring grandpa Simpson I ran into the processing plant. "Hello dad how are you" I said. Dad was so busy he didn't notice me. So I took a walk around the poultry plant. Seeing dad ankle deep in blood gave me a bit of nausea. "Hi how are you Mrs. Eck," I told my neighbor. She said she was doing fine. After she scraped out the pin feathers, the chickens went through a wall of flame. After ten or fifteen minutes I was ready to exit this smelly place. I think grandpa was more worried about me seeing him and dad flirting with women, than me getting hurt.
The turkeys and chickens came all the way from Arkansas, however a few were raised locally by the russian immigrants. My dad would kill about four thousand birds every day or twenty thousand each week. He put in twelve hours at the plant every day. Two hours were spent cleaning his area and loading the blood into barrels. Dog food companies would purchase the guts feathers and blood.
My father wore the terrible smell of death on him every day. Even a long soapy bath, would never wash the acrid odor away. Doing so much poultry killing, began giving my dad dark thoughts. He confessed that sometimes he imagined the chickens were people. Doctor Harry Baughan gave dad some medicine and the dark thoughts supposedly disappeared. I was glad dad's nightmares finally ended so he could rest.
"Bud I'm going to pick you up some men’s cologne today, because you smell awful. I noticed you already ran out of Old Spice," mother whispered to dad. Cologne didn't last long on my dad, because he sweat a lot. "Honey I will also drop by the pharmacy and pick you up a refill of sleeping pills, said mom. Dad hated taking medicine of any form, however he was suffering from lack of sleep.
Besides working at the poultry plant dad dressed people's deer and pigs for them. Most people didn't have the stomach for butchering. I don't believe Fairview had a meat locker at the time that slaughtered cattle and swine. "Dennis go get your dad. Mr Martin has came after his hogs." mother said in an anxious voice. We had four large chest freezers sitting on the back side of our house. We were the only people in town with a meat saw and grinder. I enjoyed watching dad saw meat into steaks and roasts. Part of the meat he would grind into sausage.
Father got his school teacher Helen Lewis pregnant, when he was twelve years old. That is probably why he didn't have much respect for women. The following year his parents kicked him out of the house, for getting his cousins pregnant. He moved in with his uncles Lester and Leonard Bond, who also took in his cousin Opal Claunch. Dad got Opal pregnant and Bud Capps married her. Dad had a poor education since he left school at twelve and went to work. He got eight of his cousins pregnant, so his mother was ashamed of him. Seems he spent his entire life getting women pregnant.
His grandpa who was a sheriff decided dad better live with him. He worked dad so hard, he didn't have any time for sex. Grandpa Bond also took him along on sheriff business. He wanted dad to be a lawman, like the Bonds had been for generations. Dad got to roughing up the prisoners too badly, which cost grandpa Bond his job. His great grandpa Bond a retired US Marshall also lived with him northeast of Colony. When dad moved out on his own, Roy Payne bought the farm. His two grandpa's moved in with a daughter Myrtle Bond Simpson in Weatherford. My grandma Alta and her cousin Myrtle married brothers. Myrtle's husband Arthur was a fence of stolen property. He was known as Pedro.
Dad was six foot two and in great shape. He could do fifty chin ups using one arm. When he was young he had red hair, but now it had turned brown. His freckles had faded so you could barely see them. He wore western shirts with the sleeves removed, and tight fitting Levi jeans. Women found my dad to be attractive and he loved the ladies. He had six pairs of fancy cowboy boots, and it was one of my chores to keep them waxed and shiny. Some of his boots were alligator, anaconda, ostrich, and elephant. His two black Stetson cowboy hats he always wore, hung on a peg next to the front door. My cowboy hat was white which sucked. I didn't get a black Stetson until I was fourteen.
"Bring me my boots,” dad would yell from his bedroom. I would come running with his boots. Dad was always in a big hurry. He always had too many irons in the fire, and would fall behind in his work. Dad worked hard from six in the morning until midnight, yet he was falling further behind. Me and mother did our best to help him out. I would wash our vehicles and his tall bloody work boots. She would do the small carpentry jobs around the house and milk the jersey cow. In addition mother dressed our turkeys and chickens by herself.
"Dennis bring me some socks out of the dryer," dad said. Dad was always having business meetings after work. He had to beg lots of bankers, before he got the money to meet his payroll. Making the garbage trucks was taking all his money. First he had to purchase the trucks, then his factory added the hydraulic lift and trash compactors.
Our house was filled with two hundred year old antiques, because mother was a collector. This meant that playing indoors could be hazardous to your butt, if you broke something expensive. My folks whipped us with a small tiny tree limb called a switch, if we did something bad. As we got older the switch was replaced with the belt.
When relatives died the family would have an estate auction. My mother would out bid everyone, so we ended up with all the family heirlooms. Relatives were always trying to steal our family heirlooms. Mother began checking everyone's suitcase if they spent the night. They felt so humiliated that most of them quit coming. My cousins were always robbing mansions in Nichols Hills, which is near Oklahoma City. That is why my aunts and uncles had such nice home furnishings. Seldom they purchased anything from a store except food.
"Wanda let me sell you all new appliances for only two hundred dollars," said uncle Steve. Actually his name was Albert Gale Shamblin. "I don't think so," replied mother. She knew my uncle was trying to sell her stolen goods. Steve was a fence of stolen goods, as well as a hitman. He had many barns in the outskirts of Oklahoma City filled with stolen items. Often he would steal nearly the whole contents of a store. He sold everything from designer dresses and purses to guns. Sometimes he would steal so people and stores could collect insurance. "Wanda don't be a religious fanatic,"growled Steve. Try and save Bud some money. Then he would go stomping out of the house.
Both me and dad carried a harmonica in our shirt pocket. We would play it together at places like the barber shop and Scouts. Dad could sing remarkably well and play lots of musical instruments. He sang and played at many night clubs and dances in Oklahoma City and Norman. My parents quit going out to honky tonks, when we moved from Fairview to the farm. They became more serious, and wasn't the happy people they use to be. Sometimes we had barn dances at our house, but the couples rarely brought their children. They kept us children locked out, since they were drinking beer.
My old man was one of the best farmers in the state. He took agriculture classes at Oklahoma State University, and nobody's crops yielded more. He was an expert at judging land and only rented the best farms. He never believed in buying farms, when you could rent them so cheaply. The land we farmed had so much organic matter that it held water like a sponge. Periods of drought would not effect our farm production. Adding all this organic matter to the soil, did cost us a little more in nitrogen fertilizer costs.
"Chief nice doing business with you. See you in a couple of months for sure," said my dad. We rented land from many different indian tribes. About half the land we rented through the crooked indian agent, and the other half belonged to individual indians. The tribal land was rented for next to nothing, but dad had to kick back the indian agent two or three thousand dollars. It ended up being about fifty cents an acre. Many of the individual indians just wanted all the beer they could drink. For years dad got along well with the indians. Later some went to college and began running tribal affairs. They demanded the same amount of rent white people received. "Dennis spend the weekend with me,"asked the Kiowa medicine man. Dad agreed to let me, to my mother's horror. When dad came home without me, he almost had to hog tie her. Dad was always letting me spend time with chiefs and medicine men. Mother considered them heathen, and was afraid they would mess with my views of religion. Besides chiefs and medicine men usually lived alone, because women would divorce them.
Dad helped dozens of russian families immigrate to the United States. Many had been political prisoners in Russia. He helped them establish wheat and turkey farms at Fairview and at Corn. Most were hard working law abiding people, the rest worked for my dad. Over the years my dad also helped dozens of poor people get into farming and ranching. Many were homeless families who didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out. That was his expression not mine. He gave each family twenty head of charolais cattle and expense money for three years. They had free use of his tractors and farm implements. If they wanted seed and fertilizer, he always stood good for it.
During the Dust Bowl my dad and his brothers walked all the way to California, because they were a family of eleven and had but one vehicle. They called the dust storms that enveloped them black blizzards. Sometimes the storms would reduce visibility down to a few feet. Millions of people were moving to California, so they had plenty of children to talk to. Many thousands of people died along the way due to starvation and dust pneumonia. Most were buried in unmarked graves along the road. Many of the cars and trucks had a difficult time going over the mountains, so many valuable household items were abandoned alongside the road. On the long trip west they lived off of rabbits, biscuits, and mesquite tree beans. They burned cotton stalks for firewood, because there were many cotton fields along the way. Only a few motels had been built along the way, so even if you could afford a room none were available. Grandpa Shamblin sold canvas for tents along the journey, which made them enough money to purchase gasoline.
One of dad's best friends was Chester the chainsaw Classen a battle tested captain. He came up rapidly through the ranks, because he was a top notch soldier. Chester had made his bones working for organized crime in Russia. The nearly seven foot ferocious russian always had dad's back whenever trouble arose. Chester claimed he was related to the Romanov's Russia's royal family. I had serious doubts about it. At nearly four hundred pounds Chester was a mountain of a man. His hands were the size of dinner plates and extremely lethal. He usually beat up two or three men at a time. Sometimes he suffocated men, by squeezing the very life out of them. His shoulders were three feet wide. His nickname chainsaw came from the fact that he would use a chainsaw to get into your house, if you wouldn't come out and face him. He taught me how to throw knives and spears. His wife Irma was raised by my grandma Herrian. Her family made whiskey and sold black market items for grandpa Oliver Herrian. Irma Classen had been raped by the bear creatures near Colony, while she was working in her garden. This happened to quite a few Colony and Hydro women.
"Chester the sheriff in Washita county called and said a farmer accused me of stealing his cattle. I want you to give him something to worry about. A man like that shouldn't be walking around," ordered dad. Chester knew dad wanted this man's legs broken. If the farmer wouldn't change his story, Chester would make living impossible for him. "Chester I can always depend on you," said dad. Chester wasn't afraid of taking chances because he had killed people in hospitals, office buildings, and churches. The Russian Mafia lost a valuable asset when Chester came to work for dad.
In his youth my dad had been a successful bootlegger and semi professional boxer. He made beer instead of whiskey, because he could make four times as much money. Men drank ten times more beer than they did hard liquor dad said. He hired men to haul liquor into counties and states that were dry. Prohibition was over when dad took over grandpa John's liquor business. When I was a boy dad was putting expensive brand labels on bottles of cheap whiskey. He did the same thing with bottles of wine.
Grandpa Bond was a lawman, yet he owned the only brothel in the western half of Oklahoma. It was called the Calmez Hotel in Clinton Oklahoma. The brothel employed about a hundred prostitutes who lived there. Dad used the Calmez Hotel as cover to sell his bootleg liquor and untaxed cigarettes, because it had nearly three hundred horny patrons a day. Many Oklahoma and Texas governors and congressman passed through the doors of the Calmez. My grandpa Bond would later blackmail them for favors. My dad's younger brothers Willis Raymond and Otis Grant worked changing the brothel sheets, because every customer got a clean one. The rooms also cotained peek holes, that cost the men only two dollars to watch.
"Bud I must say you have ambition. I will give you protection if you convince some of the paving contractors to throw some money my way. Of course the money can't be traced back to me," said Govenor Henry L Bellmon. The govenor had heard dad was the best, when it came to arranging kickbacks. The Govenor remained a close family friend until he died. My grandma Lola Herrian financed a large portion of his campaign.
Uncle Otis Grant Shamblin changed the records in the courthouse, so the infamous brothel wouldn't stain grandpa Bond's good name. He was very experienced at changing court records, as well as stealing or ruining evidence. Hopefully western Oklahoma courthouses have finally put some security measures in place. As a boy dad had worked for a brewery in California with his brother John Warren. His bootleg cigarettes didn't have taxes paid on them. Dad sold some locally but the majority was driven to Canada by Bud Capps and Frank Barnes. He made his highly sought after beer, in the cool days of fall and spring at Corn Oklahoma. He had his hops shipped in from California, where his cousin Luke Pulis raised them. My dad and uncle Johnny bottled it in gallon Mason jars. In the 1970's he made some high dollar moonshine at Bella Vista Arkansas. My parents bought a marina on Beaver lake and rented out some pontoon boats to the public. It was a perfect place for selling illegal liquor. He soaked marijuana and jimson weed in the moonshine for ten days before he sold it. He could buy marijuana cheap at Thomas and Custer City Oklahoma where farmers grow it by the acres. Jimson weed is toxic if you use too much, so you must know what you are doing.
Sometimes dad nearly beat men to death because of his wicked temper. He was able to accomplish this by using boxing mixed with martial arts. Dad wouldn't halt their punitive beatings until his victims were a bloody mess. They came around to his way of thinking. Primarily he pulverized men over gambling debts, refusal to obey, or because they turned him into the law. Later on dad took up brazilian jiu-jitsu, because some of his fights ended up on the ground and he was almost killed. Behind dad's back some men called him Hitler, because he acted like a dictator at times. Once my sister Malva made the mistake of clicking her heels together raising her arm, and saying Heil Hitler. She was slapped off her feet and and dad didn't speak to her for a month.
Father was especially demanding of his hundred or more soldiers. If they failed at a task dad would generally use his bullwhip on them. If they tried to quit dad's cousin Othal Bond handled it. He would sometimes roast a man's weenie with a cigarette lighter, and then split his tongue with a knife. Othal took a perverse pleasure in handing out punishment. Other times Othal and his Colony friends would hang indians and travelers just for the fun of it. My cousin Larry Barnett forced people into their car trunks, then set the car on fire. He enjoyed dragging out the murder process. The state of Oklahoma eventually executed him. I think it was mostly the torture that intimidated honest lawmen from doing their job and arresting my kin folk.
In the nineties Othal got brave and began skimming money from my dad. Dad gave him a few warnings, then gave the order for his legs to be broken. Othal didn't learn his lesson, so his legs were broken two more times. When dad got old and sickly people tried to take advantage of him. Chester Classen tried the same thing, at the same time as Othal. Chester was dealt with in the same fashion, both of his legs were broken. Because Chester wasn't family, the second time he stole money both his legs and arms were cut off. This sent a powerful message throughout the organization. Dad died a few years later, and I don't know who is in charge now.
We owned a remote house in the country that hosted high stakes poker games. It was red brick with white trim. We tore out most the walls to make room for lots of tables. The interior was very elegant after dad's uncle Lester Bond completed the remodeling. Our home functioned like a bank, a place where gamblers came after bank hours to get money. Our local banker would come and replenish the safe, whenever it got low on cash. It was mother's job to give out the cash, unless my dad was home. Dad also took bets on all the local football games. If there was anything you wanted to bet on dad was your go to man.
Dad began giving me karate lessons when I was five years old. These lessons were loads of fun, because I got to spend time alone with him. Most of the day he was too busy to notice us children, much less have a conversation with us. Sometimes dad would practice too rough and I would hurt all over after practice. He wanted to make certain I grew up tough because he couldn't stand a guy who was a pussy.
Dad staged anything goes fights in his uncle Lester Bond's big hay barn near Alfalfa twice a month. Fighters would come from all over the country to wager on these illegal fights. The usual entry fee was ten thousand dollars, and dad paid out all but ten percent to the tournament winner. Often my dad was the tournament champion because of his many years of experience and brutality. Only a few men died at these fights because there were always some doctors present gambling. Doctors and dentists seem to enjoy watching bloody sports. The sheriff was always in attendance to keep everything under control. He didn't want anyone getting stabbed or shot. You get a bunch of drunk gamblers together, and anything is likely to happen. Besides the sheriff only charged three hundred dollars to keep the peace at dad's illegal sporting events.
When I was five mother began giving me and my sisters piano lessons. That same year my sisters began their ballet lessons. From then forward through high school my sister Malva was dancing ballet all around the house and yard. She was a tall thin girl who never wore a smile, and had loads of talent. Her long brown hair was usually tied in a ponytail. Most of her dancing tights were pink and she wore them quite often. In fact most of Malva's clothes were pink. My parents put her in charge of me and my little brother, because they worked so late. She was so bossy it sometimes got on my nerves. I am certain her heart was probably in the right place. Malva was good about helping me with my homework, although she wasn't a good teacher. Malva is an excellent marksman and I enjoyed hunting birds and deer with her. She was the only one of us kids with a gun collection and a steel door on her bedroom. She and my little brother were uncommonly shy and would run to their rooms every time we had visitors. Both were also loners, and delighted in playing by themselves. The violin became Malva's favorite instrument. My grandpa Shamblin taught her how to play it. She was the only grandchild who wasn't scared of grandpa John. She also washed the dishes and did our laundry, before mother hired a maid from Mexico.
"Dennis you can't play outdoors until you finish your piano lessons," demanded mother. Our piano teacher came over two days a week. The lessons lasted for two hours, so I was completely beat. The teacher would get so angry when I made mistakes. He drove all the way from Enid, and taught at a college there. I wish I had the gentle old lady piano teacher that Charlotte and Lorinda Classen had. "Dennis pay attention so we can make more progress," snapped my piano teacher. He always felt I was slacking during practice.
Whenever my self-centered mother felt frustrated or hurt she would play the piano, which was quite often. The piano did a wonderful job relieving stress for her. She generally played her best when she was upset. My parents’ bad marriage wasn't a secret. Everyone advised my parents to get a divorce for years. Both felt the whole world revolved around them. It was astonishing all the things they could find to argue about. There wasn't a single thing they would ever agree upon. My dad's relentless whoring always added fuel to the fire. When he gave mother a sexually transmitted disease, it meant he was banished to the travel trailer for a few months. Dad never struck my mother, however she gave him more than a few black eyes in private. They usually walked down the road to do their fighting, so us children couldn't hear.
LaDonna is my eldest sister and became the best piano player in our house. LaDonna was very pretty and dated lots of popular boys in the community. She dated on the weekends so dad wasn't home to greet her suitors. She had short black hair and big blue eyes. Her fair complexion burned very easy, so all summer long she was treating sunburns. LaDonna has a few dark freckles on her cheeks. At only five feet six inches tall, she is the shortest member of our family. Mother is a little over six feet and my sister Malva is a little under six feet tall. LaDonna sometimes played a piano or organ for church and at weddings. I was very proud of her on the basketball court. Kim Brown was the best guy she ever had in her life. They had a wonderful son together named Christopher. He grew up to be a strong christian like his mother and dad. LaDonna was the family secretary. She paid all the household bills by mail, and took my parents ordinary phone calls. She was also in charge of cooking our meals when mother was out, and making certain we studied our Sunday school lessons. LaDonna is also a fantastic guitar player as well. She taught me how to play the guitar when I was twelve. We would play together at fairs and rodeos, until she graduated high school.
"LaDonna keep an eye on your brothers this morning, and don't miss any of my phone call, said dad. I don't believe people had answering machines in their homes yet. Flora only babysat us boys in the afternoon or evenings. She lived two houses south of us. Her daddy Harry was employed by mine. "Boys mind your big sister, while me and your mother attend your aunt's wedding," dad added.
Grandpa Shamblin adored me but wanted me to become the family mafia boss when I grew up, and follow in his immoral footsteps. That was definitely never going to happen, so I avoided grandpa John Franklin Shamblin like the plague. I had plenty of evil cousins willing to assume the role, so I couldn't understand why grandpa John picked me for the job. I was smart yes, but I did my best to follow the ten commandments. My cousins were also required to attend church, but to them it was simply a social affair. Malva wasn't the most religious person, however she never wanted to do anything bad. She was the rebellious member of my family. My grandma Clara Bond Shamblin died in 1956, two years before I was born. She died from a heart attack during a Shawnee Oklahoma police interrogation.
Dad had a secret life that he kept hidden from everyone including my mother. He was the average type of father and husband until Friday night came around. Then he would be gone until Monday, telling us he was going on a fishing or hunting trip. From the airline tags attached to his suitcases, we all knew it wasn’t the truth. The majority of his life will always remain a secret. He never left a phone number where he could be reached, and his deep blue eyes would take on a serious look if we pressed him on travel details. My dad was Malvin Leroy Shamblin, but everyone just called him stud horse Bud. Quite frequently dad's friends would travel along with him. At times he would be absent longer than a weekend. I can recall a few times when he stayed gone for a few weeks. We could hear mother praying for his safety sometimes late at night. She kept a candle burning for him on our coffee table, until he returned.
"Mom when will dad be back. I am getting worried since he hasn't called in three weeks," I said. "Dennis you guess is as good as mine. I am praying he hasn't been shot or stabbed, muttered mother. Dad had been shot and stabbed more times than I could remember. He always seemed to make it home to the doctor. After a week or two in bed he was good as new. "Dennis water the grass and quit worrying about your father. He is more than able to take care of himself," said mother.
It was immensely important to my dad that we be the alpha male in the pack. So dad required that I pick the games that me and my friends played, and made certain I shot down all the ideas my friends had. It was forced leadership I suppose. I had to beat them in races wrestling and knowledge of facts, or else dad would become greatly disappointed. Thank goodness I was a fantastic athlete and big for my age.
"Boys how about you running to the drugstore. First boy there gets two scoops of ice cream, everyone else just gets one," said dad. I took off like a rocket, knowing dad expected me to win. We got plenty of ice cream at home, so I was just running for the win. "Dennis great job. I guess this means your chocolate sundae gets too scoops of ice cream," dad said with a big smile on his face.
In Fairview the judge ordered my dad to get a vasectomy because he got so many women and teenage girls pregnant. The police took him away for the procedure, and kept him handcuffed until it was over. In 1960 dad had two women pregnant at work and one jealous husband tried to shoot him. He was killing chickens, when the husband stuck a shotgun in his face. The man lost his hand to dad's electric poultry knife. I believe my dad was a sick sexual addict. Mother made dad take me along just about every place he went, so he couldn't cheat on her. Dad was always one step ahead of her, and would secretly drop me off at my babysitter.
My sisters loved entertaining and were always having friends over from school. This was always great because it meant mother was cooking either ribeye steak or lobster. It was also the only time we were allowed to have loud music in the house. While mother was busy preparing the meal, dad poured mixed drinks for my sister's friends. Then he would begin dancing with the girls, while he was in the backyard grilling. In Fairview our play house had beds in it and that’s where my sister’s guests would spend the night. Dad would always seduce their friends and get them pregnant. This was possible because mother allowed my sisters and their friend’s privacy. She thought my dad was outdoors drinking beer with Mr. Koehn next door. The young girls were charmed by the expensive gifts dad gave them I suppose, and drunk from the booze. He financially supported all his children and sent them to college.
Bud was the son of a blood thirsty mobster named John Franklin Shamblin. Grandpa Shamblin was the founder of what is called the Dixie Mafia today. He sold more cattle and cotton than anyone in the state, yet he was too lazy to farm. At night he and his many soldiers would raid the cotton gins and cattle sale barns stealing much of the cotton and cattle. Grandpa Shamblin had dozens of semi trucks which he used for stealing. They would totally wipe out many stores and farms in a single night. He kept out of jail because his wife's family the Bonds were dishonest lawmen. Grandpa Bond as sheriff would shoot to death or hang anyone who accused grandpa Shamblin of crime. My grandpa Shamblin's sister was married to a crooked judge who also helped him out. Mr. Edward Gaylord billionaire owner of the Daily Oklahoman hired my grandpa to convince Democrat leaning newspapers all over the country to sell to him. Grandpa had his sons John Warren Albert Gale and Otis Grant be in charge of bringing terror to those newspaper owners. Mr. Gaylord said use any method necessary.
Grandpa Shamblin would drag his family back and forth to California, because he wanted to become a movie star. He managed to get a few small roles, but not enough to live on. Back in Oklahoma there was the Dust Bowl to contend with. Farmers were not producing any crops or livestock to steal, because it wasn't raining. Grandpa was also an explosives and poison expert during the war in europe. Italian and Irish mafia men came from NYC, Chicago, Kansas City, and New Orleans to purchase his car bombs and potent poisons. Grandpa blew up rock to make bridges for the Work Projects Administration, so he always had access to plenty of dynamite. He grew castor beans, rosary pea plants, oleander plants, moonseed plants, and other poisonous plants to make his deadly poisons. He had a small lab in his basement where he concentrated and blended the poisons. Here he also blended chemicals to make explosives. Grandpa also sold dogs that were trained to kill people.
My mother’s maiden name is Wanda Mae Simpson. If you have ever watched Hyacinth Bucket on Keeping Up Appearances on public television, you have met my mother. She is a large bleach blonde woman with a contagious laugh. Mother perpetually but hopelessly has spent her life trying to climb the social ladder and trying to impress her friends. Mother does her best to give the impression that she is of high social standing, while proving at all times that she is of working class origins. Her continuous desperation not to let other people find out her true origins creates many humorous moments. Mother looks down on others, believing she is incomparably superior to those around her, and is particularly ashamed of her criminal relatives. People have always tried to avoid her. It's hilarious watching people hide from her in stores and on the street. My mother has absolutely no fashion sense. She was always wearing something flamboyant, and always looked out of place. My friends called her the hat lady, because she was always a big gaudy hat. It was always easy to find mother in a crowd.
"I told you to polish your shoes Dennis," mother whispered to me at church. I had polished my shoes, but nothing was ever good enough for mom. She spent hours preparing our clothes for church. At home we had to practice our entry at church. Mother wanted to create a superior impression every place we went. "Malva and LaDonna smile and look happy," demanded my mom. She wanted us always to appear the perfect happy family.
Mother's psychotic brother Robert Leroy Simpson was employed by the Conoco refinery in Ponca City Oklahoma. He also sat on the Conoco board of directors in Houston, because grandpa Simpson owned charter stock in the company. Years ago she invested in the 101 Ranch Oil Company, which became the Marland Oil Company. Later on Marland Oil Company became Conoco. Uncle Robert had an army of thieves who stole crude oil in Oklahoma and Texas. They brought it to his refinery to be sold. He created lots of phony companies to pay the money to. His thieves also stole liquefied natural gas which is commonly called drip gas. It gets its name because it gathers at dips in the natural gas pipelines. This condensate is also produced at the well and stored in tanks. Robert sold it through the fuel pump at his many Conoco filling stations. He also sold the drip gas by the pint at two hundred dollars, to huffers who use it as drugs. Supposedly its far better than spray paint, because it contains many different gases. Grandpa Simpson began the oil theft when he was a boy growing up in Oklahoma with his brothers Bluford and Arthur Simpson. Three Sands oil field is where their crime first began stealing drill bits.
Every Easter me and my family would attend the christian play at Holy City, in the Wichita Mountains. One year our parents sent us with uncle Robert Simpson. I didn't relish the idea of going with him, but we weren't given a choice. He always let us kids take turns driving his expensive Maserati, as if it were a toy. He bought all his clothes in Milan and Paris. But most impressive was his foreign bank accounts. Since he never married, everyone sucked up to him for a future inheritance. Robert taught Sunday school ever since he was sixteen, and was a volunteer at the Ponca City YMCA. In fact I rarely saw uncle Robert talking to adults. Camping out with Robert was the worst. He made me put up the tents by myself. I was nine so it took me forever. Just because I was a Cub Scout, didn't mean I was an expert camper. Besides I never put up large tents before. Robert took ten of us boys out for a hike before dark. Eight of the boys I had only recently met. My six year old brother was the youngest in the group. After a few miles of hiking we came to a small herd of bison. Uncle Robert made me be the first boy to walk past the herd. After I was almost clear of the bison, a big bull decided to charge. He chased me around some huge boulders, but eventually I made it up a small tree. The bison kept staying at my tree, and darkness was closing in fast. Robert made the decision to leave me, and took the rest of the boys back to safety. About an hour after dark, the bison began rubbing against the small tree. The tree was bending so low, I was fearing it would snap. I began to thinking even if the tree did not snap, I was within reach of the bison's sharp horns. Running the way I came was no longer an option. More bison had filled that small valley. I sprang from the small tree and hit the ground running. The bison cows with calves, were the first ones to charge me. Slowly the big bulls joined in. I headed for the rockiest ground I could find, because the small Blackjack oak trees provided little protection. Soon the bison were slowing, because they had trouble dodging the big boulders. A road came into view, as I raced across the prairie towards it. The boulders began thinning out and the bison were gaining on me. On the road I saw a small red car, so I waved my arms as I ran. The lady driver saw me running with fifteen or twenty bison on my heels. She turned off the road and onto the grass flooring the gas pedal. Her car was coming like a rocket and I prayed she would save me. She bumped the bison with her car, and it turned the herd. After loading me up, she dropped me off at Holy City. Instead of coming after me, uncle Robert was horsing around in the tent with the boys. I had to spend the whole night sitting out in the cold. Wish I could properly thank the lady who saved me, but I don't even know her name.
Every year my great grandpa Oliver Carlton Herrian and his brothers Earl and Fred would return to their ancestral home in Corsica. When I was a child sometimes grandpa would take me and my siblings with them. The few weeks we spent on Corsica were better than a dream. The stone mansions belonging to our extended family are several centuries old, and the size of castles. There were olives and grapes to help pick. My corsican cousins helped their dads in the oyster beds, while I watched and did lots of swimming. Grandpa Herrian and his family smuggled heroin from Turkey to France and then to the United States. A movie was written about this called the French Connection. Often the heroin was concealed in automobiles on ships. All our relatives were so happy to see us, because grandpa brought money from America. He was the family banker and treasurer. Many millionaires move to Corsica to escape the law, but seldom do they have an opportunity to enjoy their money. The locals usually murder them. My cousins were reluctant to point out the bad people to me. I suppose they were afraid of them too.
Dad's uncles Leonard and Lee Bond were Colony and Carnegie farmers. They along with my grandma Alta Herrian Simpson imported drugs by the ton into Louisiana, Texas, and Florida from Karachi Pakistan and northern Columbia. Security became too strong in New York and California. They also imported other black market items like furs and stolen art. Mother's cousin's Nina Simpson Trent and Vurl Simpson Goss were in charge of the distribution. Mostly they used funeral homes to move their shipments of drugs from the ports. Coffins were filled with drugs and policeman never searched the hearses. They thought the coffins contained americans, who had died overseas. Vurl and Nina paid out millions to law enforcement, which was a large percentage of the profit. They did this so the policeman would turn a blind eye to the mules and oil well thieves. If somebody did get caught, the cop usually sold the drugs back to Nina and Vurl. The funeral home in Weatherford would sell organs and cover up murders. In addition they would allow perverts to have sex with the dead bodies. All these illegal things came with a hefty price tag.
Othal Bond would move his drugs about, with the help of his wife and her relatives. Othal was basically gay, however he enjoyed kinky sex with young women on occasion. Choking boys and girls was a real turn on for him. Trudy was his oldest daughter and suffered the most abuse. Generally he killed people with his pickup truck if they disobeyed him. Often by crowding them into a ditch or semi truck. I never knew a man, who took such pleasure in ending someone’s life. Othal and his wife Luann delighted in their male farm workers. They both taught Sunday school at the First Baptist Church in Colony, although they lead criminal lives.
Othal enjoyed going to the horse races so he could gamble. He bought a Acoustic device, which would render a person sick in a few seconds. At poker games his daughter Tammie would point the concealed device at winning players. Later he took it to the horse track to throw races. I suppose too many people were not using them for home defense, and they got pulled from the market place. The device only took fifteen seconds to have a human or animal vomiting.
Lola and Oliver Herrian kept several million dollars in their guest bedroom in Fairview. Besides being my mother's grandparents, Lola was also my dad's aunt. They were cousins. Me and my sisters had a grand time playing with the stacks of money, while our grandparents were gone. Sometimes my sister Malva would steal a few hundreds. In grade school when she was trying to buy us gum with one hundred dollar bills, the grocery store clerk called the police. Grandma Herrian was a good sport and didn't tell our parents. Lola convinced most of her nieces and nephews to move to Fairview, so she could watch them spend their inheritance. She gave out money each month, instead of in a lump sum. When my cousins found out about the million dollar money stash, they began helping themselves to it. With so much money missing, my grandpa Oliver became extremely upset and demanded the money back. When my aunts and uncles searched their children's rooms they recovered most of it. Grandma Herrian stopped handing out inheritance, so most my cousins moved from Fairview.
Grandpa Oliver hired dad to build a hidden room next to his storm cellar. He requested dad only work on it after dark, so it would remain a secret. When the room was completed grandma filled it with money and gold bars. My dad sealed the entrance with a brick wall. Dad swore me to secrecy and I didn't tell anyone. I was overjoyed most my cousins were gone, because they were trouble makers. Even the school teachers couldn't stand them. Just about every day, they came home from school crying. A few times grandma had dad make a hole in the wall, so she could put in more money and diamonds. Her son Arthur was a jewelry fence in Enid and Oklahoma City. They invested in lots of his stolen property.
Most of my relative's drugs were distributed through small town laundries, Pizza Huts, Sonics, bowling alleys, and grocery stores. In larger cities too much of the profits went to policemen and the city council. Once the coffins of drugs arrived in Fairview Oklahoma. Grandma Simpson and Floy Bond weighed it and packed it into dozens of suitcases. My uncle Melvin Lee Simpson would load it upon a freight train that was going very slowly through Fairview. He would then ride the train and drop off drugs at places all along the route from Wichita Kansas to New York City. Vurl and Nina were my mother’s double cousins, because their dads were brothers. They would provide uncle Melvin with a body guard on these trips. On his return trip Melvin would steal expensive paintings and jewelry.
Ina Vurl Goss always wanted me to marry her daughter Cheryl Renee. She did her best to sabotage my relationships and intimidate my girlfriends. I never had a interest in marrying my own cousin, let alone anyone who was from a criminal family. Instead I preferred girls from nice christian families, who lead normal lives. Now that I have properly introduced me and my family, it's time to begin the story of my life growing up with Bigfoot. The story wasn't difficult to write, because I have kept a daily journal ever since I was eight years old. I got the idea from watching my sisters write in their small diaries. Each year I gave them the same gift, because I knew they could use it. Let the story begin.
One hot and windy summer afternoon, me and my brother Merle were playing with our next door neighbor Pamela Koehn in the backyard. Two nervous male strangers in dress hats and dark sunglasses, walked up and began watching us. I was swinging, and my brother and Pam were chasing each other up and down the slide. The small yellow plastic slide was a birthday gift from the Classens. They had a skinny blonde daughter my age named Lorinda. We were all laughing and oblivious to the world around us. The gusty wind was blowing the yard sprinkler. It was spinning droplets of water that were cooling us down. Both men had serious looks on their faces, and were sweating profusely. My parents never warned me about strangers, so I assumed they were okay. Dad had lots of shady looking friends, so these guys didn't really stand out.
Pam was my four year old neighbor with cotton blonde hair and big blue eyes. Pam's family were Mennonites, and her dad was a self-employed welder. They moved into Ray Dow's big brick house. Ray had moved to Blackwell Oklahoma, to run a cardboard factory he and my dad started. Ray helped my dad with his patents on garbage trucks and plows. He had studied engineering and drafting in college. My dad was a prolific inventor, and collected lots of royalty on his many patents. Most dad's inventions were built around hydraulics. Pam's mother's family the McMillan's ran a motel in town, which my dad frequented too often. So he was good friends with Pam's mom when they moved in.
As the men were watching us I began asking them questions such as, I never saw you around town, so where do you live? They didn't respond, but they did get a funny smirk on their faces. I also asked them, why did you drive through the wheat instead of on the road. Mother had gone to the elementary school to pick up my sisters, and left Pam's mother in charge of us. That probably wasn't a good idea, because last time she babysat my little brother got lost. It took us three hours to find him in a culvert pipe under her driveway. Pam's mom and her husband were having sex and had all the doors locked. There was nobody around to witness our unwanted guests. I was thinking about walking to the house, in case mother came home with ice cream or pop. She should be home in five or ten minutes I thought, since she left a half hour ago. I was wearing my Mickey Mouse wrist watch that Pam's mother gave to me. She was a nice woman who taught me how to write.
We lived on First Street where the city limits began. Our backyard was an orchard and play house, which gave away to a huge six hundred and fifty acre wheat field. We lived in a pink slate house, surrounded by dozens of rose bushes. Mother had begun planting flowering bushes among the roses. The desperate kidnappers had parked their black Pontiac in the chest high wheat field behind our house. It was due to be harvested the following day. The high wind was blowing the tall wheat making the Pontiac nearly invisible. Clouds of gnats had descended upon us, annoying the gutsy strangers. They slapped and cussed at the gnats, as they were planning their first move. Pam tried playing with the strangers, but they totally ignored her. Her dad should be out in a few minutes, to finish the horse trailer he was welding on.
First the tall smelly one grabbed me, knocking my Oklahoma Sooner cap to the ground. He said don't cry you dirty rotten bitch, as tears streamed down my face. It was the hateful tone of his voice that made me cry, not the dirty words. I did the christian thing and warned the man, my dad will be mad. Next the heavy set one roughly snatched up my little brother from the slide. He uttered some vulgar words under his breath, but I couldn't completely understand them. The both of them quickly pulled off our socks, and stuffed them in our mouth. They tied them behind our heads, to silence us. The tall one said struggle you little shits and we will cut your little hearts out. His partner said don't listen to him nobody is getting hurt. My buddy just likes talking tough like a jerk off. I don't recall all the things they said, since I didn't write it down in my journal. The bad things in life I didn't want to dwell on. They are best forgotten.
Next the fearless kidnappers ran, carrying us to their parked car in the field. I was thinking these men had to be very brave pulling off this job. Lots of people said, my father was meaner than the Devil himself. The men smelled of whiskey and Swisher Sweet cigars. I knew this because my grandpa Simpson smoked the same brand of cigars. Dad kept a bottle of Jack Daniels behind his pickup seat. After dropping us into the Pontiac's trunk like a bag of potatoes, they sped away into the waving wheat field. Pam continued to play, as if nothing happened. The men had a rifle in the trunk and a box of shells. I was praying they wouldn't kill us. I knew mother would move heaven and earth to find us. Gave myself a little pep talk to chase the fear away. I tried to concentrate on what my family was going through.
The Pontiac came to a screeching stop after about thirty minutes. In the meantime I removed the sock gags from me and my brother’s mouth. The trunk was getting very hot and it was getting difficult to breathe. Finally they threw open the trunk and ordered us both out. My brother had wet his pants, and I was afraid they might punish him. He was good about holding back his crying, however these men didn't seem reasonable. They took us around to the back of the house, and flung the old cellar door open. The dim lit cellar stunk of rotten potatoes. The cranky men proceeded to lock us both up in the old storm and root cellar. The tall one removed the shoes from our feet, and had us speak into a tape recorder. With scissors he cut part of me and my brother’s hair off, and stuck it into his pants pocket.
The old abandoned house and cellar was sixteen miles west of Fairview, not far from grandpa Simpson's farm, where mother grew up. I often visited this area with dad and grandpa. We would quail hunt or go fishing at neighboring Canton Lake. As we were being marched to the cellar, I was able to get my bearings. If we managed to escape our prison, I was certain I could find grandpa's house. I knew the sun came up in the east, and went down in the west. I recognized a few of the oil wells I saw in the distance. There were other land marks like a big dead tree. Every evening the turkey buzzards roosted on it. Me and my sisters rode bikes down these roads. I sure hoped uncle Robert wasn't involved in this, after all he was the epitome of evil. He tried to hang me and my brother once, and set our clothes on fire. Nobody believed us besides my sisters.
Diamondback rattlesnakes had taken refuge in the cool dark cellar, to escape the over one hundred degree temperature. I don't know if our captors knew they were in there or not. I threw rusty old mason jars of apples and green beans, to keep the slithering reptiles away from us. Only a few quart jars were within reach, from the stairs we were standing on. The cellar had three rows of fruit jars stacked along each side. Sunlight came through the big cracks in the old decrepit door. We watched one rattler bite and eat a toad, while I was frantically trying to break open the rotten cellar door. There was a kitchen table in the cellar we could stand on, but what if the snakes decided to camp out on the stairs. It began getting dark and the snakes were between me and the fruit jars, because they began ascending the stairs. We stayed perched at the top of the old wooden stairs, unless I was peeking at the deadly snakes. At last the red brick I found knocked a small hole in the cellar's door, and me and my crying brother crawled out.
I decided we would both hide in the ramshackle dog house, until help would arrive. It smelled really nasty however the fleas had long since left. There was barely room for both of us to squeeze into it. The house was out of the question, because it would be the first place crooks searched. I knew lots about criminals from eavesdropping on my dad. Often I hid in the bed of his pickup, so I could go places he wouldn't allow. I was a great little spy and never got caught. We were both hoping the rattlesnakes in the cellar stayed put. There would be no escaping them, from inside the dog house. All we heard was a tractor plowing in the distance. I decided against asking the farmer for help, because the bad men might see me on the road. When darkness fell we would walk to grandma and grandpa Simpson's house. All the stress was giving us both a bad tummy ache.
When my grief stricken dad paid the ransom to the kidnappers, they gave directions to where me and my brother were stashed. Mother was there ahead of the police. She must have been driving ninety miles per hour, because our brown Buick was having a boil over. Buick is the only brand of car my parents ever bought. She was crying and came running around the corner of the house. Mother had a frantic look on her face, and was holding our locks of hair. She calmed down some on the way home. After we got home we were forced to sit on her lap, until she fell asleep.
The following day mother tried to storm the jail, so she could shoot the mobsters. The police took away her gun and brought her home. She swore the ruffians would pay ten fold, for what they had done. Mom and dad put out a ten thousand dollar contract on the kidnappers head. They were offering an additional five thousand, if they were brought in alive. In less than ten hours, a hitman had delivered the degenerates to the sheriff. The sheriff had given dad twenty four hours to find the men, before bringing in the state police. The sheriff kept everything in Fairview private, so he could see justice done.
Instead of putting the New Orleans mobsters on trial, they received a heavy dose of vigilante justice. Dad and the local businessmen decided the mobster’s fate. They strapped each crying mobster into an old electric chair. The chair was called Sparky, and was on display at an insurance agency. The city council wanted to send a powerful message, that committing crime in Fairview wasn't worth it. Dad wanted to stake them down in a big chicken house, but they decided being eaten alive by chickens was too cruel. The men begged for their lives, but their pleading fell on deaf ears. The sheriff let dad water board the men for three days before the electric chair.
As the businessmen left the insurance agency after the execution, they were enveloped in a fog of putrid smelling smoke. Dad had insisted the men be burned black to charcoal. He had to give the chair a new coat of varnish, because the bodies burned the chair. My burly uncle John Warren Shamblin had taken me and my brother to the car, so we wouldn’t witness the kidnappers execution. Me and my brother were there, because we provided testimony at the court house. The judge made his decision after asking us questions for about five minutes. He allowed dad and his friends to be the jury, and carry out the sentence. Mother and dad came away from the execution with smiles. They were always happy about the demise of an enemy. Dad said mom gave the men a beautiful prayer, just before they turned the switch.
Some of these businessmen had been Nazi war prisoners, and the Nazi’s were extremely tough on crime. I felt very sorry for these bad men, because they didn't physically harm us. About four men a year went to the Fairview electric chair. Most were either black or homosexual. Fairview men always thought blacks were planning rapes against white women, so they received the death penalty. If two men were found living together, they might have had sex. So Fairview felt it was their christian duty to electrocute them. I am certain many of Sparky's victims were innocent. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was always hoping things in Fairview would change. Whenever I watched the lawyer Perry Mason on tv, I hoped he would move to Fairview.
Back in those days dad was always so gentle with us kids at home. But on road trips to Oklahoma City and Dallas Texas I would see dad beat men nearly to death. He always wanted everything for cheap regardless of its value, whether it be houses, cattle, farms, mineral rights, or fifty one percent of your company. He absolutely never took no for an answer as he confronted people. His big hands were always raw from beating up men, because their teeth would cut into his hand. He had me drip peroxide on them, to help the wounds heal. Dad's threat was always, nobody can protect every member of their family one hundred percent of the time. So do what I say and all your relatives will be okay. Cross me and your family suffers the consequences. His cold voice would make chills run down my spine. When people called the law to protect them, they would leave just as soon as they called in the tag. My dad's reputation was widespread.
My grandpa Shamblin walked with a cane even though he didn't need one. He would use it to pull people by their neck up to him. He liked to have your face right up against his. Most men and women hated him doing this. He also intentionally tripped people with his wicked cane. I hated that evil cane of his, just like everyone else. The cane concealed a gun and knife inside, which probably saw frequent use. When he died I requested the cane be buried with him. I sure didn't want my dad inheriting it.
Floyd Goss and my dad were always joking about dropping people into oil wells and cement mixers. Both had a morbid sense of humor, and loved to scare people. Dad said fear was the best thing he had working for him. I think when he got old he regretted breaking all those arms and legs. Dad wore a belt made from a log chain, which he used to break bones. Floyd and Dad had a secret romance like in the movie Brokeback Mountain. It lasted for about forty years I suppose. I caught them together three years before my dad died. It explained why they spent so much time together, and were always swapping gifts. Renee suspected something when we were children. She always wondered why dad and Floyd never fished by us on camping trips.
Sometimes dad would shoot live rounds around the police officers feet to make them dance. I thought it was so funny, because the cops wouldn't even try to defend themselves. I suppose they knew he had dozens of trigger happy thugs willing to do his bidding. Once dad got a speeding ticket and stapled it to the officer’s forehead. I thought he was showing off, because my hitman uncles were riding in the car with us. Occasionally he would have the Weatherford Police Department hang men in their jail cell. I never knew the reason behind that order.
When I was a kid five hundred people would show up for the organized crime meetings. They would book a few motels. I am proud I never went to a single Dixie Mafia meeting. My dad and mother always enjoyed the meetings. Sometimes the meetings took place on cruise ships. The family always kept someone working in the Oklahoma and Texas Attorney General's office to run interference for them.
Beginning at dusk at our home in Fairview we often heard, what we thought were mamma cows bawling for their calves. In addition we would sometimes hear this loud chirping sound like a bird at night. I would walk out into the dark wheat field behind our house searching for the cow in distress, yet I would never find one. They always seemed to vanish. Later in life I discovered that Bigfoots make these sounds when calling each other. The young Bigfoots laugh just like children, however they are not capable of human speech.
During the summer I had fun making money by catching lightning bugs for the Sigma Chemical Co. in St. Louis. They were using lightning bugs for research and paid us children to catch them. I had a lightning bug net that glowed in the dark and could catch a lot of them every evening and night. My net had a little pouch at the end to shake the lighting bugs into and they couldn't crawl back out easily. When I finished hunting them for the night, I shook the bugs into a glass jar and put the jar in the refrigerator. The cold made the bugs hibernate and then they could be counted. At the end of the week, my mother mailed the lightning bugs in a special container provided by the company. She would tell the post office to keep my package refrigerated. Sigma Chemical paid me according to how many bugs I caught. You received a certain amount for a hundred or maybe two hundred, and then the pay went up. After I had caught one thousand lightning bugs, I began receiving a penny apiece for them. It made me feel important to receive a check in the mail every week. Between the ages of five and twelve, I sure caught a lot of them. Usually I hunted every summer evening and night about three hours for them. Buying birds and lizards is where I spent my money.
Sometimes I thought I heard footsteps behind me at night, but usually it was my pet boxer Tammie. Turkey poults began missing from the barn behind our house, so dad knocked out poor Tammie's brains with a claw hammer. It was several years before I wanted another pet dog. The same thing happened to Pam's black cocker spaniel, when it began chasing my dad's game roosters. Its brains were splattered all over the side of Pam's house. Sometimes if men ran from dad, he would throw his claw hammer to bring them down. He could throw it very accurately because he killed rabbits with it, while cultivating crops with his tractor. Dad didn't allow us boys to watch, when he broke people's hands and feet with his hammer. He made us wait outside the barn or house, because he didn't want us exposed to violence. Just the sight of a hammer still makes me feel nervous. Often he threatened to splatter men’s shoes with their brains.
Not everything about my dad was bad. He made lots of repairs to houses and cars of widows. He also would not allow the local bankers to charge a high rate of interest. Dad was wonderful for the city of Weatherford. He deserved more appreciation than he received. He didn't always leave an argument unscathed. Sometimes he would get shot if he was shaking down several men by himself. He would come home bloody and Doc Buller would come over and dig the bullets out. If it was after dark Doc Buller required the after-hours use of his office in Hydro because of safety concerns. He was the only doctor around, who would do surgery outside of a hospital. He also didn't report knife or bullet wounds to law enforcement. At twelve years old I took a bullet in the shoulder from a Lawton hitman. I wanted to go to the hospital but Doc Buller convinced me to stay home and let him take care of the wound. Seems dads enemies were always prowling about like wolves. Eventually dad hired a sniper to stay at a high vantage point around our house. Sometimes we could hear an exchange of gunfire off in the distance, however bad people never came to our house again. Mr. Carl Smith from Thomas was doing a wonderful job. He buried a lot of problems for dad. He was a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Thomas I believe.
In a few weeks after the kidnapping dad moved us to a farm five miles northeast of Colony Oklahoma. My great grandpa James Franklin Shamblin had built the cement block house many years earlier before statehood. Back then he was in the brick business. He employed many of the Cheyenne and Arapaho indians to make his bricks, so he could build the main streets in western Oklahoma and pave the streets. Building the Seger Indian Training School was his first project. At first I hated living there, until dad explained that living here would keep us safe from his business enemies. The cement block house didn’t have running water, telephone service, or electricity. Mother and my two big sisters would cry almost every day we lived there. It was hard work pumping water for our bathes, washing, and the garden. That first summer the wind seldom blew, so we spent long hours pumping water, because the windmill didn't turn very often.
In July of that year, a small tornado carried me and the family outhouse into the sky. It deposited me safely on the sandy dirt road, north of our house. Thank heaven the outhouse had a wooden floor and a strong latch, or I would have without doubt been killed. Looking through the cracks in the outhouse wall, my house looked so tiny below. The twister never spun me very fast, as it sucked me into the clouds. At the time I didn't realize the danger I was in, because I was only seven years old. It took a minute or two for the panic to set in. Our cedar shingles were being blown against the outhouse, and made a noise similar to a hail storm. The landing was a bit hard on the outhouse, but dad didn't need to repair it. We filled the big new cracks with caulking and painted it white. I believe I got a bruise on my arm from the ordeal. It seems my guardian angel has kept me protected in times like this. I read a book about how Amelia Earhart made her own roller coaster, on the top of a woodshed. So I took my red wagon to the peak of our largest barn, and rode down the roof. I crashed into about two feet of cow manure, but didn't receive any injury.
This house is when I first began roaming the countryside and exploring every crevice. The fertile land is flat in Washita County where we lived, and you can see for ten miles. The only trees were the ones around the house, and the row of trees across the road. We had many relatives in the Colony Oklahoma area and I was always anxious to visit them so I could watch tv. Tarzan was the show that I loved the most. At the time we couldn’t watch television at our house because of the lack of electricity. After a year the small Hydro Telephone Company finally ran us a line.
I started first grade a few months after moving to the Colony vicinity. I had a very good teacher named Mrs. Risinger. She was in her sixties and spent lots of time with each pupil. She taught the first and second grades in the same classroom, because each grade had only eleven or twelve students. Later when I was in the fifth grade Colony and Corn schools consolidated and became Washita Heights. The Corn kids were Mennonites and ridiculed by the Colony boys, because they didn't cuss, fight, or listen to dirty jokes. Riding the small yellow country school bus to classes in Colony was a nightmare. It was because the mean high school boys would fist us little kids in the back and twist our arms. So every single day I dreaded going to school. A few years later I began fighting back, but my efforts were to no avail. Second and third graders are no match for a high school boy. Many of the guys on our school bus smoked cigarettes, because the bus driver couldn't control them. All the grades shared the same playground so we often got pushed off toys, such as the slide and jungle gym. Some high school boys threw my cousin Darrell Kid from the top of the tall slide, and it broke his arm. Sometimes we would fist the big boys in the balls and they would quit pestering us for the rest of the day. In grade school most of the girls in my class got sexually assaulted on the playground by junior high boys. This was a school out of control. The parents never pressed any charges because they felt rape was always the girls fault. Guys were not expected to control themselves if a girl did something that looked sexy.
Our school building was leased from the indian tribe. It was part of Seger’s Indian School. Here was the ideal educational and industrial school where children of the forest and the plains, who were strangers to civilized life, whose parents knew nothing but the chase and the warpath, and who had no conception of farming and industry, were taught to be useful, self-supporting members of society. The work was done by the students who were given a share in all crops grown. The farming was planned and all work was done under the supervision of John H. Seger. We boys enjoyed sliding down the fire escape of the abandoned indian school dormitory. It was a three story ride through a long steel tube.
Just as soon as the evening school bus dumped my weary body off, I would run across our peanut field while stripping off my clothes. I would become Tarzan Lord of the jungle, king of my own domain. I would pretend the fields and pastures were Africa. Mom and dad never seemed to mind our role playing games to entertain ourselves. My boundary at the time was four square miles, so my family could easily locate me easily. I carried a spear dad had bought for bullfrogs. A small one half acre drainage pond sat in the northwest corner of the field we lived on, enclosed in tall weeds. This is where I would catch frogs, salamanders, and thousands of lightning bugs. Whenever we caught lots of fish, I would release part of them in this pond. Before long large wading birds began to gather and feast at this pond. I began seeing lots of big tracks in the mud around the pond. They looked much larger than my dad's size eleven feet, so I figured someone was stealing my catfish and perch.
Not all the area where I lived was planted in peanuts, cotton, or wheat because every half mile there was a narrow strip of trees called a shelter belt. These were put in to slow down the forces of the wind, to keep the fields from blowing out. Lots of birds and animals called the shelter belts home. The shelter belts contained lots of mulberry trees. Eating the sweet purple fruit always made me feel good. Native americans ate them for depression. Dave Cross a friend of my dad's was an indian medicine man. He also worked for my dad doing farm work.
At the time not many people lived in Washita or Caddo counties. I always lived close to the county line. Seldom people drove down our dusty dirt roads, except for the occasional farmer. Tall bright yellow sunflowers grew along nearly every roadside, and the meadows were ablaze with carpets of wild red and white flowers. Each day I would pick wild flowers for our table, because it made mother so very happy. Our block house was made from the soil it sat on mixed with cement, so the house blended into the landscape. The wood trim was made from red cedar so it didn't require painting. If you drove by in a car you would probably miss our house, if you didn't know it was there. Behind our gray house was eighty acres of peanuts and seventy five acres of watermelons. Our house was situated on five acres that wasn't farmed.
My hundreds of rare breed chickens enjoyed country life. When we lived in the Fairview city limits they were crowded in a small shed. Dad made all twenty four breeds a big pen of their own. Finally I sold enough hatching eggs to buy my own chicken incubator. I only used the incubator for my own use, and sold only hatching eggs and mature chickens. From the beginning I would lose the occasional bird to owls, hawks, or raccoons. I suppose it was nature's way of weeding out the dumb and weak. I bought some trap nests, so I could identify every mating. Keeping good pedigree records was important to me, so I could improve my bloodlines. I kept fresh alfalfa hay litter in all twenty four chicken coops, so the hens would have plenty to eat. Before school I would toss them some grain. A few years later I got to buying commercial chicken feed. My sisters hated my long crower chicken breed the Denizli from Turkey. They thought their crows seemed spooky.
When winter came I had a blast riding my sled in the snow. Dad would harness the dogs up to my sled and let them pull me across the snow covered fields. Sometimes he would hitch one of our horses up to an old car hood, and our whole family would go for a sleigh ride. Back then we had lots of deep snows that lasted for a few weeks. Now it seems snow melts after a couple of days. I always enjoying tracking animals through the snow. It was easy to find rabbits where they were hiding. Our fields were emerald green during the winter since we planted winter wheat. It is very high protein and calves grow fast on it. When the chickens ate it thier yellow yolks turned orange.
My sisters would sometimes spot strange looking animals far off in the distance, so they kept a close eye on us boys. The creatures were often seen mating with our cows and sheep in the pasture. Our cows were unscathed but it caused some of the ewe's uterus to prolapse. Our vet Doc Schomp was really puzzled when he came out to doctor the sheep. Those nasty bear creatures really made me mad, because the follow up vet care was left up to me. Now my sisters would probably refuse to eat our cattle and lambs, fearing they were harboring some strange disease.
Some person or animal would tear down the big snowmen we made in the yard, but my parents always believed me and my brother were the guilty culprits. Neither of my parents had much imagination. All along I thought the bear creatures were destroying our snowmen, because I would find enormous footprints in our yard. Mother and dad would never come look at the footprints I had found. Sometimes our juicy ripe watermelons would get busted, and my parents blamed that on the coyotes. This never made sense to me because coyotes don't have arms to lift watermelons. I suppose they figured coyotes drug the watermelons apart with their teeth. Strange things were always happening around our farm.
The mysteries kept country life from being too boring for us I suppose. In summer we slept with the windows open, because we didn't have electricity for an air conditioner. This was really cool because I could watch the moon and stars, while I was in bed. Sometimes us children could feel fingers running through our hair or brushing against our face. Because we never saw anyone, me and my siblings assumed the place was haunted by ghosts. Not even ghosts could frighten us young children, because we knew our dad could protect us against anything. A few years later I came to believe the bear creatures had been touching us as we slept.
Every Labor Day Colony has an indian pow wow, where the indians would dance and camp in tipis. The public is invited to watch them. Me and my friends would sell them tortoises, which they cooked in the shell and ate. One night while I was watching the gourd dance, Chief Yellow Eagle sat down beside me and we began talking. I told him about the bear creatures and asked him what he thought they were. He said they were an undiscovered tribe of indians, who could travel back and forth to the spirit world. He said that is the reason why the white man will never capture one. Chief Yellow Eagle believed they came from the sky a long time ago. He also told me it was impossible to make friends with them. He said they only like their own kind. Chief Yellow Eagle was a wise man, so I didn't discount his theory. He had attended Harvard but didn't graduate because he could no longer bear being away from his family. He said the bonds that native americans form is very strong within their family, and most of them drop out of college to return to their family. Its in their dna he thought.
Most of the indian children I knew were always depressed, because the teachers and other students were prejudice against them. They were never chosen to be on teams and everyone ran to wash, if a native american touched them. The teachers and parents said all indians were infected with tuberculosis, and if you were not careful they would knife you like the indians in westerns did. White indian agents helped the local farmers get the indians farms without paying for them. All the indians got out of the land sale were a few cases of cheap vodka. When the Colony and Hydro men found the indians passed out drunk on the sidewalk, they would kick in his ribs with their boots then urinate on him. I believe in Colony and Cordell they still hang native americans just for the fun of it. The lawmen have always been the enemy of the indian, in western Oklahoma. As a boy I was saddened by man’s inhumanity to man. Back then I knew the Lord wanted us to love our neighbor regardless of their skin color. So I was nice to the indian students to my teachers dismay.
Gradually our bikes and toys become missing at the black house. Our house was actually grayish brown, but it turned black when it rained. Mother blamed the theft on the retarded Ewy brother named Edmund. He and his brother lived between us and Ghost Mound. His brother Alfred was his legal guardian and he worked for the city of Weatherford. Neither one ever married, yet they always managed to be happy. They always visited everyone in the Weatherford Hospital and brought them a newspaper. Edmund picked up the trash for the city of Hydro. In the sixth grade at Hydro I threw away my school pictures, because I didn't like them. The next day Edmund found them at the Hydro dump and brought the packet of pictures by our house. This was difficult to explain to my parents and extremely embarrassing.
One cold March day I went walking down the road searching for my new birthday bike and army toys. Something big and hairy startled me, as it ran across the road. I only saw it through the corner of my eye, so I didn't catch many details. At the time I didn’t know what it was, yet it scared me something terrible. The close sighting caused me to give up wandering around after dark for a week or two. I felt enough time had passed for the hairy monster to have moved on. Sometimes when I used the outhouse at night, it felt like eyes were watching me through the moon shaped vent in the door. It was probably the creature I thought. My heart always pounded as I ran from the outhouse to our home at night. I would silently curse dad for placing it so far from the house. Often we ran out of batteries and I had to make the trip in the dark. Great horned owls often roosted on our roof top. Hearing them hoot made the trip all the more scary.
Only one family was living on every 640 acres, so it was very remote where I grew up. The coyotes and fox would sometimes chase me, before I got to bringing them pieces of meat. It was a terrific place to be playing Tarzan. The animals looked forward to me showing up, and would be anxiously awaiting their snacks. Before school, sometimes I ran out of meat so I would bring them hard boiled eggs or commodity cheese. We had lots of canned meat and five pound blocks of cheese because my mother bought it from the Colony indians. They got it free from the USDA. The meat was only edible if you put barbque sauce on it. Mother only bought it to help out the poor, so she didn't mind me feeding it to the animals.
Since we didn't have a telephone I wrote many letters to my friends and grandma in Fairview. In the back of a farm journal I saw where you could write pen pals. Forty five years later I am still writing pen pals. It has been my favorite hobby so far. My pen pals encouraged me to further explore the countryside and tell them what I saw. I would be their eyes and ears out on the prairie. Most of my pen pals lived in humongous cities like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. In addition I have one in almost every country of the world. We collect small things like fridge magnets and swap them.
Something or someone began pulling parts from my chickens three years after moving. Dad thought it might be an enemy sending us death threats so he moved us a few miles away to another farm house. It was a mile and a half north of Colony. I was certainly happy to live once again in a house filled with modern conveniences. It was shameful living in the last house. Now that I was eight years old, dad began dumping ever more responsibilities on me. Every morning I had to feed the chickens sheep and pigs plus work in the fields for eight hours if it was summer. My big sisters Malva Fay and LaDonna Gail worked in the fields with me, unless they had ballet or gymnastics class. We were always pissed off because other kids were not expected to work. When I became nine I was expected to move irrigation pipe along with my sisters, and then work ten hours in the fields. We got paid for all the work, but we still didn't like doing it. At the end of a long hard school day, there were always the heavy irrigation pipes to move across the muddy peanuts and cotton fields.
Dad taught us kids to always be aware of our surroundings. He warned us to never walk any place while looking down at the street or road. It was my job to make certain my two female cousins followed safety precautions when we went out exploring. They made it impossible to follow my dad's orders, because both girls were free spirits. Every two weeks my cousins Vickie Mae Goss and Cheryl Renee Goss would come up and spend the weekend with us. This was the regular routine ever since I was born. They lived in in the small town of Grandfield Oklahoma and thier dad Floyd was a lineman for Public Service Company. Both girls loved to roam the countryside and do boy things. Their dad didn't have any boys so they assumed the role.
They were crazy about playing Tarzan with me, and didn't mind going nude. We would travel the creeks, pastures, and fields. Vickie and Renee convinced me to go skinny dipping with them in the creek, while we were out looking for animals. I believe me and Renee were eight and Vickie was seven when we began swimming this way. All the best swimming holes were located near roads, so we had to be careful. I couldn't swim very well and almost drown once in Richmond Lake. Vickie and Renee dived in and rescued me. They had a swimming pool at home and were both excellent swimmers. This continued for three or four years until somebody began stealing our clothes. It was very difficult walking home naked. Luckily both Vickie and Renee kept clothes at our house. After the second time it happened we were all too scared to go skinny dipping again, in case somebody was taking pictures. Who knows maybe a bear creature stole our clothes instead of a prankster.
Both Vickie and Renee never enjoyed doing girl things such as shopping, and didn't mind getting dirty. My sisters never cared much for playing outdoors, except to playing basketball or riding bikes. Boys were always crazy about Renee and her long blonde hair and beautiful suntan. She had never cut her hair and it went past her waist. Vickie on the other hand had red hair and freckles, so she had to flirt to get a boyfriend. Both of them were always stealing adult magazines out of stores. They had nearly fifty under their mattress at home, and enjoyed them as much as any boy. I wouldn't let them bring me any because mother was always searching my room. Besides I had to sleep with them every two weeks, and it was difficult enough keeping sex out of my mind.
When they got into junior high they didn't like playing Tarzan so much. They just wanted to lay in bed all day listening to music. They were cheerleaders and often brought their cute Grandfield or Weatherford friends with them for the weekend. Sharing my room with five or six cheerleaders was a blast at first. They always had me brushing their hair and painting their toe nails for them. Soon spending the weekend with all these girls gave me a bad reputation. I had trouble finding a nice christian girl who was willing to date me. All the girls loved hearing my accounts of the bear creatures. One girl had a pair of binoculars which we used to watch the creatures off in the distance. The girls were lots of help making plaster casts of the footprints. Too bad my Scout Masters thought they were fakes.
My girlfriend Gina Lash always avoided my cousins, so she rode her bike out to my house on week days. Both her parents were teachers at the Colony school. Gina didn't like doing guy stuff and getting dirty, but she did enjoy watching the movies at Carnegie and sitting together at school basketball games. She had beautiful green eyes and long brown hair. Every morning I brought her wild flowers or candy to school, which I bought from selling my lightning bugs.
Payne's General Store is where I did most of my shopping. It had a huge pot belly stove and an antique cash register. It had been in business about eighty or ninety years. Their candy bars were cheap but sometimes old. Once my Zero candy bar had a worm inside of it. The Payne's felt so bad about it, that they gave me an entire box of candy bars. The store didn't have much variety, but it was the only grocery store for thirteen miles around. I take that back, Corn had one, but dad didn't allow us to shop there.
Briefly we lived two miles east of Colony and two miles north. The house belonged to Norma and Fred Hale. We lived there five months while our house north of Colony was being remodeled. It was a two story house near the top of a hill. The road dropped off very steeply in front of our house. One cool spring day I was the only sibling riding the school bus, because my sisters had a basketball tournament in Eakly. Mother took my little brother and went shopping at Payne's General Store. My dad was busy buying feeder calves at Clinton. Being home alone meant peace and quiet. I would probably get caught up on my pen pal letters.
After being let off the bus I was running for the front door. A big old Rhode Island Red rooster with long spurs was blocking my path to the house. A week earlier this bad tempered fowl, had spurred aunt Floy Bond in the back. Instead of butchering it, she gave the evil bird to my mother. It took several stitches to close Floy's wounds. The rooster was so magnificent she didn't let her husband kill it. The rooster had won a champion trophy three of the last four years. At the time I needed a Rhode Island Red rooster, because mine wasn't old enough to breed. But I seriously didn't want this rooster attacking me every time I collected eggs. Dad hadn't moved all our chicken pens yet. The ferocious rooster began flying at me and crowing, as I began running up the hill. I never saw it this determined before. It kept chasing me about three city blocks.
As I quickly approached the hill top I began hearing screams, so I ran a little further to see what was going on. Two wrecked cars had rolled down the steep road shoulder. Seven people were running around on fire. I recognized them as the Riggs family, and they had a daughter in my class. Because I was only eight years old I didn't know how to help, so I dropped to my knees and began praying for God's guidance. A thought popped into my head that I must run to the house and bring back sheets and blankets. In about five minutes I was back, all out of breath. The mean old rooster was nowhere to be seen. Our house didn't have a phone so I couldn't call for help. One man had rolled on the ground and put out his fire. He told me to wrap blankets around the others on fire. I kept giving myself a little pep talk, Dennis be brave and everything will be okay. It was difficult seeing all the suffering. My head said run home and hide in your room, but my heart said kid everyone is depending on you to be strong. In a few minutes I was able to put the cowardly thought out of my mind.
After the fires were out, we still had the major problem of getting them to the hospital. Not many cars traveled this stretch of road. Ten minutes later I heard a truck in the distance, however it was driving exceedingly fast. Chances were slim it would see the car wreck. These burn victims were in so much pain they couldn't bear to walk. Tall johnson grass had enveloped the auto accident. As the King brothers hay truck sped by fast, that Rhode Island Red rooster flew into its windshield. This brought the big truck momentarily to a stop. I seized the moment to run over to the truck and explain about the predicament before they sped away. They agreed to help us and rolled the burned family in the sheets I provided them. Kings stacked them on the bed of the hay truck. Next they raced them to the Weatherford Hospital, going about eighty miles per hour. The hospital sent them by ambulance to the Oklahoma City Burn Center.
At school I was treated like a hero for a few days and it really made my dad proud. A few days later the insurance companies came by to take my statement. Guess that mean ole rooster was good for something, because he helped save seven lives. It was quite the miracle how Floy Bond's prize rooster ended up at my house. When the Riggs family finally recovered they bought me a Honda mini bike to express their gratitude. The family went through years of skin grafts, so I felt very sorry for them. Floy mourned the loss of her rooster, and I was happy it was gone.
Twice a year we worked cattle, which meant castrating branding worming and giving shots. Branding seemed very cruel to me, burning a hot brand deep into a calf's hide. When I was nine years old I began branding and castrating calves, being held in squeeze chutes by Dennis Skaggs. He gave the Tetanus injections and pushed a worm bolus down their throats. Dad discovered him in Ada Oklahoma, and used him mostly on his eastern Oklahoma mountain farms. Dennis would save all the calf balls, so mother could cook mountain oysters. I did my best to throw away as many testicles as I could, which wasn't easy with Dennis keeping a close eye on me. He did a great job keeping me safe, because I was never injured working cattle. Mr Skaggs was a heavy set man with a square jaw and curly black hair. He was able to handle the cattle with brute force. I told dad he was strong as a mule, and about as smart as one too. He had never went to school and he couldn't read or write. He never let me forget how he served six years in prison for my dad. All my dad's soldiers were willing to confess to crimes they didn't do. That's what I call genuine loyalty.
During the winter when there wasn't any crops to take care of in the fields, Dennis and my dad would cut big cottonwood trees. Making pulp wood was very profitable. We would cut the trees into eight foot lengths and load them onto our semi trucks. The trucks then would transfer their logs to train cars. All the paper mills we dealt with were in eastern Oklahoma or Arkansas. Dad and Mr. Skaggs would often cut trees on other people's land without permission. After beating up the land owner they would carve up his dog. Usually that was the end of the problem.
Dennis Skaggs wanted lots of nice things that he couldn't afford. So he took out life insurance on his wife Myrtle. A few months later me dad and Merle had dinner with Dennis Skaggs and his wife. Dennis sent us boys to spread out Golden Malrin fly bait in his barns. They had lots of flies because their house was located near our feedlot. When we returned to the house, Dennis told us his wife had fallen from the car. He continued to say his tires ran over her head. My brother began running from room to room looking for his sweet wife Myrtle, who cooked dinner for us. She was not to be found, and I knew he wasn't telling the truth. There was only one entrance onto the property and their car had not left. Besides we were only gone ten minutes.
A few years later Dennis married a registered nurse, and moved her into our house that didn't have electricity telephone or plumbing. Dennis Skaggs dropped by our house and said he needed indoor plumbing for his wife. Dad had me and my brother dig a ditch for their water pipes. The new wife had plenty of money and gave me and my brother fifty dollars for digging the plumbing ditch. We had only dug about ten feet when dad told us Mr. Skagg's wife had suffered a heart attack and had died. I believe I was about twelve years old at the time. Dennis Skaggs started talking about all the new things he was going to buy. My brother was urging dad to take us home so we could call an ambulance. When we got home, dad prevented me from calling anyone. He said the funeral home had probably already picked her up. A few years later I got to thinking about Mr. Skagg's last wife. Dad had us boys digging on the wrong side of the house. Maybe it was a grave meant for the wife. After that I was scared riding between farms with Mr. Skaggs. He was one evil person I absolutely didn't want to be alone with. It was hard not showing my fear around him.
The only person I feared more than Mr. Skaggs was Floyd Goss, who often talked about killing people. Floyd was always putting bloody clothes in our burning trash barrel. He also forced his daughters to help rob graves with him. Eventually Dennis worked up in the mafia organization, so dad put him in charge of southeastern Oklahoma operations. Hopefully he later confessed to the crimes. Floyd and Mr Skaggs were good buddies, and often stole heavy equipment together. Floyd always requested I do dangerous things, like walk on frozen lakes to collect ducks.
Me and my little brother got to sleep in the upstairs part of the house. We were only a mile north of Colony, so we could walk to the store whenever we wanted. In our room there were some old World War II Nazi uniforms hanging in the closet, two pairs of military boots, engraved rifles and swords, and a chest full of personal effects and medals. Mother wasn’t certain if they belonged to dad or Buell Lasley, the houses former resident. One of the two mom said probably brought them back from Germany as war souvenirs. I enjoyed playing with the swords like they were machetes. We could chop weeds out of our way.
My dad’s military records showed he got to watch as the first atom bomb was exploded in New Mexico July 1945, while he watched in the distance. Dad always suffered internally from the massive radiation exposure. He was the only soldier who survived the atom bomb blast at six miles, because he managed to crawl down a coyote den. After spending months in a military hospital they finally released him. When he came home from the military most of the burns were healed. I took the papers to school for show and tell, and the principal alerted the Airforce. They came to school and took the classified papers. Supposedly they had sent them to dad by mistake. Now all his records have been sealed or destroyed permanently.
As a kid I wondered if this Nazi stuff in our attic, belonged to a famous Nazi who was living in America. Mom cleared the Nazi’s items from our room, after about two weeks. I think she burned them in the trash barrel. Dad gave the Nazi rifles and swords to a Nazi group in Thomas Oklahoma. My school friends really enjoyed playing with those German military things. They came over to my house, because mother drove us to Scouts. Living in the country would be miserable, if you didn't have any friends at all. I felt very fortunate having friends, with my family's reputation.
When I was eleven me and my brother found forty seven sheets of gold coins, in the far reaches of the attic. They were covered in years of dust. Under each gold coin was a description in a language we could not read. There were about twenty coins affixed to each sheet. Whoever brought the Nazi stuff probably stole these coins from a museum or a millionaires collection in europe. When we showed dad the coins he zipped out the door with them, and said he was returning them to Buell Lasley the rightful owner. Dad didn't even wait for the rain to let up. Me and my brother kept one sheet for ourselves and buried them in the backyard, after making a treasure map. When we moved from there in 1969, me and my brother couldn’t find the coins. Of course we didn’t have a metal detector because I was only nine years old. When I was grown a Church of Christ pastor lived there and I told him about the coins. He wouldn't allow me to search for them.
My great grandpa James Franklin Shamblin was the first white man, to settle in western Oklahoma among the indians. That is the reason my dad had so many native american friends. His indian friends taught me how to track people and live off the land. In addition they taught me how to make leather, and turn it into moccasin slippers. I have forgotten how to speak indian. At one time I could speak Kiowa, Apache, and Arapahoe. My dad could speak indian until the year he died, because many old native americans continued to visit him. Indians made brilliant assassins because they never confess their crimes or give up their employer. They were loyal friends to the end.
I was eight years old when I joined the Cub Scouts in Colony Oklahoma. However when I was seven they let me attend some of the meetings. Our Den Masters were Herschel Rhoads, Glen Rhoads, and Clifford Payne. They were farmers who took turns having the Scout meetings in their homes. Jack McLemore was in charge of the much older Boy Scouts. A year later after joining, the Cub and Boy Scouts had a joint camping trip at the beautiful Payne's Lake. The lake was always within a few miles from where I lived, after leaving Fairview. Often me and my family fished there and had family get togethers. It was also a favorite place to hunt rabbits and quail.
We all had a great time fishing and hiking until bedtime rolled around. Since there were twice as many Boy Scouts as Cub Scouts, they decided to put each Cub Scout in a tent with two Boy Scouts. I was having none of this because big boys bruised me up on the school bus every day. So as the rest of the Scouts went to sleep, I wandered around the lake. All the Scout leaders went home to sleep except for Clifford. His job was to keep us all safe that night. He had spent many years in the Army, so he was good at camping. Payne's lake was like my backyard since I spent so much time here. We kept a trot line in the lake, and had a duck blind on the north side.
Clifford Payne stayed up and fed the campfire, to keep the snakes away from camp. He kept a watchful eye on me and my flashlight. Every hour or so he yelled coarsely at me to go to bed. Before long he jumped into his pickup, and went for my dad a few miles away. He was so angry his truck wheels were spinning in the deep sand. Clifford died in his forties because acting as a deputy sheriff, he entered a drug dealer’s house in the middle of the night and got shot. He should have identified himself as law enforcement, so the shooter went free. I loved being in the Scouts because of all the field trips. Being out in nature has always been something I cherished.
After Clifford left I felt it safe to climb Twin Mound, which is located beside the lake. It was easy climbing, because there was a full moon. Soon I reached the top, and began scanning the lake and pastures around me. I noticed movement near the lakes drain below the dam. It looked as if two tall bears were noodling catfish, from under the streams banks. For about fifteen minutes I watched them paying close attention. I couldn't make out which sex they were, but they appeared nearly identical. It seemed as though they disliked getting wet. Maybe because this was getting to be a cold fall night.
After a while I hurried to the road as dads pickup pulled up. He scolded me and said I could sleep in the truck that night. When I got back to camp, Clifford insisted that dad use his belt on me for being a spoiled brat. Dad got shamed and beat me with his belt badly. I had welts on my legs and back for a week. Dad said "No Shamblin in history ever showed any fear you miserable little coward." From that day forward I fought vigorously anyone who hurt me, no matter how big or old they were. Never wanting my dad to feel ashamed of me again. That’s how I got my nickname Rooster, ready to swing my fist at a moment’s notice. And to fight long and hard until there was nothing left in me. Clifford was so furious because he thought I made the bear story up, to cover up for not minding him.
The next week at school I went to the encyclopedia and found out bears only live in forests. Trees are in short supply in western Oklahoma. Windbreaks or shelterbelts are just about the only trees around. They are not big enough to hide large animals like bears. This was my first Bigfoot sighting, unknown to me at the time. Between the ages of six to fourteen I called them bears, like the ones I had seen at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The hairy animal that crossed the road when I was six, most likely was a Bigfoot. It also probably stole our toys and hurt our chickens. I knew the animals were not bears, however it was an acceptable name to call them. Back then there was no talk of Bigfoots and Sasquatch. If I called them monsters, dad's belt would have tore up my butt. In Scouts I studied animal tracks, and noticed some large animal was stalking me as I walked the creeks and fields. I made a plaster cast of the tracks, but everyone thought I created them myself in the mud. Since I loved roaming the countryside, I convinced myself the animal just happened to use the same paths as me.
The following year when I was nine years old my mother Wanda hosted a huge family reunion with nearly a hundred people in attendance. Most people came because we were dividing up shares of stock that belonged to my grandpa Bond. Relatives began not to trust mother, sending them their fair share. All the kids played soccer and softball. Me and my siblings let everyone ride on our ponies and mini bikes. The cousins all lived in cities, and it was a treat for them. Me and the boys went noodling fish in the nearby creek, and caught over a hundred pounds. We had a big fish fry and I had to clean most the fish.
After nearly everyone had done gone home, me and my cousin Cheryl Renee Goss continued to play under the huge native elm tree. This elegant tree was about a quarter mile north of our home. It formed a colossal canopy of shade, from the afternoon sun. We all enjoyed swinging on its large low hanging limbs. Us children had roasted our hotdogs and marshmallows here, a few hours earlier. Me and Renee were busy cleaning up all the trash and pop bottles. I brought my wagon to carry it back to the house. My little brother was at home crying, because he got hit with a croquet mallet. Cousin David Chambers had put a knot on his head.
I was the first one to notice the bear looking animals running towards us from the west. They probably had been dining on the prairie dogs, just over the hill I figured. The prairie dog colony was huge covering ten acres or more. I spent many hours there watching them build tunnels, however I kept their location secret from my dad. He and his friends would have shot them all for sport. I didn’t scream bears or Renee would not have taken me seriously. She would have begun arguing with me, since she knew bears weren’t in these parts. So instead I shrieked climb the tree, there is a pack of wild dogs coming our way. This sent Renee racing up the tree and me following close behind. I was making certain she climbed high enough out of harm's reach. As the hairy creatures came running at high speed under the tree, I covered Renee’s mouth and eyes with my hands. Renee's bawling would surely betray our position in the tree. The gigantic elm tree had lots of foliage so I figured we would remain unseen. Renee began peeing her pants and soon I was covered in urine. Because of the thick foliage, I couldn’t get a good look at the bear creatures. They ran swiftly on two legs beneath us, not knowing we were there.
After the bears crossed the road, they began foraging on Richard Humbarger’s peanut vines. About ten minutes later they went into the timber alongside his creek. Cousin Renee was crying hysterically as we walked back to our house, and soon my big sisters came running. They asked Renee what was the matter, however she couldn't speak for a few days. Her mother Vurl had a fit because Renee had ripped her expensive yellow dress in the tree. She didn't believe our story and either did my parents. We both lost our allowance for a week, and was warned against lying.
A few weeks later when I was exploring three miles north of Colony, I came upon a bear creature village. The house walls were rock, and the cracks sealed with mud and cow manure. The creatures made their thatch roofs from weeping lovegrass, which they bundled together. Roy Smith was the elderly man who owned the farm. The village was across the road south from his house. The road goes to Crowder Lake, where the bears had fish traps. He already knew about the bear creature village, before I told him. The creatures survived by stealing and often left behind valuables near his home. So for forty years he had lived in harmony with them. Together me and Roy would spy on the them from a distance. He was a tight wad, so he never bought us any binoculars to use. The females looked amazingly human, because they were smaller and didn't have so much hair.
Several years later they got to stealing his chickens and hogs, so Roy had to burn down their village. Roy said only a few small ones died in the fire. He said he used some old truck tires to burn up their bodies, just in case the sheriff's office got involved. Roy thought they probably had lived there for a few hundred years. He cleaned up the site very well and I couldn't find any utensils. Roy was a money greedy farmer who may have caused the extinction of a species, by reducing the breeding population. There was no evidence left behind, of how many bear creatures he killed. Hopefully the village was not wiped out by rifles.
When I was nine years old, dad's mobster associates began hanging around our home. They were anxious to catch a few words with him. My dad was always rude and obnoxious to them, seldom acknowledging their presence. My mother ignored them entirely. I felt sorry for them sitting in their cars for hours, so I decided to invite them inside. It was awkward watching television in silence, with men who had come so far to do business. I knew they were going to leave very disappointed, because dad seldom had time for anyone. Most of the men were famous, because I read about them in the county library. So I decided to entertain them myself, when they came knocking.
Sometimes I took them fishing at Worth Richmond’s lake about a half mile north of us, and a quarter mile east. These big city men seemed to enjoy our fishing trips, and I enjoyed hearing about far away places like Chicago, New York City, Boston, Houston, Moscow, London, Paris, and Berlin. The mobsters also enjoyed playing golf with me in the pasture, and riding my dad's horses. It sure beat sitting for hours in their car, with their bladder about to burst. They were ever so anxious to take part in my dad's extremely profitable business enterprises such as laundering money. However my dad didn’t want any more business partners he said. Dad knew a hundred ways to pull money out of thin air. He taught managers how to cook the books, and they were happy to split with him. You must be careful though, keeping two sets of books is illegal. Charles Page mother's cpa cousin and SWOSU accounting professor was always teaching my criminal family new ways to cheat people.
Dad made the most money from military contractors. Officers were always anxious to sign for things they didn't receive, just as long as there was a few hundred in it for them. I figured this out from reading dads mail. Dad and uncle Steve got paid for building hospitals and schools in Kuwait that didn't even exist except on paper. Dad also forced people to sell him their mineral rights, refineries to buy stolen crude oil, and ranchers to sell him their cattle and tractors for cents on the dollar. At one point dad had over two hundred oil wells. Some of the locals got to calling him JR Ewing, like the tv show Dallas.
Ever since I was small I raised many breeds of chickens. My goal has always been to save the rare breeds from extinction. I raised over fifty breeds of chickens, and sold my hatching eggs for five dollars a dozen. I shipped them all over the country and made lots of wonderful friends. People would stop by our house just to look at all the different breeds. Mother loved visiting famous people uninvited. In the process I got lots of them into having chickens. Showing dogs and chickens was a blast, despite the very long trips. Mother built us a trophy cabinet, to display all the ribbons and trophies we won.
Dad only cared about his fighting chickens, which he fought in countries throughout the world. I was in charge of the breeding program for all of the chickens. It was a huge responsibility because dad wagered a huge sum of money on them. Over the years I got better at selecting breeding stock and our roosters almost never lost in the gaff. In the long knife luck plays a large role, so the better rooster can lose. This is because the weapons are so deadly. Dad fought many million dollar cock mains in New York City and Miami. Mains are by invitation only. Mostly he fought the roosters in derbies across Oklahoma where he owned many of the pits. Sometimes pitbulls bears horses and primates were fought at his pits. The bears we kept for wrestling didn't have any teeth or claws, so men could whip them quite easily. I never attended the fights because dad didn’t want me taking up gambling, he said there would be no gamblers in heaven.
Dad liked investing in movies, because they usually have a very good return on your investment. Back in the day they had a subsidy on them like farming, so you couldn't lose your money. He bought a vacation house in Beverly Hills, so he could play golf with the film stars at the country club. This wasn't fair at all, since we lived in modest houses. Our mafia family owned porn studios in Chula Vista CA, Van Nuys CA, and North Hollywood for many years. They produced about eighty percent of the world’s sex movies. I didn't know about that part of the family business, until Dr E R Flock told me about it when I was sixteen. They moved it from California to Stillwater Oklahoma when I was in college. It was a better business climate for them here in Oklahoma. Many young actors were begging for any role, so they could showcase their acting talent.
Our family moved a mile northeast of Ghost Mound, when I started the sixth grade. Every day I climbed Ghost Mound and left food for the animals. Being high above the prairie is a perfect place to watch the animals come out at dusk. There were many owls living on Ghost Mound's cliffs. I would bring strips of raw meat to feed the owl chicks. Most became tame enough for me to hold them wearing leather gloves. Skunks and badgers lived at the base of Ghost Mound, and after a few months would eat at my feet. I never attempted hand feeding them, because I could be bitten. Taking rabies shots in the stomach wasn't something I wanted to do. From the peak of Ghost Mound I could see many of the bear like creatures, moving across the fields. They were all sizes between three feet and eight feet tall. The big eight foot males were extraordinarily elusive and wary. Each appeared to have a harem of females, along with immature males and females. The big males didn't allow other big males near their harem.
Sometimes they would be carrying away young lambs from Clayton Entz's Sandstone Farms. On other days they would be carrying away baby pigs from Karl Wieland. Clayton and Karl began putting poison on lambs and pigs to kill the creatures. They dropped poison lambs and baby pigs all along the roadsides. Karl already had lots of steel snares and bear traps set out because of his marijuana growing barn. Every few years he went to the Netherlands to purchase more marijuana seed. One time Karl had some bear creature skins trying to sell them at Long's Produce in Hydro. Normally they just purchased animal furs. When they saw the skins that Karl brought in they got terribly mad, and told him to never return to their store again. Mr. Long told us they definitely were not from an animal. The creatures always buried their feces like a cat does. When we had an outhouse they would carry away the human waste.
Once a large motorcycle gang arrived, while me my brother were on top of Ghost Mound. We had along the Pugh brothers since their parents were out of town. Lyndal only about nine years old at the time, urinated off the side of the small mountain. The urine totally soaked six of the bikers, who were climbing up the mountain. They became furious about getting pissed in the face, and began waving their knives and pistols. We could hear them swearing rape and murder at us. I lead us four boys down the mountain, by using a back trail avoiding the enraged bikers. This was a dangerous trail, and I was hoping none of us would make any rocks fall betraying our position. Ricky was twelve a year older than my brother, so he probably wasn't going to panic. I let Lyndal ride upon my back, because he became too frightened to move. After reaching the bottom we crawled among the weeds, until we reached the road. Sixty or more blood thirsty bikers were combing the mountain looking for us.
Just a short distance east down the road was Marion Yearwood's house. He lived between us and Ghost Mound. Surely I thought we could find refuge there. So the four of us boys crept along the hedges as the motorcycles roared past. When everything was clear, we ran to the door and began beating on it. Him and his wife didn't let us in or call the sheriff's office for help. Instead Marion and his wife went running out the back door like cowards looking for a place to hide. Our neighbors didn't lift a finger to help us. The bikers were speeding past yelling threats against our body parts. Soon they were riding naked and poured into the Yearwood's yard. Several of the cutthroats kicked down the family's front door. They ran through the house, taking out the back door. Motorcycles began driving through the house. Soon the bikers were waving dresses bras and women's panties in the hot summer air. Lyndal had moved from where I left him, and a biker was removing his pants. He never saw what hit him, as my knee exploded his face. Me and the boys made a fast dash across the road into the shelter belt of trees. We sat motionless waiting for an opportunity to make a getaway. The shelterbelt ended not far from the Yearwood’s house, and we would be exposed for about a minute until we reached the elevated road.
Next the outlaws cut the phone lines and searched the barn. They carried Marion and his wife out of the barn, and stripped off their clothes. The crowd began gang raping both of them in the yard. Me and the guys had our window of escape, as we slipped through the trees and down to the ditch. We followed the ditch to the creek that ran past our house. The bank of the creek hid us, as we made our way home. The cries in the distance, made our whole bodies shake. Crawling on our hands and knees through the creek was slow going, but we eventually made it home. After we got home we hid in my room. A few weeks later Marion's wife's sex organs fell out and she bled to death. Both he and his son quit stealing cattle for my dad. The son had an unfortunate accident while working under his truck. Soon Mr. Yearwood was a cattle rustler once again. Marion them married his wife's sister an old maid hairdresser in Eakly.
People who became business partners with my dad soon became broke, and lost everything they had. It was in his nature to cheat all the wealthy men, he had dealings with. These bitter men began mailing life threatening letters to our home. Mother and dad felt moving was the safest thing to do. Dad couldn't possibly kill all his enemies without going to prison. Besides my dad's family had plans to take over illegal gambling on horse racing and professional sports. He knew it would be a bloody ordeal. Hopefully the Dixie Mafia hadn't bit off more than it could chew. My dad's cousin Nelly Claunch Shotts had a son named Ron who played football for the Dallas Cowboys. He loved both horse racing and gambling, so he was the family's top pick on getting into horse racing.
Grandma Simpson and uncle Melvin Simpson sponsored dozens of poor Columbian, Pakistani, and Jamaican young boys through church organizations. When they became old enough they turned them into drug mules. Her and my uncle owned a huge marijuana farm in Jamaica and huge poppy plantations in Pakistan. Both also had a good side because they were Sunday school teachers just about their entire life. Both sides of my family were heavily into organized crime. Uncle Melvin and uncle Robert never dated, so they were able to dedicate their entire lives to the mafia. Melvin and his soldiers had a big impact on the sand and gravel business. Dolese Bros. paid uncle Melvin a percentage of their profits to sabotage their competitors crusher equipment and concrete mixer trucks.
Me and my siblings could all read and write by the time we were five years old. We all represented Hydro Public Schools in competitions. I started going to the small rural school of Hydro in the sixth grade. None of the high school boys on the school bus wanted to beat me up, however they presented a whole new set of problems. In fact they were being much too nice. They were all offering me a seat on the bus, and helped me find my way around school. Had a great teacher named Mrs. Opal Hargrave. Besides doing school work, she had us growing African Violets and making ceramics. It was looking like this school was going to be okay. All the students were friendly enough and the teacher was great.
I lost my perfect church attendance record when I was fourteen, because I had my appendix removed by Dr. Ralph Buller in Hydro. The hospital kept me Friday through Tuesday so I missed church Sunday. My appendix burst while I was making barbed wire fence three miles from where we lived. My side hurt so terrible that I could barely walk back home. When I got back home my parents were in a heated argument, but after an hour of cussing each other they finally took me to the doctor. Dr Buller was far from being gentle, because he spent much of his life as an Army surgeon. In a few days I returned to school in Hydro. The coach made me practice basketball. I was afraid my guts would pour out, since I still had the painful stitches. My coach caught me sitting on the bench, so he stopped basketball practice. Instead he started a game of dodge ball, knowing I would have a difficult time protecting my incision. That day I think I set a new world speed record. You should have seen how fast I was evading that ball. Most people liked me, so they didn't throw their hardest.
The principal said over the intercom, will all boys in the sixth through eighth grade please come to the gym for physicals. Some male classmates explained to me that, Dr Buller comes to the school for physicals on day one. I proceeded to head towards the gym. As I was passing the boys restroom, I decided to stop and take a leak. All twelve grades were housed in the same school building. Right after I unzipped my pants, some high school guys spoke up and said. You better whiz in a paper cup, because the doctor wants to check our urine. I thought that seemed like a normal request, as one boy handed me a paper cup. After filling the cup I sat it beside the sink, so I could wash my hands. To my bewilderment one of the high school seniors picked up the cup and lifted it to his lips. The big boys began sipping my urine, and passing it around to their friends. Took my physical and it was completely normal. We all stood in a long line while the doctor examined us.
Riding home on the school bus was awkward, because one of the urine drinkers sat beside me. He wore a huge smile on his face, every time I looked up. From the look of his letter jacket, he was probably a top jock in the school. He asked me how I liked my first day of school at Hydro. Softly I said it was okay. He and the boys behind me began telling me how handsome I was. I didn't think much about it, because I had no knowledge of gay. They started smelling my hair, so I figured an insult was coming. Instead I received another compliment. A few weeks later the high school boys began drawing nude sex pictures and leaving them in my locker. So now I understood what being gay was all about. Boys were always kissing and masturbating in the restroom, so I got permission to go during class. The farm town of Hydro was unusual to say the least. The Hydro men had inappropriate relationships with almost every boy in school. My first few days of school were rocky, but after that I became quite popular. I realized who was I to condemn their dads, when my own was far from a model citizen. In a few months guys gave up trying to seduce me and school was okay.
The coaches were jerks because they liked to torment me. They would kick me in the butt and step on my hands, while I was doing pushups. One coach spanked me with his paddle for no reason at all. It made them feel really big, beating up on Bud Shamblin’s son. They didn’t have the courage to stand up to him, so they took out their frustration on me. I still managed to make good grades even though the teachers hated my dad. I never told dad about it because I knew they would end up hospitalized from his brass knuckles, or be in an unfortunate accident. Many of the local farmers had lost farms to dad in poker games, and he made a habit of walking all over people.
One year the school had a boxing tournament when I was fourteen. I beat eight boys that day to win the title. This pissed off Coach Stephens very much, because he was rooting for my opponent in every fight. I was drop dead tired after all those fights. Coach Stephens put on the boxing gloves and demanded I fight him. I didn't want to fight him for two reasons, I was totally exhausted and it was illegal to hit a teacher. I believe I could have beaten him if I was fresh. The coach also didn't like me because he was gay with all the boys. He could probably tell from the unpleasant looks on my face, that I didn't approve. I told the other boys at school that relationships with adults, could get dangerous. Some probably told the coach what I said.
A short fat boy named Monty Mackey stepped forward and said coach quit picking on Dennis. Monty was a poor hillbilly boy who didn't participate in sports, because he couldn't afford the shoes. Him and his brother Royce were being raised on a farm by their grandma. He told coach Stephens he wanted to box him, which got me off the hook. I had never spoken to Monty but was glad he stepped in. The coach came at Monty with everything he had. Coach Stephens was wearing this sadistic look on his face. Monty swiftly blocked every punch the coach threw, which was good because the coach was a very powerful man. Next Monty began unloading on the coach to our amazement. He was almost as good of fighter as me in the boxing ring. His punches packed more power than mine. Soon the coach was knocked out, and laying in a heap on the gym floor. Principal Charles Gambrel came running through the door. Some students had alerted him to me being forced into boxing coach Stephens. The school board fired Coach Stephens and we got another coach just as bad Lonnie Sanders.
Coach Lonnie Sanders was hired by a school board that despised my father. From day one coach Sanders was on my case. If I didn't remain alert, he would throw a baseball or basketball in my face. Every day I had to run twice the laps, as the other players. I only got to play two or three minutes each basketball game. I made seventy percent of my shots from the field, and I could get every rebound. Things would probably had been different, if my family would have attended the games. It wasn't long until the coach began showering with the boys, and seducing them in his office. Just like coach Stephens, he made sexual bets with the neighboring coaches. I knew which schools these bets were with, so I played sick those games. My ass wasn't going to be bet, on the outcome of a ballgame. Many thanks to the good friends who informed me, before it was too late.
Monty helping me out with the coach, gave me a new perspective on life. From that day forward I prevented the bullying in my schools. All it took was a black eye and busted lip, to let them know what being on the receiving end was like. Being the only good looking straight boy in school made me a celebrity. Everyone was always competing to be my friend. I was always careful not to over play my hand, when dealing with the high school boys. For example I avoided eye contact with them, and politely refused their gifts. I would change the conversation from sex to cars, and laugh at all their jokes. At school I walked a fine line and couldn't afford a mistake. Fighting high school boys wasn't an option, because of the possible consequences.
My sister Malva found a way to capitalize from my rock star popularity at school. She began selling my sweaty clothes, to guys and girls in high school. Her and LaDonna used the money to attend concerts in Oklahoma City. Beginning in the seventh grade the seniors began willing me stuff in their final school assembly. This was an honor reserved for the most popular juniors in school. Everyone in high school dreamed about taking me to bed, yet I wasn't interested in any of them.
My dad tried his best to keep a low profile, so nobody would report him to the FBI. This meant living poor and not causing conflicts. In the seventh grade dad quit letting mobster associates visit us, because our Caddo county sheriff was taking lots of heat from the public. Me and my siblings were required to attend church every Sunday and Wednesday, so we wouldn’t turn out like my dad. Most people in the area knew about my dad's wicked ways. Many Sundays we had to hear the sermons about my dad's road to hell. It was in 1970 that I learned about my dad’s other marriages, from a friend at school. Seems he had five wives prior to my mother, and never messed with divorcing any of them. I kept the information secret from mother until dad died in 1999 from lung cancer.
Living a mile northeast of Ghost Mound was a blast, even though the bear like creatures roamed our neighborhood. They gradually came closer but not far enough to make out their features. The creatures didn’t impede me from playing Tarzan and running nude along the creek banks fields and pastures. Role playing is all I had to entertain myself back then. Animals got to know me from my roaming and leaving food for them. Each day I chopped up five gallons of fruits, vegetables and meat, and scattered them along my well-worn trails. Soon coyotes, bobcats, fox, and deer began following me, and I felt just like Tarzan. I did so much heavy farm work and ran so many miles that I had a powerfully built physique. Most my trails were six to eight miles long by the time I was twelve. Riding our bikes down sandy roads, was a workout in itself.
It was nearing Thanksgiving of 1970 and I was twelve years old. Me and my brother Merle just go off the Hydro school bus, and was putting our school books away. When crashing through our front door came a violent stranger with a red beard brandishing a pistol. He slapped us around a bit, then ordered me and my brother to get into the deep freeze. It was a new one mother had just began to use. So there was plenty of room in this large chest freezer. The freezer keys were still in the lock, so the professional killer locked us in. I guess he wanted my parents to discover both their sons frozen rock solid a few days later. We both tried desperately to break the lock using our legs and back. When we eventually ran out of oxygen, we took breaths through the drainage hole. I pushed the drainage hole cap off, by using the pencil I found in my pocket. After two hours of kicking the lock finally broke, and we escaped our frozen prison. That was the second time we had almost been killed by dads enemies, who hired hitmen. I always prayed dad would quit cheating people. In a few days life returned to normal.
The sheriff soon caught the hitman and the man who hired him. He didn't give the story to the newspaper, but he did give the men to my dad. Dad fed lots of old horses and cows to our pigs, so they had a great love for meat. My uncle Otis Grant Shamblin tied the wicked men to a gate. Then he carried a sack inside the pig pen, and grabbed a suckling pig from each sow. He closed that gate behind him, and laid the bag behind the men. One at a time he removed the pigs, and sliced out their testicles. The pigs wailed so loudly we could hear them in the house. My uncle said the sows went crazy trying to protect their pigs. They tore the men into a hundred pieces, and consumed them leaving no traces. Hogs are able to digest bones.
Clark and his sons Rick and Bill Bottom were neighbors of ours. They told my mother that I had been running the creeks like a wild boy, not even wearing any clothes. I thought I was careful enough, not to be seen by the neighbors. August 14th, 1970 my days of pretending to be Tarzan ended with shame. Well at least Bill was too old for school, and Rick attended school at Eakly. Hopefully nobody from Hydro would hear about it. It would be adding fuel to the fire. The last thing I needed was any lustful attention. Attending a bisexual school was difficult enough. I gave Rick an expensive imported shotgun of dads for the photo evidence he had. He wanted me to get him a date with Jan Coe, the prettiest girl around. Rick settled for the shotgun, so he could impress his friends.
Dad insisted me and my sisters practice using the guns every Tuesday night. He was always afraid somebody would harm us, while he was away on weekends. We had loaded guns under every bed, in every cabinet, behind all the sofa's and car seats. Dad and mom got carry permits, and they required my sisters to carry a 22 automatic pistol on dates. We kept loaded guns in every barn, and one on every tractor. Floyd kept them all clean and in good working order. Most he stole while working as a volunteer fireman. He didn't like registered serial numbers.
Johnny Mays had a farm pond a quarter mile north, up the sandstone canyon from ours. Me and my buddies enjoyed fishing there and catching bullfrogs. My cousins and I often camped there under the stars in sleeping bags. Western Oklahoma doesn't have much moisture in the atmosphere, so the stars shine brilliantly in the night sky. Often we would see bear creatures off at a distance, with their young cubs by their side. That’s what made camping trips here so adventurous at Mays pond. Johnny had been a professional baseball player back East, until he lost a lung.
Now I believe what we saw were actually Bigfoot families. The cubs grew and matured twice as fast as a person. We gave them names and loved watching them play. Sometimes the old ones would be walking with a limp, or dragging their leg. They probably have a graveyard some place hidden. Sometimes we would become afraid and climb tall trees. I estimated the tree branches couldn’t support their weight. Usually the Bigfoots didn't come that close. We climbed the trees because home was too far to run to, without getting caught. Us boys weren't allowed to carry guns on our hiking or camping trips. Dad was afraid we would have a gun accident.
My brother is two and a half months younger than me. When my brother Merle was in the fifth grade, he invited Dennis Dick to come spend the night at our house. They both were attending grade school at Hydro. Merle had already been to his house several times, so Dennis wanted to visit his. I can still recall this day very clearly. After getting off the school bus, Merle and I took Dennis Dick to climb Ghost Mound. On the top of the small mountain, the height and high wind terrified my brother’s friend. Fearing he would be blown off, he clung to a large boulder on the top. I had to pry his fingers loose, then drag him down the mountain. Dennis Dick kept grabbing the boulders on the way down, and I was afraid we both would fall to our death.
We spent the next few hours fishing at the catfish pond behind our house. I didn’t want to share our room with my brother’s friend, so I suggested he and Merle have a campout. Telling them both it should be loads of fun. We had a Rambler station wagon parked under a huge cottonwood tree that we didn’t use any longer. Dennis Dick refused to sleep in a tent, because he heard coyotes off in the distance chasing a rabbit. Finally I convinced him sleeping in the station wagon would be totally safe. He could roll up the windows and lock the doors if he got scared. I made a bed for them in the station wagon, then retired to my bedroom. It had been a long day and I was totally exhausted.
Around three o'clock in the morning, I was awakened by muffled voices coming through my window. I quickly climbed through my open bedroom window, so I wouldn't wake up my cranky dad. As I walked up in the bright moonlight, I could see the station wagon's windows were rolled up. The boys must be scared of something I thought. On closer inspection I could see the old blue station wagon rocking back and forth. I assumed the boys must be playing inside. Since the car was parked only twenty feet from the road, I decided I better check up on them. Startlingly I saw this tall dark shadow flee from jerking the car's door handle. I ran across the front yard for a baseball bat, and my heart began pounding in my chest. Hopefully this wasn't a hired killer planning to murder us. Merle and Dennis were badly shaken up, and didn’t want to leave the safety of the car. I really couldn't blame them, because hard telling what they had to endure. So I decided to sleep in the front car seat for the rest of the night. I planned to protect them from whoever it was, even though I was only thirteen years old.
About an hour later while I was fast asleep, the prowler came a calling. The big man began jerking on the doors violently, and pounding the windows with his fists. The cottonwood tree's massive shadow concealed the determined intruder. The flashlight my brother and Dennis were using had already lost its charge, so I wasn't able to identify our attacker. The car wouldn’t start because the battery was low, so driving away wasn't an option. The car hadn't been driven in a year or two. The light from the inside dome lights didn’t help me identify the thug. I was acutely aware a thirteen years old, was no match for a colossal criminal. Finally I thought to honk the horn, and out came my dad with a forty five Colt pistol in both hands. We yelled it was only us, then he cussed and sent us to bed. None of us could sleep, so we stayed up and watched television.
The next day we examined the station wagon, and it was covered in scratches and dents. The entire top of the car was caved in. A few weeks later somebody began leaving us black walnuts in the depression on the roof of the car. Later they began leaving old tackle boxes in the same place. A few months later dad sold the old Rambler for junk to the Hydro Auto Salvage. Both me and my brother realized the bear creature had left the nuts and tackle boxes. We never knew whether the beast wanted to play with or hurt us. Dennis told everyone at school my farm had monsters. I said he was making the whole story up just to get attention. I didn't want people to think I lived some place creepy. Besides I didn't want everyone hanging out at my house.
It was on a scorching hot day in mid July 1972, that I finally got to meet a bear creature up close and personal. Dad had firmly requested that we help Richard Waters out, by chopping weeds from his cotton. The previous day we and a couple had chopped the weeds from the farm in which he lived on. The nicely dressed hippie couple working for him was from California. They were an attractive couple probably in their late forties or early fifties. They offered us drugs as a friendly gesture, to make the hot day feel better. Mother made it very clear to them, that we were a christian family. They worked very hard in the field and seldom took time to rest. They were supposed to meet us the next day, at Richard Waters cotton field north of Hydro. It was located on the South Canadian River. His son Rodney Waters has later since built a home there, where the old house sat.
When we arrived at one o'clock in the afternoon, the small foreign car was parked next to the field. A card table was set up, holding plates of sandwiches and potato salad. Only a bite or two was taken from the two plates with the sandwich and potato salad. We looked around for the couple but couldn’t find them, in this remote area. Mother said they probably got too hot and walked down to the river for a swim. There was an old farm house on the property that nobody had lived in for decades. Next to the house was a large Elberta peach tree full of big ripe peaches. There wasn't a cloud in the sky that day, but the wind was blowing hard. I had to keep chasing down my cowboy hat. It was very quiet and not even a meadow lark was singing.
Me, my oldest sister LaDonna, and brother Merle headed up our cotton rows, in the baking heat. My mother Wanda and sister Malva said they were going to the tree to get a peach. We just had eaten our lunch so the rest of us were not hungry. After me Merle and LaDonna were about four city blocks down our rows, we began wondering what was taking mother and Malva so long to start up their rows. Suddenly mother came rushing from behind the old house and was waving her arms frantically. We all figured they got into a nest of yellow jacket wasps, and was trying to fend them off. A few minutes later Malva went running for the car. We thought she got stung several times, and was wanting to go home.
All the sudden one of the bear creatures began to appear, he looked just like the ones I grew up with. The hairy beast was walking along the barbed wire fence north in our direction. My frightened mother went dashing to the car and was desperately trying to get Malva to unlock the car doors. She was in a hurry to drive the car to us. The bear creature continued to move forward until it was directly across from us. Our Buick was too far away to make a run for it. I was fourteen and big for my age, but my little brother couldn’t run very fast. My big sister LaDonna was a track champion and could run like the wind. I tried to talk my brother and sister into making a run for it, while I stayed behind. My plan was to run up to the bear creature and get it to chase me. I figured it would probably kill me, but my brother and sister would survive. LaDonna decided our best chance was to stick together, and she didn't want me trying to be a hero.
Quickly I came up with the idea to charge the bear, and yell while swinging our heavy steel hoes. It wouldn't be expecting that, so maybe it would become confused and stand there. This would buy us much needed time to flee the creature. As it crossed the barb wire fence and got closer, it became quite obvious that it wasn’t a bear. Its huge nut sack got caught on the fence, so it stopped momentarily to free itself. It looked similar to a big hairy human with muscular jaws. The whites of its eyes were yellow colored, and it held its eyes wide open. The creature was approximately seven feet tall and it was long waisted. Its short legs were heavily boned and extremely muscular. It had tan skin covering most of its body, however its lips nose nipples and penis appeared black. Its enormous teeth were stained and dirty but they looked human. We all agree the hands and feet looked like ours. Its arms and chest had only an average amount of muscle. The animal had an erect penis of about ten inches, which stood just past its belly button. From its body language, it appeared to be extremely angry so I figured we were all dead.
However we three kids charged the beast, and it stopped dead in its tracks. Merle my brother began crying hysterically, so I figured I might have to carry him. We began shouting and charging once again, and the bear creature turned and walked away. It reluctantly made it to the fence and crossed it. Then it turned around and stared at us menacingly for about three or four minutes. It was doing what appeared to be sign language with its hands. Next it turned and ran, like nothing we had ever seen. Its running stride must have covered twenty feet. And it ran as fast as a cheetah. It kept its body a perfect ninety degrees as it ran, and its head could turn and watch us without stopping.
Several minutes later some Army helicopters flew over, probably from Fort Sill Oklahoma. They were flying low and in the same direction that Bigfoot went. I thought maybe this beast was something that escaped from the Army. Having soldiers so near made my fear go away. I just couldn't get a grip on what we just witnessed, it wasn't human and it wasn't animal. I was very thankful we all were okay. We all hugged each other with tears running down our faces.
The farm workers from California never retrieved their belongings from Richard Water's house. He eventually drove their car away. The keys had been left in the ignition. Richard became agitated every time mother would inquire about the couple. So I figure he knew more than what he was saying. He always reminded mother they were poor people, so it didn't matter what had happened to them. The lady had left her purse on the ground next to the card table. Mother thought about looking through it, to find out who the people were. She decided against it because there might have been a crime committed. Mother worried about those people for a long time, because she saw kids toys in the back seat of their car. I suppose the Bigfoot must have killed and devoured them before we arrived. I don't believe Richard Waters ever reported the couple as missing, because he said he didn't want to deal with the news reporters.
Malva and mother said the bear creature was mating with the cows, when they first spotted it. They said the cows were not afraid of it, and stood still while the creature was mounting them. Mother's theory was maybe the creature had been a deformed human child. The parents didn't want it so it was abandoned. Growing up wild it wouldn't behave normal. We all had a difficult time sleeping after the close encounter. I had never been so frightened in my entire life. We kept a light on for Merle at night for a couple of weeks, because he cried at night. My sisters didn't want to discuss our ordeal. I think they just wanted to forget about our terrifying experience.
Only once were the bear creatures able to breach our home defenses, although they tried many times to bust open our doors. Two of my Colony friends were spending the weekend with me. We planned on doing some duck hunting, so we turned in early to bed. That night both of the guys kept complaining about the other one touching them. I thought they were just trying to act silly, so I said knock it off and go to sleep. About an hour later they were still laughing and talking. So I got up and turned on the light half awake. What appeared to be a chimpanzee went scurrying from my room into the living room. It ran across the furniture then leaped through a glass window. It all happened so fast that I didn't get a good look. In the floor of my closet the creature had made a hole to climb through. The next day I cemented in our house's foundation crawl spaces and made a wooden patch for my closet floor. After that none of my friends would visit me. In fact they were all pissed off that I told them Dennis Dick's monster story was a lie. My popularity began to fade at school because my home was now considered spooky.
My hard working father was farming partners with forty or more cotton and peanut farmers, after we moved from Fairview. He provided the tractor, machinery, and seed. They provided the land, fertilizer, labor and irrigation if needed. In the end he owned all their mineral rights. Dad was a terrific salesman when it came to getting investors. People were lining up to become partners with him. Us kids were never allowed to report the bear creature sighting because dad didn’t want the extra attention. In fact he never allowed us to call the law about anything.
My old man always preferred taking care of problems himself. Since dad's brothers were hitmen for the mafia, he didn't want lawmen poking around into family affairs. My uncles Albert Gale Shamblin, John Warren Shamblin, Otis Grant Shamblin, Willis Raymond Shamblin, were the greatest hitmen the world has ever seen. They were never arrested for a single murder in their forty five years as assassins. Poison, 22 caliber rifles, ice picks, and explosives were their tools of the trade. Often at Shamblin family reunions bomb making contests were held for the children. At Bond family reunions children were taught the best ways to kill people and not go to jail.
When I was sixteen we moved from Hydro to Weatherford, which was okay by me. The first day we moved to south airport road in Weatherford our troubles began. In 1974 dad hired Black and White house movers from Fort Cobb. Their job was to transport a houses from Colony, to a location a mile and a half south on Airport Road and a quarter mile east. Our mailing address was Rt 5 Box 164 Weatherford Oklahoma 73096. This was the house that Dennis and Myrtle Skaggs lived in by the feedlot. I was hoping Myrtle's spirit wouldn't haunt it. The school was great and everyone was friendly. Most the guys were straight and treated you with respect. Most my classmates used drugs so I didn't socialize much. Only party people were popular in this town, and I had no plan to compromise my morals.
The first day the house was delivered somebody broke out the windows. This happened while we were eating dinner at the T Bone Steak House. A week later all our power tools were stolen from our small shed. We built a shop using heavy gauge sheet iron, which had huge steel locks. After replacing all the windows, doors, sheet rock, and cabinets we moved in. Bad things continued to happen around our house. Mother's veggie garden would get raided, and the fruit trees would get pulled from the ground. I blamed everything on the Kixmiller's who lived on the same farm. Eventually we got everything established in the garden and in the orchard. A strong seven strand barbed wire fence seemed to halt the vandals and thieves.
Me and my father built a sturdy barn to house my fifty breeds of chickens and jungle fowl. Later on we built some chicken coops, so all the breeds could be kept separately. We also built pens for my brothers show lambs and calves. Merle and me always enjoyed being in 4-H and FFA. The delinquents began bothering us again. They were stealing my eggs, feed, ropes, and fishing equipment. My uncle Lester Bond came up and built some steel doors for the barn. It became a constant battle stopping the thieves from stealing our things, and destroying our automobiles. Even though I stayed up all night sometimes, I never caught the vandals and thieves in progress. We kept a huge chest freezer in the shop full of steak to eat. One night somebody ripped off the entire lid and stole all the meat. Some morning all our car lights would be broken. On other days someone would pop all our tires using a screw driver. It must be a strong guy I thought, to put a screw driver through a steel belted radial tire. Often I wished we had never moved here. I knew my parents were too stubborn to move.
Floyd Goss installed lighting all around the property. It didn't cost us a dime, because he stole the wire and street lights from Public Service where he worked. I began feeding wildlife as always, so I spread peanut butter and honey on our back fence posts. Nothing will attract deer like peanut butter, and nothing attracts opossums better than honey. This may have been what first attracted our unwanted big hairy guests. I began leaving animals snacks when we first purchased the property from George Johnston six months ago. There were plenty of red cedars beyond our property for animals and people to hide in. Just ten years earlier this was a cotton field. Birds had dispersed the cedar seeds.
We thought the trailer trash from across the road, were driving wooden spears through our car and truck radiators. Someone was hurling bricks from the canyon near our house. They smashed our lawn furniture and ruined our riding lawnmower. When we were entertaining guests, waves of homemade arrows would rain down upon us. It would take an entire book to list all the forms of shenanigans we suffered. We figured neighbors on drugs were carrying out this mischief. Nobody in their right might would challenge dad in this way. Why didn't the hoodlum use a cordless drill or shoot store bought arrows at us? This was a mystery to me that needed to be solved immediately.
After school I walked to the Southwestern Oklahoma State University library and asked them if a high school student could use their library. They were agreeable and said I could. For the next few months I did research on the bear creatures. First I began reading all the books on primates. Next I read all they had on bears. One week I went through the encyclopedias looking for clues. I even read all the books they had on prehistoric man and apes. I couldn't seem to find any information that could solve my mystery. Every day I went down the long rows of books seeking clues. It was like finding a needle in a haystack.
As a last resort I went to the college's biology department seeking answers. I came across a nice professor named Buena Ballard. We got to talking about my bear creature encounters on our second meeting. I didn't mention it the first day because I wanted to gradually bring up the subject. That way I could always back away from the topic, if she thought it was silly. She explained to me about the Bigfoots, and told me places to read about them. She was a believer and thought they were intriguing. That is how our long friendship began. Dr. Ballard spent many hours at Payne's Lake watching the Bigfoots and fishing. I was probably the only sixteen year old boy who had a sixty three year old friend. Her husband was sickly so he stayed home part of the time. When I got old enough for college I took a few of her classes.
We never saw the Bigfoots closer than a quarter mile away, so we never suspected them of anything. My brother and I eventually got close enough to spy on them. There was a large camp of Bigfoots a quarter mile east of our house. It sat beside a small creek. The creek was inside a sandstone canyon. They ate beef, horse, pig, chickens, beavers, and deer from what bones we could see. We only spied on them two or three times a week, because there were a lot of them. I think it was a meeting place for Bigfoots or a migration route. Only during the summer, did the large groups arrive on our section. The older ones had grey in their body hair. In their camp they had many things they had found in trash barrels or from campers. These items included rusty knives, hatchets, fishing lures, rod and reels, tarps, magazines, and women's personal items. They hide their possessions in hollow trees near to their camps. The females often drag branches to cover their tracks.
The relationship between me and my father became strained, when I was in high school. I began to voice my disapproval of the things he did. I told him it was wrong to tamper with people's brakes and steering, so they would have a car wreck. I was also upset he had Floyd Goss damage people's wiring, so their house would burn down. It was totally wrong to punish people, just because they didn't obey you. It's no wonder so many people called him a king or dictator behind his back. He use to hire boys to break out windows, because the local glass company gave him a percent of the sales. It was the same with the school bus mechanic, he paid dad to disable the school buses. All this dishonesty around me, made me feel guilty. I never did anything wrong in my life, but I was having trouble facing people. I decided I must change my dad into a good citizen. It wasn't going to be easy I knew.
Telling my father to change his wicked ways, was like a bomb going off. He instantly reacted with violence and fury. This particular day we were building new houses in Mustang Oklahoma. We were both on the roof nailing down shingles. Just as soon as the words left my mouth, I regretted them. He punched me in the nose, and I rolled off the roof. Next he took the nail gun and ruined my car. All the sudden his cursing stopped, and he went silent. On the way home he dropped off my car at a body shop in Weatherford. I felt lucky dad had gotten over my insubordination so quickly. Later on I discovered that wasn't the case. He pushed over my ladder when I was painting three stories in the air. He backed the pickup into me while I was sawing boards. Dad began telling all the tough looking guys he met, I said nasty insults about them. Before long I was getting into lots of fights.
Once when I was six dad threw me into a pen of savage sows, because my uncle Otis said I wasn't his. Each time I climbed out of the pig pen, dad would toss me back in. Finally my uncle confessed he wasn't telling the truth. Dad almost cut his tongue out, and forced him to work three months in the family's Mexico brothel. He could barely walk when he got out, and was infected with the HIV virus. All his family was desperate to get at dad's money.
During the cold months of winter our Bigfoots would take refuge in the Corn bat caves. Below ground they were able to keep warm. We discovered them in the Corn bat caves when I was a senior in high school. We were out chasing coyotes with my cousin David Chamber's greyhounds. He was my aunt Yvonne's son and they were from McLoud Oklahoma. David Duwayne was sixteen at the time like my brother. The dogs had chased a big male coyote into one of the gypsum caves. One of the fearless greyhounds followed it into the dark cavern. Dave and me lifted the rest of the dogs into their boxes, and grabbed two flashlights. As we walked and crawled through the caves, we couldn’t find the brindle greyhound called Jack. This cave had many branches so we decided to split up. David and Merle started hunting for Jack in the upper chambers of the caves. I began searching the lower wet ones that had running water. After about an hour had passed we met in the caves. I argued to call it quits because our flashlights were becoming dim. They wanted to continue the search, so I suggested we both return to the truck for fresh batteries. Merle and Dave ignored my advice and began going farther back in the cave.
One of us had to be sensible, so I decided to go for fresh batteries. My flashlight quit me before I was able to exit the cave. I followed the small trickle of water, as it made its way to the cave entrance. A sluggish creek flows alongside the cave entrance. It was dusk now and millions of bats began exiting the cave. I knew Merle and David were probably both terrified, being in the dark with millions of bats filling the spaces around them. I ran the quarter mile back to David's pickup truck for fresh batteries. All I found was a penlight on his key chain and a cigarette lighter. As I was rushing back to the cave, I saw a line of Bigfoots entering the cave where Merle was. We were always curious where they went in the winter. I thought about yelling and distracting them, hoping they would give chase. On the other hand I didn't want them pissed off, because my brother and cousin were trapped beneath the earth at thier mercy. Maybe I should go for help, but I knew my brother didn't have much time. He and David were counting on me to rescue them. If I did go for help they probably wouldn't be alive when I returned.
Soundlessly I stalked the Bigfoots into the darkness. From the sound of their movements I was able to navigate the dark tunnels. Finally the Bigfoots filed past the cave fork where Merle and David were. I could tell the location by the rushing of air through the cave. I snapped on the penlight and began searching for the guys. I came across Jack the greyhound and the coyote which was dead. Jack's brindle coat was stained crimson with the coyote’s blood. A few hundred yards farther I began hearing a loud thump. At the time I didn't know it was David beating his flashlight against the cave wall in a panic. It was his hope I would locate them from the sound. I followed the thumping and finally reached them. Both of them were thrilled to see me, thinking their nightmare had ended. I told them it was beginning to look like rain. We all realized the rain might flood these caves. I failed to mention the Bigfoots, so they wouldn't become upset.
The noise had also caught the attention of about a dozen Bigfoots, and they were scrambling in our direction. They were between us and the entrance, so we quickly went deeper into the cave. We had to locate a surface entrance in the pasture above. They slowed down a bit to examine the dead coyote. One of them lit a torch which they pushed in behind us. The fire almost ignited my shoes and socks, since I let Merle and David take the lead. The cave became so narrowed that the Bigfoot adults could no longer follow. Young ones enthusiastically continued the chase. Greyhounds are so deep chested that I had to pull Jack along on his side. Their torch finally burned out, but they no longer needed it. The young Bigfoots were close enough behind to use our light source. We kept switching tunnels but couldn't shake them.
They started grabbing at my ankles trying to slow me down. The cave opened up a little larger and a small Bigfoot tried to pass me. Jack bit off his ear and the creature stopped the chase. Another one tried to crawl over me, so I crushed it against the cave roof. Young Bigfoots were crying all around me because I kicked them in the face. When the cave opened into a house sized chamber many got past me. When they reached Merle and David they crawled upon their backs. This didn't keep the guys from continuing their crawl to the surface. I guess pure adrenaline was propelling their bodies forward. These half grown Bigfoots were about five foot tall and weighed around a hundred pounds. We began seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Within ten minutes we were safely out of the cave. The Bigfoots slid down from the boys backs.
Dave ran like a rocket to his truck for a rifle. When the little Bigfoots saw the gun, they ran for cover. The adult Bigfoots were coming to gather their young. They were no longer showing aggression towards us, as they stared down the barrel of David's gun. I began hearing the deadly thunder of David's rifle, as he laid down a barrage of bullets. They were aimed in the direction of our hairy pursuers. I hit the ground pulling my brother down with me. Dave was shooting wildly and I didn't want us getting shot. Dave thought he might have hit a couple of them but wasn't sure. As we began loading up into David's truck a huge boulder smashed his hood. A Bigfoot had crept close through the tall blue stem grass. Later that evening we had a heavy rain and I thanked the Lord we got out in time. We quit going to the bat caves north of Corn or south of Weatherford
A few years later shit began to hit the proverbial fan. Our ripe strawberries, currants, and blackberries began disappearing, before mother had the opportunity to pick them. Our sheets and pillow cases on the clothes line would get ripped to pieces. We didn't know whether it was the Bigfoots or our neighbors. Most our neighbors grew marijuana and cooked methamphetamines on the creek, and were afraid people would steal it. They would shoot when you got too close to their camp. There was a satan worship church nearby with about a hundred members. They were often practicing strange rituals on the creek and giving animal sacrifice.
One Friday evening when dad was on his way out of town for the weekend, he discovered his Dodge truck was totally destroyed. The red truck only had four thousand miles on it. Dad had purchased every option there was for it. He was totally in love with that truck. The seat had been completely torn out and was missing. The dash was smashed and the body was covered in dents. This dastardly act sent my ill-tempered dad into a homicidal rage. He went door to door in the neighborhood trying to find the guilty person. While he was gone I threw all of his guns into the pond behind our house. His pickup wasn't worth someone's life. I made certain he wouldn't shoot anyone that night. Dad never really forgave me for that, although I knew it was the right thing to do. Dad customarily shot first and ask questions later. He already had the district attorney and sheriff in his back pocket. They were greedy enough to let him bribe by check.
I had a pen of really huge Yorkshire sows that I purchased from Oklahoma State University. At the time I was selling show pigs for 4H and FFA. I took over the garden area for pigs, because mother finally gave up trying to have a garden. The majority of her vegetables would end up stolen every year. Those six hundred pound sows were really aggressive from being tormented by the vandals. Seems I was always dressing their stab wounds and cuts with salve. Most of the combative sows had already farrowed, and were nursing piglets in the garden. Thieves or Bigfoots have stolen their piglets in the past. That is the reason we kept such a close eye on them.
Mother went to check on the last sow to farrow, and came running back to the house. She was screaming one of the sows is eating a gorilla leg. As I quickly began to dress and slip on my cowboy boots, I was thinking she probably had seen a large dog or coyote being eaten. I did know pigs love the taste of meat. Once there was a car wreck by Carnegie, where the car landed in a pig pen. By the time help came the people were already eaten. If my chickens or turkeys ever get caught in the pig pen, they were quickly devoured. As I came running upon the scene, I found a sow with a large leg in its mouth. The leg was covered in thick brown hair. The calf of the leg was nearly as large as the thigh. She had the foot in her throat. The sows kept trying to bite me, because they were protecting the baby pigs. I had to keep kicking them away with my cowboy boots. The sow wouldn’t release the leg, so I could take it to my college for inspection. I was currently a senior at SWOSU. I went inside the house and got the pistol mother kept in her purse, so I could shoot the sow. Then I would be able to retrieve the leg. When I returned two sows had begun eating on the thigh portion of the leg. It looked like I was going to have to shoot three sows to get at the mysterious leg.
Mother came up behind me with a stick of firewood, and it was lights out. She had grown to love those sows because she fed them table scraps every day. By the time I came to, the leg had long since been consumed. After a few minutes of pondering what we just had witnessed, I came to the conclusion it was one of the Bigfoots. The creatures we encountered in the cotton field, bat caves, and on the creek. We must be living near a place special to them, or why else would they spend six long years trying to run us off. I told mother it was just a cow’s leg the dogs had drug up. The truth would have made her too frightened to sleep at night, or leave the safety of the house. Mother later that day, apologized for hitting me over the head with a stick of firewood. She said the neighbors would have called the law, if I began killing all three sows. She said she did not want me arrested for animal cruelty. Mother wouldn't admit she had feelings for pigs.
The Kiowa, Apache, Comanche, and Arapahoe believed there were two species of Bigfoots. Both of which worked under the direction of the Great Father. The good ones like the ones I was encountering carried dead people's spirits to the happy hunting grounds. The bad ones were called Buffalo Men. Their job was to gather bad men’s spirits and take them to a lonely place. For eternity they would be chased by monsters. That was my dad's translation. The chiefs said the Buffalo Men have two short horns growing out of their forehead like a buffalo. In addition they had thick wooly fur, cloven hooves, and a terrible odor. Most people would consider them demons. Cemeteries are favorite haunts for them. Sometimes in the night hours at Indian pow wows, both types of Bigfoots have been known to join the dancing. I don't know whether this was fact or just legend.
I bought three male Old English Mastiffs to protect us from Bigfoots and thieves. Each of them weighed over two hundred and fifty pounds and were lean and strong. Lots of expensive chickens were getting stolen, and I was certain Bigfoot was the blame for it. My flocks had a thirty generation pedigree, because I always trap nested my hens. I figured some show breeders might steal a bird or two. I had put fifteen years of effort into my rare breed chickens, so I was protective of them. Because our gamecocks were very expensive some cockers might be inclined to steal them. I put wing band on the birds for identification purposes. Many of my rare breed chickens were European and Asian imports, and I had a small fortune invested in them.
Rottweilers and German Shepherds we had died from either a broken neck or broken ribs. Some of my friends brought over their trail hounds, and we scoured the local countryside for signs of the Bigfoot. The Bigfoot camp on the creek had been uninhabited for the past two years. Many of our neighbors lost several dogs to wooden spears and primitive arrows. They figured some evil psychopath must be living on the local creeks. I don’t believe I ever convinced them that Bigfoots existed.
It wasn’t long before cattle and horses near us began getting mutilated. Their legs were bound with heavy gauge barbed wire, and meat cut from their living body. Knives were always getting stolen from our tackle boxes. In fact all the hunters in my area were losing hunting knives and tents. Seems ole Bigfoot likes to steal what he can use. Cigarette lighters were always coming up missing from cars and back porches. Six of George Johnston's horses were missing their eyeballs. We found one of my dogs skinned alive between Dale Nickel's and Tommy Helt's house.
A hitman tried to throw a bucket of acid on my mother, while she was home alone. She was planting some flowers and didn't notice his presence. My nephew Chris Brown was spending the day with us. He saw the stranger hastily approaching his grandma. This worried Chris so he opened the door to warn his grandma. Mother turned to face the stranger, as Bullet pushed past Chris. The big dog leaped on the hitman, and he swung the acid on him. Mother grabbed Chris and locked him in the house. Not even acid prevented bullet from crushing the legs of this malicious man. Mother took down the tag number, as the man crawled to his car. She beat him with her shovel, then stomped him into the ground. My dog Bullet protected her and the acid burned him up. Doc Schomp had to put him down a few hours later.
One cold winter day I drove into the yard and noticed my sister Malva's car. I had spent the last three hours on the creek cutting firewood. I was glad she had come over to visit. Generally her husband Robert Burrahm made her stay at home in Weatherford. Malva came running to greet me with tears in her eyes, which was unusual because she was always jealous of me. She knew my folks thought I was the best thing since apple pie. She hated to hear them brag on me, for hours on end. She had two cute toddlers Phillip and Jared. Phil was a year older than Jared. I was very proud of all three of my nephews, and did my best to spoil them.
Malva said Red your mastiff has a baby in his mouth. I was off like a rocket fearing Red had turned on one of my baby nephews. When I found Red in the backyard he was chewing on something that looked like a head. Emotion spread across me as I began to cry. I kicked Red in the side, hoping he would drop the thing. I wanted to examine it closely. Instead he ran south down the road, carrying away his prize. I carefully looked around for the rest of the body, but my dog Butch beat me to it. He went running in the pasture with it. I sat down in the yard grief stricken. Neither dog let me get close enough, to take it away from them. Anger began to replace my grief and I wanted to kill the dogs. Suddenly the front door came open, and out walked all my precious nephews. I was so happy I nearly fainted. I finally gave up chasing the dogs, and never saw the remains again.
Mother found the head and body a few days later, when I was at college. She no longer recalls where she buried it thirty years ago. My sister Malva saw the baby Bigfoot when it was still alive. She said it could run real fast unlike a human baby. She said it appeared to be about one year old, and was laughing as Red was chasing it down. She said the dogs were fighting over it for about a half hour. Her and mother were watching out the front window of our house. She said only a few minutes before I arrived, that the injury began. I felt very bad for the baby Bigfoot. It would have made a great pet. My sister said it was very athletic as it played with the dogs. She said it had fine hair on its face, and large hands ears and feet.
My family was joyously celebrating Christmas Eve in 1984 with many of our relatives. We were busy opening some of our presents, when my brother began peering out the kitchen window. He softly whispered Dennis somebody is carrying away your chickens over the back fence. He didn't want to upset any of our guests. It was getting dark and the yard light couldn’t illuminate the area because of the barn. I sprang to my feet and ran to the back fence in socks. My boots were off because I was about ready for bed. As I was climbing over the fence, a thought struck me. Maybe this thief is packing heat. The heister came into view with the chickens squawking in each hand. Cowardly he wouldn't turn and speak to me. The air was so full of tension you could cut it with a knife. When to make the first move, I just wasn't sure.
I forcefully grabbed his arm spinning him around, and demanded he release my birds immediately. This huge fist came out of nowhere and plowed into my jaw. The force drove me back six feet into a group of cedar trees. This made me furious because I wasn’t being hostile towards him. In a few short seconds I responded with four quick jabs to his stomach. I heard him lose his wind as his body slumped over. Buried my foot into his crotch and realized he was nude. All the sudden shivers ran through me as I recognized the beast. I was now a scrappy six foot nine inch kick boxer, who weighed well over three hundred pounds. I hammered his thick skull and hairy body with my feet and fists. Next he began biting me all over my head. He almost scratched my skin off with these huge finger nails. The Bigfoot flung me into the cedar trees. Where my brother had built a tree house. I climbed into the tree house, and jumped upon my attacker's shoulders. This drove us both into the sandy ground. I yelled for my brother and cousin Archie aka the ice pick Nelson to get back across the barbed wire fence. Neither were a match for this giant of a man. He began clamping his huge hands around my throat, I knew I would be a goner if I didn't have some help.
My nephew Christopher Brown came running to my aid. He jumped upon the Bigfoots back and pressed a stun gun to its head. The Bigfoot relaxed his grip and I screamed release the dogs. We had them in pens because of relatives being here. My mother's cousin Dorthy Nelson from Tonkawa Oklahoma was running my way. She had pulled her pistol from her purse planning to rescue me. In the darkness I was afraid she could accidentally shoot me. When she heard me scream for the release of the dogs, she stopped and unlatched their doors. The excited mastiffs were already foaming at the mouth, ready to bite my attacker. Mastiffs have the jaw strength of an African lion. They hit the Bigfoot like a freight train, crushing him into the ground. I was terrified they would maul me by mistake in their frenzy. The Bigfoot screamed in pain as the punishing jaws tore at his flesh. From the screams, I knew it was not human. Soon the bloody Bigfoot was up and running with the mastiffs in hot pursuit.
When they took me to the emergency room, I was covered in large bites and deep scratches. I have no idea what the emergency department thought about all my unusual wounds. Dad said I looked like a bear had got a hold of me. The beast fractured my skull in five places and bruised me from head to toe. It took eighty stitches to sew up all my bites. The bites and scratches took forever to heal, probably because of the Bigfoot's bacteria. If I had been able to grab one of the baseball bats in the tree house, things could have turned out a little differently. Maybe then I could have captured the mighty Bigfoot. I didn't hate the Bigfoots now, but I did have more respect for them. Maybe it considered my arm grab as an attack on it.
Bigfoots grow about twice as fast as a human, and age at the same rate. Most do not live past thirty years old. We noticed this the forty years we were observing them near Colony Eakly and Weatherford. They are able to milk cows in the pasture for their babies. Males are extremely interested in women having their periods. That is the reason they steal so many women's panties. One year when I was living near Ghost Mound the Bigfoots stole every female’s panties in an eight square mile area. Sheriff Deputies never solved the break ins. Finally coon hunters found them in hollow trees on the creek. This really scared my mother and sisters since we had no policemen nearby, and dad was absent on weekends. When my cousin Renee and Vickie were having their periods as children, the Bigfoots would follow us through pastures and fields for hours. They never scared Renee again because she carried a pistol. If they got too close, she would fire off a few rounds in the air.
Once we were deer hunting at Fort Cobb Lake and dad left his rifle standing against a tree. We were having breakfast and making plans for the day. Suddenly a loud bang erupted behind us and a loud buzz went past my head. A Bigfoot had seized dad's gun and got a shot off. Since it was a bolt action rifle, the Bigfoot couldn't chamber another round. It was gone in a flash and we never found the gun. I suppose the lesson learned is be very careful with your gun. From that day forward I never let my guns out of my sight while hunting. A wacko could get hold of them, just as easy as a Bigfoot.
When me and my cousins were skinny dipping in Worth Richmond's and Roy Payne's Lake, the Bigfoots never tried to reach us. I think maybe they can't swim. Of course they could have grabbed us while swimming in the creeks. Maybe they just aren't good ambush predators. A few times when the Bigfoots chased me and my brother we took refuge in the center of a farm pond. It seems they detest water above their knees. Once mother ran Bigfoots off with a high pressure water hose. She was babysitting for our neighbors Larry and Debbie Woodrome. The two boys were Johnny Woodrome and Scotty Wooford. They went outside to play while mother was preparing lunch. A few minutes later mother says the boys came running to the house. They told mother there was a monster in the barn with the show heifers. The cattle were haltered to a hitching rail, so they would walk with their head held high. The Bigfoots were raping them, and the heifers couldn't escape. This upset mother so she grabbed the power hose and chased them away.
When I fought the Bigfoot it was much lighter than what it looked. It was the size of Shaquille O'Neal yet it barely weighed two hundred pounds. Their body must contain a whole lot less water. From the distance we saw the beasts frequently urinating and defecating watery stool. Generally they cleaned their bottom with leaves or grass. I never saw any solid waste to bring in for research, when I was in college. In a straight race they are much faster than a human. In fact running stimulates their prey instinct. They cannot move quickly if you run a zig zag pattern. Something about their legs won't let them make fast turns. Bigfoots were always trying to copy the things we did around the farm. It seemed they had a strong desire to learn.
My folks Bud and Wanda moved from this location in 1992 to Pink Oklahoma. Dad wanted to be near Lake Thunderbird his favorite fishing hole. Three of his sisters Yvonne, Avis, and Evadean lived in the area. I moved my girlfriend Molly Ahrens into the house and we stuck it out until 1994. Eventually all my mastiffs were slaughtered by the Bigfoots. They were no match against the volleys of wooden arrows, or the cement blocks that came hurling across the fence. We tried putting up electric fences however they didn’t deter them. They were intelligent enough to ground the wires. Bigfoots and drug dealers began urinating in our well house, so the water wasn't safe to drink. I had no choice but to abandon the property.
It seemed every place I moved the Bigfoots would soon follow. Neighbors would soon complain that someone was trying to scare them wearing a gorilla or bear suit. We would soon hear the same pounding on our walls at night, and the erie Bigfoot calls. I would then contact the Bigfoot research people, and sure enough Bigfoots were being spotted in my locality. I have no clue why these creatures have been shadowing me my whole life. Finally I moved far away to Rich Hill Missouri so the Bigfoots couldn't find me. Sure enough the local Amish began seeing the Bigfoots, and blamed me for bringing these evil creatures with me. They are quite capable of covering long distances. Once my brother tried to run over a Bigfoot with his car near Fay Oklahoma. We chased him for six miles before he managed to take the ditch. The Bigfoot reached a top speed of fifty miles an hour, but averaged about thirty miles per hour. It was an older individual with some gray hair on its body.
A friend of mine has said most of the Bigfoots have moved on and left the area. He believes a few big males remain. I guess they are staying behind to protect their territory. Sometimes I wonder if any of the Bigfoots are still alive that I grew up with. If they are, would they still remember me. Are the new generations of Bigfoots more trusting or more elusive?