“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Wilber Gets Religious

Wilber Gets Religious

Old Wilber was getting up there in age; he was over eighty now. He’s been thinking a lot about his past. How things were when he was a boy. How he, Alfred and Albert had it growing up on the farms. He’s been reading and studying the bible all these years and watching some of the good preachers on TV. Always listening to the good ones of the radio and missing the old time programs. One that he really misses is pastor Norheim, old time Lutheran. Sermon and song out of Pasadena California. He was on the radio for over fifty years. He left this old world in December of 99. Wilber loves Billy Graham on TV and radio. He realizes Billy will be going home in not to many years.

Old Wilber, Alfred, Albert and most of their old friends grew up in the old Norway Lutheran church. They had such good sermons and always had such good old time music. There was no drums, no dance hall music instruments, just guitars and fiddles.

Pastor Larson's church.  That's my Lincoln out in front, summer of 1992.So Wilber has been thinking about going back to church. The last time he went the sermons were watered down, the preacher talked for about twenty minutes they sang songs from the book no one seemed to like. It didn’t sound like anyone was singing. The pastor had on big colorful robes; Wilber could not handle all of that for to long. Now days some of the old time churches had been changing to fast for him. He tried one in the big city but there were to many instruments on stage and it felt like he was in a nightclub. Preacher said a few words and clapped his hands. All of a sudden the people stood up and began to clap. They were shouting all kinds of words, after about and hour Wilber stood up and walked out of the building. As he was walking out a well-dressed man asked him if something was wrong. Yes replied Wilber I thought I was going to church but never did I think I was going to some kind of night club. The man just looked at old Wilber and said remember Jesus loves you. Old Wilber turned and said maybe you should start reading your bible and believe what it says.

Old Wilber did love old pastor Larson, but just could not go along with all of the changes the church was going through. Pastor Larson’s father was the pastor before him. They had all come over from Norway in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Wilber had a real good friend a Baptist preacher over in the next county; the church had to close there just wasn’t enough people around to attend. When the kids grew up most would leave for the big cities. Good jobs with good wages, lots to do, no one could blame them we all like to have a good life. When I left South Dakota back in 1943 it was the best thing I ever did. Donna and I just love the northwest. The weather, things to do and the jobs are super. We just wouldn’t live anywhere else.

When the Baptist church closed old Wilber was really upset, he loved the music in the Baptist church so he took all the song books home and put them in a shed. Old pastor Larson had to retire when he hit sixty-five, he wanted to keep preaching but the church said no. He did nothing for about a year but he became really board even with all of his hobbies.

The old Lutheran church was going down hill fast and what people were left attending were leaving even faster. The church needed a lot of repair; it looked like it hadn’t been painted in forty years or more. The grave yard out back looked like a weed field. It wasn’t long before the church put the building and the ten acres of land up for sale. When the church wouldn’t sell old Wilber told them he would buy it. He made an offer and the church told him they wanted cash. Wilber told them that at his age he didn’t need payments.

Wilber got his friends together and told them his plan. They all went to work remodeling the church. They painted a nice clean white and they even cleaned up the cemetery, it looked like a park. After a few months he went over to see pastor Larson. He told him he wanted to take him for a ride. He had his old V8 Ford with the fuel cell in it, only pastor Larson didn’t know about it. When old Wilber pushed the pedal the car shot out like a rocket. Mr. Larson asked Wilber why he was in such a hurry and the car went so fast? Old Wilber just looked over and told him he was just having some fun, everyone needs a little fun now and then. He slowed down and turned on to the road to the old church. He pulled up in front of the church; pastor Larson asked who had fixed up the church. Wilber took the pastor into the beautiful church. It looked like a new building. The pastor noticed the pulpit was in the center, he told Wilber he hadn’t seen that in fifty years or more. He asked Wilber what was going on, fallow me Wilber said I’ll show you the grounds. Larson just couldn’t believe what he was seeing, the cemetery looked like a park. Pastor Larson asked who did all this work? Wilber told him the story how he had bought the church at the auction. He told Larson he wanted to do something real nice before he was called home. He told Larson he had lived a hard life, he had worked hard since childhood. They went back into the church to looked around, pastor Larson picked up the songbooks and said Wilber these are like the ones we had sixty years ago. Wilber told him the story of how he got them. Larson asked him what he was going to do with the church now that it was finished. Wilber told him he was going to offer Larson to be the pastor in it if he wanted to. Larson explained that the church would not let him preach any longer. Wilber said no problem I got us signed into the independent Lutheran group. We are completely free of any rules we don’t like. He told Larson to just accept and come back to preach. You are in very good health and you still want to preach. Wilber told him I’ll be head deacon for now. I’ll form a board of deacons and give you a good salary. We’ll take care of everything, you just preach and teach God’s word.

Pastor Larson said where is the money going to come from until we get the church built back up again? Wilber told him he would donate money to pay his salary and all the church bills. Larson agreed to be the pastor and Wilber told him he would arrange everything for a big open house. He got all of his friends together and told them his plan.

Wilber put an announcement in the big city and all the local papers. He also put one on the radio and some on the TV. He wrote all the ads and paid for them to be published. He had a lot of money from that big land sale in eastern Washington. He gave lots of it away though many people thought he was a tight wade. They judged him by the way he dressed and the old cars and motorcycles that he drove. If they only knew.

The big day came to reopen the church. Wilber, Alfred, Albert and all their friends brought their musical instruments to play. Wilber had arranged for the local women to put on a picnic dinner after the first sermon. It wasn’t long before the cars started to fill the parking lot. The church was filled in no time at all. Wilber had set up a load speaker in the yard just in case to many showed, he wanted them to be able to hear the sermon just the same. All the people loved pastor Larsons sermon; he gave such a good old time sermon. Then Wilber and his men play Rock of Ages and all of the people agreed that they needed music like that in their churches. Everyone just loved Independent Lutheran, it didn’t take long before people came from far away just to hear the Sunday service and some even came for the Wednesday night bible study. Wilber did a wonderful job as a deacon, building up the number of members that the church had. In no time at all the church was full every Sunday. Pastor Larson just loved preaching in the church; it made him feel like a young man again. God was really using the older retired pastor in a good way. Wilber kept talking to Larson about the bible. He changed Larsons mind on many subjects. He no longer believed the many things he was taught in school. Wilber asked him how in the world he could get three days and three nights from Friday to Sunday. They changed Good Friday to Thursday and pastor Larson began teaching only what the Bible said.

Wilber and all his friends were beginning to show their age. He was in his eighties and could no longer drink like he used too. That was OK with him he had plenty of other things to keep him busy. Besides he had Jesus in his heart. He was a really good witness he got so many of his old buddies to repent and get back into church.

Wilber, Alfred and Albert had made a big change and Independent Lutheran had a lot to do with it. They would never be the same again. PALMS C-90-V- 10 The days of our years are three score years and ten and if by reason of strength they be four score years; yet in their strength, labor and sorrow; it is soon cut off an we fly away.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Wilber Builds His Own Fuel Cell

Wilber Builds His Own Fuel Cell

Old Wilber got tired of hearing people talk of all the smog in big cities. Poor quality of water in many parts of the U.S. All these problems are caused from cars and big trucks are all polluting our land.

Wilber Builds His Own Fuel CellThe government and all the big car makers just tuck talk, their going to do very little to help the problem. Take the auto industry, all autos have to abide by the rules, but half the vehicles on the road are big suv’s and big trucks. So who’s polluting the air. It’s got a lot to do with these big suvs and pickups. Besides they use twice as much gas as a regular car. How are we to save energy this way, there lucky to get 12-14 miles to the gallon? Look around what do you see on the freeway, these big gas-guzzlers, air polluting rigs. We could improve the air quality and save half the fuel if more people would really care. There is nothing wrong with driving a small car, they’ll do everything a large car will and then some. My V.W. Bug never gets less then forty-five miles to the gallon. It will cruise all day at eighty miles per hour. Most people driving these big gas guzzlers think their macho. Same thing in the big Harley-Davidson motorcycle business. These same people won’t be satisfied with just a nice Harley; they got to have that special custom, costing thirty-five to forty thousand dollars. Being macho is what it’s all about. I’d better get back to the story about Wilber or my publishers will get a bull slinger.

The automakers talk of electric cars, think real hard now when was the last one you saw on the highway. The electric car is a hundred years away. The high breed car is just coming around. All cities talk of raped transit, in most cases it means the bus. One must be honest, never are we going to get most people to ride a bus. People have their cars and always will. Most of us enjoy driving so lets face it we are stuck with people driving their own cars.

So old Wilber is right, keep the cars, but power then with a different source of power. That’s what he has been working on for over ten years, his fuel sell. There were over seventeen million cars and tucks sold in the U.S. alone in the year 2000. That’s about two million more then we need. So with all the old cars on the road and seventeen to eighteen million more each year the smog and pollution problems will be here for a long time. But Wilber does have a solution, put in an energy fuel cell. When the cars on the road today need a new motor, put the fuel sell in. In about ten years the problem will be almost gone. All the new cars should get thirty-five to forty miles to the gallon and give out very little pollution or they should not be sold in the U.S. If the Oil Company found out about Wilber’s replacement and how good it works he wouldn’t be around for much longer. He has kept this secret for ten years not even telling his best friends, Alfred and Albert about it. Remember old Wilber invented his nuclear powered motorcycle and how it really works is a big secret. This fuel sell engine is something he would like to see in all cars soon.

Wilber took one of his old Ford V8’s removed the motor left the gearbox and installed his new engine. The fuel cell will go fifty to one hundred thousand miles before it has to be replaced. He has the answer for this to but he has not worked it all out yet. I’ll give you a tip. It lies in the sun, but that’s all I’ll say now. Remember the sun has an endless amount of energy. We just have to find a way to capture it.

Since Wilber bought and is starting to get the hang of his computer, his hard work has been cut in half. All this time Wilber has been working on this cell his farm has suffered. He has plenty of money from that big land sale, but he loves farming so he keeps working three to four hours a day. After getting that old Ford going with its new source of power he wanted to try it out and have some fun doing it. He drove the old Ford out onto the highway, pushed that pedal to the metal and was going over a hundred miles per hour in no time. He pushed the pedal further down, the car hit 140 and the speed-o-cable broke. Going 140 in a car with bad brakes and just not up to going this fast scared him. So he took it home to fix which was no problem for Wilber.

When he took the car home he put it into one of his many sheds and went to work fixing all the many problems. He left the outside appearance to look like the car was all worn out. Wilber took that old Ford out on the highway a few days later and was going seventy to seventy-five miles per hour. He had been passing all cars with no problem when he came up on a new Corvette. He knew that the car could really go- fast so he pulled alongside of it and asked the guy to race. The car took off in front of the old Ford and Wilber pushed the pedal to the floor. The speedometer said 145 and he let the vet pass him. He could see that big smile on the guys as he passed. Wilber just smiled pushed the pedal down passed the vet doing 185 which was faster than he had ever gone. Then he slowed down let the vet go by and watched the guy smile as he passed the old Ford.

Wilber turned his Ford around headed for his farm fifteen to twenty miles away. He was moving along at seventy or seventy-five when he noticed in his rear view mirror that there were big red lights behind him. He didn’t want any more tickets or trouble with the law. That patrol car must have seen Wilber racing that vet. Wilber pushed the pedal down, his Ford leaped to 165 and he knew that there was no way the patrol car could ever keep up with him. After clearing the cop he dropped speed to 120. He could see his farm up ahead and he pulled onto his road with dust flying everywhere. He pulled into the garage and closed the door in a big hurry. He then ran outside through the side door, got on his old John Deer tractor and drove around to the side of the barn. He then turned the tractor around as if he had been coming from the pasture. He could see the patrol car coming down the road and Wilber knew he had followed the trail of dust. The cop got out of his car coming at Wilber his face was just boiling red. He was so mad he could hardly talk.

Wilber had out smarted old Jim who had been a cop for years. Jim thought he had him this time. He yelled for Wilber to get off of the tractor. Wilber asked the cop why he needed to come down; the cop told him that he wanted to see that fast car that he had been driving around. Wilber said the only cars I got her are over there in the yard. Jim ran over to the cars felt the hoods to see if they were warm, but they were all cold. Jim asked what was in the garage. Wilber opened the door; the old Ford looked like it hadn’t ran in years. It looked just like any other old bucket of bolts. Jim said open up the hood, he looked at that funny looking box were the engine used to be and said what is this box and were is the engine? Wilber told the old cop he had no idea what was going on. He told the cop the car was exactly the way it was when he bought it from the junk yard, and that he had intended on putting a V8 in it the day he bought it. Jim was still really mad and said he was taking Wilber to jail. When Wilber asked why Jim told him that he already knew why. He told Wilber that the car pulling into his driveway making all that dust belonged to him. He told Jim that he had seen all of the cars that he owned and that when Jim had seen Wilber he was on his tractor. He told the cop to go ahead and give him the ticket but to be sure to put that when he saw him he was driving a John Deer tractor. Wilber told Jim you tell the judge that I was going a hundred plus when you first saw me and that I out ran your patrol car on my tractor the judge is going to laugh at you. Don’t make a fool of yourself. Jim saw still so mat but he got into his car and shook his finger at the farm. I know you got something funny going on here on your farm. Wilber just walked away, but he knew Jim would be real confused from now on. He knew he had to find a place to hide the old Ford after he had driven it so fast. He remembered his dad building a bootleg still during the thirties when the big depression was going on. His dad has stacked up bail hay made a really big stack and put the still in the center of it. He built a long door out of the hay and a push on one of the bails would open the door.

His dad fooled the law for many years never finding the still. The stack of hay looked like any other big stack of hay. Wilber built a garage inside a big stack of bailed hay; he did the work at night so no one could see what he was doing. He knew small planes flew over head and thought one could be the cop. He loved out smarting Jim. Most people thought Wilber was just an old hayseed. Poor souls if they really knew what he was like. Wilber continued to work and improve his fuel cell and many other parts. He is starting to show his age so he is getting less done then he was a few years ago. Boy could he work fourteen to sixteen hour day and then read for four or five after that. He used to say sleeping and eating are just a waste of time.

Now days he’s really concerned about the environment and all the smog in the big cities. He moved and never intends on moving to a big city ever again. He is happy playing with his computer, playing music, reading and studying the bible. He knows it is not to many years and he’ll be going home to be with the lord. But until that day he’ll keep working, studying and building his products.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Old Wilber – That’s My Man

Old Wilber – That’s My Man

Old Wilber, my old buddy it’s hard to remember when I first met him. I was just a kid; it was the early 1940’s in old Britton, S.D. Old Carl Wicher was going to take his son Hersy out to the hills to work on road construction. He asked me if I would like to go along and keep him company on the trip home. Besides Carl had fixed a lot of old tires and enter tubes up. This would be a good chance to sell them on our trip home. But that could be a story by its self. Old Wilber is tall, slim and has black hair and over six feet tall. He wears overalls most of the time. Wilber was in the Anny in World War II. So he has a lot of old Army clothes, which he wears at times. He has been farmer all his life. He has a nice old farm up in the hills of western South Dakota. His dad left him this farm, which he homesteaded. Wilber has two old girl friends, Ruthie and Evelyn, who never married. He never got married. Old Wilber makes some of the most powerful beer in the world. He has two good friends Alfred and Albert; he has known these guys since childhood. They have a farm three or four miles down the road. They make homemade beer also, which they always say, “Mine I is much better than yours”. All three make powerful white lighting.

Old Wilber - That's My ManAll three ride motorcycles and always have. Their dad also road bike’s. Wilber’s dad had lots of old motorcycles, an Indian Chief and old JD-Harley (1926 model). I have one all restored and it’s been on display at our store in Seattle for years. Wilber rides the Indian 1974 sidecar most of the time. When he can’t ride those old bikes, he drives his old 1930 Model A-Ford pickup. Old Wither keeps all his equipment in top condition. All his farm buildings appear to be run-down. His motorcycles and cars and trucks always look like they are ready for the scrap pile. But boy do they run good. He has a big repair shed. All the tools and machine tools they have in the big cities. Wilber and his two friends can fix anything. They all can design and build all kinds of equipment. All read a lot even when TV came in, they didn’t pay much attention to it. They get their education from books. So they read in all their spare time.

Wilber had been reading about nuclear energy. He wanted to know more. They read in the papers about this big government surplus sale in Minneapolis, MN. He had not been to a big city in a long time. He gassed up his old Indian with the sidecar and headed for the Twin Cities. He found the big sale. Boy what bargains he purchased. So many, he had to buy an old trailer and hitch it to his sidecar. His old Indian had one heck of a time pulling that big load. He should have had a big Kenworth truck Cars would pass him on the freeway. People would look at him and just shake their heads. Most probably thought who’s that old hay seed. He got home in good shape. He put all the stuff he bought into the sheds on his farm.

He was tired and all worn out. Those big cities will do that to you. He rested and started drinking his homemade beer. He’d picked up some good books in the city. So he read every night for a while. He read about how to build a nuclear engine. He spent the next three months building the engine. He wanted it to be small so it would fit into one of his old motorcycles. He had the engine built, but no fuel. Now what?

He had worked after World War II in Eastern Washington. He read about the big nuclear plant in Hanford. He said to himself, I’m going west. See if I can get some of that fuel. He road his old Indian with the sidecar west. He got a good job on a very large farm driving a tractor.

He was working out in the fields one day and he ran out of fuel. So he walked the three miles back to the farm and got a five-gallon can of fuel and a large funnel. He was tired, but knew he had to keep working. He poured the fuel in the tractor. He started the tractor and went back to work. He had forgotten to take the bug funnel out. Old Wilber was beginning to get forgetful; after all, he was getting older. He drove the tractor again till he ran out of fuel. It was getting late. So he left the tractor and walked back to the farm. He had a good meal and went to bed. It rained real hard all night. Next morning he had a fellow worker drive hi out to the field with some gas. He was about to fill the tank but noticed he had left the funnel in all night. He wondered if the tractor would ever run. He looked into the tank and noticed it was full. He shock his head and could not believe he could have been so forgetful as to leave the funnel in all night when it rained so hard. So he thought the tank was full of water. He got on the tractor and tried to start it. It ran beautiful. So he worked in the fields all day stopping only to relieve himself and eat his lunch. He said, “I have got to check the fuel.” He looked into the tank, it was almost full. He just could not believe what was going on.

Wilber told no one about what was going on with the tractor. He read his book each night about nuclear engines. He was lying in bed one night and it all came to him. He knew just what was going on and knew now why so many people in Eastern Washington died early of cancer, lost their hair and so much more.

He thought it was time to go home. It was late fall and it would be real cold going through the mountains. First he wanted to take 50 gallons drums of that “Special Rain Water” with him. His old Indian could only pull two 50-gallon drums home. So he bid his boss good-bye and told him it was nice working with him. His boss hated to see him leave. He knew he could never find a better worker. Old Wilber had found a new lifetime friend, one he would never forget. He made it home in good shape and the old Indian ran beautiful all the 900 miles. He almost froze in the mountains, but had plenty of his special home brew along to keep him warm.

He started work on his special engine and worked at it day and night. He took one of the old motorcycles and removed the engine. He welded new mounts on so he could install his big secret, his nuclear engine. All fit nice. Looked odd, but that’s what he wanted. He took some of the fuel from the two 50 gallon drums, put it into the gas tank and started the engine. It ran beautiful almost from the start. Once Wilber built something, it always worked good right from the start. He was a very good craftsman, better than most Germans, and they are good. He told no one about his latest project. Alfred and Albert were beginning to worry about Wilber working day and night, never coming to the tavern.

One-day-old Wilber said, “I’m bored. I’m going to town.” So he took his old cycle and thought to himself that he needed to have some real fun. He put his sunglasses on, he seldom wore a helmet, started the old cycle and road over to his buddies house. No one was home. So he left and road to town to drink some beer shoot some pool and tease the girls and have some fun. He was running around 75-80 mph and looked in his rear view mirror only to see those big red lights coming at him. He said he wasn’t going to get any more tickets; he had already given the state enough money. So he opened the throttle, cranked that old bike up to 130 mph and was really flying high. Old Wilber was a really good rider, not many younger men could stay with him. He got to the city limits, slowed down, pulled up to the tavern and went inside. He started drinking beer and shooting pool. He was having a real good time and about 20-25 minutes had passed and a patrol car pulled up in front and he could see the cop was his old foe, Jimmy DeVell. He had been a cop for years. Jimmy walked over to Wilber with intentions of arresting him. Wilber asked Jimmy, his old buddy, “what for?” Old Jimmy said, “You know darn well what for.” Old Wilber said to John the bar tender, “How long have I been here?” John replied, “25-30 minutes.” Jimmy knew it was only 12-15 miles from the tavern to the farm and its impossible to ride that fast. Wilber and his buddies had been playing pool at least 25-30 minutes.

Old Jimmy knew he couldn’t do anything. Before he left, he asked Wilber how fast that old bike would go. Old Wilber said, “I think I could get it to go 60-70 mph.” Of course at that speed it would probably blow up. The bike was over 50 years old and it looked it. Old Jim looked at Wilber and said, “I don’t know how you beat me to town by 25-30 minutes, but! do know it was you I was after. I’ll get you yet.” Wilber said, “Remember Alfred and Albert have motorcycles also, maybe it was one of them.” Old Jim said, “There cycles are in worse shape than yours.” Old Jim and no one else ever knew about Wilber and his buddy’s fast cycles, they would really fly. They only looked like they were all worn out and that’s the way Wilber wanted it. The nuclear powered cycle was Wilber’s; Alfred and Albert’s was powered by special homemade beer. John the bar tender told Jim, Alfred and Albert had left for the big city of Rapid, to get parts for their tractor three or four hours ago.

Old Wilber was really feeling good. I’m going to really have some fun with Jim. One day he saw Jim’s patrol car, a Ford V8 out behind the tavern. Wilber pulled up behind the tavern. He took the gas cap off Jim’s car, poured some of that special brew into the tank. He put the gas cap back on and got out of there fast. He went around to the front of the tavern and went inside and started drinking beer and shooting pool. Jim looked over at Wilber and said, “What are you up to today?” Wilber said, “I thought I’d stop and have a beer, then go home. I have to fix the fence on the north 40. Old man Johnson said my Cow’s were getting into his corn. Johnson said he was going to shoot the cows if! didn’t get them out of his corn field.”

Jim left and as he was walking out he said, “You be good now.” Wilber was laughing to himself Jim started his car and pulled out onto the highway and was moving right along when he came upon a car going really fast. He could see the car was one of those German high-powered cars Jim had read about in Motor Trend. He knew the car had to be from some other area, he had never seen one like this around here. He thought to himself that his old ford could never catch that BMW He looked down at the speedometer and it was buried. He kept after the BMW. Finally pulled him over and said to the man, “What the hell are you trying to do? Just how fast were you going?” The city-dud said, “Man, I had the pedal to the medal, 156 mph.” He said to Jim, “How fast will that old Ford go? And how did you get it to go that fast.” Old Jim said, “I wish I knew.” Jim was really a nice guy just doing his job. Later that day be stopped by the tavern and he was talking to John and how he had chased a BMW and pulled him over at 156 mph. All the old regulars were in the tavern and they all knew Jim’s old Ford wouldn’t do over 85 mph. Jim said, “Maybe not before today, but she really fly’s now.” All the men just laughed, they made a fool out of old Jim.

Little did Jim know his Ford would never go that fast again. Wilber knew what made that old Ford go. This would be his secret forever. Wilber pulled many more tricks on Jim, which will be told in other stories.

Stay tuned. Turn your radio on AM and stay up some night and listen to the world’s best talk show host, Art Bell out of Nevada. You’ll get a real education from Art and his guests.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – National Jack Pine Enduro

National Jack Pine Enduro

Five hundred miles of some of the toughest trails you can find anywhere. This event billed the World’s Toughest Enduro was often called Old Cow Bell. It started in 1926, this event starts at the State Journal Building in Lansing, Michigan. It takes two days to run and ends at the state capital. You have to ride on some roads getting out of town, then come back into town. • Most of the run is trails, dirt roads, many hills, rivers to cross, creeks and if it rains, lots of mud. It is one of the toughest runs anywhere if not the toughest.

It was the summer of 1956, Wilber, Alfred and Albert had wanted to ride this event ever since they read about it. They first read about it in the Enthusiasts motorcycle magazine. This is a wonderful magazine, that is if you love motorcycles as I do. I’ve gotten this Rag since 1946. All three men were having a hard time deciding which bikes to ride, none had ever ran a two day event before. They were really excited about going. After reading more about the event, they decided they would ride the three Harley Davidson’s Army 45”, they had purchased these after they got out of the Army. They purchased these at a large surplus sale, as I have told of in other stories.

The 45” Harelys were super reliable, a good riding bike. It has only one fault, it sits low to the ground. Harley installed 2 1/2 longer forks for the Army, this helped, but still not enough ground clearance. So all three got to work, they came up with special made rockers for the front forks, this gave them 2 1/2 /more inches clearance, this was good for the front. Now the rear end, they came up with many different ideas, but the one they used were plates on the rear axel, it gave another 2 1/2” clearance. This was really good, they had already installed 19” wheels. The bikes looked odd, but boy did they work. They all tried the bikes out on their farms. They went up hills, crossing creeks, into deep water mud, trails, etc. They were very happy with their bikes.

Now, how to get them to Lansing. Wilber had the old Ford 2 1/2 ton truck, which he had also bought surplus. They built a cabin which went on behind the cab, just like those big Kenworth trucks have, they built this one out of aluminum to keep the weight down. They removed the rear window in the truck so they could go between the cabin and truck if necessary. Now, how to get the motorcycles on and off the truck easily. Each bike weighed about 575 lbs., heavy but it would do. They built an old time boom crane, it lifted the bikes on and off with ease. The truck was in real good running condition, like everything Wilber had. All his cars, trucks, motorcycles didn’t have good looks, but boy did they run good, and super reliable.

They were all set, now to figure out a route to Michigan. So they got out their old maps and decided on one route there and on another one back. They decided to drive out of the hills on Highway 18 going east, then on 44 through winner, all the way to Canton, then they go on 18 going east through Iowa. This was the best road they knew of, they would turn north on old 65, go north to Minnesota at Albert Lee, then go northeast on old 6, north to LaCross, Wisconsin. They took many small roads and ended up in Madison, Wisconsin, then old 19 into Milwaukee, take the ferry to Muskegon, Michigan from there it was easy to get to Lansing, Michigan to start the Enduro. So now when should they leave, they also had their farms to tend to. They again called on their old friends, Ruthie and Evelyn. These girls could run a farm by their selves if need be. Old Jumper loved them too, so the farms would be in good hands until they returned.

The run started the 1 Sunday of September, this was only two weeks away, and so they got everything ready. They gave themselves 4 days to get there, as they had never been on most of the roads before and didn’t know if they would run into any road construction or not, summer time is when the roads are worked on. The early August 26th, they left at 6 a.m. The weather was sunny out and the sky was clear, a good day for driving. They stopped in Canton on the very last end of South Dakota and had a good meal there. They left right away after breakfast, no sightseeing on this trip, at least not going. They were making good time, the old Ford was running like new. Wilber had installed his gas saver on the engine a few years ago. They were getting over 20 m.p.g. at 55-.60 m.p.h. You must remember this was in 1956, no freeways, most to land roads. It was not long until they pulled into La Cross, found a good café and ate a good meal. Topped the truck off, gas was only 19 cents a gallon. The found an old park so they pulled in, shot the bull for a while with others in the park, they hit the hay. Those bunk beds were nice, this was one trip they would not sleep in bags and tents. This saved a lot of time in not setting up and tearing down. They had a good night’s sleep, there was a cool breeze blowing all night, this was nice, as it can get really hot in August.

They had made good time, better than they anticipated. They left at 6:30 a.m. another sunny day. Hot, but not too bad. They drove out of La Cross feeling good, everything was going along fine. They drove for 2 hours or so then stopped in Wisconsin Dells, topped off still getting 20 plus m.p.g. not bad for a 2 1/2 ton truck with over 2,000 lbs. Load. Old Wilber, had really turned this truck into a good mileage truck with his gas saver. They ate at a small café, they always ate at small cafes if possible, as you get the best food and prices.

They made it to Madison, enjoying this trip all anxious to get to Lansing. They drove into Milwaukee, no problems; it was only 4:30 so they called the Harley Factory to see if they could go tour the factory the next day. So early the next morning they went through the factory, they got to see the 1957 models come down the assembly line. Lots of new colors, old Wilber got to dreaming of having a new Harley, but he soon forgot all about the new bikes, his mind was on the big Enduro.

The next morning they drove down to the ferry and caught the ferry to Muskegon. This was a big ship, it would take about 8 hours to get there. All three ate, complained of the high price of food. Albert said we could have cooked our own food, but the guard told them no cooking on the ship. All three enjoyed the ride on the U.S.S. Clipper. Alfred said it looked like they were on a big ocean, those Great Lakes are big.

They pulled into Lansing early Friday, now they could get the bikes running, and check everything over. They drove to the local Harley Dealer; saw many riders, talked to many riders that were going to ride the Enduro. They found a park so they could park for the night. Saturday will be a big day. They had plarined on going to the big banquet held at the Masonic Hall. They spent most of Saturday just hanging out with other riders, the city was full of motorcycles. They looked for other riders from South Dakota, but no luck.Soon it was time for the big banquet. There were editors from many newspapers and magazines, even the Mayor showed up. After the big meal, the Lansing Motorcycle Club gave out beautiful jerseys to all the winners of last year; the jerseys had their names on them. After that event, they watched movies of last year’s III it looked really tough. Old Alfred said to Wilbur, look what you’re getting us into. They left after the movies. Everyone knew 5:00 came early so they hit the hay.

They all got up early, 4:00; they knew the first riders would be leaving at 5:31 a.m. They all went down to the State Journal Building where they had signed up on Saturday. They found a good place to park their truck and got the bikes unloaded and running. All 3 bikes ran beautiful, the State Referee was on the microphone, and everything was moving like clockwork. Riders started leaving 3-4 at a time. It would take 10 minutes to get all the riders going. There were over 500 riders, over 17 different makes of motorcycles. Lots of Harleys and Indians but the Triumphs and BSA made up the bulk of riders. Lots of riders on small bikes, 125cc to 250 cc. Wilbur noticed riders from over 30 states and Canada. Wilbur, Alfred and Albert tried riding together, their 45” were really proving to be good dirt bikes. Right out of town you cross the Pine River, then lots of trails, hills, mud holes every kind of condition you expect on an Enduro.

The local Civil Air Patrol was doing a good job of the scoring. All the members of the Lansing Motorcycle Club were keeping busy. Wilbur told Albert, I never expected the run to be this tough. They were getting tired, but made it through the 1st day. The first day the run ended at Sterling. Many riders had dropped out either broke down or just exhausted. They stayed in small cabins, locked all the bikes up good. Monday came fast. The 1St riders out at 6:01 a.m., Wilber, Alfred and Albert rode together, the Harleys ran beautiful. They sure were glad they had made the bikes higher off the ground. Other big bikes had lots of trouble getting through the mud and up some of the steep hills. The smaller bikes were having no problems; they were easy to move around. Albert said, next time we’ll ride some small English bike. The second day took them on all kinds of trails, swamps, logs to cross, deer paths, and big steep hills.

Many of the riders were dropping outs They all stopped at a Lutheran church for lunch, put on by the Ladies Aid. Wilber, Alfred and Albert loved the lunch; they kept teasing the older ladies. However, there were some younger beautiful girls helping with the food. Wilber kept after this one cute little blonde. He asked her to come back to South Dakota with them. He said, wouldn’t you like to live on a real farm? She pops up, I may but what else you going to offer me? The bell rang, time to leave, they all got on their bikes and rode off on the course. All the ladies and younger girls were wishing them good luck.

They only had a few hours left, they were all happy to be back in Lansing, they rode to the State Capitol; a large crowd welcomed all the riders back. Out of 500 some riders, only 112 finished. Wilber was happy, none of them won anything, but they all got the pins, etc. Once again, the Civil Air Patrol had done a wonderful job. Like always the Lansing Motorcycle Club had put on a good Enduro. It was getti.ng late, Monday night came fast. The Enduro was over Tuesday morning they would head home.

Wilbur found a good park, and they spent the night there. Albert said lets sleep in to say 7:00 to 8:00. Alfred said, you’re getting old brother, but we’re in no big hurry to get home, our farms are in good hands. Before hitting the hay, all three looked at maps to see which route to take home. Wilber was reading an old motorcycle paper he had picked up Saturday night. It told of in 1951, Joe Gee, out of Columbus Ohio, rode a Triumph 500cc twin to 1st place. He has ridden in many and has always finished high up on the ladder.

Morning came early; they did sleep until 7:00, packed up, all the motorcycles were in the back of the truck. There really was not much to do, just get in the truck and go. Wilbur said I’ll drive for 200 – 300 miles, that will give Albert a few hours to sleep. They pulled out of Lansing on to old 27 going south. We’ll go south to old highway 6, head west, that is if the road is okay.

They stopped in the small town of Coldwater, like always they found a small café. It had a big sign outside that said ham and eggs for $1.25, so they went in. A beautiful girl came over and waited on them. Old Alfred said, I’d like to take you back to South Dakota with me. She noticed when they pulled up, the three bikes in the truck. She said, I’ll bet you boys been to the Old Bell Enduro before anyone could say anything. Just then, two trucks pulled up, they also had motorcycles in them. Four riders cam in the café, looked around, there was a booth empty just behind Wilber’s booth. So they sat down, the pretty girl came over and took their order. One of the riders had noticed their 45” in the truck, he started talking to Wilber, Alfred and Albert. He said, you boys did good on the Enduro, I passed you the 2nd day going across the creek just where it was all muddy and hard going, those Harleys really did good. Old Wilber said, yes we figured we did ok, being that was our first crack at the big one. We’ve ridden in smaller Endures in South Dakota and Nebraska, but nothing like this one. They all talked while eating. Albert said where you boys from? One fellow said Iowa, near Davenport. That also is a big motorcycle city with lots of races and swap meets every year in September. After they all ate and drank all the coffee they could, Albert pops up, let’s move out. The other guys said they wanted to be home by nightfall. Before leaving one fellow said, maybe we’ll see you in Sturgis next year, we plan on going. Wilber said, yes you may, we only live 150 miles or so from Sturgis. We rode the Enduro the Jack Pine Gypsies put on every year, 2 years ago. We rode our old J.D.’s on that Enduro, they worked really good, a lot lighter and smaller all around.

They all got in their trucks and pulled out. Alfred was driving now, old Wilbur lay down in the cabin. Alfred said he would drive to Joliet, Illinois, then get on old highway 52 going west. They drove into Indiana, the roads were good, but it sure was hot, that’s summers in the mid-west. The truck was running good and getting really good gas mileage. They stopped at a small town just east of South Bend, they didn’t want to drive into any large cities, that’s why they stuck to smaller highways. They topped off the gas tank and 30 feet from an old Phillips 66, was an old Root Beer Café. So, they walked over and ordered big cheeseburgers and real fries. They all drank big root beers and Alfred said boy I wish we had a good café like this in Wounded Knee.

Alfred kept driving for hours, they pulled into Joliet, Illinois, crossing over from Indiana was easy. Wilber now wanted to drive, he had a good rest and was ready to drive. He headed out of town on old 52 going west, he stayed on 52 until Troy Grove, a small place. He asked a man in a Phillips 66 station if he thought taking six west was a good way to go and did he know of any road construction. He said he drove over from Ottawa, a while ago and all roads were good. Albert said it’s getting late, lets drive until we find a good park and get a good night’s sleep. Get up early and maybe we can get home the next day. They got on old six going west, the road was good, you could drive60 M.P.H., make some good time. Wilber noticed a small road sign near Spring Valley, they pulled in and found a nice place to park out in the open. They did not want to park under trees this time of year. Rain and windstorms come up fast, they didn’t want any trees falling on the truck and motorcycles. They fell asleep fast, after they had eaten those big roast beef sandwiches they had bought in Troy Grove. They always took a big icebox along, they would buy ice every 2-3 days, which was easy to come by in the 1950’s. They always carried a lot of beer and good Root Beer with them. Whenever they found a good Root Beer stand they would stock up.

During the night they all woke up, it was raining hard and the wind was blowing too. There were trees down, they noticed this the next morning when they got up. Broken trees all over, one had crashed into a car and tent, no one seemed to be hurt. It was 7:00, they had overslept. It was still raining hard and Albert said good thing we didn’t ride our bikes to Lansing as we talked about.

Albert drove, stayed on highway 6, in 2 hours they should be in Iowa, if all went ok. Albert was able to drive 60 m.p.h., even with the rain. They stayed on six, crossed over near East Moline, pulled into a big Texaco station, well it was large for those days. The sun was trying to come out, if only those clouds would blow east. Albert said you guys want to eat, I sure would, I’m hungry. Albert said you’re always hungry, but I could stand some food myself. Old Wilber played like he didn’t want to eat, but both Albert and Alfred knew him better. So, they drove over to a café, just 50 or so feet from the Texaco station. They like small cafes as they wait on you fast, get in and out fast, you don’t waste much time eating. Sign said, Hot Cakes and Bacon, 75cents. They had hot cakes for a change, boy were they good too, Old Time Buttermilk.

They all got in the truck fast as the rain had started again. Wilber was at the wheel, headed west. At Newton they turned north, worked their way to highway 30 going into Ames. They stopped at an old Standard station, gas was only .25 cents a gallon. They topped off the tank and talked about road conditions going west. One guy seemed to know the roads, he said he would stay on 30 to Carrol, go north on 71, pick p 20, it goes through Sioux City, good road into Nebraska. So that’s what Wilber did, it was now 1:00 and all three were hungry again but didn’t want to waste time in a café. So they pulled into an old root beer stand, just east of Sioux City, boy were they glad they had stopped there. Big cheeseburgers and homemade fries, frozen fries had not been on the market yet. I wish they had never came out in the 1St place. Wilber keep driving said Alfred, I’ll take over in 2 hours, he agreed. They stayed on 20 going west. At Bassett, Alfred drove, all were getting tired. The rain had stopped a few miles back, the going was good. Just out of Bassett, the road was under construction. Roads were really bad, muddy and in really bad shape from all the rain they had gotten. They kept moving west at 15-20 M.P.H., the road was bad for over 20 miles. It was getting late so they agreed to drive to Valentine for a place to park and sleep. It was 9: 30 when they found a place to park the truck, there were no parks so they went over by some big trees and relieved themselves. No out houses here. They ate some cheese and crackers with some good old sausage, they had bought in Wisconsin, drank some good Root Beer and fell off to sleep.

Albert had set the clock for 5:30, that’s early, but they wanted to get home. They stayed on 20 at Rushville then took 87 north, there was a sign on 27 saying the road was out for 5-6 miles, 50 miles more and they should be in South Dakota. The rains had stopped, but it was cloudy and the sky was dark, you all know what that can mean. It was 11:00 when they crossed into South Dakota, soon they would be home. At 12:30 they pulled into Wilber’s farn. The girls were waiting, they had old Jumper with them, they talked for hours. Then Albert and Alfred got into their old car, and said, we’ll see you tomorrow. They drove out onto the old road, just 3-4 miles they would be home.

The next day, they came over to Wilber’s, unloaded the 45”, unpacked their gear, then all sat down and drank some of that home brew. They all agreed they had a wonderful time, they had been gone almost 2 weeks, much too long. There was lots of work to do on the farm, corn had to be picked in a couple of weeks or so. Potatoes needed picking in October, lots of work to do before winter comes, which seems to come early some years.

All three talked of the big Enduro they had rode in. All the wonderful riders they had met and all the pretty girls they met too. Almost at once they started planning for the next year. Little did they know that next year it would be impossible to go. I’ll save that reason for some other story.

The weather was nice, it was the middle of September, nights were getting cool, but the days were beautiful. In October, they got their Motorcycle RAGS. One rag, the Buzz, told of three riders from the hills of South Dakota riding those old Army bikes. They talked of all the modifications they had done to the bikes and how beautiful they had ran. One writer said he would like to buy a Harley like those. Wilber, Alfred, Albert and the girls would spend the winter planning for the next year’s Enduro. Old Jumper would eat his bay, drink his beer and enjoy his days on the farms.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Look Out Japan, Here We Come

Look Out Japan, Here We Come

In June 1945, the Navy had big plans for Clarence and I. After our very successful ordeal in France, we thought that it would be the last Big Harrah. Little did we realize we would be going to Japan and soon. We hardly had time to rest after France.

No one really knew that the war with Japan would be over in late August. One day, Lt. Commander Les Warwick celled Clarence and I into his office. This was the same officer that sent us to France, he was a brilliant officer. At one tIme, he had been a fighter pilot, he told me he had shot down 16 Japanese planes. He walked with a bad limp, one of his legs had been broken bad, and he could no longer fly for the Navy. The Navy told him he could leave the Navy if he wanted to but he choose to stay in. The Navy needed good Officers and he was one of the best.

The Lt. Came right to the point with us, he told us again that we had done a good job in France. This next assignment would be even more important and much harder to pull off. He also said, if anyone can do it, it’s you two. He said, Tom I want you to head up the team, you will have 4 L.C.M.s. At this time I did not know the other 2 Coxswains. He told us there is no need at this time to meet your gunners. The L.C.M.s have two 50-mm. guns, they are 50 feet long, all steel, they use 2 gray Marine engines. 1 had been using these crafts since coming overseas.

The next day we were on our way to Okinawa, in 3 days we would be going to Japan, everything was moving along fast. We left with a large convoy, our L.C.M.s were aboard a L.C.T. I noticed 4 Destroyers, two heavy Cruisers, 2 Aircraft Carriers and other ships.
Lt. Warwick came down to our compartment, he cam right to the point. He told all 4 of the Coxswains we would get our orders the day we arrived in Okinawa. Our convoy arrived in Okinawa that night, he gave us our sealed orders. Our L.C.M.s were afready aboard the L.C.T.s the next morning we left, headed to Japan, we would be going to southern Japan.

Our orders told us we were to go ashore, hit the beach, unload, back off and get back to the L.C.T. as fast as we could. The Navy had prepared a good meal for us, we had steak and eggs the last good meal for us. This could have been a last good meal for some of us. We met with Lt. Warwick on more time, he told us there are not suppose to be any Japs in this area. We had not seen any Japanese ships since leaving.

The Japanese never dreamed the U.S. would be coming in the south, 12 to 15 miles north were good beaches, they figured we would land there. As to where we were landing, it was full of rocks, no beaches of any size. We had special trained Navy and Marines on our L.C.M.s and a jeep on each craft. We got within 3 miles of the shore, The L.C.T.’s unloaded our L.C.M., I led the way. We headed toward the shore, we got within I mile of the shore, the sun was just coming up, I could see the shoreline. The waters were really rough, large rocks everywhere. We all tried to avoid the large rocks, bouncing off the smaller ones. As we got closer to the shore I had a funny feeling something was wrong, but we had our orders, get at least one craft ashore. It was starting to get fight out and 1 noticed the shore, it looked like all big rocks. All of a sudden, shells started going off. I thought to myself, the Japs had found out of our landing. How I don’t know. Our large ships were firing toward shore, all hell was breaking out, I kept going toward the shore, trying to find a place to unload. Lucky no one hit any mines. I figured the Japs hadn’t had time to mine the waters here, as only a nut would try to land here! I looked to my tight, one L.C. M. had taken a direct hit, then another got hit, now there were only 2 of us, one of us had to make it ashore. I just wanted to get close as possible to unload then to get out of there fast. I hit the shore about 20 ft. out, I could get no closer, and the rocks were just too large. I dropped the ramp, the men all got out helping the jeep as best they could. All this time our gunners were shooting towards the shore. I looked for our other L.C.M., I could not see it. I noticed a man in the water, he had on a life jacket, I got as close as I could. One of our gunners took a boat hook and pulled the man to our craft, the other gunner helped the man aboard. Little did I know this was 01 Clarence. I looked for others in the water but could se none. I had my orders to get back to the L.C.T. as fast as I could. I headed out to sea, my L.C.M. had been hit, but was not taking on much water. I knew if 1 did not take any more hits 1 could make it back to it. I was praying all the time, also for god to watch over all the men. I thought to myself, I had lost a good buddy, little did I know the man we had pulled from the water was Clarence. My thoughts were of all the men, little did I know that many of the men did make it ashore, how many I never found out. I had done my job.

All of our big ships were tiring toward shore and there was aircraft flying over all the time. I asked my gunner if the man we had pulled from the water if he could talk. All of a sudden, a man stood up, I almost passed out, it was 01 Clarence he said nothing, he just looked at me. I did not have time to look for any others, I had my orders to get back as fast as I could. My craft was loaded aboard as soon as I got back.

Lt. Warwick was waiting for us and asked if we were the only ones left, as far as I know yes, I said. I looked for others but could not find any. He asked me to come to his quarters at once. They took 01 Clarence to sick bay fast. I was questioned by Lt. Warwick and the captain of the ship. I told them all I knew. All this time I could hear airplanes above, it was our own bombers out of Okinawa, they had left at the correct time all hell was breaking out, our Navy was really shelling the shore. If there was any Japs alive, I didn’t know how. I was wondering how many of our men made it ashore. I was dismissed and told to go dean up and get something to eat. I asked if I could go see Clarence first and was told yes. Just before I was dismissed, Lt. Warwick said to remember no on is to know of this mission for 55 years. So that’s what I did, I told no one.

I saw Clarence, he was in bed, he looked bad, he could say very little. He looked shell shocked to me, the Dr.s told me to leave and come back tomorrow to see him. I knew if I could be around 01 Clarence for a few days or months I could bring him out of the way he was, get him back to the real world.
We stayed around the shores of Japan for 3 more days, all the shelling had stopped. All the large ships had pulled out and headed for someplace else, where I did not know. Our small ship made it back to Okinawa, along with many others. We stayed there only a few days then we were put aboard a large ship. We used to call these ships Kaiser coffins, they were large cargo ships, build for the war. Built by Henry Kaiser, the same man who built the Kaiser cars. I owned 2 of these in the early 1950s.

Our ship made it back to the Philippians in what seemed like weeks. It was so long ago I can’t remember. Before going back to my unit, I was again told to say nothing of this mission for 55 years. I asked if any of the men made it to wherever they were headed and they told me nothing but did say, if our craft had not made it ashore, this war would have lasted much longer than it did. I head no more of the missing men, Clarence was sent back to the U.S., I never saw U. Warwick again. In September our unit was split up, some of us went to Japan, Korea and China, I got to go to China. The war ended in late August, we were all happy it was over. In China I had a good assignment, still running L.C.M.s. I kept busy hauling sailors and others ashore. Big ships were coming into China each day, many of the docks were badly damaged from the war and many of the ships could not tie up, they had to sit out in the river.

I stayed in China until spring of 1946 when I was sent to California and then to Minnesota where I was discharged. I never saw Clarence again until late 1978 or 1979. One spring day this rider road into my store, Old Tom’s cycle, I started this company in 1958. This rider parked his motorcycle in the drive way and took off his helmet. I was outside talking to some other riders, at first he said nothing, then I looked at the rider real close. I almost fainted, it was my old buddy Clarence! We talked for what seem like hours and before he left he told me he had moved to Seattle and would be back in a few days. In a few days he rode back to my store, we went out for lunch, we must have of talked for hours. He told me he had been a Police Officer in Tennessee and rode motorcycles. He had gone back to school and taught at a big Texas college. He had worked for the FB.I., the A.T.F. office, and had been an income tax inspector. He flew helicopters and did work in Alaska and many other places. I learned later what a good pilot he was. I was told he was one of the best, We did I know that someday I would be flying with him. We renewed our friendship, he stayed in Seattle and is still here. We rode to Sturgis, S.D. to the big rally a number of times and many other places. Clarence still rides, I see him quite often, he’s not in the best of shape but he still gets around pretty good and still rides. He has been hurt by many car accidents and was hit on his motorcycle a few times. One time he was hurt in Montana, his daughter had to get him. When I did see him, he really looked beat up, he hurls a lot but never complains.

We are both hoping to ride to Sturgis this year, it’s 2004 as I write this. I’m not in good shape myself, I walk Ike a drunk, but still ride just not as much as I would like to. But I did get over 12,000 miles in 2003. For 2004, I don’t know, I’m riding a big motor scooter as I can’t throw my leg over a motorcycle but with God’s help, I will be on a motorcycle again soon. If not the scooter is just fine.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Halloween of 1938, The Biggest Prank

Halloween of 1938
The Biggest Prank

It was the fall of 1938. I was 12 years old. It is real cold this time of year, and this was HALLOWEEN. We had been looking forward to this night for at least six or seven months. I had secretly been planning a real trick. Today they call it “Trick or Treat.” But back in the thirties it was a big thing to look forward to. All the kids and big kids would really pull some doozies; tipping out-houses was the number one on their list. I and Virgil had all we needed up on the water tower. We and our friend Victor had been planning this big prank. All three of us had saved as much money as we could all year. Come the 4th of July, fire works was the big thing in those days. We bought all the fire works we had money for. We didn’t fire any off on the 4th; we saved them for the big night coming up on October 31st. We had our masks to hide our identity. We had flash lights, real heavy jackets, gloves; all we needed. So I said “Virgil, let’s do it.”

BrittonOur plan was to climb up the city water tower to the top rail which went all the way around the tower. It also had a ladder which went to the very top. If one was really brave, which most , we would climb to the very top and yell down to our friends below. Some kids thought it totally crazy. We had planned on making a dummy to take to the top of the tower. At the night time we would drop him down on the crowd below. We figured this would really drive the cops and crowd below nuts. Our little town of Britton, 1500 people, had one old cop, my uncle Bill Stadler. Also, a county sheriff and one deputy. The sheriff and deputy had at least 8 towns to watch over. So they were busy most of the time. It was around 9:30 on the eve of the 31st. We climbed to the top of the tower. We had our dummy, eggs, flash lights, water and food; and all we needed. We had planned on spending a few hours up on the tower. Around 10 o’clock we flashed our lights at the ground below. I threw an egg at one old lady and Virgil threw one at an old man. We both missed. By this time there was a good crowd below. They were all talking and one man called up “you kids come down at once.” At that moment I threw an egg at him and hit him. He became very angry. All the people started yelling, “You crazy kids, come down.” Remember, no one knew who was up on the tower. Pretty soon Bill Stadler, the cop, showed up and yelled for us to come down. We threw eggs at him and I poured a gallon of water on him. That really got him mad. This is just what we wanted. We plastered him with eggs. He said he was coming up to throw us down. We said, come on you old devil. If you come any further, we will throw down our pal Fred. At this time they thought there were only two of us. I held the dummy up. He looked real from 30 ft. in the air, let alone 120 ft. The cop yelled up, “What’s your last name so we can go tell your parents. We made up the last name of “Price.”

Pals foreverThere was a family named Price who lived up in the hills East of Britton who had lots of boys, so they really didn’t know who Fred was. In fact, the Prices lived 18-20 miles out of town: no phone, no lights, real poor people. Their youngest son was a good friend of mine. We called him “Cuffy.” I remember a year before he bought an old Model T Ford for $15.00 from OLD SAM’S Used Cars. Sam sold cars, farm machinery, etc.; for $50.00 or less you could buy a good used car. My mother bought a used car (our first car), a 1929 Chev. for $65.00 from Thorpe Auto. She saved years to buy this car. Old Cuffy let me drive his car. All of us kids would save our money until we had 30 to 40 cents for gas (18 cents a gallon). You didn’t need a drivers license. You could drive at any age. I remember one time my mother had to haul something and we had no car. She asked me to go to Herman Johnson and ask if we could use his truck for an hour. Herman had a grocery store and they delivered groceries to your home. Almost everyone in town owed him money. He was a wonderful, kindhearted man. I used the truck and I told him thanks and that I would help unload the big grocery truck when it came in once a week. His truck was a 3-speed. I really loved to drive that truck. Old Herman would always give us kids candy bars when we helped him.

Now, back to my story:

The big bully kept coming up the ladder. He was wet and covered with eggs. He said how are you kids? We said nothing. I had saved the big surprise for this moment. I had hauled 3 big bags of cow manure up the tower days before. This was wet and runny stuff. The guy kept on coming. I thought, this is it and I poured a sack of the goop on him. I did this just as he looked up. That did it: he couldn’t get down fast enough. He was yelling that he was going to get his gun and kill us. The cop said you can’t do that; I’ll get them down. He had one last big bully from town, Lou. He was real big and he thought he was someone special. He started up the ladder and it was covered with eggs and water and manure. He had on a nice jacket and pants and gloves and shoes. I told Virgil we will let him get 70 to 80 ft. up then give him the works. We had one big bag of manure left and just as he looked up we poured a gallon of water on him, and 10 eggs, and the manure. He almost lost his footing. This scared him.

He kept on yelling, you boys are going to jail for this trick. We said you have to catch us first. He looked up and said Who the hell are you kids? I know every kid in town. We said we are not from Britton, you big dummy. He looked up again and I threw the last bag of manure on him. It hit him right in the face and neck. Then Virgil poured 2 gallons of water on him and we plastered him with some more eggs. That did it. He started down and Stadler knew he could not climb the ladder. He kept yelling for us to come down. We were getting low on our supply of water and eggs, so I told Virgil it is time we drop the dummy down. I started playing with the dummy; he looked as real as could be. The crowd kept yelling to come down.

By this time it was getting cold. We had had enough fun, so I pushed the dummy. He fell right into the crowd below. As he was falling, we could hear the people crying and saying, the poor kid, I wonder who he was? We had hooked the two bags of blood in the dummy (old cow blood). When the dummy hit the ground, blood spattered all over. People screamed and began to leave. They couldn’t take any more. The cop yelled again for us to come down.

It took about ten minutes before someone had the nerve to look at the dummy. The crowd was getting smaller. When Stadler saw it was a dummy he really got mad. He said he was coming up himself to get us kids. He started up the ladder and I told Virgil this is our last chance and we will give all we’ve got left. We plastered him with eggs, water and our last bag of manure. He could take no more. He climbed down as fast as he could without slipping. We could hear him say he was going home to clean up. He was freezing. Only a few were left.

About this time Virgil hollered “FIRE” in town. Looks like the theater. We could see real good as we were 120 ft. up. Old Victor had done his job. He had rigged the fire works to go off at just the right time. Smoke bombs and all. It looked and sounded bad. The crowd all left and started running to their homes and to the town two blocks away. We waited until they were all gone. We climbed down faster than any fireman could have. We were on the ground before you could say “Jack Robinson.” We ran down by the elevators, took off our masks and hid them; brushed ourselves off and just walked away. Remember, it was now late, 12 or 12:30 AM and really cold. We thought we would really have some fun and we drifted down town into the crowd. The people started saying there is no fire, let’s go back to the water tower. When they got back there was no one there. They all started blaming on another. Said someone should have stayed and watched those kids; but being so cold they all left for their homes. And, we went home, too.

This trick was the talk of the town for months and years to come. They all wondered who those kids were. We went right along with them. They all said some day they will find out. You know what? They never did. Well, it’s 62 years later. Both Virgil and Victor died several years ago. I’ve been gone from Bntton for over 57 years, but I go back at least once a year. My parents are both gone, but I have brothers and sisters there and many friends. I am sure most of those that were in that crowd that Halloween night are dead. Old Uncle Bill died years and years ago.

I wondered for years if I should ever tell this story. I’ve argued both ways; should I or shouldn’t I; but, what the HELL. If there are any of you who remember the “Biggest Prank” of Halloween 1938 — it was I and Virgil and Victor.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – My Oh My How Times Have Changed

My Oh My How Times Have Changed

How many of you can remember buying a double dip ice cream cone for 5 cents? I can, and I remember when they went to 10 cents, people said no one will buy an ice- cream cone for 10 cents. But they did, just like when a glass of beer was 5 cents back in 1946. It went to 10 cents, people again said that they would not pay 10 cents for a glass of beer, but they did. I will go back sixty years, I could go back farther but how many of you would remember that? I must be getting old. I keep thinking of the old days, the Big Depression. They think unemployment is high today at 6%, in the 1930s it was 25 to 30%, now that is high. We had about seven years of drought from Canada to Texas. In the summer there were big dust storms day after day, no wonder so many people left the mid-west in the thirties. It was almost impossible to make a living.

In 1940 one could buy a new Ford or Chevrolet for under $600, today you pay anywhere from $15,000 to $26,000, of course they are built much better, and have lots of accessories, but if you bought a stripped down model it would still cost you over $15,000. Gas was 60 cents a gallon for many years. What is it today as of 4/20/03, I just filled my Toyota. I paid $1.98 a gallon. It will come down again but not much below $1.50 a gallon. Why have prices gone up so much? Stop and think, every time we have a war, prices go up. Who pays for war? We the working people! Wars, they should outlaw them, but they won’t, too many big corporations get rich during war times, its big business.

We spent lots of time in taverns as kids growing up in old South Dakota. In the winter there and the pool halls and bowling alleys were the only place to get warm. Let’s talk about taverns, the small town of Briton S.Dak. had three taverns and a pool hall, and a bowling alley. Briton today has no taverns, no pool hall, if you want a beer you go to the bowling alley or VFW I asked my older brother, who still lives in Briton, where are all the city drunks, all the big beer drinkers. He said come and I will show you. We went two miles west of town, the cemetery. He started pointing out various graves, there’s old Ted Larson and there’s Hersal Morris, and so on. Most small towns are the same, things are changing fast. Even in the big cities there are very few taverns left. One thing that really, hurts is the strict driving laws. Most people are afraid to drink over I or 2 beers, because if you get pulled over you get your license taken away, a big fine, it is just not worth it. Another reason small towns are dying all over the U.S. is because of the way we farm today. Forty to fifty years ago it took at least 2-3 weeks to do harvest, and it took a lot of help. Today harvest is over in a few days and it only takes a few men. Most farms today are large, the day of the small farm is gone. Also the day of the large farm is on its way out. When I was a kid all the families had 7 to 10 kids, today it’s two or three. So, gone are the large families in the U.S., although in some parts of the U.S. there are large families, mostly single parents who are on welfare or some kind of unemployment. Most responsible families know that they can only afford 2 or 3 kids. The cost to raise and educated them is just too much.

Let’s talk about dance halls, where are they? We came to Seattle in 1951 .We used to look forward to Friday and Saturday nights, so many of us would go to the Brown Derby, White Spot or the Civil tavern, the valley was full of dance halls. We really had a good time in all of them. It was back in the 40’s to 60’s and most of them would close at midnight, after closing we would all head to the big steak houses. Remember the Kansas City Steak House, everyone loved going there. Well, it has been gone many years, just like the dance halls, gone forever. We really had fun dancing to that old country music. I have a good friend who had a country band, Donna and I would go dance to his music every Friday or Saturday night. I asked him where he plays today and he said, I don’t, there is no where to play. The F. F W. Eagles and Elks may put on a dance a few times a year. Only the older people come, and not many of them.

What happened to all those girlie shows? Man we used to have fun in those places. I remember some of the guys in there would yell at the girls, take it all off baby. All that fun gone forever. Things have really changed the last few years.

Have you been to a drive in movie lately? They are all but gone. We really had fun going to the drive-in movies.

Have you been to a drive-in restaurant lately? I can’t find any in Seattle, there could be a few but I can’t find them.

It seems Ike fast food places helped to kill the drive-ins. All that junk food and people eat it every day. What happened to home made french fries? Al the cafes used to make them, not today they take the easy way, they sell frozen fries. Even most of the big restaurants sell frozen fries. There are a few areas in the Seattle area that one n get homemade fries, but they are few and tar between. I’m sure my brother Ruben would Ike some Spud’s fish and chips- They sill make their own fries. you stand in long knee to get into those places. Then there are service stations, have you been to one lately? They are also far and few between. I know of none in Seattle. Sure they all sell gas, but try getting your oil checked, your windshield washed, or your tires checked. All of the stations sell food hot dogs, and all kinds of things, but not service. It looks Ike the old service stations are all gone for good.

Have you noticed any small repair garages? There are few and their days are numbered. The modem cars need We repair. In order to work on newer cars you will need lot of expensive equipment, and all the training that is required to operate it Gone is the day you can just have a Mend fix your car. Very few people even change their own oil anymore, one can no longer just throw the engine oil away. We used to just throw the oil away in the allies- Today you take your used oil to a special place, same with batteries and old tires. Gone is the day you could just take them to the city dump or put them in your alley. I have not seen a new housing development in 40 years that put in ales, so gone too is the alley. Only the old neighborhoods will you find allies. I have a good friend who is in his 80s, he has an alley out behind his house, his house is 100 years old. He has lived in it for 50 years, now he really uses his alley. It is full of old cars, trucks and motorcycles, trailers and old boxes. I don’t know what he would do with all his stuff if he lived in a newer neighborhood, in a newer house. The alley is gone. Churches, boy have they changed in large cities. The small white neighborhood church is all but gone. Its big mega churches n; some have their own schools, which is good. Big huge orchestras, you would think you were in a big nightclub. Talk about singing from books, the words are up on walls now. I listened to many on TV and they are a disgrace to God. Some preach a good sermon but most give you a watered down message, one that will satisfy almost everyone. The small neighborhood church is almost a thing of the past Donna and I are really lucky, we still go to a small old style church, and we still use old small songbooks. Same message they preached 100 years o. How long can this last only God knows.

This old world ischanging fast, hang on oryou could be left behind. ln big cities thesmall stores arealmost gone. Try finding a small hardware store. Lowes, WalMart, Home Depot have all but killed them. It seems kke all businesses have gotten to be big. Even the motorcycle stores, when I started nine in 1955 there were small shops and stores everywhere. Today only the big stores can make it The small repair shop is all but gone. It seem to be the same in auto sales business, the day of the small auto dealer is gone. The other day I ran into an old friend who used to cut my hair. He had a nice small barbershop. I asked him if he was still cutting hair, he said oh no, I had to give that up a few years ago. It got to where I was working three weeks a month just to pay the overhead. One can’t lye on only a weeks pay a month. Seems to be the same for all small businesses. The large corporations are forcing the small man out.

The small shoe repair store, you may And one in a few parts of the city, but their days are numbered. When was the last time you had your shoes resoled? Ever have your heels replaced? I know I haven’t had either in over 40 years. Most shoes today are built to last.

I was in the motorcycle business for 40 years. All through the 1950s and 60’s there were small stores everywhere. Repair shops on almost every block. Look around, have you seen any lately? I really enjoyed being in business those days, I would visit other dealers and tal about the races, trail riding, road runs and we would go out to lunch, that is all history now. When we wanted to buy new motorcycles we would call up the distributor and talk to the owner, unlike today. They are all large corporations, there is just no personal touch. Almost everything today is just Big-Big business. It is the same thing in auto sales. Big-Big dealerships, even the used car business. The day of the small lot is history. Try talking to the owner of any business today, good luck.

I tried to call our TV cable company the other day, what I got was a push I for this push 2 for that 3 for something else, and it went on and on, I never could get anyone to help me, so I hung up. Most people I talk to have the same problem. It seems Ike machines have taken over this whole world. Gone is that personal touch. So what are we going to do? Myself, I am just happy to be retired. I got this next article out of a small newspaper.

Changed by the times. I’m always hearing people say things were better when they were young. We must admit that there is a lot of truth in that thinking. We cannot argue with the pillars of the past. Trends that can be documented and compared with the present are realities to be reckoned with.

Statistical studies of behavioral trends in America over the past three decades give us a good indication of how much things have changed. Since 1950, while the gross domestic product has nearly tripled, violent crime has increased at least 60%, divorces have more than doubled, and the percentage of children in single parent homes has tripled. In 1940 teachers identified the top problems in U.S. schools as talking out of turn, chewing gum, making too much noise and running in the hail. In 1990, teachers hated drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and assault.

Things certainly have changed, we don’t have to look at the statistics and studies, we can see for ourselves. What then is the reason for such a moral decline? The answer is very simple, the turning away from a Holy God. There are 64 books in the bible, written by Jews and two by Luke the Greek. Total-.66.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Jumper—ARI 411

Jumper—ARI 411

Just a brief history of JUMPER, the Missouri Mule: Jumper’s Army number was ARI 411. He was 2 yrs. old when the Anny bought him, along with hundreds more, from a farmer in Missouri who raised mules. He had a great love for mules. During World War lithe Army needed mules for packing supplies up the mountains. The mountains in Italy are very high, and it is impossible for trucks to haul supplies, but not for the mules.

It was 1942 that ARI 411 first saw action while hauling supplies up the mountains. Two farm boys from the Dakotas trained the mules during their basic training in Texas. They were sent to Italy along with thousands of soldiers. The names of the two who trained Jumper were Alfred and Albert. Both men were wounded and also Jumper at three different times. All three received the Purple Heart and other metals.

When the war ended in 1945, Alfred & Albert, along with their buddies, were sent home on troop ships. They were discharged from the Army. All the mules and thousands of trucks were sold at auctions. The boys paid $10.00 for ARI 411 and bought a good 1 1/2 ton Ford truck. All three went back to their fanns in the Dakotas. Alfred and Albert worked their farms, but the mule did very little; just ate and drank the good beer that Alfred and Albert were famous for.

A few years passed and the Korean War broke out. The Army needed experienced men and mules, so all three were called back into the service. After a brief training they were shipped to Korea. They fought in the high mountains for 2 1/2 years. The mules hauled supplies to the front lines. One day while supplies, the mule ARI 411 stepped on a land mine and his left front leg was blown off. After a few days of rest and medical care they were shipped to Australia for a longer rest. It was on a farm in Australia that they saw so many kangaroos and how good they could jump. The mule watched them carefully and then he tried jumping. He fell down quite a few times. But he would get up and try, try again. In no time he could jump almost as good as the kangaroos. This is where he got the name JUMPER.

The war ended while they were in Australia. Soon then were on a troop ship headed for the United States. After the three were discharged, they went back to their fanns in the Dakotas.

Old Jumper started jumping over everything. Soon Alfred and Albert had him jumping over tractors, cars and much more at State fairs. Jumper became very famous throughout the Mid-West.

I hope to have a book with drawings of all three telling the history of Jumper, Alfred and Albert and many more stories. It will tell how they trained Jumper to jump over 50 ft. Also, they many products Alfred and Albert built and how they raced their old motorcycles at the big State fairs and other places and won race after race. Their big dream was to have Jumper jump over 100 Harleys at the 50th yr. anniversary in Sturgis, So. Dakota during the big rally.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – UFOs

UFOs

Wilber, Alfred and Albert claim they saw their first UFO in the early 1960’s. All three are brilliant men, a little different, but that would depend on whom you compare them with. All are in their 80’s, and in very good health. They have never quit designing and building new products. Some people claim they were hallucinating when they said they saw the U.F.O., since all three had made such powerful beer and white lighting for the last 60 some years and have drank more than their share. Personally I believe them, but you decide.

Back in the early 60’s, it was April and Wilber was out feeding his cattle; it was around 8:30 PM. He had been out working in the fields all day. Wilber grew some of the best oats, wheat, and corn in the U.S. He used much of this to make his powerful beer and white lighting.

As he was walking toward his house, he noticed a big shadow on the ground. He looked around and what he saw was so strange it scared him. He looked at this big round thing about 50’ away and about 50’ off the ground. It was completely silent. After staring at it for what seemed like hours, he turned and ran for his house. He called his good friends Alfred and Albert.

He went back outside and the craft went what appeared to be straight up into the air. It was out of sight in just a few seconds. He again called Alfred and Albert and told them what he saw and asked them to go outside and watch the skies. They hurried outside, not even putting on theirjackets. It was April and the night was still pretty cold. They took their binoculars and sat down on their chairs in their yard. They watched for over an hour and they were getting cold so Alfred went back into the house to get their jackets. When he returned he noticed old Albert lying on the ground. Alfred was real, scared; he feared Albert had a heart attack. He shook him and felt his pulse and in a few minutes Albert sat up. He was white as a ghost. He tried to talk but was still very scared. He said, “I saw it.” Alfred said, “you saw what?” Albert said, “I saw the thing Wilber called us about.” He said it was out by the barn, about 20 feet off the ground and it looked like they were interested in our cattle. After a few minutes they took their powerful flashlights, they had designed and built these flashlights; the bulbs would last for years and the batteries for 20-30 years. When they did need recharging, you just plugged them into a house light socket and in a few minutes they would be fully charged. They shined the light all over the barn and ground. Albert shouted to Alfred, “look over there on the ground.” One of their priced cows lying on the ground. They looked the cow over really good. They noticed it had been cut open. One of the first things they noticed, there wasn’t any blood anywhere. The heart was gone, the kidneys, lungs and many other parts were gone. Alfred said we have to call Wilber, then the sheriff and their good friend Dr. Peterson who was the best veterinary in the hills. In what seemed like hours Wilber got there first, then the sheriff and soon Dr. Peterson arrived. They told their story and showed them the cow. Dr. Peterson checked the cow over really good. He said he had never seen anything like this in all his years of being a vet. He said the cuts were so clean and neat, a knife couldn’t do this. It had to be some kind of lazar. The sheriff called his office and told one of his deputies to get a truck and get out to Alfred’s at once. They loaded the cow into the truck. The sheriff told all three to be extra careful. Keep your yard lights on and keep your guns near by. Maybe even start packing your 45’s again and call us at once if you see any unusual things.

Wilber had listened to the radio and loved the night radio talk hosts. For the last 10 to 12 years he had been listening to Art Bell, who is the best night talk show host in the world and he is heard all over the world. I myself have been listening to Art Bell for many years. On one of Art’s shows he had a guest who told of all the cattle that were mutilated in parts of Colorado and New Mexico and the states government had been investigating for many years. They had no answer to what was going on. It seemed like people would see U.F.O.’s and black helicopters before the cattle mutilating. But who really knows.

Most people figured the government really knew what was going on, like the craft that crashed near Roswell, NM in 1947. But our government just will not tell us the truth. Some claim people could not cope with it. Many smart people believe that U.F.O.’s have been visiting planet earth for thousands of years. Even in our Holy Bible in the Book of Ezekiel it tells of strange crafts being seen near the river Chebar. Please take some time, dust that old Bible off and read the book of Ezekiel. The Bible tells us how to live and if we all would believe in it and do as it says, what a different world this would be. The Bible was written for us to read.

After the deputy took the cow away, days and months went by and no word about the cow. The government had shut this one up. There were no further sightings reported. Then one day, old Albert called the sheriff and asked about his cow and if whoever had the cow would like to be paid for the cow. Old sheriff Jack Taylor said what cow. He had been ordered to cover this story up. The government claimed Wilber, Alfred, and Albert were just some old drunks who had made up the whole story.

Months went by and no one said anything about U.F.O.’s or the cow.

It was the 3rd of July. Wilber, Alfred and Albert were planning on going to town on the 4th as the tavern always put on big fireworks and had a big party. People had been coming to this big event for years. On the 3rd of July Wilber was coming from the barn after doing all the chores. He felt like something was going to happen, a strange feeling came over him. He turned and looked back at the barn. He almost fainted at what he was seeing. It looked like the same craft he had seen in April. He had his powerful flashlight and he was packing his 45. The craft came toward him and it made no sound. It hovered about 15 feet off the ground. It got within 15 to 20 feet of him. He could see it very clear. It had what seemed like portholes all around and it was about 100 feet across and maybe 8-10 feet high. It had powerful lights on and one seemed like a spotlight. The light came right on Wilber. He was scared to death. He called for his dogs, they were always with him, but they had taken off for the hills.

Wilber shouted out to the craft, what do you want? Who are you? The craft moved closer toward him. He pulled his 45 and emptied it at the craft. The bullets seemed to just bounce off the craft. Old Wilber was really scared. He ran into his house. He grabbed his deer rifle off the wall. It was always loaded. He stepped out the back door of his house, two men, at least they looked like men, grabbed him. They were very powerful. Old Wilber said, “What do you want with me? You can take all my cattle, my sheep, my horse, but please don’t take old Jumper. They said nothing and they took him over to the craft, which now was hovering about one foot off the ground. What seemed like a door opening, they carried Wilber into the craft. He was really scared. But a funny feeling came over him. He no longer was scared. A voice came from a box, the voice said, “do not be afraid Wilber, we will not harm you. We would like to be your friends. We are here on your planet to study you humans. We need some things from you, like the organs we took from your cow. We are running experiments, we will need more animal parts, but will not take anymore from you.”

Wilber was now completely relaxed. They let him look the craft over. He noticed four more aliens none spoke directly to him. When he asked a question, a voice would come from a box. These could pass as humans, but they all wore uniforms. There were no buttons or metals on their uniforms. By this time the craft had lifted off, it was high in the sky. Wilber looked out one porthole. He could see Alfred and Albert’s farm. The lights were on. Wilber said to the aliens, “Lets drop down and see my friends.” The voice from the box said, “oh, no problem.” The craft scooped down into the back yard. It hovered about one foot off the ground, it made no sounds and the lights must have surprised Alfred and Albert. They came out of their house when they saw the craft and so close by, they almost fainted. A voice came from the craft. It said, “this is Wilber do not be afraid.” A door opened and Wilber stepped out. An alien also stepped out of the craft, a voice from the craft said, “We came as your friends. Please do no be afraid.”

Alfred and Albert were so happy to see Wilber; they gave him a big bear hug and almost broke his ribs. The alien escorted Alfred and Wilber into the craft. The door to the craft shut. It lifted off and was high in the sky before you could snap your fingers. The craft flew all over the black hills. Wilber asked them to fly over the small town. The alien said, “no problem.” The town looked really small from high in the sky. Alfred asked the aliens if we could land out in front of the tavern. The sheriff’s car was out in front. The town was full of people who came to see the big fireworks. All of the people were in for a big surprise when they saw the alien craft and saw the aliens, Wilber, Alfred and Albert coming out of the craft. The sheriff almost fainted. The craft hovered about one foot off the ground. The alien told Wilber, Alfred and Albert to stay only five minutes and we will take you all back to your farms. All three greeted the sheriff and all their friends. Most of the people looked like they had seen a ghost. They just couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

The alien greeted the people and a voice from the craft said, “We are your friends, we have been coming to your planet for thousands of years. Please do not be afraid of us. We will never harm you. We are peaceful people. But we must worn you, there are people in outer space from some planets that are not friendly. But most of the people that live on other planets are friendly. They are not like people from earth. You have been fighting and killing since Adam and Eve.”

The alien said, “You should read the Book of Ezekiel. Read chapters one, verse five. Better yet, read the entire book. And while you are at it, dust that old Bible and read it. Our God and your God has left you very good instructions on how to live and in live in peace. The alien said, “If you would believe in the Ten Commandments, you would have no wars, no killings. You could learn to live in peace. On our planet, we all live in peace. When you earth people learn to live in peace without wars, we will come back and tell you the true story of the universe.”

All the aliens went back into the craft. Wilber, Alfred and Albert entered as instructed. The craft lifted off and was high in the sky in seconds. They first took Alfred and Albert back to their farms. They told them good-bye. We pray we can see you again. They then took Wilber to his farm. Before they left, one alien came over to Wilber and gave him a big hug and said good-by my friend. The craft then lifted off and was high in the sky and out of sight in seconds. Wilber went back into his house and went to bed and slept like a baby. He dreamed of living in a peaceful world without any more wars or killings and living in peace. If only this dream would come true.

The End

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Wilber’s Telescope

Wilber’s Telescope

This has got to be the most powerful telescope ever made. Wilber has been working on this on and off for over twenty years. Ever since he bought his first computer he has done more in one day then he could have done in twenty years. The computer is truly a lifesaver.

This telescope is so far advanced, you can see millions of light years away. One can see other planets real clear, just like watching TV on a large screen, most planets seem to be dead, at least the side that one can see. You can see planets in other galaxies real close. There is one planet that Wilber told me about, so I keep going back to it. Wilber named this planet Earth number two. I could see people walking on the streets, real ultra modem cars and many other forms of transportation. I found an airport, all the planes looked very much like flying saucers seen on earth, they moved through the air super fast. The people and animals looked just like they do on earth. I saw horses, cows, dogs and cats on farms just like on earth. Either they copied us or we copied them. I saw beautiful lakes, mountains, trees, etc. one would think you were looking at earth. I saw no deserts, but they could be on the other -side of the planet or maybe the whole planet is beautiful. Wilber told me he realizes that it is impossible for a spaceship to travel from earth to this planet, it would take thousands of light years to travel there.

As I looked at the cars there, I could see no exhaust fumes of any kind. I assumed that it ran on some other form of power. I’m sure that 100 years from now our cars will be powered by some other form, other than a gas engine. Wilber has only found any kind of life on this one planet, but then there are millions, so it is impossible to really know. Wilber believes that until we learn to go from one dimension to another, travel between planets now is impossible. He says, if only he could live another 25- 30 years he could find a way or if the Great Nikola Tesla could have lived fifty more years this old planet would be completely different. Tesla was the greatest Engineer and inventor this Old World has ever had. Those of you, who have not heard of Tesla, type Nikola Tesla on your computer and you will get a wonderful history of him. You know it’s strange all the years I spent in school I never remember hearing of Tesla, WHY? Are most schools just interested in teaching you to read and write and play sports, oh we all love sports, buthow many of us can really make a living in them? It seems to me that other than reading and writing, everything else I had to learn on my own.

When Jesus was on Earth he traveled from one place to another in no time at all. When Moses and Elijah were on Mt. Sinai with Jesus how did they get from heaven to Earth, then go back in seconds. Wilber and I both believe that they moved from one dimension to another. They knew the secret, someday we also will. We believe Heaven is really just next door. I have yet to have anyone tell me where it is. I believe there is a heaven, but where is it? Wilber believes that if he could live another thirty- forty more years, he could find the answers. If Nikola Tesla could have lived another twenty-five to Thirty years he would have found out how to do this and so much more.

Let’s go back to Wilber’s telescope. Not only can one see millions of light years away, Wilber has made this scope so one can see hundreds of years into the future, you can adjust the scope to see your future when you will leave this old world. Both Wilber and I believe this is not what we want. We will let God keep this a secret from us. With this scope you can see what earth will be like 100 years from now. I’ve looked and seen Seattle 100 years from now. Man how beautiful it looked. The advancement in the way we travel was most interesting. Science had found a way for man to live to be 120 and older, there seemed to be no illness anywhere. I looked for hospitals and saw none, only small clinics.

When I looked for Seattle, I looked for the waterfront, it was so beautiful, and it looked like one big park. I wonder when the city got rid of the vie* dock, cause it was gone. I could see the football stadium it looked beautiful. When you build something good it will last hundreds of years. Look at some of the old buildings and bridges back on the East Coast, hundreds of years old and still standing. I looked for the baseball stadium and found it. All the old buildings on First Avenue by the old ballpark were gone. I looked for the train depots and they were still there. I see 15 it is still there, but above it was the most beautiful monorail. The monorail seamed to go all over the Puget Sound. I could see at the south end of Seattle there was a long tunnel going north under city, it seamed to come out on aurora Ave. north. If only I could be in a helicopter, one could really see well. One of the nicest things I saw was the space needle it looked as beautiful as ever. I then looked at Lake Washington, 1-90 was till there, a monorail ran along sideit, and it was going fast. I lookednorth and saw 520 it also had a monorail along side it. I was really tired, I had to quit for the day. I get tired when I am on any computer also. I waited two days and then looked again, it was hard at first trying to find where I left off. I saw Renton, so I looked at Lake Washington and found 405. Boy, was it nice and wide a monorail ran on both sides the Renton airport was still there. Gone were the Boeing buildings. There were beautiful houses there, it looked like a large gated community, really beautiful. Renton also was really beautiful. I saw one monorail come from Southcenter to Renton then south east on 169th I followed it all the way to Maple Valley. I saw our home on 244th it looked almost the same the yard, barn, and still horses in the pastier and yes I see a beautiful dog and two cats out by the barn. I then followed the monorail, it went form Maple Valley to four corners then Black Diamond and then all the way to Enumclaw then along side the highway to Auburn, Kent back to Renton Southcenter and back to Seattle. I could actually watch the train it moved along fast, no wonder the freeways were not over crowded. I then went back to Enumclaw and followed the rail alongside 4 10 only up in the air. It went to Lake Tapps, I tried to find my son Russ’ house, I just could not find it. From Lake Tapps the rail went all the way to Tacoma I again had to rest, I was really tired. I waited for three days till I looked again. Wilber said, “good friend you told me you could only stay a total often days”. I looked again and saw the rail went from Tacoma to Fort Lewis then to Olympia. From Tacoma it also went north to Fife, then to Federal Way only it now ran above old 99. From Federal way it went to the SeaTac airport. I noticed the airport now had four runways. The airplanes looked really advanced almost like flying saucers from the airport the rail went back to Seattle Wilber told me I could look one more day then he just had to get back to work on the scope. He told me if he could only live another five to ten years he could find a way to look into the scope and go back in time. One could go back in history and see everything, seems impossible but so does this scope. Wilber thinks his brain power is wearing out, at least he is really tired. He told me one night while we were just sitting around talking of old times, he said I think I will be going home to be with our lord soon. I tired to tell him that he was just overly tired and to rest for a couple weeks. But knowing Wilber one or two days is all that he would rest. He said he always wanted to see heaven, see if it is as beautiful as the bible says. He said Tom, I am readyto go, I have had a wonderful life here on earth. He said, first I got to get the work on the scope. I want to find a way to get back to our past. I pray he will find a way soon. I looked one last time into the scope, I found Lake Washington, the rail ran from 520 to Bellevue, then headed East to Monroe, then southeast to Issaquah and into North Bend it ran along 190 again back to Seattle. The freeways were not crowded. I noticed all the trucks had their own lanes on the freeways. It sure would be nice if I had really been there. I would like to see some of my grandkids, if any are still living, I’m sure some must be. They would have grandkids of their own. There must be a lot of Toms in the Seattle area. It would also be nice to see old South Dakota, Id like to see if there were any Toms back in old Britain. Id like to see Sturgis S.D. see if they still have the rally. Before I forget, all the cars were quite small, about the size of a Ford Taurus. Al the cars were really far out, they seemed to have no exhaust. I’m sure they are powered by a muchadvanced power than the old gas engine. Being interested in motorcycles my whole life and all; I looked and found hundreds of them. They also had no gas fumes, I wanted to get a closer look to see if Harley Davidson was still building bikes, I just could not see that well. I also was very tired, I looked for Tukwila for Russ’ Downtown Harley. I finally found the old building, it was now occupied by a furniture dealer. I wondered what happened to the Harley store, I looked for two hours. I was just exhausted, but I finally found it, it now was off 1-5 only 2-3 miles South. Boy talk about big and beautiful. I told myself ifi could stop in and get some of the coffee and doughnuts. But who would know me. Maybe some of Russ’ great grand kids were running the store. This would be too much to ask for, but it is nice to dream.

I begged Wilber to give me one more day, I wanted to see all of those Big beautiful cities built in the deserts of California, Arizona, and Nevada. Wilber said, Carmen I just have to get back to work on the scope. It is too bad that I don’t have two. So I thanked my good friend, I said I am tired out, tomorrow I will get on my Harley and leave for Maple Valley. I will see you my good friend next spring, but I will call you before that.