"These four wheelers are just Terrorists! That's all they are. They sneak in, don't ask permission, and they tear up your land! They've torn down my fences, run through my woods, and they've got ditches started everywhere...and when they're done tearing things up they throw down their trash and just drive away."
The man was leaning on his pickup truck which was covered with Right wing bumper stickers. "Republican and proud of it" said one of them. It had handguns on both sides pointing to the word republican.
I think I will like Mitch, though I made a mental note never to discuss politics with him. A history teacher turned brickmason, he owns property next to mine and lives there with his pretty wife and big eyed, curly haired, daughter, who looked to be about 9 or 10. Why anyone would risk making this man angry is a mystery to me. More than just powerfully built, Mitch seems like he could crush one of his bricks in each hand if he forgot to be careful. He is a man in his prime who lifts weights all day for a living...one of those men who has to buy flannel shirts a size too large just so he can button them up over his chest.
I saw him standing at his truck in front of the house he is building, block by block as he has time. The new roof trusses lying ready to install tell me that spring has given rise to a new flurry of energy and the homestead was about to take a giant leap forward. I recognized the style of house as being like those I'd seen in Germany and made instant friends with Mitch as he beamed and talked away about his dream of building a house to last three hundred years instead of thirty, like people seem to do nowadays.
When they first meet, new neighbors need to talk about the sun, the moon, the stars, and anything else they might be able to find in common. In this case it was hunting, always a safe topic in Tennessee. Mitch is a hunter of the most serious kind. He had twenty or so dogs on well maintained runs placed fifty yards from his house. And he had something else...a hog pen with a hog in it.
Not just your average old hog, either. I'm used to seeing pens made of scrap pallets and wire out behind houses in the country. Raising your own hog is a time honored thing to do out here, and lordy the meat tastes so much better than that bland factory pig you get at the grocery store. It's hard to accept that it comes from the same animal. Compared to a country raised pig, the stuff from town "tastes like chicken!" Which is to say, "Don't have no taste!"
But Mitch didn't have any farm animal in his meticulously constructed pen...Instead, there stood the most beautiful European boar I've ever seen, shining black, without a mark on him, and hackles running like a spike waxed mohawk completely down his spine from one end to the other. Another boar was in the pen, too, a rough looking beast, slightly smaller, but with big tushes poking out of his lower jaw indicating well, the business end of a hog.
"Caught that one today," Mitch said. "His nose is still all swollen from the dogs holding on to him. I've got good dogs. You need good dogs when you have to crawl into a briar patch and drag out a hog. You have to know they're going to hang on to him."
"Damn!" I thought, but just smiled at Mitch.
The hog stood calmly and watched us. Beaten, for the moment, but ready to tear his way out of captivity if even a crack of opportunity arises. He never took his eyes off of us until we walked away.
At the end of a hog hunt when dogs are used, there are two ways to get the hog. One man in the hunt group can shoot the animal with a pistol at close range to make sure no dog gets hurt...or you can do like Mitch does...grab the hog and wrestle it into a wire cage with your own hands, a personal communion with a fierce prey that I don't think I will ever myself experience.
Four wheelers dump their garbage on this man's land.
What fools they are!
Spring has brought out the tiniest of wildflowers in the last week. Amongst those flowers is this nice new member of the Rocky Top Brigade:
Here is a perfect example of why we need graven monuments with things like "Thy Shalt not Lie, or Steal" in public places...I am almost positive that if you put up signs like that saying these are commandments from god, or at least some old Jewish guy who claims they are, then no godly person would dare lie or steal...
So guess what?
The most corporate and godly Baptists are being investigated for a couple of commandment violations.
The Baptists are being investigated for:
"Medicaid fraud, obstruction of justice, and money laundering..."
The Attorney General of Mississippi has opened a criminal investigation into the Jackson-based Baptist Health Systems...
"Federal investigators had developed a strong fraud case, and perhaps an even stronger obstruction of justice case, based in part on recorded conversations with top Baptist executives."
Trent Lott had the investigation nixed, though he denies this:
“Senator Lott has had absolutely no contact with any of the parties to this investigation, nor has he asked or authorized any member of his staff to intervene in this matter.”
Well the local FBI agents and Prosecutor say he did! And they turned over their information to the local state Attorney General of Mississippi picked the ball up and ran with it.
"...sources close to the aborted federal investigation told Corporate Crime Reporter this week that while Senator Lott and staff may not have been directly involved with the case, “there are a number of people that the Senator uses in a capacity with no direct connections with him to apply political pressure” and that “the U.S. Attorney’s office, career staff, even possibly the U.S. Attorney himself are upset with the intervention that has occurred.”
Let me shorten that for you...Trent Lott has stooges to do his dirty work...but he's going down anyway!