Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Christmas story

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't
Been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. He had no
Decorations, no tree, no lights. It was just another day to him. He didn't
hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. There were no
children in his life. His wife had gone.

He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the
Last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a
homeless man stepped through. Instead of throwing the man out, George, Old
George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the
space heater and warm up.

'Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude,' said the stranger. 'I see
You're busy. I'll just go'

'Not without something hot in your belly,' George turned and opened a
Wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. 'It ain't much, but it's
hot and tasty. Stew. Made it myself. When you're done there's coffee and it
s fresh.'

Just at that moment he heard the 'ding' of the driveway bell. 'Excuse
Me, be right back,' George said.

There in the driveway was an old 53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of
The front. The driver was panicked.

'Mister can you help me!' said the driver with a deep Spanish accent.
'My wife is with child and my car is broken.'

George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold;
the car was dead. 'You ain't going in this thing,' George said as he turned

'But mister. Please help....'The door of the office closed behind George as
he went in. George went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck
and went back outside. He walked around the building and opened the garage,
started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting.

'Here, you can borrow my truck,' he said. 'She ain't the best thing
You ever looked at, but she runs real good.'

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off
Into the night. George turned and walked back inside the office.

'Glad I loaned 'em the truck. Their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has
brand new tires........' George thought he was talking to the stranger, but
the man had gone. The thermos was on the desk, empty with a used coffee cup
beside it.

'Well, at least he got something in his belly,' George thought. George
Went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly,
but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He
Thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no
customers. He discovered the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom
hose on the radiator.

'Well, I can fix this,' he said to himself. So he put a new one on.
'Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either.' He took the
snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn't
going to drive the car.

As he was working he heard a shot being fired. He ran outside and beside a
police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left
shoulder, the officer moaned, 'Help me.' George helped the officer inside as
he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew
the wound needed attention.

'Pressure to stop the bleeding,' he thought. The laundry company had
Been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and
duct tape to bind the wound.

'Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin',' he said, trying to make
The policeman feel at ease. 'Something for pain,' George thought. All he had
was the pills he used for his back. 'These ought to work.' He put some water
in a cup and gave the policeman the pills.

'You hang in there. I'm going to get you an ambulance.' George said, but the
phone was dead. 'Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box
out in your police car.'

He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard
Destroying the two way radio. He went back in to find the policeman
Sitting up.

'Thanks,' said the officer. 'You could have left me there. The guy
That shot me is still in the area.'

George sat down beside him. 'I would never leave an injured man in the Army
and I ain't gonna leave you.' George pulled back the bandage to check for
bleeding. 'Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya.
Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time you're
gonna be right as rain.'

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. 'How do you take it?' he

'None for me,' said the officer.

'Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city.' Then George added: 'Too
bad I ain't got no donuts.'

The officer laughed and winced at the same time. The front door of the
office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun.

'Give me all your cash! Do it now!' the young man yelled. His hand was
shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like
this before.

'That's the guy that shot me!' exclaimed the officer.

'Son, why are you doing this?' asked George. 'You need to put the
cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.'

The young man was confused. 'Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too.
now give me the cash!' The cop was reaching for his gun.

'Put that thing away,' George said to the cop. 'We got one too many in
here now.'

He turned his attention to the young man. 'Son, it's Christmas Eve. If
you need the money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now
put that pee shooter away.'

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man,
reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man
released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry.

'I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for
my wife and son,' he went on. 'I've lost my job. My rent is due. My car
got repossessed last week...'

George handed the gun to the cop. 'Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze
now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best
we can.'

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across
from the cop. 'Sometimes we do stupid things.' George handed the young man a
cup of coffee. 'Being stupid is one of the things that makes us human.Comin'
in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll
sort this thing out.'

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. 'Sorry I
shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer.'

'Shut up and drink your coffee.' the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an
ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns

'Chuck! You ok?' one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

'Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?'

'GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?'
the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, 'I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just
dropped his gun and ran.'

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. 'That guy works
here,' the wounded cop continued.

'Yep,' George said. 'Just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.'

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man
leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, 'Why?'

Chuck just said, 'Merry Christmas, boy. And you too, George, and
thanks for everything.'

'Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to
solve some of your problems.' George went into the back room and came out
with a box. He pulled out a ring box.

'Here you go. Something for the little woman. I don't think Martha
would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.'

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever
saw. 'I can't take this,' said the young man. 'It means something to you.'

'And now it means something to you,' replied George. 'I got my
memories. That's all I need.'

George reached into the box again. A toy airplane, a racing car and a
little metal truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had
left for him to sell. 'Here's something for that little man of yours.'

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man
had handed him earlier. 'And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner
with? You keep that, too. Count it as part of your first week's pay.' George
said. 'Now git home to your family.'

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. 'I'll be here
in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.'

'Nope. I'm closed Christmas day,' George said. 'See ya the day after.'

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. 'Where'd
you come from? I thought you left?'

'I have been here. I have always been here,' said the stranger. 'You
say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?'

'Well, after my wife passed away I just couldn't see what all the
bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree.
Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and
besides I was getting a little chubby.'

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. 'But you do celebrate
the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was
cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a
great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by
terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will become a rich man and
share his wealth with many people.

That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.'

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. 'And how do you
know all this?' asked the old man.

'Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And
when your days are done you will be with Martha again.' The stranger moved
toward the door.

'If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home
where there is a big celebration planned.'

George watched as the man's old leather jacket and his torn pants
turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

'You see, George, it's My birthday. Merry Christmas.'

- Author Unknown

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Old Methodist Church in Alvin, Texas

This is the church I attended as a youth in my home town. It has been several venues since the original congregation built a new church in about 1959.
It has been a fantasy of mine to win the lottery some day and buy this building. It should be restored and used for some purpose, whether it be a church or a theatre.

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fungus on Oak

It may seem weird, but I often find great photos in the most unusual places. This fungus on an oak tree was called to my attention by a friend, so I went out early this morning to catch the morning sunshine as it struck the fungus. I like the effect of the fungus cascading into the light. What do you think?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

State Champ 6 Year old BMX

My niece, Rylie Elkin, is the 6 year old state champion of Girls BMX in Texas!
She is the tall one in the picture.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Our bananas

About every two years, we have a bunch or two of bananas on our banana trees. They don't get very big, and aren't very sweet.

Pics taken at flea market

Today, the wife and I went to a local flea market. Just wandering around I took a few nice shots.

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Ebay link

If you are interested in my Ebay sales items, I have added the new Ebay widget at the bottom of the page. There you can see what I have up for auction. I sell old tools mainly, but anything I find that might be sellable is game. Scroll down through everything else to find it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Another spider

I don't know what kind of spider this one is, but I was captivated watching it build a web. As usual, click on the pic for a larger view.
I took a few more shots of stuff around my sister's house this morning, also.

A few days later , I shot another banana spider.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Santa Fe Depot, Alvin, Texas

September 1, I was dressed up as a railroad engineer participating in my home town's celebration of the 100 year anniversary of our Santa Fe depot.

I displayed some of my railroad wrenches and other railroad antiques. I had fun showing the tools and playing engineer! They wouldn't let me drive the little kiddie train, though!

My wife had just bought me a switchman's lantern three days before and I displayed it proudly.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Banana Spider

These guys make huge webs to catch bugs for lunch. Many people have hurt themselves getting away from or untangled from webs. They don't hurt anyone. (Click picture for larger view)
Golden Silk Spider

Monday, July 16, 2007

Photos from Moody Gardens

My wife and I went to Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas this past Sunday.
Visit the website here
They offer several attractions, including an aquarium, a rainforest pyramid, a discovery pyramid, an Imax theatre, a beach, and a paddlewheel boat trip.
I took a lot of pictures, so I will post some of them here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Photos of fungi

I have been helping a friend relearn photography. We got him a Canon A-1 camera off Ebay and he has taken a few shots, but tells me there is nothing to shoot around his house! I have told him he can get top quality shots of anything, even junk!
My wife pointed out some really nasty looking fungi on some old logs in our back yard, so I went out and grabbed some pics. What do you think?
Double click on the image and you can see a much larger view, but be careful, the images are quite large!

I am adding some pics I took a few weeks ago at and near his house.

Friday, June 08, 2007

My son Patrick's wedding to Jess Hood

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

These photos were taken by me, my grandson Sabastion , and my friend Neal Moorehead. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My son Patrick's wedding

Saturday was the big day for my son Patrick and his wife Jess! They got married!
I will produce a Photoshow of the wedding as soon as I can sort through the hundreds of shots taken by me, my grandson Sabastion, and my buddy Neal Moorehead.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Papawswrench calendar

I recently stumbled on a self-publishing service and my first item to publish is a 2008 calendar with photos of some of my wrenches in my collection. I think you can preview it by clicking the link on the right sidebar.
I won't make much money with these efforts, it is really just "vanity" publishing. I hope to make more calendars and possibly some photo books in the future, as my photo skills revive themselves from years of neglect.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Alvin, Texas Historical Museum

Our museum opened yesterday, May 20, 2007, after many years of work by many volunteers. It has been a long process, but worth all the effort.
“You don’t want to miss the dramatic life-size birch wood carving of Alvin Morgan, his dog and his goose. They went everywhere together,” Brothers said. Alvin is named for the colorful and much-loved Morgan.
as reported in the Brazosport Facts newspaper.

The ribbon Cutting was performed by Gary Appelt, Mayor of Alvin, Miss Cleo Congady, President of the Museum Society, and Tommy Peebles, head of Accessions for the museum.

The Museum is in the old Post Office building in Alvin, Texas.
Here is a photoshow of the opening-