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Column: Big hat Texan

Posted: July 16, 2018 3:00 p.m.
Updated: July 17, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Most Texans are good people, but you can unfortunately bump into one who has done it quicker, better, faster and had it cost more or less, depending on which answer is appropriate. “It” being any task, project or endeavor. This story is one of comeuppance.

Bill Garnett, a native Pennsylvanian and a Wake Forest grad,  and I had military careers which mirrored each other’s. We did basic at Ft. Bragg, advanced training at Ft. Gordon, stationed at Bragg, and ended up being assigned in the same area in South Vietnam and  like most we drifted apart after coming home.

Through the assistance of social media and with the help of the former Martha McMurdo, the former Suzanne Steed and Lynn Logan Ammons, Bill and I were able to  play a brisk game of “catch up” after 49 years. Two memory triggers for me were that one evening we were indulging in some elbow bending and he said that when you drink whiskey you should not mix the alcohol in fruit drinks. His mother handed him this valid pearl of wisdom and it is good knowledge to pass on down.

The second was that he mirandized that great American traitor, Jane Fonda, when she illegally came on Ft. Bragg. She should still be in jail.

His favorite memory was that I had told him how we caught catfish out of tires. He was somewhat doubtful of this story, so we came to the Wateree where Bob Lynch and I showed him the practice of this science. Bill said that he had told this story hundreds of times, but one had a special significance.

Bill managed in the construction business and on one occasion he was working with a wealthy Texan who had lots of nice toys, could drop names of the rich and famous, and thought that the air was cleaner in his home state. They were sport fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on this Texan’s big boat and the Big Hat  had a captive audience and  was just drilling Bill with his boastful stories.

Bill politely listened to these yarns and after a dozen or so, he asked the gentleman if he was aware of how they easily caught fish in South Carolina. The Texan said he was not, so Bill told him of how we landed a mess of fish simply by wading and yanking. Old Tex could not top that one and went quiet for two hours.

Thank you for your attention.


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