AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Justice.

Greetings sports fans and welcome once again to a long-overdue edition of Vegas Valley Sports Beat that feisty little sports column that has been waging open warfare against social injustice and fighting the police hand-to-hand since 1976. I am all about the interests of criminal justice reform since the first time I was brutalized by police in the Ventura County jail and later by members of the Oxnard police department. So much has happened since my last column I almost don’t know where to begin.

Almost. 

Starting with the Coronavirus, or what some people have even called the Kung Flu Snafu, I thought I was safe and secure in my job when everyone was locked down at home under quarantine. The “experts” said we should find jobs we can do at home. I already had a great job I did at home so imagine my surprise when less than two weeks into the quarantine I got a layoff notice from my editor at do-it-yourself. com saying that all of the expert reviewers on the staff were being laid off until further notice. So far that notice has yet to come.

But I digress. 

I began fighting the police when I was arrested in Ventura after I took some friends to the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor and one of them toilet papered the bathroom. I had nothing to do with that yet I was arrested and ended up being beaten because I spoke out against the injustice of it. I had done nothing wrong I was there but I did not participate in any way in TP’ing the bathroom and only learned of it being done after the fact. Forget the fact that the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor sold a pitcher of beer to me and I was only 18 the police were unconcerned about that. They said so.

But as for me. for having the audacity to fight back against them after I was assaulted in the county jail I was hogtied and left in the middle of the floor that way all night long. And yes they took their licks out on me before they left.

The second time it happened was in Oxnard California, which is still in Ventura County. I was standing on a block wall outside of my own home watching a trash can burning right behind the fire stationhouse across the street when the cops pulled up demanding identification, etc. My best friend whose parents manage the trailer park we lived in was with me and to top it all off he and I and were the assistant managers of the trailer park and lived in a house as a perk of the job.

We complied and put our hands on the wall one of the officers hit me in the back of the head with his flashlight. After that, it was on. I refused to cooperate with the officer in any way and he arrested me for it. He then put me in the back of the car with the windows rolled up and when I started raising hell he opened the door and sprayed me in the eyes with mace then he closed the door. 

There’s nothing worse than being in a closed cop car after you have been maced because you can’t breathe. I kicked a side window out without hesitation so they beat the hell out of me and put me in another undamaged cop car, hogtied like before. Because I’m the criminal remember? I was on my property minding my own business not breaking the law so naturally, it was okay to hit me in the back of the head with a huge flashlight for complying with his orders because that’s what the citizens of Ventura County want are police officers who are not afraid to beat the shit out of them if they should feel it’s necessary.

If we are to go back to the first time I was falsely accused and convicted you would have to go back to 1977 when I was 13 years old. I was in trouble for taking my mother’s VW bug for a joyride. No big deal right? At least it wasn’t until my stepfather told the Judge whom he knew from way back, by the way, that he was afraid for his life that I was going to kill him when in fact it was the other way around. Part of that is documented in my story Night of the Hillbilly Hitmen which is posted on my website at bbwolfebooks.wordpress.com

He paid two people he supervised on a Yell County road crew two cases of cheap, warm beer to come to our house and kill us. And got away with it too. Since he was raised in Yell County and I was not the judge took his word for it and made me a ward of the state of Arkansas. They lied and told me it’d be a sort of vacation and they took me away from my home for 8 months until I was paroled by the state at the age of 14. I was the only kid in my high school that had a parole officer so I was way ahead of the curve in 1977.

Since that time I have been exposed to the disgusting truth about the sordid side of law enforcement that no one ever talks about. Why don’t they talk about it you might ask? Because you cannot fight the police. If you get on their bad side they will stop you every chance they get and harass you until the end of time. Everyone knows that is the truth so let’s not even pretend it’s not real.

Let’s talk about that thin blue line the police have drawn between them and us. They’ve seemingly boiled the vast number of unique diversities found in humanity down to where it’s simply us and them, or cops and robbers if you prefer. You’re either a cop in their world or you’re a robber. 

Three times in my lifetime I have been falsely convicted of crimes I did not commit and can prove that I did not commit them. But that doesn’t matter to the court to them I’m just a number with a dollar sign in front of it. Incarceration is big business and business is good.

The first time I was falsely convicted was in Greenburgh New York in Westchester County in 1994. My boss tried to pull a gun on me in the Coca-Cola Bottling plant in Greenberg. He didn’t know that I had a gun on me because our General Foreman, who was also Mexican like myself, stopped me out behind the bottling plant in Philadelphia just before this happened and told me to beware of the owner because he is an asshole. I was told that the owner carried a .32 automatic pistol in his pocket. All I did was ask for the money he had told me I could have from my coming paycheck so I could get home to Virginia after he fired me. I was fine with being fired but not with the idea that I might not make it home. I asked him nicely and politely for the rest of the money he promised and he started getting abusive and began calling me names in the plant’s breakroom in front of everyone. How many of those sorry bastards stood there watching this going down and said nothing? Every last one of them.

 When the man put his hand in his pocket I knew he was not going to hand me the keys to his car, or his wallet, he was going for a gun and I let him know I was armed by pulling back my coat and that’s when I became the bad guy. I was arrested and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. At the very same time, perhaps a week later, Christian Slater, a world-famous white TV actor was busted inside the terminal at JFK airport carrying a concealed and loaded pistol. He got a slap on the wrist and that was the end of it for him. My nightmare was just beginning behind the same charge. After George Pataki, the new governor cut the public defenders budget in half directly across the board meaning their paychecks we’re half of what they used to be the day before the public defender’s office bailed out on all of us and would no longer even answer the phone from the jail like they did the day before.

The judge in Greenburgh Court told me if I took the case to trial and lost which he assured me I would before I had even pleaded he said he was going to give me 15 years. He said that was an unlawful sentence but I could take it up with the Appellate Court in 5 to 7 years because they were quote-unquote rather busy. The Appellate Court was busy undoing 96 to 98% of Westchester County’s convictions that is why they were so busy. Criminal judges like that one. Criminal judges like that one. How do you predetermine the outcome of a trial that has not even had a preliminary hearing yet? The American prosecutor has a favorite saying in that they can indict a ham sandwich. How do you predetermine the outcome of a trial that has not even been set? That’s easy you sit on the bench in Westchester County and pretend to be a judge that’s how. 

Not long before the most brutal night of my life, I was in courts holding there in Valhalla the Westchester County Jail when an officer got lippy with me and I told him to kiss my ass in so many words. He got in my face and started running his mouth but I stood my ground. he got right up in my face and then he suddenly threw his hand up, right past my face and then he smoothed his hair back. When I flinched, because I thought from my past experiences in the county jail in Ventura, California that he was going to hit me too, a bunch of his buddies, who had quietly eased up behind me, jumped me and choked me out. Before I even knew what had happened I was waking up on the floor with cops all over my back. Many people, both cops and robbers alike, witnessed that incident and it was recorded on videotape by the jail’s cameras. 

They also witnessed when I woke up and cursed that-of-a-bitch out and his supervisor too. The supervisor even admitted that what the cop did was wrong but they still did it for him and they still covered it up just the same. They choked me out cold for no reason except to perhaps show us all there in courts holding that they could.

Fast forward some days, to a night when I was on the phone talking to my girlfriend in Virginia. I was in the day Hall on 3 East, the maximum-security wing, when the always-locked steel door opened and four inmates from the other side of the wing, inmates who were supposed to be locked down in their cells at that time, came into the day hall and jumped me without preamble. When they were done they were let out of the day hall by the black cop who had paid them a carton of cigarettes and a Bic lighter to do it. 

It happened just before shift change and graveyard came on duty. He tried to lock me in my cell so he could go home because he knew if that happened it would all be forgotten about. In the morning it would be as though it never even happened, and I was not going to let that happen. I spit a mouthful of blood from my split lips all over his pretty blue shirt and in seconds two cops came after me then to take me to the infirmary one of them being a sergeant two cops came after me then to take me to the infirmary one of them being a sergeant I knew and respected up until that point. I had done nothing wrong but I still had a broken rib because of it. Because. Because of a racist black cop. The only thing I can figure is that he hated me for the color of my Mexican/Indian skin which is white. I cannot think of any other reason for what he did that night and for what happened to me because I never said or did anything wrong to him to deserve the beatings I got that night. I got beatings from more police officers than I could count because I dared to fight back. I was begging them to put my handcuffs around in the front because the muscles were pulling on my broken rib and I could barely breathe it hurt so bad every time I drew a breath.

In the infirmary, another black cop who was like 6′ 6 inches tall looked at me and said well maybe if you would ask nicely I would do that.” I had literally been begging them, and him just moments before so I guess that must have been his idea of a joke. Some sense of humor. When I said fuck this and tried to rip my hands out of the handcuffs the nurse told them I was scaring her and told them to put me in a holding cell. My angel of mercy threw me to the wolves because I was the robber in that charade and they were the cops. Herself included.

Sergeant Hitman and another officer escorted me to the holding cell and when we got there the officer, who was on my left with his arm linked through mine, slammed me face-first into the door jamb. Since I had the same grip on his arm he had on mine I slammed his punk ass into the brick wall face first. He grabbed me by the back of the neck then and shoved my head down then he started telling me how much trouble I was in now. That’s when I noticed his foot was right there between my feet. Before he knew what hit him I had crushed the top of his foot with my heel. A move my Sensei told me will cripple the opponent if done forcefully enough. I made certain it was sufficient to do just that. The next and last time I saw or heard about that pig, he was on crutches. What happened to me after that, is mostly a blur because I was beaten repeatedly by the SORT team. They called themselves the Ninja Turtles because of the helmets, boots, body armor suits they wore.

Why did they jump in on the act and beat me too? Duh, because when I fought back I became the crazed robber in their narrow world view. I was kicking the living fuck out of the windows in my cell screaming for justice and it came in body armor and fucked me up.

 I was in the hospital for a week from those beatings, and all because of the absence of color in my skin. I had a broken rib and my foot was broken very badly from kicking windows. Twice during that night, they played the suffocation game where two cops kneeled on my back one on each side and another cop had his knee on my neck. Part of the game as we heard George Floyd say is trying to tell them you can’t breathe. Their typical response that night was; “if you can’t breathe then how are you talking? If you’re talking, you’re breathing.” 

The truth of the matter from the other side of that perspective is that you are begging for air with your dying breath. I could hear it in Goerge Floyd’s voice. That breathless gasp for air and mercy. I called out for my mother when they were beating me down in Valhalla and nobody heard a thing.  

To make it even more unjust, a black prisoner in New York City was beaten much the same as I was except they took a plunger handle and stuck it in his rectum. He got a media blitz and millions of dollars in a lawsuit settlement which is right and just and may God bless his every step, but I got Bupkis. That’s not to even infer that it was any fault of that victim as was not the case. What is the case is the fact that 

 Did I go out upon my release and start burning upon my release and start burning New York City to the ground as I should have? Of course not. Brutalizing the innocent is the job of the police department.

Is it that we’re not bad enough just when we were poised to reopen America again a cop named Chauvin and killed a black man named George Floyd in Minneapolis Minnesota. Chauvin held his knee down on Mr. Floyd’s neck until he was dead. What bothered me the most was the dead look in Chauvin’s eyes as he looked away while George Floyd begged for his life saying I can’t breathe. at one point we could hear him cry out for his mother just before he passes away. I have been there and I have had that done to me more than once. The police like to kneel on your back and your neck and if you say you can’t breathe they say “if you can’t breathe then how are you talking? 

That question is easy to answer once you’ve been there. With your dying breath, you will always beg for your life.

For 8 minutes the suffocation game went on until George Floyd finally stopped moving and the breath of life left him. It breaks my heart just to see his face as he was in life now because I watched him get executed. No way was I going to look away I watched him die because the only difference between George and me is they let me live.

I got another raw serving of the American injustice system years later in Colorado when my ex-wife set me up and put me in prison deliberately. She even told my friends in Las Vegas she was going to take me back to Colorado and put me in prison and she did just that with the help of a malicious prosecutor. 

So there I am in the Weld County jail in Greeley, Colorado waiting for my day in court because there was no way in hell the state could convince a jury I was guilty, and the next thing I know I’m strapped to a restraint chair in shackles and chains, getting punched in the chest by the jail manager. A giant of a man who was twice my size. By the time the dust settled a single second-degree assault charge had become 17 and 16 of those were against peace officers. 

My public defender, a beautiful and very sharp black lady came to the jail to see me one day and I was chained to the floor in four-point restraints. 

Why? Because I dared to fight them back and I would not stop. She told me I was already looking at over 200 years didn’t I think that was enough? I said after the first 100 years who gives a fuck? I told her to see what the DA was offering for a plea deal and she came back at me with 10-16 but I not only had to cop to brushing a cops ankle with the side of my foot after the jail manager punched me, I had to stand up in court and lie for the first time to a judge. I had to tell him that I assaulted my wife to obtain the deal. It was that or try to fight an airtight case on their part because they had predetermined my guilt and there was no way I could prove otherwise as long as it was my word against theirs.

Somehow it never struck the DA as odd that my wife made 3 different statements on the same police report of the alleged incident and none of them are more than partially true. I can’t figure out to this day how they extrapolated the criminal complaint against me from three different versions but they sure did. I guess that worked the same way it did when they convicted one guy of murder in Fort Collins, or when they convicted my Kola, Michael Standing Bear of murder and he proved he was innocent while in prison for life. He was reinstated to the Bar immediately BTW. Yes, folks, they even eat their own, if, the price is right.

I spent 10 years in solitary confinement and almost went back for 2 more years when a Lieutenant at Sterling Correctional facility assaulted me because I went to the office and asked him to move me to a different cell since I was having a lot of problems with my cellie and it was likely to get nasty. I didn’t want to catch a new charge and get more time on top of the 14 years I already had. When he put his hands on me and shoved me into a door facing while he was taking me to the hole bet your ass I went after him and I tried to hurt him too. They gave me a sham of a hearing whose outcome was pre-determined I was convicted of assaulting the pig. I was upstairs in the segregation unit (again) right at Christmas time waiting to go back to CSP to super-max and solitary confinement when I got a reprieve from Kevin Milyard the Deputy Director of CDOC who said I might be incorrigible but I did not deserve to go back to CSP. He saw the same videotape they convicted me with. It showed the lieutenant shoving me into the door jamb. Another one of the many reindeer games they like to play.

A mangy stray dog should never be treated the way I have by the police and yet here we are in the 21st century still being brutalized by the people we pay to protect and serve us. Because we are not one of them they serve their interests or those of whoever holds the purse strings.

Far too many innocent people are being killed even now in the name of justice for George Floyd and that serves only the agendas of those who carry out those murders and that means the looters, the rioters, and the Chauvin’s of the world, or the dirty cops. The pigs who stood there and watched should be charged with felony murder but the one who was kneeling on George’s back should also be charged with the same crimes as Chauvin.

For the first 6 years I was in CSP I was at war with the pigs there because having all those assaults on police officers made me look pretty bad. I told them we were at war and that it would be my only mission in life to think up new and creative ways to fuck with them every minute of every day until the first thing they thought of when the woke up in the morning was that they had to go to work and deal with me all day long. After a few months of that, the Captain came to talk peace and we made a deal which I upheld. I got my TV and phone calls back and never lost them again.

Even as recently as 2017 I suffered injuries while I was in jail at the hands of my keepers when a deputy in the Nye County jail drug me backward down a hallway by my handcuffs because one of his buddies didn’t feel compelled to do his job of picking up legal mail. He said he was too busy. All of the reconstructive surgery my doctor did to repair my right rotator cuff was torn all to hell but does our Sheriff care? Nope. She was too busy prosecuting a young kid for stealing 10 cents worth of dry brownie mix from the kitchen. Food his taxes and his parent’s taxes paid for. They have no problem with feeding your friends and family members shit for food but don’t take a handful of dry cake mix or you’ll get convicted of theft.

So now here we are, George Floyd is dead, the entire world has gone insane, people are arming themselves for Civil War part 2 – Gone With Their Minds, cities are in ruins and flames, and people want answers and they want them now. 

Myself especially. I want answers and I want them now. I want answers int he form of questions such as how do we keep another Goerge Floyd from being murdered in the streets like a cur dog? I don’t give a fuck what he was doing or what he was high on that was a case of the use of excessive force with complete indifference to the value of all human life. They did it to George Floyd because they did it to me first and they got away with it. Scott free and squeaky clean they got away with it and nobody ever heard about it because it happened in Westchester County. The home of the Clinton’s and the Rockefellers, and the wolves of Wall Street in general. The rich folks don’t want anyone to sue their county and take money out of their pockets so it’s next to impossible to get a conviction or judgment against them in court but I did accomplish that much anyway if little else.

f anybody has reason to burn New York to the ground it’s me. Or Colorado, or Nevada, or California, or Arkansas too for that matter. And don’t think for even one second that those thoughts didn’t enter my mind during those many long, lonely nights that I lay on my steel bunk staring at the walls or the ceiling think about how unfair it all is and knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it but sit there and take it like a man as they say. I did just that and a whole lot more though. As soon as I went to jail I decided that I was not going to be the same person when I got out again. I began writing and studying the craft of writing and I wrote 7 novels before I decided to sleep for the next 5 years.

And now here we are. I am very hopeful, and happy as well to know that for the first time in my life that we will see a lot of positive changes in the criminal justice system including some sweeping reforms inside the walls.

First and foremost, we must acknowledge the First Step and Second Chance Acts that make parole in the Feds available for the first time in 245 years. They will ensure that when your son or daughter, or other loved ones get out of prison they will not have to go back to a life of cops and robbers where they have no hope for any kind of a future. There will be people outside the walls waiting for them to get out. People who have opportunities and apprenticeships, scholarships, and trade partnerships with small businesses and colleges throughout the United States. For the first time in history paying one’s debt to society will mean something to the debtors. Finally, a person convicted of a felony has a chance to have a level playing field straight 

I know that we have been greatly blessed to have Donald J. Trump serving our great nation at this point in history and I know that whatever else you might say about the President he does love his constituents regardless of race, creed, or color. because I worked with the Nolan Center and 2nd Chances to get the laws passed just as they are so that no child is left behind like Hillary’s kids were when Obama left office.

Before I got out of prison I received a letter from a gentleman who was stating an advocacy group for prisoners and he wanted me to work with them but I wrote back I didn’t know where I was going or what the future held for me really but that I would continue to fight for the rights of convicted felons to regain our freedom through effort and positive changes in our own lives and the lives of those around us. It made my heart soar like an eagle when I saw that gentleman honored at the commencement ceremonies for the first graduating 2nd Chances class in Las Vegas not very long ago.

There is no doubt whatsoever that if the Democrats had won the White House in 2016 the United Staes would probably have ceased to exist as a free nation by now. If they have their way it will do so anyway. 

Everything else they tried failed so now we come to their end game. Insurrection.

Clearly, upon examination of the evidence, there is more to the murder of George Floyd than meets the eye and I have a few questions I’d like answers to. I am certain many of you do as well.

Many people have been talking about the evils of systemic racism. Systems cannot be directly or overtly racist and still employ multiple ethnicities of people from every conceivable culture on the planet as law enforcement does. Sooner or later someone with a conscience is going to blow the lid off of it and expose it to the world. And so far, nobody has. The matter as I said is one of indifference and even utter contempt on both sides of the issue. 

The police brought this mess down on themselves and now they’re reaping what they sewed. Every time a cop or someone in their employ saw a cop abuse a prisoner, or a supposedly innocent until proven guilty suspect on the street and said nothing about it they planted a seed. Every time a cop watched or took part in violence against inmates and said nothing they planted another poisonous tree and they took root. So, here we are and the trees have begun bearing their poisonous fruit. Now what? 

To hear the left-wing tell it the only answer to one bad cop we know about is to defund the police. That is insanity writ large at best. That’s worse than throwing a car away because it ran out of gas or burning your house down because the plumbing is leaking.

Two very appropriate analogies because the BLM and Antifa mobs want to burn it all down.

Okay, let’s say you burn it all down then what? Nature abhors a vacuum more than most dogs do a vacuum cleaner and we can see that as groups of armed citizens claim they are taking jurisdiction over the lives of American citizens who did not vote for any of them or asked them to police their neighborhoods. These groups are nothing but strong-arm protection racketeers who will most assuredly not be concerned with the civil rights of any individual that is not one of them. 

So, then here we are right back where we started from only now it’s far worse than any nightmare George Orwell ever had because the police don’t rape, rob, pillage, loot, burn, and kill people. One might argue against that being true but it has never been done on such a grand scale as what we have all witnessed since George Floyd died 2 weeks ago. 

I have asked this question before and I have to ask it again now. If you don’t care who you destroy, or kill in the interests and name of Justice, what the hell do you care if the police do it too?

Is it the competition you cannot stand? The hypocrisy of it all is no doubt lost on the mob, and the politicians who love them, but nobody else is buying it even for a second. This tiny faction which represents a minute percentage of Americans has somehow gotten it into their heads that the United States is a Democracy. Gee, I wonder who could have given them that idea. Democrat Party.

They have been shouting this is how democracy works in our streets and prove how much better it is when democracy tears down your business you worked your entire life to build and burns it to ashes at your feet rather than protecting you from it and the evil police who used to keep those businesses from being looted and burned. If you don’t bow down and kiss heir asses you’re a racist.

Nobody in this country has any business talking about racism to a Mexican Indian such as myself because before all of you other people showed up behind Columbus we owned this land from sea to shining sea and it was pristine. 

Now it’s far from being pristine, and not only is it burning but it’s on the verge of being lost forever to self-interest groups that claim to be about justice. Bullshit. The plain truth of the matter is that they want to bring the United States down so they can rape, rob, burn, and kill whenever, wherever, whatever, and whomever they please.

In what screwball world does that serve the interests of justice? Anybody who says it does is either a liar or they’re clinically insane. Call me whatever you like I don’t base my self-esteem upon anyone’s estimate but my own and I know God only made one race. The human race so arguably yes, you could say I am racist in the sense that I hate what is going on because it hurts everyone but the Democrats. They have plenty of money for armed guards, security cameras, alarms, walls, and to buy dirty cops off with so they could not care less if you burn one of their properties because they have insurance. Guess who the insurance companies are going to pass all of these billions of dollars in losses on to? You, the ordinary policyholder that has to have a car and a home and they have to be insured by law, are going to pay back every last penny of it. 

Brilliant move.

Now that parents of all colors are searching through looted grocery stores that are not likely to be rebuilt, where do these revolutionary geniuses plan on getting diapers, and milk, and formula? Or medicine if their babies get sick? From the nation of Chaz? Once the weed and stolen Oreo’s run out Caz will dry up and blow away like so much smoke which is what it is. A diversion. A provocation to attempt to get gun owners up in arms and prove to the world the Democrat Party is the only thing that can fix the world now. 

I have news for all parties concerned. The Democrats have had all this time to do it and now they say they are the cure? Bullshit. They’re the disease. Half of my family was in Mexico and the other half was locked on a reservation courtesy of your local Democrat Party when the Civil War started so don’t look at us Kimosabe. We didn’t start the fire.

The first step to resolving this issue and it is unquestionably the biggest issue we shall ever face as a nation again has to be creating a level playing field. That means qualified immunity must be taken from the police immediately. Nobody needs any officer’s personal information such as address and so forth because as Pat Lynch, New York City’s PBA president pointed out the other day in a speech to law enforcement and to whom it may have concerned, the inmates do share that information and extortion is not as uncommon from prison as you might care to know.

Oversight, transparency, and accountability will go a long way toward healing the deep wounds that have been inflicted upon society by the cowardly actions of a small percentage of the law enforcement community. 

What makes it so much worse and prevalent in society to this day is the fact that it is a badge of dishonor to tell on a fellow police officer for breaking the law. Good, honest cops stand to lose their shields if they tell on a “brother officer,” and that has to stop immediately or there will never be any basis for trust between the police and the communities at whose pleasure they serve. 

Since the looters burned a lot of cop cars I think it would be a great idea to increase neighborhood foot patrols for a plethora of reasons. The first being closer community involvement by the patrolmen and safer streets for the children to play on. 

The cops need to see that we are not all bad guys and understand that they are not all good guys either. But we can strive together to be better neighbors and better stewards of this nation. That same idea has been handed down to us through the hands of so many generations of Americans of the most diverse and amazing people from all corners of the Earth. I submit that nowhere else in history has such a thing been seen before nor will the Earth ever see anything like it again. And the inescapable truth of it is that it would be replaced by the worst kind of evil if it is torn down as the liberals and socialists want it to be. No democracy in the history of mankind has ended with a nation unenslaved and intact. No democracy is going to take over the United States government. Not by hook, crook, or vox populi. The rights of the individual proceed before the rights of the many or there are no rights at all and from me to all of you who seek to dismantle the Republic yet again you can kiss my ass.

I have very few civil rights left but with those few remaining rights, I can fight for and defend the rights of others who cannot do so for themselves. People who have no voice like my oldest best friend who is in prison. He tells me about the rotten soy burger they feed them after it’s been sitting and marinating in blood for days at a time. He says it’s nasty as fuck. Another old friend in prison in another state tells me about the indifference DOC had toward him when they almost let him die.

 In most instances, I have to look at things objectively both as an Inspector, and a Journalist, and consider it in the context of what if that was being done to me or mine and act according to the will of God whom I serve and nobody else in the capacity of a Chaplain. But the problem that George Floyd put a name and a face to for everyone offends my soul to the core. It always has just as it always will because my father and his father taught me to love and respect the law, if not the man.

I did exactly what I set my mind to do when I went to prison under false pretenses for the second time. I changed my life around completely but I was never a party animal I am a homebody I don’t go out and hit the clubs or rave all night it’s just not my style. I have continued to fight the good fight for criminal justice reform across the board. I retired from my trade and became a Special Inspector after 13 years of incarceration and 10 days of studying for the exams. Prison did not define, me or my future. I did. Nobody handed me a second chance I earned it on my own and I helped get the First Step and 2nd Chance initiatives made law. Now I can sing I fought the law and I won and I fought them on their playing field. I wear a gold shield on my belt visible at all times. To remind me of all that I’ve come through and worked so hard for and remind me of what I have achieved personally in the face of extreme adversity. I love the law and the justice for which it stands. Just because it’s too late to save myself from that pain and humiliation for the sake of those people who otherwise have nobody to fight for them. Duty, honor, and above all else integrity is what my badge means to me. It means everything to me and like me it’s one-of-a-kind.

It’s now a Federal standard all states have to adhere to and there will be more very soon as people begin to come together to heal the wounds we have all suffered from the actions of a few bad apples on both sides of the issue. To me, that is cause for a national celebration, not a reason to burn the place down. Duh. 

But the tabloid press, or mainstream media as some call them, have their private agendas so a lot of the news about criminal justice reforms taking place now under the watch of the president fall by the wayside because Rachel Maddow is having a prime time hissy fit over how damning some fake documents that don’t even exist are proof that America needs to fire Trump, while Steven Colbert – MSM sellout extraordinaire is describing how the universe will go crashing into some ultra-cosmic space ditch and explode if President Trump is not drawn quartered, and burned at the stake before his 15 minutes of fame dries up and blows away like all good smoke and mirror shows do. If not sooner. 

This is the bottom line. 

The United States police force as we know it was designed that it should always be of the people, by the people, and for the people. If I am not my brother’s keeper, what manner of person is? In poor communities and neighborhoods where there are bad cops send your best young men and women to the police academy. Help them achieve their goals and give back to the community they know and the people they love. Everything we have, everything we profess to be as a nation, every right and privilege any individual claims in this Republic is based on the rule of law in a document called the Constitution and in the Bill of Rights. There is no gray area, period. Every person is presumed to know the law and is therefore duty-bound to uphold it which loosely translated means obey it.

 If any individual shall give up those rights through whatever willful criminal actions, violence against the innocent, advocate or participate insurrection, or take up arms against the United States (which BTW is “us as in we, the people”) then you’ve chucked up Farley and that brings up your only remaining civil right at that point. 

You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney and to have one present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you at no cost to you. Do you understand? 

The good news is that if and/or when they do get out of federal and/or state prison they’ll have a fresh new start to look forward to thanks to the President’s First Step and Second Chance initiatives won’t they?

#DefendThePolice – Because all lives matter.

Montreal Impact Shut Out The Lights 2-0 In D-Lightful Sold out Home Debut

SportsVegas Valley Sports Beat

 February 11, 2018Charles Ramos JrCashman Fieldlas vegasLas Vegas Lights FCMLSMontreal ImpactnewssoccerUSL

Las Vegas, Nevada- Greetings sports fans and welcome to your hometown Las Vegas Lights FC’s historic home debut. Tonight, here at Cashman Field, the Montreal Impact along with a sellout crowd of 10,387 happy fans have come out to welcome the fledgling Las Vegas Lights FC to the world soccer arena in what is sure to be a delightful home opener.

Having arrived early I’m one of the first to enter the arena and have the distinctive honor of throwing out the first cold one. Dilly Dilly! I then betook myself of an inspection tour of the facility and was very pleased by what I saw.

The overall cleanliness, and the friendly, helpful courtesy of the entire staff who were really on the ball and ready when the gates opened shortly before 8pm was rather impressive. From the parking lot to the press box all was in apple pie order.

Visitors to Cashman Field will have to be be delighted by the ease of access, and ample parking.  The delightful variety of snacks available and being always close by your seat will surely be a crowd pleaser as well.

As the gates open and soccer fans who have come from all over the world to witness this historic match make their way into the stadium the air is ahum with a magical vibe that comes from 10,387 happy people gathered together to have fun and watch a good ball game.

If you’re not here perhaps you should be asking yourself; why is this, and how can I make it up to myself and my loved ones?

Las Vegas is a festival of twinkling lights in the background as both teams take to the field amidst thunderous music and applause. Drummers are in the stands beating out riffs in front of the DJ who’s bumpin’ it. The American and Canadian flags, along with many colorful pennants, banners and fliers are flying in the chill evening breeze as Oh Canada plays over the PA. Not one knee is bent, no man bows down here. The Star Spangled Banner got a standing ovation as well. Nuff said.

The game was fun to watch even if the Lights didn’t win tonight and feel I can safely speak for at least 10,386 of my witnesses that futbol is here to stay Las Vegas.

Goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino did a good job of keeping Montreal from impacting the net behind him for the first 63 minutes of play before Michael Salazar managed to get one past him. 2:42 later Ferrino would score one for Montreal when he bounces off a defender and hits the net behind him.

His game ended moments later when two players got him out of position and set him up for an inside shot at an empty net. Ferrino grabbed one assailants arm and swung him around off the shot. He saved the goal at the cost of the Lights’ first red card.

No question the Impact are a good team and they came to welcome the Lights to the world soccer stage much as one might expect they would. These men are competitors and rivals on this field and nobody wants to lose. But one must lose.

Much was said in the following press conference about how, and why,  much was said about who did what wrong. Owner Brett Lashbrook stated after the game that ” for a team that’s never won a single game to draw 10,387 fans is”…. more to the point. The Lights were by no means bullied around by the older boys from the MLS.

Mr. Lashbrook expressed to me personally it was too bad the game didn’t fall their way to which I could only say you can’t win them all. The key factor here however you might choose to look at it is that no champion wins unblooded.

In spite of some tactical errors that can be looked over as the exuberance of young athletes competeing for a place on the word socccer stage the Lights played their heaarts out for the crowd and the crowd knew it. I am very excited as we head into the first regular home game on the schedule with Fresno FC Saturday March 24th at 8pm

http://www.lasvegaslightsfc.com/usl-team-schedule

Tonight was a coming out party and it’s clear that, just as he anticipated when he brought the Lights to Las Vegas they would be welcomed with open arms. When you’re right you’re right. Last night Cashman Field saw the magic that is called lightning in a bottle and Las Vegas has caught it in the Lights.

Quote owner; “VIVA LIGHTS!!

http://www.lasvegaslightsfc.com/

IMG_20180210_200721
IMG_20180210_223547.jpg

greetings sports fans

And welcome to the first ever self-published edition of Vegas Valley Sports Beat; that feisty little column that simply doesn’t know when to quit which is why we are open to suggestions until 9 A.M PST this morning.

It’s a cold but beautiful Sunday morning here in the Las Vegas Valley region. Unfortunately, it is the first day of Daylight Savings time so if you haven’t already; do be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour today. Which of course means it’s too late to suggest reasons for me quitting this lonely endeavor.

Moving on then I would like to say good Sunday morning to you Las Vegas and to all of my family and friends all over the world and welcome all of my visitors to this my newly refurbished website. I am the curator of B.B. Wolfe Publishing, or Crypt O’Keeper if you wish. Some of you might know me as Typo Marx from other social venues.

What is in a name? That which we call a rose would smell as sweet by any other name. Inversely a horse’s behind is a horse’s rear end by any name, and I can assure you they all pretty much smell the same too. So don’t expect me to be anything but the same me as I am anywhere else. Call it what you will but I gotta be me and that’s that. At least I’m consistent.

B.B. Wolfe Publishing is a start-up publishing house that represents the fruition of a long-standing dream to do just this. To not only manage the publishing of my own work, which is quite voluminous as you will see in the coming days as I continue to transfer my previously published articles, poems, and reviews to this site. Where I intend to make them available to visitors in the site’s archives, but to promote my original unpublished works, and those of my extensive social family here as well.

I am frequently asked about my experience as a writer and the short version is I fell in love with storytelling in the 4th grade when I was assigned to write a short story for a grade. I wrote a story called, “The Rubber Band” which was a fictionalized story about how I was just walking along one day minding my own affairs and fell into a hole. Someone had dug it in an empty field and then covered it up again to hide the millions of dollars in cash they had hidden there.

Being no fool I, of course, took every last penny of it to my bank. Yes, I did have an account then at Commercial And Farmers which I believe is called Bank Of America now? Anyhoo, being a wise investor of 9 years and already a seasoned entrepreneur for two years I was nobody’s fool when it came to money matters. Or so I thought.

I began my first door to door lawn care business in Kennewick, Washington in the Fall of 1971 when I was in the 2nd grade. I went around the neighborhood, door to door to door with my Grandma Butler’s rake and raking leaves during the fall for fifty cents a yard. The leaves in question being sometimes as big as a dinner plate and the average yard being ankle deep in maple leaves it was never hard to find a yard to rake.

I’d go up to the door and if someone answered I’d say rake your yard for fifty cents Lady? Or sir, as the case were. I got extra for bagging the piles. The first day I did that I went to the market with a grip of change from raking 3 front yards and I couldn’t decide what to get myself as a reward because I could buy anything I wanted.

I left the store with nothing but I certainly did learn the value of a hard-earned day’s wages and the pride of knowing that when I went back in the store again and bought myself a thing of Jiffy Pop Popcorn; took it home to my Grandparents house and popped it on the gas stove just like on TV that I had earned it. I didn’t like popcorn so much as I always wanted to pop one off of the stove just to watch it in person. I’m fairly sure I never got another one on purpose, at least not for myself.

I raked leaves until the leaves were mostly gone. Needless to say, I cleaned up. By 5th grade, I would have parleyed my weekly allowance into a lucrative door to door lawn mowing service in Oxnard, California. My father gave us boys $0.50 which would buy like 3 comic books a week in 1972 maybe 4 if you were lucky.  Or it might buy you two ice cream sandwiches, two packages of Wacky Packages stickers, or a handful of candy.

Or, I could take my Dad’s gas can up to the ARCO gas station next to the Stop & Go market where said treasure lie and get fifty cents worth of gas. I took it back home and then pushed my father’s lawnmower down the street offering to mow lawns door to door for $1.00 a yard. Needless to say, I had my choice of the best and the latest in comic books and read everything from Richie Rich to Scrooge McDuck, Archie and Friends was always a favorite, as was anything from Marvel save for Batman whom I never really got into in print. I was a faithful fan of the TV series though. You can bat your assets on that. The Hulk in print or on TV especially because Bill Bixby has been a favorite actor of mine since when I watched The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father while it was still on. I’m still a little upset about it being canceled so abruptly but what can you do?

As for Wacky Packages stickers, when we moved out of that house on Yucca Street my closet’s sliding doors were covered with them, and they’re probably still there. Needless to say business was good, and again I cleaned up. But it cost an extra dollar and you had to provide your own garbage bags as always. Company policy.

I learned that I had an affinity for storytelling when, while I was also in the 4th grade I lost a very expensive pair of gold-framed prescription glasses on my way home from school one day. My mother refused to believe that I had lost them, or a word of the truth which was that I had looked high and low between my classroom and home and had even walked over and over the big field behind Larsen Elementary where I’d last seen them. I even checked on top of my head numerous times having been made a fool of that way before. They were gone. Period.

But try to tell my mother that. She hounded me well into the night, interrogating me incessantly and I was in bed at the time. The hell of it was that she was in her own bed too. I finally told her a big fat story about how I had accidentally broken them and freaked out because they were twisted out of commission permanently so I took them up to the empty field across from the Stop & Go market and buried them somewhere in the field but I couldn’t remember where exactly.

She actually insisted that I go and look for them. And believe me, I did too. So I wasn’t lying when I reported this to her afterward. I looked but alas I could not find them no matter how many times I looked.

And this was the basis of my first short story “The Rubber Band.”

So then being stinking rich from the booty I fell on that day and having the Princely sum of $30,000,014.35 counting the $14.35 I already had in my white Commercial And Farmers, savings passbook; I did what any smart kid would do. I went to the marina where I also happened to spend a goodly portion of the youth I wasted in real-time and bought myself a respectably sized fishing boat of my own. Now I would no longer have to fish off the docks at the marina, while everyone else went out on the big charter fishing rigs.

I paid the man from petty cash and then took my newly acquired 45′ foot motor yacht which I had christened the SEA YA, on her maiden cruise out to the Channel Islands to see where the girl lived from The Island of The Blue Dolphin. A book which my teacher Mrs. Munyan had just read to the class prior to my sudden windfall.

When I got to the island I docked my boat at the marina and proceed to tour on foot and I discovered a lively marketplace selling trinkets to the tourists. I looked but didn’t see anything I cared for until I happened to find a peddler who was just setting up his little stand which consisted of a TV dinner tray the tin kind like Archie Bunker might have used. On top of that he placed an old briefcase that had seen better days that Samsonite had ever foreseen by the looks of it, and he placed a card on the briefcase that said simply,

FOR SALE-1 Rubber Band, $250,000. Serious inquiries only.

I thought it was the most ludicrous thing I had ever seen. One rubber band for a quarter of a million dollars?! He must be insane was my impression, but the old black gentleman had a way about him that didn’t strike me as being that of one given to foolishness. Then again you never can tell, can you?

So I went up to the man who was dressed in an old tan-gray suit and a natty black bowler hat with a gleaming black ribbon around the brim and I know now that it was rude of me to just come right out and say so like I did but I was like come on? $250,000 for a rubber band?

I have to admit that my inner Encyclopedia Brown got the best of me and of course Sherlock Holmes was no stranger to me by this point in my life so I had to know the meaning of this sign and what he thought was so special about this single rubber band that anyone in their right mind would even look twice at the sign. Except maybe to make sure it really did say that, and then have an even bigger laugh.

I don’t know what it was that kept me from laughing in the old gentleman’s face I suppose it was the same thing that kept me from laughing in Waylon Jennings’ face when he told me he Willie Nelson was his best friend. My father taught me to respect my elders, the Bible taught me to never cease showing kindness to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. I had read almost every book of the Bible by then too thanks to my Father who insisted we do an hour of study and homework as soon as we got home from school or we could read the Bible. I decided from the moment the edict was voiced that I would never spend a second doing homework so I read the family Bible. I especially enjoyed reading the book of Job.

Even though I was thinking he might be a few screws short of a full deck (metal roofers joke) (haha) I hit him up and to my complete amazement, he told me that it was not just one single rubber band but a whole bunch of them.

You can believe I laughed my butt off then. I wanted to know what the difference was and that was when I thought he had lost his mind for sure because he leaned over close to my ear as if he didn’t want anyone else to overhear and told me that they were not just any ordinary rubber bands. They were magical, and they played music. They were an actual band. You know, like you see at a band concert when they have a band.

I was like, “I think I hear my yacht calling me I better go see what it wants,” but he stopped me in my tracks when he snapped open the briefcase and I saw the Rubber Band for the first time. The leader of the band was by far the only recognizable one of the bunch as he was one of those gigantic red rubber bands which one seldom saw, in my 9 years of experience anyway.

The rest of the rubber bands in the briefcase were of the more common variety one might find at Kinko’s or Office Max these days. They were much smaller than the bandleader, plus they were multi-colored and there were a bunch of them at the bottom of the old man’s case.

The bandleader, however, was lying on top of a small podium at the top of the case and there was a tiny bandstand at the back. Both were lined with red velvet that was as worn and faded as the gentleman’s suit and looked like time had worn it thin in some places while in other places it was still as shiny and crimson as if it were new.

I snorted and walked away but then I head the old man cry, “Wait just a minute now before you leave, son. You haven’t even heard them play yet.”

That stopped me dead in my tracks and I turned around to see if he was grinning or not but he seemed earnest, and the only hint of a smile was more of a guileless one than a sneer so I’ll admit I was intrigued but only to about one more point and then I was going to blow him off for the pop-sickle stand down by the marina. The one that sold chestnuts.

“You’re right, sir,” I said, I have not heard them do anything worth $250,000 dollars that’s for sure.”

“That’s because they don’t play unless you give the leader of the band his baton to lead the rubber band with.” I was about to say something when he pulled a tiny gold baton like the one’s you oftentimes see Drum Majors twirling at the head of marchings band in various parades.

The sun gleamed off of burnished gold that had a patina of age far greater than even the old gentleman himself wore on his ancient brow. The tiny jewels that studded the bulbous head of the baton were minute to my eye but the sunlight gleaming through the ruby’s diamonds, and emeralds were proof they were real gemstones whose facets had either been cut by the hands of a miniature master stone cutter, or someone with very tiny hands and really good vision.

“Watch this kid,” the old man said with a bit of a showman’s flair that I thought was reminiscent of a carnival barker even to my own young mind. And then he held the baton out close to the big rubber band that was lying as limp as a boiled noodle on the podium. He touched the tip of the baton to it and I jumped back in shock as the rubber bandleader came to life before my very eyes and took the golden baton from the old man’s hand.

As I watched, completely transfixed by what I could not possibly be witnessing, the bandleader twirled the gold baton in a rubber hand that grew from his rubber form which was now a little more fluid than one normally sees in a common rubber band. But of course, this was anything but a common rubber band; by any stretch of the imagination.

The old man then bowed formally to the bandleader who snapped to attention smartly, bowed low in return and then rapped the gold baton on the top of the tiny podium. Instantly all of the rubber bands snapped up and began playing Dixieland rag in full orchestral force. Every rubber band had it’s own instrument because they were the instrument too.

As I tried to get my jaw off of my sneakers the bandleader waved his baton in the air and 5 rubber bands broke off from the rest of the band and took to the stage at the back of the briefcase. The orchestra in the meantime segued into, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and the musicians I have to admit were nearly flawless in their performance of that favored classic which I loved even then thanks to having joined the school orchestra that same year.

When they started playing a Fifth Of Beethoven at the same time however I was snared like a tuna in a gill net. I knew I had to have this amazing band and considering their talent I didn’t think a quarter of a million dollars was too much to ask for. I wasn’t about to tell the old man that though because I thought it might induce him to raise the price if I seemed too eager to buy the band.

All things considered, I think I handled the sale negotiation well. “I’ll take it!” I said though I had to shout to make myself heard above the twangy din of the band who was still going strong and blasting out rubber born boogie-woogie beats like only a blasted boogie-woogie blaring rubber band can.

“I take it you have $250,000 dollars?” the old man said and the band fell silent at a gesture from his hand to the bandleader. “You know that is a lot more than three dollars.”

“”Yeah, I know how much money that is. I want them, and I have the money.” I assured him.

“On you?” He said looking dubiously down at my not bulging pockets that actually only held a few bills for nicknacks and refreshments.

“Well yes and no, I have the money here with me but I’m not carrying it around with me in my pockets,” I told him, and I turned my pockets inside out to prove my point.

“I see. Well… I don’t know son, I have places to go and people to see. I can’t just stand around here all day waiting for you to come back with this money you claim to have when for all I know you might be pulling my leg. You might just run off and change your mind. If you’re not fibbing me altogether that is.” he said as he stroked the wisp of beard that flowed down from his chin.

“Would you take a check? I asked hopefully.

“Do you have a check? he asked leaning back he looked at me like he could never believe that a 4th grader could have a checking account. “I find it hard to believe you have a checkbook with that kind of money in it. he said, confirming my suspicions.

“Well no not really but I have my passbook from my savings account.” I offered. “Does the band play any kind of music you want?” I asked, hoping to maybe change the subject because I was enchanted by the rubber band and scared they might be sold to another buyer before I could come to agreeable terms with the gentleman.

“Yes, they do.” he said patiently. “And don’t go changing the subject either kid. This is business an…”

“I don’t believe you,” I affirmed rather firmly.

He gave an old stink eye look with a cocked brow accent I’d gotten from Principal Anzana a few times already at school. (I did say I gotta be me right? Okay, as long as we’re on the same page here, cool).

“and business is… What? Yes, it is business, and as I was saying before I was interrupted, business is….”

“I don’t believe they can play every kind of music there is. That isn’t possible.” I most assuredly assured him. You know how it is when you’re 9. Especially you 9-year-old reader’s. Grown-up’s need to be assured all the time. They’re funny that way.

“Yes it is possible, I assure you. Everything is possible. Even a rubber band. But that’s irrelevant. This is about money and money is about bus…”

“I still don’t believe it, and yes it is relative.”

“Relevant.” he corrected me, but in a gracious way that wasn’t the least bit condescending.

“Same difference,” I countered I don’t believe they can play anything more than what I just heard. And since it’s my money that’s involved here, I think that makes it my business whether or not they can play any song or type of music there is. I think I have to see that for myself.”

“What kind of proof would it take to convince you? he asked, glancing over at the bandleader who was standing at rigid attention in front of the podium, the gold baton held firmly in its rubber hand against its rubber body, then back at me. “A demonstration perhaps?” he asked with a raised eyebrow?

“Yeah, sure. That would work. I told him.”

The old man looked at the bandleader again and it pointed the baton at me for a moment then stood at attention again. “We don’t believe you have any money, and that is our business in a nutshell.” He said

“Yeah, I was kind of hoping you might overlook that.” By then as you might well imagine I was well on my way into the depths of my imagination. I could just see it right in front of my own eyes. My name up in lights in front of Carnegie Hall and below my name the marquis read,

TONIGHT ONLY-RUBBER BAND!- SOLD OUT!

“Nope,” he said. And the bandleader waved his baton slowly back and forth in front of himself in silent accord with the old man. “We also require a demonstration.”

“Yeah, I was kind of thinking you might say that,” I admitted sheepishly.

I’ve set a hook or two in my time and I knew that he was about to take the bait. I hoped. In my old age, however; I understand now that wily old sharks don’t become wily or old by being stupid. The whole time I thought I was about to set the hook in the old man, his own hook was already in my bottom lip and set firmly. I just didn’t know it yet.

“I have the proof but it’s at the marina in my boat.” I said pointing towards the path that leads back down to the docks where I had tied up the SEA YA.

“Your boat.” He said in a manner that suggested I told him I was the owner of Mars. “You have a boat? Don’t you mean your parent’s boat?”

“Nope.”

“I’ll wager it’s probably their money you’re going to spend on the band too, isn’t it?” He said and I saw the bandleader shaking a little with laughter. In a rubbery sort of way. I guess you had to be there.

“Nope. I mean my boat and my money. They’re both down at the marina. One is getting gassed up and the other one is in the map box on the flying bridge.” Sinker, line, aaand, hooked. Fish on!

“On the flying bridge,” he said matter of factly. He was giving me that Principal Anzana look, again. Boy if you have a boat here it’s a rowboat that you somehow managed to get all the way out here in without getting your fool self lost at sea or killed by a head-on collision with a baby seal.

“And I still don’t believe you either. About the band’s musical abilities I mean.” I said folding my arms in front of me with the finality of youth..

“Yeah well I have to get going soon and I need to sell the band so I can retire in style. I don’t have a penny to my name so I need the cash influx to carry me through my golden years. My dream is to retire to a nice little cabin in the woods where I can hunt, fish, and grow my own food.”

That should have thrown up a huge red flag but hey I was 9 so give me a break.

“We can go down to the marina if you like and then you can see my yacht and my bank passbook. The band can play for us while we have a bite to eat and if all goes well maybe we can seal the deal.” I suggested hopefully.

To my delight, he agreed to the idea after a moments consultation with the bandleader who simply shrugged a rubber shoulder and handed the gold baton back to the old man. When it left his hand again the bandleader slumped over the podium again, as limp and lifeless as before.

“I have a long-standing policy of never turning down a free meal or the opportunity to give a man the chance to prove he is honorable. But only once mind and then they’re finished in my eyes.” the old man said as he put the baton back in his coat pocket, shut the briefcase, and folded up his TV tray. “I hope I won’t be needing this anymore, but it sure was nice that it happened to be sitting here just when I needed it,” he said as he leaned it against the tree he had set up in the shade of. The day was a bit hot as I recall now.

To make a long walk short the old man could hardly believe his eyes when I took him on board the SEA YA and got out my bankbook.

“Holy smokes!” He exclaimed when he first set eyes on her from a block away. “You sure didn’t get that toy boat out of your bathtub did you?”

“Nope.” I agreed as we marched on down to the docks. The old man kept the briefcase between us the whole way back and I could hardly take my eyes off of it long enough to watch where I was going. Blinded by greed I was. Stumbled over many rocks I did.

“Hee-hee! I guess you didn’t even know about the counter checks your bank puts in the back of your passbook did you, boy?” He said when he had finished examining the passbook and satisfied himself by his probing questions that I was telling him the truth.

“no, I didn’t know,” I admitted sheepishly. I could hardly contain myself though because he had said he would take a personal check, hadn’t he? “Will you still take my personal check for the Rubber Band, sir?” I asked him suggestively.

In the background the Rubber Band was playing, “In The Mood” and then they switched up and began playing bluegrass music and gospel in the salon behind us. All I heard was CHA-CHING!$ ringing, cha-ching a ling a ling with every song they played as they ran through a rather impressive repertoire of music genres seemingly in random order.

The old man sat back in his deck chair there in the galley which I was using for the first time since buying her that morning. She was all polished Teak wood, spotless glass, and gleaming stainless steel. A cleaning crew which the salesman at the yacht brokerage had come in to give her the once over and they had done the SEA YA extra proud.

He looked me dead in the eye for what seemed to be an eternity before he took a deep breath and sighed. “If it were anyone else but you young man I would be inclined to say no.”

“But…”

But.” He stopped me with a raised finger that was as old and bony as a bony old finger can be and said, “But, I see now that you are indeed a gentleman of your word. So, given the circumstances, yes, I will accept your check, just as long as we can verify the funds by making a ship-to-shore call to the bank manager first.”

My heart nearly skipped a few beats when he said the magic word I had been waiting all afternoon to hear. Yes.

Yes! the Rubber Band was mine! Yes yes yes yes yes! My heart jumped for joy in my chest. He said, Yes! I, of course, wasted no time whatsoever connecting with my bank manager on the radio. Thanks to a very nice Coast Guard operator who patched it through for me. They remembered me from the day I was fishing over the side of someone’s boat while I watched it for them and got a shark hook in my side. They were the best. They took me to the Coastguard station there on shore and a corpsman gave me a free tetanus shot after they explained the joys of lockjaw to me and how you get it.

The old gentleman smiled and I would almost swear his eyes were deeper then than the end of space but it passed just as quickly when the band began to swing.  All I saw then was a world tour poster with my name on its banner. It was not all of my thoughts that day were based upon greed. I really was looking forward to seeing the world. After all, I was headed that way when I found, no when I discovered the Rubber Band. Yeah sure that would fill the playbill quite nicely.

Game set and match I thought as I sat there on the deck of my own big asset of a boat. A fish out of water and floundering. Flip flop flippity-flip, flop. But I’m coming to that.

So to make a long story of a short one I wrote the counter check out like the directions in the passbook illustrated made out to the order of

Pay To: Sir. The sum of: $250,000 and 00/100——- 
Signed. you know who. The old man smiled as he slipped the check into his inner coat pocket and then he shook my hand, tipped his bowler hat, bid me bon voyage and he was gone just as quietly and quickly as that.

In sharp contrast, the Bandleader struck up a rousing rendition of Flight Of The Bumblebee just then so my attention span may not have been as far reaching as it might have been. I thought he’d never leave.

I cast off shortly after paying the fuel bill and made steam for Hawaii where I had everything all mapped out in my mind. I could put some Pacific Ocean between me and California. How hard could it be to cruise to Hawaii? I had everything I needed for a long cruise already so Hawaii it was.

If you are thinking this has a happy ending it doesn’t really, but in retrospect, I have to say it was an expensive education on the dark side of money. Meanwhile, back in Honolulu I had rented a lovely berth for the SEA YA and spent a ton of money promoting the Amazing Rubber Band to the masses via expensive ad campaigns. Then I hired a PR firm and a high profile press agent to hype the event and subsequent world tour kick off. Oh yeah, I had it going on like Donkey Kong and the memory of that opening night is etched forever in my brain. It’ll haunt me that way for a long time too.

The crowd was starlit like a cloudless night. All of the big names from Hollywood were in attendance as were the creme DE Le creme of society from numerous societies, or wherever it is that snobs come from and it was a black tie affair. But only for the gentlemen. The ladies dresses put many a sequin sewer’s children through college just from that one event alone. It was glitz and glitter galore. I watched from the wings stage left as the house speakers came up and the lights went down in the theater.

I can even hear the absolute silence of the crowd as the curtains rose and the stage lighting came on. I looked over at the stage that had been constructed just for the show. I choreographed the set changes and the playlist that moved the whole show along and oversaw the design process as well. It was so going to be a thing. I was ready, the Rubber Band was ready, and the whole wide world was waiting breathlessly with me as the curtains rose.

But all you could hear was a continual silence where there should have been fanfare and trumpets, and music blaring aplenty. Rubber Band members should have been busy marching all about and playing their little rubber hearts out for the paying public who were waiting to adore them and make a great big honking deal out of them and me. And make a whole bunch more noise too of course. You get the picture.

But so did the audience and before I knew what had occurred on stage I saw the faces of everybody in the theater break into wide grins and then an explosion of laughter burst forth from the audience. That is when I turned to look at the stage and I nearly threw up my black Italian socks.

Where a moment before there had been a rubber orchestra ready to boogie-woogie, there was nothing but a motionless pile of colored rubber bands lying on that silly looking stage setup. The only thing standing was a tiny gold Drum Major’s baton that stood propped against the red velvet covered conductor’s podium.

You should have seen their final opening night rehearsal, then perhaps you might understand how it was supposed to look in production that night. But that didn’t happen. I told the rigging guy to drop the curtain and that turned the laughter into an angry mob soundtrack that I can still hear in my mind as well.

As the heavy curtain fell, effectively cutting off the surging mob who was already calling for torches and pitchforks to be passed out. I ran out onstage with the old briefcase the band came in, scooped them into the briefcase and exited stage right. I made it to the backstage door just as the mob unlocked the secret of crawling under the heavy bottom hem of the curtains. Looking hither and yon quickly I saw my chance to make a clean getaway by going straight up instead of trying to escape unseen across that massive parking lot. If I was found out I would surely face the real possibility of being tarred and feathered.

That is what the tabloids said was in store if my poor publicist should ever show his face again anyway so I’d say that was a fair analogy. Even if it wasn’t really a concern at the time because I couldn’t very well use my own image to promote the band so I hired Barry The Face to be me until I grew up and was old enough to be me in real life.

I scrambled up a fire escape that went up to the roof located close to the back door like a squirrel with his tail on fire. I vaulted over the parapet wall onto the roof just as the mob started pouring out of the same door I had just used to escape from them.

I was safe in my lofty perch because adults never look up unless the sun eclipses or the moon explodes and they were looking for Barry anyway. To his credit, Barry had assessed the situation a few seconds faster than yours truly did because he was watching the band and he saw them go limp at their first sight of the audience. I only found all this out later on.

Right then I wasn’t going anywhere but across that roof and down the other side on another fire escape as fast as my feet would fly. I walked quickly as I  passed by a few gaily dressed hunters but they didn’t give a nine-year-old kid carrying a battered old briefcase more than a brief glance. I ran when the coast cleared ahead of me and then I was out on the street that ran in front of the theater where it was easy to lose myself in the crowd. Don’t forget Barry was still running around out there somewhere and that last thing I needed was to run into him in public just then.

After I paid all the bills and paid everyone back for their tickets and settled all the lawsuits out of court through my attorney’s I wound up selling the SEA YA just to break even.

The most ironic thing about it was that I came up smelling like a rose because I still had $17.50 remaining in my account at Commercial and Farmers National Bank. I was $3.15 ahead of the game and I did have one grand adventure with someone else’s money. On paper anyway. It was still mine until I had to pay it all back to other people.

As for the fate of the now infamous Rubber Band, they faded into obscurity thanks to a lot of money and an airtight non-disclosure proviso to go along with receiving their settlement checks. It helped me out a lot that nobody really had the courage to admit to their friends they were ever there in the first place. Those friends who knew about their folly were there that night too.  They didn’t care to admit to it either lest they were ridiculed by their friends who were not there, for being taken for a ride by a scam artist who sold them all on the ridiculous idea that rubber bands could make beautiful music.

Talk about your perfect storm of plausible deniability. And like every storm does, it quickly blew itself out from shame and faded quickly away to nothing. But as to what befell the Rubber Band that dreadful night off the coast Honolulu; I caught a cab to the marina where I boarded the SEA YA cast off her mooring lines and slipped out to sea. When I cut the engine again 4 miles offshore, well out of the reach of the law in international waters, I opened up the old briefcase and set it on the table in the galley and tapped the bandleader with the golden baton.

Instantly he sprang to attention and the Rubber Band began to play the first song for that night’s show. As I stood there watching in shock they went through the entire 45-minute concert routine flawlessly, just like we had rehearsed it. Right up until someone shouted ahoy the SEA YA from inside the salon and right in the middle of the grand finale they all fell down limp and lifeless again. again.

My visitor and the first person outside of myself and the old gentleman who sold me the band to hear the Rubber Band play was the Harbormaster. He was checking to make sure, or so he said, that everything was okay because he had seen lights on inside the yacht and was just making sure all was ship shape. I looked at him and then at the Rubber Band and that’s when I made the connection and a little light flashed on in my brain.

The old man had neglected to mention that they all suffered from a debilitating case of stage fright that left them paralyzed in front of an audience other than their owner and whatever sucker he managed to sell them to. As I cut the engine 4 miles off the coast of the Big Island I flew into a rage because the Rubber Band had been playing, “I’m sorry” by Connie Francis the entire time. I chopped them all up like a Ginsu madman. Including the big red bandleader whom I chopped into tiny little rubber band pieces. When my rage had passed and my mind was clear again put them in a sealed glass jar where they remain to this day.

Today my dear friends and family I dedicate this website to all of the amazing people I have met between 1971 and today for being a part of what makes B.B. Wolfe Publishing what it is. The result of a story based upon a lie told to cover up an unacceptable truth a long time ago. I have written many more stories since then including a stack of novel manuscripts which you all shall see published in the future.

I have read extensively since then and I have written extensively as well. I had my own column in an online news agency for just over a year until just recently when for some reason it decided to get up and vanish without so much as a goodbye. I studied with my own creative writing coach for two years, and while I was writing my first novels I began studying the publishing industry to better understand it and the process of publishing a book. I also studied methods of distribution and desktop Publisher in preparing for this day when I would celebrate the Grand Opening of B.B. Wolfe Publishing.

I still don’t have much of anything to my name but a big lesson to be learned, from my own point of view anyway, is that you cannot truly appreciate having nothing until you gain the world and then carelessly lose it all again. The world owes you nothing in return and the world will give you nothing in return except for an unending series of unfortunate events that are bound to hurt. A lot.

The real kicker to the whole thing was that when I finally went back home again two and a half weeks later my mom asked me why I was late getting home from school. I told her it was because I stayed late to search the field behind the school again for my glasses. I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe a single word of that, but it makes no difference. She’d never believe me if I told her the truth anyway.

On a happier note, I have been keeping abreast of all the latest in innovations and technologies being developed by Firestone, Goodrich, and Goodyear Rubber plus I have been diligently searching on my own time trying to find a way to fix all of the rubber pieces and make them whole again. But the work is moving along really well so one day soon I’m hopeful about the possibility of getting the band back together again

God bless you one and all and goodnight.

Charles Ramos Jr. 3/10/2019

how about them cowboys!?!

Vegas Valley Sports Beat

 October 22, 2018Charles Ramos JrDallas Cowboysfootballlas vegasnewsnflWashington Redskins

DALLAS LOSES TO THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS AS A GAME-TYING 52-YD BRETT MAHER FG HITS THE UPRIGHT AND IS NO GOOD WITH 0 SECONDS LEFT TO PLAY.

Greetings once more sports fans and welcome back to a rare double-day edition of Vegas Valley Sports Beat where that spunky little sports column whose motto is I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down! But as long as I’m down there any way I might as well take a nap first.

Turning our attention once again to the wonderful world of wide sports, NABISCO announced today that they were going to introduce a super duper sized double-double stuffed Oreo cookie.

Speaking of bad tickers; retail dairy and whole milk prices rose sharply in trading, while public healthcare industries took a major beating on Wall Street.

While in other fake breaking news, Best Selling horror novelist, and self-styled political activist, Stephen King chastized President Trump today over the caravan of South American people who are currently marching for the U.S.-Mexico border. A mob which has stated an intent to cross into the United States illegally against the warnings of the Oval Office.

In this statement, King said that the caravan was basically just a group of tired and hungry people. Trump is rumored by a noted rumorologist (whose name has been withheld solely for the sake of convenience) to have tweeted back; Yes Mr. King, but so are zombies, as I’m sure you must already know. Since you’re such an authority I’m sending them all to your house so you can feed, clothe, house, bathe, and sort them out with the INS for a grateful nation who thanks you for your service. Not.

Okay so President Trump didn’t really say that but he should have. It’s never too late you know.

And now from the wide world of real sports news, the Dallas Cowboys squared off against the hated Washington Redskins in DC. Coming into this game, Dallas was 4-0 over the past two seasons against Washington who were no doubt looking to put an end to it and take the lead in the NFC East if they could. They did.

On their opening drive on 2nd down and 10 from the Dallas 37 Smith connected to Bibbs at the Dallas 26,  and Bibbs ran it the rest of the way into the end zone for the first score of the game. That was the first time in their last 12 games that the Cowboy’s defense has allowed an opponent to score on their opening drive.

Ahead now to the 2nd quarter. With 1:07 left in the half, Dak Prescot took the snap on Washington’s 49. Stepping back deep to throw Prescot connected on a gorgeous long bomb spiral to #13 Michael Gallup at the 15 from his own 43 like a wire-guided missile. Gallup easily ran into the end zone a mile ahead of the nearest defender for his first NFL touchdown and a beauty at that.

Congratulations Michael, you’re not a touchdown virgin anymore.

With 9:14 left in the 3rd quarter Washington attempted a 21-yard field goal on 4th and goal making the score 10 -7 Redskins. With 12:37 left in the 4th quarter Washington kicked another 3 pointer from 25 yards out to bring the score to 13 – 7 before Brett Maher kicked a 47 yarder to make it 13-10. Redskins.

Then on 3rd and 14 on the Cowboys, 10 Dak Prescot took the snap from center, dropped back into the Redskin’s end zone and was hit by #91 Kerrigan who stripped him of the ball which rolled into the end zone before being snatched up by Preston Smith for a Washington touchdown.

With the score now at 20 – 10 and only 2:48 left in regulation, the Dallas offense had its work cut out for them and for a moment there it looked as though they would rise to the challenge.

Dallas lined up in an onside kick formation but the ball sailed into the Redskin’s end zone and they started at their own 25.

After an uneventful 3 and out series the Cowboys regained possession on their own 46 and proceeded to march the ball down to within Brett Maher’s effective range for field goals. That would have tied up the game and sent it into overtime where the Cowboy’s might have won given the level they were playing at. There at the end especially.

Excellent play calling, execution, and clock management got Dallas down to within a leg’s reach of a tie. And indeed they gave it hell too. No doubt about that. The only problem was that when they lined up the first time for a 46 yard field goal try,  #91  of the offense was called for a snap infraction and the 5 yard penalty made it a 52 yard attempt instead.

When Brett Maher’s foot made contact with the ball I’m sure everyone was, as sure as I was sure it was a sure thing, sure it was going to be good for 3 points and for the tie. But as the last seconds expired from the play clock, the ball hit the center of the left upright and was deflected away making it no good.

The Redskins finally broke that 2-year losing streak to the Dallas Cowboys and take the lead in the  NFC Eastern division, while Dallas falls back into third behind the 2017 World Champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Both teams meet again on Thanksgiving Day in Arlington, Texas at 1:30 PST

The final score:

Washington Redskins – 20 (4-2)

The Dallas Cowboy’s   – 17 (3-4)

Images courtesy of Google, the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and the NFL for whom all rights are reserved.