Man’s Past is Filled with Truth’s Shed Blood

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Continuing with the next chapter of Truth’s Blood.  It’s a long chapter but in it you’ll meet Thomas.

CHAPTER THREE

 “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force!  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

George Washington

Scattered gray clouds rode across the sky on a chill zephyr born of winter, while a cool breeze played hide and seek throughout last year’s raspberry canes and raised the hair on the back of Cliffson’s neck.   The meager spring sun was spending all its energy pulling the first new blades of grass from the ground and doing little to keep him warm.

Cliffson needing some time alone to think after a restless night, had prepared a hot cup of coffee and found his way to the garden.  He regretted the city had spread to where he lived and the loss of that country feeling, but most the time he still found solace in his garden.

How do people miss the stench riding these winds of revolution?  Our nation is sliding into the abyss, yet few take notice.  It’s so similar to what happened in Nazi Germany and to Rome.  What about my family, my brother? And what should I be doing to prepare instead of standing here with this coffee?

These were some of the things he pondered while watching the geese fly north in “V” formation.  The warm mug of coffee interrupted his thoughts, returning him to the soft ground of his garden.  Coffee.  Even the gods must need a first-class cup of coffee each morning.  I wonder how long I’ll be able to afford it.

Cliffson was startled out of his reverie by the sudden appearance of six military vehicles in desert camouflage, descending on his elderly neighbor’s home across the street.  Two humvees with mounted machine guns positioned themselves to cover the house and surrounding area.  At least twenty men dressed in camouflage, dark helmets and tall black boots poured from the vehicles, smashed the front door and stormed the modest home.

Shocked, senses returning in time to catch the rising tide of anger boiling up inside, Cliffson suppressed his emotions at the sound of a Blackhawk helicopter approaching from behind.  Raising his hands, he backed away, withdrawing deeper into his own property.  From there, he watched jack-booted thugs drag two elderly people from the house and throw them into the back of one of the vehicles.  Cliffson flinched at the sound of their groans rattling through his own aging body, almost as if he were receiving the beating himself.

Marge and Harry were in their seventies, and about as innocent as one could be in a nation filled with so many laws that no one person was entirely free of their entrapment.  If the government felt threatened by them, how much longer would it be until he was taken away in the same manner? Though the two neighbors had been active participants in protests against the ever growing power of America’s police state, they’d never been violent or threatening.

Such was the state of America in 2016.  The Bill of Rights was suspended, and American citizens deemed a threat could be detained indefinitely, or worse.  The president had commandeered the ultimate power of judge, jury and executioner.  His personal “kill list” was updated weekly, as those rubbed out with drone attacks and sniper hits were dropped and the new names added.  Drones monitored all activity and no one fell outside his purview.  The right to a speedy trial by a jury of your peers was no longer recognized. Citizens were deprived of their liberty and property without regard for the due process of law.

All forms of electronic communication were monitored, and even in private, friends held hushed conversations if speaking of the government’s actions.  You saw them in the corners of local pubs, discreetly gathered under the cover of night.  Hushed conversations shared in secret, as one or the other furtively glanced about, wondering who might be the traitor in their midst.  Who present was planted by the Bureau of Security?  The slip of a quivering tongue voicing opposition to the government was all it took to be swept away and disappeared.

After the military vehicles left and the roar of the Blackhawk faded, a shaken Cliffson pulled up the collar on his insulated jacket and parked his six foot three inch frame on a wooden bench near his tiny vineyard.  News of these crackdowns was common and though the media always portrayed them as the round up of more terrorists, Cliffson knew otherwise.  But the news was one thing.  To see your friends beaten and dragged away rent his reality and crushed his spirit, which was, of course, the intended result.

Having watched the government thugs from her kitchen window, his wife Jean came to join him.  Numbed by the attack on their friends, the two sat together on the bench consoling one another.  Perched beside them in the limbs of a Norway spruce, yellow feathered finches were in full throat, unaffected by the turn of events or the cool breeze.

Sitting quietly in the solitude of their garden, Jean and Cliffson spent a few more moments together recovering from the trauma of the attack.  Both believed their day would come.   They would confide in a trusted friend and one day be taken away by government agents.  Yet, there was really nothing to be done, outside of laying low and getting by the best they could.

“I’d better go check on the stew,” Jean said, and patted Cliffson’s knee before returning to the kitchen.  Cliffson stared across the street at the open door to his friends’ empty house and shook his head in disgust over the government’s brutality, before ambling back to the vegetable plot.

Not knowing what else to do, he found himself contemplating how it just didn’t seem right the weeds would start growing so far in advance of the desirable things.  And why was it the pests liked his garden so well, but never touched the weeds?  Certainly life would be easier for the sparrow if they drew sustenance from the dandelion.  Couldn’t the mice and voles feed as well on the weeds as they did the new peas and lettuce bursting forth from the ground?

A blaring horn startled Cliffson out of his reverie and he turned just in time to see the Cranks flipping off the car they’d nearly hit while backing out of their driveway.  His neighbors, Cliffson thought, what a piece of work—rude, obnoxious and all about themselves.  Cliffson saw them as the perfect example of what society had become—entirely and completely self-absorbed.

It wasn’t just the Cranks though.  People everywhere were rude and angry.  There was a strain in life that pulled on you like gravity and was just as ubiquitous.  It choked you when you breathed, tugged at your feet when you walked, and clung to you like a cold wet fog whenever you left your home.  If you were one of the few people who still cared about others, you recognized it and knew something was wrong.  Not a small something—a very big something.

It was part of the reason Cliffson and his wife Jean had drawn even nearer to the basics of life and self-sufficiency, much in the way of their grandparents.  They canned garden produce, dried fruit, swapped labor for beef, kept bees and raised chickens.  Recognizing what would eventually happen to their paper currency, they stored extra clothing, necessary supplies and returned to heating with a wood stove.

Heck, they didn’t even own a cell phone.  A “social disease” as Cliffson called it, claiming it kept people from being neighborly and destroying any sense of community.

Monk, their next door neighbor, and their best friends, the Wests, were the only people they knew who also recognized how warped and out of balance things were.

Yet, most people had no sense of it and seemed quite oblivious to the demise of common sense and honest values. Cliffson had come to think of them as “Zombies”.

Neighbors and acquaintances often made fun of the frugal way they lived.  They treat us as if we were building an ark or something.  Cliffson thought.  They just didn’t get it when he tried to explain.  Of course it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark, so he figured he was in good company.

Cliffson viewed the simple life as a blessing and recalled the days of his youth when people made things with their hands and took pride in their work; a time when agreements were struck with a handshake and a steady look in the eye.  He was a fish out of water in today’s world where people followed the herd, rarely even questioning their place in line, much less where it was headed.

The following day, Cliffson found himself back in the garden.  Dark clouds threatened rain and a cool breeze descended from the north, but the weeds were getting ahead of the lettuce and spinach seedlings, so Cliffson set to the task of pulling them.  But his real reason was to be there for the neighbor’s daughter who was expected home this day.

When she arrived, Cliffson walked over.  For the lack of a front door he knocked lightly on the side of the house, and though he could hear weeping coming from inside, Cliffson received no answer.  Softly he stepped inside the darkened hallway as Jessie rose from the couch on unsteady feet and rushed to embrace him.  Her tears wet his neck and broke his heart.  The younger generation was going to pay a terrible price for the government’s foolishness but most of them had yet to realize it.

An adopted daughter, Jessie was just twenty-one and her parents, for that is what she considered them, meant everything to her.  Cliffson comforted her as best he could, but there was little to be done outside of offering her a place to stay.  Jessie thanked him for being there for her, but said it wouldn’t be necessary.

Together they walked outside to her car where he told her their door was always open if she ever needed anything, then stepped back and waved good-bye.  He was heartsick for her.

Crossing the street to return home, he saw their fifteen year-old Honda round the corner and his wife returning from the store.  Jean was the woman God had made for him, this he knew for sure.  A shapely brunette, he had particularly been drawn to her green eyes, for they revealed her tender soul, good heart and concern for others.  Strong and self-sufficient, yet not so reserved you couldn’t get close to her, she was a throwback to a time of old fashioned values and possessed a resourcefulness that continually amazed him.   She also harbored an inner strength he could never dream of matching, and he loved her sharp wit, which she was not afraid to use to keep him in line.

He cherished her, and often felt guilty for not reminding her of how dear she was to him.  As dark as the world was becoming, she was the shining light that made it all bearable.  Jean was simply irreplaceable, like a piece of old farm equipment, “they just didn’t make em’ like that anymore”.  Plus, she had a bit of an independent streak in her, which for Cliffson was a special kind of magic.

“Hello,” he said, giving her a hug and picking up a couple of bags of groceries. “How’d it go?”

“People!” she exclaimed, nearly slamming the car door.  “The store was packed and the woman in line ahead of me was talking on her cell phone, completely oblivious to those around her.  She ignored the checker when asked for her for I.D. and got all huffy when she was finally interrupted.  She made the entire line of people wait while chatting about all the empty things in her head.”

“And get this, at the counter next to me the checker forgot to ring up a bag of potatoes laying in the bottom of the cart.  It was an older couple, and as they prepared to leave, they discovered the potatoes and brought this to the attention of the woman working the register.  The checker told them she would ring it up in just a moment, but the customer she was checking out said to just put it on his bill, which she promptly did.   The elderly couple was utterly shocked!  You should have seen the looks on their faces when they realized someone had actually done something for them. They shook the guy’s hand like they had just won the lottery.”

Smiling sadly and shaking his head, Cliffson commented, “You know how the world is hun.”

“But that’s not even what’s so amazing”, Jean answered.  Cliffson loved how the lines crinkled around her eyes when she got real serious.  “There was a woman standing in line behind the man who’d purchased the potatoes for the couple.   It was what she said that just floored me!”

“And what was that?”

“She mocked the man saying how that must make him feel so special and better than everyone else.”

Cliffson held up his hands to slow Jean down. “Ok, take a breath.  Besides all of that, how’s the old woman this morning?” Cliffson kidded.

“Don’t call me old, I’m not sixty yet,” she snapped, a little sharper than Cliffson had anticipated. “How’s the old man?”  She couldn’t help but be attracted to his handlebar mustache and the salt and pepper look of his still full head of hair.

He smiled at her emphasis on old.  “Well, the sixties ain’t so bad if you’re seventy, but if you’re really askin’, I slept pretty tense last night so my knee’s kinda sore today,”  Cliffson was sixty-three, tall, wiry and still in good shape, but time has a way of grinding people down and he knew his strength was not what it used to be.

“So the store was jammed, huh?” Cliffson asked.

“Yes.  There are shortages of some staples, but if you can imagine, the cops were called in to break up a fight over a new video game,”  Jean said.

Cliffson rubbed the back of his neck.  “Geez.  Will people never get it?  I keep thinking they have to wake up and see reality.”

“Yah, well good luck with that.  The Zombies don’t get it and still place their faith in government.”

“Cliffson replied with a hint of sadness in his voice.  “I know.  Goes a long way towards explaining why our nation’s in the condition it’s in.”

When they returned to get the last few items from the car their year-old English Mastiff came bounding up to greet them, “Hey big fella, how’s Welfare today?” Cliffson roughed the big dog’s head.

“Why do you call him Welfare,” Monk called out as he strolled up the sidewalk on stubby legs.  His laced up boots tapped out a soft rhythm on the concrete.  “I’ve been meaning to ask you and always forget.”

“Good Morning, Monk.  We call him that because he lives off the chickens.  They do all the work producing the eggs, we sell the eggs and use the money to buy his dog food,” Cliffson said.  “He eats the food and lies around sleeping.”

“Ha, ha, now if that ain’t funny.  Seems like a perfect name for him.”

Monk was a friendly, but crusty old coot and his squeaky duo-tone voice always reminded Cliffson of the actor, Andy DeVine.  Over a long sleeve blue shirt, he wore a shoulder holster and the ever present Colt 45 Defender Cliffson had never seen him without.

Monk had some eccentric quirks which the patch over his left eye served to accentuate.  He seemed to know a lot about a lot of things, or so he said.  Retired from the military, Cliffson had come to believe that he had not been honorably discharged.  It was a story he could never get to the bottom of, and the patch over Monk’s eye always reminded him of this.

So you hear anything?” asked Cliffson.  “Maybe something on your “ham” radio.

“Well, that’s why I was a comin’ over.  The word from the “hams” is that the President will be speaking this afternoon.”

“All right”, Cliffson said flatly.  “I’ll have the TV on today to see if I can catch any news.  Anything else I should know?”

“Well actually there is.”  Both men glanced up for a moment when their conversation was interrupted by the low flight of a drone passing overhead.  “You remember when Greece defaulted last year and bankrupt all of Europe?”  Monk asked.

“Sure do. The PIIGS default brought down the entire European Union and put an end to the Euro.  Who could forget that?”

“And it dishonored and embarrassed the hell out of the Chinese when they were stuck with trillions of dollars in losses on their loans.”

“But Monk, I thought European leaders had reached an agreement with China and the loans were being repaid.”

“It’s fallen through and China’s just issued an ultimatum—immediately pay back the loans in full, or suffer the termination of all outside energy sources.”  Monk smacked a fist into his palm.

“How they gonna do that?”  Cliffson took a seat on the rock wall surrounding his garden to tie his shoe.

“Europe ain’t buying it either.”

“What do you think Monk, can it be done?”

“I have my doubts, but I wouldn’t put anything past them.  They’re the greatest economic force on the planet and will make no bones about doing what they have to do.  Saving face is everything to the Chinese and they’ll go to great lengths to regain their honor.  We could be looking at war Cliffson.”

“Just when you think things can’t get any worse.  Anyway, what’re you up to today?”  Cliffson got back on his feet after tying his shoes.

“Was a thinkin’ I’d be planting some spuds.  Time’s ‘bout right and I’m in the mood for it.  I need to run down to the feed store first though.  Anything you need Cliffson?”

“Nope, I think we’re good for now, but thanks for askin’.”

“All right then, see you folks later.”

“Take care Monk.”

“Keep your powder dry mate.”


On the west side of the Cascade Mountains, Thomas Jefferson was backing his black Mercedes out of a parking spot reserved for faculty at Valley University in Salem, Oregon.  It was a private university where Thomas was a respected senior professor, instructing history and sociology.  He’d promised not to be late but that never seemed to change anything and once again, he found himself rushing to his son’s ball game.  Davis was a senior and starting pitcher for the Silverton High Patriots. Thomas had missed far too many games and kicked himself for being late to the start of another one.

It was hot for May and Thomas could hear the tar bubbles popping in the black top when he left the parking lot.  Reaching over to turn on the radio and fire up the AC, he wrenched the wheel sharply to avoid hitting a street person who’d taken up residence at the edge of the parking lot.  These people are everywhere!  He thought to himself.  I’m sure security will be taking care of it soon.

NPR came on and Thomas merged onto the freeway as the news began……”Spain and Greece have sworn allegiance to China and agreed to Chinese military occupation of their nations in exchange for basic fuel supplies.  Italy is expected to follow.”

The announcer proceeded to describe how debt talks between Chinese and U.S. diplomats had broken down.  China wasn’t going to stand for being paid with funny money any longer and the broadcaster wondered how this was going to affect the nation.

Thomas mentally tuned him out.  No way would this affect the United States.  China’s pre-occupied with Europe and they wouldn’t dare attack us.  Besides, Helicopter Ben’s still printing all the money needed to pay the bills that will assure our own economy continues to improve. He changed channels and his thoughts turned to a confrontation in the class room today.

“Sir, you conveniently ignore the fact Keynes’s only supported inflating the money supply during depressed economic times, not during times of economic growth,” the student countered.

“Nelson, I don’t know what comic books you’ve been getting your economics from, but that’s just not true.”

A few chuckles rose from around the class room.

Thomas rested his lanky frame against the lectern. “Keynes was a progressive of the first kind.  His views saw the future of economics.”

“That’s B.S. professor and you know it.” Nelson stood his ground.

The class held its collective breath, wondering what the professor would do.

“Excuse me Mr. Nelson, this is an institute of learning not an underclass locker room.”

Nelson stood and nearly shouted, “Keynes saw the future of economics like Doctor Frankenstein saw the future of medicine.  If you really knew Keynes, you’d know what he said in his own publications.”

A smattering of applause followed.

Mr. Nelson.  Keynes clearly stated the printing of fiat currency and inflating the money supply would be necessary in slow economic times.  Do you fold, or raise?”

Professor Jefferson was roundly applauded.

“So where are the jobs Professor?  Where are the real people, those who make a life for themselves in construction, farming, logging, mining and producing basic goods that benefit the people of our nation?” Nelson responded.

“They’re all around you, the librarian, policeman, teacher, hospital worker and the post office employee.”

“Ah, but you make my point for me.  Teachers, government employees, soldiers and even you sir, are all part of the dependant class.  Your own six figure salary is paid with taxpayer dollars funneled through us students, yet you produce nothing!”

A round of boo’s rose from the back of the room.

Thomas groaned and shook his head.  “That’s simply not true son.”  Thomas felt the need for a cigarette, having quit a few months previous.

“If we can stay on task, I would point out that our government has been printing money for decades to pay for its social programs, and during that time there were periods of great economic growth when the artificial stimulus was not needed.  That is not Keynesian economics.”

“Throw him out,” one student yelled above the jeers and cat calls.

Well it certainly is.  Keynes specifically stated that debasing the nation’s currency would have no lingering ill effects if it led to an improving economy,” Thomas said.

“And you think we have an improving economy,” Nelson stated flatly.

“Our president is doing everything he can…….”

“To destroy our nation.”  Nelson would not be deterred or intimidated.  “More debt does not jump start an economy already choked with debt.  Sir, a silver dime, worth just a dime as recently as 1970, now costs six paper dollars.  Can’t you see how printing money has led to inflation and economic failure?”

Now the room fell silent.

“That’s not relevant in today’s economics,” Thomas countered.

Nelson wasn’t finished. “With all due respect sir, historically speaking, Keynesian economics has always failed.  It’s the Austrian school of economic thought history has proven right.  Only you and the zombie’s in this classroom believe these policies lead to economic growth.”

Half the classroom stood as if to threaten Nelson.

“Sit down, everyone.”  The professor paused to control his desire for a smoke.  “Nelson, as I said in the beginning, your brand of economic comic book has misled you.  Keynesian economics has been used the world over for the last century with great success.”

The room burst into laughter and applause.

Ah yes, great success indeed.  Europe is about to be invaded by the Chinese because of their great economic success.  Am I not correct?”  Nelson parried and countered.

“China will not invade Europe.  It’s only saber rattling to force the European leaders to accept terms they do not want to accept.”

“Sir, China has secured energy supplies the world over and recently struck a major new deal with Russia.  Their sword now hangs over all of Europe.”

The room fell silent.

“History also demonstrates the Chinese are not ruled by emotion and reserve the sword for measures of last resort.”  Thomas was smug in his reply.

“Seems clear to me if it were not for the so-called ‘success’ of Keynesian economics, this debate wouldn’t even be taking place.  Presently, the world’s freest markets are found in China.  Their economic power all but makes them rulers of the globe, while the developed world struggles under the burden of Keynes economics and its resulting debt.”

A low rumble carried through the auditorium.  The students had heard enough.

“And you would leave the poor to suffer, Mr. Nelson?”

“That’s a straw dog argument and you know it.  No one’s against improving the lot of the common man, but trading the basic values of freedom for government handouts is enslavement.  It’s the free societies who prosper and maintaining those freedoms and opportunities for the present and future generations is of much greater importance than taking a temporary handout from the current administration.”

“But Mr. Nelson, look around you.  The world’s governments have embraced the wisdom of Keynes.  You presume to know more than they?”

That brought the students to their feet with a loud round of applause.

Nelson remained unfazed.  “It’s simple history.  The failed principles of Keynes central planning litter the landscape.  What history clearly demonstrates is how men crave the power to enslave other men and the Keynes model is perfect for doing so.  Man’s past is filled with truth’s shed blood.  If only you would see it for what it really is.  ”

“Well Mr. Nelson, I think I see it quite clearly.”

“I don’t believe you do sir.  To see the truth, you cannot be for or against, because the truth simply is.”

“Again, Mr. Nelson, it’s been a stimulating debate and as much as I would like to continue this discussion, we’ve run out of time for today.  Class is dismissed.”

Nelson was immediately surrounded by Zombies. “What’re you trying to do dude?  Can’t you appreciate a good thing?  The government’s paying for everything these days, where do you get off taking an attitude like that?”

Thomas smiled to himself as he recalled the students swooping in on Nelson at the close of class.  Then his thoughts returned to the present and he silently cursed to himself, remembering he was supposed to stop for cat food.  It would make him even later for the game but he didn’t want to incur his wife’s wrath for neglecting the errand she had requested.  He would make a quick stop at a store near the ballpark.

The tires on his Mercedes squealed when he turned into the parking lot, parked and jogged inside.   He hurried to the pet food aisle and found their usual brand.  Wait a moment, he thought.  Could it really have gone up that much since the last time I bought it?  He didn’t have time to concern himself with it but for the second time today, thought about how thankful he was to have a six figure income.

Rushing outside to his car, one of the local street people approached him and asked for money.  Brusquely he pushed the man aside and told him to get a job.  The boldness of these people; weren’t there government programs to help them?  Besides, he’d paid his dues in long hours and sacrifice to make it where he was, and they should do the same.

Thomas arrived at his son’s game in the middle of the fifth inning with the team down one to nothing.  The run had been scored on an error but he was pleased to hear Davis was pitching well.   He loved watching his son pitch.  The accuracy and speed with which he threw had brought offers of scholarships, though they were still hoping to hear from a couple of the nation’s top colleges.

As the game progressed it remained a one to nothing contest and Davis now had eleven strikeouts to his credit.  Thomas realized that with just two games left on the schedule, he was really going to miss these games and mentally chewed himself out again for not seeing more of them.

In the freshening evening air, a light breeze rustled the maple trees bordering the field.  Thomas loved being wrapped up in the middle of an exciting game and strove to commit it all to memory.

During the seventh inning stretch a fan sitting near Thomas turned on a radio.  The news came on and Thomas overheard talk of flash mobs descending on businesses in Chicago and Detroit.  Pharmacies and food stores were favorite targets.  Law enforcement had yet to find an answer and the groups were becoming bolder and more violent.  It made Thomas angry.  Across the nation violence was rising and it concerned him.  They should be locking these thugs up.  Society is unraveling and the government needs to do more, he calculated.

Davis was pitching a one hitter when the game entered the top of the ninth inning, and the coach decided to leave him in.  He subsequently mowed down the first three batters; the Patriots would come to bat in the bottom of the ninth, needing a run to tie the game.  No different than most pitchers, Davis wasn’t known as a hitter and as much as Thomas loved watching his son pitch, he always grew nervous when Davis came to the plate.  He would be the fourth batter up if any of the first three batters made it to base.

The first batter was trying too hard and went down chasing a couple of bad pitches.  The Patriots next batter was a better hitter and often came through when the rest of the club was struggling.  Thomas hoped this would be the case today.  The first pitch was taken as a strike.  Come on you gotta swing that bat!  Thomas scolded to himself.  The second pitch was a ball and Thomas could feel the tension rising in the stands.  On the next pitch, the batter connected.  It looked like he might have a double but a great throw from left field held the runner on first.  That’s a start, Thomas thought, as his nervousness rose to match the level of his excitement.  His son would soon come to bat.

After fouling off numerous balls and fighting to hang in with each pitch, the third batter went down.  Thomas sat on the edge of his seat and the home crowd stands fell quiet. With two out, the Patriot’s hopes rested squarely in the hands of their pitcher.

The breeze was shifting now and Thomas noted it was blowing out towards right field.  That won’t be much help, he thought.  Davis always pulls the ball to his left.

Davis took the first pitch low for a ball and the stands relaxed, only to tense back up as the pitcher and catcher agreed on the next throw.  It was delivered outside, but Davis was fooled and went fishing.  It was an ugly swing and the crowd groaned.  The next pitch looked high and inside and Davis held his swing.  “STREEERIKE”, sounded the umpire.  The home town fans booed, but the pressure was on.

Game on the line, the pitcher prepared for his delivery, CRACK.  A hush fell across the stadium and the fans collectively held their breath.  The ball was headed towards the right-field fence when Thomas recalled the wind direction.  Could it get there?  Then the crowd erupted.  It was a home run.  His son leapt and celebrated as he ran the bases and the entire team met him at home plate to congratulate him.

Thomas and his wife Mary accepted frequent pats on the back and well wishes when they made their way from the stands.  “That son of yours has a real future ahead of him, Thomas”, “kids got one heck of an arm”, or “he made you proud parents today folks, tell him great game for us.”

On their way home Thomas began talking about the future and the possibility of Davis making the pros.

Mary cautioned him.  “Honey, he’s not even out of high school yet.  Let’s not get our hopes too high.

“You’re right, you’re right, but I do get excited for him.  He’s got a real future in the game.”

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