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The bodyguard  

Cheek to cheek!

Baby is a 69-pound beef. The average male bully is between 50 and 55 pounds.


This was a total surprise to me. I found these search engines over the weekend. I never dreamed that I'd be ranked this way in the profession. God has been good to me. Unless you've ever purchased one of my books, you've never seen my dedication page in each one of them. After the dedication to a family member, etc., I always go on to say, "And I also dedicate this to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave me the eyes to see, hands to type and a mind to think." I hope and think He's appreciated this. 

This was me in 1967. I made six parachute jumps--six more than I wanted to make. You see, I'm scared to death of heights above three floors, even with a handrail. I jumped to try to quell my fears, but it didn't work. I'm still terrified of high places and occasionally have nightmares of falling. I don't mind admitting that I must be a coward at heart. I recently sent out a page with a story about my uncle's being killed in a plane crash in WWII. When I was a young boy, I can recall asking my father, "What do you think went through Ben's mind right before he crashed?" Dad responded, "I think each human has a built-in hope that there might just be one tiny chance of survival, regardless of the circumstances ." I finally was able to relate to this on my fourth jump. After our plane took off and was about around 300-400 feet above the ground, the engine stopped--too low to bail out. I was near the side door and I thought, "This is going to hurt." But it's strange. I felt no fear. All I could think about was what we might crash into--the farm house in front of us, the trees around the house, or the cotton field beyond. It so happened that one of the jumper's static line gotten tangled in the fuel line switch and had shut off the gas to the engine. Thank God there was an instructor pilot aboard from Reese AFB and he saw and fixed the problem before we went into the deck. To be honest, with the plane as heavy as it was with all the passengers, I think we'd have all been killed on impact. I don't recall praying during this event. But as a general rule, prayers started the night before and on the way to the jump site, as well as before each takeoff.

Here's another interesting event. I took paramotor lessons for weeks before I was finally cut loose to fly on my own. I flew to an altitude of 1200 feet and got my wings. I had enough gas to fly 45 minutes--so we thought. Thirty minutes into the flight, I decided to fly over a nearby lake that was out of the landing zone. Well, that's when things got interesting because the engine quit--totally out of gas. I turned downwind toward the field and prayed I'd make it back okay. I just barely cleared some electrical high lines at the edge of the field. The problem is that when your back is to the wind, you descend very quickly. After clearing the high lines and at the last few seconds, I turned into the wind to slow my fall. But when I did this, I could see the landscape moving sideway at about 30 mph, which was a bit concerning to me. I didn't want to hit hard or sideways wearing a machine that weighed about half my weight. I yelled right before impact, "God, please don't hurt me now!" He must have been watching over me, because I made a perfect landing. I never flew a butt fan again. The fellow to the left of me in the photo was my instructor. The fellow to my right was from France. He'd watched me many times during my training period and he told me he'd never seen a student perform so consistently well. I really appreciated the compliment. 

One of my treasures--George, a rescue bulldog.

Traveling incognito so no one will recognize him and make a fuss over him.

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