9/15/2014

Famous Quotes About Courage





I love quotes from famous people or even not so famous people.  I find them amusing, inspiring and thought provoking all at once.  I have made quotes about people on various people throughout the years on this old blog.  It's been a while since I did this.  So, I thought I would start out today with famous quotes about courage.  We live in perilous times.  I'm sure many generations have said that about their time also.  But, we live in a world with absolute savagery as we have witnessed by the latest terrorists in the Middle East, ISIS.  We must face this latest menace with the same, grit, determination and courage as our parents and grandparents did in WWII.  Our generation is facing Muslim fanatics who want to kill anyone who is not of their particular faith.  ISIS even kill other Muslims who do not subscribe to their warped belief.  So, why not have a few quotes to inspire us for this week?  Let's take a look at a few.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."--Nelson Mandela (This from a man who knew a thing or two about courage as he faced down apartheid in South Africa)
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition:.~~Steve Jobs (I have always been a great admirer of Steve Jobs, a true visionary of the 20th and 21st centuries)

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."~~Maya Angelou (One of the greatest poets and authors of all time in my opinion)
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."~~Dale Carnegie (This quote is so true...the fear of failure inhibits many of us from accomplishing so much in life.  Inaction is the kryptonite of being successful)
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."~~Mark Twain (One of my favorite authors, Mark Twain gives the absolute perfect definition of "courage" in the simplest of terms).
"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."~~Reinold Neibuhr (One of my absolute favorite quotes and it shows how important courage is in distinguishing good from bad)

"You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost."~~Francis Ford Coppola (Indeed, if Mr. Coppola had not agreed to direct a movie he was warned not to, where would we have all those great quotes from The Godfather movies?)
"A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort."~~Sydney Smith (So very true in regard to those who were too afraid to try for lack of courage. Very sad when you think about it)



9/12/2014

Reflections on 13th Anniversary of WTC Terrorist Attacks





Yesterday I watched all the specials commemorating the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Some are very hard to watch.  The specials that show people jumping to their death are the most difficult.  I can't imagine the horror these people must have endured on their way down to a certain and grisly death.  After watching that, I found myself filled with anger.  It is an anger that will never be quenched no matter how many terrorists die as a result.  Many people feel that way, I suppose.  There was no reason for the attack.  None.  I don't care how angry many in the Middle East feel about the USA.  There is never a reason to murder innocent men, women and children.  No excuse can be valid enough to justify the attacks.  For that reason alone, this country will never cease in its efforts to eradicate terrorism where ever it may be in the world. I have watched the towers fall down numerous times since yesterday.  I remember the absolute astonishment I felt when the South Tower fell on that fateful day of 9/11.  It seemed impossible they would fall.  I knew then thousands of people would die.  For many, it seemed as if it were the end of the world. 

There was one person who said, in one of those specials, that September 11th would just become another day of observance in much the say way Pearl Harbor Day is on December 7th.  That's probably a fairly safe assumption.  People move on with their lives.  They have to or go insane.  But, for the families that suffered a loss that day, the memories will fade only slightly.  The pain will last a lifetime.  I pray all the families of 9/11 are comforted and able to cope some 13 years later after this horrific tragedy. 

9/01/2014

Famous Failures


"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.  In which case, you have failed by default." --JK Rowling


I think that is a very apt quote by the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.  If you don't at least try at something, what is the purpose of your life?  The fear of failure inhibits many people, including yours truly.  There are things I wanted to try in life.  But, I was so fearful of failure, I just gave up.  So, my life has been a series of fear of failure.  There are some people born to achieve and others who fear to achieve.  I obviously fall in the latter category.  But, I did publish a novel, something that I was fearful of doing.  I can hang my hat on that one.  Still others try and try again until they do succeed.  There are many famous failures.  One of the most obvious is Abraham Lincoln.
 
In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you're not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn't stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses, went bankrupt twice and was defeated in 26 campaigns he made for public office. - See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/famous_failures#sthash.IbrZXSw3.dpuf
In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you're not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn't stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses, went bankrupt twice and was defeated in 26 campaigns he made for public office. - See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/famous_failures#sthash.IbrZXSw3.dpuf
In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you're not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn't stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses, went bankrupt twice and was defeated in 26 campaigns he made for public office. - See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/famous_failures#sthash.IbrZXSw3.dpuf
 In his youth, he went to war with the rank of Captain.  He return with the rank of Private.  He started numerous businesses, went bankrupt twice, and was defeated in 26 political campaigns.  Obviously, the word "quit" was never a part of President Lincoln's character.  Let's take a look at a few more famous failures in history.

That quote above, by JK Rowling,  is prophetic  At one time she was penniless, suffered with bouts of depression, divorced and trying to raise a child all on her own.  She did all this while attending school and writing a novel.  JK Rowling went from welfare to become one of the richest women on earth. 

Walt Disney was once fired from his job at a newspaper because "...he lacked imagination and had no good ideas."  To prove that his firing was justified, Disney went and started several other businesses that ultimately failed.  He went bankrupt several times.  However, Walt Disney did not give up. He came up with a cartoon character that clicked.  It was none other than Mickey Mouse which paved the way for a vast entertainment empire known as Disney.

Soichiro Honda suffered a series of failures and bad luck.  He was turned down for a job with the Toyota Corporation as an engineer.  He remained jobless for a long time. While unemployed, he started making scooters at home and sold them.  This eventually blossomed into the giant Honda Corporation.  Think Toyota regrets not hiring him now?

Thomas Edison was told by his teachers he was too stupid to learn anything. Imagine how that made him feel.  He was fired from two jobs for not being productive enough.  He tried 1000 times to invent the first light bulb.  He had an assistant tell him he should just quit, give up.  Thomas Edison replied, "I have not failed once.  I have just tried 1000 things that don't work."

Stephen King.  That name invokes the macabre of writing like no other.  His first novel, Carrie, got 30 rejection notices. That's right, 30 rejection notices.  King finally gave up and threw it in the trash.  But, he had a wife who believed in him and took it out of the trash.  She urged him to resubmit it one more time.  The rest is history as he is now the author of hundreds of published books and having had some books turned into movies.  

Elvis Presley was once told he couldn't sing.  In fact, Elvis was told,
You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”  Needless to say, Elvis didn't take that person's advice.  He went on to become one of the great legends of music.   

When The Beatles were just starting out, Decca Recording Studios, which had recorded 15 of The Beatles songs, dropped them and told them they didn't like their sound.  "Guitar music is on the way out.  You have no future in this business." John, George, Paul and Ringo did not agree.  

These are just a few of the notables who failed at one time in life.  Some failed constantly.  But, they all had one thing in common, they refused to quit.  Their single-mindedness toward a goal enabled them to become successful in their chosen careers.



In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you're not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn't stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses, went bankrupt twice and was defeated in 26 campaigns he made for public office. - See more at: http://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/famous_failures#sthash.IbrZXSw3.dpuf

8/29/2014

Once You're Hired For The Job

Congratulations!!!






Assuming you read my three-part series on job interviews (Part I, Part II, Part III), let's say you have been hired.  First thing you have to do is celebrate.  Yes, just celebrate and enjoy yourself.  Getting a choice job, one that dozens applied for, is a feat worth celebrating.  I know that for a fact.  I had some sense of empathy for those who tried and didn't get it.  But, that lasted just a few seconds.  My feeling is that I deserved the job.  I've been turned down many times before for a job, as I'm sure you have also.  So, enjoy yourself and then get ready to do the really hard part;  prove that the company's faith in you is justified.  Don't get me wrong.  The job interview process is and can be murderous as I discussed in my series on the job interview.  But, just because you have been hired does not mean you have a job for life.  You have to prove you are worthy of that job.  In most states, an employer doesn't need just cause to fire you.  If he fires you due to race, gender, religion etc., that's another matter.  It is incumbent upon you to prove that was the reason you were fired.  In most companies, a new hire will go through a probationary period.  During that probationary period, you are going to be continually evaluated.  In my role as assistant superintendent of a major industrial controls company, I did all the hiring as stated in the job interview series.  A word of advice, you have got to pay attention to whoever it is that is assisting you through the training process (assuming the company even has one for you....some don't).  If you don't pay attention, you can only blame yourself if you are let go.

Most companies hire someone because they feel they are capable of doing the job.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  That means if there is a learning curve, you are expected to catch on quickly.  Very quickly in most cases. A company doesn't have time or resources to continually train someone who has the education and work background to do the job they were hired to do.  If you can't do the job adequately....well, you'll be looking for another job pretty soon.  I had to also fire some people that I hired.  That was a bad reflection on me as well.  Firing someone is the most heart wrenching thing I have ever had to do.  It just tears at you, gnaws at you for weeks, months even.  But, sometimes you have to admit your mistake and move on.  Moving on means getting rid of someone who is not adequately doing his or her job.  I didn't have to do that very often.  In fact, I only can remember firing three people who I had personally hired.  Of  course, many others were terminated for various other reasons, with incompetence being but one reason.

So, let's say you make it through the training phase.  Most likely, you have a probationary period of weeks, if not months.  In the industrial controls field, our probationary period lasted 6 months and 1-day.  Why 1-day?  Because we wanted to give the individual a complete 6 month evaluation.  We wanted to give him or her every opportunity to do the job and do it well enough to become a permanent employee with the company.  During this probationary period, you need to concentrate on doing the job as well as you possibly can.  It is critical during the probationary period to prove you can not only do the job, but do it better than anyone else that applied for the job.  That includes people who were already working for the company.  You have to assume others already employed with the company applied for your job, but were not hired for various reasons.  That causes resentment amongst the various cliques in the company that hired you.  They will be waiting for you to screw up.  Do your job so well that they have nothing to talk about.  Talk has a way of getting back to your superiors.  Justified or not, if a head honcho keeps hearing bad things about you, he will start to inquire about what you are doing wrong.  Once you lose your reputation, it is very difficult to get it back.  There are some very mean-spirited, spiteful people in this world.  Those that have been working at a particular company for a long time and are going nowhere career-wise, have nothing better to do then try to bring you down.  Don't engage with them in a tit for tat game.  Remember, fighting with pigs only makes you dirty and the pigs enjoy it.  Just do your job.  That will be the sweetest revenge you could ever think up yourself.

After your probationary period, you still are always going to be evaluated.  Maybe not in the strictest sense of the word.  Most white collar jobs, in my industrial controls company, were evaluated every six months.  If you got a bad evaluation once, you were put on notice.  If you got two bad evaluations, in one year, you usually got some time off (without pay) to think things through.  The best advice I can give you, once you have been hired, is to make yourself as valuable an employee as possible.  If they have a training seminar in Denver (or wherever it may be), for your particular career field, volunteer to go.  Anything that is made available to you by your company, you should always make it known you will go to better your chances of sticking with the company and moving up in your company.  Even if it is to give a speech, something you absolutely hate doing, volunteer to do it.  You see, people in upper management notice little things like that about you.  It makes them think you are a serious, go-getter who is ready to become a top executive with the company someday.  It doesn't matter if it is blue collar or white collar.  Avail yourself of every opportunity to make yourself more valuable to the company.  Of course, if your company has a union, seniority is what counts.  But, I do know that even companies with unions, will do their dead-level best to keep that valuable employee, seniority or not.  You may not know it now.  But, my advice of making yourself a valuable employee is the best advice you are going to get in your career, all modesty aside by me.

In summary, don't feel you can just sit back and take it easy just because you were hired due to a great interview you had.  You have to work even harder to keep that job.  There are economic downturns that you have no control over.  With a bad economy comes layoffs and loss of hours.  Make yourself the type of employee that it does not make any economic sense to give you a layoff or cut your hours.  To lay you off would hurt the company even more. Let that little idea rattle around in management's head, and you will not only have a successful career, but one without worry of losing the job you fought so hard to get.

8/25/2014

The Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek







Today's guest poster, on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural, is Eva Tomlisson.  Eva is a "retired" homemaker now that both of her sons are married and out on their own.  Eva enjoys writing on her cooking blog, horseback riding, gardening and volunteering at the local "Big Brother Big Sister" organization, in Minnesota, for kids who need a role model in their lives.  She loves both her Doberman, King, and her cat, Breezy.  She also loves her husband, Brandon, as well, a retired small business owner.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.

***
I grew up in a part of Kentucky, in the late 1960s,  that was so far out in the woods, they had to import sunlight to separate night from day.  That might be an exaggeration.  But, only a slight exaggeration.  We didn't know what it was like to have store bought items to eat.  We grew our own peas, beans, corn and tomatoes among other vegetables.  We raised pigs and cows until they met their ultimate demise on our dinner plates.  So, we just didn't know what it was like to shop in town unless my dad needed a new part for his tractor or some other machine needed to run a small farm such as we had.  Going into town was a rare treat. Mother acted as if she hated it.  I never understood why.  It was something we did about once a month at most.  We would show up in our Sunday Best for this rare event in our lives.  Dad would break out the money belt to buy us some rock candy, and the ultimate treat of them all, the famous all-day sucker (lollipop) that even to this day I cherish the memories.  It wasn't much.  But, to my little brother and I, it was the greatest thing on earth.  We would linger in town for as long as we could.  But, eventually, we had to get in my dad's beat-up old 1958 Ford truck.  My dad had a time keeping that thing running.  But, it was still running until the day my father died in 1982.  My Uncle Joe took it from that day on.

My story really begins in 1967 when I was 8 years old.  My brother, Tim, was 2 years my junior.  Of course, I had to take him everywhere with me.  That was a real drag. But, there was one place that Tim would not cry to Mama about going to if he found out I was going there.  That place was none other than Rocky Bottom Creek.  Tim didn't want to go there not because of the great fishing and beauty of that place.  It was due to what many have referred to as the Rocky Bottom Creek Monster. The Rocky Bottom Creek Monster (I'll just use RBCM for brevity sake) was a part of folklore of this area of Kentucky since at least the 1700s.  It had a scream very much like that of a huge mountain lion.  But, much more powerful and much more louder.  We lived about 2 miles from Rocky Bottom Creek. We could hear that scream late at nights, especially in the winter months.  The scream would make our window panes vibrate and sometimes, they would crack.  That's how loud it was.  Many men would get up late at night to go looking for it, kill it and be rid of it once and for all.  But, only a few hardy souls ever even saw the RBCM.  Only one man who was still alive, old man Sanders, ever claimed to see this monster of Rocky Bottom Creek.  Mr. Sanders was in his late 80s as I recall.  His wife had died due to pneumonia some years back.  So, he was all alone.  As the story goes, Mr. Sanders was going to feed his dog out in back of the house one cold January night back in 1962.  His dog started growling, flashing his teeth and snarling.  Mr. Sanders didn't know what to make of that.  He was afraid his dog had rabies.  But, the dog was not looking at Mr. Sanders.  The dog was looking behind Mr. Sanders.  Mr. Sanders looked around to see some incredible being standing at least 7.5 to 8 feet tall.  He said he later measured by the creature's head touching a limb from a nearby tree.  The creature, as Mr. Sanders described, was reptilian in features.  Mr. Sanders said the creature probably weighed in the neighborhood of 400lbs and ran like a deer as the monster fled from Mr. Sanders. That was about all he would ever say in describing it.

Mr. Sanders was numb from fear as the creature quickly, very quickly ran off into the woods to the side of Mr. Sanders home.  From that point on, old man Sanders never fed his dog after dark set in for the day.  Of course, many felt this whole RBCM thing was nonsense.  The scream or roar at night was just simply a lonesome black bear or panther, people would say.  But, that never explained the number of missing children over the past two centuries of this area of Kentucky.  Most said these children got lost in the woods.  No trace was ever found of these children though.  Of course, others would say the Monster captured and ate these children.  Fact of the matter is that no one ever knew what happened to those missing children.  We still don't know.  Mama told us to not go to Rocky Bottom Creek without my dad or some other adult male.  Rocky Bottom Creek was the only place to swim in the summer or fish.  It was our only entertainment out in the woods of Kentucky.  No way we weren't going there to enjoy ourselves.  We rarely went to the creek alone.  I frequently would go there with Beth Halloway and her two older brothers, Jake and Jack, the Two J Brothers as I called them. Like I said earlier, Tim never wanted to go to Rocky Bottom Creek for the very reason of his fear of being captured and eaten by the monster that was alleged to live there.  Nothing I could say would change his mind.  That is, except for one late summer day in August of 1967.

It was an unusually hot, late August afternoon.  It was the kind of summer afternoon that you could almost exhale the humidity as you did the cold air of a winter day.  There was only one option for us to take since air conditioners were virtually non-existent during that time period.  That option was to go swimming at Rocky Bottom Creek.  I wasn't the type of girl who would disobey what my parents told me.  But, dadgumit,  Beth Halloway and her brothers were down there.  I imagined I could hear them laughing and frolicking away in the cool water of the creek.  I was going, come hell or high water, I was going!  I went into the house, grabbed my frayed one-piece swimsuit grandma bought me a couple of years back and headed down the trail toward Rocky Bottom Creek.  "Where do you think you're going, Eva?"  My brother Tim, of all people, caught me before I even left the yard. "Tim, you know where I'm going.  It's hot and I want to go cool off.  You don't want to go there.  So, why do you even care," I asked my little brother.  "You know we can't go there without a grownup, Eva.  Mama wouldn't be happy with you if she found out.  And why should you go without me?"   Now, I was mad at Tim.  He didn't want to go to the creek.  He was scared of the place.  But, he didn't want me going either out of spite.  "Tim, please don't tell.  I'll only be gone a few minutes, just enough time to cool off.  That's all. If you want to go, then get your swim trunks and let's go.  If you don't, just leave me alone!!!" I yelled at Tim. Tim looked at me quizzically.  Then, unbelievably, he went and got his swim trunks to go with me.  I was stunned.  But, not stunned enough to not start running toward the creek with my little brother Tim right behind me.  Little did I know, at the time, it would be our last trip together to Rocky Bottom Creek.

We arrived at the creek about 4PM.  The sun was just blazing hot.  As I expected, Beth Halloway and the J Brothers were there having themselves a good old time!  I jumped right in the water.  It was strange how the water could be that cold in the heat of a hot August day.  But, that wasn't a concern of mine at the moment.  I just wanted to get cooled off and have some fun in the water.  The water was just over my waist at its deepest.  So, no one was really worried about getting in trouble in the water.  Tim was still on shore, looking worried and scared.  "Come on in, scaredy cat!!!" I yelled at the trembling Tim.  Tim was not budging from his perch on the rocky shore of the creek.  Beth's oldest brother (about 12 years old at the time), Jake, went up to Tim and asked him what was wrong.  Jake just turned and laughed saying  "Tim thinks there is some monster in the creek that is going to eat us all up!!! Ooooohhhhh, I'm sooooooo scared!!! Hahaha!" Jake yelled to us all.  I was upset with Tim not getting in the water with the rest of us after practically blackmailing me to bring him to the creek.  But, I didn't like Jake mocking my little brother either and I let him know it.  "Jake, leave him alone!  If he doesn't want to come in the water, it's none of your business!!"  Jake got the message and left Tim alone.  Tim was very uncomfortable.  But, it was his own fault!  I knew he wouldn't enjoy himself at the creek.  He always told me it was creepy there.  He was right about that.  To paraphrase Yogi Berra, it got late, early at Rocky Bottom Creek.  The shadows of the trees were now completely covering the creek.  It was kind of spooky and I decided it was time to leave.  Darkness comes quickly in the woods of Kentucky, even in late August.

(The following happened as best as I can remember.  Some things I left out because the years have blurred my memory.   Plus, the horror of that day has made me block out some images of what took place. So, please bear with me.)

About the time I stepped out of the creek, I heard a blood curdling scream come from in the direction of Jake and Jack.  It was getting darker than I had anticipated.  So, I couldn't tell if it was Jake or Jack who had screamed.  I now recognized it was Jack screaming.  Saying "blood curdling scream" didn't do that justice as to what I heard come from Jake's lips that day.  It was the scream of pain that words simply can't describe.  It is something you had to experience, to hear first-hand.  Beth started screaming also, as did Jack.  But, none were louder than Jake.  Jake grabbed his left leg with both hands and pulled it out of the water.  From mid-way between Jake's knee and his ankle,  his leg was GONE!  It was missing and blood was squirting out of the remainder of his leg like a water fountain!!!  It was at this time, I joined in the screaming.  Behind Jake, something was rising out of the water.  It had human form....but it was far from being human. It was at least 7 feet tall, probably close to 7.5 feet in height as best I can recall.  It was a pale greenish in texture, not unlike some water lizards I have seen before.  It had  something very similar to a rooster comb on top of its head, but a bit smaller. This thing was barrel chested like nothing you can imagine which indicated great strength.  It probably weighed every bit of the 400lbs that Mr. Sanders estimated years ago.  In it's right scaly hand was Jake's missing leg part!  This thing let out a roar that nearly shattered all of our ear drums that day.  It was an unholy scream of outrage, of hate and of anger. It was a roar that you could actually "feel" even more than you could hear if that makes sense. I was now paralyzed with fear.  It was now obvious, this was the Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek that was before all of us.  It was no myth.  It was no bear.  It was no bigfoot.  It was the monster that every child has had nightmares about at one time or another.  Only this nightmare was REAL. 

I was in shock.  I could not believe what I was witnessing and hearing.  This thing, this monster continued to roar at us children with unbelievable intensity. Jake was still screaming for all he was worth.  Suddenly, the Rocky Bottom Creek Monster stopped roaring.  He grabbed Jake by the neck (which caused Jake to stop screaming), tucked him under his left arm as if he were a loaf of bread, and took off into the woods at a speed that a Cheetah in Africa could not match.  It was incredible how something that huge could move that quickly. The last time I saw Jake was just a blur with his leg still gushing blood.  We all stood there as if we were zombies.  No one said anything.  I turned to look for Tim.  He was still in the same place on the rocky shore.  Tim was motionless and had a blank look in his eyes.  I don't recollect how long we all just stood there in disbelief.  Maybe two or three minutes.  I don't know.  What broke our trance-like state were voices coming from the woods.  It was Beth's dad and uncle coming through the woods with rifles.  They had heard the screams of us and especially the creature, the monster of Rocky Bottom Creek.  "Where is Jake, Beth?  WHERE IS JAKE????" Mr. Halloway screamed at us. The men could see the enormous amount of blood in the water as they waded out to us.  Beth slowly and quite simply pointed in the direction of the woods where the creature and Jake had disappeared into just a few minutes previous.  Soon, others arrived with shotguns, rifles, axes and anything else the men who lived nearby could get their hands on to help with this tragedy.  They all heard the screaming, the massive roar of a creature who had no sympathy for children.  None. Mr. Halloway, along with his brother and two other men took off in the direction Beth had pointed to in the woods.  The other men helped us out of the water, they took their shirts off to cover us.  None of us responded to their questions.  I remember hearing them.  But, the words could not come out my mouth.  Tim was the one that worried me most.  He seemed as if he were dead with his eyes open.  My dad had arrived by this time.  He was crying and trying to get Tim and I to respond.  I finally broke down crying.  But, Tim was still in a trance.

The men looked for Jake all night and into the next day to no avail.  They followed a blood trail to a cave, about five miles from the creek.  But, there was nothing in there but a few bones.  No one bothered to check to see if they were human.  Law enforcement did come in to investigate.  But, nothing was ever said what those bones were in the cave.  Mr. Halloway and his brother looked for Jake for two solid weeks and found nothing except for a piece of what they thought was Jake's shirt.  Everyone gave up searching for Jake, even Mr. Halloway's brother.  But, Mr. Halloway searched, off and on, for the rest of his life until he died of a heart attack in 1976.  Jake was just gone.  Beth and Jack never came to our house to play like we used to before the incident related above.  Beth, Jack and Mrs. Halloway moved away after Mr. Halloway died.  I never heard from them again.  Tim was in a catatonic state or a catatonic stupor. He stayed this way for approximately three weeks before responding to electric treatments in a hospital.  But, Tim never truly recovered from that day.  Tim never showed any inclination to learn a trade, go to school or help out on the farm after that fateful day.  My parents never blamed me directly for taking Tim to Rocky Bottom Creek.  But, I could see the pain in their eyes and the accusing looks.  Tim joined the Navy in 1979.  While on "dog watch" one night, aboard a U.S. Navy ship, Tim jumped overboard and disappeared into the sea.  The Navy still has him listed as "Missing, assumed dead."  Tim's death just about destroyed me. 

As soon as I was able, I moved away from the Rocky Bottom Creek area.  I married and raised two fine boys of my own.  But, I never have gotten over what transpired that day when the Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek killed Jake and ruined the lives of so many others.  Men continue to look for that monster as he roars late at night, usually during the winter.  I think of poor Jake and how he never had a chance to grow up.  For that reason alone, I hated that damn creature.  I hated how it destroyed Tim's life and mine as well for a while.  I went back to visit that area of Rocky Bottom Creek in 2010 with my two sons.  Our house was shuttered up and abandoned as both my parents had long been dead.  Despite my two sons urging me to, I refused to go to Rocky Bottom Creek.  The screams and visions of blood are still too vivid, too real to me.  I know how all this sounds to you, the reader, of this story.  If I were you, I would be skeptical also.  But, this did take place.  With all my heart and conviction, it actually happened.  It takes place over and over again in my dreams at night.  It never ends for me. I still see Jake screaming, with blood spurting everywhere, but can't hear anything in my dreams.  Sometimes, after a really bad nightmare of that day at Rocky Bottom Creek, I will lay awake, .listening to my husband's snoring and wondering what my life would have been like if I had not taken Tim to the creek that fateful day.  Sometimes, during these bouts of insomnia, I swear I can still hear the roar of that creature, the Monster of Rocky Bottom Creek. The pain, the absolute horror of that day will haunt me forever.

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