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Chapter 1...  

My younger years, I can remember back as far as five years old.  I spent most of my time with my Dad.  He was a livestock trader, horse and cattle doctor, butcher, and had a couple of dairies.  I learned a lot about ranching and cattle but Dad often said that I didn’t pay close enough attention.

We had a Brahma bull named Sam that he used for breeding cows around the county for the families that had their own milk cows.  And I actually rode that bull to school in the third grade because I had to provide my own transportation to school due to being out of district.  When I didn’t ride Sam, I rode my horse Goldie or I drove the tractor.

Even being as young as I was, I remember riding Sam in the DeSota Parade around nine or ten.  And I also remember driving a tractor and wagon across the Green Bridge through Palmetto when I was about the same age.

Chapter 2...  1950-1959
As a teenager, I became the wild crazy jokester that always tried to have fun at most everyone else’s expense.  I didn’t spend as much time with Dad during these years because he was a County Commissioner.

I mostly spent my time swimming, catching skunks, rattlesnakes, wild hogs, and wild horses or making moonshine.  I spent a lot of time camping along the Braden River as well.

I hung out with my three best buddies most of the time.  You will learn they were lucky to live through their teenage years with me around.  I started riding bulls my senior year of high school and got hooked for awhile on that.  And I also had to get married during my senior year of high school and my first child was born.

Chapter 3... 1960-1969
Now in my twenties, I had to start settling down and not playing so much.  I did, however, ride bulls at several rodeos and had a Yankee bull almost kill me.  I worked during the week butchering, day work with cattle and at the livestock markets.  During this timeframe, while Dad was still County Commissioner, he was instrumental in building the dam for the Manatee County Reservoir and getting Port Manatee started. 

In 1962 I got married again and started having more children.  Dad and I got into the cattle business and then into the seed business.  You will find out how I became a workaholic.
  I worked from before the sun came up until after the sun went down.

Chapter 4...  

My life in my thirties went from smooth sailing to riding a roller coaster.  I bought Dad out of the seed business and started a sod business along with it.  My first experience farming big time was in 1973 growing vegetables.

I bought an airplane for the seed business and started taking flying lessons.  I took several trips to the Keys, Mexico, Las Vegas, and one to the jungles of Ecuador.  My life was good and business was great until the mid 70s when the fuel embargo started.  I found out  I owed the IRS almost $200,000.00 in taxes and that’s when the roller coaster started and my downward spiral ended my business interest.

I started smoking pot and staying out late dancing with women.  In the late 70s I bought a 630 acre farm in Myakka where I started planting more sod.  But my business side of me didn’t last and the partying was beginning to take over.

Chapter 5...  1980-1989

I don’t remember a lot about my forties because I was partying a lot more and using other drugs.  I was living at the Myakka farm full time and started an entertainment park.  I witnessed an airplane crash that killed a family of six on the property just east of the farm.

I grew my largest marijuana crop in 1981.  I had a girl overdose on cocaine and was later arrested for it.  I was sentenced to 18 months in state prison.  But after serving my prison time, knowing I didn’t want any part of prison again, I decided I wasn’t going to have anything else to do with marijuana and I didn’t other than smoke it from time to time.

In the late 80s, Duane and I grew several watermelon crops and did real well.  I was finally settling down and not partying as much but stayed busy working.

Chapter 6...  1990-1999 

All of my fifties were spent in prison.  Duane and I grew a melon crop in the early part of 1990 and then the bomb dropped in Myakka.  In June of 1990, over 20 people were arrested in the largest marijuana bust Manatee County had ever known of before then.

 I turned myself in the day after everyone else was arrested and we spent almost a year in jail before we went to court.  Everyone else took a plea deal but I went to trial because I didn’t feel they had anything on me.  My sentence, after almost a month at trial, was “Life Without Parole”.

I was sent to a Federal Penitentiary in Terra Haute, Indiana in November of 1991 where I stayed until 1993.  I was then transferred to a medium Federal Correction Institution in Jesup, Georgia where I stayed until 1996 at which time I was transferred to Coleman Correction Institution in Florida.

Chapter 7...  2000-2010 
After spending another year in prison, President Clinton signed my communed sentence on January 20, 2001.  Communed sentence simply means “time served” but I am still a convicted felon.  I feel that I served my time twice and lived to tell about it.

A year or so after my release, Gary, Duane and I started up a sawmill business.  I met Sonya in December of 2002 and moved in with her in 2003.  I started peddling Mon A Vie in 2006 and we sold the sawmill in 2007.

I started writing this book in latter part of 2007 and hopefully will have it ready to read after the first part of 2012.

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