O-Brother

Adam Maynard Darby, 46, passed away January 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California. He was born August 4, 1963 in Sacramento, California.

He attended school at Margaret Keating Elementary and graduated from Del Norte High School in 1981. Adam served honorably in the U.S. Army as a Ranger.

Adam is survived by his wife Kelly, his son, Jace and daughters, Jasmine and Lynda. He also leaves behind two sisters and a brother and their families.


It’s hard to believe I had not spoken to my brother Adam since I had to call the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department and have him removed from my home. It started the second day he was visiting us for the first and only time.

Adam had been drinking all day long. He brought booze and finished what booze we still had in our cupboards. Eventually his mood shifted from being a nice guy to a man with a lot of anger and hostility towards me and my family.

He threatened sexual assault on my bride and our roommate. The threat scared Mary so badly that she locked herself in our bedroom. The threats escalated to violence as Adam tried to choke me out.

Luckily he failed and that’s when I told him to leave.

At first he wouldn’t go, then I called the law. He told me that if he stepped out of my front door, he’d never talk to me again and that I could consider myself to be ‘brotherless.’

I told him to go before he got arrested and ended up in prison. He was a two-time loser in that department.

Yeah, ‘tough love,’ is hard and it is made harder still by the things in life one cannot control. I had no control over Adam’s death and I have no control over those withholding information about his passing.

All I can do is forgive them and myself and to continue living a good and descent life. It’s the only way I know how to honor my younger brother.

I’ll miss my younger brother all the rest of my life…

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What Makes a Cowboy

“What makes you a cowboy?”
A ‘slicker asked my friend.
My friend scratched his chin,
“Ain’t no tellin’,” my friend replied,
“Jus’ the way its always been.

“Is it the hat or the boots you wears?”
The ‘slicker asked my friend.
My friend just smiled some,
“Naw, it ain’t that,” my friend replied,
“At least not where I come from.”

“Is is that horse you rode up on?”
The ‘slicker asked my friend.
My friend just grinned real wide,
“Cain’t be that either,” my friend replied,
“Guess it comes from what’s inside.”

Comb Over

Grease the palm that earns the bread,
Wringing hands together in nervous frenzy,
Running fingers through the hair of the head,
Reflecting hard on what’s yet to come.

Time for a parting of the ways,
The grand brush off comes painlessly.
Hope is gained for the division stays,
Everything swept aside in a couple strokes.

Crossing over where things grow gray,
Streaks in a field of yellowed grass,
Each blade must have a perfect lay,
Things will never be black or white again.

Victimized by age and time of life,
It is a vain mans thoughts that betray,
That give him pain and strife,
To at least have hair to run a comb though.

The perfection that once was his head
Has been replaced by the need of magic.
At least he’s not like his Dad whose dead,
Who died with something less than a comb-over

Whole Nine Yards

It was a simple trip out to a medical ship via helicopter and back again. However, the craft would never make it back to dry land.

The four of us zipped over the near-white beaches, where tourists played and laid in the sand. It was a far cry from the interior less than 20 miles away where Marines were hunting the drug cartels on a daily basis.

It was a Navy craft, an SH-2 Seasprite, originally designed to hunt down Soviet submarines. The Seasprite I was aboard though had been converted to Search and Rescue craft.

As we left the safety of the firebase, we came under small arms fire. It was routine for snipers and those working the coca trails to shoot at any helicopter leaving the fortified compound and they didn’t care if it has a large red-cross painted on it or not.

After we picked up our needed supplies and were in-bound an alarm sounded in the cockpit. I was sitting in a jump seat, further in the rear of the craft and knew the loud beeping meant some sort of mechanical trouble.

In the distance we could see the beach and the tourist enjoying their tropical vacation. I could tell we weren’t going to reach the safety of that sand as the craft drew closer and closer to the sea below.

The pilot, a Captain, pushed the Seasprite as hard as he could in hope of reaching land or at least get close to it. I watched as the water became so close to the craft that I could have easily stuck my hand out the hatch and touched a wave.

Then he announced, “Hold on!”

The helicopter bucked violently backwards then pitched forward with even greater violence as we hit the water. The ocean immediately started pouring in to the craft causing it to sink.

The pilot and co-pilot opened their doors and swam out into the sea. The flight engineer and I popped open the side hatch and did the same.

We had nearly made it — another 25 to 30-feet to go and we would have been able to remain completely dry.

Some Friend

It had been a very long day for Dave Barber and I. He had filled in for me at my office while I was working a medical flight to Greeley, Colorado.

Earlier in the morning, Sgt. Tommy Jenkins was either shot by someone, had accidentally shot himself or had pulled the trigger on purpose. In any case, he needed more medical aid from a larger hospital than our base hospital could give him.

When I returned to the base, I offered to buy dinner for us. We also decided to go to a local mall and visit our favorite bookstore.

On the way home I decided I wanted to stop quickly at Deanna Hurless’ so I could tell her how Tommy was doing. She and I were both members of the base honor team and Tommy was the unit’s NCO in charge.

As I got out of the car, I told Dave I’ll only be a couple of minutes. He decided to stay in the car because he was too tired to expend anymore energy jus’ on a quick visit.

Two hours later it dawned on me that Dave was still waiting in the car. I rushed down stairs to find him sound asleep even thought the temperature was near zero degrees.

When he woke up, he looked at me and asked in a rather sarcastic tone, “A couple of minutes, huh?”

I had no excuse for my forgetfulness.

Gummy Bear Surprise

My neighbor Beth Wachter was well-known for her practical jokes. One night she covered my 1972 Volkswagen Bug with Gummy Bear candy.

After she was finished, the fog that had moved in, turned to a heavy mist. The moisture sealed the little pieces of gooey candy to the surface of my car.

It would take me hours to get all the gelatin-based confectionary off my car. Along with removing the candy, it would also remove several patches of paint as well.

Too bad Beth didn’t know I had jus’ spend around $300 to get my Bug re-painted over the weekend.