An ugly job, but it’s a living

No man in the wrong can stand up against a woman that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’*

Texas is a damn unique place. An independent country before becoming part of the United States, the home to cowboys and oilmen, it’s a place where you can hear phrases and sayings that you’ll never hear anyplace else. This past weekend I spent some time on a ranch somewhere near the Llano River on the Edwards Plateau and ran across the ranch foreman. Noticing that he was driving the four-wheeler that one of his assistants normally drove, I inquired about the boy.

Had to let him go. Boy thought too slow and his hands were too soft to be much use around here.

The translation being that the erstwhile ranch hand was too dim and too lazy for the demands of the job.

When I saw the story about Jeanne Assam taking out Matthew Murray as he entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, I was impressed by how her actions were described by an eyewitness. Larry Bourbonnais, according to the Denver Post, is a veteran of combat from the Vietnam War. A member of the church, he was on the campus when he heard gunfire. Larry ran toward the sound of the guns and ran into the shooter and two armed church members who volunteer as security. The two men were pointing their weapons at Murray but were not firing.

Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.

“Give me your handgun. I’ve been in combat, and I’m going to take this guy out,” Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. “He kept yelling, ‘Get behind me! Get behind me!’ He wouldn’t hand me his weapon, but he wouldn’t do anything.”

Bourbonnais yelled at the gunman to draw his attention, he said. “First, I called him ‘Coward’ then I called him ‘S—head’ ” Bourbonnais said. “I probably shouldn’t have been saying that in church.” That’s when the shooter pointed one of his guns at Bourbonnais and fired, he said.

Bourbonnais ducked behind a pillar but was wounded by fragments from bullets and plaster from the pillar.

At about that moment, Assam turned a corner with a drawn handgun, walked toward the gunman and yelled “Surrender!” Bourbonnais said.

The gunman pointed a handgun at Assam and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round.

I was reminded of an old Texas saying that dates back to the earliest day of the Republic and the State. Back when lawmen and cowhands who worked along the Rio Grande found it to be a damn dangerous place. The land, the river and the denizens along either shore were all dangerous and it took a cool hand to work there and survive. Those with soft hands and slow thinking did not last long. The desired companero for such a dangerous place and times was a fellow who was a quick thinking man of action with a cool head when the bullets were flying. It has long been a high compliment to say of someone….

He’ll do to ride the river with.

Jeanne Assam coolly dispatched Matthew Murray before he got too far. According to Colorado Springs Police, Murray had two handguns, an assault rifle, and over a thousand rounds of ammunition. With 7,000 people still on the church campus at the time of the shootings, the grounds would have run red with the blood before he ran dry. Praying to God for strength, Jeanne started walking toward Murray as they fired at each other. So, Jeanne Assam will do…she’ll do to ride the river with.

*Texas Ranger Captain William Jesse McDonald’s personal motto was “No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin'”.


11 responses

  1. Thanks for that. Out here it was just a another story on the news. Lacking detail. The Taxas Governor should present her with an award.

    11 December, 2007 at 4:08

  2. I had to dig for the info because the media was mostly ignoring it. Then this morning it was all over the place. It’s good to see her acknowledgment for her actions even though she apparently only wounded the guy (he finished himself off) she did stop him from killing anybody else.

    12 December, 2007 at 0:13

  3. Makes me proud to be of Texas cowboy stock.

    Another well written piece of prose, my three headed sentry to the gates of Hades.


    12 December, 2007 at 6:24

  4. Thanks LK – Again I feel honored. How’s the Cedar Fever?

    12 December, 2007 at 16:51

  5. It was actually bronchitis…exacerbated by Cedar Fever, but I’m better. In the voice department, I sound like the love child of Rod Stewart and Rose Marie, but other than that, I’m much better.

    I didn’t realize till recently that you’re a Texan. Where’s home for you? I’m in Houston. A native of Karnes City, a small berg about 55 miles SE of San Antonio…the gateway to The Valley.

    I’;ve been in Houston since 1990 and until 1.1.07 worked in TV and radio. I’m freelancing now and really digging it.


    12 December, 2007 at 17:33

  6. I Know I’ve been through Karnes City – about two years ago – but I can’t say I have much of a recollection. There were several points along the trip when I noted that the area was pretty, but I was on a mission and local sightseeing didn’t get much priority.

    This current blog is a continuation of a now defunct version (provider went under and ate my posts) that I started while I was still working. To keep from causing problems with co-workers and the bastards that ran the placemy bosses (and the potential for being Dooced) I decided to shy away from identifying me or the place I worked. My habit was to refer to them by the pseudonyms “Some City USA” and “Some City Police Department.”

    When I first started blogging I had people trying to guess where I worked. From Miami to Los Angeles, and only once did someone guess it right when I posted a story about an interesting local character who had been dead for thirty years. Damn characters!

    Since I started back blogging after I retired from SCPD I have been thinking about doing away with the charade. But that’s since that cat won’t go back in the bag once she’s let out I am going to ponder my decision a bit longer.

    13 December, 2007 at 1:03

  7. Hey, I completely understand because I’m actually a castrated hermaphrodite , a P/T drug mule in Lithuania and an Orthodox Jew.

    Nothing is ever really as it seems.


    13 December, 2007 at 5:48

  8. God, I’m so busted!

    Okay – since we’re telling the truth now – I admit that I’m really not a semi-cynical, smartass, retired cop from Texas. [Hmmm, There might be some redundancies in that sentence but I’m just not sure]

    In reality, I am none other than Holli (normally spelled with a cute heart drawn over the “i”) Lou Merkwhistle. I’m 14, female (genetically not surgically) and blog from the basement of my parents’ house here in Missoula, Montana. My folks are pig-farmers (eeewww!), Home Lutherans, and members of the local swingers club (the Missoula Mashers), I weigh 412 pounds and ride a pink Vespa to school.

    I spend a lot of time down here in the basement.

    13 December, 2007 at 7:37

  9. In that case, I’ve got a 64 inch mustache that I named “Karl”; I’ve seen I’ve “Jaws” 412 times and when I play it backwards, I only refer to it as “Swaj”.

    I only ate generic peanut butter for six months and for a time, was addicted to all things George Washington Carver. I’ve not left my apartment in 16 years. I keep all of my urine in Mason jars and I believe that Senator Birch Bayh is God.

    How you lke me now?

    By the way, did you get the e-mail pic I sent you Holli (with a heart over the “i”) Lou Merwhistle???

    J. Herman Glimpsher
    Middle Earth

    13 December, 2007 at 8:06

  10. J. Herm,

    I was writing you a missive even as you were commenting here.

    Regarding peanut butter – Smooth or Crunchy?

    H.L. Merkwhistle

    13 December, 2007 at 9:10

  11. Miss Merkwhistle,

    Missive received and responded to in kind. Thank you.

    Peanut butter was of the smooth variety. Here at the Institute, we feel crunchy PB is in fact, a major redundancy.

    Superfluous ending,
    Collector of gum wads found under tables at Luby’s

    14 December, 2007 at 13:29

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