Being a skeptic will get you nowhere

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2001

The courtroom was almost a living, pulsating being unto itself when the shy, inexperienced reporter crept into the massed assemblage of nervous, twitching spectators.

There was no seat available in the main body of the courtroom, the reporter noted, as he scanned the ordinarily silent hall of justice.

People of all stations, from the richest to the bedraggled poor, had made it their business to get there soon and early. They came in anticipation of blotting up every word of testimony in a case involving disposition of the estate of a legendary folk hero whose fame had become international in scope.

The deceased legendary hero had left a massive estate, one that still pays dividends, and as is so often the case in like situations, there ensued a squabble over who should get what and who shouldn't.

This was followed by a contest among family members, to be settled at some future date by a jury of the contestants' peers.

All this was running through the reporter's mind when the strident voice of the sheriff jolted him back into the reality of the situation.

He craned his neck for one last searching glance around for a seat when his eye lit on a vacant space between an old lady and a huge gentleman who was togged out in Western attire.

The reporter managed to struggle through the crowd and eventually into that vacant space.

The testimony, of itself, was interesting and absorbing enough, the reporter thought, as he made notes on the proceedings.

Finally, the judge called a recess, and this was when the reporter engaged the huge Western-looking man in conversation.

It was an easy exchange of thoughts, in which

the stranger seemed to have a slight edge, or so he claimed, in that he had known the dear departed folk hero on a one-on-one basis.

Reporters generally are a skeptical breed and this one was no exception. He scarcely believed the big stranger's claim to fame.

Until

until, at day's end, after several further exchanges, the reporter shook the stranger's hand and asked the man his name.

"Why, I'm Tex Ritter, son," said the man, "and they flew me here to Montgomery as a character witness for my late friend, Hank Williams."

As we say in Lower Alabama, "Don't that beat all?"

The story is true.

Editor's note: The following is, if you will, a paraphrase, plagairization or tight theft of thoughts inscribed in The Evergreen Courant by my much admired collegue, Dickie Bozeman, in his Forever Green column. He is the son of Greenville's own Mrs. Frank Hickman.

Perhaps one shining light pierced the darkness of our otherwise gloomy nation that was tragically victimized by terrorist marauders. It was the light that shone brightly, with an all-encompassing return to prayer!

Neither seen nor heard were any groups protesting those prayers, or for a ban of them anywhere, anytime.

Bozeman concluded with his own prayer: "and I pray that it will stay that way."

We agree, Dickie, 2001 percent.