Bollinger County Stray Project Report May 28 – June 4
The Bollinger County Stray Project is not only a pet project of mine but also of my husband Michael B. Neville. He is an accomplished saxophone player encouraged by Project foster Karen Sanders to create a CD.
I had reservations. Not because of his talent and sound which is unique, but because I feared a CD would not do justice to the sweet and sensual sound of his sax. So many CD’s that I have heard from other small time musicians were poorly mixed. They also sounded tin-canny compared to the top ten sounds you hear on a good stereo or from the radio system in a vehicle.
So Michael put “the wish” in a bucket and October of 2016 he told me he wanted to cut a CD and that he would only do so if the end product sounded professional.
To understand his choice of music and the feelings he puts into his music it helps to understand the man and his history. This week’s report is a continuation of Michael’s life growing up as a musician, with mention of some of the dogs who were devoted to him.
As a teenager Michael played his mother’s old silver saxophone in several bars, particularly a little hopping establishment called Joe’s Place in Hixon Tennessee, outside of Chattanooga. He had learned to play by ear, a gift few musicians have, by playing to the popular tunes of the day on the radio. By his side was his 80pound brown mutt named Duke.
Chattanooga was a wild city. The Lupton Estate, owned by the family who owned the Coca Cola Company, was a favorite place to “visit”. The boys told Michael no one lived there, yet the huge estate was maliciously groomed, the pool was filled, and the house had a pipe organ that Michael remembers. He said they never damaged anything on the property.
The boys would crawl over the fence and swim the pool. Michael does not recall ever being caught, but he knew they had no right being there. He recalls the estate as beautiful and swimming on the property as exciting, but wrong. It was one of those things that would always be in the back of his mind when in later years when he was a federal agent for the FBI.
He realized kids and adults may do things as a dare or be careless, but if they have parents who teach them morals…their heart and minds will go back to their early teaching to have respect for other’s property and their life.
When age 17, 1954, before I was born and when Michael was a senior in Chattanooga, he and some friends were talking to a guy who had been a paratrooper in the Korean War. He had a friend with a plane and the boys were fascinated by him. He owned two parachutes. Michael can’t remember exactly what he said, either that it would be exciting to jump out and fly in a parachute or if he flat out said he would like to fly by parachute, but he does remember the others with a dare, and so this Golden Glove Boxer, high school musician went in a small engine plane for the first time in his life while wearing a parachute and a sober face.
He recalls stepping out of the little plane, holding on to a bar placed on the wing, also used to hold the wing to the plane, and then letting go to fall then fly to earth.
When talking to Michael about his history, he paused then said, “What I did.. that was just crazy. I remember how grateful I was when the chute opened!”
This is the story of his youth that most fascinates me. I do understand this kid because even though his music is so emotional, his shell is strong as steel. His bravery is that of few people I have known in my lifetime.
Music allows a person to be say things they wouldn’t or could not in a normal conversation but the sweetness of the notes or the words of the song.
Currently Michael is reading a biography by Jessi Colter, wife of deceased singer Waylon Jennings. Michael’s daughter is her neighbor in Arizona. Jessie called Michael on his 80th birthday to wish him well.
In her book she wrote that Waylon was unfaithful and had a drug problem for years. She still stood by his side and instead of hate and fighting she wrote her feelings in songs, many well known country and pop hits. A good musician puts emotion in their music. They feel their music. Being a singer Jessi not only wrote the words but sang with a crying tone. She “wore her emotions in her music.”
Michael wanted a good life. He decided to go to college to get a better paying job and signed up with the 82nd Airborne to be a paratrooper. He was in the Army for two years and jumped out of a plane five more times. He said, “I actually rode in an airplane six times in my life before I landed on the ground while in a plane.”
While in the military Michael put down his sax for over two years not playing his music. He had no dog to pal with, but I bet there wasn’t a dog close by he did not pet. So his buddies in the military were his influence and memories. He recalls a Saturday night at the ocean in Virginia Beach where he and another paratrooper slept in a convertible, two more slept on the beach. Sunday morning church members were staring at them as they paraded by to go to the church they had parked next to.
Michael’s parents were devout Christians. Understanding his upbringing I can imagine why this memory is so vivid and embarrassing.
Michael was not a drinker then or now. In fact, I don’t recall him ever ordering a hard drink in the 28 years I have known him.
After the Army Michael moved back to St. Louis then came home to where he was born, Cape Girardeau Missouri, and went to college thanks to the GI Bill.
Michael would return to family, to the music and sax he so enjoyed. He got his dog fix from friend’s pets. The experiences in his childhood, his boxing, and the military were influencing the feeling and soul he was developing in his music.
Michael’s story continues in next week’s Stray Report.
You can download all 13 or any single song from his CD by clicking here. For a donation of $9.99 you get 13 songs. Singles are 99 cents.
It is easy and it is only “pennies for the pets” we care for.
Accepted strays and relinquished pets (Facebook FB)(2):
… Mother of the Rustic Bar litter was returned. She loved the little kids so much she developed separation anxiety when they were out of the house and tore up some ceiling to floor blinds.
… Elderly male Shih Tzu dumped south of Bloomfield: flea allergy, at least 75% fur loss.
Adoptions, return to owner or placed in other rescues (5):
… Four Dachshund mix puppies adopted to families in Perryville, Jackson, Cape, and one went to Cedar Rapids Iowa this weekend.
… Elderly Beagle female dumped near Twin Bridges was fostered and adopted by a gal in Jackson. The dog has mammary tumors, was covered in fleas and ticks, thin, and has Ehrlichia.
… Brown tabby male and another male, black with white, age 1, neutered and shots completed, free to good homes. Owners are moving.
… Calico long coat female and another cat male black with white declawed in front are free to good homes. Child is allergic.
… Two grey and one black kitten, all long coats, age 8 weeks up for adoption.
… Most days we are receiving multiple calls about cats with litters. Please spay your cats.
… Several cats to give away. Call 573-722-3035
Dogs with Heartworm (HW), Ehrlichia, special needs, or that were euthanized:
… Two white female Setter, Retriever Great Pyrenees type mix pups have Ringworm.
… Heeler mix male found near Coop in MH has stage 2 Heartworms.
Calls requesting assistance for dogs we did not admit (all these dogs posted on FB):
… LOST near New Salem Church 6/1/17: female black and tan, white on chest mix, 20-25 lbs.
… Free: 6 mo old Chocolate Pit mix male. Call 573-722-3035
… FOUND in Perryville Co: Female Pointer , mostly white, on FB.
… FOUND 5/19/17, Co Rd 874 SW of Patton: Beagle or mix small female
… 7-yr.-old purebred Chocolate Lab female needs a home.
Miscellaneous and contact info:
We had 46 dogs and pups at our home 6/4/17. If you have a stray camping out in the yard don’t wait, call us at 573-722-3035 or email photos at ace@clas. net.
We LOVE Buchheits! Donate a buck or more at the Jackson store for dog food and supplies when you shop. Also, Second Time Around in Marble Hill is taking donations for the Stray Project. Monetary donations are accepted at the Bollinger County Veterinary Service, Marble Hill Coop, Buchheits, and the MH Town and Country.
Stray Project monetary donations accepted at the Marble Hill Coop. We purchase de-wormer and other supplies at the Coop and donations are greatly appreciated.
Please be advised that the Bollinger County Stray Project is not the county or City of Marble Hill dog catcher. When you have a stray we try to help and can usually offer solutions. Patience is required of the caller towards our ability to find and implement a solution. I wish we had a magic wand but we don’t and can’t always help the callers in a manner they may demand of us. Remember, we are volunteers and help as time and space allows.
Offer a stray water on day one and food day two or three. Call if missing a dog or if you have a stray. We don’t always have room but we may have a solution to help you and the stray.
Dumping dogs is a form of abuse and against the law. Please report animal abuse or neglect.
Please do the following when your pets are expecting or caring for a litter: offer any pregnant dog small-breed-puppy-food the final 1-2 weeks before delivery and while the pups are nursing. Give those mothers all the food they want: bowls full all day and lots of fresh water available all day. Cats need kitten food. Free feed the higher calorie food during the nursing stage to help mom make milk and maintain her own body mass. Babies need to be de-wormed as young as 1-2 weeks, then every 7-10 days until age 10-weeks or older if in a confined environment with re-infestation concerns.
Thank you to the County Residents who have continued to support the Bollinger County Stray Project.
Check out our available pets at Petfinder. Call 573-722-3035 about our adoptable pets.
If you suspect an animal is being neglected or abused, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline, 314-647-4400 or 800-383-9835 or you can make a confidential report on line at Humane Society of Missouri.
To understand when an animal is being abused or neglected in the state of Missouri read the following link:http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cruelty/mo_cruel.htm