Bollinger County Stray Project Report June 5-11
This is week three that I am writing about my husband’s history with music. I believe how he lived, what adventures he experienced in real life, help explain the feelings he shows in the music he plays through his sax.
Michael put together and donated a CD of classic ballads to the Bollinger County Stray Project as a fund raiser to help the community and the many pets needing to be re-homed.
Last week’s story ended with Michael finishing the Army 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper. It seemed he may have secretly wanted to fly as a young child. While in sixth grade and when still in school n St. Louis his favorite school outfit was that of a pilot. He wore a leather flyer cap complete with chin straps hanging. To complete the authentic look he wore knickers. When he moved to Chattanooga and wore that to school the kids thought it a silly Yankee outfit! He never forgot the teasing. The bully kids helped form the man who would later become a brave and proud agent for the FBI.
He gained respect when he started to box. Michael earned his Reserve Golden Glove Title of the South at the young age of 17. He learned how to run with his mutt dog from a pack of bullies, then to run from point A to B because he did not have a car. He would run in high school track because the coach wanted the football players to develop stamina. That love for running and competitive sports was also evident is his music that he played in wild honky-tonk bars.
After wild Tennessee and then the Army, Michael went back to his birthplace of Cape Girardeau Missouri to go to college on the GI bill. He had fond memories of Cape as a small child. His best friend had been Jerry Kinder, also a saxophone player in school who would grow up to became surgeon Dr. Jerry Kinder of Cape Girardeau.
He recalls they lived at the edge of Cape where Southeast Hospital is now located. There was a farm in the area with a pony that he wanted to buy. He so badly wanted that paint pony he purchased one after he met me. He had run and played with his two dogs which ran loose in city limits. He remembers the dog Tex following the family car on the way to the downtown movie theater on Broadway. The bond of that childhood dog and his death from being fed glass in meat is as vivid to him today as then.
Life was very simple in Cape when he was a child. The city had grown a lot by the time he returned to its college to major in History and Physical Education.
He brought with him his mother’s silver alto sax and began playing it to the radio for friends and at a few college dance parties with other college musicians including Terry Heuer who played a tenor sax. Michael played by ear to songs popular in the late 40’s and early to mid 50’s, songs now called classics or standards. Mostly he loved playing ballads which allow a musician to feel the theme and meaning of the song.
He was the captain for the college track team his senior year when the many-year-record-holder Rex Miller ran the two miles, and former Cape county commissioner Gerald Jones, Fruitland Meats former owner Dutch Meyer, and Cape County elected official Rodney Miller were active in track and/or college football.
Michael would marry after graduating from college and have a daughter, his only child. They rented a home and he was able to have his own dog. So he purchased two German Shepherd s which were his very loyal side-kicks.
Michael lived in the area now known as Scott City. One day a friend and he were at “the Bluffs” area. Bored and with the daring spirit, he and his friend decided to swim across the Mississippi. Michael’s cousin Morris was to hold the two German Shepherds while they swam. When the young men were a good distance across Morris let the dogs loose. The loyal dogs jumped in the Mississippi and swam to Michael’s side, all crossing safely. They walked to the train tracks and planned to walk across but were told they couldn’t (for obvious reasons) so they walked along the river’s bank north a good ways and jumped back in the Mississippi, dogs and men, to float and swim back towards the Bluffs. Today he looks back realizing how foolish he was and the danger he, his friend, and his dogs were in because of their loyalty to him.
At that time Michael’s tenor sax friend Terry Heuer was playing with a group called “Mirt Merly and the Rhythm Steppers.” When Terry had to move on he suggested Mirt hire Michael. Michael traded his alto sax and extra money for a Selmer Mark VI tenor sax, now known as the best sax ever made.
Dance moves were the fashion of the day made more popular with the introduction of Elvis Presley. Michael’s instructions were to lighten up and learn to move on stage as well as to learn to improvise. Soon after being hired he was given a “good talking to” by Mirt to shape up or he would be fired. That “talk” forever changed the straight-way Michael had played. He learned to put feeling in his music and even though he has two-left-feet on a dance floor, he learned to move and feel the music while blowing his horn.
He was listening to popular vocal hits that an upcoming saxophone star named Boot’s Randolph was playing the sax. Michael learned how to make his sax scream, mastered vibrato, and much more a sheet of music could not teach him.
One of the gigs Mirt’s group played included a young talented singer named Charlie Rich. At that time Charlie played his instrument and sang without a band to back him.
After two years working with Mirt’s band Michael had to give away one of his Shepherd dogs when his young family had to move and he got a teaching job in St. Louis. Michael played with the popular Bob Kuban Band weekends. They played songs famous by Ray Charles and more rhythm and blues. Two saxophones played riffs in unison. Great music but it was boring for this musician who loved feeling his music.
So after playing the St. Louis establishments who closed at midnight, he packed his sax and went to the East Side St. Louis and played with black musicians.
One of the most cherished compliments in his memory was from one of those black musicians who said, “MAAAN, YOU play with SOULLL!” He played with soul with masters of soul…and they appreciated his talent.
Michael’s story continues in next week’s Stray Report.
You can download all 13 songs or any single song from his CD by going to our fundraiser page. For a donation of $9.99 you get all 13 songs. Single downloads are 99 cents each.
It is easy and it is only pennies per song which helps the pets we care for.
Accepted strays and relinquished pets (Facebook FB)(3):
… Elderly Shih Tzu not claimed.
Adoptions, return to owner or placed in other rescues (5):
… Border Collie female stray in Marble Hill returned to owner in northern Glenn Allen.
… Border Terrier type, former stray with Heartworm, adopted by Becca from veterinary office.
… Black Lab Aussie 6-mo old female went to Jackson family.
… Two dogs in the middle of a violent divorce: accepted by another rescue from St. Louis.
… Brown tabby male and another male, age 1, neutered and shots completed, free to good home. 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 10 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:
… Chocolate Lab female, less than a year of age has Ehrlichia.
Calls requesting assistance for dogs we did not admit (all these dogs posted on FB):
… LOST 6/1/17, near New Salem Church: female 15 to 25 pound black with white on chest
.. Two purebred Heeler males, d.o.b. August 1, need a home: military family moving.
… FOUND 6/6/17 Patton Post Office: purebred Basset, recently weaned a litter, red/white.
… FOUND 6/9/17 Patton Hwy 51, Co Rd A: black med long coat, Aussie or Shepherd Lab mix.
… FOUND 5/19/17, Co Rd 874 SW of Patton: Beagle or mix of 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 6/12/17. 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