The Real Thing

Updated: Oct 27

Remember this: Success has been and continues to be defined as getting up one more time then you've been knocked down. (Gary Racer)




There are times when life comes at you hard, knocks you to the ground and all you can do for the moment is to lay there gasping for air.

The Bonnie and Clyde movie was out and I couldn’t wait to see it. When Steve Deckard and I were making plans for the weekend, that movie was first on our list.

We hitchhiked to the East Fifty Drive Inn Theater and were not disappointed. The Barrow Gang, especially Bonnie and Clyde, were portrayed in such a way that we lost sight of the fact that they were responsible for killing twelve people. It was like they were good bad people. The final scene in which they were ambushed by police was sad. Out of the one hundred and thirty shots fired at them, Clyde Barrow was hit seventeen times and Bonnie Parker’s body was riddled with twenty-six bullets. Both were struck several times in the head.

As the last scene was ending Steve and I rushed out and stood beside Highway 50, waiting for someone to give us a ride back to town. In a few moments a car came and we stuck out our thumbs, hoping to get a ride. As the vehicle approached I heard a whistling sound and suddenly, BAM!!! Something hit me in the stomach, knocking me to the ground. I couldn’t move or say anything, all I could do was lay there and gasp for air. Steve, who was six feet four with a firey temper, realized what happened and began cussing and screaming at the people in the car.

Someone had thrown a glass coke bottle, the real thing, out the window and hit me in the stomach. Steve turned and stood over me yelling, “Danny, are you are right. Are you hurt? Talk to me, man!” I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t have any breath in my body. It seemed like I had been laying there for a long time when suddenly I was able to breathe. Life came back into my body and I felt no pain at all. For some strange reason I began laughing at Steve because he was in such in a panic. When I began to laugh he became more angry and started cussing at me, “Danny, you little (blank, blank blank … blank, blank, blank), you were faking weren’t you? That bottle didn’t hit you, did it?” “No, man, it did hit me, but I’m not hurt, it only knocked the breath out of me.” I stopped laughing, he quit cussing and in just a few minutes a car came by and gave us a ride to town.

Everyone, more often than they like, has been devastated by circumstances that come screaming into their lives through unfortunate situations. Sometimes we get knocked down so hard that we cannot breathe for a time. But, it will end, so get up and continue on your journey through life. Gary Racer declared, “Life is hard, real hard, incredibly hard. You fail more often than you win. Nobody's handing you anything. It's up to you to puff up your chest, stretch your neck, and overcome … the difficult … the nasty, the mean, the unfair. You want more than you have now? Prove it! Get out there and earn it! Once you decide that, you will know where it is you want to be and you won't stop pushing forward until you get there! That's how winners are made ....

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