sarge and his buddy Ralph
Sarge's buddy, Ralph Beckmann
This is a story of one of Sarge's highschool buddies. And it is also a story with a moral.
Ralph was one of the guys in school that always had a happy face. He was just about equal to a professional stand up comedian, and Sarge just loved to be around him. When young Sarge was feeling down he would call Ralph and in a few minutes of conversation, Sarge would have forgotten his troubles and was laughing with Ralph about some crazy situation.
Now that probably isn't unusual, many of us had good friends like that, what was unusual is that almost every day of his life Ralph was in pain. He had Polio when he was a child and his left leg was wasted away to just a stick. He had to have built up shoes to walk straight and most of time through his high school years he was on crutches. He had more operations from childhood to young adulthood than anyone could believe, but he always had his sense of humor to keep him going. That is why Sarge admired him so much and was proud to have him numbered among his friends. Ralph not only laughed easily but he spread his happiness among his friends.
In our school, like most schools there were bullies. Some were bullies because their parents were rich and gave them a sense of superiority that they lorded over all us peasants and some were just bullies because they happened to be born with a big physique and liked to push smaller people around.
On this day Ralph was hopping (Ralph because of his condition did not walk, he hopped) down the hall at school assisted by his two crutches that snapped around his arms. He always carried his books trapped between his one arm and his crutch. This particular bully was in the habit of coming up behind Ralph and pushing the books from the back and down they would go, spreading his pencils and papers all over the floor. Ralph would just quietly pick them up and continue on down the hall.(most all of us kids would help him too as he was well liked) Well I do not know what happened this time but I think Ralph was just fed up with the situation.
When his books and papers hit the floor Ralph dropped to the floor and reached out with his crutch and hooked the bully's ankle, causing him to fall. Then Ralph crawled over to him and just beat the holy heck out of the guy.
WITH HIS CRUTCH!
We all just stared in astonishment. Finally several of us held Ralph and took the crutch away and calmed him down. I never had seen Ralph so emotionally upset in my life. He was crying and cussing and just totally wiped out. When he finally calmed down he actually apologised to us, he was so embarrassed. Me, I was proud of the guy. He was a lot more man than anyone I ever knew in my life.
He crawled off and disappeared. From that time on he never pushed anyone around. When ever he showed his face someone would point at him and laugh, and shout, "Some guy on crutches beat him up! Ha Ha" That was the last of that bully.
Ralph gave me a good lesson right there and I think the whole school took the lesson to heart. There were very few bullies bothering anyone for the last two years of our school.
Ralph is married now and has three children.
Sarge, proud to be Ralph's friend.
Great story, Sarge. Great moral.
I hate bullies.
Great story Sarge, you certainly have a gift in prose.. I feel a little bad after reading how upset Ralph was (understandably, of coarse), although I must admit I did laugh when he beat up the bully with his crutch. He got what he deserved!
Sir; another quality story. ''Ralph'' Sir; thank you for teaching 'Sarge' :)'s
Yeah...good for Ralph. Bullies are like flies...they are pesky, and every darned one of them deserves to be swatted.
In my high school there was a boy/man named Billy. Billy was mentally challenged. He didn't have Down's Syndrome or have the mongloid look as they called it way back in the early 80's. His mother explained to me that he was born preemie and had his unbilical wrapped around his neck, and has asphyxia induced brain damage.
Billy was in the vocational training core, and was learning janitorial trades. Every day, he would push the broom around the school and do basic maintenance under the supervision of "Arky", our school custodian. A lot of d-bag kids would kick the broom out of his hands as he worked, or kick over the dust bin. Many of them called him "Billy Broom".
I played football on the varsity team from my freshman year on. I was already 6'2" and 225lbs as a freshman. I played defensive positions. I was NO bully. When I graduated in 1985, I was 6'4" and 255lbs...and I was still no bully, but I was the best friend Billy ever had.
The first time I ever met Billy, I was coming off the practice field...beat up and sore. Our coach took pride in making his rookies suffer during conditioning training as he called it. We all called it Camp Mother******. I actually had a bloody cut over my right eye, a bloody nose and skinned knuckles. I was carrying my gear and dropping stuff all over the place because I could barely see out of one eye, and the other was full of sweat.
Billy had been watching practice because he LOVED football, and he desperately wanted on the team. District rules, at that time, didn't allow for special ed kids to play sports. Anyway, Billy came down off the bleachers and without asking picked up what I was dropping and helped me tote my HUGE gear bag into the locker room, then he pulled a clean hanky out of his pocket and wiped the blood off my eye. "My mom says to have a clean hanky all the time." was all he said.
"Thanks Billy." I said as I clapped him on the shoulder.
I showered and when I got my poop in a pile and was ready to go home, Billy was waiting by the bike rack. We didn't lock our bikes back then...I mean we lived in total white bread Tucson, AZ and no one would be so low as to steal a feller's bike...right?
Well some d-bag had taken Billy's bike. It turns out Billy lived about a block and a half from me, so I put my bike in the coach's office and walked home with Billy. On the way Billy pointed out his bike. It was sitting in front of the 7-11 a few blocks from our school. Billy didn't know what to do....but I did.
We walked up to the store, and I waited for whomever had the bike to come out. Turns out it WAS a d-bag stoner burn out Def Leppard t-shirt wearing type that went to our school. I pulled him behind the store and gave him the shellaking of his life and got Billy's bike back.
Time rolls on. I get my license. I stop by Billy's house every day to take him to school. He rides home with me every afternoon. During FB season...Billy is in the bleachers. He comes to our small (VERY SMALL) family horse ranch in Tucson with me to help with chores and learnes to ride a horse. My Pap, who also owns a couple of gas stations, pays Billy a wage just like everyone who worked for him. Pap treated Billy like a man and not a (hate the word, but using it to illustrate a point) "retard".
My senior year. In the fourth game of the season, I get tackled by a pair of big old farm boys and my right knee is toasted. My leg was bent in a direction that legs just weren't meant to go. My scholarship to UofA disappeared.
Billy was there every day for months helping carry my books or whatever I had trouble with while I was stumping around on crutches. After all three surgeries to put my knee back together...Billy was always there. For Christmas that year, I gave Billy my letterman jacket, and our coach, the meanest guy on the planet gave Billy the job as Football Team Manager that season.
When it was time for prom, I got Billy a date and they rode in the limo Pap had rented for us. When we graduated, Billy was there on stage with us. When I graduated from the police academy, Billy was there too. When I got shot in 1993...Billy was there every day while I healed up. When I got married in 2001...Billy was there, he was one of my best men. When my daughter was born in 2004...Billy was there too.
Billy still lives in Tucson, and works for the school district we went to. He lives in a small group home with three other mentally challenged people cose to the school and is pretty independant.
So sarge, I can empathize. Billy is one of the best friends I ever had. He is always cheerful, and always makes me smile when I see him. Whenever I show up at his place to bring him out for a ride a'horseback, or to come to a cookout, I make his day a little brighter too. So yeah...he is probably the "best man" I know.
Knowing Billy probably made me a better husband, father, friend, and cop because he taught me how to not be a selfish ass and to know how important it is to protect those who can't protect themselves.
Friends like Ralph
Infidel, I understand. You see my Mother had no leg or foot. She was ran over by a train when she was 18 yrs. old. She lost her right leg about mid thigh and her left foot with only the heel left at the end of her leg. In spite of that handicap she won my father over three years later. She was a Spanish beauty and had curly black hair. My Dad, thank God, didn't look at her as a handicap person he saw only her heart, spirit, soul and compassion for others and prompty married her. Mom never let her disability stop her. She worked at the GoodWill Industries teaching other handicapped people how to crochet, weave, sew, and repair antique dolls which were very much in demand. She belonged to many handicap clubs and organizations to help the needy and the disabled. So you see I have been around handicap, disabled people all my life. I have gotton used to the situation and accept them just like my Dad accepted my mother. I just wrote a story about a special Christmas and posted it a few minutes ago. Read it. And thanks for your story of Billy. You may not go to church (I don't know of course) but in my opinion you are a true Christian.
Almost sounds like a competition here...
My Granny Jean (Who raised me along with Pap) lost her right arm just below the elbow in a ranch fire back in the 1950's.
That woman, who stood all of 4'11" and weighed 88lbs could beat hell out of every one of us kids, and cook, sew, clean, and shoot her pistol all with her left hand.
So, yeah...I don't tend to think of folks with a challenge as handicapped as long as they do what they CAN do. I even worked with an officer who lost his left leg below the knee while serving in Desert Storm. He was Nat'l Guard, and was a cop before he volunteered for a deployment. Lost the leg, spent a year learning to walk, and eventually run with his new prosthetic. He retired a couple of years ago, and now he works part-time for a smaller department in northern AZ. I wouldn't call him handicapped.
I get to church when I can. Like Alan Jackson said: I know Jesus, and I talk to God...
very good stories with life meaning
Each of you bring a humanistic story; one with profound messages.
Thank you for sharing your stories guys!
I think that is what I needed today.
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