February 12, 2014
Funny what you can remember when you start dredging around in your memory banks. I hadn't thought of this in 30 years:
Thanks to Billy the Kid I Got My Butt Beat
In eighth grade we had a history teacher who had a metal plate in his head from injuries received from the landing on Omaha Beach during D-Day. Mr. Paul Lamassney was a former Army Ranger ( and by his telling, Paul Anka played him in the movie "The Longest Day") and if ever a lecture was getting boring all you had to say was, "Is there a draft in here?" And Mr. Lamassney would say, "That reminds me, I was drafted once." And off he'd go on a tale of Battle-of-the-Bulge-fighting. Our fearless leader hailed from Las Vegas, New Mexico and although he had a begrudging respect for the German fighting man, he had no love for Billy the Kid. When I raised my hand one day to ask why, he snorted, "Billy the Kid shot everybody in the back," to which I said, "He didn't shoot them in the back they just didn't turn around fast enough." I got a big laugh from the class and an invitation to come up to the front of the room and bend over and grab my ankles. Two swats later, I sat down gingerly (it really, really hurt) but I wore my punishment proudly.
"Did it hurt?" everyone wanted to know at recess. Yes, I admitted, as I leaned against a spindly tree on the playground, but it was worth it. Those were the first of several swats I received during my school career in Kingman and I have to say I am a better person for them. For my money, if you can't stand up for a butt beating, you really don't deserve the forum to say anything.
The story is completely true, the only part I'm unsure about is the spelling of Paul Lamassney. Gay?
"Advise persons never to engage in mouthing off to ex-Army Rangers."
—Billy the Kid