Alaskan Silver Running For Your Life 

  
Pin searched the room while Mayor Lafayette told his story. It was imperative that they show no signs of worry. The Pick Axes mustn’t know that Sgt Silver had learned their plan. It was up to the Mayor to sell this as just a normal campaign speech.

“Great Grandpa made an honest fortune in spite of himself.” That is how Carl Lafayette’s story always began. It had been honed by his Grandfather and his Father before him. Carl had added a touch here and there, no altering of the fact, just pauses and colorful phrases.

The Lafayette family was the richest and most powerful family in town politically. Carl was the third Mayor in the family, and he was grooming his three sons for bigger things. “One day, not to far off, this will be a state. States need Senators and Representatives, you boys can decide which you would rather, the loser gets to be Governor.” Then he would laugh and hug them all.

Carl was an honest man, and a real public servant. Which is why the criminal organization had sent him a death threat. They had threatened to kill the Mayor at his own rally if he didn’t resign.

Lafayette’s would not be bullied. The only criminal connection he had, was the con man ancestor they always talked about. Even Allen was only a con man until he met Gilda. She was one of his pigeons. Gilda turned the tables, talking him into buying back his own phony gold mine. His reaction, was to marry her.  

The problem was, they still had the phony gold mine. That solved itself when it turned out to be more real than either expected. Between Great Grandmother and the gold, Great Grandpa became an honest man, and a proper citizen.

Now, his descendant was working to end crime in America. Even if it meant risking his own life for what he believed in. At the climax of the Mayor’s speech, the lights went black, a shot was heard, and a window was broken.  

Find out next week what happened when the lights come back on in next week’s “Alaskan Silver”!

HisBits: Harpo

  He was a comedian, husband, father, and pre-cold war spy. His name was Arthur Marx, but you may know him as Harpo. He played the silent, but vibrant, one of the four brothers.  

Forgetting your lines could be a deadly weakness for a comedian, but in Harpo’s case, it made his career. This was how he became the pantomiming one of the brothers. It was a deficiency that secured his place in Hollywood history.

Leaving school at eight years old, when not able to pass second grade, he joined the work force. He sold newspapers, worked in a butcher shop, and was an office errand boy, all while adding to the family income. In 1910, Arthur would help start the family business.

He, along with brothers, Julius and Milton created the group, the Three Nightingales. All the names would later change. They became the first version of the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Gummo, and Harpo.
The army would call on Gummo to leave the group. So the oldest and youngest brothers, Leonard and Herbert, would step in as Chico and Zeppo. Eventually Zeppo would join Gummo in offscreen theatrical management. 

Of all Harpo’s adventures, the most exciting was an unscripted one. In 1933, he spent six weeks on a goodwill tour. During that time, he would transport secret messages to and from the US embassy in Moscow, at the Ambassador’s request. Harpo had to carry them on him for up to ten days at a time. They were taped to the inside of his leg under his clothing.  

Three years later, he would marry his bride of twenty eight years, Susan Fleming. She encouraged his love of painting, making elaborate frames for his art.  The two of them loved children, adopting four. He said once that he wanted to fill every window of his home with a child waving goodbye. To them, kids were never an after thought, they were their reason to come home.

Harpo valued listening and learning. Even though his unconventional way of playing the harp was part of his success, he spent a lot of money learning the proper technique. One of the few times he spoke on stage, was his last performance. He talked for several minutes as he announced his retirement, and how much he would miss performing.

It proved one thing, Harpo wasn’t a man without something to say, but one who knew when to speak. Words used properly have value. Talk isn’t cheap, as long as you consider beforehand what you’re about to say.  

He was the quiet clown in a troupe of them. Yet his kindness resonated throughout the family. Arthur was a gentleman who loved performing, and loved his family even more.  

Alaskan Silver: Sgt Pin

  
Do you love the old serials of yesterday? The ones where adventure slipped in for a little while, pulled you to the edge of your seat, and left you captivated until the next week’s conclusion? PruittWrites does, and it’s in that vein that we start the limited edition episodes of Alaskan Silver.

Sergeant Philip Nicholas Silver, was the type of policeman Alaska needed. He was strong, silent, and smart enough to survive both the landscape and its citizenry. His whole life had prepared Pin, as his new friends called him, for the beat that would create his legend. 

 His youth was in Chicago, until his Father’s undercover work forced them to relocate to New York. It was there Pin would join the force, a fourth generation policeman. Quickly his own success against the mob forced a name change and relocation. 

 The beard and mustache to cover his face were easy. The hard part was losing the accent.  He spent months adapting a version of his maternal Grandmother’s southern drawl.  

Now, he was Sgt Silver, not able to contact his loved ones, or to breathe his real name. He would start a new life in the wintry world of MaKenzie, Alaska, enforcing the law. Sgt Silver would learn that here too, crime was organized, and had to be dismantled.  

Tune in next week to read how Sgt Silver rescues the city’s most prominent family from the criminal organization known as the Pick Axes.

He Is Able

  2 Timothy 1:12

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

He is able … Allow these three words to sink in just a minute, I just did. Oh, I’m sure that we know this, and if I may, that’s part of the trouble. We know all kinds of things, but at times, we’ve got to come back to this fundamental truth, He is able.

Yes, our world is filled with trouble, pain, and sorrow, but when wasn’t it? I agree that it is worse today, but Adam and Eve could say the same thing. They dared hope while leaving the garden, even when like the serpent they were sliding away. Then a child was born that brought hope.

Noah faced the destruction of the world, but he hoped a board and a hammer at a time. Moses was a fugitive, but he trusted by the fire of hope. The difference is, that each experienced one immutable fact, He is able.

He is able to forgive and cleanse us of our sins. He is able to keep us from the destruction of this world. Finally, He is able to turn us from fugitives of hope, to citizens of Heaven.

Whatever your battle, whether mental, physical, or financial today, take heart. Don’t focus on the magnitude of the issue, but on the magnificence of Our God.

He is able … I will apply those three words to every problem I face. I don’t know how He will work, I don’t have to, I just know that He will. God isn’t only able to do abundantly above all, He will work until the day the trumpet touches Gabriel’s lips and beyond.

The Color Of Age

  
Have you ever noticed, that the trees are at their most colorful, when their leaves are at their oldest stages? This time of year, we celebrate the red, yellow, and even brown accents that Fall brings. We know the next stage will be limbs of glistening white, and those are filled with beauty as well.

Every phase of life should be appreciated, whether it’s the energy of youth, the practicality of middle age, or the wisdom of graying years. Age brings color, it adds diversity, knowledge, and excitement. I’d like to share three suggestions that will help add value to whatever time of life you are in.

First, smile at what you can, where you are. Every person born, will experience problems, there’s no escaping it. What you can prevent, is from allowing the bad to rob you of taking pleasure in what is good.

As humans, we mistake the lack of problems as a prerequisite for enjoying our days. Laughter doesn’t live free from tears, it exists alongside them. Don’t wait for the perfect conditions to enjoy life.

Second, appreciate those around you. A grateful person can not be miserable. They are too busy being thankful for what they have, to worry about what they don’t have. When we are thankful, we reflect the kindness our loved ones pour into us, and that is always a beautiful scene.

Third, remember life is filled with seasons, this too shall pass. You will not always be where you are, feel the way you do, or face what is in front of you. By its nature, a season is limited, so is your battle.

The Scripture said “Seeing you have done all to stand, stand…” God, Our Creator, knows our limitations. He will not allow us to face anything that He hasn’t already planned for.  

Like the trees, we don’t have to defeat our season of life, only to stand tall in it. You and I were made in His image, crafted in His likeness, we can make it through. The color of our leaves may change, or fall out, but we will thrive, glistening in His love.

The Sea Horse: Justice In Oceania 

 The rest was a free for all.  Hyperbole’s holographic projector began firing lasers, clashing with Mimic.  Sea Horse and High Society locked in a life or death battle.  Every ally had invaded the villain’s underground base.  Mimic signaled for reinforcements, and Carbuncle and all the rest of his hired mercenaries plunged into battle.

Meanwhile, the force the Infantino Machine was generating on the outside surface of it’s metal hull was heating up.  The yellow glow grew brighter and brighter.  It was time to put the Sea Horse’s plan into action.  Mimic expected a double cross, so he gave him one.  Hyperbole was more than willing to act the role of a decoy, even if it was in reality, a minor part.

Prism, the young lady determined to stop Malady, finally allowed herself to be seen.  “All right Dr, let’s get out of here.”  “They sealed us in, I’m afraid we can’t.  Spectrum could blow the casing, but he’s unconscious.”  “He is, but I’m not, and neither is his energy.  The wonderful thing about a prism doctor, it isn’t just almost invisible without light, but when light is present, it magnifies it.”

Prism connected with the power battery draining Spectrum’s power, and redirected it.  Soon the force was ripping the ship apart.  The centrifugal force threw the three of them into a chasm as the rest exploded in two separate blasts.  They were bruised, but okay.

While still extremely powerful, they had weakened it just enough to avoid the destruction the trio of villains had promised.  The Sea Horse and his allies had won the day.  High Society, Titanic, and Mimic were placed in maximum security, as were most of their hired guns.  Dr. Melvins’ daughter, and the others were rescued, and there was a momentary victory.

That did not curb Oceania’s crime problem however.  Thanks to Martin Pott’s funding, and the unknowing contribution of “The Elite’s” bank accounts, the Wonzu and Armor were now the leading crime family in Oceania.  The Sea Horse promised to take them down as well, but it would take time.

They didn’t know it yet, but other secrets still remained for them to uncover.  The team’s battles were just beginning, but together, they would succeed. The adventures of the Sea Horse were far from over, but this chapter was ending.  Those behind the tragedy of Norm Silva were behind bars, and Oceania was a better place.  Tomorrow would bring a new threat, but today, there was justice in Oceania.

S.T.A.R.T. 7: Timing

  
Timing 

Know when and how to share

 A very wise man, and friend, Pastor Denny Livingston has taught me that timing is everything, and I wholeheartedly agree. You must pick the proper moment to share your story, video, book, or website. In evaluating your timing, you should consider the most appropriate method.

For example, As of this writing, the majority of PruittWrites eBooks are sold through the Kindle store on Amazon. Initially, our reason for this was no upfront cost. Let’s be honest, in business, cost is a factor. It must not be the only one, but it is one.

We chose this means, not only because of price, but because the market is massive. Our books are on sale in India and the United Kingdom. In addition, there are wonderful promotional tools to aid in the marketing of our products. The format is almost universal in it’s availability across electronic devices.

If design is not your strong suit, seek out experts that can help you to get the most out of your product. Businesses such as Ninety Nine Designs or a freelance Graphic Artist can be a key factor in your success.

Before you publish, post, or upload, seek out input from those you both trust, and have confidence in. If they say it isn’t ready, or it isn’t clear, listen. It won’t hurt if it takes a little longer, but starting to soon countries e detrimental t 

When you start, be prepared to wear multiple hats, and seek as much counsel as you can. Establish in your heart, to continually be a student, don’t allow an expert attitude to rob you from crucial input. Over time, you’ll learn many things, but always remember, there’s more to be learned.

One of the things that you must be committed to, at the start of your journey, is change. Change, not for the sake of change, but for the the success of your goal. Please understand, people confuse methods with message. Your message, your core values, should never change, but your methods are only the means to an end. View them as only a vehicle to carry your message, and when someone provides you with the right opportunity, upgrade your vehicle.

At it’s launch, what is now PruittWrites.com was a free site, now we’re self hosted. I have a technical background so I enjoy serving as the technical crew currently. Still, we seek input on everything from writing to marketing to where we’re planning to go next. As your projects expand, you can take on more help. At first, in their infancy, new projects can require more hands on attention.

We recognize that not all opportunities are upgrades. That new car, (i.e. web technology, piece of equipment, etc.), may turn out a lemon. Test drive it first. If you are thinking about changing something, do a beta version, and then have it evaluated. In television, they always make a pilot before they make a series. 

One of the most important areas of marketing is an email list. This is a way to allow interested people to opt in to a weekly email/newsletter from you. It will give you an accurate idea of the size of your base. 

The statistics will help you learn how to post regularly enough to keep readers interested. I use a plugin that makes this easy. It takes the last four posts, automatically puts them into a preset newsletter template, and mails out each week. 

PruittWrites is still building our email list, and we hope to offer a new tool that will enhance the lives of our readers. Learn what you do that brings the most value to your customers, and then seek to fill that area with important content. 

By valuing your customers, you’ll learn when to launch project a, b, or c.  Over time you can instinctively know what they need, and how to fill it.  Connect with your base, listen to their problems, and fill their need. In so doing, you’ll not only S.T.A.R.T. strong, you’ll finish stronger.  If that is, your timing is right.

Hisbits: Pyle, Sprague, and Lawson

Wikimedia Image
Wikimedia Image

When I think of the Andy Griffith show, I think of some roles individually, and others as a group. Of the groups, two that come to mind are Floyd and Goober, and Goober and Howard. In today’s #Hisbits, I would like to spotlight the actors behind the roles.Goober

George received a Bachelor Of Science degree in 1952. After that, he joined the Air Force, and later taught High School. He was accepted into the American Theater, and upon graduation from it, appeared in two Broadway plays. George decided to move to Los Angeles and to try television in 1962. Two years later, he would take the role that America fell in love with on the Andy Griffith Show, Goober Pyle.

[tweetthis]…you don’t have to prove how smart you are, instead, seek to share as much love and laughter with others as you can.[/tweetthis]

His other work included the Walt Disney company. He had animated roles in three different films, the Aristocats, Robin Hood, and the Rescuers. Lindsey would play the character of Goober in two other shows, Mayberry R.F.D. and Hee Haw. His last series as Goober would actually be the longest he ever played the mechanice. His work on Hee Haw spanned 1972 to 1992, twenty years.

George was as kind as the character, raising over 100,000 for the Alambama Special Olympics through seventeen years of a celebrity Golf tournament bearing his name. He also served as the Head Coach for the Winter Games in the Minneapolis, Minnesota Special Olympics National Competition. Lindsey setup the George Lindsey Academic Scholarships at University of North Alabama, his home state, as well as a film festival there.

The man famous for playing an uneducated, but kind hearted country bumpkin, proved something in the process. That was this, people may not only be much smarter than they appear, they can be even kinder than you first suspect. He embedded the same layering in the character of Goober Pyle, showing that you don’t have to prove how smart you are, instead, seek to share as much love and laughter with others as you can.

Howard

Every character on the Andy Griffith show had something unique to their costumes that fit their personality. From Andy’s lack of tie, to Barney’s constant wearing of it, to Goober’s hat, and Floyd’s barber’s coat, they all pointed to aspects of the character’s personality. For Jack Dodson’s Howard Sprague, it was the bow tie, the perfect prop for the lovable county clerk.

Andy himself chose Jack, after seeing him on broadway. He would return to the theatre in 1985, and to Howard Sprague on the reunion movie, Return to Mayberry. Before this, he was Ralph Mouth’s Dad on Happy Days.

My favorite Howard episode was the one where his quick thinking not only secured the local Church’s foundation, but the relationship of the people closest to him. Friends and family meant more than anything to the character of Howard Sprague. The same was true of Jack. While he played the perennial bachelor, the actor enjoyed a long marriage to art director Mary Dodson, from 1959 to his death in 1994. The bow tie loving everyman, quietly did his work, and faithfully cared for those around him.

Floyd

To tv watchers, he was Floyd The Barber, but to radio listeners, Howard McNear was the first Doc Adams on Gunsmoke for nine years. His old friend, Parley Baer, later Mayor Stoner, was Chester on the radio show. McNear, a San Diego native, served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After this, he came to prominence playing Clint Barlow on the radio serial Speed Gibson and the International Secret Police.

[tweetthis]Challenges may alter the way we do things, but they don’t have to stop us from doing them…[/tweetthis]

He was good in authoritative roles, but preferred comedy, and it fit him like a glove. In 1958, on Leave It To Beaver, he guest starred as a barber named Andy. Three years later, he would become Andy’s barber. A stroke forced him to first leave the show, but Andy asked him to return.

Even though it took the use of the left side of his body, the show made allowances for that. Any episode where you do not see Floyd walking, means that it was after the stroke. Even in those scenes where it showed Floyd standing, a frame was holding the actor up.

Disabilities are not easy, but Howard McNear proved they do not have to be either career, or life ending. Before and after the stroke, Floyd’s value to Mayberry was priceless. Challenges may alter the way we do things, but they don’t have to stop us from doing them, just ask Floyd.

Trios

In our life, we are blessed enough to be a part of certain groups. Some are families, teams, and organizations, the joy of them is the fact that we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Too often, we allow pride to sabotage great relationships for the spotlight. Aren’t you glad that Andy Griffith didn’t feel that way? Instead, he assembled a crew of people that did their best to make everyone shine, and in the process, each left behind characters that we will always remember.