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Interview: Dusty

Updated on February 12, 2018
marcoujor profile image

In an English course at Villanova University in 1981, Maria interviewed her mom, who likened her to Barbara Walters. She never looked back.

We salute you, brave hero...

As a community, we are beyond shocked and saddened at Dusty's death on November 14th.

This interview, in Dusty's own words, means so much more to me now... He was gracious from start to finish in this process, much as he was in every other aspect of his life.

A straight shooter (seriously, I would never have wanted to be on his bad side...) with a heart of gold and a compassion for his fellow man and animals greater than the Universe...

Love and thanks to Dusty Tibbs for leaving such a powerful legacy. Dust, you taught me what a hero is from your every action...


Meet Dusty....

I had seen Dusty's, aka 50 Caliber, comments throughout HubVille, so I decided to check out his work. I was instantly blown away by the authenticity of his writing and the emotions it evoked in me.

I was truly honored when Dusty agreed to my request for an interview. I am sure you will be enthralled with his thoughts, filled with much wisdom and candor.

The times I'm most creative are ....

Having to do a job that takes 3 men and a mule and figuring out how to set up a rig to replace 2 men and some times the mule. I’ve got an old jeep of 23 years that I have just successfully removed the entire body and replace all the suspension and upgraded to heavier axles engine , trans and transfer case and last night used my rigging to set it all back together and hook the wiring and odds and ends up. So I made it through the whole ordeal with imagination. Down to the easy part, now, add gas and load the fuel system and see if the new engine and all works, then it’s back to the paint and trimmings. Things like that are just natural for me.

If I go to get creative with writing I have to separate out my inherent fixation with my dark past and feel the inspiration of the good things of life, those times come when just talking with folks. Most naturally are not breaking topics of war but the nicer days of the past and they’ll spike a memory that feels good. I then tell a tale of yester year that’s fun; making for an answer that is my inspiration to a story comes from others who can bring out my smiles and reflections of episodes past in my life. Mike has done it, and after writing a long email, he’ll comment that, “that’s the kind of thing people want to read”. I copied it to fill it out with all the details, it’s waiting for the “want to” right now. I hope it follows this episode in trying to figure out who I think I am, and what blows my skirt up, to find boxers or briefs, below.

The times I'm most joyful are...

I love to see my daughters, adopted, I refer to them as my girls. I inherited them from two couples that after Nam, my Dad got jobs for two I liked and we all rented a two-bedroom apartment together, they got out first and by the time I got there they were married and it was the couch for me. One at a time they all went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came back. So there is a long story here but they are the smile makers that we have bonded very tight as a family.

I find abandoned dogs on my trips about the desert and picking them up I cuss the coward who dumped them. Puppies or adult dogs I am always happy to see them pull through dehydration and trust issues. After the vet gives them their shots and health check, seeing their ribs go away and their trust issues go away, we all join up for triple Frisbee. That wears me out just keeping up while laughing.

I just like to see good things happen to other humans or animals, kindness brings back good karma most always, and I believe we live in a world that is over seen by the great ”Creator”, who rewards us along our journey.

Something I'd like to learn to do...

I’d like to learn to live with my past, so that I could write about it to complete a memoir of the hell of it. I cannot forget it, due to having to hop to the bathroom in the night or just put one of my prosthesis on to get up and do my daily life. That is a thing that will always be, and I remember how it got that way. I can put it on and zip the leg of my pants down and get up and move on and end any thought by just thinking on first things first on my list of things like feeding and watering the horse and burros and I’m on with my day.

To sit down and get out my folder of orders and rank certificates as well as the training certificates and start accurately dating the events then writing about the exploits to me is just not possible yet. It seems a badge of shame to me. People, who NOW thank me for my service, are a few decades late. It actually pushes me back 4 decades to the reception of the time I flew into San Francisco, and heard the hate saw the signs accusing me of what I did, that was no different than what others before me have done. It was what it was and I couldn’t change it. I always wonder about those who thank me, “what the hell were you saying in the 1970s?”.

My secret talent...

I can’t tell you, ‘cuz then I’d have to kill you, ‘cuz it’s secret and telling would make it known, LOL. I have played guitar 55 years, and classical style and Flamingo are my two taught by school but practiced by me and I like to think I’m better than good at it, and have applied as a second seat on several Uof A concert nights featuring an accomplished guitarist. Always get beat by some young guy that shaves and dresses fancy for the auditions. I’ll not stoop at an audition but sign me on and I’ll clean up then, otherwise, what you see is all me.

Best gift I ever gave someone...

My unconditional Love, A stable home, meals and clothing along with a Sunday School upbringing and the push to learn as much as they could in school, with the knowledge that at 18 the two would have to get out of the nest and fly.

Best gift I ever received from someone...

Unconditional Love and Respect and the dropping of their life to come running to keep my life together when I went under the knife the second round and needed someone to carry the load of taking care of my animals. Those two girls kept my HP friends updated until I was able to come home, and they stayed on until I was able to handle the place and we parted. I was grateful for their instant action, and paid them back 10 fold by buying them a house and furnishing it. I bought them both new wheels as well.

If you peeked in my closet, you'd be surprised to find...

Heck I can’t even guess what’s in your closet, I’d be surprised you even let me peek! I sure hope it would be sexy and a bottle of Viagra to go with it (LMAO). And if I get an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours, don’t call a doctor, hell call for back up (LMAO sum more).
I reckon youz talking about my closet not sure if metaphorical or really.

In a real closet you’d find a foot in a large glass jar floating in some kinda fluid. In others you’d find arsenals of toys that go boom.

My metaphoric closet holds few secrets, if any. Not much I’ve done, I haven’t told except maybe one thing that is just around the corner. That is my girls are both pregnant with boys, and I know who the donor is, they are in all actuality not related to each other nor to me by blood, just heart. They have always been together since birth, I was blind to it, but they are gay and at the time they were 19 or so, one of them, don’t remember which. Told me, “You know we’re gay right?” I was just surprised that it was with each other. Now, like always, they do everything together and they are with in weeks of each other pregnant. The donor was I, I been told both picked me out of the world of donors. So in a way I’m fixing to be a grand Dad, Dad. ‘nuff said.

My dream dinner date...

Would be a gathering of all my friends from HP in Arizona’s fall weather for a week of campfire tale telling, good outdoor cooking of great meals. I’d have to have help past the meat, beans, corn and bread menu for salads and other veggies I don’t eat at a remote camp with a lake and boating. Maybe Lake Mead instead with the houseboat by the week rentals so we could all retire to private accommodations on the water for peaceful personal time after some fun time sharing over the week together.

My favorite vacation spot... paradise destination...

I live in paradise, I’m in Gods country, and my life is vacation. Even with all the work that has gone on here, I’m a second away from a hammock, a horse away from some other place of beauty to lay out in the great fall and spring weather. Inside the borders of this state are many life species that exist in no other part of the world and every thing I like from going caving to seeing it snow in August. We only lack an ocean to go with this entire beach. I’m thankful for this mess and love the state for adventure.

50 Caliber
50 Caliber

Something I got rid of and never missed ....

My first thought is wives and left shoes, both were useless to me, back in time. I suppose the feeling was more than equal to the one who is still roaming about. I think Karma got the other. I’m free now and stayed that way.

Something I fear...

I cannot think of anything on earth I fear. I fear judgement day, after shattering the 10 commandments all to pieces. So my fear of not being forgiven would be it.

What I most despise in others...

I only despise actions not people, I’ve seen many change. I despise a coward, there are many kinds of cowards, I spose the most we see is “keyboard cowards” they say things to or about others, knowing for the most part their safe.

I despise a sharp tongue that spews hate and criticism at other people. The senior people in a job field punch on the new, acting like they were born great. Never offering a hand up and teaching what they learned from those before. They have self-serving actions, that I find sad.

USMC photo, on my Dad's wall, boot camp photo of me as a graduate, from recruit to personified government war fodder
USMC photo, on my Dad's wall, boot camp photo of me as a graduate, from recruit to personified government war fodder | Source

Man in the Door

Some advice to my younger self ....

Don’t get married, just go out and find a woman you can’t stand to be around, buy a house and car for her then, go get a hooker ( LMAO).

Take the time to become friends with my Dad as soon as possible, it’s a thing you’ll cherish later, not that I didn’t and don’t. We had ten good years, and he was accepting that, hard as he tried, to instill a different way in me, I figure he thought he failed, He didn’t. I’d say take the time to tell him by the numbers where he dun good.

The best part of getting older...

I’m debt free, all the people that I had to worry about remembering their birthdays are dead. (joke, bad taste but true) I now understand many lesson that I heard and didn’t heed, but now I have remedied that and every day I wake up, is a good day that God has made, so I rejoice in it.

Best advice to a new writer...

Just do it like you know it about what it is you do know and write it. Let me know and I’ll read it and vote you up for effort and useful for showing me a new angle.

My favorite book and why...

That would be my Bible, it has some super stories of men and other characters that took hard knocks and the telling of the great stories over the years have probably changed some, but have great lessons to help cipher anyone’s problems. It has helped guide me when I found that the Faith of a mustard seed indeed moves mountains.

What subjects / genres are you best at writing/ about ?

I don’t consider myself a writer, I mean 20 hubs or so in 3.5 years? I like telling tales and prefer it to writing, get me a stump to sit on, in a camp fire circle and good company and as the night, pipe and bottles go around you’ll see my old eyes light up as I get inspired by conversations. I get eased and comfortable with the guests then, the tales just roll out. A digital recorder and my program for dictation, I could probably retrieve a host of things to edit and publish. In short it would be my life experiences.

What would be a subject/ genre that would challenge your current writing efforts? Or are you perfectly happy with where you are...

Writing about the decade of 1965 to 1975, is my roadblock. I’m kinda happy where I am and get funked when I try to cross back to that decade. I see people write about the subject, but I always wonder, how they can do it and play it so lightly as they write. I always wonder if they are being truthful or writing a tale they heard and claiming it for self, I just don’t know. This piece of that era destroyed me for a week.

{Dust, I cannot thank you enough for sharing this video: The Man in the Door. It is one of the most profoundly sad and memorable tributes I have ever seen."

Thank you, Dusty ....

My Momma always said the wisest things to me. One saying shares the same title as the Temptations hit: "Beauty is Only Skin Deep".

I have a strong feeling my Mom would have treasured a friendship with you, as I now do. Thank you for sharing yourself with us through this interview. You are truly a one of a kind, amazing man...!

© Maria Jordan (revised October, 2014)

The Temptations: Beauty Is Only Skin Deep


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