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"Luther?" a Fool?: You Decide

Updated on April 23, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the Father of Gonzo Journalism.
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, the Father of Gonzo Journalism. | Source

A Special, More of an Unplanned Introduction

is both appreciated and yet, not understood. That's fine by me. There's not enough mystery and controversy in the world, right? Thing is. I can't decide which is more popular, mystery or controversy. But you can bet that in the end, one of the two will ultimately win this silent-running race.

Hunter S. Thompson, prolific writer, novelist, Father of Gonzo Journalism, died on February 20, 2005, Woody Creek, CO. Many don't know that he was born on July 18, 1937. Funny how those obscure facts can be made even more obscure when facts are too boring to be interesting.

Court jester, really an important job.
Court jester, really an important job. | Source
(See caption for this photo below)
(See caption for this photo below) | Source

"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

Photo above is of Jim Nabors as "Gomer Pyle" and Frank Sutton as "Sergeant (Vince) Carter" from the 1964 premiere of "Gomer Pyle USMC." This photo can easily be misled to label people such as "Pyle" as the Complete Fool.

Not Speaking About the Court Jester

and not all about the late, beloved Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, (see photograph on very top right) is about two souls who exists everyday in and out of our lives. Your lives more than mine, but I am retired and don't get out much. I heard that somewhere in a famous Jazz tune some year. I think it was "Don't Get Round Much Anymore," (please enjoy Duke Ellington's video below this text--told you that this title was not made up) but I can't be sure. I know that it had to be famous for here I am writing about that Jazz favorite.

The two souls, both mostly-opaque, are like I said in a few sentences before, the Court Jester and the Complete Fool. Never have I heard about someone being an Incomplete Fool. Isn't that an oxymoron? What about a paradox? I am certainly no English professor, but it has to be one of them. Wonder if corduroy trousers with cardigan goes with English professors who are tenured at Brown University? One of you do me a huge favor and look up this question on Google and get back to me--I'm dying to know.

Duke Ellington, "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"

The late George Lindsey as "Goober Pyle" on Andy Griffith Show.
The late George Lindsey as "Goober Pyle" on Andy Griffith Show. | Source
This is the  rendition of a foolish person.
This is the rendition of a foolish person. | Source

What do you Think About

the Court Jester and the Complete Fool? Hopefully a lot. I really mean this. I can't look cheap and have only a meager amount of text about such interesting personalities can I? That would be ludicris, uncool, not hip, and down right laughable by my sweet followers whom I love more than my next breath.

Simply told, the Court Jester is, or was, an important chap in Midieval Times. He had to be important. His very life depended on the next laugh he produced by the king and queen depending on the moods they were having when the king's appointed servant announced, "bring on the Court Jester--the beloved "King Noguff" wants to laugh." Simple enough? I hope so. It will prevent me from writing a lot of facts about the pro's and con's about Court Jesters. One fact about Jesters is sad, let me warn you. I did find out that (depending on the mood of the king and queen) if one or both were down when the Court Jester made his appearance and started his monologue and bombed miserably he was then escorted physically by two burly bodyguards wearing armour complete with black masks (to make them look even more scary) and carted to the famous machine called a guillotine.

That should explain the end of the Court Jester's career quite well.

Simply told, the Complete Fool is just that. Complete in his being a complete, total fool incapable of knowing even the remedial of most difficult Math problems from grades one through six and this particular fool could just hang it up on ever solving any sort of reading problems. Yukk. I hated those too.

When I get to the meat of this hub, I want you all to tell me which you appreciate the most, the Court Jester or the Complete Fool. Is that cool? Or are you getting ready for bed right now so you can get plenty of rest to have a great Monday at the office?

I Tell you What . . .

let's make a change-up since MLB is underway and my beloved Cubs are doing well, and change this story completely--something of a slider, maybe a sinker would apply right now.

I want to, with the wisdom you have of the Court Jester and him being carted away to that "beast" of a "Murder Machine" I want to change the title of Complete Fool and use the more-respectful name of "Luther," for one, "Luther" is mentioned in one of the late Boxcar Willie's songs and this very same tale has been sang and told about since I was fourteen and living fearfully in the eighth grade, 1968, at Hamilton High School, in Hamilton, Ala. All true facts.

Jon Provost played "Timmy Martin" on the hit TV show, "Lassie."
Jon Provost played "Timmy Martin" on the hit TV show, "Lassie." | Source
Hi. My name is Kenneth Avery.  I am real member of HubPages.
Hi. My name is Kenneth Avery. I am real member of HubPages. | Source

My Honest Confession

which I've heard for years is supposed to be "good for the soul," so to give that a test drive is that this hub is proof that a simple (allegedly) story told by the late Mr. Harshel Henson, of 1968 when I was in his Math class at Hamilton High School was written about an Army private who acted like a dog to fetch the higher up's dollar bill or quarter.

To honor "Luther" if I had told his story, I promise you that this would have been much shorter.

Thanks,

Kenneth

Now we Have This "Luther" and This

Math teacher, and near-retiree of Hamilton High School due to his fading age and facts, Mr. Harshel Henson, a real man with a real degree in Mathematics, who was once in years gone by a revered Math teacher whose words were gold and law according to Math and its complex equations. I feared Henson, but never confessed it afraid that I would be whipped after school.

This next paragraph begs for me to elaborate about something one of my classmates in this Math class, same year, same Mr. Henson, shared about his son, Mr. Henson's son. Does this look too squeaky-clean? You know? Too much like "Timmy Martin," of "Lassie," a show whose star was a female Collie dog that I dearly loved when I learned how great television and expertly-tamed Collie dogs could be.

Henson, according to Tony Cantrell, now-retired from our town's Northwest Alabama Gas District, told the sad (and shocking) story that caused many of the girls in this class to gasp in disbelief when Cantrell told Henson and the class that every evening after school, Henson's young son would come running to meet Harshel Henson, his doting father only to get his butt whipped by an old fashioned and dangerous horse whip.

If you would like the actual dialogue, here it is as I remember it as clear as it was the day Cantrell shared it:

Cantrell: "Mr. Henson, uhhh, may I ask you something?"

Henson: "Uhhh, yeah. But make it snappy. I gotta class to teach."

Cantrell: (always respectful) "Sure. Thank you, Mr. Henson. Uhhh, we were told that you had a young son. Is this right?"

Henson: "Yes. You bet it is. I love that boy."

Cantrell: "I don't doubt it, but someone told me that, well, uhhh, (stalling because Cantrell knew that he might have bitten off too much to chew) each evening when you arrived home, your son ran to meet him then whipped his butt with a dangerous horse whip."

Henson: "So? What's the point here?"

(The class, girls included, were still gasping in disbelief and the guys were trying hard not to snigger and get another butt whipping, but not by Henson, but a piece of lumber he called "a hot paddle" not that scary if you ask me).

Cantrell: "Sir, I just wanted to clear this up whether this was a vicious rumor or the ugly truth."

Henson: "Cantrell! You best keep your shut mouth! But yes, my son loves me to death."

Cantrell: "Because he whips his butt with a dangerous horse whip?"

Henson: "You bet! Everyday and he loves it."

Right about then, a scary silence flooded our room and we all silently prayed that Mr. Henson was not a secret child abuser and if so, we prayed that someone would alert the now-late Joe Sargent, our principal and get him investigated. This was 1968 and these touchy things like beating butts of young people was just now surfacing, but Henson was a dare-devil and probably mentally-changed.

The good news was that in later times, the young Henson son, grew up to be an all-American guy with all-American values. He was popular with everyone and loved to work at a nearby fire station.

I love animals, but I hate to confess that sheep are not the brightest animals on earth for they will follow most anyone who leads them.
I love animals, but I hate to confess that sheep are not the brightest animals on earth for they will follow most anyone who leads them. | Source

Back in Henson's Army Life

he told us this most-mysterious story about this Army private who bunked with Henson and this private had a very mysterious habit: each time, (I must use alledgedly) this Army private would be visited by a lieutenant, captain or higher brass, he would drop to all-fours and lick out his tongue like a common mongrel causing the higher-ups to laugh and cackle.

"Here," the brass would say. "Here is a dollar. And here is a quarter," the officer would throw both the quarter and one-dollar bill in the floor to see which the Army private, now acting like a common mongrel, would take.

"Haw! Haw!" laughed whatever brass was watching this "gullible" private snatch the quarter out of his hand taking it to the officer and the officer laughing at him more would give it back to him as he jumped on his bunk and looked very happy.

According to Henson, this same episode went on all during Boot Camp until the platoon sargent and corporal finally decided that the Army private who did such a great job at licking out his tongue like a common mongrel, was in dire need of a transfer back home and then to his family for admittance to the nearest psychiatrist.

I told you that this story was true. Now enjoy the late Boxcar Willie, with "Luther"

Boxcar Willie Fact:

(told you that this was also a true fact about Willie)

Lecil Travis Martin (September 1, 1931 – April 12, 1999), whose stage name was Boxcar Willie, was an American country music singer-songwriter and air force personnel sergeant, who sang in the "old-time hobo" music style, complete with dirty face, overalls, and a floppy hat.

Now About the Other Personality

that I want to tell quickly about is the late, talented Boxcar Willie who entertained thousands on tour and on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. Willie had a singing talent as well as a natural gift for comedy. But the forefront of Willie's charm was his hit song: "Luther, Here's a Dollar," which sold millions of copies enough for him to own his house and help his relatives live a comfortable life.

Before I close, Willie passed away on April 12, 1999. (See text box to the right of hub).

The scary thing about Willie's song were the lyrics being so eerily close to the very story told by Mr. Harshel Henson in our eighth-grade Math class in 1968. I wish that I could use go figure at the end of this story. But I can't. I won't.

Somewhere, somehow, the Army private who told us about Mr. Henson always choosing a quarter rather than a dollar bill evolved to having a name, "Luther," who sang about Boxcar Willie performing the very same act of making money the wise way.

I am not going to close this hub with a cute, funny closing line because of all of the "Luther's" who just have might have been a Complete Fool all along.

It's not my place to say.

Good night, Talladega, Alabama, "Home of The Talladega 500."

Read (if you like) about Midieval Times; King's bodyguards:

www.medievaltimes.com/

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 months ago from Reno NV

      What a sense of humor you have! I laughed I cried. Thanks for a great morning coffee read. Jamie

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 months ago

      I've heard stories similar to one about the private that usually ended with the line "he was crazy, like a fox." I can't help but believe that Mr. Henson was pulling the classes' collective leg. Yep, you do have a sense of humor. Wish you could have been in my folklore class at college. I think you would have enjoyed it, sweet friend, Kenneth.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago from Kuwait

      Wonderful hub and really loved hearing the tales about your high school Maths teacher. Your humor is spot on as usual and I really enjoyed this hub. :) Keep writing such entertaining hubs sweet friend.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Jamie,

      LOL! Thanks for sharing a laugh with me and I just noticed that you commented three weeks ago and I do apologize for letting the things that I have to do master my life.

      Your comment says so much about yourself. "You laughed. You cried." You are a Wonderful Friend and Follower and a very normal person.

      No charge for the "homemade therapy," and besides, I am not licensed anyway.

      Write me soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Sakina :)

      You are one of the Best hubbers on HubPages. With your talent, you can write anything and expound on whatever topic you are talking about.

      Thanks so much for all of your friendship and comments.

      Write anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      MizBejabbers,

      Thanks for the warm comment.

      I appreciate the compliment about being in one of your classes and I am sure that I would have loved it.

      I can assure you that Mr. Henson was not pulling our legs. He hardly laughed.

      I can tell you another funny thing that I did not include in this hub was once I was in the men's room and Henson came in and said some rude remark about a friend of mine who was not a cozy, dozy friend and popped him the finger which Henson caught him and threatened him that Henson was about to get a beating and it backfired. My friend started unbuttoning his shirt and was ready to fight because of his background of being a rough guy, and Henson's face turned pale and almost fainted.

      There was no more threats or fights.

      Truth.

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