County Lines by Bob
The Phoenix arose from the ashes of destruction and flew east to
the land of cowards, who scurried to their hiding places, like frightened
The Phoenix knew where they hid, however, and with strikes from
powerful talons, evaporated the cowardly beasts of terror into mists
of dust, blown away into oblivion.
The Phoenix looked down at the havoc of justice and retribution,
then flew west toward home, echoing a triumphant call: "Don't
tread on me! Don't tread on me!Ó
My brothers and I fought with each other when we were growing up.
Many of these fights were knock-down, drag-out brawls.
My father, a former semi-pro boxer in the Army, began teaching
us the art of boxing at an early age. The power comes from your
stance as much as it does your fists.
The first person to break my nose was my brother Ricky with a well-thrown
right jab, squarely in the middle of my face. "I don't know,
Doc. It still looks a little lopsided to me."
Thanks to Ricky, I learned to fight on with blood spurting in every
direction. Most fights end when first blood is drawn. Ricky showed
me I could go beyond that.
My nose has been broken so many times since then it permanently
tilts right. But that adds character to my appearance, along with
the many other scars up and down my body.
In addition to teaching my brothers and me how to fight, Dad drilled
not being a bully into us. "Don't pick on anyone smaller than
you and never hit a girl." Excellent advice. Thanks Dad.
Although my brothers and I fought with each other, pity the fool
outsider who messed with one of us. We were members of the same
family. When someone threatened one of us, we all responded. As
a united force, we formed a formidable front, stronger than the
sum of its parts.
The terrorists who attacked our nation obviously didn't understand
the power of family. They thought their attacks would divide this
nation, would splinter us into different factions, fighting among
They didn't suspect it would have the opposite effect, didn't
suspect we would join together as an overwhelming force, stronger
than before being attacked, not weaker.
Because of their shortsightedness, the apparent result of inbreeding,
the terrorists couldn't comprehend that the United States is a group
of united states.
We have our differences, East, West, North, South, pro-gun control,
anti-gun control, pro life, pro choice, liberal, conservative, the
list goes on and on. But as citizens of the United States, we are
members of the same family.
Unlike the terrorists, who are controlled by so-called religious
rules invented by dictators, we are citizens of a nation in which
religion and government are separated. We don't need to be members
of the same theological sect to come together.
Our power as a nation comes from our differences, comes from the
freedom to believe what we choose to believe, comes from the freedom
to choose our own destinies, comes from the freedom our founding
fathers fought and died to protect.
When the terrorists looked at Americans before the attacks, they
saw people who disagreed about religion, politics, sex, child raising,
sports, and almost everything else. The terrorists saw a generally
unruly population that could easily be broken apart, or so they
They failed to see the fighting spirit of a nation founded by revolutionaries,
intent on establishing a government of the people, by the people,
and for the people, a government of freedom, liberty, and justice,
a government that would triumph over all attacks by foreign invaders.
The terrorists didn't understand that a country founded by a group
of ragtag warriors who defeated the most powerful nation in the
world at the time to become the United States wouldn't come crashing
down because of the cowardly acts committed by a tribe of thugs.
The terrorists should have studied the history of this country
closely before launching their attacks. They would have discovered
our nation was founded by heroes who preferred liberty to death,
by freedom fighters who didn't back down.
They would have discovered a foundation that doesn't crumble, a
foundation stronger than concrete and steel. They would have discovered
a flag with the words "Don't Tread On Me."
It's too late for them to follow that advice now, though. They'll
soon discover the intense force behind that warning.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570