Sunday, August 21, 2005


Tom Pry

There are days when I feel more like a postman than a writer. Our friend, Ernie, sent a note we published the other day (8/17/05 “A Note from Jonesboro”). Said note generated some confusion in the Thompson household, and they sent me a note asking how to get in touch with Ernie directly.

I have discretion from “Saphead” Simpson (remember that as his nickname back in school?) on that, so I sent his e-mail address to Don and Paula, along with the explanation that Ernie’s waging a full-blown battle against prostate cancer. That triggered off this exchange:

Hi Ernie,

Saw the note about you in the journal today. I asked Tom about you and he gave me your e-mail address. Fortunately, cancer treatments have advanced to be pretty effective. Paula and I hope you are doing well. You probably remember that Paula went through chemo and radiation therapy for breast cancer over a year ago. She lost some hair but not too much.

I firmly believe that a good attitude can help greatly the healing process. Just keep on being positive and this, too, shall pass. Thanks for all the good stories in the journal. I am so thankful to be here in Arkansas near people who remember growing up in Searcy.

We had a very nice visit with Harold and Carolyn Sullivan in Seattle a week ago. Harold just had shoulder surgery to replace the rotator cup. He had it done on the other shoulder about 7 years ago. He just wears out his shoulders lifting himself in and out of seats because of his MS. You probably saw our pic in the journal.

Take care and keep on cranking out those stories.

Don and Paula Thompson

Hi Don and Paula:

Thanks for the good words of encouragement...I will not go quietly into that good night, and intend to keep this cancer at bay as long as I can. It has metastasized to the bone, and the challenge is great, but I will keep working to keep it down.

I didn't explain anything about my shooting hobby...I belong to the United States Practical Shooting Association and the National Range Officers Institute. We use handguns as a form of recreation, and set courses of fire (12-36 rounds) with paper targets behind barrels, barricades, etc. Each is a particular challenging scenario. On an audible signal, draw and engage the targets as you see them, reloading as necessary...and scores are figured by the number of hits, divided by time. Shooting on the move is particularly challenging, so that's why I put, 'shuffle, shuffle, bang'. Anyway, this sport takes stamina, of which I have less and less. Heck.

Remember Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force? His .44 mag. is TOO big for my taste. Ha; I saw that gun once in San Francisco at Planet Hollywood, and it is a monster.

Thanks for the update on Harold Gene...I remember him as a decent baritone player.


Tom Pry

(As opposed to an INdecent baritone player?)

I do have carte blanche from Ernie to publish his stuff but, before letting you in on the other half of this e-mail exchange, I DID ask the Thompsons for permission. Don’s response:

Don Thompson

Thanks for asking. Neither Paula or I mind having the e-mails published. Maybe some one else will be inspired to write something for the journal or write someone else who may need cheering up. Harold's phone number in rehab is 425 313-3813. He would welcome a call to help him pass the long days.

Take that as a not-too-subtle hint. –tlp-


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