They Say Guns Don’t Kill People

George Mobley’s common-law wife stabbed him in the heart with a butcher knife.  Almost killed him.

[I don’t know how she spelled her name, but George pronounced it, “Louise-ee.”]

The Mobleys had four or five children.  They lived in a slum in Charlotte, in a shotgun house that was torn down years ago to make room for the parking lot next to the stadium where the Carolina Panthers play football.  My Dad’s syrup plant was nearby, on Graham Street, and that’s how I knew George. He worked for Dad for years and I worked for Dad in the summers, starting when I was in junior high.

George was a good worker and a good guy when he wasn’t drinking.

After he got well and came back to work he and I were sitting around at lunchtime one day, eating our sandwiches, and I ask him:

“George, why did Louise-ee stab you?”

And he said, “Well, I had her down on the floor choking her and she said, ‘George, if you don’t let me up right now, when I get up I’m gonna ‘stub’ you.’  I didn’t let her up right then. And when she got up, she ‘stubbed’ me.”

George’s throat had been cut years ago — he had a nasty looking scar around his neck– and I asked him about that too.

“Louise-ee cut my throat,” he said.

“Had you been whipping up on her?”

George said, yes, he had, that he had been drunk at the time. He said she was quick with a knife.

I thought I might as well ask him about the crease in the back of his skull while I was at it.

“Did Louise-ee do that too?” I asked, pointing to the crease.

“She chopped me with a hatchet,” he said.

Finally, Louise-ee killed George.   She shot him.

That’s why I never bought the NRA line, that guns don’t kill people.  George had been stabbed, slashed, and chopped — and lived — but a gun killed George Mobley.

Coming Friday: You Know, Don’t You





Mind Game [Video]

It seemed to me like the Appalachian Trail, from the Nantahala Gorge north toward Fontana Dam, was all uphill.   It’s a climb.

The Appalachian Trail Guide says: “This section…is especially tough for northbound hikers, who must gain 3,339 feet over eight miles from the Nantahala River to the summit of Cheoah Bald (elevation, 5,062 feet), one of the toughest hauls on the Appalachian Trail south of New England.”

Anyway, I was section hiking with three of my grandsons, Christian, Cole and Curtis, huffing and puffing up that trail.  But they weren’t.  In fact, every once in a while they started singing, practicing a song they had written.

Several times that day we had passed a woman hiking alone and she had passed us right back when we took a break.  We were climbing again when I saw her, 30, 40 yards ahead of us.  We were reeling her in and, this time, I decided to mess with her head.

I tried to control my breathing, so she wouldn’t know when we passed her just how bad I was hurting.  And I asked the boys to sing their song again.  Go here, close your eyes, and hear what she heard as she labored up one of the toughest climbs south of New England.

Curtis, Cole and Christian Stith

Coming Monday:  They Say Guns Don’t Kill People