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I tell people that story about Leon seeing a Tarzan picture show up at the Park Theatre and going down to Paris Landing the next day and jumping off that high bridge over the Tennessee River…I …
I tell people that story about Leon seeing a Tarzan picture show up at the Park Theatre and going down to Paris Landing the next day and jumping off that high bridge over the Tennessee River…I can see in their body language they don’t hardly believe it! He didn’t think about the height, wind direction or the swift moving current. He gave a pretty fair rendition of the Tarzan yell and off he went! When Jackie Burns and Nicky Joe Stafford helped me pull him to the bank a good half mile downstream, he was spitting out buckets of water and coughing up a storm.
But just as soon as he found his voice that beautiful smile that always lit up his whole face broke out—and he turned to look directly at me and said, “Who’s next?”
He told me and David Mark often, with that same smile, that we both tied for second place in the best looking Colbert brother contest.
Leon was World War II older than me. He was born October 19, 1942. Because of the extenuating circumstances of Dad being furloughed to the South Pacific, I didn’t see the light of day until 1947.
I tagged along everywhere he went. If he minded at all, he never let on. I didn’t want to miss whatever he was going to do next!
No one believes that story about Leon borrowing the light off of the police car and hooking it up to the juke box out at the Dairy Bar. Unless they were there!
And I know it might be hard for some to picture Leon the Halloween he hopped on old Prince, pulled his shirt up over his head, and thundered that big horse towards town as the headless horseman yelling, “The ghouls are coming! The ghouls are coming!”
He was bouncing off trees, running over garbage cans, knocking down mailboxes…
And I’m not even going to mention the cow in the high school auditorium, the bloody arm sticking out the trunk of the car, the high wire act over the Obion River or the time he bent the young tree all the way to the ground, put David in the top and catapulted him into space.
We didn’t get a TV set till Leon was a sophomore in high school. He immediately made me the first remote control ever! He wouldn’t move out of the easy chair, “Turn to channel 7.” I’d dutifully get up, go to the TV and change the channel and the remote antenna to pick up the station in Jackson.
Two minutes later he’d say, “Turn back to channel 3.” Of course, before I could get comfortable, “Turn it back to channel 7.”
We didn’t have but two channels. Leave it to Leon to try to watch both of them at the same time!
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