I was a pig being led to a slaughter by a trail of crumbs from the table of the butchers. I had not yet become a hog in Razorback country, which is when the slaughter would occur.
This is figuratively where we left the last Arkansas Field of Dreams BIMD. With this one we will drill down a bit more with some fun parallels and teasers near the end.
Being led to the slaughter seems like a bold statement to make by a person still on this planet four decades later, right? I am still here and later in life rebounded beyond my greatest hopes and dreams because of the love of Jesus Christ. If you choose to read on, as the story is unpacked over the next few parts you will know why I make that statement. You will also see why I know God has a sense of humor. The parallels and crossing of paths just become ridiculous. There are no coincidences.
I struggled with understanding who I was in the grand scheme of things even after accepting Jesus as my Savior at age 12. I fell from grace a lot then and still do. I am a sinner made a saint by the sacrifice of Christ, period. I have nothing to offer worthy of His sacrifice other that my best efforts to share the good news that is Jesus. When I fully accepted that great truth as a middle aged man, everything changed. I mean everything. He owns my heart and life even if I still want to do my own thing at times. I want everybody to experience that great joy and contentment in the soul.
As a child and young man I saw my family become a severely dysfunctional mess as Freemasonry, Eastern Star, horoscope, astrology, seances with the dead, adultery, alcoholism, heated arguments, physical and emotional abuse, and much more were played out before my eyes, body and mind. All of it while struggling to make sense of friends being wounded and dying in a foreign war that had no purpose for protecting America after having experienced as a kid the assassinations of our POTUS and his AG brother. Add threats of atomic bombs falling while we hid under desks at school combined with illegal drug use entering the average American community. There was even a high school football teammate who was brutally sodomized by an adult pervert (Jerry Sandusky comes to mind), a high school aged female friend of our family literally torn in two in a motorcycle accident and racial riots/violence in a nearby city. Even my best friend in junior high school’s father died of a massive heart attack in front of him. When I look back on it, maybe it wasn’t all that great of time to be alive. Pass the bong.
In high school I fell into the trap of under aged drinking, staying out late, chasing girls and other teenage mischief. Church had left our thought process as a family. I desperately wanted out of there, so college was my ticket. The only immediate family member I still had a modicum of respect for, my deeply flawed father, said to leave and get as far away as I could. So I did. As I posted, I accepted that scholarship offer and headed to Arkansas with no knowledge of how the school even knew I existed. I took it as a my sign that it was time to escape.
From the moment I arrived on campus, I was free and also alone. But the truth was I always felt alone even with family and my friends. This set me up to be influenced by others easily. When you have no direction, no wisdom to guide you, no mentor; it is easy to be led astray, to go and do what you never dreamed possible you would go and do.
Which made me a target in college after being a target in high school.
Once I arrived and enrolled at college I found the school picked out student athletes with good academics in smaller communities around the south and mid-west as part of an attempt to increase the school’s academic and athletics successes as well as attract talent that they could manipulate to work in the state after graduation. Simply put, they wanted to upgrade the workforce and enhance the reputation and standing of the state to make money and gain power for themselves. They offered scholarships just like I received to entice. As an example a guy from a nearby town in Ohio to where I grew up received a similar scholarship offer for track as I had for baseball. We had never heard of each other before our arrival. He had the good grades, ACT score and some success in his long distance running speciality. He was from a poor working class family like me. He received that offer out of the blue as I had, never having set foot in Arkansas his entire life. He would be over 500 miles from home as well. After meeting each other at school, we commuted back and forth to Ohio through our sophomore years after I was able to buy an old Chevy beater with earnings from a summer job after my freshman year. He transferred to a college back home after that, it was just too much of a culture shock for him. I stupidly soldiered onward.
Opportunities for a social life on campus for out of state students consisted of fraternities and sororities with precious little else in that rural area in a dry county. Go Greek or sit in your dorm or apartment and watch TV on weekends while everybody else partied or went home. It was against my nature to go Greek, but I did to have something to do for a couple of years. So I stayed on campus during the ensuing summers. I found part time jobs to make enough money to live and continued the party time year round, Animal House style.
It was like a moth to the flame for guys and gals like me. Very little money, out of our element, opportunity to have fun and meet people, and so on. I “floundered” for a time, only to eventually grow up and get it together for the last few semesters.
Those that followed their academic path to successful conclusion of graduating would then be recruited based on their collegiate performance into business and government roles in the state. It was the 70’s, post Vietnam and not the best of times to find gainful employment. So, having direct access to jobs was a big deal. Just follow the path laid before you.
I think you can spot by now that “grooming” was a thing.
My more productive collegiate activities led to meeting alumni, employers and future job opportunities. It led to meeting a society elite sorority gal from a wealthy Democrat benefactor family from the area that I married immediately after graduation. Which led me to the state capital of Little Rock after the professor gave his reference to my future employer and the bank psychologist blessed my hiring.
All of that led me to work for a wealthy attorney banker whose physician father had moved from Chitcago with his family to the state like other well known figures who moved there during those days including Hildabeast. In fact, the Dem operatives were generally either from Chitcago or connected to powerful people there as well as being from St. Louis. There was also an element of New York City/Wall Street influences to go with the Teddy Kennedy family and their sphere of influence linked into it all. All in a backwoods state that fought Mississippi for the bottom for the worst economic opportunities and quality of life in the nation year after year.
That same professor who provided the reference left the university a few years later to be a banker in the local bank that the attorney banker also owned. He had even mentioned to me during my interview and hiring process that he would love to work for the man in one of his banks. You got your wish, Bo. Funny dat.
After settling in at the bank and in Little Rock I witnessed the parade of business leaders and politicians to the bank’s executive dining room that was operated by the former executive assistant of the attorney banker. I had reason to be there as they were “grooming” me into business development in Little Rock to later be the lobbyist, cleaner and arranger for state affairs while the previously discussed Paul Berry handled national affairs and the big dogs. My initial charge was to call on and occasionally bring customers and targeted prospects to the dining room to discuss banking business over lunch. It would impress many as frequently they would see the Senators, Governor, House Reps, AGs, other state officials, etc. having business lunch meetings there as well. It became routine to me, part of the expectations of the role. Did I tell you I barely made enough to pay our bills? Prestige and a title without pay – the banking way during those days.
Prior to that point and during the management training program process, I had worked in a good number of departments in the bank over a seven month period. One of the other trainees hired with me did likewise, they just never let us work together. The third trainee was let go one week after hiring as he simply could not handle it. So the other trainee that I liked a lot, Mike, and I would compare notes from time to time over lunch or after work at dinner as we tried to better understand what we saw. For example, for a month I was assigned to work in the dreaded Collections Department. If they projected you might be assigned a role to make loans one day, they wanted you to see first hand what it was like to collect past due accounts. That is unless it was a political operative or elected official. I was told specifically which ones to ignore and to not contact them if on the past due spreadsheet and contact reporting cards. OK… Being the curious type, even after I was moved to other departments and received my officer role, I made it a point to check out the report periodically to see what happened with those loans that were always past due. The state legislators who were past due were kept on the books as perpetual “evergreen” loans where interest only was paid and the note renewed dozens of times. The other more prominent officials’ loans went POOF. They would disappear at various points and since computers were just being introduced into banking, it seemed easy to “lose” accounts and transactions. They never showed up on the charge-off report. It was “magic”…
At the time I was assigned my initial business development role, Mike was assigned a Correspondent Banking officer role. His department related to being bankers for other banks. To keep it simple for this story, banks have a system of maintaining funds in other banks as required by the Federal Reserve, FDIC and state regulators. They can lend and borrow funds from each other to maintain regulatory compliance. In addition the referenced department frequently makes loans to principals in other banks or on their behalf, especially if the end borrowers are at their legal lending limits with the originating banks. The whole thing keeps the banking system theoretically liquid along with the use of many other financial instruments and transactions. It is deceptively designed to give the appearance of everything being above board with no conflicts of interest.
Which is complete bullshiz of course. In my personal opinion, my employer was just a money laundering operation with elements of legitimate banking to provide cover.
About three months into his role Mike called me one day. He was anxious sounding and speaking in a hushed tone. lt turned out that while I was observing the magic in Collections, he was watching it in even bigger amounts in his department. Loans made to customer banks and bank principals that would go poof that could be traced to political purposes initially. No record of their existence, no record of payoff, no flow through the coffers. I told him that if it was me, I would keep my mouth shut and follow it all from a distance, to not have my name on any of it since I did not know for sure what was going on. He agreed and had already decided to go that route, he was giving me a heads up. We had received some FIB training in the bank during our trainee period. For self preservation it would not be a good thing to rock the boat as FIB was clearly in bed with the bank’s execs and politicians. They obviously already knew or had reason to know. Even as a 23 year old, I figured out that all of it had to be known by regulators, auditors, law enforcement, etc. It was a system. Think about those implications.
Now, think again about that Barry Seal, Bill Clinton and Mena video I posted recently in a previous part.
Extend those thoughts to what you know about Epstein, Haiti, selling uranium rights to Putin, Al-Qaeda flourishing, cartels, etc.
I will not dox Mike as he is one of the good guys who works in the industry as a Senior Loan Officer for a bank out of the northeast although he still lives in Arkansas. He got the heck out of there in time just as I did.
Banks in those days had a daily cash balancing regulatory requirement in a position our bank called the pivot. Turned out one of the guys who I liked a lot and who had originally interviewed me for the trainee role, Steve, was the senior officer in charge of the pivot and daily balancing in the Operations Department. This would be the spot where the funds flow would need to be reconciled daily. So what happened there? More magic?
He was an average guy from a small, rural Arkansas town in his first big job in the city. There is no doubt in my mind he would do what he was told. However, in one of our many discussions he mentioned he did not plan to stay in Little Rock. He had other things he wanted to pursue near where he grew up. I lost track of him as he was not employed there when I checked on him a few years later when I had occasion to visit Little Rock for other business. Whitewater did not explode onto the national scene until a number of years later, but it all began the year after I left the employment of that bank. That bank was right smack dab in the epicenter of it all doing what I stated above and much, much more. Methinks Steve realized it was time to get the hell out of Dodge as well as he was not implicated in the scheme.
For what it is worth, that bank was purchased by the largest bank in the state who then sold out to Boatman’s Bank, who then sold out to NationsBank, who then merged with B of A and formed the humongous Bank of America – all in a space of about 10 years. So anything nefarious that happened during the 70s and 80s died with the merger fury.
The politicians who dined there with the bank’s owner, other bank execs and state business leaders included Sen. John McClellan, Sen. Dale Bumpers, Governor David Pryor, AGs Jim Guy Tucker (later convicted) and Bill Clinton (should have been executed), Lt. Gov. Joe Purcell, House Reps Ray Thornton, John Paul Hammerschmidt and Bill Alexander (weasel). JPH was the only GOPer in the bunch serving the more conservative northwest AR. He was more of a moderate back then. He did not visit as often and was not involved in the Dem political meetings, appearances being what they needed to be.
Our attorney banker Chairman was a very close friend of Sen. McClellan. As an ensign in the Navy in WW II he was burned very badly in a Japanese air attack on his mine sweeping ship. He was sent to Bethesda Naval Hospital in DC to recover and met Sen. McClellan while there. They remained close friends all of their lives.
I was dining there one day with a prospect when many of the above referenced were having a luncheon meeting to discuss the handoff of Sen. McClellan’s senate seat to Gov. Pryor. Sen. McClellan was older and having serious health issues. He knew he needed to retire before his term expired. Gov. Pryor was the heir apparent and all of them were discussing their plans and the future pecking order openly. However, Sen McClellan passed away within a few days after that meeting. An interim, Kaneaster Hodges, a key state Dem politico was appointed to serve his remaining term until the election the next year, when Gov. Pryor would run for the seat and continue the politics of the group. Which happened as planned as they wanted everything to be orderly and for Clinton to be prepared for the governor role, which he won as did Pryor with the vacated Senate seat in late 1978.
I remember talking with other bank officers about the young guy at the table with all of older politicians and they explained who he was (Clinton). They stated he would be ascending in the state and nationally. Groomed, programmed and implemented as planned.
It would be just a few years later that I would work with other patriots in eastern AR and on the Board of a PAC in Little Rock to unseat Clinton as Governor. It was a most pleasurable experience as I knew much about that guy. I just could not see a womanizing coke head with a weirdo attorney wife being the governor of the state. In those days the term of office for a governor was only two years. We helped elect conservative GOPer Frank White, a Little Rock savings and loan exec. He was the first GOP candidate to win the office since Winthrop Rockefeller. Clinton made the mistakes of raising taxes, car tag fees and also supported another wave of Cuban boat lift refugees being housed at Ft. Chaffee in that first term without consideration of how the state’s citizens viewed it. He had already supported the first batch going there a couple of years before, which did not sit well with many Arkansans. The Dems were caught a bit unaware, somewhat like PDT and the 2016 election. They had not done enough to fix the vote.
The same group of us worked behind the scenes to set up the foundation for the removal of Teddy Kennedy’s boy, Bill Alexander as the House Rep in our district. Weasel as I nicknamed him. This was finally accomplished years after I left the state in 1992. My in-laws (and bosses) did not appear pleased that I supported their mortal enemies for most of my time as their SIL. There is a system, economically and culturally, that they were deeply rooted in that is abhorrent to me as a boy who grew up in a lower middle class working man/woman environment.
Our efforts and the votes of enraged Arkansans cost Clinton the Governor’s office for two years. He spent the next two years on an apology tour, kissing women and babies to be elected back into office in 1982. The Dems cleaned up his image and made sure they greased all the wheels and hands that needed it to win it. Had the people of Arkansas not given in, decades of grifting and selling out of America may have been avoided. I have a clear conscience, I did my part to try to upset the applecart. It helped lead to my divorce, which was also well worth it.
This is nearing a good stopping point for this part. However, we are not leaving Little Rock and the bank just yet. In the next part we need to introduce the sources of the money that fueled the referenced individuals and many more including well known corporate behemoths, in their climb to national power. That will take a little time to explain and will introduce more people to connect dots in play today.
I still wonder how I survived it all. There were threats that never materialized into actions. Thankfully. Which is why I carry even today. Not going down without an answer.
I believe I was considered a still insignificant minion at that time even though they clearly had plans for me as I will reveal next time. They did not invest into my grooming for nothing. When as a married couple we left Little Rock to move back to my ex-wife’s family and area of residence, I believe I became an out of sight, out of mind non-factor. They knew my ex’s family were in their big club. They probably figured I would be of use to them as a big fish in a smaller pond with my connections at some point, that they could control me. That assumption would be very wrong. As things go sometimes it turned out I used them to gain valuable personal connections, work experiences and life lessons for the future. I honestly did not know it would work out that way while in the middle of it. I was not smart or devious enough to be that good at conning the cons. Playing dumb only works for so long. But looking back now I clearly see the hand of God bailing me out and smoothing the troubled waters that threatened to drown me as I slowly made my way back home as the prodigal. It is in those dark times that I sought Him and He chose to save me from myself.
As a result, I am now…
And then there is Zach Williams. Grammy and Dove awards. Collaborating with Dolly with a song, video and soon appearing in her annual Christmas movie. Singing the songs that move my heart in that beloved southern country rock and blues voice and music of his. For what it’s worth, Zach grew up in, well , wouldn’t you know it? He is from northeast Arkansas and the city where I went to college. He went to church at Central Baptist with his fine parents. He fell away from the faith of his youth and pursued the rock and roll lifestyle internationally. The link below is an excellent story about him. He is my favorite musical artist and I truly understand his story. Been there, done that, just in a different time and way. But when you know what you know – FREEDOM!
Zach would not know me from Adam, we have never personally met although I would love that opportunity. However, he was taught the Bible for some of his younger years at Central Baptist with his family by a friend of mine from college. Back in my day, his future Bible teacher and I would party hardy together with several other guys from the university’s football team who had joined our frat. We enjoyed whipping each other on the racket ball courts as well. My college friend got the call in the 7th round on draft day. He wasn’t there to take their call and somebody took the message and left it in on his dorm room’s door. He went on to play in the NFL in Chitcago and we lost touch as one is prone to do after college. After his career ended with a brutal knee injury in 1983, he faced a crisis of what to do with his life. It was disheartening to be a starter at linebacker for the Bears and then, boom, no longer able to play while watching his former teammates win the Super Bowl two years later. Turns out that Jesus came into his heart a decade after our time together in college when his playing days had ended. He found solace in the Lord’s arms and was reborn a changed man. About the same time I was going through a crisis of faith and divorce hundreds of miles away from each other.
He soon received a calling on his heart from the Lord to teach His Word. He enrolled and graduated from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis in 1987, a couple years after I moved away from the area. He moved back to Jonesboro where he was well known and loved to begin his Bible teaching ministry at Central Baptist. He later became an owner in a sporting goods store there. In addition to Zach, this is where he would also meet the son of good friends who lived across the street from us in East TN named Bobby. We have been close for many years and formerly vacationed together as families when Bobby and our daughter were younger. Bobby went to a different, nearby Baptist college in Arkansas to play collegiate soccer on the national stage. Which is where he would meet his future bride and move back to our community where he is now an elementary school PE teacher and coach. They then had a daughter who is currently on the basketball Lady Vols’ radar as a potential point guard in about 4 years if she continues to develop well. Small world – again.
While in school there, Bobby went shopping for soccer gear and stopped by the sporting goods store and as luck would have it, began a conversation with my college buddy. He brought my name up to him as I had mentioned my friend’s name with other guys I was friends with back in those days since Bobby was headed to college in that area. So Bobby already knew about the football exploits of the man with whom he was talking. My college friend was happy to learn that Jesus had His way with me as well. I do wish he would have left some of our past exploits out of his story telling that ensued. Now 40 year old Bobby still zings me over it when we play a round of golf together. Of course he knew that would happen when he told Bobby our stories. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Imagine, some people think that trash talking just started in recent years. 😂
I will tie Zach’s former Bible teacher/my college friend into the story more next time. Until then, be blessed.