Sergeant Tony's Blog

MONSTERS and GYPSIES! — Newsletter for 4/8/09

Wednesday, Apr. 8th 2009 1:18 PM

He was my older brother and my best friend.

Brothers mess with one another a LOT and Jack and I were no exception. He played and pranked and involved me in all sorts of tomfoolery and mischief. You can almost lay all of the blame for me being mean on him! Thanks bro.

When I was 9 or 10 he thought it would be hilarious to put a bra on me. While I was asleep. So while I was sleeping he got one of our sister’s bra’s and put it on me … and then took some pictures. These he showed to everyone. (Years later, he continued showing these pictures to my buddies and to girls I dated! “Oh Honey, you don’t really want to date my ‘pervert brother,’ right?” he’d ask my dates, after showing them the picture.)

I needed to get even for that one. I needed revenge! And my 10 year old brain concocted an awesome plan.

I would stowaway in his car.

On a date.

Before he left the house to go pick up Diana, I crawled into the back floorboard of his car and hid under a blanket. (Why did Jack have a blanket in his backseat?)

No one, including our parents, knew I was doing this. I didn’t tell anyone for fear of a breach in security. I was afraid someone would tip him off. Plus I was pretty sure that my mother wouldn’t let me do it.

It was really fun hiding away in the backseat as we rolled down the road and him not knowing I was there. hehehe wooohooo!! I thought of myself as a super cool spy like James Bond or one of the guys on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” At one point he started singing along with the radio and I had to bite my hand to keep from laughing out loud. And he must have put on a gallon of Old Spice, or whatever he took from my dad. He was only 16, so I guess he hadn’t learned that cologne shouldn’t announce your arrival before you arrive! I could smell it even under a blanket in the back floor board. Poor Diana. I hoped she could breathe shallow.

After she got in the car, I heard Jack say that he was taking her to the drive in movie. Oh boy! We’re going to the movies! I love movies! This is going to be LOTS of fun!

Riding along in the back floorboard under the blanket, I was only aware of the movement of the car, the music on the radio, and the muffled conversation in the front seat. A bench front seat, like the kind you find in Buick’s and pick up trucks. The kind of seat that allows the passenger to sit right up against the driver. I imagined that Jack had his left hand on the steering wheel and his right arm around Diana. Cute.

When we got to the drive in, Jack took the speaker and attached it to the window inside the car. Not long after that the movie started I couldn’t hear those two in the front seat talking anymore. I guess they were trying to listen to the movie. I knew they were still there because I never heard the car door open. And I could hear some unidentifiable sounds. They were at least moving around up there. I wasn’t sure why they couldn’t seem to sit still.

I started listening to the movie and trying to figure out what the movie was all about. Monsters and gypsies I thought. Unfortunately the sounds in the front seat started getting a little louder and I couldn’t hear the speaker very well. What were they up to? And all of that moving around too! They sort of sounded out of breath, like they’d been riding their bikes, or running fast, or doing some sort of exercise. I really wanted to see what was going on, so I got out from under the blanket and popped my head up over the seat back.

“Hey! Whatchall dooin’?” I asked.

“OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD …!!” screeched Diana!

“#&%&!=$#*?#&%!!!!!!!” shouted my brother!

They both jumped away from one another as if they’d been zapped with electricity! Then quickly and awkwardly fumbled around with re-buttoning and refastening items of their clothing that had somehow managed to become unbuttoned and unfastened. Whatever had gotten them out of breath had somehow made their buttons come lose. It had also messed up Diana’s hair something awful.

After her initial shock, Diana immediately seemed happy, almost relieved to see me, as she readjusted herself and smoothed down her hair. It seemed like I had just rescued her from something. I felt proud … for about a second. Jack on the other hand did not share Diana’s joy. He seemed to be really, really, REALLY upset with me! More than I thought he would be. It was as if I had just ruined something for him. Whatever that was. At any rate, I had apparently torpedoed some grandiose plan of his. He was not happy with me.

I stayed in the car with Diana while Jack went to the snack bar to call our parents and tell them where I was. (I hadn’t really thought through what the repercussions were going to be for me when I got home. They weren’t good. I’ll just tell you that right now. My joy at getting even was short lived.) While at the snack bar, Jack bought us all a bunch of fun movie food too.

Unfortunately, he banished me from the car for the rest of the night. I was ordered, on threat of death, to sit on the hood, watch the movie and eat my snacks. I was to look straight ahead. Under NO circumstances was I to turn around and look inside the car. “No matter WHAT,” he said. Bless his heart, he still thought he had a chance with Diana after this fiasco. You gotta love that kind of persistence and wishful thinking. As you can imagine, I kept turning around and checking to see what was going on in the front seat of the car. Nothing was going on. Unless you call Diana smiling and waving at me and Jack scowling and giving me a different kind of hand gesture, something.

It was a fun night until we got home. I was in deep trouble. Jack silently laughed at me standing behind our mother as she “got all up in my bizness.” It was pretty funny actually. I was grounded. Until forever.

Jack dated other girls, but I never got to go on any of those dates. A couple of years later my brother preceded me in the Marine Corps. Years later when he was home on leave, he ran into Diana again. They started a long distance relationship and guess who was his best man when they got married? To get even, I thought about wearing a bra on the outside of my tux, but thought better of it.

Diana is the mother of my nephew, Jeff, my brother’s only child.

We lost Jack 18 years ago last Thursday. And a day never goes by that I don’t miss him.

There’s no real moral to this story. No real teaching point. But maybe today might be a good day to tell a brother or a sister … or a really cool uncle or aunt … that you love them and that you’re thankful that they’re in your life! It’s never wrong to tell someone special that you love them.


In honor of my friend Tom Farrar, I made April our “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp Month!”

You can bring a friend to Boot Camp during April for a FREE DAY! No strings attached.

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends in April will get $100!! US Legal Tender. Not 100 Dollars in Boot Camp Bucks! Real money!!

Here are the only rules:

1. Your visiting friends must be prospects for membership, so no out of town visitors will count toward your total number of friends for the contest.

2. Repeat visitors don’t count beyond their first visit – so you can’t bring your friend Bob 15 times during April and count it as 15 friends! (You get that John Winford?!)

3. Friends who join are counted twice!

In addition, your friends can join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for only $90 in April! Only your friends and family can take advantage of this deal. New recruits taking advantage of this special discount MUST have a sponsoring friend who IS a Boot Camper in good standing. It’s for our friends and family only.



668 Colonial (Across the street from Target). Two awesome spaces available.

Office Suite #1 is 2,400 square feet.

Office Suite #2 is 1,600 square feet with 4 dental operatories. Perfect dental office or even solon space.

Call Boot Camper Kim Mullins at 901-283-5913


AWESOME Boot Camp Service Project! — Organized by Anne Emmerth

Anne says:

Boot Campers are coming together to help Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that provides shoes for people in need in the United States and around the world. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used).

Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS. Soles4Souls distributes shoes internationally and in the US (they’ve served over 30 US states, including Tennessee). The web site is:

For the next two weeks we’ll collect your used athletic shoes at Boot Camp then we’ll ship them in bulk to the distribution center. Take a moment to look in your closet – if you’re replacing shoes as often as Sergeant Tony recommends, you should have some spares. Tie the laces together and bring them to Boot Camp on these days:

Friday, April 10
Monday, April 13 (last day!)


Half Marathon (13.1 miles) Training for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 25, 2009 (or the Louisville Half Marathon or St. Louis Half Marathon) will continue at 0800 this coming Saturday, 11 April!

We’ll meet at 0800 in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms.

The training schedule is posted on the blog page of our website:



Boot Camper Daniel Shaffer completed the Ironman Triathlon 70.3 in New Orleans this past weekend! A 70.3 triathlon is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run!


You, sir, rock the house!


Everyone is important. Everyone matters.

To your continued good health and fitness,


Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117

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