The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom of Barnyard Bruke: Plant'n Time, John Baggett, You Are My Sunshine

Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill".

It didn't rain or snow last Sunday so maybe the seven weeks of rain follow'n rain on Easter Sunday "SPELL" has been broken

Plant'n Time

Folks around these parts started plant'n in a half-hearted manner last week. One feller had planted two weeks ago, eleven hundred acres corn and four hundred acres soybeans, all no-till. Those seedlings have not broken from underneath the cold, cold ground yet.

One feller asked "Why is it when ya puts your equipment, especially the planter, and work on it in the shop dure'n the winter, but yet comes and it won't work right? I'm think'n there must be an ornery old "Grinch" involved some how. John Baggett

Here is an enterest'n true story on John Baggett who served in WWII:

Owen John Baggett was born in 1920 in Graham, TX. By 1941 he graduated from college, went on to work on Wall Street, but the following year, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps (now USAF) when the United States entered WWII.

A studious man, Baggett graduated from pilot training in just 5 months and was sent to Burma, flying a B-24 Liberator. What happened the following year is an act of herorism and a miracle, a rare story for the ages.

On March 31st, 1943, Baggett and his squadron were sent on a mission to destroy a bridge of strategic importance.

On their way, the B-24s got intercepted by Japanese Zeros which hit the squadron hard. Baggett's plane was riddled with bullets to such an extent that the crew was forced to bail out.

While parachuting, a Japanese pilot decided that downing the plane wasn't enough. He circled around and started shooting at the bailed out pilots, killing two of the crew. Seeing this, Baggett did the only thing he could. He played dead.

Owen J. Baggett became legendary as the only pilot to have downed a Japanese aircraft with a M1911 pistol hitting the pilot in the head while he was parachuting.

Not convinced Baggett was dead, the Zero pulled up to him at near stall speed, the pilot opening his canopy to check on his horrendous work.

Not wasting any time and thinking on his feet (no pun intended), Baggett pulled out his pistol and shot the pilot right in the head.

This is considered the best shot by a Caliber .45 M911 pistol of all time.

The last thing he saw was the Zero spiraling toward earth.

When he landed, he and the other bailed out crew members were captured and sent to a POW camp where they remained till the end of the war.

They were liberated by OSS agents and Baggett was recognized as the only person during the war to shoot down a Zero with a pistol. Amazing!!

Here's another one of those amazing and true stories:

"You Are My Sunshine"

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine'

Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son Michael, prepare for a new sibling.

They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl. Day after day, night after night, Michael sang to his sister in mommy's tummy..

He was building a bond of love with his little sister before he even met her. The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee.

In time, the labor pains came. Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every minute.

But serious complications arose during delivery and Karen found herself in hours of labor.

Would a C-section be required? Finally, after a long struggle, Michael's little sister was born.

But she was in very serious condition. With a siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.

The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatrician had to tell the parents there is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst.

Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. They had fixed up a special room in their house for their new baby but now they found themselves having to plan for a funeral.

Michael however, kept begging his parents to let him see his sister. I want to sing to her, he kept saying.

Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over.

Michael kept nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care.

Karen decided to take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn't see his sister right then, he may never see her alive.

She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket.

The head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of here now. No children are allowed!"

The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line.

"He is not leaving until he sings to his sister," she stated. Then Karen towed Michael to his sister's bedside.

He gazed at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. After a moment, he began to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sang: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, You make me happy when skies are gray."

Instantly the baby girl seemed to respond. The pulse rate began to calm down and become steady.

"Keep on singing, Michael," encouraged Karen with tears in her eyes, "you never know dear how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away."

As Michael sang to his sister, the baby's ragged, strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr. "Keep on singing, sweetheart." "The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms."

Michael's little sister began to relax at rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her.

"Keep on singing Michael."

Tears had now conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away."

The next day..the very next day. The little girl was well enough to get out of ICU..She went home two weeks later.

Woman's Day magazine called it The Miracle of a Brother's Song.

The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's love.

Never give up on the people you love! Love is so incredibly powerful.

In God We Trust!

"The evidence of God's presence far outweighs the proof of His absence."

Well there ya have it then fer this week. Thank you ta ever one that contributes stories and information fer this column.

Next week I've got an enterest'n poem written by cowboy John, a local twenty year old home schooled farm boy with surprise'n talent. You'll want ta look for it.

Have a good rest of the week, ever one.

Hope'n ta see ya in church this week along with yer family and others ya love.

Remember, wherever ya are, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"

Keep on Smile'n

Count yer many Blessings

Catch ya later,

Barnyard Bruke