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    [RC] Howard's Final CYA - Ridecamp Guest

    Howard Bramhall hwb67@xxxxxxx
    Well, what can I say?  Actually, I have quite a bit that's on my mind, and, I'll get it out, or most of it, in my last post to Ridecamp if I can figure out how to use this Guest thing.  Yes, I've been pulled (gee, that term sounds familiar), yes, I probably deserved it, and yes, Steph gave me plenty of warning before she took this action.  I have no problem with her decision, it's her site, and things were starting to get carried away there.  As flattering as it all was, even the personal attacks, I gotta say all those posts with my name on them were starting to get to me.  Heck, I was getting sick and tired of hearing about Howard, especially since this is supposed to be a site about endurance and horses.  For that, I do apologize.  I'm not saying this to try and get back on; frankly, I don't plan on coming back, not even as Oprah (which, believe me, I have considered).  I'll continue to read each and every one of your posts, via the Internet, and I do hope those who left because of me, return.  I never wanted anyone to leave, not even that woman from North Georgia.  She's darn funny even if she seems to really hate me.
    Now, I am going to get personal here, cause if you've ever watched a Friar's roast, you know that at the end, the roastee (which is me) gets a chance to respond to all his fellow roasters, and this is what I intend to do here.
    Tom Sites:  No, Tom I'm not an atheist and I really don't hate Muslims.  My jokes about Mohammed were intended to show how a lot of Americans are thinking right now; we are all going though the aftershocks from 9/11, and I'm just trying to get folks to laugh about some of it, even though none of it really is funny.  Twisted, I know, but humor is one of the few things that sustain me when the world around me seems bent on death and destruction.  I don't think every Arab is a terrorist.  I am sorry if the words "God damn" offend you as they seem to do.  I promise to say "Satan damn" from now on; maybe, it will catch on.  Anyway, I wish you the best, you seem to have a lot to share and sometimes I wonder if it was you, or Jim Holland, who was the first endurance rider.
    SandyDSA:  Jesus freaks is a phrase I picked up growing up in the late 60's and early 70's.  Back then it wasn't meant as a derogatory term at all and I did not mean it that way in my little story.  My wife is extremely religious, and as I'm sure you can all imagine, terms like that are thrown around in my household quite frequently.  My wife and daughter both tell me constantly that I am religiously challenged.  I never meant to hurt you or any other Christian with that one, and, for that, I do apologize.
    Mike Sofen:  Man, you instantly became my Angie for the new millennium.  I knew when I responded to your first post, where you called me stupid (no offense taken), and, then, decided to talk about your phrase "never-not once," I'd get a reaction from you.  And, you really did give me one, more than I expected.  None of it really bothered me except when you tried to label me a horse killer.  It's kind of a touchy subject for me, because of when I almost lost Dance line at an endurance ride.  Every time I compete (that's not the right word for me anymore, what I meant to say is "show up") at a ride that memory never leaves my thoughts.  You won't find someone more careful at a ride, as far as my horse's health is concerned, because of what happened to me, and it's one of the reasons why I do my best to tell others about that experience and am such an avid reader of all posts on ridecamp.  It's, also, the main reason why my completion rate is so bloody awful and why I don't do near as many rides as I really would like to do.  I've been snake bit once, and my fear of that ever happening again is greater than you could ever imagine.  Only those bitten, and survive, know this true fear.  Anyway, now that I'm gone I hope you feel that it's safe enough for you to come back.  I won't offend you again.
    Angie:  This one will be difficult for me, but I feel I must get it out.  I'm not quite sure what happened between us a couple years back, but I do know the last time I went through something like that was during my divorce almost 20 years ago.  That almost killed me back then, and me messing with you like I did just about had the same affect.  I blame myself mostly, and I won't comment on anything negative towards you ever again.  I do think you're an awesome writer and I wish you the best.  I will say that I will never return to ridecamp unless you, and only you, allow me to.  I am very ashamed that whatever I did to you, in person, has made you feel I'm the most offensive person you have ever met in your entire life.  If that remark was meant to hurt me, you succeeded quite well.
    To those of you who left Ridecamp because of me:  Please return, I won't bother you again.
    To all Others:  For those of you who have stuck with me through it all, please, do not leave Ridecamp because of me.  Steph is a wonderful human being, I've actually met her in person, when she came out to the Southeast, and enjoyed her company.  I really left her no choice here and it probably is for the best of the site.  I've been using her site, and ya'll, as some sort of experimentation with my writing, and, like Dr. Frankenstein, my experiment has turned out a little different than originally intended.  I quite enjoyed the instant feed back that I got as I wrote my stories, and I can thank only ya'll for helping me finish them.  Without you, there is no story.
    Even though I do enjoy being roasted and toasted sometimes, it's not what this site is all about.  In my own defense, all I can possibly say is my intention was only to try and make you laugh, think, react, and maybe, sometimes, make you cry.  And, the only reason I did it was my love for you, as endurance riders, and our love, together, for the horse.  Somehow, I thought my job here was to entertain, I don't know how it came to that, but it did.  I wanted to show you the wrong side of endurance, in other words, the stupid stuff that is possible if you don't know exactly what you're doing, but you go and do it anyway.  I'm not a complete and total idiot, in person, but I do play one on Ridecamp.  Feel free to call me the King of Endurance Stupidity anytime.  It's how I teach new riders.  I tell them all the stupid stuff I've done, because I'm not worthy to instruct like an expert.  For that, I refer them to others.
    Feel free to post to me privately anytime at all, I'll probably get a little lonely without my daily Ridecamp fix.  And, if you really want to make me happy, anytime you make a post to ridecamp, no matter what you have to say, put my email address under carbon copy (is that what the cc stands for?).  Sometimes, my Internet doesn't work like it should, and it's not the same anyway.  And, for Satan's sake (is that right Tom?) please, quit talking about me already.
    Finally, to Truman, Susan Garlinghouse, Lisa P., Roger Rittenhouse, Maryanne in Egypt, Jim Holland, Phil Rash, Abbie Sanders, Nina and Duane Barnett, Rhonda, and, my favorite, Susan Kasemeyer:  I will miss you guys most of all on here, please write to me often.  I hope to see most of you in person at the rides (except I don't expect to see Maryanne or Susan Garlinghouse all that much) from now on till my dying day.  I'm so glad to have met ya'll.
    cya (well, not really),
    Howard (I feel like Dorothy, in the "Wizard of Oz", when she said good bye to the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow; "there's no place like home, there's no place like home....")
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