Saturday, May 5, 2018
Young Crenshaw’s Mission
James Crenshaw got his new tires for his motor bike, kissed his mom good bye, punched his father in the mouth, and took off in a cloud of flying gravel that chipped his father’s paint on his car for good measure. It had been hard to smack his old man because he looked exactly like his uncle. But, when the man had slapped his mother once again, Jim snapped. He was going anyway and it just seemed like a fitting exit. He learned later that he had knocked his father out cold. He had mixed emotions about that.
He calmed down and slowed his motorbike down as well. It would not be good to be stopped, and have to explain his bleeding knuckles, and the $496 in his pocket. Not to mention, the file marked Top Secret stashed in his rucksack tied to the bike’s seat.
He loved being a free man. Man… that had a nice ring to it. Now, he had to find a willing woman to really make him a man. He was on a mission to find Dr. B. F. Skinner and to present him the contents of the top secret file he carried. He had no doubt that Skinner would remember that year of his life when he was devoted to his “pet” project with pigeons. The more he Jim thought about it, the more he became convinced that his uncle was on the right track and this Skinner guy would be the only one who would understand what his uncle was proposing. He began to laugh as he
imagined a bunch of Generals in full regalia being presented with Skinner’s
idea. No wonder it was rejected when it got presented to a bunch of ego-driven,
know-it alls, who were more concerned with appearances, than in winning the
Jim had experienced the phenomenon a few times as a Reserve Officers Training Corps member. Everyone his age was joining the ROTC during the last war and he was no exception. What he noticed was that the military mind seemed to be consumed with putting on a good show and not so concerned with actually doing a good job. Initiative and the ability to get things done were way down on the list of attributes to be admired. First and foremost you had to look the part to succeed.
“The Good Show,” he thought, was the reason we had gotten our asses kicked, both in the beginning of the last war and this war as well. Guys who were promoted beyond their abilities, had to fail before the real warriors their chance. Immediately, the name U.S. Grant came to mind as a perfect example.
All that mattered was the ability to a brief a plan well. You were promote if you were one of those guys who could put lipstick on a pig. Winning ideas could be overlooked and disastrous ideas could be advanced.
Skinner’s idea was dismissed. In reality it was brilliant, workable, and cost effective. But, it was not presented well to a group of puppets who thought alike. They were the kind of men who didn’t have the imagination to see what a great idea it was. He bet, as his uncle had, that someone in the Soviet Union had gotten his hands on this project and developed it and was using it to win a war.
But, what did a sixteen, year old kid know? His mission was to find and present the folder to Dr. Skinner to remind him of what he had done. Jim wanted to jog Skinner’s memory and to have him imagine that the Soviets had used his well thought out, but very unconventional, idea to shoot our bombers out of the sky. Crenshaw knew that no one in power would listen to him. Jim was not even sure that his uncle could have pulled this off.
From reading up on this Skinner guy, Jim found that he seemed to have a following. Maybe, just maybe Skinner could get in contact with his former colleagues at the Pentagon and convince them to, at least explore, the possibility of what he and his uncle theorized. The two men were proposing that Dr. Skinner’s invention was possibly guiding missiles.
He was sixteen and on his way to convince a Ph.D in Psychology, that he held an incredible secret that might be the key to winning World War Three. What could go wrong?