Cliffhanger and the Cowboy Way: Risk everything, fear nothing, and have no regrets

You might have noticed that I’ve changed a few things, particularly signing these articles by the name of Cliffhanger lately. Well, there’s a good reason for that. I was coming home from a long hard day in to see my family had come over for dinner. I was dressed the way I do now, and because of the unconstitutional directive that all employers and employees of the state must wear a mask, I was still wearing my black bandana, along with my hat and sunglasses. Rather than get terribly pissed off and ready to string up the governor for being a complete idiot, I had a little fun with the idea and upon seeing me, my daughter instantly recognized a vision from her past, and she said, “ah, Cliffhanger.” There was a time in her life when I wore that same type of mask for a similar reason, only back then it was to conceal my identity, a vigilante phase I had to go through which was directly inspired by the movie character of Zorro. For several years of my life while I worked three full time jobs and wasn’t home much at night because of them, when I was home I would dress that way and head out into the night with my bullwhips to fight a fight that the state courts and legal system had no stomach for, which as I’ve told the story would become the contents of my book, ‘The Symposium of Justice.’ I had drug dealers living across the street in Mason, Ohio while my children were little and the FBI was chasing down a rapist that was molesting women home alone at night, as well as a number of other problems and nobody would do anything about it. I went to the mayor of Mason directly for help, and the entire police department but nobody was interested. So I took it upon myself to solve the problem and that became my nickname.

These days it is the name I go by in Cowboy Fast Draw, which is a kind of gamer tag for shooting sports. A few years ago my wife had a specially embroidered shirt made for me as encouragement for a long held idea that I’ve had for starting an R&D company called Cliffhanger Research and Development which goes back to an idea I had right out of high school and am still thinking about, something that would make Elon Musk turn into a driveling fanboy pretty fast. But to pull it off, there needs to be other resources and the need to fight over various issues has never really given me the kind of time that such an endeavor would take. I’m not finished with the idea, just shelving it for a proper time, but the name Cliffhanger has been with me for a long time. The essence of it is that I have always been a major risk taker, a person who thrives in danger and mayhem. And the name suggests a person who loves to live on the edge, all the time. There is a sort of joke in our family that I am the biggest risk taker that anybody would ever have the opportunity to know. I for a time was a member of the World Stunt Organization so it carried over into entertainment these antics of mine. However, my wife is probably the most risk averse woman on the face of the planet. Why we have been married for over thirty years is a mystery to many, but the story is a normal one for anybody who stays at it that long, without her in my life I likely would have been in a lot more trouble than I have been in over that time. I always wanted a family and for me I need that balance to have one. And from me she needs a risk taker, otherwise she might never leave the house. Through all this Covid-19 mess, her life hasn’t changed at all. But for a person like me, it’s a disaster to suddenly have the entire world be so timid and frightened—there is nothing about my life that adheres to those definitions.

The Cliffhanger name means a lot to me, but at this stage of my life, I use it in my gun clubs and think of it as a solid root into my long past of things that likely would have killed most people. I’ve always embraced the types of things that most people are terrified of and that has delivered me to this new chapter of my life which is very concerned about what we call in the shooting sports as The Cowboy Way. Now the old timers who have been at this stuff for a long time don’t like to talk about The Cowboy Way because defining it verbally kind of cheapens it but it does consist of a few ideas that I think about every day of my life the first thing in the morning. Those are “risk everything, fear nothing, and have no regrets.” That pretty much sums up my way of looking at everything, and the only place that people understand that way of living, are in shooting sports and in the western arts, which I have been a part of for many, many decades mainly with my bullwhip aptitude. So this notion of being afraid of a silly virus and wearing masks as centralized pin headed experts try to take over our constitution has not sat well with me, at all. They want me to wear a mask, well I’ve done it before and they didn’t like the result. Now they want to make it legal, well, OK. My daughter recognized me right away and what I was up to.

I used to sneak back in the house after running around in the night looking for bad guys to punish, such as the rapist the FBI couldn’t find and my daughter would sneak out of her bed to catch me coming back in the back door. So seeing me dressing that way in a modern context was kind of reassuring to her and brought back good memories from her perspective. As a footnote, the FBI never had a rapist running around. Yes, there was a guy who was raping women, but he wasn’t unknown to them, he was an agent of them. There was a police levy at the time and the Mason police were involved in getting extra money from the family across the street who was selling drugs and that story couldn’t get out even though I hand walked it to every reporter I could get and I personally got the mayor involved, who didn’t want to do anything about it for political reasons. The FBI had the backs of the police who didn’t like my wife at all because she was calling the cops every time a drug deal would happen. We couldn’t even let our kids ride their bikes down the sidewalk in front of our house because the situation was so contentious. We were known as the narcs of the neighborhood and many of our neighbors were openly protesting us, so this FBI story about a rapist was meant to drive my wife crazy with fear. It was a cruel psychological turmoil she had to go through that taught me a lot about politics early in my life. My method of dealing with it wasn’t in their play book so there were some interesting encounters, I’ll just say that. But eventually, we did move away and bought a home that had a lot more elbow room. I’m not a neighborhood kind of guy and neither is my wife so it worked out in the end. But there was a lot of unnecessary suffering on all sides that could have easily been avoided.

The Cliffhanger name has been with me most of my life and given the state of the world, it is far more appropriate to my purpose, so I’m going to use it more for the needs of justice. I’ve always felt that the law sometimes needs help because the bad guys out there are always looking for ways to curtail the law while they insist that all their victims follow the law to the letter. They’ll bust you for driving one mile over the speed limit even while they sell illegal drugs to children just so they can scrape a bit off the top to buy themselves new bass boats and finance their mistresses. The bottom line is that the law doesn’t mean a damn thing if good people don’t protect it from the bad guys and that is certainly a need our modern constitution has. So I think I will always wear my mask. I’m never going to forget what happened with this Covid-19 attack on our American way of life and how they have tried to intrude on my way of life, the Cowboy Way that I have defined with some European outlook that belongs on the bottom of a shoe instead of a policy to live by. And while I used to use the Cliffhanger name as a type of bandit who had to step out of the lines to get justice, which is what my book ‘The Symposium of Justice’ was all about, now its actually legal to wear a mask in public and to do in the light of day which I had to conceal with moonless nights and a lot of inflicted pain dished out with my bullwhips. But from then to now one thing has never changed, the necessity to defend justice from tyranny, and that’s where I am at, and why using that name is more applicable now than it has ever been.

Cliffhanger the Overmanwarrior
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