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George Guy Motz

October 20, 1943 - January 8, 2010





George Guy Motz
In Memory of a Great Humorist

Mr. George G. Motz, 66 of Balsam Lake passed away on Friday, January 8, 2010 in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin of natural causes. George was born on October 20, 1943 in Modale, Iowa the son of Albert Guy and Wilma (Wulf) Motz.

George graduated in 1961 from Unity High School in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin. From there he attended Northland College in Ashland, WI where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1966. George went on to be a Teacher, and continued to teach outside the classroom the rest of his life. He farmed until he could no longer do so, but was able to continue his respect of the land and of nature by selling fruit trees off the family farm.

He was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting, cutting wood and just being in the woods. Auctioneering was a big part of George's life, as well as attending many auctions to sell his items. He loved helping others whenever they needed help. He was a huge supporter of the Polk County Sportsmen's club, helping to making it possible for all people to enjoy the outdoors. Being an author, he loved writing many books, and has published 15 of them. He is loved by his family as much as he loved them.

George Motz was a frequent contributor to the Southern Humorists' discussion list and was an online friend to many members both on the list and off. He had a tremendous sense of humor and a never ending supply of stories to write about his life experiences. He was a prolific writer and we can think of no better way to honor his memory than with one of his own stories.

I was (almost) cool!

By George Motz

Elvis was young, Kookie wouldn’t lend you his comb, and I was (almost) cool!

I was never cool. Luke-warm at best. But I was 16, and going to college in the fall. Only a few months previously, I had been a gawky awkward kid, weighing 135 pounds, and suddenly, I grew. In a few months, I was now a gawky awkward kid weighing 175 pounds, and coming off the farm, it was mostly muscle. And I was soon to have a secret I couldn’t tell anyone. Now, almost 50 years later, I can tell you. I stole two cases of dynamite. I will have to tell you about that sometime. Good story, and how I kept alive, in looking back, is a pure miracle.

Now this part starts one noon, at the local ‘Drug Store’, soda fountain, as all they had was over-the-counter meds on hand. Tommy comes in, (a WWII vet who never talked about his experiences, and we never asked.) He asks Barney, his half-brother, one of the owners of the Drug Store, for a Bromo-seltzer, but to make it in the back room as the sound may kill him. (Tommy drank!)

Tommy asked me if I had the work all done, and I said I had. He found jobs for me, for my spare time, as I was putting every penny I could away for college. A soda Coke was a nickel and I allowed myself only a few a week, as a nickel was a lot of money for a boy off a poor dirt farm. Tommy tended bar across the street, and he found me jobs on the lake, and I was eternally grateful.

Two blondes come in, about my age, and they had their father with. I look at them, they ignore me, and Tommy hits me with an elbow. “Stay away from them. Their old man is a mean drunk!” Tommy warned me.
Thus was my introduction to the girls on Prospect Point, a new development on Balsam Lake. We later changed its name to Peroxide Point, or some called it Prostitute Point. Small, cheaply built cabins, or summer homes. None remain! Million-dollar mansions now occupy that land today.

It was shortly after that time when I appropriated the dynamite. Two summer friends, both slightly older than I was, but a year behind me in school, kids who spent the summer at the lake, while I labored on the farm, had started paying attention to the two blondes. I had talked to them too, but, how do we put it delicately? The lights were on, but there was nobody home! Maybe the Peroxide had killed off a lot of brain cells?

The Drug Store was our place. Nobody did anything wrong there. It was the day I returned the stolen dynamite to Jim, our sheriff. I had hidden it out in an old horse barn connected to a logging shack outside of town. The stuff had crystallized, and was very unstable, but then maybe so was I? (Okay, I stole it from the thieves who had stolen it from the railroad.) But I didn’t dare bring it to town, as it was turning white, and the weather was hot, and while we may have need for a new jail, I sort of would miss Jim if it went up with him in it!

I was maybe nine in the evening, and I swung by the Drug Store. My two friends had the two girls inside, enjoying a real soda, (Ice cream, syrup, charged water!) And with them was prettiest gal I ever did see. She was prettier than a spotted pup! In contrast, she had light brown hair, was tall, and had legs that wouldn’t quit. She was a cousin, from back east, and was there for a family function, and would be at the cabin for a week or so.

My two friends were not making any points with the blondes, as they couldn’t keep their eyes off the cousin. Me neither! But I did find out that she was 19, going to be a sophomore in college, and we soon were
talking schools, as I was going to go to a state college, and she went to a prestigious school.

And then she dropped the bomb! She had just finished up as first-runner-up in her state’s Miss America pageant!

Now I drove a beat-up Ford, I paid $25 for, and she was Cadillac all the way! But like a dog chasing a fire truck, and not knowing what to do if he caught it, I sort of tried. And got totally shot down!

I had swung past the county jail earlier, but Jim was gone, and so now I returned, to tell him about the explosives. Now I went the one block north to the jail once more, and there were all sorts of cars there. It was still not quite dark, and I had an errand, and the dynamite would wait, as nobody would go to the logging site that late at night.

When I got back, there were even more cars there. Jim ran the county with one full time and one part time deputy, and of course, Jim’s wife!

Now I had to get home, and the night was growing late. So I slipped into the outer office, grabbed pen and paper and wrote a note for Jim. But I could hear the conversation going on inside the inner office. They were going to raid a drinking party!

Now I may be a little slow, but is started to sink in. There had been slightly more kids in town earlier than normal, for a week day night. So maybe, just maybe, they were throwing a party, and I wasn’t invited. (I never did drink much, not at all then, as it cost money, and I needed money to escape the farm.)

Now where would be the worst place to throw an under-age drinking party? How about 3 blocks from the jail, in the town park? Yup! I take off, ahead of the squad cars, and make a run through the big pines, ignoring the road, and come up to my friends, and the three girls.

“The cops!” I shout and the gal from back east jumps into my car. I take off, going down through the rest of the pine park, out across the ball field, with a squad car now after me. South of the worlds worst bleachers, (a WPA project-gone wrong!), and on the south side is a washboard road leading up through the woods there, and catching the road leading into town. The squad car is after me, but this is my territory.

He hits a deep washout, and I had swerved to miss it. In my dust, he didn’t see it. I hit the road, and go across, right through the county highway department property, between the buildings, and out the other
side, take a right, cross the dam which makes Balsam Lake, and now I have a squad coming behind me once more. My little Ford is no match, but I have a two block lead and two blocks to freedom. My kind of freedom. At the village limits, I go down into the ditch, over a slight bank, and off through the field there. It is in soil-bank then, (I bought it in 1963!)

We cut diagonally across the fields, me with my lights off, and the squad with his flashing, trying to find me on the road. In a slight dip, I shut off my car and wait. He can’t see me, or hear me now. When he leaves, I take off south and east. I go across the old fence line, down then, and now. Hit a gate into the next farm’s cow pasture, go through it, follow an old logging road, and come to our line fence, and let it down, drive in and go to the lake! There is the full moon, me, a beautiful girl, and my own private swimming beach!

After midnight, I drive the trail back to the road past our farm, and take her back home. She was grateful, as to be arrested, then her chances of ever getting into the Miss America Contest were gone! (But not that grateful!) She asked me to come over the next night, her last one in town, and I said I would be there, but probably late.

I get to her uncle’s cabin at nine or so, starting to get dark, the next night. She is waiting and asks me to go swimming with her. She fills a swim suit nicely so I agree! I grab my suit from the back seat, and slip behind the car and put it on. My two buddies are in the cabin with the two cousins, and her uncle never knew anything about the events of the previous night. Now I was not a good swimmer, but a fair one. The neighbors had all gone together and made a raft for the kids, so we swam out there and talked for a while. Then she decided she wanted a picture of the two of us, so we swam back and she got out her camera, and we had our picture taken.

Then her uncle and aunt came home. All three girls were in Bikini’s, and there were three boys there, and he was drunk, and he roared like an enraged bull.

“I’m going to kill you!” he screamed, and as he was between me and my car, I did the only sensible thing, I took off south, on the run. I hit the last dock on the point and was I mid-air, when I felt a stinging, and then the noise.

He shot me! With a shotgun!

But there was no time to consider things. I swam across the narrow channel, and came up on the shore below where the bank is now. One of the two buddy’s parent’s were renting a summer home not far away, and as I had left my keys in my old Ford, I was hoping one of them would save it, and my clothing. So I headed there. My friend’s sister, a year or two younger than he was, was babysitting their younger sisters when I got there. She took a bobby pin and removed the bird shot from my back. The distance had saved me some.

And Rita had a blast laughing at me as she extracted all those lead pellets. A few weeks later, I get a color picture from the girl, and she had written on the back of it, “I’ll never forget our nights together!”

Now fast forward almost two years. Clem, an affectionato of fine feminine flesh, (He hunted rattle snakes downstate for the bounty money!), had certain pictures taped on the walls of his room. I went in one day, and he had just taped up Miss (month-forge which), from Playboy, and I did a double take when I looked at her. (Or maybe a quadruple take?) It was my girl, the one who never even kissed me! In the nude!

When I made mention of this, everyone laughed at me. The next week, when I got back to college from the farm, showed them all the photo. I became a living legend, at least in my own mind.

I taped our photo on my mirror, but someone stole it.

And that is part of the story of how I got shot the first time.

Copyright 2009 George G. Motz

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