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{SFTH}   *Donkeyball*  8/30/01


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Michael's long awaited book Straight From the Heart: "A
Celebration of Life," is finally here!  Close to 200 pages
of true short stories filled with love and laughter await
you!  Visit our web site to order the EBook, or to order
by credit card! You can also read some sample stories
from the book here!

To order your autographed copy at no extra charge, send
a check or money order for $18 ($14.95 for the book and
$3.05 for shipping and handling) made out to
Michael T. Powers, and then send to:
Michael T. Powers
1918 Liberty Lane
Janesville, WI 53545
For two books add $4 for shipping and handling and for three
books add $5 for shipping and handling.  If you want four or
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Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for
and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send
it on its way to you.

How many of you have ever been to a DonkeyBall event?
Well, you get to experience it up close and personal through
the words of regular contributor Al Batt!  Be sure to write and let
him know what you thought of his story!

We have some exciting news coming up in the next week or so!
Some will be exciting to you, and some will be just plain
exciting for me to share with you!
Stay tuned!



By Al Batt

I watched our third baseman being bucked off and landing flat
on his back.  Dust rose from his recumbent body.  I remember
thinking that he was going to feel that the next day.
Somebody yelled for me to mount up.  I didn't want to
mount up.  I watched another teammate, tired of the
constant bucking of his steed, slide off the rear end of
his ride and nearly being kicked for his trouble.  I did get
into the saddle, so to speak.  I had to.  Lots of people were

My softball team was involved in a game of donkeyball.  It
was a fundraiser. We were playing the game from the backs of
donkeys--stubborn and strong creatures.

The bases were run while on the back of a donkey.  Defense
was played while on the back of a donkey.  Panic set in
while on the back of a donkey.  You were given a test
before you were allowed to play such a game.  Someone
would shine a flashlight in one ear and if the light came
out the other ear, you could play. Plastic bats and whiffle
balls were the tools of the game.  My donkey was a
small one.  The organizers of the game, in their infinite
wisdom, gave big old me the smallest of the donkeys.
I clumsily crawled onto the back of the beast.  If there
had been a saddle involved, I would not have been riding
tall in it.  My feet dragged upon the ground. Happy trails
to me.  Playing softball on the back of a donkey didn't
seem like the smartest thing I had ever done.  Unfortunately,
it wasn't the dumbest thing I had ever done either.  I have
done so many dumb things in my life that it is difficult for
any new ones to make my top ten list.

There was a large crowd gathered to watch the foolish act
even more foolish than usual.  The donkeys were well
trained, much better trained than their riders.  There were
donkeys that refused to budge and there were donkeys
that wouldn't stop running.  There were a lot of donkeys
that never quit bucking. I was excited, but I wasn't excited
as the donkeys. Let's just say that they were not
housebroken. Like that irritating little Energizer Bunny, they
kept going and going and going.  That was okay, as it was
a way that the crowd could tell the donkeys from the players.
Many of the players had been accused of being donkeys, or
a similar word meaning the same thing, many times, but
most of us were housebroken.

There is nothing like seeing someone you have always
suspected of being a fool, act like a fool--confirming
your belief.  It is like electing someone to public office.
You know they couldn't be too smart or they wouldn't be
running for office.  And once elected, they usually prove
your suspicions correct.

I felt sorry for the donkeys--for a little while.  Until one that I
was riding took me on a terrifying journey from first base to
left field where it deposited me onto a fresh donkey dropping.
Things like that don't happen by accident.  The donkey
knew exactly what it was doing.  It pretended to accidentally
step on my hand as I lay groaning in the steaming donkey
doodoo. I whined about it a little.  The umpire told me, "If
you didn't want to play ball, why did you get on the donkey?"
A good question.  I had no answer, so I went back to playing.
I kept telling myself that it was a fundraiser with the money
going for a good cause.  We played the Hartland Nine or
the Geneva Convention or the Manchester Melissas--I forget
which.  Maybe it was the Casper Ghosts?  I don't remember
if we won or lost or if the score was even kept.

I think most of the participants survived. I do remember that we
raised a lot of money and that we made people laugh.  I
think even the donkeys did some laughing.  There was
never a game quite like it before and there will never be
one quite like it again.  I survived the game, only being
dumped by my charger a few times--okay, nine times.
Luckily, I managed to land on my head each time.  As
it has often been said, you can't hurt a Hartlander by
hitting him in the head. That may be true, but I think I
may have suffered a slight brain injury because the next
year, I played donkeyball again.

Al Batt,  c2001

Write Al and let him know what you thought of his story!


Al Batt lives on a farm near Hartland, Minnesota with his wife, Gail.
Besides being a husband, father and grandfather; Al is a newspaper
columnist, a radio and TV personality, a storyteller, a tour leader
and an avid birder.

Al Batt
RR1 Box 56A
Hartland, M 56042


From the E-mail Box!!

Hi Michael,
Thanks so much for printing my story.  Already getting lots of email from
those who don't have the disorder but understand the struggle and many
emails from those who do have Trichotillomania and never knew of another who
did.  So wonderful to be able to reach others who still thought they were
the only one!
Thanks again,
Cheryn Salazar

Hi, again, Michael. I was told of this site by a
friend who also has trichotillomania, as I do, and she
was thrilled to see Cheryn's story. I met Cheryn a
number of years ago. She is such an inspiration. Thank
you for giving her story the attention it deserves. I
loved today's story, too, about the basketball player.
Bless you,

Thought For The Day:

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be
continually fearing that you will make one."
--Elbert G. Hubbard

Verse for the Day:

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He
will never leave you nor forsake you." --Dueteronomy 31:6

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"A penny saved is not much."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"A grandmother will put a sweater on you when she is cold,
feed you when she is hungry, and put you to bed when she
is tired. --Erma Bombeck

Coach's Thought For The Day

"There is something that is more scarce, something rarer than
ability.  It is the ability to recognize ability." --Robert Half

Deep Thought For The Day:

"On a clear disk you can seek forever."

\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but
\_\/\ \   Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live for the Son
   \_\/   of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."  
           Galatians 2:20

The copyrights to the stories that appear in SFTH are owned
by the authors and are used with their permission.  We
refuse to run stories without the author's permission and
contact info listed after the story. We also refuse to
publish stories listed as "author unknown." (All of which
violates Copyright law and the rightsof the authors.)
This e-mail may be forwarded in its entirety, but please
do not cut and paste the stories to be used elsewhere
unless you have contacted and been given permission
by the individual writer. Thank you so much for honoring
the rights of those writers who graciously share their
stories with us!

Video Imagery (Michael's Video Production Business.)

"I thought of you first after my family sat down to watch
the video we gave them. They loved it, to say the least!
Within thirty seconds my mom was crying and my
dad did too.  They said it was the best Christmas gift
we could have given them!!  You did such a beautiful
job!  They were so surprised and so touched--they
really, really, really loved it.  Thanks for helping to
make it so special to us all. My mom mentioned how
the songs were perfect for the video too!
Thanks again!"
Kelli-- College Station, TX

Let me make you a video from your pictures or home movies!
Check out this site for Michael's video production business!

AOL Users click here:   Video Imagery

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Straight From the Heart: A Celebration of Life


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A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook
is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook
versions.  An EBook is a book that can be downloaded
and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering
the EBook is that is costs less, $8.95 (No other charges),
as compared to $14.95 + shipping and handling for the print
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Reader, which is software that most of you already have on
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check out this web site to order the EBook version of
Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life."


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