About Me

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Welcome to my blog - My name is Jim Bull and I share this information with you in the hopes of helping you or a friend or family member in some way. Here you'll find motivational material, my views of life and some background info from my past. I help others live the life they've always wanted through the sharing of information regarding all areas of life.Please let me know how I can help you. Ezekiel 36:26

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waking Up In Jail

It wasn't the first time that I had woken up in either a police station or a juvenile facility, but this was the real deal. I was in a small cell with very bright lights and it was just big enough to fit a cot against the one wall with a metal toilet and mirror on the other side and a very small ledge that you could sit at and write a letter on or read a book at.
I remember the lights coming on early in the morning and that's how they woke you up everyday. I guess it beat the detention center I had spent close to a month in down in Virginia the year before. There they never turned the lights out, they said it was easier to make sure you hadn't escaped that way.(who needs sleep)
I remember that first morning waking up to the bright lights, it took a few minutes for reality to set in. There were many mornings I woke up trying to remember the events of the night before, but this time was different. Even though many of the details were sketchy, I knew I was in big trouble, that I had really messed up this time.
Finally a guard came and spoke to me through the small opening in the cell door. There was a window in the door with wire running through it so I could see out into the control area. I knew I was in a special place in the prison because there was this huge round room with lots of plate glass windows and it was full of guards. I think from this spot they could control the whole facility.
Anyhow the guard told me that when he left the area that they were going to open my door and that my breakfast was waiting for me on a table out there. They were acting like I was some kind of a wacko that was going to try and take out the guard (I guess after all I was there for going on a shooting spree) it was taking a little while to sink in.
So this guard left the front of my cell and an outer electronic door opened, I'll never forget the sounds of those doors opening and closing. Once he was outside, then my door opened and I was able to walk out into a room that was a little larger than my cell with a table and one chair that you could set at and eat.
This happened three times a day, breakfast, lunch and supper and the rest of the time you were in your cell. I later found out that I was in a special section of the prison for two reasons, first was the fact that I was still 17 and couldn't be put into general population and secondly because of the severity of my crimes.
I don't remember for sure how long I was there, I 'm pretty certain it was just under two weeks. I know they only let me out to shower once and I got out once for a visit with the pastor from a church that I attended with my grandparents as a kid and my mom came once after she got out of the hospital. You see my stupid acts gave her heart issues that night and she was in the hospital for a day or two. I got to look at her through a pain of glass and listen to her cry for the entire time she visited over a telephone. She just kept asking me over and over again, why did you do it? Why did you do it?
After my stay there they moved me to a juvenile detention center until my trial came up. This place was much more forgiving and it didn't take long before I was taking for granted what I had done and I was already learning how to work the system.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It May Be Another Night I'll Never Forget

Well here I sit, just waiting. Twenty years ago tonight I was in the same position, only I was waiting for my first child to be born. Here I am tonight, still at home but betting I will be at the hospital a little later, this time waiting for my first grandchild to be born.
It was a little crazy at some points today, my young daughter is having her first child and at one point we had a very scary episode. But all is well, the girls are now counting the minutes between the contractions and I'm just waiting.
How cool could it be to have my son and a grandson born on the same day? Only time will tell. So tune back in tomorrow and we'll all know the results.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Night I'll Never Forget

There is one night from my teenage years that I will always remember. And to be honest there are many parts about the evening that my mind must have blocked out. I do remember the outcome but much of it is still hearsay to me because I don't remember witnessing it and I have never met the victims. I didn't remember the events the day after it happened and I don't remember them to this day. Maybe it's Gods way of sparing me the unnecessary replays that would occur in my memory. Maybe your brain takes over to protect your heart or maybe it's just denial. Maybe it was just all of the drugs and alcohol that were in my system that night . Either way they proved it all in a court of law so here you go.
I don't remember what night of the week it was, I do know it was cold out and it was sometime in February I believe. My father was back in the hospital again from complications from drinking too much his entire life and I do know it was just a few months after I had quit school. I had been spending a lot of time with a certain friend of mine and we had been reading a lot from this Satanic Bible that I had found at a bookstore in the mall.
I remember going over to his house that night around 6:00 and there was another kid there who was only 14. I was 17 and this other guy had just turned 18. We had picked up some more grain alcohol for the night and that stuff would put you right over the top. It was 190 proof and would just warp your brain. On top of that my buddy had some pills that we took and I couldn't tell you what they were. This guy had a steady supply of this stuff and about all you could ever get out of him was, just take them, you'll like it. We were also smoking pot all night and we were reading from this book.
Our dream was to have power over people, power to get what we wanted without having to work for it or pay for it. We believed that if we did the things the book said to do that we could have whatever we wanted. I don't remember what we read that night or what we actually set out to do.
What I do remember is going to my parents house and taking two hunting rifles and a shotgun out of the gun cabinet and hitting the road with my friends in my 1969 GTO. My mom woke up that night and she tried to stop me, she tried to talk some sense into me but I just pushed her aside and told her not to worry about what I was doing.
I only remember bits and pieces from that night. They pieced most of it together for me in a series of trials that found me guilty on two counts each of reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and accomplice to attempted homicide.Attorneys didn't want to represent me because they all thought I was lying about not remembering the events of the night. Finally my parents were able to find someone to take the case and I think my grandparents paid the attorney fee's because it was so much money.
The main elements I remember from that night were my friends telling me to go, I remember being chased by the police for hours and losing them several times. I remember telling my buddy to blast the car in front of us, which he did because they had pulled out if front of my prized GTO. I remember being face down in the middle of the road with lots of police cruisers surrounding me and seeing my buddy laying on his back in a police car trying to kick the rear windows out.
I remember the police telling me later that I was a good driver and I also remember the police taking my mom to the hospital with heart problems because of what I had done that night.
I don't remember the man getting shot that was sitting in his van trying to defrost the ice off his windshield so he could begin his delivery route. I remember leaving the parking lot and the police chase beginning just a short time later. I remember dropping off one of the kids to stash the guns in the woods and I do remember picking him back up with the guns because we thought the coast was clear. I also remember taking the shots at the girl in the car ahead of us, but she didn't get hit.
I do remember spending over a year locked up for my crimes, I do remember the fact that the 18 year old spent eight years locked up because of what we did. You see he was an adult and I wasn't and that made the differences in our sentences.
I do believe God was with us that night no matter how terrible that sounds. You see God kept the bullets far enough away from the mans heart so he didn't die and God kept the lady leaning just a bit to the left so two bullets didn't enter the back of her head. I do know that the events we set in motion that night came from doing and believing the wrong things and I also believe that God intervened to keep us all around to do better things.
Believe what you want, but just for a moment imagine that there is something bigger out there than us all. Imagine that good can come from bad and imagine that God uses us all in different ways at different times for different reasons. I meet so many people that say if there was a God he wouldn't let things like that happen. I can bet that some of the people we hurt that night could maybe feel that way or maybe their family members while they were laying in the hospital trying to recover. I know it drives me crazy sometimes too because I don't understand why things happen or what the reasons may be. I can say just keep the faith and life can and will be good because trust me, the spree wasn't over yet.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What Year Did That Happen

As I reflect on these writings I struggle to remember many of the facts and dates when events actually occurred. I do know up until the summer I turned 17 there was a whole lot of partying going on. There were so many mornings that I didn't have a clue about what happened the night before. I still to this day don't remember many nights of my youth due to excessive drug and hard alcohol use. It actually scares the crap out of me because of the things that I do remember that we did, who knows what else might have gone down. 
By this time I had run away from home twice, and I'm not talking about the temper tantrum scenario where you want to prove a point to your mom and dad because they didn't buy you the new stereo you wanted. I'm talking about stealing vehicles and heading for the border. About selling stolen goods to family members to raise money for the trips. About wishing that I'd never see my family again. That's how clouded my judgement was from the drug use.
Both times I ended up in juvenile detention in other states which caused lots of problems for not only my family but for some of the others that were involved. It was my first time being locked up and it scared the crap out of me at first, unfortunately it didn't take long to fit into that scene too.
I ended up back in PA and as fall came along my parents made me go back to school. I really didn't want to do that so I continued hooking class. My parents even began driving me to school to make sure I would go. Many days they would drop me off in front of school  and five minutes later I would walk out the back door and go about my business for the rest of the day. PA had a law then that you couldn't quit school before you were 18 without a full time job, of course I didn't want one of those either.
I finally convinced my parents to let me tell my guidance counselor that I would be going to live with my Grandparents in Maryland and that I would be attending school there. It was November of my 11th grade year and it would be the last time I would ever set foot in a high school classroom.
I did however manage to get my GED diploma before my class would graduate. I was able to take the test and pass while I was locked up in a court appointed drug rehab on attempted homicide charges less than one year later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Big 16

The next milestone on the way through life is getting to 16. That means the drivers license, more freedom, the open road and more opportunities to either do the right thing or the wrong thing. For me it meant another new school and meeting more new people.
I had pretty much blown all opportunities at my home school. I was really into smoking pot and hooking out of class. The pot made me lazy and I just wasn't into the learning, I had become a juvenile delinquent, always fighting with my parents and teachers, thinking I knew what was best for myself and getting into trouble with the law was starting to become a habit. It was stupid things like underage drinking and driving violations, but the pattern had begun.
I had decided to attend school at Vo Tech because I heard you could get away with more there. You only had to spend half the time in general education classes and the rest of the time was spent in shop. It sounded like a plan to me, I had also heard that it was easier to score the good drugs there.
I know the last part of that statement was certainly true. By the time I was half way through the 10th grade I was buying speed by the jug (1000 hits) and dropping acid a couple times a month. I had a car so I could now drive myself and my friends to school and we would always go in late and leave school early. I think if you were there by 10:15 it only counted as a tardy and not an all day abscense.
By the end of that year I had developed quite a reputation as a drug dealer, I had been busted for possession of marijuana and my parents had received numerous truancy fines for me not attending school. Life was good, I was living large and I was in control.I had already gotten to the point of not caring how my actions affected others and it wouldn't be long until the big hammer would drop.
Believe it or not I made it through 10th grade and was even able to pass. We moved into summer and thats when the partying really kicked into gear. I had met another knew friend, a guy that would take me to levels unimaginable in most peoples lives. That summer we dropped acid, learned how to drink grain alcohol and picked up a little book at the local book store called the Satanic Bible.
We were looking for power, power that would let us rule the world. We had know idea yet where it was going to take us, but I'll tell you now, it wasn't like the lyrics in the song said,

Hell ain't a bad place to be...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Early Teens

Every kid looks forward to that magic number 13. It's the first milestone in growing up. At 13 you're a teen, 16 you drive, 18 you can vote and drink in some states. The big 21 gets you into the bar then life is all downhill from there. At least that's how I felt, heck as an older teen I never believed that I would live to see 21 so I thought, we better party hard and who cares what happens.
The 13-15 years we're pretty crazy for me. I hadn't gotten into much legal trouble in those years but boy did I learn how to party. I was working out the drinking thing and I can't really remember but I think I was over the "throwing up phase" every time I drank. I was getting really good at rolling joints and experimenting with pills. Uppers, downers, there was a pill for everything. And then there was the acid. I didn't get into that too heavy until I was about 16, but those days were coming.
I was excited about 16, I wanted to drive. I already had a car but a little run in with the law on my dirt bike held up that process. One day I took the cops on a 5 mile joy ride but they eventually caught me and wrote me up for numerous driving offenses delaying my driving permit for 90 days.
It was all fun and games and I didn't think I was hurting anybody. What I didn't realize was that it was just the beginning of a 10 year stretch of trouble with the law and serious alcoholism and drug addiction that would put a serious dent in my current happiness and future prosperity.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Motocross for Christ Camp

Hi all - I just got in last night from the second camp for 2011 and what a great time it was. We spent the last half of the week at the Wicomico Motorsports Park in Southern, MD. Their facility is located on Rte. 234 just a few miles before you reach Budds Creek.

I think there was close to 50 children there plus staff and volunteers and many of the parents hang around also to partake in the activities. Opening ceremonies were Wednesday night then we were up bright and early Thursday morning to kick off the activities. A typical day at camp starts out with morning exercise before breakfast then it's into morning chapel then bike safety and maintenance before they hit the track for morning motocross training.
At noon it's a quick break for lunch then back to the track. Mid afternoon brings creative learning and adult devotions. The rest of the day then gives the kids a free ride period leading into the evening activities which include devotional speakers, camp fires and snacks, candle light services and Friday night always brings a Christian Rock band to camp. Then bed and repeat the next day.
By Saturday everyone is pretty wore out and ready to head for home. Its three days and nights of learning about Jesus, learning how to ride and having a lot of fun.
I'd like to thank Roy and Patti Craig for their vision for camp and the tons of volunteers, trainers and sponsors that make it all happen. Roy and Patti started with just seven kids that first year and in 2011 they held two camps witnessing to a hundred kids and lots of adults all in the name of Christ.
These camps are free to the campers and run on donation and fundraisers alone.Motocross for Christ is a 501 c3 non profit group so they can make all donations completely tax deductible.
If you like motocross and believe in helping others to learn about Christ this camp may be for you. Registrations will be excepted for 2012 camps beginning on January 1st and registrations are excepted on a first come first serve basis. Of course funds are needed to help support those camps. In 2011 they turned away 130 applicants because they lacked the funds to operate more camps. If you can help or no someone who can, please contact Roy or Patti Craig on facebook at Motocross 4 Christ or online at: Motocross For Christ

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The First Time - Getting Caught

I know what most of of us think about when you talk about your "first time". No this first time was completely different, it was the first time my parents knew for sure that I was not only smoking pot, but selling it too. I was 15 years old. I can only remember my age because of which dirt bike I was riding at the time. They had found out by now that I was stealing their booze and getting drunk. I know that they didn't like the idea, but they also weren't in my face about it either. To them, it's what you did. I think they thought that I was just growing up faster than most.
They knew from talking to the other parents in the neighborhood that the older kids were getting high. They knew that I was smoking cigarettes and they allowed that to continue but I knew they were suspecting me of using drugs too.
I'll always remember that day, I was just getting in good with a couple of brothers that lived close by that had good connections from the city and they took me along riding with them at Tower City that day. We got home around 7:00 that night and there was my dad sitting in a lawn chair at the end of the driveway drinking his beer and waiting for us to get home.
He had found out earlier that day that I had sold some weed to a girl at work whose mom just happened to work with my parents too. This girl got caught with the weed and when her mom asked her where she got it she spilled her guts.
My dad just knew for sure that I was getting this weed from my new friends and he was ready to start the war. I just thank God that he wasn't sitting there waiting with a gun. Us Bull men have been known to do some pretty stupid stuff over the years when we were drunk. Anyhow dad went nuts and threatened these guys and they threatened him back and it took everything I had to keep the blood from spilling that day.
The ironic part is, that as hard as I was trying to make this contact with this group of brothers, the weed was actually from a crop I had grown in the area corn fields and one of these guys had it stashed to dry in his attic for me, but I was the source.
Of course there was no lying out of this one, I had to take the heat from my dad or I would have taken worse from the brothers. You see that's almost the bigger risk you take when you get into the business. Some times it much safer getting caught by the cops than it is to give up the supplier. (even if they aren't the supplier)
Anyhow, after my two week grounding I was able to smooth things over with the brothers and back in business I went. After all, if the only penalty for getting caught was the two weeks grounding who wouldn't be staying in business. Luckily the girls mom agreed not to call the cops. Or maybe it would have been better if she had. Maybe it would have stopped the long streak of... Getting Caught before it ever got started, unfortunately it was way too late for that..

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hooked - It Didn't Take Long

It sure didn't take long. I know that unfortunately most kids experiment with drugs. I am however of the belief that many try it and then stop. Whether it be they don't like the effect, maybe they new it was wrong or they just had a bad experience but they tried them and they stopped. After all, isn't that how we as humans function? We have this need to find out for ourselves.
For whatever reason though, I wasn't one of those kids. I was one of the many that did continue on, then as they do now. I gave drugs a try and before you know it, I was hardcore. It may have been my personality type or more than likely at first, just the need to fit in. I wasn't really good at making friends in those days so I'm betting that was the case.
Here's the thing though, once I started, I didn't stop. I was always that way the entire time that I used. It was never lets smoke a bowl or snort a line. No, lets keep going. Even as I got older, I could never just drink a beer or two, once I started it was an all night affair.
I began first with the booze and then the pot. This seemed to satisfy me up until I was about 15 or 16 and that's when I discovered LSD or acid. I also took a lot of speed as I got into high school but I'll talk about that later. I began using when I was around 13 and I went after it full time, I was a pro in no time, I even passed some of the guys that first got me started. To them it was a weekend thing, something to do to have some fun. Not for me, it was an almost everyday thing, especially with the drugs. By the time I was 14 I was moving quarter pounds on a regular basis and it wasn't long before a pound a week was the norm. I had to support my habit because that $30.00 a week dishwashing job just wasn't getting it done. Besides, I liked the risk, the being in charge and having something that many people wanted. It made me feel important.
So here I was the kid with all the friends, only because I had the weed or I could get the booze. Nobody liked me because I was Jim Bull. They wanted what I had and that was just fine with me. During those years I learned how to read people, I learned how to take advantage of people and because of the drug use I learned how to not care about people. By the time I was 16 I had numbed my mind to the feelings of others, all that mattered was how I felt and how I could prosper. It had become my way of life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Attitude Rules the Day

I’m going to step away from my story today to talk a little about Attitude and how it can allow you to have either a great day or a pretty crappy day.

You know it is one of the most important things to remember, next to Gods word of course. I‘ve been preaching it to my kids for the last 15 years but it is so easy to let it slip away.
The last few days I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy work loads and with that usually come “issues or challenges.” I remember one of my first employers telling me that there are no problems in life, only opportunities.
With that said it goes to show just how important practice can be. Even the most successful people in the world have to practice their talents daily or they will be lost. The same is true about our attitudes. If we don’t constantly remind ourselves how great life is and that God wishes to fill us with blessings each and every day, things can quickly go in the wrong direction.
I have to stop and thank my wife here also. Deb is the biggest cheerleader in the world and no matter what happens, she’s like, no problem baby, everything is going to be just fine. Next time it will be better. There’s days I look at her and have to wonder, you still smoking something and not telling me about it?
Anyhow, the last couple of days I’ve been on a roll about a particular situation at work and she’s just giving me that look again so I know I’m on a tangent. I also know that I need to do something about it soon or it’s going to spiral out of control.
Another big cheerleader in my life is Joyce Meyer. You can check her out at: www.joycemeyer.org. I do my best to watch her TV show every night to get my daily dose of the word because number one I enjoy it and number two, I just don’t get to church near enough with my hectic weekend schedule.
You know it’s funny how God always brings you what you need when you need it the most. It seems like every time I’m struggling with something, no matter what the subject, there is Joyce or my wife just telling me what I need to hear, of course all manipulated by God. You have to remember that he is there every step of the way for you; you just need to open the door and let him in.
So I woke up this morning and before I could even say my morning prayers he was working on me. Do you know how it is when you still want to be mad about something, but there he is trying to make it better. You know you should tell yourself – Today is going to be a great day, but you really don’t want to.
I’m telling you to just let it go and speak the words. Today is going to be awesome, God is going to bless me greatly today, life is good and I’m riding the wave.
Whatever it takes, keep the attitude up and know that things are going to go your way today, that something great is going to happen to you today and that you can’t wait for it to happen. Happy Thursday everybody – today is going to be an awesome day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Learning to be cool !!

.Cool: 1. moderately cold; lacking warmth, 2. producing a feeling of coolness, 3. calm in action or thought; composed. I really wish I would have been smart enough way back then to check the dictionary's definition of cool. Here is how my new friends defined, cool.
Lung cancer, pot head, falling down drunk and lets try to kill some people while were at it. It’s amazing because just a few short months prior to us making our move to a "better school district" I was scared to death just to come home a few minutes late or literally to do anything against my dad's word. I was afraid to get beat or maybe he'd just put a gun to my head again like he did one night when I was 11 and he was mad at my mom. In just a few short months of smoking pot I really didn't care what my dad thought at all and I began breaking all the rules...
At first I broke down and tried the cigarettes, it probably took me 4 or 5 weeks just to get over the coughing and learn how to inhale properly. After all I needed to perfect that to take full advantage of the pot that I had begun to smoke with my new cool friends. I already told you about my first full blown booze experience, my new friends really liked me because I had a steady supply of that. At first it was the whiskey but you could only water down the bottles so much before dad restocked. I had considered stealing some from my parents work but I wasn't quite that brave - yet. I had quit hanging out there through the week because I was now old enough to stay home and take care of myself. I did however take a job there working on the weekends so I could buy my own pot and keep gas in my dirt bike.
It's a shame too, because my dirt bike had suddenly become my means of transportation to get to our party spots and make cigarette runs to the local convenience store. It was quickly fading from my list of fun things to do. At that point I started to steal my dad's beer because there was always plenty around and it was hard for him to keep track of it.
So we had made are move and my life as I once new it was over. There was no more waiting around the bars for my dad to get done drinking. I was now sitting around with my own friends doing my own drinking. Through the week mom would be at work and dad still had his normal routine so many nights we could catch a buzz after school and be in bed by the time he got home. On the weekends I would get off work around 9:00 so now dad had an even better reason to stay at the bar till then. He was waiting for me to get off work to take me home. After work I was on the move because many weekend nights me and my buddy's would "sleep out" so we could party all night long. It was perfect, I could get wasted and my parents wouldn't even know it.
And that's when the real trouble began; staying out all night lead to bigger buzzes and bigger parties. I was meeting cooler friends and doing even dumber things. I was a 13 year old juvenile delinquent. Stealing things, destroying peoples property just for fun, breaking into churches and homes, blowing things up (yeah Larry was into building bombs). We would set things in the middle of the road just over a knoll late at night just to watch people crash their cars into the corn fields. Do you know how cool it was to sit 4 or 5 trash cans on the road where people would be traveling 45 to 50 mph and watch them loose control of their car in a panic.Yeah, real cool - we were lucky nobody died.
It sure didn' t fit definition # 3 above - composed. No we were far from that. It would be the beginning of a long ride through hell with Satan by my side. It was just beginning and I had no idea where it was headed next. The worse part of it all was that I thought I was the coolest kid around.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Better School District

One of the first things that most new parents realize is that when you have a baby, they don’t come with a manual. My teenage daughter is about to become a mother and if I could only get a dollar for every person that’s said, “She’s not ready to have a baby”. I‘d be heading off on a Caribbean vacation. My question is – who really ever is.
When I was in middle school my parents made the decision that it was time to change school districts. It sounded like a smart idea at the time. We lived in a “city district” and you would always hear the reports about the violence and the drugs and my parents decided it was time to head for greener pastures before the kids have to go to that high school in the city.
So off we went. It was a decision we were all excited about, after all I didn’t have a lot of friends at the old district and my dad told me that I might be able to ride my dirt bike at the new place. It was out in the country and surrounded by farmlands, so I was excited about that.
I remember the first day we were there a family who lived down over the hill knocked on our front door and welcomed us with some baked goods. They had a son and a daughter so off me and my sis went to make some new friends. It turned out the girl was about 6 years older than my sister so they really didn’t have a lot in common. The boy was the same age as me and we kind of hit it off.
The next day I was in the back yard messing around on my dirt bike and up over the hill behind the house comes another kid riding his dirt bike. Instant cool, we introduced ourselves and I asked my dad if I could go ride with the new kid. Dad wasn’t wild about the idea but my new friend convinced him that the local farmers allowed all the local kids to ride and that just about everyone in the neighborhood had a bike to ride.
So after lots of begging Dad said it was ok but to check back within the hour. So off we went as I thought to myself, I think this is gonna work out. Me and my new friend rode the trails for about a half hour before we pulled off the trail and into the pine trees. Once inside, things opened up and we came to a stop where another kid was sitting along the trail.
We took our helmets off and Dave introduced me to Larry and the first thing he said was – smoke break. I wasn’t sure what he meant and then Larry pulled out a pack of Camel Filters from his jacket and they both lit up. Of course they offered me a smoke but I declined, I mean my parents were smokers but I was too young to start smoking, I was only 13.
They asked me what was wrong, don’t kids smoke where you come from and I said yeah, that some did but my parents would kill me if they found out. It only took a few weeks before they had convinced me to give it a try. They also convinced me that the kid I met on the first day there was a real dweeb and that they were the cool kids on the block. They asked me; don’t you wanna be cool too?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Learning How to Drink

It really was the beginning of all my troubles. My parents certainly didn’t realize that they were teaching me how to be a drunk. My wife and I talk about our parent’s generation, we don’t blame them for our actions but it was definitely a different day and age.
We often talk about how we were molded into our parent’s activities. If they wanted to hang out at the bar, we got to hang out with them. If they wanted to go bowling, we went bowling with them. If we wanted to do something, it was usually answered by; we’ll see if we have the time or the money to do that.
Quite the opposite occurs today. We as parents are molded to our children’s activities. At least that is how my wife and I have chosen to raise our children. I am involved in a lot of youth sporting activities as well and it’s my opinion that it’s the status quo.
Back to my youth, you’ll notice in the picture included in today’s entry you’ll see me on the left with my friend Steve. We were about 10 or 11 at the time and we were sitting at my parents bar in our basement with my grandma and my little sister and we were pretending to be drinking. It was the environment I grew up in, alcohol and cigarettes were the norm so what’s a kid to do?
Through the week I was hanging out where my parents worked watching everybody drink. On the weekends I couldn’t start riding my dirt bike until I helped my dad unload his beer out of the truck at camp and even when we were at home and we weren’t at the bar there was drinking going on, I thought it was what you did.
Hence I still remember the first time I got drunk. Not my first drink but the first time I really got lit up. I had often as a kid gone hunting with my dad when he and his buddies would think it was cool if they would give a young boy a beer at night, telling hunting stories and learning how to be a man. Again, it was just natural instinct. After all we do want our parents teach us to do, right?
We had just moved to a new neighborhood and I was 13 or 14 and I had just met a couple of the older kids that lived up the street. It was a Saturday night and they were talking about how they could get some booze to party for the weekend. Of course I wanted to fit in and I just happened to know where there was a whole lot of booze, hard liquor as a matter of fact. My dad kept the home bar stocked because you never knew who was going to drop by.
So that night I filled two of my mom’s Tupperware containers with hard whiskey and I met up with the new gang. We were sitting in an old abandoned car by the pines that we hung out at and I was determined I was going to show my “new friends” that I knew how to party.
I downed most of that whiskey myself that night but would pay for it dearly. Matter of fact it’s probably one of the first times in a long string of incidences that God stepped in to save my sorry butt.
I got so drunk that night I could barely walk, I slid down a tree and rock strewn hill that had to be 50 feet tall and laid there at the bottom until my new friends could get to me. They then had to carry/drag my dead weight back up the hill and they put me in the neighbor’s abandoned chicken coupe for me to sleep it off because they didn’t know what else to do with me. I got very sick that night and the next day felt like I had been beaten with baseball bats. I didn’t remember much but thankfully I had my new friends to fill me in on all the details.
It was just the beginning of many years of pain, hurtfulness, legal issues and close calls.

Who knew little Jimmy would grow up to be a professional drunk and an absolute menace because of it?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Early Years

I can tell you this, that my life was kind of normal as a small child. It must have been because I really don’t remember much before the time I was about 6 or 7 years old except for those accidents I spoke about in my earlier blog. I started to ride mini bikes at that age so maybe that’s why I remember, motorcycles have been a huge part of my life as that is one of the main ways that I earn my living and I still enjoy to ride even to this day.
I remember going to the mountains and riding on the weekends and going to the bar and hanging out through the week. There are a few things that stick in my mind from my elementary school days but most of my memories stem from my life at the bar, probably because it’s where my life started to go wrong.
We would get to the bar after school around 4:00 and grab something to eat. Most times mom wouldn’t have time to cook supper so we would just grab something there. Miss Pauline knew just how I liked my grilled cheese sandwiches and they were my favorite. After that it turned into the waiting game. Dad worked till 6:00 and some nights we would head home right after a beer or two but many nights it would be 8 or 9:00 till we would get home. Some nights we would even stop at other bars on the way home and have to wait for my dad in the car. (That’s another distinctive memory I have from the early years, waiting for Dad in the car while he was drinking in the bar.)
What does a kid do in that time? They had a pool table at the bar and a couple of pin ball machines. In the early days I would bum quarters off the regular patrons at the bar but as I got a little older I was learning how to hustle them on the pool table.
The bar was located in the basement of a strip mall and my sister and I would spend a lot of time there. Myself more than my sis cause we fought a lot when we were little and Lori would just hang out at the bar playing with her baby dolls. Buy not me; I was on the move learning the ways of the world on my own. I knew a lot of the store employees by name and I was definitely learning new skills and ways to inquire things. There was also a bowling alley at the strip mall and I remember spending a lot of time there.
All of this was ok at first but as I was getting older I was really becoming tired and bored with the whole situation. I needed something more in my life and basically I wanted things to keep me busy. I needed money to get the things that I wanted and my dad couldn’t give me any, he needed his money to buy his beer. So I took things into my own hands and I began to steal the things that I wanted.
At first it was small items like candy and magazines. Then it turned to larger things like baseballs, hockey pucks and sporting goods equipment. Heck by the time I was like 10 I had stolen a complete football uniform from Pep Boys, one piece at a time. I remember it took about two weeks to get it all out of the store but I pulled it off. My mom began to ask me where this stuff was coming from so I had to learn my next basic outlaw skill, and that was how to lie.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fast Forward - It's Friday Night

You know it's funny how things can change in your life. From the time I was around 14 years old until I was around 26 years old, friday night meant it was time to get smashed. You know stoned, drunk, out of your mind wasted. Today I'm 47 and I worked in my office for a few hours than went out and saw a few accounts.

Right now I'm waiting on my supper to be ready then it's off to the race track to work some more. Back in the day I might have been able to do that, but for sure when the races ended I would have partied till dawn. Now as much as I enjoy the races, I'll probably start yawning around 9:00 and looking at my watch and hoping I'm home and in bed by midnight.

Go ahead and laugh if you want. I much prefer the events of today rather than the events of then. The best part about it is that I'll even remember tonight's trip home when I wake tomorrow morning. I'll know where my car is and I wont have to call anybody to find out what I might have done.

Yeah, it's Friday night 2011. Lets rock it and have a smashing good time without getting smashed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Very Beginning

It all started way back in August of 1964. It was the me generation and it was all about the sex, the drugs and the rock and roll. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were making it big and the Vietnam War machine was just getting cranked up. Racial prejudice was running rampant in our country and President John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated the year before. Americans were just beginning to realize that just about anything was possible (good or bad) if you just set your mind to it.

We were a normal family, a mom and a dad and two kids, the great American dream, right? We had lots of friends and we lived in a small home in a nice neighborhood just outside of the inner city limits. My parents married in their late 30’s and they worked at a bar and restaurant across town from our house. Dad tended bar during the day and mom was a waitress during the night. My sister and I would get home from school and mom would load us into the car and take us along to work. When dad would get done his shift or done drinking for the night we would jump in the car and head back home.

It seems odd but some of my earliest memories are only of times that I got hurt. Like when I was two years old and I chased a bouncing ball onto the sidewalk and got run into and hurt pretty bad by an older kid on a bicycle or the time when I was five and we were playing cowboys and Indians and I slid behind a tree and ripped a huge whole in the side of my leg on a metal property marker that was sticking out of the ground. Weird I know, but that’s what I remember.

We spent a lot of time at my parents hunting camp in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. My folks had off work every Sunday and Monday so we’d load the truck with the dirt bikes and the beer and we’d head north. Dad would drink all weekend and mom would a little too and my sister and I would ride our Honda minibikes and run around the mountains playing kids games. We were one big happy family, I thought.

As the years wore by we had the same routine every week. Hang out at the bar waiting for dad thru the week then head to the mountains on the weekends. As I got older I was beginning to get bored of this waiting around and killing time just waiting for my dad to get done drinking with his buddies at the bar. Not only was I getting bored but I was starting to learn new habits. Habits that weren’t very appropriate for a 12 year old.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

They Call Me – Bull

My name is Jim Bull, I’m married with two children and I live in south central Pa. I’m 46 years old and for the past 10 years my wife has been telling me that I need to write a book about my life. My first thoughts are “why would anyone in the world care about my story” and secondly, “maybe if I can help somebody by doing it, then it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks”.

Before we talk about my life I’d like to share a little background about myself. My family and I live in a very conservative area of the country in a middle class neighborhood. We’ve struggled like most to make ends meet our entire married lives. I have a very beautiful and understanding wife along with a fantastic daughter that is just finishing high school and a courageous son serving in the United States Marine Corp.

I am a photographer and publication manager for a couple of motorcycle publications and I dabble in entrepreneurship. Recently I’ve owned and operated my own successful business and also a not so successful business. I’ve worked blue collar jobs and suit and tie type jobs. I’ve also been convicted of four felony charges and various misdemeanors in the past varying from auto theft and drug dealing to attempted homicide. I’ve survived many devastating vehicular accidents and I don’t have a clue why I’m still alive yet today. I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and have spent close to five years of my life in jail. There was one point in my life when I actually conspired to kill my own father.

Today most people I know don’t have a clue about my past. Many that do see the change I’ve made in my life and wonder how, those that don’t I’m hoping will read this blog and be touched in some way or the other. I’m thankful to be alive and a believer in Jesus Christ and a big believer in being able to accomplish anything in life that you want if you’ll only believe that you can. 

I’m writing this blog to share my vast experiences just to let you know that no matter what you’ve done or no matter what has happened in your lifetime that there is a reason that you’re here and that life can be good if you’ll only allow it to be. So please read on and share this blog with someone else when you’re done. I hope to touch many but if I can at least touch one than my life will have been worthwhile.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here We Go

In the beginning, oh that's already been used. For many years now my wife has urged me to write a book about my life story. About the things that I've overcome to get where I am today. Believe me, most days I don't have a clue where I am and it's not for the same reasons of my youth.
Back then it was the drugs and alcohol, but we'll talk more about that later. Today it's the fast pace of life, the hustle bustle of getting it all done, the why am I doing this anyway.(ever feel that way)
So anyhow I've argued the fact that I'm nobody special and why would anybody care about my life? But she keeps reminding me that God pulled me through all that crap for some reason. That there are people out there that might benefit from "hearing my story". That if I could make a difference in just one persons life.
So here goes. I 'm going to tell you my story, just one day at a time. I ask in advance for your patience, it could take a while.There's lots to talk about.
I'll ask this of you too, if I get boring please let me know. Some days it takes me three hours to give a two minute answer. But that's my personality coming through, I want to make sure you get all  the facts before I stop. And see I'm doing it now because I haven't even started yet.
The story probably won't go in chronological order either, I imagine I'll just ramble on about this victory or that loss. So check back daily and please tell all you know. After all it's free, it's not like you have to buy the book. Talk to you soon.