December 1, 2015

Barnabus Farkleberg Darnell Clements IV (aka Darrell) was born before the days of record keeping in a small mining town in West Virginia. Darrell ran away from home when he was 3 years old in search of a happier life with less work hours and longer weekends. Darrell lived most of his life in the public eye, and was no stranger to adversity. Darrell first stepped onto the public scene as a child television star of the popular show “Gunsmoke”, and was immediately catapulted through the ranks and labeled as America’s darling child actor, “Dashing” Darrell Clements had made his way. As most of you are aware, his success was short lived as huffing paint thinner became his only passion. Darrell had to be institutionalized, and was off the scene for the remainder of his formidable years.

Ole Barnabus Darnell was never one to stay down long, and he responded well to the medications provided in treatment. Pretty soon he was released to the public to follow his dreams, and that is when Dashing Darrell was born again; his second chance would not be wasted. At 15 years old with only $30 to his name, Darrell invested in his first Alpaca.  Actually, he thought he was buying a donkey that just kind of looked like a camel, but his error proved profitable. Darrell diversified his portfolio between Alpaca’s and Shetland ponies, and soon became the most successful Alpaca/Shetland pony breeder in North America. However, the money wasn’t the only thing that attracted Darrell to the business. Darrell met his first love, Trixie McGhee, the infamous bareback Shetland pony rider/trainer that traveled the country with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, where she captured the hearts of all of us, but especially Farkleberg Darnell. They had what seemed to be the perfect relationship on the outside, until she went missing and was never found again. It seemed that Darrell’s life had taken a turn for the worse. He turned into a recluse, seldom seen, lest he was buying a can of paint thinner and some shop rags at local hardware stores.

As time went by, Darrell’s anger both with himself and society seemed to grow more and more acute. Not being one to rest on his laurel’s, Dashing Darrell decided to find an outlet for his anger, as well as another successful avenue filled with both notoriety and another shot at love. Darrell moved to the mid-south Memphis area as a young adult and got involved with the local wrestling scene. On most Saturday mornings and Monday nights you could find Dashing Darrell in his patented sequined tights and flowing cape. As his popularity was growing with the locals, so was his love for what would be his future wife, Rachel. Rachel had already won the hearts of every woman and child in Memphis as the area’s top female wrestler. With her patented move, The Ratchet, Rachel “The Ratchet” held the mid-south’s most prized title belt….she also decided to hold Darrell’s hand in marriage.

As years went by, Rachel Ratchet and Dashing Darrell flew under the radar and kept mostly to themselves. That all ended when the Ratchet was caught trying to poison Darrell to death with Arsenic. No jury in the area was going to convict the Ratchet of wrongdoing, as most knew Darrell to be insufferable at times. However, Rachel did plea a deal and had to spend two months in jail. While in jail, Darrell and The Ratchet reconciled and rekindled their love for one another. The timing was perfect because another business opportunity was heading down the pipes. While in jail, Rachel had bunked with a notoriously successful debt collector and hitman, Gail “The Grinder” Watson. While Rachel had a well known history of gambling, and manipulation, she bullied Darrell into fronting her the cash to run a sports book. On top of this, she forced Darrell into refereeing both little league and local high school football games, where Darrell’s job was to fix the scores. This was a runaway success, and with Gail the Grinder making sure all bets were paid “properly”, either in cash or broken bones, the business grew and grew. Darrell’s end of days were nearing as his desire for money and power had led him into the lowest moment of his life. Darrell Clemence had been fingered as the deflater of the game balls for a fixed pee-wee football game, and his career and reputation had been shattered. Darrell the Deflator was how Barnabus Farkleberg Darnell Clements IV would be identified for his last remaining moments on this earth. In a desperate attempt to minimize his sentence for this repulsive action, Darrell ratted out both the Ratchet and the Grinder in what would be the last bad decision of his life. The Ratchet and The Grinder did what The Ratchet and The Grinder do, and that is why we are all standing here today.

We can all stand to learn something from the life of Darnell, whether it be the profitability of Alpaca’s, the allure of sequined wrestling tights, the downside of pee-wee sport’s gambling, or the dangers of angry women, Barnabus Farkleberg will be remembered in our hearts forever. We can only hope that Darrell is enjoying the big Alpaca farm in the sky, while riding his majestic shetland pony, and possibly rekindled his love for Trixie McGhee. Rest easy, Dasher, you will be sorely missed.