Welcome to "SHORT AND LONG STORIES"

by Robert R Green and Brittany Key

Several short stories for children from one to one hundred years old. These stories will entertain and allow the young imagination to expand and wander.


If you and your children enjoy these stories, please feel free to print them. We will appreciate mentioning our name ("Short and Long Stories at rrgsat.com") along with yours in a donation to a favorite chatity. We like any of the local animal or children charities. We are thanking you in advance.


To contact us
Bob's Wolf Story
Brittany's Wolf Story
GULF COAST TO ALASKA ON HORSEBACK
PROFOUND PHILOSOPHIES OF A CRAZY OLD COOT

 

CONTENTS PAGE


Bob's Wolf Story------------------------------------------------------2

Brittany's Wolf Story-------------------------------------------------3

Gulf Coast to Alaska on Horseback-------------------------------------4


Profound Philosophies of a Crazy Old Coot----------------------------85


















Bob's Wolf Story

THE WOLF, THE FOX AND THE RABBIT

Up the road a little way there is an area with many trees. In this small forest there lived a wolf, a fox and a rabbit. The wolf was a big gray rascal, about like the big dog you saw the other day. The fox was smaller, reddish color with a big bushy tail. He looked about like the small dog that lives up the street. The rabbit was a little gray thing with a white cottontail and big ears. He looked about like that little bunny that we saw last Easter.

The rabbit lived under a big thick bush and had his nest lined with nice soft fur. The rabbit woke up one morning and was hungry and thought he would go up the path to the little clearing in the forest where there was lots of tender, green grass to eat. So up the trail he went - hippty hop, hippty hop, hippty hop.

The fox woke up from his bed in the tall grass. His tummy was growling because he was hungry. He thought about going to the clearing in the forest because he knew a nice tender little rabbit might be there. So off he trotted, careful and quiet through the brush. Foxes are sly and cunning, this means they are smart and sneaky.

About this same time, the big wolf woke up hungry as a bear or a horse and you know how hungry they get. So off he walked to the clearing to find something that he liked to eat such as a rabbit or a fox.

The rabbit hopped in the clearing and started eating the grass. He was wiggling his nose, sniffing the air for any scent of danger and he would hold his ears straight up and move them around listening for unusual sounds.

The sly fox sneaked around the edge of the clearing. He moved very slow and was very careful to stay hidden in the brush and tall grass. The cunning fox sneaked behind the rabbit and was about ready to jump when the rabbit's nose sniffed a fox scent and the rabbit's long ears heard a slight noise. The rabbit hopped away just in the nick of time. He hopped to the left then to the right. He hopped up, down and all around trying to fool the fox. The fox chased the rabbit around and around the clearing and was about ready to leap on the rabbit.

Suddenly, the fox heard a loud noise - WOOF, WOOF! Out of the corner of his eye he saw the big wolf across the clearing. The wolf started chasing the fox and the fox ran to the right then to the left then he ran all around to get away form the big wolf. The rabbit ran back up the trail to his nest in the thick brush. He was very tired but he was safe and he fell asleep.

The fox was very cunning. He ran very fast and quickly darted behind a bush and leaped onto the trail and ran faster and faster. The wolf soon lost sight of the fox but he could smell very good and started following the fox's scent up the trail.

Soon the fox came to a big tree that had fallen down. He could jump up and land on the tree trunk and hid in the thick branches. But the sly little fox thought he would be more cunning. He started running up a path to the left of the tree. He ran about a mile then turned around and ran back to the tree. He started running up a path to the right of the fallen tree. Again he ran about a mile and turned around and ran back to the tree. By this time he was very tired so he leaped onto the tree trunk, hid in the thick branches and fell fast asleep.

Soon the wolf came up the trail - sniff, sniff - sniff, sniff. He came to the fallen tree and started up the left path. He went better than a mile and realized he lost the fox's scent. He went back to the tree and started sniffing up the right path. Again he went more than a mile and lost the fox's scent. He went back to the tree and realized that he was very tired. So he laid down in front of the tree and soon he was asleep.

The fox was still asleep in the tree when he started to change sleeping position and nearly fell out of the tree and on top of the wolf. He caught himself just in time. He looked down and saw the wolf still asleep. He was afraid to get down and sneak past the wolf so he laid down and fell asleep again. Soon the fox's hind legs started moving very fast - you know, like a dog (or fox) will do when they are sleeping and dreaming about chasing rabbits. He was about ready to make 'rabbit chasing' noises - yipe, yipe, yipe, yipe, when he realized he was dreaming and stopped himself before he woke the wolf. Several more times he almost fell out of the tree but caught himself in the nick of time.

Later the wolf woke up, He was very hungry and he started down the trail to the clearing in the forest to see if he could find something good to eat - a nice tender rabbit or even a sly fox.
THE END
Brittany's Wolf Story

(Age: Seven years)

THE WOLF, THE FOX, AND THE RABBIT


Once opon a time ther was a wolf a fox and a rabbit. The wolf was gray. The fox was red+whight. The rabbit is whight. 1 day the rabbit said I think I will go eat same cabbig and carits. So off he went to the farmers gardin to eat. so oof he went to the farmers gardin that rabbit is shor to be ther then the wolf siad I am gowing to the gardin that fox and rabbit are shor to be ther and they will be a good brekfist meanwhile the rabbit herd the fox so he perket up his ers and then went righ on eating and then he saw the fox so he hopped as fast as his little legs wold ccary him and then he hopped uot of the garden and into a tree the fox wated and wated and finaly the fox fell asleep and the rabbit got down from the tree but the wolf was not far be hined so the rabbit had to hop fast finaly the wolf pased the tree but on the opisit side frum ware the fox was soon he cot sint of the rabbit so he went arownd in sercels tell he was disy so he for got abuot evry thing and went home just then the fox woce up and figyerd he sleep walced to the tree and fell a sleep so he went home and the rabbit lived happely ever after

the end



GULF COAST TO ALASKA ON HORSEBACK

GULF COAST TO ALASKA (wel-l-l-l maybe NEBRASKA)

ON HORSEBACK

OR THAT CRAZY OLD COOT THINKS HE IS RIDING HIS HORSE TO ALASKA

by ROBERT R GREEN


Copyright 2000 by Robert R Green



RIDES-------------------------------------------------------------Page


Ride 1 Gulf Coast to Brady, Tx-------------------------------------4

Ride 2 Bandera, Tx to Dodge City, Ks------------------------------24

Ride 3 Dodge City, Ks to Ogallala, Ne-----------------------------59

Ride 4 Eagles Nest, Wy--------------------------------------------77

Ride 5 Buggy Rides------------------------------------------------81

Ride 6 Higdon Rd Wounded Warrion Trail Ride-----------------------83





Ride 1 - Gulf Coast to Brady, Tx



The tall, lean, young cowboy was galloping along the sandy beach on his black steed and the bare breasted maiden on the white mare beside, with the wind and surf spray blowing in their faces ...

Oh, all right, even though it sounds so much better the other way, I am alone, sixty-five years old with white hair, five foot nine inches, one hundred seventy- five pounds (more or less) with a slight paunch and turning mean and grouchy. I am riding Sunshine, a twenty plus year old strawberry roan mare, turning gray with a slight paunch, also turning mean and grouchy.

I invite you to follow along as Sunshine and I travel from the gulf coast to Alaska. At least that is my goal. I will keep a daily journal of the most interesting items only - so I don't bore you to death. I am not a professional writer or typist (guess you know that by now) so I plan to keep the daily entries short and sweet, well short anyway.

I will not make the journey all at once. I am dumb, but not a complete idiot - at least in my own mind. I am too darn old and I am still working (self-employed in real estate). I think this will be a great way to see the country but boring as heck most of the time. I always wanted to be the cowboy that rode off into the sunset and I figure I am old enough to try it now.

I hope to raise some money for charity along the way (Donations accepted and charity suggestions requested). All, I repeat ALL donations will go to a charity, I will pay my way.

SUNSHINE AND I INVITE YOU TO RIDE ALONG WITH US AS WE BEGIN OUR JOURNEY.

The journey begins



Friday, January 14, 2000

Corpus Christi Bay, near Portland, Texas to Odem,Texas

(I have lied to you already, this first entry will be a little lengthy since I will include some background information.)

On TV and in the movies I have seen people galloping along the beach and it looks likes so much fun, I just had to try it myself. I kicked Sunshine and to my surprise she began trotting, I kicked her again and she began a slow lope, for about one hundred feet, then we came to the end of the sandbar.

We turned around and I thought that was so much fun I will do it again, I kicked Sunshine again. She jumped and bucked a couple of times, letting me know that she didn’t think it was "so much fun". I told you that she was getting mean and grouchy. Sunshine knows that I am no bronc rider and with a couple of bucks, I usually land on the ground, but I kind of expected her to get ornery, so I got lucky and didn’t fall off. We walked the one hundred feet back down the beach and headed towards Alaska.

I bought Sunshine about the last of October or the first of November in 1984 and the vet said she was about five or six years old. I and some relatives or friends rode her two or three times a year for twenty or thirty minutes each time. I had always planned to do more riding but never got around to it.

Last year I joined the Bexar County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse Drill Team (Connected with the sheriffs department in name only). The drill team attends several functions where we sit on our horses in our uniforms and greet folks. We call this a 'sit and look pretty' function. Some of these functions we do for charities and some we get a donation for the posse. During the rodeo season, the posse gets paid to travel to several of the rodeos in surrounding towns. We do the "Grand Entry", where we come galloping into the arena with flags flying and do some turns, crosses, do-si-dos, and stop in a "V" formation. About one-half way through the rodeo, we do a drill - we form an "H" for howdy or horse or hell or whatever, then do a couple of figure eights, a "double wedding ring" and a wagon wheel. Finally I feel that I am doing something with the horses. (Something more than feeding and paying vet bills).

I have to put in a word for our drill team and our drill team captain, Nora Scott. As I understand, 1999 was the fiftieth year for the posse and Nora is the first lady drill team captain - quite an honor I say. This is my first year with the posse so I am not an expert judge by any means, (nor would I be slightly prejudiced) but I have seen other drill teams - and I have to say, "damn, but we look good", thanks to Nora and her second in command Mona Anderlitch. Maybe we are not the best but I bet we have the most fun!

Although Sunshine is getting old, she still has more spunk and get-up-and-go than most of the younger horses in the drill team. In the beginning of a drill she is ready to run, I have to hold her back. But towards the end of the drill, especially on a hot day, she begins to tire and slow down. Sunshine’s first daughter, at least the first since I have owned her, is Valentine, a six year old mare that some people call spooky, badly behaved or just plain "crazy" but we like to think of her as "spirited with life". Valentine is Tina’s (my daughter) horse. Tina has done most of the breaking and training and I don’t mess with Valentine much. Valentine's full name is "Valentine Suprise", we didn't know she was coming and she was born on Valentine's Day. Tina has been riding her in drill team practice, trying to get her ready to ride in the drill team events. I took her to drill team practice once and the next day I felt like I had been knocked down and stomped on. Now I let Tina do most of the work with Valentine. Sunshine's second daughter, filly in horse talk, is April, bet you can't guess when April was born. April is Brittany’s (my granddaughter, Tina’s daughter) horse and she is a calm horse by comparison. April will be three years old the middle of April 2000. Brittany and I started breaking and training her about one year ago. I am trying to get April ready for drill team this year so Sunshine can take a break. April, although we consider her calm compared to sunshine and especially Valentine, is still spunky and a little spooky compared to most of the other drill team horses. Hopefully this is due to her youth.

Sunshine is not the best trail horse - she has had little practice on trails since I have had her. She walked up from the beach and nervously crossed the highway at Portland. She jumped, shied and scared herself, and me also, at nearly ever culvert, driveway, pavement color change and anything else. She was sure that something was going to jump out and eat her!

I have thought about taking a horseback trip for many years. At first, just a two or three day trail ride, then I would think about riding to New Mexico to watch some of the wild horse herds. I have always wanted to see Alaska, so last year I started thinking about riding Sunshine through the Canadian Rockies and into Alaska. I mentioned this to my wife, Venus, and she said, "Why can’t a crazy old coot like you find something better to do - something that would be enjoyable or at least sensible?" (Actually, I cleaned-up the language a little and deleted some of the other choice phrases.) I said something about driving the truck and she yelled, "No! no! no! I have never driven that truck and I am not starting now, especially with the horse trailer on the back." When Sunshine and I started for Alaska, I asked her to drive the truck and trailer to the top of hill so I wouldn’t have to walk back down and get it. Sweet thing that she is, she got behind the wheel, I showed her how to start the truck and helped her get it in first gear. Sunshine and I started up the hill and after a while I heard the truck start up the hill. At the top, she pulled alongside and I told her it was dangerous to stop on top of the hill, keep going till you find a wide spot to pull over and stop. (Venus is probably going to read this so I must say that she is really a very good driver, she use to drive an old 1948 CJ3A Willys jeep all over Colorado, but she hasn’t driven a "stick shift" for about 30 years.) Sunshine and I went about a mile or two and I started to wonder if Venus was still going - then I saw her ahead. I rode alongside and asked her to go to the next wide spot, she agreed. We were on our way to Alaska! TOMORROW I AM GOING TO SHOW VENUS HOW TO SHIFT INTO SECOND GEAR! (Just kidding dear, I know you started using other gears after a while - but sometimes you would start in third or forth gear, thank god I never told you there is a fifth gear!)

After Sunshine and I had traveled about ten miles, both of us were getting tired, mean and grouchy. I took Sunshine back, and picked up April to give her a little trail experience. Thank goodness we were on an old country road. April was more nervous than her mother. She threw the saddle and blanket on the ground twice before I got it cinched. Of course the helicopter that flew over at this time didn’t help. Brittany and I have been riding April a little for the past six to eight months but she is still a "green broke" horse. It took me about five minutes of hopping around with one foot in the stirrup before I finally found the saddle.

April was ready and rearing, literally, to go. Finally, after turning many small circles and dancing around for a while, I got her started in the right direction. I grabbed the saddle horn and gave her "her head". She usually tries to throw me when she first starts to run. She ran for about two or three miles along the edge of a plowed field, I wanted a soft spot to land in case she decided to unload me. Finally I had to slow her down, I was tired but she hadn’t worked up a good sweat yet. We did some more running and cut a couple of corners across plowed fields but it started to get dark so we slowed to a walk and stayed along the edge of the road. I got a late start this day and I wanted to get to Odem before stopping for the night.

About an hour after dark, I heard a pickup coming up the road behind us. It was coming fairly fast for this old road so I guided April off the edge of the road, about ten feet into the plowed field. The pickup pulled alongside and a gruff voice hollers out the window, "Hey, are you riding that horse across my plowed fields?" It had been nearly an hour since we had been in a plowed field and I knew that in January planting had not started. I said, "I don’t think, uh, oh, do you have something planted?" He hollered, "No, but I don’t want a horse messing up my plowed field!" Like little ol’ April would damage his field as much as his big tractor pulling all that heavy farm equipment. Oh well, if some people couldn’t find something to grip about they wouldn’t have any life at all!


Saturday, January 15, 2000

Odem, Texas to about eight miles southeast of Tynan, Texas

Brittany on April and Tina on Valentine joined Sunshine and me for the ride today. We were glad to have their company. It was a good ride except Brittany and April wanted to lope all the time. Sunshine and I got tired after a short distance. Brittany and April would lope ahead then come back for awhile, then lope ahead again. I think they would have traveled the distance two or three times if Tina and I would let them continue. Brittany will be nine years old January 29, 2000, she is a good rider and would lope all day if allowed.

Valentine settled down pretty good after a while. The Vet gave the horses shots about ten days ago and Sunshine and April were not feeling too good for three of four days but poor ol’ Valentine swells up around the shot area and is deathly sick for two or three weeks.(Next year we will give her a series of shots or maybe skip the one that makes her so sick.) If Valentine is still not feeling too spry tomorrow, maybe I will ride her for a while!


Sunday, January 16, 2000

Eight miles southeast of Tynan to Tynan, Texas.

I have been feeling good the past couple of days, except for TB (tired butt). I woke up about four this morning with diarrhea. (I warned you that I tell it like it is - I will give you "the good, the bad and the gross". Keep reading if you have a strong stomach.) I took one of those little pills that the commercial says "one tablet is all you need", of course the directions on the box read "take another if ---".

Brittany, Tina and I started riding again this morning. I wasn’t feeling too bad so I started riding Valentine, I was hoping she didn’t feel any more frisky than I. You probably know how it is with diarrhea, I had to pass gas, so I stood-up in the stirrups and very, very carefully, far---, Well you know. A-h-h, I got lucky, maybe that stuff really works. We rode along for another hour or so and I began to feel a little worse but I wanted to get to Tynan so we kept riding. Soon I had to pass a little more gas and you guessed it! I will spare you the gross details, but it wasn’t a pleasant feeling (you know where) the last hour or so. We made it to Tynan and I was glad but not feeling very good, guess the old flu bug bit.


Saturday, January 29, 2000

Tynan,Texas to Beeville, Texas

It was one of those "where skies are seldom gray", cold and windy days in south Texas. The temperature started about 35 degrees and reached a high of about 47 degrees. The wind was blowing about 15 to 20 miles per hour all day so the wind chill was lower.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRITTANY" - If you haven’t guessed, January 29 th is Brittany's birthday anniversary. She is nine years old.

Brittany, Tina, and I joined the South Texas Trail Rider’s annual ride today. They start from Nueces River Park, just north of Corpus Christi, and ride to San Antonio. They started January 28, 2000, Friday, and rode to Tynan. Since I wanted to start from the Gulf Coast, we rode the first part a couple weeks before and joined them at Tynan. At the end of the trail ride, after eight days of riding, about fourteen to twenty-five miles a day, they ride to the coliseum for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. (More about the STTR later.)

South Texas Trail Riders

Since it was a cold and windy day and everything was new to our horses: people, horses, dogs, wagons and surroundings, Brittany started riding Sunshine, Tina was on Valentine and I started with April. April, usually calm for a three year old, and Valentine, never calm would take turns scaring each other. One would spook at a bush, tree, rider, wagon, wind, sack or anything and everything. This would spook the other one and the first one would spook again. Tina and I were busy nearly all day long trying to calm-down and slow-down this "spirited" pair.

Most of the way there is a fairly wide grassy strip along the road where we ride but once when we were riding near the edge of the road a big diesel came from behind and about the time it got alongside, the air brake "pop-off" valve released. All three horses jumped about six feet. Brittany kept sunshine under control, Valentine and April started jumping, bucking and running. After about one hundred yards Tina and I got partial control of these two. Since one of the rules of the trail ride is "no uncontrollable horses", I was waiting for one of the "scouts" (riders that control traffic help people and horses, catch runaway horses and generally keep the ride under control and moving) to holler, "Keep those horses under control". I was going to tell him, "They are under control, you should see then out of control"! After about eight hours, nineteen miles, and time to stop for the day at Beeville, Texas, April was starting to calm down and walk but Valentine was still trotting, prancing and generally being a "butt" most of the time. I have to give her some praise, she was a lot better than the first part of the day.

Though it was cold and windy, Tina and I didn’t have any trouble keeping warm. The horses worked us hard enough. Brittany was cold and miserable most of the time that she rode today. I don’t think Brittany thought this was the "best birthday ever" since it was so cold, windy and Sunshine was fairly spry and hard to hold-down also.


Sunday, January 30, 2000

Beeville, Texas to Pettus, Texas

Tina on Valentine, Bob on April, Brittany on Sunshine

Still cloudy but a little warmer and less wind. It only took about two or three hours until April and Valentine started to settle down a little. Probably one of the best trained horses on the ride was from Iowa,-a MULE named Ronda. She could walk, trot, cantor, back-up, sidestep and do many other things better than most horses. Besides that her ears, flopping back and forth as she walked, acted as an automatic fan. Several people rode mules, they have a smoother walk or gait than a horse, I have been told.

At one of the mid-day breaks, Ronda’s owner stopped her in front of an old gravel pile. It was about ten or twelve feet high and very steep. He gave that mule a little urging and Ronda climbed to the top which did not look big enough for her to turn around. She stood a minute then turned around and came down the hill just as easy. Brittany and I were watching all the time and when Ronda was on top Brittany said, "Cool, that is really neat, I am going to try that with April". I said, "No, no use in even trying, when she is not following another horse (sometimes even if she is following) she will not do something like that". Sometimes I can’t get her to cross a puddle of water or walk across a different color pavement, unless I get off and lead her. Of course, Brittany doesn’t hear too good when she doesn’t want to hear, she listens to even less and if told not to try something, will try it for sure. Brittany got on April and started for the pile. Tina started to holler at Brittany but I said, "just let her go, that horse is never going up that hill, she will look at it, walk around it, back off and do anything but go up that steep gravel pile". Brittany and April stopped in front of the hill. Tina turned away to do something with her horse, Brittany gave April a little kick and April went up that hill as easy as Ronda. I was so surprised, "Tina look at Brittany and April on top of the hill", I shouted. Tina turned around and about fainted, she didn’t know whether to holler at Brittany or me. Brittany turned April and came down the hill as neat as could be. You just never know what a horse or kid will do. Well, I guess I knew the kid would try it but I sure never thought the horse would go along with her!

Trail riders taking a break near gravel pile


Monday, January 31, 2000

Pettus, Texas to Kenedy, Texas

The South Texas Trail Riders (STTR) have it a little easier than the cowboys and cowgirls driving a herd in the "olden days". There is a sound van that plays western music as we ride, a wagon that has coffee, donuts and drinks for break times, a "potty wagon" that has well, you know, and an ambulance that brings up the end of the group. This year I heard there were twenty-two wagons on the ride, at least part time, all of them didn’t go the whole distance, but many did. All kinds of wagons were present: covered wagons, buggies, a stagecoach, surreys, I can’t remember nor do I know the names of all the different wagons. One small covered wagon was pulled by a little burro about eight or nine hands tall. (That is horse talk for thirty-two to thirty-six inches - I think.) That little ass, "pardon the language marm" would trot all day to keep up, but never seemed to get behind or tired. I think there were about one hundred to two hundred riders from time to time. Many riding everyday to the bitter end. (You know which "end".)

Little Burro with owners

Still cloudy and cold but a little warmer than the past few days. I decided to ride April today to see how she would act without Sunshine and Valentine around. Brittany had to go to school today. I got on April a little early to ride around and make sure she wouldn’t be too goofy. She was a little nervous but not bad. I rode back to the horse trailer and stepped down and twisted my ankle. I decided to try riding for a while. If it got too bad I could call my wife to meet me some place or I could ride in the ambulance or a wagon for a while.

My dear wife was driving the truck and trailer and I told her, "You sure are doing a good job, you sweet thing". She said, "All right I will go one hundred miles north of San Antonio - BUT THAT IS ALL, PERIOD". (Now if I can figure how to get her to go another hundred miles, then another hundred miles, then another ---!) I figured since my wife was going to be around, I had better start riding with some old men, like myself. She would move the truck to Kenedy after the riders moved out. Later I could move around and find an old woman of two or three. More than one and she knows I am lying.

We had been riding about thirty minutes and April was doing pretty good. My ankle was getting more sore but not real bad yet. About the time I started to relax a little, a rider came galloping from the right rear, passed us on the right about twenty or thirty feet to the right side, but he was hidden by some heavy brush and as he went by the horse galloped through some brush and leaves, making a lot of noise. April heard the noise before I did and she knew a big old monster of some kind was about to eat her up! She jumped about six feet and ran away. I put some weight on my sore ankle, said, "ouch" and a few other choice words, forgot about my ankle and tried to hang on. About three hundred yards down the trail, we slowed to a nervous trot and prance.

April was doing real good after two or three hours, she settled down and would walk with the "best of them". My ankle was swelling but we made it to Kenedy.


Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Kenedy, Texas to Falls City, Texas

Wagons rolling to San Antonio

Warmer but the day started with a light mist and we had some light rain showers throughout the day. Everyone had rain gear and we didn’t run into any heavy rains so the weather was no problem. Last week we had sunny skies and temperatures in the high seventies and low eighties. But as expected, the weather turns bad for trail rides and stock show times.

My ankle turned black and blue over night but the swelling went down and I can walk better so guess I will live. If it gets too bad I can fall to the rear and get some "medicine". Last Saturday when it was so cold, one of the scouts offered some "antifreeze", said there were many different kinds and flavors available. I saw many with little flasks that they used to keep away snake bite and frost bite. Guess it worked since I never saw any snakes or frost! One of the rules for the ride was "no intoxicating drinks". I think beer was available for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and breaks but, of course, in Texas beer is not considered an intoxicating drink.

April only spooked twice today. Once riding alongside Ronda, we came to an old black mat in the trail, Ronda jumped and that was enough for April, she jumped also. The second time we rode past some hog pens. She saw or smelled them about a block away and started the little dancing and prancing act. She shied and kept as far away as possible from the hogs. Guess she saw they were eating everything in sight and if she got close enough, she would be next.

Stagecoach and mule team


Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Falls City, Texas to Floresville, Texas

Light rain when I went to feed horses this morning. Rained most of the day until about two or three in the afternoon, a good soaking rain from time to time but never heavy. I put the feed bucket down and knew that Sunshine would not come to it until I backed off. April usually comes right to it but she was wary and stayed away, guess she didn’t want another day or riding. Valentine knows that I seldom bother her so she was first to the bucket. I put a rope around her neck and we were off to the trail ride. I had planned to work her a couple of days anyway until I got the sore ankle, then I wasn’t so sure, but she was handy and my ankle was feeling better.

Riding in the rain

Valentine, as usual, was a Nervous Nellie, wanting to go, go, go. I loped her up to the front of the ride. I could keep her in a relatively slow lope as long as she was passing everyone. I would try to lope her to the rear of the column but she didn’t want to go back so the best we could do was a walk or stop and wait. I was trying to get her a little tired but going back just gave her a rest. Once, while going at a slow lope forward, a rider passed us up going at a good gallop. Of course this did not please Valentine, so after trying to hold her back for a while, I wondered if she could catch up to the other horse. I let her go and sure enough she could!

I walked her back about to the middle of the column and I guess one of the scouts saw this. He stopped me and asked, "What are you doing?" I said, "Trying to get rid of some of her excess energy." He said, "You will kill that horse." I said, "Horsepucky!" using a slightly different word for "pucky", "She is not even breathing hard." She was wet but mostly from rain, she didn’t have any lather showing yet. I hadn’t worked her half as hard or as long as she would be worked at drill practice or one-tenth as hard as on a cattle drive or one-hundredth as hard as a pony express horse.

I knew I was pushing it but like a little kid I had to do it one more time. This time as I was walking back , he said, "Quit running that horse." I said, "yes sir" and started walking Valentine towards the head of the column. Guess if I were a scout and had been trying to herd this group for six days, I would be getting mean and grouchy too.

I learned that "yes sir" in the army, as a matter of fact I learned many good things in the army even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I was in the army from 1957 to 1959, no fighting going on so I don’t have many war stories - well there was this one time when I was stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas. "The battle of Juarez", I was on top of this little hill and one hundred of the enemy were coming up this hill, I only had two shots left. "What did I do?" you ask, "I drank both of them"!

About forty years ago, I had basic training in Ft. Carson, Colorado. I never knew anything about the army or the "Chain of Command". In fact I didn’t see many officers the first few weeks of training. I knew that the Drill Sergeant was the second toughest man in the world. The toughest and meanest was the First Sergeant - none would dare cross him! One time he was trying to get us in a frame of mind to be a "mean fighting machine," he told us about fighting in Korea. He related that he and some of his buddies were overrun by the enemy. When they ran out of bullets, they would bayonet one enemy and push him off to the right then bayonet another and push him off to the left - and he was going to make us just as mean, tough and gung-ho - I believed him.

We went to the firing range after a few weeks of basic. A Captain was in charge of the range. I forget what went wrong, but something did and the Captain called over the First Sergeant and gave him a through reaming. I didn’t think it was the First Sergeant’s fault, but he just stood at attention. When the Captain got done chewing, I thought oh, oh, now the Captain just bit off more than he can chew. The First Sergeant is going to crawl all over that Captain and leave nothing but little pieces. The First Sergeant said, "yes sir, right away sir" and doubled-timed to go correct the problem. I thought maybe I should learn this lesson, also!

Thursday, February 3, 2000

Floresville, Texas to San Antonio, Texas

Sunny day today, suppose to warm to the seventies. Valentine was so good towards the end of yesterday that she gets to go again today - bet she is thrilled about this. Today we ride to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Posse Arena, at the southeast corner of San Antonio. Tonight is the "STTR Awards Ceremony".

Awards are given for the oldest rider, youngest rider, best rider, most times riding, longest distant traveled to the ride, best wagon etc. One person mentioned to me that I should receive an award for the "most persistent", I was afraid to ask "persistent what"? (I had been trying to get Valentine to quit throwing her head. We have tried martingales, tie-downs and other things but she learned she could put nose down to her chest to start the head toss. I was saying, "NO" and tapping her on the neck with a switch every time she tossed her head. Towards the end of the day and after about five hundred times, the head tossing slowed-down. I am not sure if she was starting to learn or just getting tired.)

Valentine and April are "Kickers". Kickers have red ribbons tied to their tails to let others know not to get too close. Valentine is the "best" kicker and she has a wicked roundhouse kick! She only kicked three times today. I only heard one, "ouch, that damn horse ---." In my opinion kickers are "out of control horses" but since we have two out of three horses with red ribbons, guess I won’t complain. I thought about suggesting an award for the "Best Kicker" but I wasn’t sure we wanted that "honor".

Towards the end or the day there seemed to be a lot more hollering and dirty looks as people passed or got too close. Good thing we didn’t have much longer to ride or I might have jumped off my horse and got the "stuffing" beat out of me!


Friday, February 4, 2000

Posse Arena To Coliseum Area

Brittany got out of school today so she could ride the last day. Since we were riding in the city, with lots of noise and other distractions, I started on April and Brit rode Sunshine. The last couple of days that I rode April, she would get close to the rear of another horse (especially one with a red ribbon) then jump back fast. I wasn’t paying close attention and thought she just got a switching tail in the face. Today I caught her doing the "dastardly deed". She got real close to a horse with a red ribbon in it’s tail , she nipped it in the butt then, then dropped back. The other horse kicked back with both heels, but April was well out of reach by that time.

It has been fun but tiring - Thank god I am only going to Alaska!

We made it to the camping area near the coliseum. Here we come Alaska


Friday, February 18, 2000

San Antonio, Tx to Boerne, Tx

Cloudy most of today, a south wind coming from the Gulf Coast brings in the heat and the humidity. The high temperature was eighty-three and the humidity felt about the same.

I rode April today to see how she would do without other horses around. I figured that after all the practice from the Gulf coast, she would just be wonderful. She was better but not the "perfect" horse yet. After about forty-five minutes, I got her to settle down to a walk most of the time. She wanted to do a lot of going left and right instead of straight ahead and she wanted to stop, look and listen at everything. I spent a good part of the time trying to get her to go straight and keep walking past all the new things instead of stopping. Towards the end of the day she was doing better but walking slower - getting a little tired maybe, I know I was tired.

When I go to feed the horses, if I see stray dogs or cats along the road and they look hungry, I usually throw them some food but don’t pick them up since we have too many strays now. Last summer I saw three pups about two months old. I gave them some dog food but they didn’t eat much. It was very hot and I knew they were thirsty. I gave them the remaining water that I had in my water bottle, but that wasn’t near enough. So I drove down the road about two miles to the horse area and got some more water but could only find a couple of small containers. I took it back to them and of course in their rush to get some water before the others got it all, most of it spilled. I decided carrying water to them was a lost cause. I put them in the back of the pickup and took them to the water. Now we have three more strays.

Two are black and brown splotched. One more black and the other more brown and the third was all black except for some white on his chest. I gave them temporary names of Black-n-brown, Brown-n-black and Blacky. Black-n-brown had a hurt right rear leg. I was going to wait and see if it would get better but my brother, Jim and his wife, Betty said they wanted to give the poor little thing a fighting chance. (The other male, Blacky, was already showing his dominance and giving Black-n-brown a hard time.) The original plan was to take Black-n-Brown to the vet, get his leg fixed then take him back to live with his brother, sister and the horses. Of course after keeping a cute little pup for a while, (or in this case an ugly little pup) and spending a thousand dollars or better in vet bills, Jim and Betty gave Black-n-brown a new home and a new name - LUKE.

When I picked up these pups I thought they were about the ugliest Blue Healer pups that I had ever seen. Jim said the vet told him they looked like Catahoula dogs. None of us had ever heard of Catahoula. Betty found some information saying they were a "Louisiana cow dog", used to chase wild cows and wild hogs out of thick brush. These pups were getting "prettier and prettier".

Brittany is a dog lover. When she was smaller she wanted to be a dog and she would play and act like a dog - as a matter of fact she still does this sometimes. (Just kidding Brit.) She wanted to keep all the dogs and take them home. I finally convinced her that Luke would be better off at Uncle Jim’s and Aunt Betty’s. She didn’t like the idea much but finally relented. After another hour or so of fussing, arguing and fighting, I convinced her that the dogs had to live with the horses. Everyone already had too many dogs at their homes. She finally agreed but Brown-n-black would be her dog and she would name her Penelope, Penny for a nickname. Of course since Blacky was the biggest meanest and ugliest, I could have Blacky. THANKS A LOT BRITTANY!

I have grown fond of Blacky the past few months. He was close when I loaded April so I asked him if he wanted to go with us? Since I was standing in the back of the pickup when I asked, he probably thought I had something to eat and he jumped in. Blacky was pretty good, he would follow about twenty or thirty feet behind and he stayed out of the road most of the time.

The dogs do not like to go to the vet. Since they get a shot or have to stay overnight guess they know that a trip to the vet is not going to be pleasant. We went past a vet clinic, not the one where the dogs usually go, I looked back to see if Blacky would start in the gate since he could hear the other animals. Blacky stopped and looked for the longest time, I finally hollered for him to come. He made a big wide semi-circle and had to go out into the road about fifty feet so he could stay away as far as possible from "that Place". It sure looked funny, he kept eyeing the clinic as he was going past - guess he wanted to be sure someone didn’t come out to give him a shot as he was passing by.

When we rode past Leon Springs Elementary School, some of the five or six year old kids were out for the best class of the day, recess. They started hollering so we went closer to the fence. I gave a couple of the kids a card that I carry (It has my name, address and web site.) A teacher hollered, "You shouldn’t start that". I found out what she meant. Soon there were about one hundred little hands sticking through the fence and one hundred little voices saying, "Hey Mister, can I have one, can I ride your horse, can I pet your dog?" I soon ran out of cards and had to leave before I got mobbed - Love those little kids!


Sunday, April 9, 2000

Boerne, Texas to Comfort, Texas

Bob and April, Tina and Valentine

This ride is for you Jim! Jim was my brother, he passed away Thursday, March 23, 2000. He was just sixty-eight, but had emphysema for years. The last couple of years, he had to use oxygen most of the time.

Sometimes Jim would ride with me to feed the dogs and horses. He talked about doing some extra walking to try to regain some of his strength. Most of the time he never felt up to it but he did try several times. Sometimes he would talk about getting on Sunshine and riding for a while as soon as he got some of his strength back and felt a little better. A time or two he would mention, half joking, that if he got better, he would be the first to ride cross-country with his oxygen tank. Let’s ride Jim!

We had a good ride , Tina and Brittany along with Rob, my son, Larry, my son-in-law, (Tina’s husband and Brittany’s father), and Jeremy, Jim’s six year old grandson, joined us for the ride today. Everything went smooth most of the time. Of course Brit kept April running back and forth a good part of the day. Sunshine and I loped with her a little but both of us got tired pretty fast.

While we were going under a bridge something scared April - she jumped and started climbing up the concrete embankment . She slipped and slid down but she was close to the corner and regained her footing. Brit did good and was able to stay on her.

Of course when April jumped, Valentine had to jump and start up the embankment also. She was behind us and not as close to the corner. She had to scramble further and it was steeper. Valentine lost her footing and slid down the concrete. Tina was able to get off and didn’t get hurt but Valentine had several scrapes and scratches. None seemed to be real bad so we continued to ride.

We stopped for a break after a couple of hours, Rob went into a little store and bought a pound of jerky. This was our lunch - just like the cowboys (cowpersons) in the "olden days". Valentine was stiff when we started riding again, but soon "worked it out" and was O. K. the rest of the day.

Blacky got to go again. Brittany gave me "h, e, double l" for not picking up her Catahoula dog, Penny, and I thought it would be nice to take Jim’s dog , Luke, along. However I thought there might be too much going on already and a couple of extra dogs to watch could be more problems than I could handle. Blacky is becoming a good trail dog. He still wanders into the road sometimes but not too much. He usually leads or follows along and is little trouble and good company. If we go past a house and dogs are barking, he just keeps trailing along. Once two dogs came out to bark at us , when they got too close he barred his teeth and snapped at one and chased him back to the other side of the road. He is young and inexperienced, so when the dog he was chasing ran back to the other dog, he had two against one and the second dog came in to Blacky’s rear. Guess Blacky did the smart thing though - he turned tail and ran.


Sunday, May 7, 2000

Comfort, Texas to Fredericksburg, Texas

It was a beautiful day to ride through the beautiful Texas hill country. Rob, my son, rode with me and this was the first trail ride when he rode all day. At the end of the day, his "TB" didn’t seem to be any worse than my "TB".

We saw some beautiful country and had the normal horse spooks, jumps, etc. April spooked at butterflies, birds, lizards, paper and dust. She spooked when she snorted with her head near the ground and dust flew in the air. Both April and Sunshine started running with some deer that we scared out of some trees until the deer started running across the field away from us.

Blacky caused a little excitement. About noon he started getting hot and he would run ahead to the next tree or big bush and wait for us in the shade. About mid afternoon he didn’t care if the shade was on the other side of the road, he would make a bee line for the nearest shade. Several times he nearly got hit.

Since we didn’t have too much other excitement, I have a little space to mentioned that the Bexar County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse Drill Team lead the opening ceremonies and provide a perimeter ride thru the night for the "Relay for Life" - where teams of walking and running cancer survivors and supporters gather at Olmos Basin Park for an all night vigil to help raise money to fight cancer. This year Tina and I rode from about 5 to 10 p.m., Friday May 5, 2000. Last year we took a later shift. We were planning to ride from about 11p.m. to 1a.m.. About 1:30 a.m. we started loading the horse. Since Valentine usually loaded easiest if she was first, we got her in the trailer and I went in to close her gate (We have a three horse slant trailer.). I got about half way in when something scarred her. She jumped, hit her head and backed out of the trailer like lightning - I backed out like greased lightning! We spent the next five hours trying to get her back into the trailer. We decided we deserved an earlier shift this year.

Back to the ride, by the time we got to Fredericksburg we were getting hot. There were not many places open Sunday afternoon. The first place we came to that looked like someone was alive was "Ken Hall and Company Texas Barbecue". We asked a man attending one of the grills if he was open and could we buy a soda water? He said he wasn’t open, they were getting ready for a private party but he would get us a soda. He wouldn’t let us pay for the soda. So I want to put in a plug and a thanks for "Ken Hall and Company Texas Barbecue".


Saturday, June 17, 2000

Fredericksburg, Texas to Loyal Valley, Texas

Last night, Friday, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse Drill Team performed at the Stonewall, Texas rodeo. We did the "Grand Entry" and a "drill". Nora Scott, our Drill Team Captain, as I understand, got a hard bang on the head Thursday night as she was loading horses into a trailer. She didn’t lead at the rodeo but was there to guide and get us started. Kerry Stewart with the assistance of Mary Beth Hartell did a fine job of leading. This was Tina’s first rodeo. I remember my first rodeo - I was a little nervous before the beginning and I felt so good at the end - when I realize that I got through it without falling off or making a big blunder. I think Tina felt the same way.

I wonder if April felt this way also. It was her first rodeo. I was so happy that April didn’t dump me, I almost forgot to praise her for doing a good job at her first rodeo. She jumped and bucked a couple of times due to all the noise and excitement. Once she jumped over a flat mark in the arena. (It felt like she jumped about six feet high and ten feet across - since I wasn’t expecting it.) April got a little nervous when the contestants started the serpentine around us. All in all, April did real good and I was very proud.

It was late when we left the rodeo grounds, we drove to the Fredericksburg Fair Grounds and stayed the night. By the time we made a little corral for the horses, fed and watered them and ate a cold sandwich, everyone was very tired. I slept in the dressing room of the horse trailer, Larry got the front seat of the truck, Tina and Brittany slept in the Suburban. Brittany was the only one that said she had a good rest.

We didn’t get up very early and after a good cowboy breakfast at the local McDonald’s, Brittany and I started riding. Brittany was riding April and I was on Sunshine. We are hoping Valentine is bred and since she lost a "little one"(or probably reabsorbed as per the Vet), we didn’t want to chance making her nervous so she stayed home - she didn’t like that much either. After a couple of miles of riding, we rode up to a lady selling "world wide known" Fredericksburg peaches. We got four, Brittany and I ate ours while riding and they were delicious - "the best ever", we decided.

We saw more of the beautiful Texas hill country and so many different kinds, sizes and colors of wildflowers. We saw several deer and a few rabbits. Of course we saw many horses, cows, goats and sheep.

It was nearly dark when we got to Loyal Valley and it started to rain. Brittany and I fed the horses and started the corral. Before we got done it was raining hard and we had to get in the truck and wait for the rain to let up. Tina and Larry drove to Mason and got our "cowboy supper" - Dairy Queen hamburgers. It was about 10:30pm by the time we got done eating our "cowboy dinner" and we were tired. Guess Brit thought the horse trailer dressing room looked like a good place to sleep, so we slept there and we didn’t know or care where Tina and Larry slept. In the morning everyone said they slept better, but smelled worse - oh well you can’t have everything!


Sunday, June 18, 2000

Loyal Valley, Texas to Mason, Texas

I started riding a little before eight this morning. I wanted to get to Mason before it got too late in the afternoon. We had to work Monday morning. Brittany, Tina and Larry broke camp and caught up and Brittany started riding again.

About 1:30pm Brittany and I saw Tina and Larry parked along the road. We rode up to them and they had the "best ever" Father’s day Cowboy lunch, barbecue and beans, set up on the tailgate. They had other goodies also, cheese, chips, pickles - it looked and tasted like a feast.

The biggest part of yesterday and today, when Brittany was riding she would stop until I got about a block ahead, then she would lope on April to catch up and sometimes lope about a block ahead then back. I suggested, several times, that she should slow down and give April more rest. Of course this had about the same effect as talking to the wind. After another hour or two of this, I got mad and told her to, "stop running that horse before you kill her". Brittany told me, "I am not running her half as hard as you did at the rodeo last night" - deja vu!

We finally talked Larry into sharing some of the fun, so he and Tina rode the last lap into Mason. It was about 3:30pm and all of us were tired but not as tired as last night and we thought we were starting to smell better too - maybe we could get use to the "cowboy life" after all!


Saturday, December 9, 2000

Mason, Texas to Katemcy, Texas

It has been a while since I have done much riding so I will list the excuses: it has been too hot, it is too far to haul the horses, I have been too busy, I have been too lazy and I fell off April at drill practice towards the end of July.

Brittany attended horse camp off and on last summer and she wanted to take April. Last year she took April for one day and she kicked one of the helpers, but we decided to try it again this year. Early Thursday morning we hauled April to Nora Scott’s Oak Valley Stables, 234 Holbrook Rd, San Antonio, Tx and dropped off Brittany and April. Horse camp is in the morning and at noon we picked up Brittany and April. I asked Brittany, "Well who did she kick today"? Brittany said, "no one, but I don’t want to take April tomorrow". Evidently April was nervous and jumpy all morning. I guess she shied when Brittany was trotting past another horse. She jumped, kicked, bucked and then stumbled to her knees. Brittany stayed on her but decided to ride another horse the next day.

I took April to drill practice that evening, thinking that since she has already had one workout, she would be tired and calm. As you probably guessed, just the opposite was true. She wanted to shy, buck, kick and jump more than usual. We practiced a couple of "entries" and were on the last stretch of the first drill practice. All that was left was the final horseshoe turn, then down the center of the arena and out the gate at a fast gallop, waving and hollering to the crowd. April started the turn to the right, I figured we had it made and relaxed for a second. For some unknown reason April jumped to the left and I landed on the ground. I still had the reins in my hand and after a couple of minutes I got up - very, very slow. I started to cuss April but didn’t have enough breath left. A few of the other riders came back to see if I was alive and a few just wanted to complement me on how well I bounced! I didn’t have enough breath to tell them that I was just demonstrating that when you fall off your horse - hang on to the reins. If your horse gets loose, the Indians will swoop down and scalp you!

I got back on April but every time she started to trot I had a shooting pain in the right side of my gluteus maximus (butt for us old wannabe cowboys). For the next four of five days, every time I bent, twisted, turned, bumped or touched the middle or my back, I got this shooting pain in my right buttocks - craziest thing - but my butt is feeling a little better everyday so guess it wasn’t anything too serious.

I haven’t done any ‘riding to Alaska’ this summer. Besides the excuses listed above, we have been busy with work, rodeos and parades. Then this fall it rained nearly every weekend.

I didn’t get to Mason until after noon today and I wanted to get to Katemcy before I stopped for the night. I wanted to take April since she needs the workout but the day before yesterday she ran into something and punched a hole in her chest. The vet stuck his finger in it to try to determine if it had anything still in it. He said that the hole felt deeper than his finger but it felt clean and didn’t think she would have any lasting problem. After a few shots, a cleaning out, an overnight stay at the vets, a few more shots and about three hundred fifty dollars, she was running around like nothing happened. Sunshine didn’t really want to go but I finally caught her. Blacky, Sunshine and I started from Mason about 1:30 PM.

We saw lots of road-kill along the way: numerous deer, raccoons and skunks. (Makes one hungry - huh? Road-kill possum and yams - yum, yum.) We saw a few turtles, opossums, rabbits and squirrels, but we didn’t see many armadillo, "The National Road Kill of Texas".

About six or eight miles north of Mason, we stopped to look at some of Chuck Stuart’s mesquite furniture, it was beautiful. Another four or five miles and we saw a big uh - - well - - it looked like a big lamp all lit up in the middle of nowhere. (It was dark by this time) We rode up to it and sure enough it was a big lamp. The lady at the "Camp Air Store" said she made it. The lamp pole was made from cedar poles, it must have been fifteen feet tall and the shade was about twelve feet around. They sell cedar furniture, "Cedar Creations -Home of the Big ‘Ole Lamp". We camped along the road just north of here. We could look back and see the Big ‘Ole Lamp.

Sunday, December 10, 2000

Katemcy, Texas to Brady, Texas

Blacky, Sunshine and I saw more road kill and some nice fall colors. While riding the trail, we saw a deer jump the fence and cross the road about a hundred yards in front of us - thank God we never hit him! A big old shaggy Llama started running across a field towards us. He had not been sheared and his coat was bouncing up and down. At first I thought he was a horse with a horse blanket bouncing around. Sunshine didn’t know what to make of this odd looking animal - she didn’t want to get too close.

Since there wasn’t too much more excitement the rest of the way and I figure you don’t want me to describe the road kill in more detail, I will tell one of my favorite cowboy jokes. This old cowboy rode up to the farmer’s house and --- on second thought I can’t print that one. O. K. my second favorite, - This old cowboy rode up to the farmer’s house and said to the farmer, "You sure have a nice house." The farmer replied, "Yes sir, I got it the hard way, I built it myself." The cowboy said, "You sure have a nice garden." "Yes sir", the farmer replied, "I planted it and took care of it myself, I got it the hard way." About this time the farmer’s beautiful daughter walked onto the porch. The cowboy looked at the girl then at the farmer and said, "now don’t tell me you got her the hard way?" "Yup," replied the farmer, "standing up in a canoe!"

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL


Wednesday, March 27, 2002

SUNSHINE DIED

And you thought that I had run out of excuses! Sunshine was getting older like the rest of us, she was nearly blind in one eye and had been having trouble with her back legs for a while, probably arthritis, she couldn’t hold her weight on her right hind foot for more than a second or two. However, she seemed to get around with the other horses o. k. and we figured she would be with us for many years. But about two months ago I went down to feed the horses and Sunshine had gone to that horse heaven in the sky. I will miss her trying to run away when she thought she was going to have to do some work; I will miss her trying to bite and kick every time I would tighten the chinch; I will miss her jumping and bucking when she had to do something that she didn’t want to do. She was set in her ways and had a spirited and stubborn streak but she sure was a good ol’ horse. I had better quit writing about Sunshine, I already have a lump in my throat, but SUNSHINE WE SURE WILL MISS YOU.

I plan to continue the journey to Alaska. I had been looking at other horses and I had considered using Valentine and April since I had not found a good replacement for Sunshine but I didn’t want to borrow a horse all the time. I saw an ad in the paper about a wild horse and burro auction in Beeville, Texas. I thought it would be interesting to watch the auction but I never planned to buy anything - just watch to see what was going on. You guessed it, I bought a wild horse; a three year old buckskin gelding - gave him an original name - Buck. I plan to train him and finish my ride, so I hope to continue in a couple of weeks or months or more likely years.

I would like to see some of the wild horses in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. I plan to ride Buck to his old stomping grounds in the Eagles Nest area of Cyclone Rim, north of Rawlins Wyoming. - If I should live so long!



Ride 2 - Bandera, Tx to Dodge City, Ks



Sunday, August 29, 2004

THE BIG 70

I turned 70 today, still working but not too hard, never did and never will, but I feel I am old enough to take six weeks off to join the trail ride from Bandera,Texas to Dodge City, Kansas.


Thursday, September 2, 2004

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

“On the road again, on the road again”, well, at least I plan to hit the trail again, soon. But first a few more excuses for the long delay.

Since I am no Monty Roberts, John Lyons, Steve Harris, Paul Daily or any other horse trainer, it took me a lot longer to get Buck ready to ride. However the training experiences are many other stories - and some truths that I my relate at a later time.

However, after about four and one-halve months, Buck could be ridden - barely. A little more time and he was getting so gentle that I decided to try him at one of the Bexar County Sheriffs Mounted Posse’ “sit and look pretty’ functions. Where we dress up, sit on our horses with flags and wave and greet people coming to the function. (This particular function was a fund raiser for the YMCA.) Buck and I were doing O. K. as we were riding towards the gate to get in line. Then something scared Buck and he took off! I got lucky and dropped the flag, grabbed the saddle horn and stayed in the saddle. But the next time he got scared, I couldn’t get rid of the flag fast enough and I dropped to the ground!

Buck and I went to the “ Wild Horse and Burro Show” and one of the Posse’s play day series but we were not fast enough nor pretty enough to take any first’s or second’s or - oh well I don’t want to bore you any more.

Buck and I started to practice with the posse’s drill team but Buck started stumbling and seemed to have trouble with his right hind leg. I let him rest for a couple of weeks then took him to another playday. After a couple of runs he started stumbling again.

After a couple of visit’s to the vet, we decided to give Buck a three month rest, then another three months, then another three months. Finally, we started riding Buck again - slow and easy. AND SEVERAL YEARS LATER I AM READY TO HIT THE ROAD AGAIN.


I heard about a trail ride starting from Bandera, Tx going to Dodge City, Kansas. This sounded like a great experience to me and it was on the way to Alaska. I figured just a select few would be allowed to go. Later I found out that Nora,s husband, Rusty, was to be the Camp Boss. Of course, Rusty rode with us in the Bexar County Sheriff's Mounted Posse Drill Team, since Nora was the Drill Captain. Now I was really excited, I figured that I had an advantage to get with this group. I started thinking about reasons to give to Rusty why he should put in a good word for me to get to go: I would probably be one of the oldest riders (70); I wanted to take my grandaughter, Brittany, she would probably be one of the youngest (13); I was on my way anyway so I might as well ride along; I would do any chores or anything else; please, please, please; what else could I use as a bribe, etc.

The next time I saw Rusty, I had all my good reasons ready and I walked up to him and asked, "How can I go on the trail ride?" I was starting to give my reasons and he said, "here fill out this form and send in your hundred dollars." I about fell over, but was too excited to say anything.

I am going to backtrack from Brady, TX (where I stopped last time) and start at Bandera, TX. Bandera, “The Cowboy Capital of the World” will celebrate it’s century and one-half anniversary. The fourth day of the celebration will begin the reenactment of the opening of the “Western Trail” the greatest cattle trail of all the cattle trails. This section started in 1876 from Bandera, Tx to Dodge City, KS. Brittany and I plan to join the trail ride with the wild mustangs, Buck, Malibu and Pepper. Brittany is going if she can get excused from school - if not “Too bad, so sad, Brittany”.

Sunday, September 5, 2004

I woke up last Sunday and realized that I was 70 years old. I decided that I would not get hair cuts, shave or take a bath anymore. (I would rather shower anyway.) Tomorrow is the sixth and the trail ride from Bandera, TX to Dodge City, KS starts. Brittany and I will “rough it” just like the “olden day cowboys”. We have the horse trailer pulled by a ford 4x4, a generator, toaster oven, refrigerator, and microwave. Also we have a water heater and shower - just like the “olden days”

The Western Trail is the Dodge City Trail

Brittany and I got to Bandera Saturday afternoon to get registered and to get ready for the ride. That evening Brittany cooked our first meal, a large can or spaghettios warmed in the microwave - very tasty.

Monday, September 6, 2004

Bandera, TX to Camp Verde, TX

Bandera, Tx The trailride starts ----------------------- Our Rig

Brittany and Malibu are ready to ride

The trail ride started today - 48 days and 679 miles to go. There was a celebration in Bandera to officially start the ride. The route from Bandera, TX to Fredericksburg, TX is a little departure from the road I took before, but from Fredericksburg to Brady, TX should be the same.

I started riding Buck and Brittany rode Malibu, both wild horses that we trained. About one hour after we started, it started to rain and it quit raining about one hour before we got to Camp Verde. Everyone was soaked but happy to finish the first day. The parking area at Camp Verde was muddy and nearly everyone was getting stuck and making a mess of the field. To try to prevent more damage to the field, the camp was moved to the fairgrounds in Kerrville, TX. So the ride scheduled for tomorrow, from Camp Verde to Kerrville is changed to a “round robin” ride so the other wagons, trucks, trailers, etc. can be pulled out of the mud, moved to Kerrville and we can start again. THANK GOD, ONLY 47 MORE DAYS!

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Kerrville Round Robin

We rode from Kerrville to about the half way point to Camp Verde, had lunch, then rode back to Kerrville. Guess we covered the miles even if we didn’t follow the planned trail route. By my estimation, yesterday we had about fifteen wagons and close to three hundred riders on horses and mules. Today, about five wagons and fifty riders started the round robin, a few more joined later in the day. Not too much excitement to report, a couple of people got bucked off and a couple of run-away horses but this may be par for the ride.

Some people say the mustangs are tough and sure footed, guess Buck is the exception - he has always stumbled quit a bit (I thought maybe he just wasn’t use to the flatlands). The first day he started getting sore feet. So much for the “tough and sure footed” theory. I gave him some “bute” (horse aspirin) and he was better today but if he doesn’t “toughen-up” the next day or two, I may have to put shoes on him. And I need to get some aspirin for my ass-burn. THANK GOD, ONLY 46 MORE DAYS.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Kerrville, TX to Fredericksburg, TX

The schedule indicates we had a nineteen mile ride, the map shows twenty-two miles, My speedometer reads over twenty-six miles and my body aches say at least one hundred miles. The schedule hasn’t been close to the actual riding mileage yet. Guess the person that made it wasn’t a very good dart thrower. However, since there are 45 days remaining, he may get it right yet.

We had about fifteen wagons and about seventy-five riders today. I know some more will have to drop out at the end of the week to go back to work, lucky dogs, but we will pick up more wagons and riders as we go along. I have heard rumors of fifty to seventy-five wagons and eight to nine hundred riders will ride at least part way.

There are some interesting people on the ride. One gentleman hauled his horse from Maine, one lady rode part way with the group that rode from Bandera, TX to Calgary, Canada last year. A lady horse trainer came from Washington state. We have a story-teller, a writer and many more fascinating people that I haven’t met yet. I will try to give more information about these folks later.

One gentleman is making a vest from some tanned hides he brought along and he is picking up deer horns from road kill along the road. He is using the section where the horn connects to the skull for buttons on his vest. Brittany became interested in what he is doing and started looking for horns, she found one today, but not sure what she will do with it. THANK GOD, ONLY 45 MORE DAYS.

Mustang Bob and Mustang Buck taking a break in Pedernales River

Thursday, September 9, 2004

Rest Day

Last year when the BLM‘s “wild horse and burro“ sale was in San Antonio, Brittany and I signed up to be volunteers . We rode our horses, Buck and Malibu, around before the sale and talked to people about them. We volunteered to advertise along the trail ride. The BLM sent us a sign that we hang behind the saddle and some sale handouts. So far I have answered many questions about the horses and the program. Many people are familiar with the program and many are surprised to see the mustangs so gentle, of course they haven’t seen our third mustang, Pepper, yet!

Our rest day started with a church service, then Brittany and I went to town to do our laundry. We had breakfast at Dennys, spent some (lots) of money shopping, then I dropped Brittany at camp, she wanted to visit and was not interested in looking for my mobile phone that I lost yesterday between the last two rest stops (about a five to six mile distance), I didn’t find it either. Then back to camp to get ready for tomorrow. A group came to cook a hot meal and Brittany helped to make the ice cream for the dinner. After dinner there was music and talk, later another group sat around the campfire, told stories and sang songs. I thought we were going to get some rest on our rest day - THANK GOD, ONLY 44 MORE DAYS.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Fredericksburg, TX to Cherry Spring Road

The day started good but about noon Buck started showing signs of tender feet again. He would walk slow and was very cautious on pavement, gravel drives, rocks or any hard surface. I gave him a shot of bute and had Brittany ride him since she is about fifty pounds lighter. He did better for a while but started getting slow again and Brittany doesn’t like Buck when he is slow - She calls him “Stupid” and that hurts my feelings. He does get a little stubborn sometimes. So Brittany put him in the “pick-up” trailer about 3 pm and they went back to camp. Buck may get shoes soon. Malibu was tender footed for a couple of days but he is “toughing-up” now. I was hopping Buck would get better also, may give him a couple days rest after Pepper, the other mustang, gets here tomorrow. THANK GOD, ONLY 43 MORE DAYS.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Cherry Spring Road to Mason, TX

A prayer for all that lost their lives in the terrorist attack and for the relatives, friends and loved ones.

Several years ago the Bexar County Sheriff’s Posse preformed at rodeos in Mason, TX. We did the “Grand Opening” ceremony and about the middle of the rodeo we did a drill performance.

The ride was another long one, nearly twenty-five miles. About three pm, Tina and Larry, Brittany’s parents, Venus, My Wife, Summer, Brittany’s sister and Olivia, Summers daughter, arrived along the trail with the horse trailer carrying Pepper, the third Mustang, Larry’s horse and Valentine, Tina’ horse. Since Buck still had tender feet and wasn’t getting better, I decided to load him and take him to camp to get some shoes. Brittany rode Valentine the rest of the way today.

Summer got a couple of rooms at a local motel and Tina and Larry stayed at camp with the horses. She said the occasion was Grandparent’s Day. Thank you Summer, the motel bed felt good for a change.

I missed the wedding, one of the scouts and his lady friend got hitched tonight, Brittany and Tina attended and Brittany thought it was wonderful. THANK GOD, ONLY 42 MORE DAYS.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Mason, TX to Katemcy Ranch

Brittany started riding Valentine, I started with Pepper and Summer rode Malibu. Valentine and Pepper were fresh and everything was new and scary to them. Valentine was jumping, running around and wouldn’t behave, so Brittany decided not to carry a flag for the parade thru Mason. The Pretty young girls had been asked to carry flags for the parades thru the towns that let us parade thru the main part of the town - they didn’t ask the ugly old men, like myself, to lead or carry flags.

Pepper started the same shenanigans but when she started jumping around, I ducked as she went under a tree, lost my balance and fell off. Of course, Brittany had a good time telling me how much better she could ride - it’s the truth but I am not about to admit it - the brat. Summer rode about four hours and did fine on Malibu. I was surprised that she rode so long. Tina rode someone’s horse for a while but finished the day with Malibu. They will take Valentine back and we will keep the Mustangs here. This will give us an extra horse so we can give one a break once in a while. I will ride Pepper again tomorrow and give Buck another couple days rest. THANK GOD, ONLY 41 MORE DAYS.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Katemcy Ranch to Brady, TX

Pepper was full of it again this morning, She didn’t want to leave Malibu. I was holding her and Brittany rode off on Malibu. Pepper started whinnying, jerking on the lead rope and rearing-up. I spilled my coffee but was able to hold her and she settled down after a while. When the ride started I was holding Pepper back and she started the rearing again but I was lucky and didn’t fall off this time - see there Brittany, I don’t fall off all the time.

A few days ago Brittany rode Nicole’s mule, named Tina. After the ride she said we just have to get a mule. Nicole and her grandfather, Earl are from Louisiana. Today she got to drive a mule team pulling one of the wagons for a while. Now she wants to get a team of mules. Also she got to pet Ellie Mae today, the miniature pot-bellied pig - she just has to have a miniature pig, also. When we came into Brady this afternoon, Brittany and the girls carried the flags as we paraded thru the town. Brady is as far as I got before, so I will be covering new ground from now on. THANK GOD, ONLY 40 MORE DAYS.

September 14, 2004

Rest Day

Slept in till six am, there are about three hundred fifty elementary school children from Brady coming to visit us today. There will be several bus loads, and each bus load will be given a little history and information about the “olden days”, cowboys and the cattle trails. Then they will be divided into three groups. One group will listen to songs and stories of the old west and eat peach cobbler baked in a Dutch oven, a second group will get a ride in one of the wagons, and the third group will get to ride a horse or a mule. The groups will rotate so everyone gets a chance to do everything. Brittany volunteered Buck and Malibu to help with the horse rides, so of course I got volunteered. But it was fun and the kids had a good time - they got out of school.

When Buck and Malibu left to give rides, Pepper had a fit. She tried to knock over the corral, then she tried to jump over the five foot corral panels. She bent one of the panels and broke a piece of baling wire that I had used to tie the panel to the trailer. I wrapped a piece of “dog run” chain around the panel twice and she broke this, so I had to tie her short to the trailer. She bent the trailer tie but it held and she settled down. After a while I untied her and she was o.k. but Brittany was sure mad, she wanted to know what the (deleted word) took me so long, Malibu was acting up and she wanted Buck close by to help settle Malibu - see there Brittany, Buck is good for something after all!

Brady school kids getting rides on Buck and Malibu

Brittany saw Buck’s new shoes and just had to have some for Malibu so Malibu got new shoes today. We got thru with all of this about three pm, then it was time to find a laundry mat, shop a little, then come back to camp and get ready for tomorrow. THANK GOD, ONLY 39 MORE DAYS.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Brady, TX to Holn, TX

Fairly short ride today, about fifteen miles. At the edge of Brady, about where the first stagecoach robbery occurred, we had a reenactment using the stagecoach in our wagon train. It was exciting, the stage coach comes down the trail at a full gallop, well at a fast walk anyway, and the gun men gallop from behind the trees, shooting, shouting and hold-up the stage. Well most of the guns didn’t fire and the gunmen were too close to do much galloping. However, it was interesting and a San Angelo TV station was there to film it (but I don’t think they got their camera to work). Hopefully the man filming the trail ride got it.

About ten miles down the rode we stopped to see a state historical monument marking the old western trail, If we could have gone across country, we could have seen some of the old trail still cut into the land, we were told by Suzie Heywood, the Trail Boss.

After the lunch break, Brittany decided Buck needed a break, also. He was still a little tender-footed but the shoes helped a lot. Mainly, I think Brittany wanted a break. Anyway I rode Malibu the rest of the way to camp. THANK GOD, ONLY 38 MORE DAYS.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Holn, TX to Rockwood, TX

It was decided to move the vehicles Thursday afternoon instead of in the morning, so we got to sleep in till about seven am. Short ride today, about thirteen miles but it was hot - the San Angelo news said 95 degrees, heat index of 100 degrees. Brittany got hot and wanted to get an air conditioner for our trailer. She said she would rather be in school in the air conditioning. When we got in the Ford to move it, I turned back towards Brady, I figured she would holler at me and tell me I was going the wrong way but she was so miserable she didn’t notice. Finally, I told her I was taking her back but she didn’t believe me. We drove about four miles down the road to the “Western Trail Monument” and took some pictures (I had forgotten to take the camera earlier today).

Brittany at the "Western Trail" marker

The people of Rockwood opened the town to us, all three of them, well maybe thirty people. They really were nice and accommodating. We parked in Mrs. Bettie Bryan’s side yard under a big pecan tree. She offered to show Brittany some of her sculptures and porcelain figures. They really were amazing. She won first place in a Dallas show with her John Wayne sculpture. She had figurines of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, her grandfather and grandmother, her dad, “Alice in Wonderland” , King Arthur’s court, Shirley Temple, Elvis, an old time school setting with children in their desks, and a teacher’s desk with a paddle and books sitting on it and many more items. She makes all of the clothes, hats etc. for these characters - amazing! She is making a sculpture of Malibu for Brittany. THANK GOD, ONLY 37 MORE DAYS.

Bettie Bryan, Brittany, and a few of the many, many, many Dolls

Friday, September 17, 2004

Rockwood, TX to Santa Anna, TX

The day didn’t start too good, first of all I didn’t sleep much last night, I turned off the generator too soon and so the fans didn’t blow away the humidity or bugs. Then in the morning, Brittany tied Malibu to a tree which was ok, but next to the tree were some guy wires to a TV antenna. Malibu got scared and got tangled in the wires and bent the thirty foot antenna in half then got loose and took off. The man came out of the house and told her he thought someone was tearing his house down. Then he wanted to know who was going to fix his antenna. Brittany didn’t know what to do and she was worried about Malibu. Finally one of Suzie Heywood’s (Trail Boss) staff member’s talked to the gentleman, Brittany found Malibu and he was o. k. The Camp Boss, Rusty Reams, and his crew repaired the antenna. I was afraid that I was going to have to take a day off and try to repair it myself. Thank you Trail Boss, Camp Boss and all that helped to solve this problem. You did a much better job than I could have done.

Brittany decided to ride the wagons and sound truck today, I rode Malibu, he is getting stronger all the time and he can keep up the pace. Buck and Pepper are smaller and have a hard time keeping up sometimes. We still have twelve to fifteen wagons and fifty to seventy-five riders, a few coming and going all the time. I would estimate that at least half of the people are over fifty - a bunch of old farts like myself that are “wanabe cowboys”. I know that I am a “wanabe cowboy” I have the sore on my ass to prove it. THANK GOD, ONLY 36 MORE DAYS.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Santa Anna, TX to Coleman, TX

Short ride today, about eleven miles, we got in a little after noon. Brittany and I rode Pepper and Buck and gave Malibu a rest. He has been going every day and seems to be getting stronger and better. It is a pleasure to ride him, he can keep pace with the others. Buck’s hooves are better and Pepper hasn’t shown any major signs of tenderfeet yet. She may be another tough one. Hopefully we can give her enough time to toughen up and she won’t have to be shod. Brittany got tired of Pepper after about two hours so she got a ride in one of the wagons and I lead Pepper the rest of the way. Pepper is still a little “green” and you have to work with her, Brittany gets tired of this pretty fast. She wants a horse that will keep up and do what she wants. I know, the first day I rode Pepper I felt like I had been working hard all day long. Buck responds better but he is slow and can get a stubborn steak from time to time. THANK GOD, ONLY 35 MORE DAYS.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Coleman, TX to JZ Ranch

About an eighteen mile ride today. Brittany’s parents came in last evening. Brittany caught a bug of some type, she had a stomachache, headache and a slight fever, so she spent the day with her Dad. Tina and I rode Buck and Pepper. Buck is getting stronger and he started walking better and faster today. Pepper is starting to get tenderfeet so may see about getting shoes for her at the next rest day. We will give her a couple of days off for now.

An eighty year old man drives a “doctor’s buggy“, had a stroke a while back and moves slow. The other day he ran into the back of a horse with his buggy wheel. He has fallen out of his buggy a couple of times - not sure but several people thought he just fell asleep and fell out. Last time he had to get several stitches. I am not sure he should still have a “buggy license”. I have to admire him, he is in that buggy every day with his little dachshund dog, Candy - eleven years old. He keeps going all day long. At the rest stops he waters his horse and dog. THANK GOD, ONLY 34 MORE DAYS

Bob and Britany watching Bill's horse and buggy

Monday, September 20, 2004

JZ Ranch to Miller Scott Ranch

Short ride today, about ten miles - I like these short rides, we have time to do other things. Today we went to Abilene, TX, mostly just to say we have been there. Brittany got a “wonder bit” for Malibu, She put it on him and it looks like it may work to prevent him from chewing on his bit so much.

Brittany was feeling better today. She took a couple of Advill before we started. She rode Malibu and I rode Buck. About the last hour, The advill was wearing off, Brittany said her stomachache and headache were coming back but she made it to camp. THANK GOD, ONLY 33 MORE DAYS.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Miller Scott Ranch to Baird, TX

About sixteen miles today, Brittany rode about two hours then started feeling bad so she took Buck to camp and I rode Malibu the rest of the way. When we got to Baird, we paraded thru the town. It is a nice little town, about five times the size town where I grew up, Gypsum, Colorado. (Gypsum had about 400 residents at the time, if I remember right.)

Several people have been finding colored and unusual feathers along the trail and putting them in their hats, dove feathers, roadrunner feathers, etc. I had Brittany get me a buzzard feather for my hat - a buzzard feather for the old buzzard. THANK GOD, ONLY 32 MORE DAYS.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Baird, TX to Albany, TX

Fairly long ride today, about twenty-six or twenty-seven miles. We have been having from thirteen to fifteen wagons and fifty to seventy-five horseback riders. Today we had about ten wagons and less than thirty riders. We had a couple of wagon tongues break today. One was mended with an old cedar fence post, baling wire and duct tape - pretty ingenious, I say. One team of mules got tangled in a barb wire fence at one of the rest stops but several of the “mule skinners” got them out and no major damage to mules or wagon, pretty lucky and good work.

Technical wagon tounge repair - baling wire and duct tape">

Brittany felt better today she rode about two-thirds of the day, then took Buck into camp and I finished the ride on Malibu again. THANK GOD, ONLY 31 MORE DAYS.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Rest Day

“Laundry day” might be a better name except for Brittany. She really could have lived in the “olden days“, she doesn’t have to have a laundry day or a shower day. She says she still has clean clothes - of course if you don’t change you don’t have to do laundry. Just kidding, Brittany, she does have on a different shirt everyday (maybe not a clean one) and she has used the shower a time or two - after all we have only been on the trail nearly three weeks.

Rob, my son came up for the rest day. We had lunch and a good visit. We started to get Pepper shod, but it started to rain before we got finished so may have to finish her tomorrow. Horseshoers are like cats, they don’t come when you call them and they don’t go out in the rain. THANK GOD, ONLY 30 MORE DAYS.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Albany, TX to Ft Griffin, TX

We are camped on a ranch next to the old Fort Griffin. Several of us opened a gate and we rode our horses thru the fort taking pictures and looking around - real interesting. For some unknown reason, Buck started bucking. Thank goodness he wasn’t trying to get rid of me. He was just doing some straight line bucking. He did this a couple of times, the first time I lost my glasses but picked them off the ground and they were o.k. I was taking a different route thru the fort than Brittany and Malibu and he didn’t like that and I was next to a “green mule” that they were breaking and they were having a little trouble at the time - maybe Buck picked up some vibs from him.

Fort Griffin

I have been leaving Pepper by herself in the pen and I thought she was use to it. If we don’t ride her, I take her to the next camp, set up the stall and put her in it. She doesn’t see the other horses leave. But this morning I didn’t move her and when Brittany and I rode off on Malibu and Buck, that was more than she could stand, she jumped the stall fence and was going with us. I didn’t see her jump but I heard a racket and looked back and saw her coming. It was a wonder she didn’t break a leg or something. The metal panel was bent all to hell, guess we were lucky and she was luckier. We tied her to the horse trailer in the pen and about five minutes after the wagons and trail riders left the area, Rob untied her.

I guess that I had some of Brittany’s “good stuff” last night. I had the worst stomachache that I can remember. I was seriously considering going to the doctor, then about two-thirty am everything started coming out both ends and about four am I was feeling better. I was a little weak, but I was able to make it thru the day. By God, I paid my one hundred dollars and I don’t want to miss a pennies worth of the fun. THANK GOD, ONLY 29 MORE DAYS.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Ft Griffin, TX to Throckmorton, TX

About a twenty-four mile ride today. I went into the stall to get a feed bucket, wouldn’t take a second, so I pulled the panels together but didn’t put the pin in, while my back was turned, Pepper pushed the gate open and took off. I went after her but she took off running. I guess Texas has a “wild mustang” now. About five minutes later she comes back to the stall and Brittany walks up to her and leads her into the pen.

Brittany was going to ride the wagons today so I rode Malibu, leaving Buck and Pepper in the stall. Thank goodness, with Buck to keep her company, Pepper wouldn’t try to jump the fence again.

R D Adams' Stagecoach

I talked Brittany into riding Malibu after the lunch break. I wanted to get a ride in the stagecoach. I figured it would be my first and last chance to ride a stagecoach, nowadays most people will never get this chance. R. D. Adams from Woodward O.K. built the stagecoach, it is a real masterpiece. I had a real smooth ride, of course, I was riding about four miles per hour on a paved road. I guess that ten to fifteen miles per hour over rough, rocky roads with ruts and bumps might not be so smooth and a lot more dusty. At the next break about ninety minutes later, Brittany still wanted to ride with some of her friends so I got a ride in a new wagon, it was nice and I liked the little wagon, it was built in Canada. The next break I got a ride in Pa Pa’s wagon, It was a lot bigger and homemade and it was pretty neat also, It had a built-in sound system and bathroom - the two most important things for a good trail rider. THANK GOD, ONLY 28 MORE DAYS.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Throckmorton, TX to Hash Knife Ranch

Short day today, about fourteen miles. The Trail Boss called a meeting to discuss moving times, cleaning up the camp areas and water saving at dry camps. Some are like children and have to be told what to do - like myself - from time to time. It was decided, by majority vote, to move rigs in the afternoon. This decision was satisfactory to most except for a few old “early birds” that like to get up and start moving about four in the morning. I feel that the afternoon move is much better and safer. You don’t have to be handling animals, machinery and equipment in the dark or with a flashlight tucked in your mouth or armpit.

We haven’t had a good cell phone signal the past few days but got a call today. Brittany and I were glad to talk to home for a short time even though the signal kept fading away. I rode Malibu and Brittany rode the wagon, until the last hour or so then we traded and I tried out another homemade wagon. It had the sound system but no bathroom - guess some figure sound is more important than pee. THANK GOD, ONLY 27 MORE DAYS.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Hash Knife Ranch to Seymour, TX

Pepper got her new shoes finished yesterday so I rode Pepper and Brittany rode Malibu. Pepper has had about five rest days and with new shoes she really felt good. Brittany was holding her while I was in the potty wagon, along came another wagon and away went Pepper. She ran back to the pen by Buck and so she wasn’t too hard to catch, just a little “loose runaway horse” excitement for a while. I got on her and started to go to the front of the area, she started bucking then a few minutes later she started bucking again. She was just feeling good and a little nervous, she was just doing three or four straight line hops and wasn’t trying to throw me or I would have been on the ground. After an hour or so she settled down pretty good. We got into Seymour and had a parade thru the city. We rode about sixteen miles today.

The last couple of days I have had a banana and an apple for lunch, today I went back to the sausage wrap and a coke from the Bar-B-Que wagon, guess my stomach is about back to normal. Coming back to Seymour with the truck and horse trailer, Brittany saw the local Dairy Queen and she said, “We haven’t stopped at a fast food place since we left San Antonio, three weeks ago, can we stop there?” Well an ice cream sure sounded good to me too. I ordered a vanilla shake and I asked Brittany what she wanted, “One of everything”, she said. THANK GOD, ONLY 26 MORE DAYS.

Tuesday, September 29, 2004

Seymour, TX to Waggoner Ranch

In the saddle at 8 am out at 6 pm, long day for us “wannabe Cowboys”, better than twenty-eight miles according to Rusty, the camp Boss - and my butt. Pepper developed a slight limp yesterday afternoon. The horseshoer said it appeared to be high in her leg, when he was shoeing her and lifted her back left leg high, she would turn her head and snap at him. She probably hurt it one of the times she jumped out of the stall - damn wonder she didn’t break a leg or her neck. Brittany rode Malibu and I rode Buck today - all the way. They sure did good, I was a little worried about Buck for that long of a ride but he held up real good.

I have been having trouble with Buck keeping up with the rest of the horses. Every time a horse and rider drop back or come up from behind or any other distraction , he has to slow down, look left and right then forward and backward. After all this we are behind and the rear scout is hollering for us to move up. The wagon teams travel at a little more steady pace, so Buck and I got beside a team and I would get him to keep pace with the team, every time we dropped back I would “gig” him a little. After about twenty minutes of this he was doing better so we moved up to the next team and did the same thing. By the end of the day, I could put him by a team and he would keep pace with them real good.

It was nearly dark by the time we got back to the our rig and got ready to move. Brittany was planning a pizza party with some of the other girls so we stopped in Seymour on the way out of town and picked up a couple of pizzas. We got back to the Waggoner ranch after dark and had to find our way and set up camp in the dark again. It wouldn’t have been so bad except there were big holes and piles of dirt that you couldn’t see in the dark. I ran the truck into a big hole once, then I about got the trailer hung up on a big pile of dirt. I finally got parked and started setting up the stall only to find there were lots of little holes and mounds of dirt to fall into and stumble over but it was too dark and too late to move so we stumbled around and finally got set up. The Waggoner ranch is supposed to be one of the largest in the area. With five hundred thousand acres you would think, there would be a little better spot somewhere. I know “beggars should not be choosers”, but let me know and next time I will park beside the road - thanks but no thanks to whomever chose this spot. THANK GOD, ONLY 25 MORE DAYS.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Waggoner Ranch to Vernon, TX

There was speculation as to the cause of the holes and mounds of dirt. Some mentioned mining holes or wild hogs but I think Charlie’s answer is correct. He said, "They were digging up mesquite trees but even a house cat has sense enough to cover up his hole".

A short ride today, about fourteen or fifteen miles. I think after yesterday’s ride Buck was starting to tire towards the end of the day. Hopefully we can give Pepper a good workout the next few days, however, if we can ride across the Red River, I want to give Buck the honor - even though he probably doesn’t care a bit about the “honor”. WE HAVE MADE THE HALF WAY POINT, at least as far as time is concerned. THANK GOD, ONLY 24 MORE DAYS.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Rest Day

Rest day or “laundry day”, We go the Laundromat and see all the other trail riders there. We went to the Red River Valley Museum in Vernon, TX today. They had a “continental breakfast" for the trail riders and anybody that wanted to come and a book signing by Gary and Margaret Kraisinger, the authors of The Western-The Greatest Texas Cattle Trail.

It started to rain about noon today, nothing hard, just a light rain off and on but hope it lets up for tomorrow. Weather forecast is for the rain to let up and then a cold front to be in by Saturday - boy I hate to ride in the driving, freezing, wet snow --- well maybe it is a little early to worry about that. THANK GOD, ONLY 23 MORE DAYS.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Vernon, TX to Doan’s Crossing

Over eighteen miles today, I heard we had two and one half inches of rain last night. It was cool, cloudy and foggy when we started for Doan’s Crossing. Doan’s Crossing is where many of the cattle drives crossed the Red River. I hope we can cross the river instead of the bridge but haven’t heard anything yet. I rode Pepper today and since she had about three days rest and it was cool she made me work for the ride, especially the first two hours. Brittany rode Malibu but wasn’t too happy because Pepper kept calling for Malibu and Malibu was concerned and didn’t want to do as Brittany desired all the time. But things got better later in the day. Pepper still has a little limp but not bad, early in the day I was hoping she would get her other three legs sore - maybe that would have settled her down sooner. I need to work her hard about five days in a row, but will probably ride Buck tomorrow if we can ride across the river. So I am dreading the next time I ride Pepper because I know I will have to fight with her about two hours until she settles down. THANK GOD, ONLY 22 MORE DAYS.

Buck at Doan's Crossing Monument

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Doan’s Crossing to South Altus Ranch

Cool night, The temperature dropped to about 48 or 49 degrees. We couldn’t start riding until 9:30 am. One rumor was that Oklahoma didn’t want the wagons to cross the Red River bridge until 1pm. Oklahoma has some “funny” rules. The animal passports are good for six months, except in Oklahoma, we had to have them recertified within the past 30 days to cross into Oklahoma. Guess somebody probably had a good reason for this, like needing more money or another bureaucracy or some good reason like this.

Starting to cross the "Mighty Raging Red"

The wagons went via highway and about fifty-five riders took another route to the Red River. We went to the area where many of the cattle drives actually crossed the Red River. A gentleman that has ridden with the group that does the crossing annually lead the way and gave us some history along the way, very interesting. Everyone had a good time even though nobody fell in the quicksand or drowned in eight inches of water in the Red River. Just one mishap - after crossing we had to go up and down some hills. One person looked back up the hill and said, “Look a horse is down.”, sure enough, looking back up the hill, we could see a horse leg sticking up out of the brush. Everyone thought the worst, the horse had fallen on top of a rider and the horse didn’t appear to be moving, so was probably dead. However, the horse was a young horse and had decided to roll in the sand. The rider got off in time but the horse couldn’t get up with the saddle on so they had to take the saddle off so the horse could roll over and get up. THANK GOD, ONLY 21 MORE DAYS.

Brittany and Malibu crossing the dangerous Red for the 10th time

Sunday, October 3, 2004

South Altus Ranch to Altus OK.

Another cool night and another short ride, about fourteen miles. Pepper started to calm down after about thirty minutes. I thought with yesterday’s rest she would be full of "piss and vinegar" again but she was pretty good. We were on narrow, dirt roads most of the day and many of us were getting careless and riding close to the wagons. Since the road was narrowing and there was a ditch alongside about eight feet wide and four feet deep, I decided to drop back. I pulled up on Pepper and she decided to turn side ways in the road, well you might have known the older gentleman with his buggy was right behind us, I should have looked before slowing. Anyway, he about ran into Pepper and Pepper tried to jump the ditch. She made it about two-thirds the way across. The sides of the ditch were sloping and soft dirt so all was well, but my old heart skipped a beat or two. Guess it was more my fault than the older gentleman’s but I will blame him anyway. THANK GOD, ONLY 20 MORE DAYS.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Altus, OK to Blair, OK

Another short day, about twelve or thirteen miles. Well another mule skinner is bitching about the generator so guess I will shut it down after it cools off a little, which is what I planned to do anyway. No excitement on the trail today but after the ride Brittany and I picked up the truck, trailer and Buck and we pulled into Long John Silvers for something to eat. Brittany said she wanted to go thru the “drive thru” because it would be faster. I told her I didn’t think I could get thru with the trailer but she said I could. I know It was my fault for listening to her and not having enough sense to use my judgment, we scraped a couple of signs, ran over sum of their bushes and wood or concrete little fence “things”. Since no one came out and hollered and we didn’t do too much damage, we got our food and left - not planning to go back. THANK GOD, ONLY 19 MORE DAYS.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Blair, OK to Granite, OK

Another short day, about fourteen miles. Brittany rode Buck today and gave Malibu a day off, he sure deserves it, he has been doing so good. This is the third day that I have ridden Pepper, they have all been short rides but she is doing much better, improving every day.

Between four and five this morning one of the mule skinner’s Belgium horse had a mule colt. She pulled the wagon yesterday, guess he didn’t realize how far along she was. It makes me feel a little better since when Sunshine had Valentine I didn’t know she was pregnant. I just thought her “hay belly” was showing more. Most of the mule skinners that I have met talk like they know it all and know what is best for everyone else, also. Guess the “know it all” mule skinners don’t know it all after all. But this mule skinner is pretty nice, he has just griped about my generator once - so far. THANK GOD, ONLY 18 MORE DAYS.

Mule colt suprise for Dave

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Granite, OK to Elk City, OK

They woke us up this morning with the infamous, “Cattle Call” song, as usual but they announced that we wouldn’t ride today, some heavy rains and lightning were expected within the next two hours and they wanted everyone out of the field before the rains started. Since the next camp site was also a field, we were told to move to Elk City, so here we are. Brittany and I went to see the “Route 66“ museum this morning, it is real interesting and brings back a lot of memories of the “olden days”. Guess we will be here for the next few days, It will give us a chance to catch up on laundry, etc. I wanted to work Pepper some more and I hate to skip part of the ride but not so much that I will go back to do it. THANK GOD, ONLY 17 MORE DAYS.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Unplanned Rest Day

About four or five of the “mule skinners”, actually wagon drivers, not all use mules, some have horse teams but I think of them as “mule skinners” and a few riders made the ride from Granite to Elk City yesterday. Most of them had already moved their rigs early that morning and I guess they figured rather than get their rigs and then come back to get the wagons and teams they would make the ride. I admire them for doing this, it was a long ride, about thirty-five miles. I would have ridden with them but I didn’t have a way to leave the horse, move the rig then get back to start riding with them. Beside, I had another sick spell the night before and didn’t get much rest. I was still awake when the “mule skinners“, early birds, moved their rigs, about 4:30 or 5:00 am. Shortly afterwards I fell asleep until “cattle call” at 6:00 am. I can’t think of anymore excuses so will just have to admit that I was just too damn lazy and didn’t have the gumption to do the thirty-five mile ride - one big HOORAY for those that did the long ride.

It has been a productive day anyway, I got to Wall Mart and got some supplies that we needed, did my laundry and cleaned my half of the trailer. Now if I can get Brittany to clean her “cubby hole” that is what she calls it, especially when she gets sick and tired of it and says she can’t stand that little (deleted word) “cubby hole” any longer. Brittany is working for the horseshoer today, trying to earn, beg, borrow or steal enough money to get a trailride belt buckle. THANK GOD, ONLY 16 MORE DAYS.

Laura and Brittay working with James Nash the horseshoer

Friday, October 8, 2004

Rest Day

Brittany’s parents, Larry and Tina, came to Elk City late last night. Brittany was already doing her horse shoeing job by the time they got up and came to the camp site. She has been helping to clean up the area, clean the old shoes and she got to pull a couple of shoes off horses, she was pleased about that. I had a good visit with her parents.

Brittany and Malibu leading the parade thru Elk City

About four pm most of the wagons and trail riders paraded thru part of the town. We enjoyed this and hopefully it helped to show our appreciation to the people of Elk City for putting us up for the past three days.

Larry Ford and band at Elk City, OK

Larry Ford and his band entertained us at dinner in Elk City. THANK GOD, ONLY 15 MORE DAYS.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Elk City, OK to Hammon, OK

About a sixteen mile ride today. Brittany spent the day with her dad, Tina rode Buck and I rode Pepper. Nothing much to write about, we had a few of the usual little scares and horse gobblers but nothing real unusual. We all had a good visit. THANK GOD, ONLY 14 MORE DAYS.

Tina and Buck

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Hammon, OK to Barrel’s Rodeo Ground (About 5 miles south of Leedey, OK)

Short ride today, about eleven miles. Brittany rode Buck and I gave Pepper another work out - actually she was pretty good, I think she is going to be a good trail horse, yet. She is still worrying about the other horse, Buck or Malibu but not as bad anymore. It started raining off and on about two a m last night, then about the time we started riding it rained continuously, not hard but enough to get everyone wet and cold. Not only that but the potty wagon people haven’t realized that the first potty break in the morning needs to be about five minutes after starting instead of one and one-half to two hours later. I quit drinking coffee and juice in the morning to ease the pain some but then it turns cold and that is about like drinking a gallon or two of coffee - at least it sure feels like it. THANK GOD, ONLY 13 MORE DAYS.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Barrel’s Rodeo Ground to Camargo, OK

Still raining when we started riding today and rained off and on most of the day. Most riders were better prepared so we were not as cold and didn’t get so wet. Only had about twenty-five brave souls ride today but had about fifteen wagons (There were about five more wagons that joined us in Elk City, I think most of them were from Missouri).

Brittany rode one of the wagons that had a heater and when we had a break on top of a windy hill, she came out of the wagon without a coat. I had two shirts, a duster and a rain coat and was still cold on this hill. She said, “ Boy, I sure am warm“ trying her best to rub it in.

I rode Pepper again, today’s ride was about seventeen miles, and I was a little concerned since this was the first time she didn’t have Buck or Malibu with her on the ride. Before we left the area I rode her around a little to get her use to leaving her pals. She wouldn’t get very far away and when I tried to make her, she started rearing and jumping around so I didn’t force her to go too far away. When we rode out she followed the other horses pretty good, she did a little neighing, prancing and jumping around but after we got away for a while she settled down and did a real good job.

A couple of us were talking about the “pee” breaks, now you know the important conversations we have, the first one was about one and one-half hours after we started, on a narrow part of the road. We had passed up several wide places, where the potty wagons would have plenty of room to pull off the rode, but no, they had to drag out the distance and time to find this narrow place. The second place was on a wide place in the road but on the opposite side of the road on a curve, on top of a windy, cold hill, and they stopped twice as long as necessary at this location. I mentioned some of these things to another rider and he said, “Yea, and they pay these people to find these places!” THANK GOD, ONLY 12 MORE DAYS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Camargo, OK to Vici, OK

Camp changed from Sharon, OK to Vici, OK since Vici had some hard surface area for parking. That makes the ride today shorter, about eleven miles, but tomorrows ride will be longer, about twenty-two miles. No rain today, still cool this morning but warming up this afternoon.

Brittany rode Malibu and I rode Pepper today. Pepper still has separation anxiety when we first ride out and she is nervous, noisy and dancing around for a while but she is getting better.

Since nothing exciting happened during today’s ride, back to the “pee” breaks. The first one was the usual one and one-half hours after starting the ride. After another two hours, here comes the potty wagon again, every ones bladder was ready and kidneys were pumping good when we saw the potty wagon. The wagon passed us up, goes on up the road, we figure well maybe they were looking for one of the “good” places to park, narrow road, sharp curve, hilltop, etc. So all the kidneys and bladders shut down as much as possible. We ride around the next curve, over the next hill with great anticipation - no potty wagon - but wait here it comes again. Again it passed us up, goes down the road out of sight. Again the body functions try to shut down but becoming more and more difficult. Hey, here comes the potty wagon back up the road, passed us up again. By this time we figure they couldn’t find anything else to do so they will just tease us for a while. After a while someone shouts, “Look, on top of the next hill, I see the potty wagons“. We ride to the top of the hill and sure enough the potty wagons are there and we are in Vici. THANK GOD, ONLY 11 MORE DAYS.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Vici, OK to Woodward, OK

About a twenty-two mile ride today, The day started cool with a cool north wind, then after the lunch break it started to rain again. Rained off and on for most of the day, but most of us were prepared so it wasn’t so bad. Brittany and I rode Malibu and Pepper again, both did good. Pepper is starting to keep pace better and we don’t have to walk, then trot to catch up, then walk and get behind, then trot to catch up again and so on. Tomorrow is a rest day and it is suppose to get cold tonight. THANK GOD, ONLY 10 MORE DAYS.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rest Day

Windy and cold today, partly cloudy most of the day, it got down to about 37 last night. We got the laundry done and a few other chores. Needed to get some air in a tire, had to try about three places to find anyone that had an air pump working but that guy was real nice. They announced they would have dinner for the trail riders about 5:30 pm so I went to eat about 5:50 pm and the guy told me I had to have a stamp for the bull riding event in order to get into the gate where the food was being served. I told him I was just going to eat now and I might go the bull riding later. He said everyone had to get a ten dollar ticket in order to get into the area and then you could pay the five dollars to eat. I am sure it was a mix up, but on the other hand, knowing the Oakies, it may have been on purpose. Anyway he said in order to control the crowd they had to do it that way. They had all of twenty-five or thirty people - big crowd. I told him the bar-b-que beans weren’t worth fifteen dollars and I went to Burger King and got some “real food“. I thought I was doing good, but I wanted a small salad instead of the large one and it took three tries and three people to straighten that out. THANK GOD, ONLY NINE MORE DAYS.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Woodward, OK to Ft Supply, OK

Cool this morning but the sun was shinning and it warmed up this afternoon. About an eighteen mile ride today. Pepper had a day of rest and it was cool so she was frisky this morning. Brittany got saddled and took off on Malibu to find her friends. I told her it was ok, I had the saddle on Pepper and I was starting to put on the bridle when a wagon came by and Pepper got scared and took off. She got rid or the halter that I had around her neck and started running around in circles, bucking and jumping. I figured she would take off to Brittany and Malibu and I would have to walk a mile to get her but I knew Brittany would catch her and bring her back to me - yea, sure she would! (She really would.) But after a couple of circles of jumping and bucking, she stopped and let me walk up to her. She was a little frisky for an hour or so then she settled down.

One of the wagon people have a rooster in a cage on the back of the wagon. The rooster’s name is Roho. There is a sign on the cage that says, “Roho, Gandy’s alarm clock”. Anyway at the lunch break today a couple of people took Roho out of his cage and put a roasted chicken in the cage. Then they told the man to hurry and check, something was wrong with Roho! Everyone had a good laugh. THANK GOD, ONLY EIGHT MORE DAYS.

Roho, Gandy's rooster and alarm clock

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ft Supply, OK to About eight miles west of May, OK

Cold last night and this morning but warmed up this afternoon. Pepper was a little jumpy for a while but settled down and she is getting better and better everyday. About a twenty mile ride today. Laura, the ten year old picked up a big tumbleweed, it was about three feet in diameter. She carried it in her hand along the side of her horse for a while, then Brittany wanted to see if Malibu would carry it without getting scared of this big “thing” beside him. Good old Malibu, he got use to it right away. Then Brittany passed the tumbleweed to Nicole and her mule. They did good also. I tried to get Pepper close to it but she didn’t like it at all. Finally, after a while she got close but not too close. The girls put the tumbleweed on a lead rope and would drag it behind the horse, toss it from side to side, throw it on the horses rear end, pass it back and forth. Some one said, “They must be trying to teach the tumbleweed to lead“. I thought that would be good if I could get Pepper to drag the tumbleweed and not to be scared of it. I got a six inch diameter tumbleweed, put it on my lead rope and pulled it behind Pepper. She got use to it pretty fast, so I rode along side the girls and said, “see Pepper will drag a tumbleweed too”. They were not impressed with my six inch tumbleweed. I found another big tumbleweed and put it on my lead rope but Pepper kept trying to run away from it, I had to drop the lead rope several times to stop Pepper or to keep her from running out in the road. After about the fifth or sixth time, a couple of the scouts were looking at me like they were going to start hollering at me so I said, “O K I will quit but I hate to let the girls get the best of me”. A little later the girls still had their tumbleweed and one of the ladies riding said, “I don’t see why the are doing that, it makes no sense at all“. I guess she didn’t see me - on the other hand she probably did and that was why she made that remark. I started to explain they were teaching their horses to drag things but I don’t think she was interested. I wanted to tell her that when the prisoners trained wild mustangs, they taught the horses to drag logs and other things. In mounted police training, they made a line about eight feet from a fence, then filled a plastic gallon jug about one-third full of rocks. The jug was placed about one hundred feet up the fence and a rope was tied to it and run down the fence thru a pulley. A rider had to grab the end of the rope and start riding between the line and fence. The jug of rocks would start coming down along the fence. It would bounce, jump around, make noise and be coming towards the horse. The horse had to stay between the fence and the line as this jumping, noise-maker came past the horse. In the “olden days” during branding (before everyone had a cattle chute and before rodeos made tying calves legs popular), thirty or forty calves would be run into a three to five hundred square foot corral. A fire with branding irons, tags, etc was near one corner and a roper on a horse would rope a calf, drag him close to the fire, then one person would throw the calf, grab the front feet, and sit on the calf’s head. Another person would put a boot against one hind leg and grab the other leg and stretch them out as far as he could. A third person would do the branding, and a fourth would do the ear tagging and castrating. We didn’t bother tying after throwing the calf, it wasn’t the two or three seconds lost tying but the thirty seconds to three minutes untying. Even in the rodeos, it usually takes longer to turn the calf loose than to throw and tie. I wanted to tell the lady that a person might want to drag a calf or a deer or a log - or even a tumbleweed! THANK GOD, ONLY SEVEN MORE DAYS.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


About eight miles west of May, OK to Rosston, Ok


We rode about seventeen miles today and the weather warmed up nicely. Not too much exciting so you know what is coming. Yes, the potty wagon people tricked us again. About the time we get our kidneys and bladder regulated for that first break to be one and one-half to two hours they show up about forty-five minutes after we start.

Several times when we ride by a herd of cattle, they come running to watch us (They probably are expecting feed). Today a herd came running to the fence and lined up, side by side. Someone said, “Guess they like to see a parade too”. They sure acted like they were watching us and were very interested.

I told Brittany tonight is shower night, every time we cross a state line it is time to take a shower and we cross into Kansas tomorrow. She will probably figure a way to get out of the shower until we cross. THANK GOD ONLY SIX MORE DAYS.


Cows line up to see the parade

Monday, October 18, 2004

Rosston, OK to Englewood, KS

About a seventeen mile ride today. The day started foggy, overcast and cold but warmed up in the afternoon. I rode buck today since we were crossing into Kansas. I thought that it would be an honor for him - I don’t think Buck “gave a damn”.

We made it to Kansas

Not much excitement today except everyone was happy to cross into Kansas. At the lunch break we stopped by a pile of gravel. I guess Brittany remembered “way back when” , about five years ago, she got April to climb up one of these and I was so surprised but I wasn’t too shocked to see Malibu do it. I had to try it with Buck. After about three or four attempts, Buck and I made it to the top also. “Yea, and pigs can fly“, you say - well I have the photo to prove it - so there!

Brit and Malibu on the gravel pile-------------------- Buck says, "This scares the pee out of me"

I went to the campfire gathering tonight, usually I go to bed instead. They had a man tell some of the story of, Cimarron Chronicles, by Carrie and M. W. Anshutz, about some of the early settlers in this area - very interesting. THANK GOD, ONLY FIVE MORE DAYS.

Storytelling by the campfire

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Rest Day

Laundry day again for me, Brittany got a ride to Dodge City with the head scout and his lady friend to do some shopping. I had to go to Ashland, about twenty miles away to find a laundrymat. Englewood has about one hundred and seven people according to the map. One gas station combined with an eating place, (out of gas until noon), one “honky tonk, the “Trails End”. This is where the camp fire and story telling was held last night. Brittany stayed and I left for bed after the main part of the story telling. Brittany wanted to stay at the Trails End for the partying and dancing. One of the lady scouts and her seventeen year old daughter were staying so I let Brittany stay. Brittany came back so excited, she thought that dancing and partying was the best, she wants to go back tonight - hope she doesn’t decide to become a “honky tonk” girl. THANK GOD, ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Englewood, KS to Ranch Camp

Rode about fifteen miles today, we have been having about seventeen or eighteen wagons and sixty to seventy riders, but today was foggy, overcast and cold so we had about fourteen wagons and forty to fifty riders. We rode thru the “Big Basin”, a big sink hole, about a mile in diameter and over one hundred feet deep, a very interesting geological structure.

We haven’t had too many injuries, none serious that I know about. We have had the usual, horse steping into a hole or on some one’s foot, falling out of wagons, etc. A while back an eighteen wheeler clipped the back of a scout’s mule. Luckily, neither man nor mule was hurt bad. Today a van swerved and the mirror clipped a scout on the cheek, The horse got scared, shied and the rider hit the pavement hard enough to “ring his bell” pretty good. The horse was the twenty year old mustang and the last we could see the mustang was loping down a side rode about a mile or mile and one-half away. I haven’t heard if they caught him or not, he may be in Colorado or New Mexico by now. THANK GOD ONLY THREE MORE DAYS.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ranch to Minneola, KS

About a thirteen mile ride today. The weather was foggy and cold this morning but got up to eighty this afternoon. The latest on the accident, the van’s mirror hit the back of the horse, not the scout’s cheek and the scout wasn’t riding the mustang at that time and they did catch the horse; but the story sounds better the other way so will leave it.

Brittany wanted to stay with a group that was going to ride around the ranch today instead of riding to Minneola. This was a change for her and she had fun. I rode Pepper today and she was good. We had our usual battle of her wanting to trot and I wanted her to walk fast to catch up, but that is still an on-going fight. The other excitement was when one of the girls went on the right side of a large gravel pile and several riders were on the left side, the horse on the right made noise traveling on the gravel and you could see the girls head bobbing up and down over the top of the gravel pile. About five or six horses and mules got spooked and started running away from this “horse and mule eating monster”. A couple of people hit the ground but no one was seriously hurt, except for pride. THANK GOD, ONLY TWO MORE DAYS.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Minneolia, KS to Ranch Camp

About seventeen miles today, seventeen wagons and sixty or seventy riders; I really thought we would have a lot more join but should have several more tomorrow. It was real windy but not too cold all day today.

Brittany and some of the girls went to dinner in Dodge City with the head scout and some of his party so they had a good time. Larry and Tina (Brit's folks), Ralph and Betty (my cousins), Jim and Kay (my sister and brother-in-law) and Eva (Jim’s sister) came in today, so I went to dinner with them and had a good visit. THANK GOD, ONLY ONE MORE DAY.

Ralph and Betty, Larry and Tina join us at camp

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ranch to Dodge City, KS

Cool this morning and later the wind started again but not as strong as yesterday. About a ten mile ride today. We had about eighteen wagons and eighty plus riders today. We rode the less traveled roads into Dodge City to the rodeo grounds. I heard a rumor (as with most situations, lots of rumors were floating around all the time) that no horses or cows were allowed downtown. Imagine that, no horses or cows in Dodge City, “The Cowboy Capital of the West”, the greatest cattle market of the world. Knowing the world today, that rumor is probably true. Tina came to ride Pepper today so we rode all three mustangs into Dodge City. The mustangs were so excited, Yea, Sure!

One of the locals asked a man how far he had ridden, he replied, “ About six hundred and fifty miles, but these girls rode about twice that far”. They would ride up to the front, then to the back then out to the side and back then someplace else, I think they did travel twice as far as some of the rest of us.

Brittany and Malibu to Dodge----------------------------Terry Click, Head Scout

Rusty, Camp Boss, on Suzie's mule------------------Nora riding to Dodge

Mustang Bob and Tina riding to Dodge-------------Wagon train rolling to Dodge

Someone with their infinite wisdom decided to move the rigs to Dodge City in the morning instead of the afternoon. So as usual, everyone was trying to get everything ready, animals, wagons, corral panels, trucks, trailers, etc. in the dark again. Well our older gentleman, the one who gets confused, falls out of his wagon and nearly runs over animals and people, started moving his rig. He didn’t see the gate so he drove thru the wire fence and started for Dodge City. I thought sure as hell he is going to drag that barb wire clear to Dodge City! Thank God, he turned around and came back thru the fence - tearing down a different section, of course, but at least he didn’t drag the fence into Dodge City. I still say it is too damn dangerous to move rigs in the dark - what more proof do we need. I shouldn’t talk because I have become mixed up and confused and started in the wrong direction on several of the early morning moves. After all I am getting older and easily confused myself. More power to the older gentleman, he finished the journey and made it to Dodge City.

Am I glad that I made the ride? - Hell yes! Would I do it again? - Hell no! At least not covering the same ground with a large group like this - too many confusing details, waiting, rules and etc, that have to be with a large group. I must say that Suzie Heywood and her staff did an excellent job - I congratulate and thank them. Everyone meets many interesting people and makes many friends but next time I think I will go by myself or with a small group, I think it will be easier. WE ARE IN DODGE CITY, THANK GOD.

Sunday, October 25, 2004

Dodge City

DODGE CITY - THANK GOD WE MADE IT

We traveled 0 miles today, thank God. We decided to stay, rest, see some sights and do a little shopping before starting back. Since we couldn’t get a parade permit for all of the wagons and trail riders to parade thru Dodge City, Brittany and several of her friends decided to ride their horses from the rodeo grounds to town and do some sight-seeing and shopping. Guess they got along fine, at least I didn’t hear of any problems except Malibu got loose once and a little horse manure was spread here and there but as far as I know none of them got thrown in the calaboose.

Gun Fight on Front Street---------------------------------Boot Hill Cemetery

Dinner at Marcel Ranch in Dodge, Good show after dinner; Left to right: Brittany, Kay, Eva, Jim, Larry, Suzie Heywood (Trail Boss), Tina, Mustang Bob, Ralph, Betty

I am not sure who gets the honor of cutting in front of people, running up behind a horse, stopping in front of you and blocking the way. It is nearly a tie between Brittany and an seventy-three year old man - guess I would give it to the older gentleman, since when he stopped in front of you he would turn his horse to the side to look back, that made it hard to get around him especially, on a narrow trail. Evidently his head and neck are like mine, they are too stiff to turn much anymore.

All in all, most got along pretty well. Every once in a while there were a few harsh words. I seemed to have a few problems with the generator. Although generators were allowed, some didn’t like it - claimed it kept them awake (probably were jealous since they didn’t have one and didn’t want to see anyone else have something they didn’t have). It probably did bother them especially when it was hot and they didn’t have a fan or anything to help cool and they had to keep everything as open as possible and the mosquitoes and bugs would come in and bite and fly around. I would be irritated also and blame my discomfort on someone’s generator or whatever.

At one camp site, I parked beside another rig, he was one of the early birds that liked to move before anyone else got up. Early in the morning he started knocking on the door and hollering, “ You have me blocked in, I can’t get out until you move”. I said, “I wasn’t planning to move this morning, the horseshoer was coming by to finish shoeing one of the horses”. He said, “How do you expect me to get out“? “Back up,” I said. “If you didn’t want me there you should have said something last night”. He hollered, “I can’t back up, can’t you see I have three rigs hooked together?” ”I see,” I hollered back, “ if you can't back it up you shouldn’t have parked here“. Finally, I told him, “I will move as soon as the horses finish eating”. He said, “yea, by two in the afternoon you will move”, I ignored that remark and started to move the horses. He got in his truck and backed up, he could have made the turn the first time but he had to play around and pull forward, back-up, pull forward and back-up about five or six times before he finally pulled out.

There is another mustang on the trail ride, he is about twenty years old and is doing a good job for a scout that rides him. Another guy claims to be riding a Mustang but looking at the horse’s head and feet, I would say it has been five to ten generations since that horse has seen any mustang blood.

One last comment on the potty wagon, guess the movers couldn’t think of any more ways to torment us so the last two or three days, they would wait until the stalls were full, then they would decide they had to move the wagon up a few hundred feet. Let me tell you, when you are in the stall, it is hard as hell to keep everything moving in the right direction, with the potty wagon moving and bouncing around! Oh well, like I said before, “If some (including myself) didn’t have something to grip about they wouldn’t have any life at all”! Until the next ride.



Ride 3 - Dodge City, Ks to Ogallala, Ne



June 1, 2005

CAN’T RUN, SO I WILL WALK


About a week after I got back from Dodge City, I got on Pepper for a little ride down the road. After being on the trail nearly everyday for the last three weeks of the 48 day ride, she acted like she had never been on the road before. She was shying and jumping at everything and was afraid to move or else she wanted to run away from everything. I decided that I would ride her everyday until she settled down. Well that lasted about two or three days, after that she got ridden once or twice a month.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse had another series of five playdays scheduled, starting in March. I decided to ride a couple of our “green” horses in the series, to give them the experience. Pepper needed the time and so did Omni, a real nice, sweet, gentle four year old. Both have been ridden but not enough. I did practice a little with Omni and she was getting to know the cloverleaf barrel pattern. The first playday of the series comes around and Omni did O. K. on the barrels, but Pepper was scared of all the new horses, noise and other things. I had a hard time getting her in the gate but we finally got around the pattern. Next came the straightaway barrels, an easy pattern and we were not trying to set any speed records, just get thru the pattern. Omni was doing a little jumping and dancing but nothing bad. However, after we passed the second barrel, she didn’t turn back right away, then she suddenly she turned - but I didn’t turn with her and I fell off. (I really don’t have a good excuse, I just fell off.) I landed on the back of my shoulder and heard some crunching sounds. I thought, “Oh, oh, now I may have really messed up my shoulder”. But I didn’t turn loose of the reins - at least, I still had my horse and the Indians could not swoop down and scalp me. I wasn’t sure if I should try to get up or just lay there. Omni was pulling back on the reins so she helped me get up on one knee, then to my feet and after a few seconds I could get enough breath to take a step, so I walked out of the arena leading Omni. I am afraid the Indians would have had my scalp if they wanted it, because I don’t think I could have gotten back on the horse if I tried. On the walk out of the arena I reached up and could feel that my collar bone was broken, so that was the end of the running for me for a while - now I will try walking another trail ride again.



START THE RIDE FROM DODGE CITY, KS TO OGALLALA, NE



June 5, 2005

San Antonio, TX to Altus, OK

Brittany and I and the three mustangs are starting to Dodge City to continue the Western Trail ride to Ogallala, NE. We stopped to spend the night in Altus, OK. The weather service had a tornado warning for the area. There were three strong storm systems surrounding the area and all storms appeared to be moving in different directions, all towards us. We got strong winds, heavy rains and light hail but no tornado - Thank God, we didn’t get carried to Kansas in a tornado!

June 6, 2005

Altus, Ok to Dodge city, KS

We pulled the rig onto the Marcel Ranch in Dodge city about 1 pm today. The Marcel’s were kind and gracious to us and let us camp at their ranch while in Dodge City. They have a dinner show here at the ranch. They put on a real good feed then have a great rodeo show afterward. If you are ever in Dodge be sure to come to the dinner and show if you get a chance, it is well worth it.

After we got the rig and horses set, Brittany and I went shopping. We probably bought a lot of stuff that we will never use and probably forgot to get stuff that we need.

I thought the tornados might be following us, the winds came up very strong this evening and it started raining again but things have calmed a little now so hope we don’t have any more alerts.

June 7, 2005

Dodge City, KS

Kelly Bosen and his grandson, Gavin arrived today. Gavin is riding “shotgun” for Kelly, he is seven years old. Kelly and Gavin have a covered wagon and Kelly built the box himself, it is pretty neat. Kelly said he and Gavin ran into a storm near Woodward, OK and it nearly tipped over his rig. Glad that they arrived safely.

Before the last trail ride ended about thirty or forty people talked about continuing to Ogallala, Nebraska. Of course Brittany was one of the most excited and wanted to go. I told Brit, "Let's get to Dodge before we start thinking about another trail ride". At Dodge city, I think everyone was tired and glad to have made it that far. so the plans to continue were put on hold. About every other day Brit would ask about the trail ride to Ogallala, I told her nobody had contacted me, so don't plan on it. Brit is "persistent" (I don't know where she gets this trait) and she wanted us to organize it. I told her if she planned the ride, wrote the letters and received any positive response, I would consider it. She did a good job and we got several notes and phone calls that they would like to go, could not make it but wished us luck, etc. However, about ten or twelve said they planned to go. I got wrapped around Brit's little finger again. Well, at least there would not be a big crowd and the logistics would not be enormous. Especially since we made it clear in the letter that we would all try to work together but ultimately everyone was responsible for himself. As we got closer to the start date, the "starters" dropped like flies. The day before the ride was to start, I got a call and two more dropped out. Kelly, Gavin, Brittany and I started the ride, Ray, with his team and wagon joined us in the evening.

June 8, 2005

Dodge city, KS to Cimarron, KS

Head 'em up, roll 'em out, get the Hell out of Dodge

Brittany rode Malibu and I rode Buck today. Brittany gave the command to start - “Get the Hell out of Dodge, head ‘em up and roll ‘em out”. Kelly and Gavin rode their wagon. Gavin did a good job riding “shotgun” for his first day. Brittany and I did some flagging of traffic for the wagon today.

Gavin taking a break at intersection of Sante Fe Trail--Kelly's wagon and team

Everything went fairly smooth for the first day, at least. We had a little trouble loading Pepper in the trailer this morning to take her to the next stop, Cimarron, KS. I tried a couple of times until she knocked me down and drug me a ways. While I know better, I thought, “if I hold on another second, she will stop”, of course, she didn’t and finally Brittany said, “Turn loose, Pa Pa, turn loose” so I did. After this, Brittany wanted to try loading Pepper, since I was still trying to find out if I was still all together, I told her to go ahead. After a couple of tries, she got Pepper in the trailer.

Ray Kurtz from Wisconsin with his wagon and team of Norwegian Fjords met us this evening. He was delayed a day due to his brother’s funeral. He ran into a bad storm today - he had to pull over and wait it out so his rig wasn’t blown away. Guess we all have our “storm stories”, hope that is the last one but ---.

June 9, 2005

Cimarron, KS to Intersection of hwy’s 23 and 156

I rode Pepper today, as usual she was a real butt. She shied and jumped at everything. She had to be near Malibu, so Brittany had to stay close. When the big trucks came by Pepper would go nuts, jumping, running and trying to get away from the “horse eating trucks”. The wind blue my hat off several times and of course that scared her also. Once when my hat blew off, I got down and was reaching for the hat and a big truck came by. Pepper jerked away and took off running past Brittany and Malibu about a hundred yards. Brittany and Malibu walked up to Pepper and stood there so Pepper wouldn’t go any further, she wanted to be near Malibu. Of course, I had to walk about two hundred yards to get back on Pepper.

Mr Burns let us stay on his property today. Some of his grandchildren rode with us for a while. Nicole, the oldest, eighteen, rode her horse, Xenia. Nicole said Xenia was about eight years old and had not been ridden much. She had her only a short tine and had ridden her about five times. Both Nicole and Xenia did real good and Brittany enjoyed having someone to talk with that was near her age. Four younger granddaughters rode and took turns driving Kelly’s wagon, they had a good time also.

June 10, 2005

Intersection of Hyw’s 23 and 156 to Lane county line

Wagons ready to roll-------------------------------------------Long trail ahead

Kelly cooked dinner for us tonight. We had steak and baked potato, it was really delicious. Thanks Kelly.

Started lightening, thundering and raining about five this morning. I figured we were in for a miserable, wet day but it just rained lightly several times and stayed cloudy and cool all day. But the mosquitoes were out by the millions. We were glad to see the light rain showers, it helped to keep the mosquitoes down.

Pepper was much improved today, she still had her moments but not as many as often. We rode a couple of miles past the county line today in order to find a place to stay. Mr Scheib said we could stay in a vacant field next to his place. He knew the owner and was sure he would not mind. He offered to let us use his water faucet - some real nice folks around here. We have a short ride tomorrow, about 14 miles.

June 11, 2005

Lane County line to Dighton, KS

Brittany and Pepper on a hill before Dighton

Brittany rode Pepper and I rode Buck today. Pepper seems to be getting better and more calm. Brittany claims Pepper was so much better because of the rider. Maybe she is right but I claim it was the rider that rode her the previous two days, namely me. She had Pepper doing “flying lead changes and all kinds of fancy things, she claimed - maybe so but I can’t tell left lead from right lead or a flying lead. "All I knows is you gets on the horse, kick him and he goes, pull on the reins and he whoas, that is all that I knows".

After the lunch break, Brittany drove Kelly’s team and I ponyed Pepper, she was good during this time. - That Brittany is a wonderful horse trainer!

June 12, 2005

Rest Day in Dighton, Ks

Thank God for the rest day - you may remember from the Bandera to Dodge City trail ride, I mentioned how to tell a “Wannabee Cowboy”; he has a sore on his butt. Well, the sore is back and he brought a couple of friends along to enjoy my misery. We had a short ride, 14 miles yesterday but the day was long. Kelly took his horses to a vet in Ness City and we rode along with him. We did our laundry and ate at a bar and grill while we were there.

One of the horses of Kelly’s team, had developed an ear infection and he wanted the vet to check it. The visit was quite interesting, we pulled up to the area about 7:30 pm. The area was set up to handle large numbers of cattle and horses. There were strong stalls, chutes, etc. About 7:45pm we could see a couple of riders coming across the field, they rode over to the vet’s office and dismounted. It was the vet, Kris Harris, and her son, they were just getting back from a trail ride. Kris Harris, DVM owns the operation, she does a lot of horses and cattle. Quite unusual for a lady vet, I thought.

We went to church with Kelly and grandson, Gavin. The services were about to start, everyone got quiet and suddenly in a loud, clear voice Gavin said, “We are ready to start”. That got church off to a good start. A little later on they had a "Children’s Message" session. All the children sat on the floor around the preacher and he told them about comming events. He was talking about the bible school and that they would have to get a few animals, chickens, rabbits and animals like this. Gavin said, “maybe we should get a cobra” the preacher said, “well, maybe not a cobra but ---” Gavin said, “well then maybe a whale”. Everyone enjoyed this little exchange and the preacher kept busy trying to keep ahead of Gavin.

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June 13, 2005

Dighton, KS to Smokey Hill River

Wagons ready to roll out of Dighton

Brittany rode Malibu and I rode Pepper today. Pepper was better except the wind was blowing hard and when a little tumbleweed blew across her path she went nuts. These Kansas Tumbleweeds are small, glad there were no Texas size tumbleweeds or she would have run back to Texas. We covered about 21 miles today and have about 23 miles to go tomorrow. About 9 miles from Dighton, we stopped for lunch, Brittany wanted to ride the wagon again so I ponyed Malibu the rest of the way. Sometimes it is as about as easy to pony Malibu since Pepper is better if she is next to Malibu. After the lunch break, Kelly had four young people hitch a ride on his wagon for a couple of miles. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.

We stayed on Larry Fullmer’s ranch tonight. He was kind enough to tell us about the Butterfield Overland Charter marker along the road and a marker for a stage stop on his ranch about a mile from our camp. You can see the old road, and the depression area of an old soddy - so we took some photos and were glad to see this area.

Butterfield Overland Charter Stage Marker on road near Larry Fullmer's ranch

June 14, 2005

Smoky Hill River to Big Creek

Smokey Hill River is dry now except for a puddle here and there, but guess there are times when it really is a river - by Kansas standards anyway.

We stayed at the Hartman’s Ranch, About two miles past Big Creek. Big Creek was so “big” that we did not notice when we crossed it. The Hartmans are really nice people and we enjoyed their friendship.

Kansas is wheat field, after wheat field, after wheat field and windy day, after windy day, after "really" windy day!

I guess two of the mustangs got out of the electric fence last night. Sometimes, Buck, the oldest, has to try to show his dominance and chase the other two. Evidently he chased them over or thru the electric fence. Early this morning, Ray was trying to feed his horses but the mustangs wanted to eat also, so Ray caught them and tied them to our trailer. Later I got up and instead of feeding them right there, I decided to put them back in the fence -dumb mistake #1. I untied both of them - dumb mistake #2. I got them inside the fence and took off the lead ropes while the fence was still down - dumb mistake #3. Kansas has three more wild horses. All three took off, full gallop for the wide open spaces. I got a bucket of feed and had to walk about one-half mile to get their attention but finally they decided eating would be better than running so they followed me back, thank goodness.

Brittany rode the wagon and I rode Pepper today. Since Pepper was by herself, everything was brand new. She jumped from trucks, tumbleweeds, signs, wagons and nearly everything. Kansas doesn’t have any mountains so they make their roads real high with steep sides, then they cut the grass at the side and it dries so the steep sides are slick as cat sh--. Anyway when Pepper gets scared of something I am never sure if she will kill both of us when she runs away from the monsters, slides backwards down the slope and then makes a quick, sharp turn - but we made it thru the day - maybe because Brittany rode Pepper the last hour and I rode the wagon. Boy, I never knew how good the wagon people had it - they never have any problems! (Well, I do seem to remember, on the other trail ride, about wagon tongues breaking, teams going thru fences, knocking down gates - maybe they do have some problems but not like us old cowboys ...)

June 15, 2005

Big Creek to Hoxie, KS

Brittany and I rode Malibu and Pepper respectively today. Brittany had a good time with the Hartman’s last night and I think they enjoyed her. The older daughter, Jennifer, caught a ride on Kelly’s wagon this morning to their store in Grainfield Ks, about two miles down the rode.

Jennifer Hartman catches ride to work with Kelly

There were about twenty or twenty-five kids waiting to greet us so Kelly and Ray gave them a ride around the block in the wagons. I think everyone enjoyed the rides. I ponyed Malibu part of the afternoon while Brittany took a ride in the wagon then we exchanged places. It was good to take a break from forking a horse.

Ray's view of Brittany and Pepper

Some of the folks in Hoxie were having rodeo practice this evening, barrel racing, pole bending, etc, so Brittany rode Pepper with them for a while and had a good time.

June 16, 2005

Hoxie, KS to Intersection of Hwy’s 23 and 83

Ralph Carder, an elderly gentleman that has done some riding and team driving in the past, rode in Rays wagon for a while today. We took a little different route than on the schedule, we decided to take a dirt road to our next camp. I figured nobody told Ralph’s wife about our route change and she wouldn’t know where to meet him. I figured we would have Ralph the rest of the way to Ogallala. However, about three or four hours later, here comes his wife - "Ralph you just can’t lose them no matter how hard you try"!

Brittany and I did the “exchange thing” for about an hour each. Sure is nice to take a break and get in a little wagon riding also. Since Pepper is getting use to the big trucks and other scary things along the highway, the boys figured the dirt road would find some more things to scare Pepper. Sure enough, I was leading Malibu, Pepper and I, both were about half asleep when Malibu snorted. Pepper jumped about ten feet, I lost my hat and Pepper about lost me. A little later on Pepper, Malibu and I were riding along - the wagons had passed this spot already, suddenly about six feet to the left side of us a pheasant flew up, again Pepper about lost me - Pepper it isn’t safe to travel the old dirt roads, there are all kinds of “horse eating monsters” out to get you.

Kelly's view of Ray

Come to think about it, maybe something else had the horses jumpy. The wagon horses got excited a couple of times, also. We had stopped for a couple of breaks and the horses would graze the plants along the side of the road. At the noon break, a lady reporter caught up with us for an interview and a few photos.

June 17, 2005

Intersection of Hyw’s 23 and 83 to Oberlin, KS

Lunch at old school------------------------------------------- Pepper ask directions from some locals

The reporter noticed the horses eating the plants and said, "You may not want to let the horses eat too much of that plant." I said, " why not, is it poisonous? They seem to like it real good." She said, "that is the wild marijuana that grows around here."

Brittany rode Malibu and I rode Pepper this morning. We were going to take turns riding horses and wagons again but Brit was too tired, I lead Malibu this afternoon. He is pretty good to lead, most of the time. But about five miles from camp a truck with a flat came by. The flat tire was flapping and making lots of noise. Malibu tried to run over Pepper and Pepper started bucking and kicking but they settled down shortly and we made it to camp.

June 18, 2005

Oberlin, KS to Nebraska State Line

Leaving Windy Kansas

Nebraska looks a lot like Kansas

Actually we are about three miles into Nebraska on Mr Wilheln’s property. Mr and Mrs Wilheln are some real nice folks. Brittany rode Pepper and I had to ride Buck across the state line. Brittany gripes about Buck being dumb, slow and stubborn but it was a pleasure to ride him after riding Pepper. Brit got another good ride with Pepper shying at trucks and everything else that is a little different. I saw Pepper start one of her bucking sessions. Evidently Brit was trying to get Pepper to stand still when a big truck came by. Pepper was backing away and Brit probably spurred her a little to get Pepper to stop, but Pepper had other things in mind. However, Brit rode her and made her do some different things along the way and it was good for Pepper. The only thing is when I ride Pepper all day, I am plumb tuckered out. Brit doesn’t seem to be tired. Brit and I traded places this afternoon, ponying and riding the wagon, the wagon ride felt good.

June 19, 2005

Rest Day

Once again Gavin had the answers in church today. The preacher held up an empty glass and asked the kids, “What is in this glass?” Most kids thought it was empty but Gavin said, “It is full of air”. Next the preacher asked, “How do you empty the air, we can’t pour it out?” Gavin said, “Fill it with water”, of course this was suppose to be the preacher’s line. Next the preacher asked, “ We are full of something, what are we full of?” I thought, “please Lord don’t let Gavin answer this one.”. Quickly, the preacher said, ”We are full of sin”. Well that was a different answer than I had, I don’t know what Gavin was thinking.

We may change our route a little. Mr Welheln gave us some information about another road that has fewer hills and would be easier on the wagon teams and it has less traffic. So we are planning to try it for a while, the distance should be about the same.

Ray’s daughter, Katie, husband, Sam, two boys, Jared,6 years and Tyler, 3 years, came to visit Ray for Fathers Day. They came in Saturday night and left after a half day wagon ride Monday. Katie and Ray fixed dinner for all of us. They bought a big chocolate chip cookie and Ray bought some ice cream for dessert - everything was excellent.

Katie and Ray fix Father's Day dinner for us. L-R:Gavin, Ray, Jared, Sam, Brit, Tyler, Katie, Kelly

June 20, 2005

Wilheln’s Farm to Intersection of Roads 17 and 713

Ray’s company had to leave after lunch but everyone had a good time visiting and riding the wagons. Brittany rode the wagon with the others today . Later in the day, she drove Ray’s team while he caught a little nap. She seemed to do good as far as I could tell. I rode Malibu today since he had a couple of days rest. He sure is good, he doesn’t have any trouble keeping up and he doesn’t get scared of too many things. However, when a big spray rig came down the road, he jumped down the hill and over the ditch. He thought it was a "big spray rig moster mustang eater". We stopped at a house along the road to water the horses and a couple of the kids, Luke and Lakin caught a ride in a wagon for about three miles.

June 21, 2005

Intersection of Roads 17 and 713 to Palisade, NE

Actually we are on a ranch about tree miles east of Palisade. It is a real pretty area with Frenchman Creek running thru it.

Brittany rode the wagon and drove it part of the day. I rode Malibu again, he had a few mustang monsters try to get him again. We had just crossed a railroad track and were crossing a bridge about one hundred yards from the railroad. Sure enough, the train that was stopped, started, then on the other side of the bridge a man was mowing with a riding mower. About half way across the bridge my cell phone rings - like a dummy I answer it, soon I had my hands full - with mustang eating monsters coming from the rear, the front and across the bridge. Later we had another mustang eating sprayer come by, then a tandem trailer truck, one trailer went by and then here comes another hooked onto that one, Malibu was not ready for the second one, so he tried to jump the ditch and run away.

Kelly's friends, Richard and Glen, at Schaffers Crossing

Kelly used to live in Nebraska and two hometown friends, Glen and Richard, came to ride in his wagon and visit today. They were real nice fellows and I know all had a good visit.

June 22, 2005

Palisade, NE to Wanueta, NE

We had three new riders today. Sandy, riding her 23 year old gelding quarter horse. Her friend, Nicky, rode Buck and Nicky’s oldest boy, Jonathan, rode in Kelly’s wagon with Gavin. Sandy has a three year old mustang that she is training, she has been riding him in the corral, but didn’t think he was ready for the open road yet. I rode Pepper and she was better than she has ever been. I was sure glad because I thought she might be a pill with the new horse. Brittany rode the wagon until after the mid-afternoon break. Then she rode Pepper and I rode the wagon for about an hour. The last hour or so Nicky wanted to take a ride in the wagon with her son so I rode Buck. It was good to have some new riders and we had a good time. Sandy said she was going to try to get off to ride into Ogallala on Monday and she would see if she could get her sister and some other riders to come along - that would be nice.

Jonathon, Nicki and Kitty at Frenchman's Ck Camp

June 23, 2005

Wauneta, NE to Imperial, NE

Brittany rode Malibu and I rode Pepper today. Everything was going good until we went by a couple of goats. They were standing by the front fence near the road when we came by. Brittany and I thought we would introduce the horses to the goats. The goats had a metal shelter about four feet high. When we got close to the fence, the goats took off, ran around to the back of the shelter then jumped up on top of the metal. This made a terrible noise and Malibu jumped so fast that Brittany lost her ball cap, then he took off into the wheat field. Pepper jumped about ten feet and took off across the road and about lost me. Brittany thought that was funny. It scared the "bee jibbers" out of me.

We are camped at the airport tonight and will be at Grengenbach’s ranch, about half way to Grant, Nebraska tomorrow.

June24, 2005

Imperial to Grengenbach’s Ranch

We gave Malibu and Pepper a rest today Malibu had a sore leg from a barb wire scratch and Pepper has a sore on her withers where the saddle rubbed. Buck got the fun today but I doubt he thought it was fun. I took off this morning and did some personal business. I met the trail ride about half way to camp and I took over for Brittany and rode Buck. Brittany drove the truck to camp. I told her to look like she was at least sixteen years old so I wouldn’t get in trouble letting her drive. Everything went O. K.

Buck and I had fun chasing a jack rabbit. One came out of the brush beside the road so we took off after it but it soon lost us. Evidently the rabbit thought it was fun also. After about one minute he came running along the road again so we took off after him again. Of course, if you know Buck, you know we didn’t go very fast or very far and the rabbit easily lost us again.

June25, 2005

Grengenbach’s Ranch to Brown’s Ranch

We had some riders for the wagons today. About three miles south of Grant, a couple of young ladies, about twelve or thirteen rode Ray’s wagon to Grant. We stopped at the bakery in Grant and got some goodies to eat with our lunch. We had a “picnic in the park”, Grant’s park, it was a nice place to stop for lunch. Brittany and I gave rides to several children that came to look at the wagons and “crazy” people on the trail ride. Malibu and Buck did good and the kids seemed to enjoy the rides. A nice young man rode with Kelly to our next camp site about four miles north of Grant on Lewis Brown’s ranch. He and his mother gave me a ride back to the old site to get my truck so I didn’t have to ride the motor scooter.

L-R: Tina, Olivia, Brit, Larry, Bob, Kelly, Ray-----Ray and Kelly with Ray's Norwegian Fjord team

June 26, 2005

Rest Day

Kelly and Gavin were picked up by Kelly’s niece last night to go to a family reunion nearby. Kelly grew up in Nebraska. Gavin is going home with his mother and Kelly will join us tonight. We sure are going to miss Gavin, he is a nice young man. He is very well behaved and smart, an excellent reader.

A lady reporter came by yesterday and wanted to get some photos and interviews. We were already in camp and unhooked from the wagons so she is going to escort us to church tomorrow, then we will get the wagons and horses ready for some photos.

Too bad Gavin wasn’t here for the children’s session in church today. The session was about “trust” and I know Gavin would have some good answers and comments.

June 27, 2005

Brown’s Ranch to Ogallala, NE

Brave, Stuntgirl, or Showoff?------------------------------L-R: Larry, Betty, Tina, Ralph

Brittany’s folks came by about 11:30 last night, they had Olivia, my great granddaughter also. So Brittany went with them to spend the night. The next morning, they met us when we moved the rigs to the Ogallala Fair Grounds and took us back to start the “last ride”, so sad but we were anxious to finish. Larry rode Pepper, Brittany rode Malibu and, of course, I had to ride Buck for the “last ride”. Tina and Olivia rode the wagons.

Yea, we are about to Ogallala

After the break, Larry rode the wagon with Olivia and Tina rode Pepper. Crazy old pepper had one of her spells, sometimes she starts acting up and the more you try to correct her the more she acts up. After this we decided to pony her for a while, so Brittany started ponying Pepper and then I took over after a while. Everything went good until we were at the edge of Ogallala. We had just crossed over Interstate 80 and were about to cross the Platte River Bridge, about one hundred yards up the road. Brittany and Ray made a left turn across two lanes of traffic, Kelly and I didn’t know what they were doing, I thought maybe they got mixed up where to turn so we went straight. Now we had a situation, we were between Interstate 80 and the Platte river bridge, one wagon to the left of the of the road and one going straight, two lanes of rush hour traffic each way plus left and right turn lanes on each side of the road.I was trying to flag and pony Pepper, I had a lane of traffic on the left, when a eighteen wheeler came from behind on the right to make a right turn, also the wind was blowing. This was all Pepper could take, when she heard the eighteen wheeler coming up behind her, she decided to get the hell out of the way. Pepper took off, my hat blew off, I let the lead rope out to the end and held on. I really didn’t want to have a loose horse at that time and place. Luckily, Pepper ran to the end of the lead rope, did a half circle and stopped, she was surrounded by cars and trucks and didn’t have anyplace to go. Thank God for the good people there, when the trucker and other cars saw the situation, they stopped. I said to hell with the hat and started across the intersection again. After we got across the intersection and the bridge, Kelly and I got off the road, I gave Pepper to Larry to hold and started back to flag for Ray and Brittany. I just started back when some nice people drove along side and gave me my hat - Thank you. I started back again when Ray and Brittany came across the bridge nonchalantly, they saw the “Welcome to Ogallala” sign and decided to take some photos. I thought, “one hell of a time and place for photos". (Not only am I not too smart, which you have figured out by now, I should never have been leading Pepper and flagging at a busy traffic intersection, but I lie too - it wasn’t really “rush hour traffic” it just seemed like it at the time.)

On the way to Ogallala, just before lunch, my cousin Ralph Wallace and his wife Betty met us along the road and we had a short visit. A little later, my sister, Kay, and her husband, Jim, met us and Kay rode the wagons for a while. Later that evening we all got together for dinner and the show at “Front Street” in Ogallala. Some college and high school kids tell a few jokes, have a few skits and do some singing and dancing - it was good entertainment and we enjoyed it.

OGALLALA, WE ARE HERE!



June 28, 2005

Ogallala, NE to Rawlins, WY


We said our “goodbyes” to each other and to Ogallala, loaded the horses and wagons. Kelly took off for Austin, TX, Ray left for Neenah, WS, Ralph and Betty went back to Cedaredge, CO, Jim and Kay took off for Grand Junction, CO, Larry, Tina, Olivia, Brittany and I and the mustangs headed for Rawlins, WY.



Ride 4 - Eagles Nest Horse Management Area, WY



June 29, 2005

Eagles Nest Area

Buck’s Old Stomping Grounds is located in the Eagles Nest area, in the Great Divide Basin, a geological structure on the west side of the continental divide from which no water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. The area is desert-like, rolling hills, mostly sagebrush and very few trees. Just below the Eagle’s Nest area is a low area where water is available in small ponds and seep holes. A BLM member said he had never seen this area completely dry, however there wasn’t an abundance of water available when we were there.

Small herd of wild horses

While driving to the area we could see two herds of horses, about fifteen to twenty in each group. They were too distant to see much or get a good count. A little farther we saw a small herd of seven including two colts, a few more miles and we saw a herd of ten with a couple of young horses. We got close to the Eagle’s Nest area, and saw a large herd. We decided to unload the horses and ride the area. We rode to the low area and saw the water holes.

Buck says, "I do too remember this water hole, Brittany, so there"

We saw where someone had laid some rocks across one of the water holes, probably with the intent to make a dam. Up the hill a little, there was what looked like a wall of a house, shed or other structure that had fallen over. We headed towards the top of the ridge where we had seen the large herd of horses. As we came over a small ridge we could see two groups of horses, one had about thirty to forty horses and another group had about fifteen horses.

Large herd of wild horses in the distance

Brittany was in front and as she rode towards them, the larger group slowly moved away. She started towards the other herd and they started moving towards the larger group.

Brittany and Malibu are getting closer to the Mustangs

When she got a little too close for their comfort, the smaller group mixed with the larger group and all took off - a beautiful sight to see. We were very happy to see so many wild horses.

Oh, Oh, she got too close for comfort

While riding around, Buck would snort, prance, or try to turn one way or another, Of course he probably didn’t remember or recognize anything but I thought he did - so that is all that mattered and it satisfied me.

I had planned to take a bedroll, some jerky and hardtack and ride the area for a few days. Make camp when I felt like it, show Brittany how to make a mattress of pine boughs or leaves and a buffalo "chip" campfire. But we didn't have any hardtack, there were few trees, no pine trees and I didn't see any buffalo. So we rode around for a few hours then loaded the horses and headed for Texas.

Before and after or-- maybe after and before





Ride 5 - Buggy Rides



June 2008

I am getting so lazy, stiff, sore and just plain old that it is hard to fork a horse anymore. I decided to train my Mustang, Buck, to pull a cart, I can still sit in a soft seat. (Of course, when I get out of the seat, I am even more stiff and sore - gripe, gripe, gripe!) After doing a little ground driving and having him drag some pvc pipes then drag some concrete blocks tied to the pvc pipes, I hooked him up to a homemade cart. I was very pleased with Buck, he was nervous but did much better than I expected. Of course, I was working him in a fenced area about fifty feet by one hundred fifty feet so he could not run too far. (When I was doing the groundwork, every time I took him out of this area, he would run away.) After a few times by myself in the cart, I took some others for a ride, including my six-year-old great granddaughter. Everything went fine and I was so proud of Buck and I thought I was such a good trainer.

Brittany driving Buck in the homemade training cart

A few days later I thought Buck had been doing so good that I didn’t tie him to the fence while I was harnessing and hooking up the cart (Mistake #1). I usually tie him to a corral panel opposite the gate in a 30 ft diameter corral. He kept edging around towards the gate but since it was shut I wasn’t concerned. I was ready so I started to open the gate; I got it open about three feet and saw Buck moving fast towards the opening; I dropped the gate to grab the reins (Mistake #2). I should have shut the gate but I didn’t. The right shaft of the cart caught the corral panel and Buck took off. The corral started closing up with me in the center. A fleeting thought ran thru my mind - if I were a few years younger, maybe I could step on the bar of the panel and hop over but I knew that I didn’t have that ability anymore. I started turning around, hoping the panels would come apart someplace but I couldn’t see an opening. About that time the panels closed up and fell to the ground with me inside. Buck dragged the cart, ten panels and me another eight or ten feet then stopped. I was backwards in the panels so I couldn’t see why he stopped but as soon as I found out that I had no more than a bloody elbow and a few bumps and scrapes, I started crawling out as fast as I could, I was afraid Buck was going to start running again. When I finally got up and turned around, I saw that since everything was hooked on the right shaft, Buck couldn’t make a left turn so he ran into the fence. SO MUCH FOR MY GOOD TRAINING!

Buck pulling larger antique cart

July 2008

About three or four years after we got Buck, Malibu and Pepper from the Wild Horse and Burro Program, we got a donkey. Since he was a gelded Jack, I wanted to name him Jack but Brittany wanted to name him Smokey so we compromised and named him Smokey Jack. We usually call him Smokey; unless he is in real trouble then we call him “Smokey Jack”. We haven’t done much with Smokey except feed him and listen to him “Hee Haw” at us and he can do a loud job of that.

I decided Smokey needed to learn to pull a cart also. After the usual groundwork and “runaways“, I had Smokey pulling the cart and doing a good job because of my “good training“. I started him pulling the homemade cart as I did with Buck. It has a wider wheelbase, making it more stable and it is heavier with brakes. He did so well with this cart that I hooked him up to a lightweight Amish cart. I had him pulling this cart several times and my great nephew came for a visit so I decided to give him a ride. We went out into the road and Smokey did real good. We came back into the gate and about three hundred feet down the nine hundred foot drive, a friend started riding his bike down the drive from the other end. Smokey stopped and looked. I told the kid to stop and wait for Smokey to get use to the bike. I couldn’t get Smokey to move closer, he just stood and looked at the kid and the bike. Finally after Smokey looked at the kid and bike for a long time, I waved for the kid to come on down the drive. As soon as that bike started moving, Smokey took off. Jeremy and I had the wildest ride, Smokey was going at least a hundred miles an hour across the field dodging around trees and trying to get away from that “donkey eating monster“. I thought we were going to tip over several times but I got him to stop; then the cart rolled up and hit him in the rump and he took off again. After about three or four times of doing this, stopping and getting hit in the rump with the cart then taking off again, I finally got Smokey stopped. I asked Jeremy if he wanted out but he said, ” No, I am good, that was kind of fun”. Frankly, it scared me to death! The reason the cart kept bumping Smokey in the rump is that I had not adjusted the breeching strap enough. The breeching strap prevents the cart from coming too far forward. I was careless and did not adjust it properly. SORRY SMOKEY, YOU GOOD ASS.

Smokey pulling the smaller antique cart



Ride 6 - Higdon Road Group and Friends Trail Ride



Higdon Rd is about a two-mile stretch of country road at the southeast corner just outside San Antonio city limits. Many that live on Higdon road have horses and other animals. At least four of us have buggies and carts, many with more than one buggy or cart. After I got Buck and Smokey “trained “ to pull carts, I thought it would be fun to get as many of the Higdon Rd people to get their buggies and carts together and have a short trail ride down Higdon Road and back.

Before I got this ride organized, a friend of a friend of a friend, called to ask me if I could help “Average Frank” (www.averagefrankrides.com) raise awareness for the “Wounded Warriors Project”. Average Frank has ridden his bicycle more than five thousand miles helping to raise awareness and funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. I met with Average Frank and we decided to expand the trail ride and open it to anyone that wanted to ride with us and help raise awareness and donations for the project. Average Frank promised to ride with us. We set the date for November 8, 2009.

Before the ride started, I had harnessed Buck and Smokey and tied them to a tree at the front. I figured they would be calmer if close together. Everything was fine until a little miniature horse pulling a cart came down the driveway. Buck and Smokey thought that miniature horse was after them and they tried to run over each other. After we got Buck and Smokey untangled and the carts turned right side up, we were ready to start.

I was hoping at least seven to ten buggies or carts and fifty plus riders would show but we started with five buggies and carts and about thirty riders. Everything was going good until about one-fourth mile down the road, then a blinder on Bucks bridle came loose and started flopping in the breeze. The more the blinder flopped, the faster Buck ran and the more the buggy bounced. The blinder flopped more and Buck started jumping, kicking and bucking and running faster. I had the buggy brake on and was pulling back on the reigns as hard as I could but Buck ran, bucked, and kicked more. The cart was bouncing up and down and all around. After about one hundred yards, the cart shafts broke and the broken ends were digging into the road making the cart harder to pull. Buck finally stopped and we pulled the cart off the side of the road and unhooked Buck. April was jumpy from all the excitement so Tina offered to ride her and Brittany offered to bareback Buck the rest of the ride. I took over from Tina and Brittany and drove Smokey and the little Amish cart. Smokey got excited a couple of times and would start running but after fifty or one hundred feet he would stop so we made it thru the rest of the ride.

Flagmen leading the ride---------Tornado pulling Jackie and Olivia---Mustang Buck and Mustang Bob

Smokey pulling Tina & Brit-Donk(Don Quixtoe) pulling Rick & Linda-Average Frank & april are ready

Rolling down Higdon Rd--Ghost pulling Stephanie & kids--Donna on Hottie(Hot to trot)getting a donation




PROFOUND PHILOS0PHIES

OR STUPID AND DUMB THOUGHTS OF A CRAZY OLD COOT


COOL GUY


Remember when Bill Gates of Microsoft got a pie in the face? He just cleaned-up and went on with his business - COOL GUY !

If I had the money and power of Bill Gates, that jerk would disappear from the face of the Earth; by-the-way, I wonder what happened to him?



SWAT TEAMS


What was it - two or three hours before the swat team went into Columbine High School? I heard they wanted to be sure they wouldn’t cause more shooting of innocent victims by the crazy shooters and didn’t want to chance shooting some of the kids accidentally. (What did they think was happening with all the shooting and 911 calls?)

In my opinion the swat team should have been running through the doors before the swat truck stopped rolling. If they don’t want to run through the door of if they don’t know who to shoot, they shouldn’t be on the swat team! (These items are just a few reasons why I am not on a swat team.)

In defense of swat team members, the few that I know would have been eager to be the first through the door - I suppose some high official made that brilliant decision to "play it safe and smart - wait until the perpetrators stop shooting students then it will be safe to enter the school".



SPORTS REPORTERS

Remember the reporter that asked the football coach if he would trade his hairpiece for the next draft pick?

I forget the dumb question a reporter asked Charles Barkley and he said something to the effect of "you dumb white guys".

And I use to think some of the football players in the commercials looked stupid, I hope they never try to use sports reporters in commercials.

But in defense of the reporters, if I were in their shoes I would probably ask dumber questions - if that is possible.

In defense of the coaches and players if I had to answer those stupid questions over and over, I am afraid I would be more like Dennis Rodman - try to kick that nut in the gonads!



CHARLES BARKLEY


Is Michael Jordan the best basketball player - not in my opinion. He is one of the best shooters, right up there with Ice and a few others. Barkley, in his prime with the Suns, did about all the shooting, rebounding, ball handling, play-making, etc.; he had to do it all,-didn’t have much help.



HUMAN ENGINEERING


Means a different thing now than when I was a kid. Use to mean designing or planning for the human. It seems all this is forgotten - for example there use to a little free-play in the steering wheel, the brake pedal and the gas pedal; this allowed some benefit for humans - no more - now turn the steering wheel - JERK; step on the brake - JERK push on the gas pedal - JERK; no wonder there is so much road rage and bad driving today JERK, JERK,JERK - no human engineering.



PMS


Oh, there are just a few days of the month when she gets grouchy - sure ten days before, ten days during, and ten days after. Now we know where the term ‘monthly’ originated.



HOT NIGHT IN TEXAS


It was one of those hot sultry summer nights, I woke up needing to pee. I was very tired and decided to sit on the pot rather than stand. Soon I felt something warm running down my testicles. I woke up realizing that my penis had stuck to my testicles and I was urinating on my balls. The worst part is I didn’t know if my penis was too short of my testicles were too long!



KILLER BEES


A swarm of bees attached itself to the underside of my mobile home near Aransas Pass, Tx. I didn’t know if I should kill or capture them, so I contacted the Dept of Entomology (Bugs) at Texas A&M. They told me to catch and send them one-half pint of bees covered with alcohol. (I get it - if you can collect one-half pint of bees without getting stung to death - they will know you don’t have killer bees!)

Smart people them "aggie bug dept boys, bees come in pints, quarts, etc!

Cover with alcohol -if the bees get to the "bug dept" alive they will be too drunk to sting and the bug people will have some free refreshments.

It takes one-half pint of bees for them to run their test, but the L. A. police can take a small drop of dried blood scraped off a fence post and make an analysis!


DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS


I am not saying you should never see the doctor or go to a hospital - do it if necessary, BUT - Stay away if possible - sick people are there and when people die they are usually in a hospital.

About 1972 I changed to a job that did not have health insurance provided. I looked at the cost of health insurance and I looked at the health of my family of four. I decided that we were healthy enough and did not need any more health, especially at that price. If we had insurance each one of us probably would have visited the doctor at least two or three times more each year and the Dr would schedule a return visit or a follow-up visit and a couple of us may have had an operation or two by now. Consider not only the cost of the medicine but also the resistance to antibiotics introduced into our system. Look at the time, money and misery we have saved ourselves over the past years - just think how much could be saved if everyone did this. I think many run to the doctor or more likely make the kids or spouse go the doctor with minor ails - just to be safe. While at the Dr’s office they pick up another ailment or two. Also many use the Dr for an excuse to get out of work or school - but that is ok, won’t cost anything, the insurance will pay for it.

What if we didn’t have insurance?



SICK LEAVE


Forty some years ago I was working days and taking night classes. I had an important test coming up so I called in to the office and notified the secretary that I was taking a day of sick leave. The day after the test, the office wanted to know "what ailment I had"? I told them I wasn’t sick but I was studying for a test. (I thought I had a legitimate reason.) I was called into the Boss’s office and told, in no uncertain terms, sick leave days were to be taken, IF AND ONLY If I WAS SICK. If I had extra days at the end of the year -"count your blessings", but sick leave is not to be considered "vacation time". I never called in sick again!

Nowadays it seems that everyone I know counts sick leave as vacation time. If they have sick leave time coming they take it before the end of the year, so they won’t lose it.



SEX


I think men and women are like cows and bulls. The old bull is ready all the time and once every nine months is enough for the cows. (I have heard that a man loses his desire for sex about ten minutes after he is dead.)



MOVIES


I saw previews of "The Deer Hunter" about 1978 or 1979. It appeared to have an interesting plot and some good scenery. I went to see it and the story jumped around so much nothing made much sense. Other than what was shown in the preview, the only scenery was in the fog. I couldn’t understand much of the sound, since nowadays the actors don’t know how to enunciate or project their voice. (In the "olden days" actors could speak clearly and project a whisper to the far end of a big theater. Now they can’t make themselves understood with a microphone on their shirt.) But, the special effects were great if you like to see blood and brains splattered on the wall when someone shoots himself in the head!

That cured me of going to the movies until 1982. "E. T." appeared to be an interesting movie to take the grandkids. The plot was a little better, but I still couldn’t understand half the words . What was not too poorly enunciated and projected was so damn loud it nearly broke my ear drums.



TV


TV is about the same except you don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money for nothing, you can get the same effect at home in your easy chair. Directors think they can make a show with "special effects" - well guess they can but that is about all most of the shows have nowadays.

The shows that are not all special effects have too many people doing too many things - i.e. "The Magnificent Seven " had seven people doing seven different things in a 30 or 60 minute show. (I never watched a complete show, I don’t know how long it was, I couldn’t keep track of all the people and plots.)

I bet a good simple show would be big now. Directors take heed -watch "The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, Shane, Peter Gunn, The Dick Van Dyke Show, etc. - Something simple and easy to understand. One main character and one main plot - no wild special effects, gory gunk, etc. Do I have to mention "P G" - yes I do!



MOON LANDING

Who is NASA trying to kid? The luner module is on top of a big rocket with three more big booster rockets attached. Then the small luner module separates, deaccelerates, lands, then takes-off, accelerates, and attaches to the capsule - I don't think so! I know the moon's gravity is about one-sixth earth's, but that little lunar module isn't one-twentieth the size of the conglomeration that it takes to get off the Earth - FAKE, FAKE, FAKE!!! (I don't really think it is fake, but it doesn't make sense and I don't understand it - so what else is new?)



SOCIAL SECURITY


I have been told 'It ain't very social and it ain't very secure'. People tell me that I should apply for social security and medicare since I am over sixty-five - "after all it is not charity, you have earned it, it is your money". I am not poor and I am in fairly good health. I am afraid that if I start to receive social security and medicare, I may become poor and sick. Guess I will continue to work while I can, but will apply when and if I really need it. I beleive Ross Perot said there were many people receiving social security that did not need it and should not be "taking" it. I think it is like doctors and hospitals - if you need them use them - if you don't, count your blessings! Also, if the people that do not really need it, did not "take" it, the social security system would be in much better shape.



SPOUSE


Sometimes it seems that if your spouse can make you sad, mad or look bad, it is as good as a short vacation for them - they are in seventh heaven.



HORSEMANSHIP


I "don" know "nuttin" bout no right lead, left lead, post, canter and all that fancy horse talk. I borrow a bridle, blanket and saddle (One time the boss's wife found a pair of old cowboy boots for me, I was about 15 or 16 years old - man I thought I had "it all".) You get on the horse, kick him and he goes, pull on the reins and he whoas - that's all I knows.



CHARLIE RHODES


The "Charlie Rhodes" show on TV usually has some interesting guests and topics but I have never heard any of the guests say anything. A few years ago I was flipping channels and stopped at his show to see what a guest had to say. Charlie started asking a question - over the past few years, every once in a while, I flip to his show and sure enough he is still asking a question. I don’t know if it is the same question, I couldn’t stay around long enough to find out. Yes sir, ol’ Charlie can ask a question and ask and ask and ---.



BECKER


I was never real crazy about the TV show "Cheers" but I like "Becker". I guess I would rate it with "Mash" and "Married with Children". Long, long ago I would watch "Gunsmoke" once in a while. I could not stand "Chester" but I liked "Festus" -guess I am just a ‘crazy old coot’. (Do you know the name of Festus’ mule? - Ruth.)



TEXAS A & M BONFIRE


How many millions of dollars have been spent on this investigation already? Now they are asking for more time and more millions to review the investigation. I went to college and did some stupid things, didn’t anyone else? Maybe they just don’t want to admit it. - For $.50 I can tell them that if there is a bunch of drunk college kids stacking logs on end sixty to seventy feet high - somebody is going to get killed. Seems to me this is a "no brainer"!



INTERNET SITES


One of the biggest waste of time ever invented. Most sites are made too fancy with too many "things" and take too long to load. I usually move on to something else before the site gets done downloading. There are so many sites on the Internet now that it is nearly impossible to find anything. I have had several sites for a couple of years now and the only "hits" are when I look at it or some search engine finds it, so I can be "spamed".



ELIAN GONZALEZ


Most if not all kids this age, six years old,(and maybe about any age) get along fine and will quickly adjust to most family situations. If they have something to eat and somewhere to play, they are happy with about anyone, anywhere. Not only Elian but so many others, as we have seen are placed with a good family, then some "knot-headed" judge says "jerk the kid away and send him someplace else because it is the law". It is only his interpretation of the law and little if any consideration is given to what is best for the child and the family. "It is the law and I am the judge and I say it is the law so do it and to hell with what is best for anyone - it is the law."



EQUAL EMPLOYMENT - STUPID


Women guarding male prisoners - STUPID. Men guarding female prisoners - STUPID. We have too many cases of women guards and police officers being taken hostage or beaten up. We have too many cases of men guards taking advantage of female prisoners.

Women should not try to do a man’s job - after all you don’t see men trying to have babies!



POOR ELIAN GONZALEZ


They did it this morning - jerked Elian out of bed before daylight, at gun point, knocking down doors threatening to "shoot if you don’t turn the boy loose". Yes sir, our government upholds the law even if it kills you - as in Ruby Ridge, even if it kills you - as in Waco, even if it kills you Elian, we uphold the law because some "knothead" says, "it is the law".

If we can not uphold the law without less trauma to the child, then don’t do it. Try some common sense!



REMOTE CONTROL


In my opinion the best thing since sliced bread is the remote control. I don’t have to sit through about twenty commercials, I can hit the remote control. Of course the stations try to get the all commercials on at the same time and they do a good job of this irritation but they don’t have it mastered yet and I can usually find something besides a commercial. I see lots of bits and pieces of many shows and seldom get to see a complete show but most of the shows are not worth watching anyway.

About ten or twelve years ago, before I had a remote, I use to think that cable, about 26 channels at that time, would be great. I wouldn’t have to sit through the commercials or get up to change channels so often. So we got cable and I found out they had just as much, if not more, commercial time. The only difference was the cable company put a long, long commercial at the end of a show then another long, long commercial at the beginning of a show - this wasn’t much of an improvement. Once I was flipping channels and I found the same movie on four different cable channels. No they were not all at the same place in the movie, like I said the stations don’t have the timing that good yet.-This was the end of cable for me.- Maybe one of those satellite dishes that have one hundred plus channels would offer a guy a chance to find something.!



WATER ON MARS


Now that there has been several embarrassing and costly failures with the Mars missions - i. e. non working robots, lost space craft, etc., they are inventing new stories. They claim they have taken photos of rivulets made by water that shoots up from under the surface of Mars - photos taken from two hundred miles above the surface of Mars - sure they have! And if this doesn’t get them more money to squander, what will they will come up with next - photos of little Martian people drinking this water?



RETIREMENT


It is getting more and more difficult to keep from retiring and applying for social security. It seems like more and more people are asking for more and more "crap". Guess it is because they have "crap for brains". At times, I think it would be so much easier to quit the rat race and tell them to "kiss my a--donkey"!



TRIALS


Most "high profile" trials are way too long - examples: O. J., Mendez, Microsoft, etc. Each side should be given one day, maybe two days to present their case. This way, hopefully, they would present the essentials only and not a lot of "junk" to try to confuse, sway and manipulate the jury.



JURY DUTY


Evertime I get the jury duty notice in the mail I dread it. After it is over, I feel like it was worthwhile. Several years ago I was selected for a murder trial. The defendant had stabbed another and he died. Several years earlier, he stabbed another person but he didn’t die. The defendant did serve several years in prison. We, the Jury, found him "not guilty" the second time. We figured the defendant learned his lesson well enough from his first time in prison - he killed the victim the second time!

(The knife belonged to the victim. The victim put it in his back pocket before going to the door to talk to the defendant. The victim’s wife had taken the knife out of the victim’s pocket and put it back on the kitchen counter. The victim got the knife again and went back to the door, then a fight started and somehow the victim lost the knife, then was stabbed and died.)



DEATH PENALTY


The opponents of the death penalty say it is not a deterrent. I know better - many of the knot heads that have crossed me would be dead, if I were not afraid of the death penalty.



SURVIVOR TV SHOW


I have seen the show several times and like it since it is a little different. I tried to watch the show "Big Brother" but after about ten minutes of the first episode, I had to change channels - it was too stupid. Since then I have watched another four of five minutes of a couple of other episodes and it went from stupid to stupider to stupidest! I don’t think there are enough weirdoes to make this show a hit, but they will probably start throwing in sex and violence to try to keep it going. Worse yet, there will probably be a bunch of copycat shows.



TWISTY TIES


Damn things, I try to get a piece of bread and I twist it to the left. Someone twisted it to the left to close it. Next time I twist it to the right, someone twisted it to the right. Of course, there is always the smart a—hole that twists it two turns to the left, one turn to the right, half turn to the left, then three turns to the right; you have to get the wire cutters to get a piece of bread.



WATER RATIONING


San Antonio gets water from the underground Edwards Aquifer. Some claim you could pump as fast as possible for one hundred years and still have water; others think it will go dry tomorrow. Some of our bright bureaucrats have set some arbitrary values for the levels to start different stages of water rationing. With all the smart geologists, hydrologists, mathematicians, statisticians,. etc., it looks like they could use some of the sonic devices, laser beams, satellite images, high speed computers, etc. to determine the size and mass of the limestone - then count the holes! Actually there have been numerous studies at a cost of millions if not billions of dollars. - Maybe we should pump it dry! This idea is just about as stupid as not knowing the amount of water available.



POLITICIANS


There is darn little worthwhile on TV, radio or in the newspapers and every other year politicians want to ruin this with their advertisements, campaigns, debates, sound bytes, etc. Politicians should be allowed no more than one hour per week starting one week before the election - then maybe they would say something worthwhile.



LOTTERY


The other night on the newscast, I heard that someone got arrested for having a video slot machine. Yet, it is ok for the hypocritical S. O. B’s to spend millions trying to get everyone hooked on the lottery.



PHILLIP MORRIS


I never understood how they could make it illegal to advertise a legal product such as alcohol or tobacco. I think it is only fair that Phillip Morris has started advertising on TV again. The crazy S.O.B.’s probably don’t realize that Phillip Morris is advertising. (You know the ad - where this sweet, young voice tells about the billions of dollars in settlement fees and how the tobacco companies are spending more and more on ways to keep the young off tobacco - damn near makes then sound like heroes.) If it is illegal to advertise a product then it looks like the product should be illegal - on the other hand, a few years ago lawyers started advertising ---.



FRIENDS AND ENEMIES


I have been told that my "profound philosophies" have alienated most of my relatives and friends. Guess I will start alienating my enemies and the rest of the world now!



KATIE AND BRYAN


I couldn’t stand to watch them when they were on the morning show on NBC. Now that Bryan has gone to CBS, the only accomplishment as far as I am concerned is to mess up a good part of two channels. (I know that they are really nice people and if met them I would like them - they probably couldn’t stand me!)



SURVIVOR: THE REUNION


I watched about two episodes and parts of two or three other episodes of the "Survivor" show. I planned to watch more but forgot or came home too late or something else came up. Last Wednesday the "Reunion" show was starting when I got home and I sat down to watch it, but had to give it up after a few minutes, since Brian was hosting. Next time it will be my luck to have Katie hosting!



JAWS OF LIFE


How dumb, stupid, uncaring, insolent, insulting, contemptuous, brazen and a few other choice words , can they be? They are talking about charging $400 plus dollars if they have to use the "jaws of life" to save your life. I can see it now - The technician walks up to the burning wreck with the "jaws of life" tool in one hand and a money bag in the other hand. He turns and walks away saying "Sorry, we can’t accept checks or credit cards". I can see them charging for some idiot driving into a low water crossing when the marker reads 4 ft. But really, if someone runs into you, your automobile is on fire and you can’t get your door open ---



PROPERTY TAXES


About two years before election, the local politicians start bragging about how great they are because they didn’t raise the tax rate during their term. Then two years before the next election they start bragging about how great they have done because they didn’t raise property values during the last term. They fool most of us most of the time, but not all of us all the time. One time they raise rates and brag about not raising values, then the next time they raise values and brag about not raising rates. During the last depression, in the 80’s, when real estate and about everything went to Hell and nearly everyone was hurting, our local politicians said they didn’t have enough tax money to finance all of their pet projects; they said since times were so bad that the taxpayers would have to bite the bullet and they were going to have to raise both the property values and the tax rate. In many cases this wasn’t enough so they went to the people to ask for an increase in the "legal amount of increase". Well that election year we voted in term limits, (Two terms or two years each) got rid of a few of the good old boys (but not enough) and for quite a few years most of the special projects, bond packages, etc. were voted down.



WOMEN’S SPORTS


I think it is great that they are getting more women into sports but do they have to ruin good TV time with it? - except for women’s beach volley ball! Next thing they will have Monday Night Women’s Football!



ELECTRONIC DEVICES


Computers, cell phones, TV’s and all the rest - they are so darn complicated that they shouldn’t be allowed in a civilized society. On one hand (the left hand) they get so many little glitches it is a wonder that anything works; on the other hand (right hand) it amazes me that they work as well as they do!



HOMOSEXUALS


I have known a few and most seem like nice people. But like Rudy, of the "Survivor" show said: "I became friends with Richard, the gay guy, but after sundown, he went his way and I went my way".

It seems like too many of them want to promote the lifestyle. Maybe if we spent as much time, money and effort trying to cure the behavior as we have spent trying to cure the disease of AIDS, we would be better off.



BASEBALL


America's national pastime - In my opinion, America's national SLOWtime. Way back when in the 1940’0 and 1950’s, in Gypsum, Colorado we didn’t play baseball or have TV so I hardly knew what baseball was like. One fall I was working in the field helping to thrash grain and someone started talking about the world series. I was probably about 13 or 14 years old, not too smart and from Gypsum, Colorado. I asked, "How much does a ‘home run’ count?" One of the older guys looked at me and said, "Good Lord, I didn’t think there was a kid in whole world that didn’t know this!" A few years later, I was in college in Golden, Colorado and there was a TV in the student union. The world series was on and I tried to watch a couple of times but the game was too slow and I couldn’t get interested.

I knew that there had been several changes over the years to try to speed up the game so I decided to watch a couple of the world series games this year. Well, the difference between slow and slower isn’t very exciting. I can’t get enthused about the pitcher and a baseman playing catch 8 or 10 times between pitches, or the batter or pitcher walking on and off their positions 5 or 6 times between pitches, as one waits for the other. Every once in a while they try to create some excitement by emptying the dugouts and everybody fighting. Now I can understand two guys getting upset and throwing a punch, hockey stick or something like this but come on - dugouts emptying and everyone fighting - this has to be "put up", stupid or ridiculous. Thank goodness for football, basketball, soccer, hockey and rodeos. Golf may not be as exciting but, at least, you don’t have to watch a bunch of guys stand around scratching, chewing, spitting, and faking fights; guess that is about all baseball players have to do though.



RESCUE FEES


Now our fine city politicals have decided to charge people that have to be rescued from low water crossings. I don’t believe most people that drive into a low water crossing do it with the intent to be sweep downstream in flood waters so they can be rescued and make the six o’ clock news. They do it because they are DUMB! But if we start charging for being dumb - well---. I guess the next step will be to charge people for falling and breaking a leg - they are careless, charge people if their house catches on fire - they are unlucky, and charge people that get mugged - they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They say people that do these things are endangering our firemen and policemen. True, but isn’t the desire to help people and a little excitement one of the reasons people choose these professions and they are getting paid for it. None of the extra fees go the heroes that do the rescuing. It goes into the political coffers so the politicians can spend more, then ask for more to spend. Last week one of the rescues reported on TV was a van with eight people. The reporter said that would cost them $3200.00 - looks like the city would, at least, give a discount.



THE 2000 VOTE


The politicians are at it again. They say be sure to vote, every vote counts, see how close the election for president is this year - maybe your vote would have made the difference. It strikes me that many people will think just the opposite, my vote doesn’t count anyway, what is the purpose of voting? If they can’t lie, cheat and steal my vote, they will count and recount and recount until they get it like they want it anyway.

I heard that one county had more than twice as many votes as registered voters. After a through investigation it appears that some of the dead voted twice.

Reminds me of Pete and Repeat sitting on the bridge and Pete fell off. "I ask who is left on the bridge?" "Repeat", you say. "If Pete and Repeat are sitting ---."



FAME AND FORTUNE


Some ask why I am taking the trip or writing this junk; I am doing it for fame and fortune and so far it is working - I have not been bothered by either! Besides everyone has to be someplace, doing something, at sometime or laying in a pine box for eternity - well, guess this is the same thing but I like the first choice- for now at least.



SUPREME COURT JUDGES


The "supreme court" decided it is good to handcuff a mother in front of her kids and take her to jail - for the dastardly crime of not making her kids buckle the car safety belts. I know that many, well - maybe most judges are stupid but to have supreme court judges flaunt stupidity - it turns my stomach.

There are too many important and deserving cases the supreme court could and should be considering. The judges seem to find ways to elude, delay and send to lower courts, other cases; this case should never have been a supreme court case. Yes, the mother broke the law (and did or said some other things to upset the officer - I speculate); yes, the arresting officer was doing his duty (and got up on the wrong side of the bed - I speculate). I realize that I do not fully understand the workings of the law but do the judges understand "common sense"?



STATEMENTS OF FACT


"Absolutely, positively not guilty" and "I never had sexual relations with that woman".



ATTACK ON AMERICA


The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is a terrible, terrible disaster and tragedy, not unexpected except for the method. I think most expected a biological, chemical or perhaps even a small nuclear device. I suppose these disasters are still to come. I don’t think we have good enough intelligence methods to stop these events. We are relying on technology too much. Technology produces too much "junk" and it is impossible to sort the junk in time. Without the “moles” or “James Bond” type spies, we know too little, too late.



WORLD TRADE CENTER OR HOUSE OF CARDS


On TV the other night, I saw an interview with an engineer. He was defending the structural integrity of the buildings. Back in my college days I had a couple of civil engineering courses (just enough to be dangerous) and okay, I can see where the fire could weaken the structure near and above the fire - but for nearly all the floors below to collapse - this should never happen. If you can’t build them better than that,I don’t plan to go above the first floor in one of your buildings - as a matter of fact remind me to not stand within six blocks of one of your buildings.



TRANSGUIDE


Transguide is our multi-million dollar “Spy on the Highway”. It cost millions of dollars to set up cameras and signs over the major roads that go around and thru the city. Then millions more to build and furnish a big fancy building to house the monitors and other technical equipment to operate this system and millions more to pay the people to watch the monitors and do whatever else they do (eat donuts, drink coffee, etc.) This wonderful system tells me the same thing as if I look down the road and see a bunch or red brake lights - TRAFFIC JAM AHEAD.

Well, there is one advantage, we can sit home and watch the traffic jam on TV. The sad thing is that many times this is the best thing on TV.



TAX REBATE


It appears to me that the big "Tax Rebate" we get back is another way for the politicians to waste money trying to get votes. They spend money advertising on TV and Radio telling us about the rebate, then they waste more money sending us a notice that the rebate is coming, then they waste more money sending the rebate.

All this money could be saved by reducing our taxes next year - but oh, no that would be too simple and it wouldn't waste any money and it wouldn't get any votes.

I realize the purpose of the rebate was for us to spend the money to try to jump-start the economy but most of us are like the politicians, if we think we will get a nickel back next year, we will go spend a dime now anyway.



TIMES, PERSON OF THE YEAR


What are the rules of the game for picking the "MAN, PERSON OR THING" of the year? I have heard several criteria, but I think I have figured it out, finally. Wait until everyone has decided - then pick something else! Also in hard economic times forget the rules and consider what will cause the fewest numbers of cancellations of the magazine. Oh well this may be better than going the way of “LOOK, LIFE”, etc. After all it is their game and I suppose they can change the rules as they play the game - as do most others.



THE YATES TRIAL


Andrea Yates, the lady that drowned her five children in the bathtub, was she insane? I don’t think there is any question about her sanity. Could anyone in their right mind do this unforgivable act? How come the jury didn’t find her insane? I don’t know what was going through their minds, but I think they arrived at the best solution under the circumstances. She will spend the rest of her life in jail and will get some psychiatric help there. If she had been found innocent by reason to insanity, she would have been in a mental facility for a year or two. Then in order for the psychiatrists to claim they were doing a “good” job they would release her. Probably within a short time she would hurt someone or herself again. Sometimes the “wrong” verdict is the "right" one!



PRESIDENT BUSH


I voted for the guy even though I wasn’t sure that he could put words together any better than myself. However I think most of his speeches have been darn good. I have been impressed. I think he has made many good decisions but it appears he is trying to out spend former President Reagan. This farm bill give-a-way is about the last straw as far as I am concerned. Today I heard it is the largest farm subsidy in our history and 75% or the money will go to the large corporate farms not the small farmer. I think some of his spending has been necessary or at least excusable but too much appears to be trying to get votes and it is unnecessary. Unless he has some more magic tricks up his sleeve, I will probably throw-away my vote to the Libertarians again.



TAX INCREASES AGAIN


The economy has been in the slumps for the past two years or so, the stock market is lower than it has been for many years, many companies are going out of business and too many people are getting laid-off. Yet the tax entities are spending like we have the best economy ever; but they hit a snag - the tax revenues are short. So what are they doing - cutting back on spending - OH NO! And the 8% increase, without a referendum isn’t a big enough increase to cover all the spending they have planned. So what are they doing besides going into debt more? “Let me tell you Buckey”! They increased the property tax on my house by 19.08% and on a small piece of vacant land of lesser value a 19% increase wouldn’t bring in much extra revenue so that value was increased 96%.

I could protest , as I have in the past, but that is a hit and miss deal. One year, about the first time that I did this, I didn’t know much and didn’t have good information - they threw me a bone anyway and lowered the rate just a little. The next time, I had lots of good information and comparable properties, etc. They didn’t agree, so they didn’t toss out any bones, but said I could appeal. Of course this would take a lot more time, money, attorneys, tax consultants and appraisers, etc. So “don’t fight city hall” unless you are rich and have lots of time. That is why the "little guy" pays most of the taxes.



POOR MARTHA


Everyone is giving Martha Stewart Hell about “insider trading”. I will admit I don’t understand much about this, and it isn’t fair for the rich and the insiders to get this information and screw the little investor. BUT if Martha had this information and didn’t sell - she would be a complete idiot.!



FBI STING OPERATIONS


About a year ago the FBI arrested about a dozen of our policemen for protecting drug shipments; now the FBI has arrested two of our city councilmen and several or their cohorts for bribery . The FBI should be out chasing terrorists, murders, rapists, etc. We already know and don’t much care that our police and politicians are crooks - and lawyers and used car dealers and new car dealers and real estate salesman and real estate appraisers and ---!



CAUSE OF ACCIDENTS


I hear they are trying to get police to report the cause of an automobile accident - such as talking on a cell phone, putting on make-up, shaving , and so on. I thought the police were doing this already but anyway, when I was selling real estate years ago - before cell phones, I would have mom and pop and up to six kids in a four door Dodge Dart. I would be trying to carry on a conversation about the next house we were going to see, watching several of the kids because mom and pop didn’t seem to notice what they were doing, reading a map book to find directions to the house, wondering about the page that I just received (this was before voice or digital pagers), smoking, drinking a cup of coffee, and having a bite of a coffee roll - If I had an accident, what would the police report as the cause? Well, now I use the cell phone, but at least I have quit smoking!

If they outlaw the use of cell phones while driving you can bet the cause of most accidents will be people pulling off the road so they can answer or make a cell phone call.



REDNECKS


You know you are a redneck if you are driving down the highway, with the trunk of the Ford Falcon open so your Bar-B-Que pit will stand upright, flames and smoke are surrounding the back of the car and you turn to your passenger and say, “Jeb, I think our groundhog steaks are burnt”.

Brittany and I were going home after feeding the horses yesterday and in the median of loop 410 the police had one lane of traffic stopped while the fire department was putting out a grass fire around this burnt-up car - sure enough, as we drove past, the trunk was open and there was a Bar-B-Que pit behind the car.



DAMN PHONE COMPANY AND AOL


Several years ago I had AOL dial-up service, then they limited the size of files that could be sent to 1 MG. Since we were sending 2 to 4 MB files in our appraisal business and the dial-up was a back-up in case the DSL went out, I cancelled AOL. The idiot that I talked to could not understand “cancel” he kept trying to talk me out of canceling or trying another plan or going to DSL, etc. Finally after asking many times, I had to get real nasty before he would agree to cancel. About 2 or 3 months later the AOL charge showed up again. Of course, I didn’t catch it until two or three months later. They gave me a line of B.S. about how it would show up on the next bill but would be refunded within the next bill or two. I was not real diligent (and not too smart either) so it was two or three months before I caught on. I called them again, going thru the long list of push this button and hold for ten or twenty minutes then push another button and hold again. I finally got another idiot and he asked “Does anyone else use your computer ? Maybe they accidentally signed you up again.” Well I had to pay again but after going through the same crap, I got AOL cancelled again.

It is about three or four years later now, I have moved and got a new phone number about eight or nine months ago. Guess what showed up on my phone bill last month. Yea, AOL! Well here goes the same old crap - except I started with the phone company this time. They have more buttons to push and more hold times than AOL. Finally I got another idiot, Well he didn’t know anything about AOL, I would have to call them but do you have our dsl, long distance service, satellite service, etc. He had more crap to sell than the AOL idiot. I made a big mistake here, I said I would sign up for dsl if it were available in my area but I checked and it isn’t. He said his information showed it to be available and he could sign me up right now. I tried to tell him that my daughter next door checked recently and she was told dsl service was not available and there was not any scheduled for this area. He would not listen or transfer me or let me talk to anyone else - he was determined to sign me up for dsl. I finally said a couple of bad words and got real nasty with him before he would transfer me to AOL. Well, he transferred me to “I am sorry this number is not in service, if you feel you have reached this number in error - - -” .

I called AOL and went thru the crap again. I told myself to be nice and just get AOL canceled. I really tried to hold my temper but the idiot started selling different plans again. I told her I already had a service and I wanted to know how AOL got involved again? She started the old line of “Well maybe someone else is using your computer”, I told her no, I have a lock on the computer, another lock on the computer room door and a 24 hour guard outside the door. Her response, “Well since you recently got a new phone line (yea, six months ago) , the person that had this line before probably had AOL and the service just followed to the new address.” After a few more choice words, she finally agreed to cancel AOL and refund the money, “but the charge might show up on the next bill and it may take six weeks or so the return the money ---.” I think I heard this before, I don’t think I made much of an impression on the phone company or AOL.

I know they are in cahoots, you can get internet service many places for ten bucks but AOL charges Twenty plus dollars. AOL gets their outrageous price and the phone company allows this nonsense and gets their fair share - and more.

I thought I had all the idiots straightened out then I get a bill from the long distance company. Here we go again, I got another idiot and asked why in the Hell I was getting a bill for a line that was cancelled last month and what were these long distance charges, I didn’t know anyone in Washington, Virginia or Maine. Right away, she started trying to sell the services. I put a stop to that pretty quick and got everything cancelled again.

As soon as I got off the phone, my wife looked at the bill and told me that the charges were for last month, before the line was cancelled - and reminded me that we had company at that time who made some long distant calls. The company person offered to pay but I said, “No, never mind, it won't be that much anyway”. Well, you can imagine how I felt, I guess you know that any decent “idiot” would call back and apologize ---------------Hell no, I didn’t!



DAMN LOAN COMPANIES


I decided to pay-off a couple of small loans that I had on some old rent properties. After they were paid, I received a letter from one of the loan companies, saying that since my loan was paid-off they would have to go up on my payment - idiots, I didn’t even bother to call - but sure as hell, I will receive an increased payment card next month. About a day later, I got a call from another loan company, the idiot was inquiring as to why my payment was late. I told her that maybe it was because I had paid-off the loan. She said, “Alright, I will make a note of that”. I was very proud of myself, I didn’t get very upset or shout or use any nasty words - I didn’t want to have to call myself an “idiot” again.



HUMAN ENGINEERING, AGAIN


The idiots keep making cell phones smaller and smaller. Don’t they know that people talk out of their mouth not the side of the cheek. If they get any smaller, the mouth piece will be near the nose - guess that is o. k. for those that talk thru their nose! Cell phone reception is not good now and about ninety percent of the problem is due to poor designs, they are not designed for humans. No wonder that guy goes around asking, “Can you hear me now?” Hell no, you can’t hear me now ; because I don’t talk out of the side of my face.



HOMESICK


I had been away from home for about three or four weeks and I was getting a little homesick so I called the wife and asked her to talk “dirty” to me; call me a few nasty names and say some mean and rotten things about me and my relatives - made me feel right at home.



BAN CELL PHONES


The city officials are talking about banning cell phones from restaurants, they feel people don’t want to be interrupted by someone talking on their phone. Big deal, most restaurants are so noisy you can't hear the person across the table. Maybe those that don’t want to be interrupted by cell phones should stay home and they can be interrupted by telemarketers calling on the home phone!



RUN AWAY BRIDE


I guess they are going to make Jennifer pay the expenses incurred by the authorities for the search. I thought the taxes that we pay were for things like this - to pay law enforcement, etc. Well it is probably good to make people pay for their mistakes, now they can charge bank robbers, speeders, murders, etc. - and they can lower the taxes that we pay - HA, HA,HA!


BONDING


A short time after Brittany and I got back from the Bandera, TX to Dodge City, KS trail ride, a lady said, “I think that is so wonderful, I bet you really did a lot of “bonding”. I said, “No, I don’t think so. As long as Brittany got to ride with her friends and I didn’t bother her too much and as long as she didn’t bother me too much about going places or staying out after ten pm, we got along o. k.” That was about the extent of the bonding.

After we got back from the Dodge City, KS to Ogallala, NE trail ride, I felt we had done some bonding. Brittany didn’t have any friends her age along, on a steady basis so she had to ride and talk with me a lot. She told me all of the jokes that she heard on the last trail ride, the jokes from her friends at school and the jokes she got from the internet. Most of the jokes were "Truck Driver type jokes". I felt like we did some real bonding on this trail ride!



EMERGENCY ROOM - AGAIN


I fell off a horse again (this is becoming a habit - it seems) Pepper, one of our mustangs is a little high strung and jumpy. She gets scared and nervous easily. Anyway she got scared of a hidden dog, turned 180 degrees to run away and I didn't! I fell off but I held on to the reins - so I could get back on and get away before the Indians swooped down and scalped me. This time I should have turned loose of the reins. As I fell, I pulled on the reins and pulled Pepper back on top of me. I was trying to dodge flying hooves, afraid that I was going to get kicked in the head. All the hooves missed my head but the last one landed on my chest. I couldn't breathe or move for a minute, but I did have my cell phone. I pulled it off my belt, but realized I couldn't see any numbers without my glasses. Guess I could have figured it out but I was starting to get my breath and finally rolled over, got to my knees, crawled over to a tree about ten feet away and pulled myself up. I got into the house, took about three aspirin and after a couple of hours I was feeling worse. Everyone said I should go the emergency room, maybe I had a punctured lung. I didn't want another emergency room visit but they finally scared me enough that I decided to go.

The emergency room system is backasswords. They really need to have the experienced doctors here. It would save lives and money. They had to order three MRI's to get it right. The first one wasn't low enough, the second one didn't have enough contrast or whatever. I believe an experienced doctor could have got it right the first time and at $2000.00 a pop it would save me some money - of course it wouldn't pay for that MRI machine as fast. After 28 hours, a lady came in and said my bill was a little more than $11,200.00. I decided that was ridiculous so I gave her my credit card and I got up and walked out - I didn't want to buy them another machine.



SUPREME COURT JUDGES AGAIN


Are the supreme court judges lazy, stupid or idiots? The "under God" words in the "Pledge of allegiance" has come up before and they didn't make a ruling. Instead they threw out the case due to a technically. (The guy didn't have legal custody of the kid for which the case was filed.) Surely the judges could figure out that the case would come back, costing taxpayers millions to go thru the process again. Surely they could figure out the question - IS IT UNCONSTIUTIONAL FOR THE WORDS "UNDER GOD" TO BE IN "THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE"? They could ask any eight or ten year old kid. But NO, they have to mess around and make a mountain out of a molehill. - Idiots!



CITY MANAGER


San Antonio has a new city manager now, the highest paid city manager in the country so I have heard. The city council went outside the state to find her. I know we have a lot of crooks at city hall (many of them have been jailed recently) but surely there are a few at city hall that are not crooks. They already know the ropes and would do the job for half the cost.. Guess I will have to go vote against all the other cost increases (police and fire, education, roads, etc.) so San Antonio can pay the new city manager.



EMERGENCY ROOM - FOR THE THIRD TIME


Took my niece to the emergency room the other day, she was having some problems with the medicine she had taken . It was fairly early in the morning and nobody was in the waiting room. There were two people working the reception room - well, at least there were two people sitting behind the desk, shooting the sh-- breeze. We were asked to take a seat fill out an information sheet and wait a short time. After the information sheet was completed we were asked to wait a little longer. Finally some other people came in and they went thru the same procedure. After about five or six people were waiting, one of the two behind the desk picked up her things and said she was going home. Finally the one behind the desk called my niece and took some vital signs. After a while he sent her out of the waiting area and behind some closed doors. Then he started taking vital signs on another patient. He didn’t get very far when a lady came in saying her husband was having a heart attack. She wanted a wheel chair to get him out of the van and bring him into the hospital. Of course there wasn’t a wheel chair anywhere close so the guy had to go hunt one. After a while he came with a wheel chair and gave it to the lady. ( A short time later another guy came out having a hell of a time trying to handle two wheel chairs at the same time and put them by the front door.) A short time later the lady came back in and asked for some help with her husband that was having the heart attack. The receptionist was restarting his vital sign procedure on the last patient. He got up and went out to help her. A short time later they came in with the lady’s husband. He appeared to be in terrible pain, bent over in the wheel chair clutching his chest, moaning and crying. The receptionist wheeled him over by the water fountain and went back to the former patient to finish taking her vital signs. It took him quite a bit of time since he had to start over and the lady had not completed all blanks on the form so he had to ask her about each one and write down the information. Finally he sent her back to wait some more. He got the heart attack victim and after looking over the form he started taking his vital signs. When he got done he did hurry just a little and sent him straight thru closed doors - guess he finally decided the guy was having a heart attack.

Of course this probably wasn’t too good since the patient with the most serious, life threatening and many times complicated condition that needs immediate attention and the expert doctor is going to get the most untrained and inexperienced doctors, after they “jack around” for about an hour - good luck fellow!

Usually I think most law suits are ridiculous and could and should be settled another way. But after sitting in the emergency room and watching this fiasco for about three hours, I am surprised hospitals are not sued twice as often.

WARNING, WARNING,WARNING - AVOID EMERGENCY ROOMS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. Trouble is, many times there isn’t another choice - except shot yourself and I would have done this one time but I couldn‘t get a gun in the emergency room!



GETTING OLD


Especially when you get older and have an operation or get hurt, it seems to take a little longer go get everything working again, so you know you are getting old when you get excited about having a bowel movement and worse yet, everyone else around you gets excited also.



MEDICAL COMPLEX


Several years ago a medical complex was started in the northwest section of the city. Now there are several large hospitals, medical buildings, etc in the area. Yesterday, for the first time since the complex was started, I went to one of the hospitals to visit a relative. It took me an hour to get into the area and an hour to get out. This was about three pm, nowhere close to rush hour traffic. There is no way in hell an emergency vehicle could get thru any faster. The streets are narrow with no side areas to get around and the mediums are loaded with signs and light poles so no vehicle could use this area for an emergency passage. We have some real idiots in the planning department apparently.

Of course, even if a vehicle could get to the emergency room, it wouldn’t help much since the emergency rooms are not capable of handling an emergency, from what I have noticed. I think I saw part of the problem yesterday. On each floor, about every 100 feet there is a “nurse” station and at every nurse station that I walked by there were eight to ten nurses, hospital people, etc standing around shooting the “sh--” . I use to see the city workers standing around leaning on shovels, but the hospital workers have them beat all to hell. No wonder hospitals cost so much and there is no help in an emergency.



U S BORDERS


Close the borders? Open the borders? Fence the borders? Use the minutemen? Use the national guard? What to do?

I would like to see the borders open and anyone could cross at anytime - however everyone that crosses needs to be checked thru every time. How can this be accomplished? Easy (for me to say) - Station guards along the borders within “line of sight” distances from each other. From where do the guards come? No Problem? Start with what we have, the immigration service, national guard and minutemen. Then ask for more volunteers - then what? Start the draft again - yes, bitch, bitch, bitch. But every person, rich and poor, smart and dumb, able and disabled should serve their country for a couple of years at least. And just about everyone could assist at a guard post. Most people can “look, listen, and alert someone.

Many don’t think we should have a draft but I, as well as many others were drafted and although we may have moaned and groaned and got out as soon as possible, most of us look back at this period as one of the most valuable experiences of our life. We learned something about our country and ourselves. We learned a little discipline and leadership. We learned a few skills. Starting with how to shoot a gun - ( I grab my rifle in one hand and my crotch in the other hand and yell, "this is is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for firing and this is for fun”). Now I know how to kill people - but seriously, I learned other skills also. After basic, I went to electronics school and after this, since I couldn’t type a word, the army made me a “clerk-typist” . Of course this is the “army way”, but the clerk-typist skills that I had to learn have been extremely valuable to me also. Thank you, army, for making me do many things that I did not appreciate at the time.

The draft could reduce many of the “gang” problems, reduce the unemployment and instill some pride, skill and a sense of accomplishment in many of our young people. We would have a large group of trained people ready for many duties in case of an emergency. Yes, thru the draft we could train doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs. We could train people to do everything from “ass kicking” to “zebra catching”. Most could stand at a guard post from time to time. Yes sir, bring back the draft.



CLAY AIKEN


It seems that all the gossip magazines and TV programs are trying to get Clay Aiken to “come out of the closet”, I think that if he isn’t bragging about it and trying to change others, they should leave him alone. Like my dog, if he lies in the corner and quietly licks himself, don’t bother him but when he jumps up and starts humping your leg - it is time to swat him!



HENRY KISSINGER


I have been seeing and hearing Kissinger since the early seventies and I have yet to understand a complete sentence this man speaks. It looks like after this length of time and he could learn to speak English! Of course, he probably doesn’t want to speak clearly. Most politicians have to evade, hem and haw and outright lie when they are asked a question. Henry can say whatever he wants and no one understands a damn word he says anyway. If anyone puts Henry on TV or the radio without a scroll line or an interpreter, they should be strung up by their thumbs - or other things, if they have any!



ELDER’S SLEEPING PROBLEMS


Now that I am older, I understand what older people mean when the say they have problems sleeping at night. Of course they do - it is caused by taking two or three naps during the frequent rest periods that we have during the day!



FREEZING TEMPERATURES


We had a little cold weather, yesterday, also today and anticipated for tomorrow. All the “smart People”, city officials, engineers, etc. close down everything, city offices, schools, roads, etc. If they had any “smarts” everything would be open and operating to make everything safer and running smooth. On the other hand, I must be dreaming if I think they would make the city run better

Of course, they close down the good roads and leave the slow, unsafe roads open. Then they direct all traffic onto these roads. It takes extra equipment, money, and time to set up barricades on all the entrance and exit ramps to keep traffic off the good, safe roads. The roads around here are never, never, never bad enough to close. Some of the bridges and overpasses may ice over but they could sand these faster and cheaper than closing the roads. However, instead of a light sanding, they try to put on two or three inches and this makes for easy skidding conditions. (No wonder the “good” roads are dangerous.)

Of course the situation isn’t much better in the snow and ice country where people “know” how to drive in these adverse conditions, sure they do! So many people move around the country nowadays that half of them don’t know how to drive on ice or snow and the rest don’t have good sense anyway. 0H, FOR THE GOOD OLD HORSE AND BUGGY DAYS.



ROSIE AND DONALD


I use to catch the Rosie show once in a while and I thought it was pretty good. Rosie was fairly bright and humorous and she usually had some good guests. Towards the last she started getting too “political” and when she started flaunting her homosexuality, that was too much, I had to turn off the TV - there wasn’t anything else on worthwhile (I didn’t have cable or satellite and I still do not).

Can you guess why I put Donald’s name last? I like him even less. Yea, I know, if he knew me he wouldn’t like me either. I use to think he must be really smart, he was a millionaire and such a big tycoon, surely he was on the ball. When he started his show, I thought it would be good, informative, useful, interesting and enjoyable. Boy, did I get fooled; the show was one of the dumbest. Then he started his fight with Rosie, I can see why he would disagree with Rosie but his methods, ugly mouth, and stupidity were beyond belief. Of course, he may have started the dispute to try and save his stupid show. If this were the case he is stupid beyond stupid, almost anything would have been smarter. I have come to the conclusion that he is not smart but he has been the luckiest man alive, in business and life. Of course, he is a lot smarter than me but that isn’t saying a Hell of a lot.



CARTER’S LITTLE ENERGY PILLS


Jimmy Carter was president from 1977 to 1981. We were having an energy crisis at that time. OPEC raised the price of oil and gasoline went from twenty-six cents per gallon to seventy-five cents per gallon. President Carter, during one of his “fireside chats” asked people to conserve energy, he set an example by turning down the thermostat in the White House to sixty-five degrees, wearing a sweater and turning off unnecessary lights.

The Carter’s were Georgia peanut farmers, so I filled several peanut shells with beeswax and put a little wick inside. I called these “Carter’s little energy pills” and sent them to President Carter. I got a nice note from the President’s Office with a “stamped” signature, thanking me for the thought.

I kept some of the “energy pills” and the letter from the President’s office along with other mementos in a cardboard box for years. I was sitting in my easy chair a while back sorting some of this “stuff”. Brittany, my granddaughter with the “truck-driver” mouth, was fifteen at that time. She came over, sat down next to me and picked up the pile with the “energy pills” and letter. She studied it for a minute, then burst out, “What the fu-- were you thinking, sending the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES a dirty old peanut shell”? Maybe that is what President Cater thought also!



TIM


I have a few acres between Sinton, Tx and Rockport, Tx with a little Mobile home on the land. I have been hauling some hay for the horses from here to San Antonio, Tx, about one hundred twenty-five miles one way. About every six weeks, I give Tim, a neighbor, a ride to see an eye doctor in San Antonio. He has macular degeneration and is getting a “needle in the eye” every six weeks to try to slow the loss of eyesight.

Tim is about eighty years old, lives in a four room shack with four or five dogs, a couple of potbellied pigs, several goats and other animals from time to time. I really mean he lives with the animals, the door is always open and the animals go in and out as they please. He said that he got a broom once but never used it. Using a broom seemed like too much work - so he got a dimmer light bulb. Believe me, Tim is telling the truth. If he says it was a three or four dog night, he really means it. The only time he showers is when he is going to see the eye doctor- believe me. Last week it turned cold and Tim hates the cold, he usually stays under the covers with one or two dogs until the weather warms up.

It was time for the trip to San Antonio to see the eye doctor. Tim said it was too cold to shower, so he just hung his shirt out to air out for a while and would just have to “stink” this time. By the time we got to San Antonio he was getting pretty “ripe”. By the way Tim said he never has to worry about getting the right color shirt to go with his blue jeans since he just has one shirt - and one pair of blue jeans. (In warm weather he doesn’t wear a shirt.) I was sure glad that I had my big catahoula dog along for the ride. Every once in a while he would let a big odious fart and give me a change of aroma for a few minutes.



700 BILLION DOLLARS



The “economy fix” just passed is so much money that they can’t keep track of half of it. There will be so much graft, fraud, stealing, cheating, deception, scams, cons, swindles, rackets, hoaxes, snake oils, smoke and mirrors, tricks, double-crosses, rip offs, fleeces, dupes, hood winks, hullabaloos, fusses etc. (That is all I could find.) We might as well throw it down the toilet. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.



NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED



I didn’t sign up for social security until I was past seventy. I was still working and figured I had too many friends and relatives already on the government dole. I would pay my own way as long as I could. However, after the horse stepped on me and a 28-hour stay in the hospital at a ridiculous cost of more than $11,250, my family said I should apply for social security to get the medical. I might get sick or something else might happen (I was afraid to ask “What?”) and they would have to go the poorhouse. Really they didn’t want me to spend the little inheritance that might be available. So I signed up and soon I got a letter from the Social Security office telling me that since I had signed LATE I would have a deduction from my payment.

I didn’t sign up for a drug plan since I wasn’t taking any drugs, (at least no legal drugs). About six months after I turned 74, I went to the doctor for arthritis and prostate problems. I got a prescription for three drugs at a ridiculous cost of $300 plus. Soon after this I joined the plan that my wife had since the drug plan was included. Soon I got another letter telling me that since I hadn’t been in a drug plan, I would have another deduction in my payment.

If you try to save the government a couple of bucks, you get penalized. Makes “government sense” to me.



DREAMS



There were some dream analyzers on TV this morning. You know, if you dream that someone was chasing you, you might try to determine who is out to get you, or trying to do you harm. If you dream that you are flying, you might like flying or trying to get your freedom. If you dream you are naked in public, you might have forgotten something important, or you may be an exhibitionists or have some fear that someone will catch you doing something wrong. When I have the naked dream, I fear that no one will look or even notice - and they usually don’t!



MEMORIES: PAPA WALLACE



One of my favorite memories with the Montrose crowd and especially Papa Wallace.



Why "Papa Wallace", well Mama Wallace thought Grandma made her feel too old so nobody dared call her Grandma or Grandma Wallace, I doubt Papa Wallace cared.

Papa Wallace stripped an old Star automobile so it had just one seat for the driver but no top or passenger cover and a small box bed on the back. The bed was about 4 ft wide, 6 ft long and 8 to 10 inches deep. The bed was balanced so when loaded with dirt the front end could be lifted and the dirt would slide out. Somehow it got the name of "Jeep" and that is what everyone called it. Since Papa and Mama Wallace had the "Near Arroyo Greenhouse", there was always plenty of dirt to be moved (everyone in Montrose knew where the arroyo was so the name described the location also). Mama Wallace liked plants, especially flowers so that is how the greenhouse got started.

If we filled the Jeep with dirt, Jimmy, my brother, about 33 months older than me, and I could take turns driving the Jeep down the alley to the arroyo, about half a block away, and dump the dirt. Of course, sometimes the load was a little on the light side so we could get in more driving time. Sometimes there was not a load, just driving time. But we didn't get away with this too often before someone caught us.

The old Star had mechanical brakes that were hard to push to get it to stop, especially with a load of dirt. I was about 10 or 12 and small for my age so I had to sit on the front of the seat to reach the gas and brakes. Usually when I pushed on brakes I would slide back in the seat then my braking ability was nil.

Once Daddy helped us load the Jeep and it was loaded heavy. It was my turn to drive it to the arroyo so I got there and backed up to arroyo and stopped. Daddy told me to "come back a little more, I did and he said just a little more, I went back a little more and the jeep started rolling backwards down the arroyo (Daddy, I tried with all my mite to push the brake but I couldn't stop it). I jumped off about 10 feet from the bottom and didn't get hurt. The arroyo was about 30 or 40 feet on the slope. I thought it was a steep slope but really it wasn't too bad.

Papa Wallace worked as a rural route mail carrier during the day and when he got home that evening they were trying to figure out how to get the Jeep out of the arroyo. Uncle Billy thought he could drive it out so they moved some brush and dirt to clear a path. He got in the Jeep and backed up as far as possible before dropping into the water. Then he "gunned" the motor and started up the hill. He got about two-thirds up the hill and the Jeep started slipping back. I was so scared that he was going to get hurt but he controlled the slid back down the hill and backed up again and "gunned" the motor even faster and started up the hill again. He got a little farther up the hill but slid back again. He tried several more times but just couldn't make it to the top. I was scared every time he tried. Finally Papa Wallace got a "block and tackle" and hooked it to a car on top of the hill and to the Jeep that was part way up the hill and they got the Jeep out and I was really relieved.

That evening Papa Wallace, Daddy, Uncle Paul, Uncle Billy, Jimmy and I were in the living room and they were shooting the sh-- er discussing the days events. I was feeling pretty down and I guess Papa Wallace noticed this. He reached into his overall pocket and pulled out a couple of quarters. He said, "Here Bobby, this is for driving the jeep into the arroyo". I felt a little better.

A few days later Daddy helped us to load again and it was my turn to drive again. I backed up close to the arroyo but not too close. Again Daddy said, "come back a little more", I didn't want to but Daddy said, "look, Papa Wallace put an old log slab here to stop you". Now I was never the sharpest tool in the shed but my Mama never raised no idiots so I got out of that jeep and said, "you back it up more". Well Daddy got in the Jeep and backed it up then got out and started to lift the handle to dump. I told him the Jeep was back too far, it was ON the log. He lifted the handle anyway and I guess that little lift was enough to push the Jeep over the top of the log and the Jeep rolled into the arroyo again.

That evening Papa Wallace got the block and tackle and they pulled the Jeep out again. Later in the evening everyone was in the living room discussing the days events. I guess Daddy looked a little down because Papa Wallace said, "Lefty",(Daddy didn't like his first name very well and he really didn't like his middle name so he was called Lefty or LW.)anyway Papa Wallace said, "Lefty here is fifty cents for you but I am not paying anyone else if they drive the Jeep in the arroyo"!


That is the way I remember it.


Bobby, aka Momk



As I recall, Jimmy and I were playing around in the "little, middle greenhouse" while Papa Wallace, Daddy, Uncle Paul and maybe Uncle Billy were putting dirt in the beds, getting them ready to plant vegetable seed. I was about 4 or 5 (I think) and climbing around and all over everything as per usual and someone, probably Uncle Paul said I was like a monkey. Then I decided I wanted to be a monkey, so Paul started calling me "Monk" and the name stuck for several years - in fact everyone called me Monk until I was about 9 or 10. and once in a while until I was 20 or 25. I fact I think Uncle Paul called me Monk a time or two when I was in my 30's.

Seems like I recall a similar story about 30 or 40 years later only it was a 4 or 5 year old little girl (Brittany, my grand daughter)that wanted to be a dog! She ran around on all fours barking like a dog for several months, maybe a year or so. I don't remember her lifting her leg but think I saw her "squat" several times!





My Great Grandpa



My great grandfather died about 10 days before my 6th birthday so I don't remember too much about him. However, I do remember one piece of "life saving advice" that he gave my brother and me, "If you are caught in a gas attack without a gas mask - pee on your sock and hold it over your nose".



-To be continued-

To contact us:
Short stories
5825 Higdon Rd
San Antonio, Tx 78223
Phone: (210) 912-0521

Links to other locations

Our e-mail address: rrgsat34@yahoo.com

http://www.elderbobonthetrail.blogspot.com

Above blog gives information about trail ride from Bandra to Dodge City

http://www.blm.gov

Find and click on "wild horse and burro" for information about Mustang sales, adoptions, etc

http://www.averagefrankrides.com

Above site gives information about "Average Frank" and his rides