Mad Jack Hanks: Loss of old friend brings up thoughts on the unpredictability of life
Gentle readers, did you ever opine as if you would like to know when your time is up? I have. After careful consideration I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to know.
If I knew, I think it would have some adverse affect on my being me. Does that make sense? At coffee this morning, I was told that my good friend Joe Bollers had passed away. I have to tell you that I was shocked.
It wasn’t that long ago that Joe and I were leaning on the corral fence after loading up some of his steers. Joe had run steers out here in the summer for a good many years. Joe surprised me when he brought up the recent passing of one of our friends who was also in the cattle business. Joe had had a bout with pneumonia and was still feeling a little slack in his rope, so to speak.
He just wasn’t up to par. At par, Joe was a man’s man and someone you would like to have your back if push came to shove. He wasn’t one to pick a fight with. When Joe spoke, his words settled like paint on a dried out barn door. You didn’t need to ask for an explanation. Joe says to me, “well, I reckon we all know where ole’ Buzz went?”
Buzz was our friend who had passed not so long ago. I never spoke about life, death, the possibility of the afterlife or any spiritual leanings.
“Yep, I reckon so,” I offered. Joe had a far away look in his eye as his glance drifted off across the pasture.
“You doing okay these days?” I ask Joe.
“Yeah, I’m okay, just a little tired at times and sometimes I find it kinda hard to breathe.” I dropped the subject as Joe said, “I reckon I’ll go. I need to process some cattle and get these weighed up.”
“Joe, do ya need some help?”
“No, no I’m good. Take care and I’ll catch ya later,” he mumbled as he got in his truck.
“Joe will get better. I know he will, hell, he’s as tough as boot leather,” I thought to myself.
Joe worked the sale ring in Torrington, Wyo., on Tuesdays, traded cattle, backgrounded cattle and was an avid team roper.
He had gone to Arizona as he often did in the winter to hang out with his buddies and rope, rope and rope some more. I don’t know what the circumstances of his death were. I do think he was not expecting to live a much longer life. Joe, I’ll miss ya buddy and I hope there is a stable full of good ponies to meet you when you arrive.
My computer crashed right after I got home this morning and I had to make a 57 mile round trip to Wally World to get a new mouse so I could write this column.
The weather is supposed to warm up and melt some of this snow and the Broncos won the Super Bowl and the opposing quarterback had stated he was so great folks just didn’t know what to compare him to. He really wasn’t that great after all! Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, live today as if it were going to be your last, it just might be. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖