Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-16-11
Gentle readers, I have a story here told by Mackey Hedges, one of the more well known big basin buckaroos. This is an exert from the book “The Cowboy Kind” written by Darrell Arnold.
Mackey tells of one occasion where the crew made up of mostly Owyhee Indians, himself and one kid from Wyoming were on a big circle one hot, hot summer morning in 1972.
Brian, Rocky and myself were watching this kid from Wyoming as we sat at a water tank letting the cattle drink. We looked at him disdainfully at his rig. He was ridin’ a double rigged saddle with a breast collar and saddle bags. He had a bull whip tied to the saddle along with a pair of fencing pliers. He was wearing a straw hat, a short sleeved shirt and sunglasses. He paused long enough to pull out a canteen and take a long drink. He offered us a drink and we refused ’cause everybody knows that a buckaroo don’t drink until the works all done. This ole kid rubbed some Chapstick on his lips and said he was goin’ to gather those cattle up on a nearby hill. I hadn’t even seen ‘um because of the sweat in my eyes and the glaring hot sun. Brian summed up all of our feelings when he said, “What’s this country comin’ to when a feller wears a straw hat, sunglasses, short sleeve shirt and uses Chapstick?”
We separated and as I rode off I wiped the blood that was oozing from my dried split lip and tried to lick it. My tongue and mouth were to swollen even to do that. I was thinkin’ that that Wyoming cowboy was one ignorant feller!
I had a similar experience in 1973 on the border.
I remember packin’ a canteen myself once when I worked for a few weeks along the Mexican border in late spring. It was hot, hot and the day before I got so hot out in the brush, I rode out in a pond with the Mexican cowboy crew, wiped the scum off the water and drank my fill. My gut hurt all night long. On this day I brought fresh water in the canteen as there were no scummy ponds to drink from. I offered my companions a drink and they, like the buckaroos mentioned above, refused to drink. That was just more cool water for me during one long hot, hot day.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. Ya’ll, all Ya’ll!
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