Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 5-28-12
Tell me, gentle readers, who doesn’t like summertime? As we get older most likely it doesn’t mean as much to us as when we were in school and thinking about all the fun things we would get to enjoy in those three special months we had away from our studies.
Summertime for me when I was a mere lad of nine or 10 meant I would ride the old skinny paint horse out to that windmill in the pasture and try to catch a yellow catfish. Maybe, just maybe, I would take my 22 single shot rifle and shoot a rabbit, skin it and cook it over a little mesquite fire and force myself to eat some of it regardless of how it taste or looked. A mountain man would surly do that wouldn’t he? Always on the lookout for rattlesnakes as the pasture had it’s share of those pesky and dangerous critters.
Then there was the new swimming pool there at Sundown, Texas, which was home to me and another 1,492 hopeful souls. The swimming pool came after a few short years and I was 13 or 14 years of age. At 14, my brother and I had those summertime jobs in the oil patch doing construction work or whatever the “gang” might be doing on any particular day. Of course we did not get involved in anything that was very dangerous where we could get injured or worse.
Like any kid that age I resisted getting up so early and doing manual labor for eight hours but there was that old car my brother and I desperately wanted to buy so we could have more freedom. You could get your driver’s license at the age of 14 back in the “old days.” Only on rare occasion did we ever date unless it was a church sponsored event. Most likely we would drive around at night and spotlight rabbits to shoot.
There was an outbreak of some sort of “rabbit fever” or worm infestation in those rabbits where they were being consumed by grub like worms and just flat eaten alive. If we had a family vacation planned that year it was always exciting to know we would go somewhere other than the drab landscape around Sundown, Texas. Hopefully it would be the beautiful Colorado Rockies.
I miss being a kid. I mean a real kid. I’m still a kid at heart and when I’m on ole Howdy, my fat paint hoss, or on the Harley screaming down the interstate, I’m just a big ole kid havin’ some summertime fun. I wish sometimes I was a kid again, and could do some of the things I did back then when I was nine or 10. It would be so much fun to be 10 again. I’d be brown as a berry from riding the prairie and playing mountain man. I wish I was a kid again so I could do some of the things I did back when I was nine or 10.
Well, I’m not nine or 10 gentle readers, but I do look forward to having my share of fun this summer and I wish the same for you.
I do want to remind you for your children’s sake, that sometimes the most gentle of horses can and will hurt you really bad if you lose your focus. Be cool and have fun and I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all.