Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-27-11 |

Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-27-11

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, I don’t remember ever in my lifetime of 71 years that there have been so many fires going on at one time. It could be that our social networking and telecommunications provide us with instant news around the globe that now we are better informed. Fire is a scary scary thing.

I don’t think that there could be a more horrible death than by fire. Folks with severe burns often take a long time and many surgeries before they look halfway normal again.

There was an incident down in Texas where I really got scared half to death over a fire in our community and out at the ranch headquarters which was only a scant 2 miles from town. I had been into Dallas some 30-miles away on ranch business and was returning when I noticed all that black smoke coming from what appeared to be in our little town. As I reached the city limits I saw where a train that ran through town had started a fire and the strong winds really had it going. I called Little Miss Martha on my two way radio to see if her and the kids were in a fix over what appeared to be another fire off in her direction at the headquarters. I got no answer so I made a quick trip through town and got to the road that ran past the ranch only to find it closed by sheriff’s deputies. I told them who I was and they let me go through.

The smoke was blowing across the road and folks where leading horses down the road and all sorts of scary stuff seemed to be going on. One of my cowboys called me on his radio and told me that Martha and the kids left the ranch and went into town as fire had surrounded the headquarters and my guys were on tractors plowing up ground around the fire and some had gone to the neighbors to help fight the fires down the road.

All ended okay. The fire burned right up to our back yard and around our hay sheds, corrals and barns. There was no damage but it scared the tee wadin’ tar out of me to be in the middle of all that smoke and flames and not know what damage had been done or was about to be done.

The train started a fire on the west end of town and a drunk set another fire in a pasture just on the east edge of town and between the two fires and a howlin’ wind, we were lucky we didn’t loose a good part of the ranch. Thanks to those cowboys of mine and the farm crew that jumped on those tractors and went to work and kept a bad situation from getting worse.

Presently there is a large fire in southern Colorado at the New Mexico line that is doing a lot of damage. Poor Arizona. They have caught the brunt of several big, big fires. I have a friend there in Wilcox that told me the only thing good about those fires is that they will burn up a good part of the trash that’s left in the desert by illegal aliens and others that dump their trash in the desert.

Our country here is wet, green and not under any burning restrictions. My friends down in West Texas are suffering through day after day of 100 plus degrees every day. No real rain to speak of since last September. Last summer when I was down there it was wet and lush like it is here. I reckon maybe next year we might be hot and dry to the bone. Seems that’s the way it always works out. We’re living in some really difficult times all things considered. This too shall pass says the great Confuse-us, Chinese philosopher. I sure hope so.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya’ll, all ya’ll!