Mad Jack: Tales From the O-NO Ranch 9-23-13
I remember as a wee lad how scared I was to go to bed at night for fear the wolf that lived there, if given the opportunity, might grad me and eat me. Although I shared the room with my older brother, the wolf for some reason didn’t stay under his bed when the lights were turned out and mom had kissed us goodnight. I never let my arm dangle over the side of the bed or let my feet stick out for fear that would be all he needed to grab me. It all came about from having been read The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.
Gentle readers as I ruminate on my life I think that wolf was always lurking somewhere in the shadows ready to pounce when I had lost a bit of confidence or maybe when I had been ambushed by some event that I deemed tragic at the time.
I grew weary of the oil patch at an early age and went to work for Sears and Roebuck and there I stayed for almost seven years and almost starved to death as a salesperson on commission. It was very hard to keep the wolf away from our door. Proctor and Gamble offered me a position which I gladly accepted and the wolf disappeared for a few years until … “one year you are a hero when your sales are up and a goat the next year when they are down.” The corporate structure began to gnaw at me. It seemed so “plastic” and superficial and I felt, even though I was making a good living for my family, I was not who I should be or doing what I needed to be doing to fulfill my urges. It was then I decided to become a “cowboy” and fill that void that seemed to always be there.
The wolf reappeared when I turned in my company car and gave up all those benefits and started punchin’ cows with very little experience. For a couple of years I could hear that ole wolf scratchin’ at the front door. I worked harder and suddenly there we were with a really good manager’s job on a large ranch with more benefits than we had ever had. The wolf had run off again.
The big move to Colorado to manage a large cattle operation on the Western Slope turned ugly and I lost my job and was relieved to be leaving such employers. Yep, that ole wolf came back as our family struggled and we were poor again for several years just making ends meet.
Finally we felt as though we could survive if we were careful in the way we lived. The wolf came back and consumed my wife of 30 years and my mother-in-law when they both came down with cancer. I also had cancer but of course survived. That ole wolf had his way with us for that tragic year and sometime after.
My personal wolf is gone, but friends, I fear there is a large wolf stalking all in our wonderful U.S. of A. He’s hungry and is creeping closer and closer. I do fear for our well being as a nation because I feel as if our folks that are supposed to be running this country have never seen the wolf or heard him howl in the dark of night. They don’t seem to really care, for the most part, that the wolf is just down the trail. It’s something to think about. Something to consider when we choose who we want to represent us and our values.
Many of you have had the wolf at your door and you know what it’s like to be that uncomfortable. I think time is on our side. I can see some small changes in the day to day concerns of all Americans.
Lay behind the log, keep yer head down and your powder dry. Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c ya’ll, all y’all. ❖
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Results of the 2021 variety trials for dry edible beans conducted by the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center have been posted on the Nebraska Extension CropWatch website.