Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 6-11-12
The 75th annual Flint Hills Rodeo is underway this week and it brought me an unexpected pleasure in the form of a new friend, ol’ Tex Jay from Roggen, Colo.
He used to live in Chase County and rodeoed and cowboyed with the Roberts family of Strong City, Kan., the folks who started the rodeo oh-so-many years ago.
Tex is a regular reader of my column and was in town for the rodeo. He phoned and wanted to meet me and asked if he could stop by for a visit. Well, he did and we had a nice long chat and he shared some of his young-man stories with me.
One that I recall wuz when Tex lived in Strong City in the 1940s and ran around with the Roberts boys. Tex said that as long as the boys rode horses to town to party and dance, Mr. Roberts never said a word of remonstration. But if they drove a motorized vehicle to enjoy the same activities, they could expect to work longer and harder hours the next day.
Sounds to me like Mr. Roberts understood young cowboys completely.
It’s dry as heck in these parts, but this week we got a little rain and cool weather. When I wuz in town, I stopped at ol’ Nutson Boltz’s hardware store and Mrs. Boltz bragged that she’d gotten a half-inch of rain in her rain gauge, but got three-quarters of an inch of rain on her car seats through the open window and that she measured two bushels of lightning.
It sounds like she caught a big bag of hot wind from the storm, too.
Here’s a good story from Texas. A hooded robber burst into a Texas bank and forced the tellers to load a sack full of cash.
On his way out the door, a brave Texas customer grabbed the hood and pulled it off, revealing the robber’s face. The robber shot the customer without a moment’s hesitation.
He then looked around the bank and noticed one of the tellers looking straight at him. The robber instantly shot him also.
Everyone in the bank, by now very scared, looked intently down at the floor in silence.
That’s when the robber yelled, “Well, did anyone else see my face?”
There were a few moments of utter silence in which everyone was plainly too afraid to speak.
Then, still staring down; one grizzled old cowboy who’d just been turned down by the bank on a cattle loan, tentatively raised his hand and said, “I didn’t see a thing, but I think the loan officer got a pretty good look at you.”
An anonymous e-mailer sent this message. “I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of agriculture. When I was born, it was the first time in the history of the hospital that they slapped my mother! Then, my mother looked at me and asked if there was any way they could put me back where I came from?”
Miscommunication between husband and wife is the cause of a lot of marital strife. I heard of a farm wife who asked her husband, “When you drive back through town this evening, could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and, if they have eggs, get six.”
That evening her husband came back with six cartons of milk.
The wife asks him sharply, “Why in the world did you buy six cartons of milk?”
Hubby replied, “Because they had eggs.”
I’ve given a shout-out for lots of under-appreciated folks in rural communities, but there’s one group who have flown under my radar. Those folks are the sextons of rural cemeteries. They are almost always volunteers who keep the plot maps, make sure the graves are dug in the right spots, make sure the grass is cut, and oversee memorial events.
I had the good fortune to be a “stand-in” sexton for the Hillside Cemetery near Damphewmore Acres over the Memorial Day holiday. With the regular sexton, my friend Mocephus, gone for the weekend, I accepted his duty to place around 25 American flags in the cemetery for Memorial Day and raise and lower the big American flag on the flagpole.
It wuz an honor for me – plus it made me appreciate the good job all sextons do attending to the needs of our hallowed grounds. Here’s a shout-out of appreciation to all of you sextons.
I’ll close for this week with a couple of wise quotes about cemeteries. Colonel Sanders, founder of the KFC franchise, said, “There’s no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there.”
And, Henry Ward Beecher said, “Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.”
My friends will need a double plot to bury all my faults.
Now, have a good week, ya’ll.
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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.