Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 12-31-12 | TheFencePost.com

Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 12-31-12

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, as we prepare for a new year, my thoughts have taken me back to the middle 1940s.

The big war had just ended and I was 5-years-old. Way back then there were a lot of things that were rationed. Gasoline and tires were rationed and to the best of my memory we had certain coupons that entitled us to this or that and how much of either I don't know.

I remember that photo of my mother leaning against our old Ford sedan and she is wearing her overalls, a bandana tied around her hair and a paint brush in her hand. She was in the process of painting our family car, which we were lucky to have, with a can of paint and a brush.

My oldest sister, may God rest her precious soul, worked at the bank and at the end of each work week, as I recall, she would bring home ONE piece of bubble gum for my older brother and I to share. It cost her a nickle and a nickle was a lot of coin in 1945. My brother and I got a half of piece of gum and at night we would, yes, put it on the bed post so we could continue to chew it the next day. It had to last all week. Simple little pleasures way back then.

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I recall one cold snowy day as my brother, my mother and I had been to Amarillo from where we lived at Pampa, Texas, some 70 miles distance. We were about one third of the way home when mom stopped to pick up a soldier standing along the highway braced against the wind. We gladly took him down the road to White Deer, Texas, where he would be home for Christmas. We never gave it a second thought, we owed him and owed him a lot for our freedom.

I remember as a wee lad standing on an old Coke container (wooden) and an empty coke bottle in my hand as I listened to the Grand Ole Opera on that little wooden radio. I was pretending that I was on stage with the stars and singing right along with them. I knew a few of the songs as I remember. I also remember the old black man that came by each spring to plow up my mother's garden with his mule. He let me sit on that mule one time because I told him I was a cowboy.

We were happy the best I recall. Sure mom and dad had quarrels as did my two sisters and my brother and I. Life was good. I went to school not being afraid of anything except there were two girls that liked to chase me at recess.

I remember that night my dad, my brother and I laid out on a blanket and just observed that beautiful summer night with all those stars in the sky. That was where heaven was, we would all go there some day. Life was good way back then.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I'll c y'all, all y'all. ❖