When Jake got mad
Mad Jack Hanks
Gentle readers, ol’ Jake had a fiery temper that was excused by that red-headed mane he sported under his cowboy hat. I have written about Jake several times before. He was the oldest hand on the ranch when I took over as manager. I expected a lot out of Jake as I was told he was the cowboss or foreman and he was a good 20 or so years older than myself putting him in his middle 50s. As it turns out Jake was a tad lazy and let the inmates run the prison so to speak. We had an early conversation soon after my arrival that the ranch looked a little untidy with the employee’s yards not being mowed enough and the corrals and what not where they lived were not up to what I thought the company’s standards should be. Jake picked up the pace a little but not too much.
After all, here is this new young manager that knows nothing about this ranch tellin’ me what and what not I should be doing. I would personally inform an employee if I thought he needed to clean up and tidy up around his place on the ranch. Jake was on vacation when I decided to gather up the employees and make a round to each one’s place and haul off any trash or repair any broken fences etc. We made it over to Jake’s place and when we went into his large saddle room there were about a dozen empty feed sacks scattered around. As Jake was a smoker, I thought it best if we cleaned up his saddle room in an effort to avoid a fire in the future.
I sat in my office one afternoon doing paperwork when Jake came bursting in the door. I mean that red-headed feller was madder than a rooster in a pen full of turkeys. His fist was doubled up as he leaned across my desk and shouted, “what in the hell were you doin’ in my saddle room haulin’ off my stuff?” Jake was mad! “I come over here to whup you! I’ll probably get whupped myself, but let’s git outside!” I gotta’ tell ya gentle readers, I was in fear for my life for about 3 seconds and then…I decided to act like a ranch manager and maybe keep myself from gettin’ whupped! “Jake, my job does not require me to have fist a cuffs with the employees.
Sit down and I’ll explain to you what went on.” He did sit down and I did explain that we WERE GOING TO KEEP THE RANCH, ALL OF IT ORGANIZED without a lot of clutter. He calmed down but added, “THAT’S MY PLACE AND YOU AIN’T GOT NO BUSINESS GOING INTO MY SADDLE ROOM!” No Jake, that place where we let you live, belongs to the company and it will be kept clean if we have to do it ourselves. We sat and looked at one another for a few seconds and then he got up, I extended my hand, he took it and out the door he went. Man, I was glad that cowboy was not in a fighting mood any more as I sure wasn’t sure that I could hold my own against him as mad as he was! I’ve had my share of fights and I know for a fact they solve nothing and being able to see is more important than throwin’ that first punch. Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, lean not on yer own understanding until you have checked all the facts and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖