Tales from the O-NO Ranch
Well, gentle readers, it is a far cry from the 1950s. Some of you will be able to relate to this column and others, I suppose, will just have to take my word for it. The 1950s certainly was another time and another place. As I look back it sometimes makes me think that I am now living on a different planet. Well, I reckon I am, ’cause it’s a far cry from the 50s.
I am reminded of the 50s when I hear a country song that speaks about those long ago and far away years. It talks about spending those first couple of years of life in a crib painted with lead based paint. About drinking out of the water hose with no filter and riding your bike with no helmet. Not wearing seat belts and I’ll add one or two of my own here. We ate vegetables right out of the garden and of course we washed them as they had been sprayed with DDT. We shined our coins with mercury that we somehow got our hands on. We didn’t floss our teeth, use fragrant body washes or sunscreen. (I wish we had known of the dangers of the sun and had sunscreen). Times are different now.
We almost demand instant satisfaction on everything we do and we grumble or make excuses if we don’t think we measure up to others’ expectations of who we are and what we should be. I am reminded of C.W.
C.W. was in my freshman class in our little high school. He lived with his grandparents for some unknown reason to the rest of his classmates. C.W. was as different than most of us as the 50s are to me now.
He was not an odd looking boy but he was shy, seemed to have low self esteem and was a loner. He was “po folks”. My mother felt sorry for C.W. and she bought him a new shirt on occasion and sent it to him without letting him know who it was from, and my brother and I were to never to let him know where the shirts came from.
One day we were walking over to shop class and we heard a far away cry… “Kaw … Kaw … Kaw … C. W. pointed to the sky in the direction of the big black crow that was circling overhead. “THERE’S MY PET CROW. C’mere boy, c’mere,” hollered C.W. as he stuck out his bent elbow.
“Whatca’ doin'” I asked.
“My crow will fly down and land on my arm,” C.W. said proudly as if he had just won some bigger than life competition. We stood with mouths open as the crow descended and did in fact land on C.W.’s shoulder but not his arm. C.W. smiled a big a grin as I’ve ever seen on a human. Now we could see that he was in fact someone with talent.
The big black crow promptly dumped all over his shoulder and then quickly as he had landed, flew away! C.W. was embarrassed but not to the point of makin’ excuses and I was proud of him and we didn’t dare make fun of him after such an experience. I went home and told mom what had happened to one of the new shirts she had bought C.W.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.
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Steve Poet is an agricultural education teacher at the High Plains High School in Seibert, Colo. Although he has been working with kids for 20 years, this will be his fifth year at High Plains…