Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-14-10 | TheFencePost.com

Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-14-10

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

The word, “family” can take on a whole lot of meanings. You can have your immediate family, your church family, your rodeo family and so on. I had a recent discussion with a new family and it happened this way.

I answered the phone late one afternoon. “Hello, hi, is this Mad Jack?” a woman’s voice asked.

“Yes it is.”

“My name is (doesn’t matter) and we just bought one of your biker cartoons down at the T Bar Inn and wondered if you would come have a beer with us as we’d love to meet you. (I have done a few biker cartoons since I started riding motorcycles 3 years ago.)

“Well, I don’t drink … where are you now?” I asked.

“We are moving from the Midwest to Idaho. My husband is driving the U Haul and I’m pullin’ the horse trailer with the pickup and we are staying at the KOA campground … where do you live?” she asked.

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Without trying to be impolite and after all they did purchase one of my cartoons, I did reluctantly tell her where I live.

“Oh please, could we drop by for a short visit? We really do want to meet you. You are a really great artist.” I ain’t makin’ this up folks, that’s what she said.

“Sure, why don’t you come on by but I will tell ya that I retire early so you wouldn’t want to keep me up too late.” That was my way of letting them know that I wasn’t up for any long stays from folks I never met.

Thirty minutes later they showed up. A man about 50, a woman in her late 40s and an 11- year-old girl. We shook hands all around, I got hugs from the mom and daughter and in the house we came. After visiting for a few minutes the new husband offered up this, “Ya know, Mad Jack, you and I are two totally different kind of people!”

Being my cute and somewhat thoughtless self I shot back, “What are ya, one of them tree huggin’, global warmin’ extremists?”

“No, I was an enforcer for the Hell’s Angels.”

My jaw dropped a little and I managed a weak, “no kiddin’!”

He went on to explain that the Angels had been his family for many, many years and it was hard to separate himself from them since he was no longer a member. As he explained it, he had met this wonderful woman sitting next to him and fell in love and wanted a different type of family. One where he didn’t have to stab and shoot folks he didn’t even know. Life was good, he had a good job waiting for him in Idaho and he had a new family. Yes, gentle readers, he and I were different, very different.

I recall another feller years ago in my Sunday school class down in Texas that was once a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang and met and married a woman who changed his life. I reckon havin’ a family of any type gives us a feeling of being needed and some security. There are exceptions.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.