Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-15-09 | TheFencePost.com

Tales from the O-NO Ranch 6-15-09

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and I always think back in time about my dad and how he influenced my life. There were a few times I remember getting out of sorts with my dad as a youth and a young man, but there weren’t that many.

My dad was one of those unusual fellows that stood Abe Lincoln tall and always stood on the right side of what was honorable. For the most part he was a quiet man with a really good sense of humor, and he loved to tell stories of his youth with eight wild brothers and two sisters. Those Hanks’ boys “were wild and wooly,” my mother’s brothers would tell me. My dad was a hard worker, and he “rode for the brand.” He worked for Mobil Oil for over 40 years, and I know he did the very best he could with an eighth-grade education for a man in a supervisory position for most of those years.

My dad didn’t drink, I never ever heard a single curse word from him, and he was a faithful deacon at church. He taught a Sunday school class for many years, but trust me when I tell you he was no shrinking violet. I remember that Sunday night when he walked up to the porch of that little Baptist church and grabbed that feller by the necktie and jerked him off that porch so fast it seemed he might have cracked his neck in the process.

That feller had taken the liberty to “pop” me up beside the head because I was being my usual disrupting self in class. I wasn’t hurt, but it did scare the “hell” out of me at the moment. I told my dad about it when we got in the car to go home and thus the fury of my father. I was 10 at the time and was really embarrassed when my dad drug this feller over to the car and made him apologize to me in front of all those folks standing around outside. I had caused all that mess, and it could have easily been avoided. My dad did have a temper, and I’m sure that’s where I came to be of the same temperament.

I know my dad was not proud of me as a young man because of my reckless and roughneck ways. I drank, I got into way too many fights, and he didn’t see much of me in church.

I recall a friend of mine from out of town dropped in a bar one afternoon where I was having my usual good time. I asked him how he knew where I was. “I went by your house and your dad told me where to find you,” he quipped.

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Gentle readers, It makes me sad even today to think of the heartache that I put my folks through for those few years of my life. Of course, I shaped up, married a wonderful woman, had two marvelous kids and “rode for the brand.”

If your dad is still on this earth and you are proud of him for his efforts in helping you to be who you are, give ’em a call or better yet, go by to see him this Father’s Day and tell him how much you love him. I envy you if you have that option, I wish a thousand times over that I could do the same.

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