The death of Western waves

By Buckeye Butch

Every time I’m watching a surfing show it brings back my worst gripe of all. Here in the West we are known for our hospitality and for being friendly. I think we have just too much of an influx of foreigners from California, Boston and other eastern states. I was fortunate enough to go deer hunting last year in southeastern Colorado. I stayed in a small town called Springfield and hunted in the surroundings. Everyone you met on the street acted like they’d known you forever. I had to introduce myself in the café’s but that was easy enough. If you walk into a café in Grand Junction and started saying good morning they might toss you out on your nose. Some of the waitresses act like it’s a burden to wait on you. Not so on my deer hunting trip.

I had guys stopping trying to help me find a place to hunt. However after being a guide for almost 50 years I knew that old ploy. I may have been too close to one of their secret deer spots and they were trying to aim me to a different direction. I found a little town called Walsh, Colo., where I was buying diesel fuel for $3.43 a gallon when everywhere else the price was going up to $4.95. In the process they told me where to eat where not to eat. I did not get a deer but it was one of the best times I’ve had in over 20 years.

Looking for dry ice I went to the grocery store and I had bad experience with a young clerk. By this time the store manager was already in the back boxing up my dry ice. When the young clerk asked what I needed I said I was there to pick up dry ice and I got the usual answer that some people give, “Oh, we don’t have that.” About this time the manager walked out with the dry ice and called for a clerk to load it in my truck.

My biggest delight of all is that the Western wave is alive and prospering. Even little old grandmothers in their tiny cars wave at you when they are approaching. I was back to working on my two finger, three finger and a full hand wave just above the steering wheel. The perfect wave is just three fingers above the steering wheel at the exact same time the other vehicle is waving. I was in seventh heaven.

My dad was a superintendent on road construction and he waved at all of his drivers and foremans every time they passed each other. My brother and I grew up sitting in the pickup seat taking for granted that everybody waved at everybody. I soon learned this was not exactly the way it went with women going to the grocery store, to get their hair done, buy a new dress or most of all jewelry you could tell by the look in their eye they were somewhere else and not looking at where they were driving.

In this day and age it is really a sad state of affairs and you are lucky if you get three or four waves on the 12 mile trip to Grand Junction. I wave at all the pickups and cars and it’s a rare thing for a car to wave back. On the road to my house people are finally starting to recognize my fire bronze F 350 so most of the locals wave at me. I imagine it can be quite comical when my wife drives and I take shotgun and both of us waving at oncoming trucks.

Young people realize that you are not living in the world by yourself especially you parents. Start grooming your children to bring back the Western wave. Give them a fine repertoire of the one, two and three fingered wave. Provided they are large enough to sit in their seat with the seat buckled firmly. You can enjoy many hours of waving and sharing this with your sons and daughters. I love when one of these cute blonde girls chicks pulling an oversize horse trailer gives me the force slanted wave. It helps perk an old man right up. If you do not know what the force slanted wave is ask your boyfriend or your hubby. Should you know me honk your horn, pull me over and I will give you a class on the Western wave. There is more to think about in this day and age than whether you can run the yellow light up ahead which will be red before you get to it. Yellow means you should try to stop not see whether you can make it through the red that’s coming. Let us all get back to the basics and thinking about our fellow man. Start looking in the windshield of the vehicle approaching you to see what they are doing. Give them a wave and do not be disappointed if they do not wave back. It is like reading the Bible if you keep it up you will see the result.

 As one old cowboy to another keep your heels down and your eyes along the skyline. When you’re out riding give that old pony his head and you may enjoy yourself a lot more.

This is Buckeye Butch, Fruita Colo., signing off until the next time

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