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A west Texas snow

Mad Jack Hanks
Tales from the ONO Ranch, Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, after our recent snow storm where we received 15 or so inches of snow and temps below zero, I fondly turned my thoughts back to one event when I was in my senior year of high school at Sundown, Texas. Just so you know, Sundown is about 50 or so miles southwest of Lubbock and most of you have heard of Lubbock. The year is 1957.

This particular incident was a playoff game for the bi-district title for our little class “A” school. I had 34 students in my senior class.

The game was to be played at one in the afternoon and at game time it was 3 degrees above zero and they had to have heavy equipment to remove the snow off of the field and it was stacked at each end of the field behind the goal post. The stacks were as high or higher than the cross bars on the goal post as I remember. The Sundown Roughnecks were your “Friday Night Lights” acclaimed small town football team and the stands were mostly full with lots of coffee and maybe a little stronger stuff there about. We were playing a team that had beaten us 60 to 20 the year before and we were nervous to say the least. I was a starting end on offense and defense the year before and of course, this year as well.

West Texas might or might not receive much of any snow during the winter months, but of course, we here in northern Colorado don’t usually expect 15 inches of snow the middle of October and below zero temps to boot. This snow took us by surprise but it was so badly needed not only to help put down so many tragic fires going on in our high country but we were so dry, so very dry, here on the plains.

Back to the ball game. When the opposing players stepped down off their bus just before the game, as they almost didn’t get there because of all the snow, we couldn’t believe how big they were! Out biggest player was an All State player the year before and he weighed in at 215 pounds. It appeared to me that a third of their players were that big if not bigger. Their quarterback last year was 6 feet 4 and weighed 210 pounds. He went on to play for the Houston Oilers pro team. I was a 156 pound skinny lad.

How did the game turn out? We “whupped’um” 58 to 0! No kidding, that cold, snowy, icy field was hardly noticed as we ran up and down it scoring one touchdown after another. We did have to change our complete uniforms during half time as they were soaked and freezing on our tough Roughneck bodies.

Let me digress and say I was a little anxious before the most important election this year. In fact when you receive this, the election should be over and me thinks we better take a deep seat in our saddle and a firm grip on the “night latch” (dog collar) around the gullet of the saddle to ride out this important event and direct results. I hope all of you voted the way you felt led and that we will be able to keep a lid on it if we don’t approve of the end results. I think we will be living in one of the most historical times of this country and for sure, it will be interesting to say the least!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember, tough times don’t last but tough folks do! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.


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