The long ride home |

The long ride home

Gentle readers, I have taken that long ride home many, many times and I would bet most of you have as well. Whatcha’ talkin’ ’bout, Mad Jack? Well, that long ride home can come in many ways. For example: there will be hunters that have spent a few days or longer trying to get their deer or elk or maybe even a bear. No such luck. Cold, snow sleepless nights in a cold tent and miles of walking and never fired a shot. That ride back to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas or maybe somewhere here in Colorado for sure can be a long ride home. When we buried “Little Miss Martha” on that cold, cold January morning, though the distance was short, that was a long ride home for me to an empty house when the family had all gone. There were those times when the folks took my brother and I to New Mexico or Colorado on vacation to escape that West Texas heat in the summer. Trust me when I say that was a long, long ride home. It wouldn’t be long until I had to start two a day football practice to get ready for the upcoming season. There were those out of town trips when I played football and basketball and it was late and the bus was cold to start with, that we had some of those trips be that long ride home. If you lost, it was a longer trip or so it seemed. I remember once when Martha and I and our daughter Sunni went down to Texas to my mother’s funeral. We stayed with my sister in Midland and late one evening we discovered she had some of her kids coming to stay. At nine o’clock in the evening, do we get a motel room or head back on the 12 hour drive to Colorado? We were wide awake so we pointed that old Buick north and took the long, long, long drive home. There were those times when I had ridden up the mountain to prowl the timber and either check on the cattle’s welfare or try and see if we had gotten them all off the mountain days before in preparation for winter. Sometimes that ride down off the mountain to a warm house and hot coffee was a long ride home.

All of you have your own “long ride home” stories and experiences and we always remember them and they have a place in our memory. Right? Yes, of course they do. By the way, let me bring you up to date on my “hat blowing away in the wind” story in a recent column. Short version is my favorite hat blew off my head on our main street in a terrible windstorm. It left so fast and as hard as I tried to see in what direction it might wind up, I couldn’t locate it. It was a mystery. My neighbor and I looked for it for 20 minutes or so with no luck. I hated to lose it as it was the perfect hat for me and I had had it for years. A few days later, (I ain’t makin’ this up), a feller walks in the cafe and says, “Jack, did you know you have a nice looking black hat stuck in the brush guard on your truck?” It had blown off my head, over the hood of my truck and got stuck in between the grill and my brush guard. It was in perfect shape, what JOY!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, there is hope after the results of the Virginia election! Hang tight and if we hang, lets hang together, and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.

Mad Jack Hanks

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