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Yesteryear

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

Wind, fire, protest, riots, folks confined, freedoms lost and an uncertain tomorrow with the most important election on the horizon just around the corner is what’s on our table. Norman Rockwell would not know what or how to put to canvas to represent today’s daily life! Mr. Rockwell was a painter who painted the human condition. He painted our faces from grandpas to toddlers in our most vulnerable moments. He would never be able to comprehend this whirlwind of ultimate concern that we as Americans are facing each and every morning when we get out of bed. Farmers find it hard to unpack all that our trade deals with China and other countries present to them in such trying times. Ranchers are concerned about steady cattle prices. Will they go up, go down, remain the same? Will my brand of beef be as desirable as in the past? They can’t socialize at the sale barn with the same number of friends and neighbors as before because of the COVID virus.

Six feet apart! Little arrows in all the aisles of our shopping places direct us to obey and follow the direction they point us to go, and most of us do as we are told. I don’t think General Patton or “the Duke” would pay any attention to little arrows on the floor or care about the stern looks directed at them by little old ladies wearing masks especially if these two giants were not wearing one. I would bet ya a dollar to a donut they would not. Remember The Lone Ranger came from “yesteryear!”

I saw on the news a few minutes ago where this woman was being filmed ripping down a large political sign in her community. She could care less who saw her and she stated to the guy shooting the video that “I’m not doing anything wrong!” The cops are trying to find her and show her the error of her ways. This is where we are: no respect for other’s property, a flaming disgust for other’s who share a different point of view. I received a check for a calendar recently and the fellow remarked at how he really “liked my cartoons and enjoyed reading my column, however, Mad Jack, I abhor your politics.” I thanked him for his comments and encouraged him to keep reading. That’s the way it should be, but as we’ve learned, most likely it will not be. Gentle readers if we all thought alike, what a boring life we would live. Heck, I wouldn’t have opinions to express that anyone would want to even take the time to read. 2020 is and has been a year we will all remember! I always expect the coming year to be one to look forward to and then last year I had the “hoss” wreck and that purty much ruined that year. Up comes 2020 and it has been nothing short of a “wreck of another kind” for all of us.

I would so like to be able to go back to more peaceful times when Gary Cooper placed a steady gaze on his opponent and made the feller uncomfortable and Ricky was trying to “splain” something to Lucy and I could sit down at the kitchen table and help my mom snap green beans. She made me and I’m so glad she did. Those little things that seemed so unimportant loom large in my brain today. Yesteryear! Will we ever be able to find it again? I would be out on one of my ponies drifting across my pasture and erasing a lot of this from my mind if it were not for all that dang smoke drifin’ across the country from our forests on fire to the west.

I hope against hope that after this election we don’t have the upheaval that is forecast. I expect it could be very bad and I think Norman Rockell would get up from his easel, lay down his brushes and be so bewildered he could not function.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, and there is an old cowboy sayin, “never miss an opportunity to shut up” and I am not so sure that will be applicable under current conditions! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖


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