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Not so quiet New Year’s entrance

Well, the New Year of 2023 is well on its way. And, as I anticipated, it only took a few hours after Jan. 1 for me to get word about about a New Year’s Eve escapade from my buddy, ol’ A. C. Doocey, from Asbury, Mo.

Readers will recall that A.C. has periodic shortcomings when it comes to handling his alcohol. Well, it happened again in the wee hours of the new year. I got the story straight from a good source, A. C.’s long-suffering wife, Lucy Doocey.

When I called their home that morning to wish them a happy new year, Lucy answered and said A.C. didn’t feel like coming to the phone. 



She said when A.C. arose late that morning, she commented sarcastically, “You were nice and quiet when you got home from your card game about 3 a.m.”

She said A.C. took that as a compliment and began feeling full of himself.



So, Lucy told me she brought A.C. back to reality when she related to him, “But the two drunks who brought you home by clattering up the front porch steps certainly weren’t quiet.”

***

Two Minnesota friends were discussing the recent demise of their mutual friend, Franz, who drowned when he fell into the icy water through the ice hole he’d cut while ice fishing. 

“The poor lummox,” one friend lamented. “I’ll bet he left his poor wife destitute.”

“Oh, no,” the other friend assured the first. “I know for a fact that he left his wife with more than $100,000 in cash.”

“A hundred grand,” the first friend said. “Who’d a’thunk it? It was well known that Franz couldn’t read or write or do math.”

“Or, swim,” the second friend concluded.

***

Speaking of schooling, or lack thereof — a rural mother back in the days of one-room school houses wuz bragging to her big city sister about what good multi-lingual skills her son had achieved at his one room school.

The skeptical sister responded with a question, “Well, what languages is your young Mr. Einstein studying?”

The rural mom replied, proudly, “Spanish, French, German and Algebra.”

“That’s impressive,” the city sis replied. “Put little Einstein on the phone and have him say ‘Good Morning, auntie,” in algebra.

***

As I mentioned last week, a voracious, vicious little prairie falcon is preying unmercifully on both my chickens and my “pet” covey of quail. 

To stop the predation on my chicken flock, I put up a much smaller pen with a top on it. So far, that project has worked.

To cut down on the quail massacres, I’ve started spreading the grain sorghum and cracked corn way back under low-hanging cedar tree limbs. I think that gives the quail a better chance at avoiding becoming the main course of a falcon buffet.

***

I’ve got good news on my old 1997 pickup truck that I advertised for sale in this column. 

The very first day, a retired rancher, ol’ P. Lowe deRhode, who lives a “fur piece” south of Ainsworth, Neb., on the eastern edge of the Nebraska Sand Hills, called and bought the pickup sight unseen. He said the pictures of the truck I sent “looked slick.” 

He said my Kansas Flint Hills pickup would feel right at home in the Nebraska Sand Hills — and I suspect he’s right. It needs a change of scenery. 

Lowe said he’d put the check in the mail, but then a blizzard hit Nebraska, and he said it could take several days before the snow plow could clear the road to his mailbox. 

At any rate, when the check arrives, I’ll hold it until Lowe comes for the pickup. It’s just a’waiting patiently in the garage.

***

It’s with a heavy heart that I pass along the sad news of the death of “Mad Jack” Hanks, 82, a fellow rural/aggie/cowboy columnist who ranched in Colorado. Mad Jack’s column appeared weekly in The Fence Post and his columns could be both boot-kicking humorous, or butt-kicking serious. He was also an artist and cartoonist. His early years were spent cowboying in the Texas Panhandle.

I regret that I never had the chance to meet Mad Jack in person, but we were kindred spirits in our belief in the positive values of rural life, and our largely negative views of the political path America is trundling down. 

I don’t know how Jack Hanks acquired the “Mad” part of his persona. Perhaps it was because half of what he saw made him “Mad.”

Mad Jack Hanks’ “celebration of life” services were held at his favorite saloon and country-western dance hall in Fort Collins, Colo. No better way to bow out, tip your Stetson, and disappear over the final horizon.

***

Words of wisdom for the week: “Praise is something a person tells you about yourself that you’ve suspected all along.” Have a good ‘un.

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Milo Yield

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