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Tough guys

Editor’s Note: Mad Jack Hanks passed away on December 17. This is the last column he wrote for The Fence Post.

Gentle readers, I think most of us guys would like to think of ourselves as somewhat tough. I reckon it could depend on our situation at the time. Some guys, I’m sure live in a somewhat fantasy about who they could be and maybe they already are and haven’t had a chance to prove up. Well, I gotta’ tell ya today I ain’t feeling so tough.

Nope, I let this silly flu catch up to me and as I write this on the 16th day of December, I am 15 steps behind the dogs. You know how it is, your chest is full of junk, your throat is sore, and in my case, I am a mite dizzy. Heck, I may be that way all the time.



Speaking of time. Time takes me back to when I was maybe 10 to 12 years old. I would watch Joel McCrey, Randolf Scott, maybe Gregory Peck or Richard Winmark come riding up to the isolated ranch house occupied only by a beautiful ranch wife who’s husband disappeared seven years ago to look for her milk cow and has never returned. Of course, she has her little blond headed son there to help her and he is about 11 or 12. He needs a dad and she needs her a husband. The problem is, whoever is riding up has an arrow sticking out of his rib cage, one out of his shoulder and one out of his thigh. Not only that, he has a gunshot wound to the chest and one through his good shoulder. Hey man, not a problem, right? She helps him down off his horse, pulls out the arrows, cleans his wounds and manages to get him into the bed for much needed rest. The boy and the woman take extra care of this hombre as they want him to survive and he ain’t all that hard to look at after he is cleaned up a little. Then this magic thing happens. She brews up a portion of her secret herbs and healing properties in a large bowl and sits on his bed side as she has him sip a little at a time. As the next few days pass, we find him wandering around the ranch yard late one evening after supper. He is getting restless you see. I mean he appreciates all that these folks have done for him but he is much too tough to hang around a sod buster’s cabin when there is always a need for tough guys on the frontier to keep things under control. Now, if this here feller was 70 years old instead of 37, he would be more than happy to have a good woman cook and clean for him in his later years. 

Why, I have seen the Duke get shot up in a gun fight and was riding off into the sunset the next day. Those movie guys were tough and they provided us with a lot of entertainment. Then again, you take Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in the big war and he was the real deal. Not only that, he was a heck of a good cowboy actor. We have all seen or heard of folks getting stabbed 63 times or shot 11 or 12 times and somehow or other they survive. Tough guys. I sure don’t feel very tough today. I feel like a wuss. With that said, I think I will go lay down and listen to the wind blow 40 miles an hour while the temp is only about 18 degrees F.



I do hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and are on your way to having a happy and prosperous 2023!

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember to keep a lid on it and not boil over, you may not be all that tough! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.

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