Monday, January 30, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 30th Installment

rack of their 4x4 pick–ups, mostly with 1J Jefferson County or 5C Clark County plates; and then there were the hunter wannabe fools from the city, driving their 'new–off–the–lot' pick–ups with 8/B Bonneville County plates. All the locals knew to stay clear of these 8/B boys, if you didn't want to get shot.
           “Tex is here,” I called to Russ as a tractor turned into our lane. We trotted up to the tractor to meet a disheveled old gentleman needing a bath and a shave with traces of clean streaks washed through the dirt by the tears caused by the wind and cold cause the tractor doesn’t have a wind shield.

Want some goobers?” Tex chirped. He was a cheery, young fellow trapped in a sad elderly body. Tex was just a little taller than us, a skinny stretched out piece of jerky, lanky and thin looking about the same as a piece of dried beef. He was a product of too much drink, too much living alone with no family around and too many bad things happening, but he had us. Tex, Russ and I were the most unlikely three musketeers: two kids and an ancient cowboy – happiness together.

             “Sure, you know we love peanuts,” Russ said, grabbing a handful. I dove both hands into the gunny sank to extract a double handful of the un–shelled peanuts. Tex always had a fifty pound sack of peanuts with him on his tractor.
             “Have you done any more work on your house, since we helped you dig your foundation this spring?” I asked.
             “Not much, been too busy trying to keep people off my place. Seems like I have to go after a hunter, a thief, or my neighbor, and run them off my farm every other day,” Tex lamented as he pulled his warmed up hands out of his coat and rubbed his cold red face. Tex had about 800 acres just north of the Camas National Refuge. He didn't farm the land anymore and besides those 800 acres, he had his tractor, the round tin granary (a small tin silo) he lived in, and piles of cinder blocks and lumber for the dream of building his house with our help someday.

I was thinking about what had happened this spring while we were digging the hole for his house; he had wandered off with a little 410 shot gun and had returned with a freshly shot sage hen. “Dinner in an hour,” he said as he stood over us on the edge of the hole. “Jeepers, the way you’re digging, I’ll have a house to eat this bird in as soon as I get’er cooked,” he cheered and rambled away.

           “Do you think it’s been more than an hour?” I asked Russ. “Let’s go see if he’s still alive in that tuna fish can he lives in.”
“I was just about to call you mutts to dinner,”

500 more words tomorrow

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