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Kountry Life Memories

A Memory of Being a Kid
I remember when i was a kid there was a man that lived near us a couple miles away he was in about his late 50s a very nice man he lived alone on about 80 acres in the river bottom it was worthless land full of rocks and trees and low spots the river would claim every spring. I use to go over and vist him all the time he lived alone and he loved my company he taught me many things about life and how to live off of nothing he had a run down old house about has big has my 2 stall garge just one bedroom kitchen sitting room etc. small little old house with old wash tubs beside it and weeds he had a very run down old barn a old chicken coop and a hog house and a lean to type building. It was fenced in beside his barn and he had his horses out there. he had the most beatiful horses i had ever seen he had a big bucksin mare and a huge black stud that were my favorties plus all the others running along the river bottoms on his land he had a herd of cattle probably about 30 head of them he just let them run on his 80 and it was basicly like a small ranch he had junk all over though there was old car bodys laying all over like model As and Ts and old wagons and junk every were he was always out in his little garden tending to his crops that he would eat all winter along with one of his cows or hogs he would slaughter. there was also coon skins tacked all over the walls on the barns and shed he coon hunted the river bottom all the time in the fall and winter he had two old blue ticks named tom and lucy probably the two best coon hound i had ever seen. some times he would sell some of his cattle or hogs and i would help him haul them man it was a bumpy ride in his old truck it was a old 30s ford that had seen better days but he drove it along with no care in the world. of course i grew up and went off to college and moved away but i would still come back home for christmas and stuff and i would vist the old man in the river bottoms. then one night i got the call that he died. my wife then newly weds thought i was nuts to go back home for the old mans funeral but i had to. it wasnt a large funeral at all he had hardly any family. not to long after that i had a call one day to tell me there was some things that the old man had wanted me to have. it brought tears to my eyes when i got the old gold pocket watch he always checked time with i was also told he wanted me to have his gun. i figured it to be his old 22. rifle or 12 gauge he always hunted with but the gun i got was one i didnt know he even had it was a gun belt with a Colt 45 handgun i was told by his sister it was given to the old man by a cow puncher many years ago that taught him everything he had knew i had a erie feeling has i took the old gun wondering how many cattle drives it had been on and for that matter even gun fights. soon after my parnets sold the place back home and i had no reason to go back but my wife and i and my two boys took a vaction a while back and i went down to the bottoms to see what was left. all i found was the windmill a pile of rotted lumber from the barn and the lean to bulding was still standing. im not sure who owns it now. but some of the place is still there most of his old junk is all gone but i really didnt looked much through the trees i noticed the fence him and i put up was still standing. not to bad for being there for 35 damn near 40 years now. but i will always remember that man that taught me so much. and i thought maybe you would all like to hear about him.

[Posted to the KountryLife Message Board, October 2001]

Joe the Wrangler, from NA, entered 2002-08-24

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