Cowboys At Their Best
“Don’t worry about it, it will make a good story.” I still have sore spots after listing to my friends for years. Lots of good experience and some stories.
Old Cowboys have a way of getting a jump start on you, one old timer ask me how my gun shot when I was showing off my new rifle, I told him it shot good……..he said “Let me see you shoot it and dug a quarter our of his pocket and flipped it to me. I caught it and looked at it, not knowing what to do next. He said, here let me see if your gun shoots very well and took my quarter and flipped it straight into the air. He shouldered my rifle and when the quarter had reached its maximum height, he shot and the quarter went flying off, but I say where it landed and I went and fetched it up. It had a dent right in the middle of it. I asked him if he could do it again and he said he could if we wanted to wager a little …….I thought it best to not play his game.
Cotton told me that there is nothing to being a cowboy, you just have to know how to ride and rope. Men will work cheap to have the chance to ride the plains and fry their brains.
Charlie Russell said, “The mountains and plains have a way of stimulating a man’s imagination. Men raise in town might have some lying tendencies, but when he get outside he starts taking lessons from the prairies, where the mountains are a hundred miles away but seem within touching distance, streams run uphill and Nature appears to lie some herself.”
Peery tells about his grandad when he was a boy and first came to the Pecos River Country, his grandad told him that when they crowded the river in their wagons they had to watch out for the schools of catfish swimming up and down the Pecos. If they weren’t careful, the catfish would lodge up in the spokes of the wheels and swim off with the wagon. He said they would spear the catfish with crowbars to keep them from turning the wagons over.
I like a man of few words that are worth listening to. The Cow Boss was listening to the crew belly ache about a camera woman taking pictures standing behind the gate post in a set of shipping pens we were trying to pen some trotty cows in, and had to go through the gate where the cameral person was . The crew was sure belly aching and the cow boss told them, I sure wouldn’t call myself a cowboy, if I couldn’t drive a cow over an ole gal with a camera. End of conversation, I have never forgot that when I had some cows hard to pen or move.
Like I said, I was the cook also and wasn’t any better at cooking than flanking. All I had to cook with was beef, beans, coffee, and water bread. Period.!! I could get the beef, beans and coffee all eatable. The water bread was a first for me and the first few days the biscuits would rattle on your tin plate. The crew was dunkin’ them in their coffee, hoping to soften them up some.
Andy said,” These biscuits would make good baseballs, Mike, if you made them just a little rounder. But I tell you what. That is just the way I like all my biscuits. Don’t change a thing.” He knew the rules of the camp. If anyone complained about the chuck, they were automatically designated cook.