Out of Copenhagen

Out of Copenhagen 


       Mike Capron


A man out of Copenhagen is a serious situation. He will ride hard to get some.

I never chewed Copenhagen but one time. It was on a cow work a long way from town and I ran out of Bull Durham. I made the comment about wanting a cigarette and one of my friends said he didn’t have any cigarettes but he had some Copenhagen. 

I took one dip and skipped breakfast and flew till supper. I was hooked. I stayed on it until we got to town, which was until the end of the month. When I got to town I bought some Bull Durham and threw the can down that I had  bummed from my friend. But Bull Durham wasn’t getting the job done and I wanted the Copenhagen back.

 I was determined to quit the dipping. I couldn’t believe what a hold it had on me in just a couple weeks of dipping. It was the hardest thing to quit that I had ever experienced. I was throughly impressed. I won’t even think of trying it again !!  

Horses have packed a lot of individuals for many reasons. I don’t think there is any less interest now than they ever was in horses. Times have changed for sure, but I am  sure that the horse numbers are larger now than ever before. I have been around horses most of my life and find them still to be a necessary house hold item. Most people I have been around owned horses. Never met many people who haven’t had some kind of experiences with a horse. Most of the time it is a good story and they enjoy telling the experience. 

I was working on the Six Bar Ranch for a man who had just purchased the ranch and he  was the owner of 5 ranches scattered around Texas. Tony Kunitz was his name. He was as unique as Charlie Goodnight.  Tony was the largest non-union pipeline contractor in Texas. He loved pick-ups and he owned 400 of them when he was in the height of his pipelining days. Tony could drive further with nothing but a cigar and a Jerry Lee Lewis cassette tape than any man I ever saw. Tony left early and came in late. You had better pack your own lunch when you went with him unless you could get by on chewing gum , peanut patties and beanie weanies. 

He had some special guests come to the ranch for a visit. Tony was an entertainer deluxe.  He loved the ranch and loved to show it to everyone. It was his favorite chore to leave the HQ in the morn early and drive all day looking for deer during deer season just to show his friends. He was owner of the ranch nearly 30 years and I only knew him to kill two deer in that length of time. But he made sure all his friends and customers got a chance to kill one. He loved to show them around and help them to get a deer. If it wasn’t deer season he would switch his efforts to hunting water leaks. He had 100,000 acres, a hundred water troughs and 150 miles of pipe line. We always had a water leak and he loved to find one and show me where it was. I told him we always had a water leak no matter how much we looked and worked to fix them. We finially figured out the game liked to drink from the water leaks better than out of the troughs. We got to hauling around some bentonite and sealing the ground around the water leaks and making some nice little water holes. Even the cattle liked this better. It wasn’t using that much more water if any as the bentonite sure sealed the ground and we reduced the leaks to a strong drip which was sufficient for all the animals. 

Like I was saying these guests were here and Tony was excited to have someone to show the ranch to. I couldn’t get out of going either. These folks had driven to the ranch from Carlsbad and Tony told them to get in his suburban and that he had a jungle lunch packed and some drinks. We drove all day on rough ranch roads up the Delaware Rim and all over the Delaware Mountains. We were all getting tired and hungry but not Tony. This was his long suit and he hadn’t even slowed up. It was about 4 pm when we got to the Rock House. The ladies were sure excited about the possibilities of a restroom in the Rock House. They went in immediately and I unloaded the jungle lunch. Got it spread out on the kitchen table. Beanie Weanies, crackers, sardines, peanut patties and canned tomatoes that I had in the cupboard. I opened a can of tomatoes, some salt and pepper and a spoon and I was all right. The guests came in relieved but not interested in the lunchy  I had spread out. They kept looking the old Rock House over and I kept eating my can of tomatoes.  Directly one of the ladies ask me if the canned tomatoes were good.  

I said, “Oh yes ma’am, let me open you a can”. Which I did. She wolfed them down like they were peaches and asked for another. I got her one while another guest asked to try some. They ate all the canned tomatoes that were at the Rock House. Didn’t damage the sardine supply any, but we had canned tomatoes at the Rock House from then on. 

Tony loved the ranch except for the cows. He told me he didn’t know anything about cows and didn’t want to know anything about them. That is why he had me there. He was about the same way about horses.  We were driving around looking for water leaks one day and ran into my remuda of horses. I had 12 horses. They were all mine and when Tony wasn’t there I rode lots of miles checking  for things we couldn’t see from the truck. Roads were the scariest comody we had.  I probably had a few more horses than I needed but some were young and all in various stages of maturity. They were all standing in a group looking for a hand out when we drove up. Tony wasn’t sure how to comment on horses so he just blurted out what came to his mind.

“What the hell are you doing with so many horses?”

I said, “That is a funny question coming from a man with 400 pick-ups!!!”

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