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January 14, 2014

So glad to see 2014 arrive with the world still turning and the sun still shining. This time of year always seems like a clean slate. A new start that I will personally endeavor to make the best of realizing that one of the New Year’s will be the last one.
Dee Sharrock at Palava used to say that the Bible said it would rain on the just and the unjust. Then he said, “If it would just rain on the unjust, I could carry water to the just in my hat.”
A couple on going, fast. “He was driving like a 16 year old that was in town on Saturday night in their granddaddy’s pickup.” Roy Jennings told of another couple they were friends with while still living in Oklahoma. The girl of the couple was a granddaughter of Chief Quanah Parker and real proud of it. Roy was roping off a good horse predictably called “Ole Danny”. Little Quanette (I guess) said, “Roy, I know old Danny never has ran barrels but he is fast. So let me try him.”
Roy said he went out in the bronc pen and pulled a wire off a bale, folded it and twisted it together for a little bit. He said she took it, got on Danny and backed way back from the starting box. Roy was about half-pale when he said, “When she came riding through that box, she was riding Ole Danny like she had just stolen him.”
I really liked that. She won and went on TV to win against all the barrel horses in Oklahoma. A real live example of the term “proud of her heritage”.
Once in a while someone asks, “How do you keep writing?” and I say, “It’s real simple, in that one story reminds me of another one.” So here goes an example.
Frances loved horses and all animals. She liked to ride but was not a real horse person. Anyway, Honey and I were going to ride in a parade from Sweetwater driving (3rd and Ash) to the old K-Mart parking lot. We left my red pickup and horse trailer down there, pointed the way it should be (no backing!) and she came to the parking lot to pick us up. Picture a red pickup and trailer, Frances wearing a pullover Indian-looking top I had bought her in Santa Fe. All that thick, real black hair--a mental picture I will never forget. I rode up to the pickup window and said, “Lord, sugar, you look so pretty. You look like you just left the reservation pulling a real chargy barrel horse with his tail tied up.”
She liked that, proud of her Cherokee heritage. I would give many dollars and a good horse for a big framed Kodak picture of that. If we could just go back. Once in a while, someone comments on how smart Frances was and I say, “She was so smart, she can’t talk to herself.”
On that note, it reminds me of what Randall Smith said the other day when talking about a girl that had just graduated and had numerous scholarships offered to her. I said, “She sounds real smart,” and he said, “Yeah, she’s smarter than a busload of county agents.” He has a big bucket of real good ones.
I see more and more stuff usually this time of year about weight management. Puts in my mind what Daddy used to say about our calves. “I guess we need to sell ‘em. They are fatter than town dogs.” The other end of the scale is, “That poor girl is so skinny, you couldn’t hit her with a handful of shelled corn.”
This time of year, it might be appropriate to say every time I would see Minnie Franklin at the post office, I would ask, “Minnie, how are you doing?” She would say, “Fine, fine. The Lord’s been good to me. I woke up this morning and put both feet to the floor.” The Lord has not made a walking, talking example of more faith.
P.S. Any one of you’ins remember raisin pie?

Stan Johnson lives and works in Nolan County. Comments about this column can be emailed to editor@sweetwaterreporter.com.

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