Page 4 - MWC 10-27-2022s
P. 4

The Midwest Cattleman · October 27, 2022 · P4

                                            For years I carried a .22 cali-  FFA convention.  His brother     throw him in the ‘horse tank’.
                                         ber rifle that he had used when    Bill had gone the year before.    They said they were kidding
                                         he was a boy.  As a teenager, he   In those days, that was a big     around, but when my dad “felt
                                         had accidentally dropped the       deal.    Maybe his experiences    Waldo Palmer’s grip” he knew
                                         hammer on the  Winchester          were part of the reason I ended   they were dead serious.  They
                                         and shot his brother Bill in       up teaching  Agriculture and      had to let him go of him for just
                                         the  ankle.    Being  on  the  re-  was a  FFA advisor  for  four-   a second to cross over a wood
                                         ceiving end, I don’t remember      teen years.  Maybe, in a way, I   corral fence.  Some even got on
                                         my Uncle Bill having the same      have that old Ag. instructor to   one side and some on the other
                                         perspective on the incident.  I    thank for that.  I wish I could   side so he couldn’t escape, but
                                         do  think  that  experience  did   recall his name.  I wish I had    that is exactly what he did.
                                         a lot to contribute to some        that paddle too.   Today, they    As they let go on one side, but
                                         excellent gun safety instruc-      are just for hanging on the       before they could take hold of
         Next Spring, it’ll be ten       tion over the years.  He made      wall though – just a memorial     him on the other, my dad stood
      years since we lost my dad.        sure that his sons always took     to another time.  Today schools   up on the top of the fence and
      From time to time, I’ll be doing   that subject very seriously and    have very little real discipline.    ran  down  the  top  rail  in  the
      something interesting and          we’ve handled guns without         In my dad’s day, there was no     moonlight and got away.  They
      wonder to myself, if he were       incident for a generation.         way to escape it.                 searched for him all night, but
      here today, what would he             Growing up, my dad’s favor-       In college, I’m sure my dad     they never got a drop of water
      have to say?  Born in 1936, he     ite actor was  Audie Murphy.       learned a lot, but I never heard   on him.   My mom was there
      lived through some interesting     He was eleven years older          much of that growing up.          that night.  She says it hap-
      times.   When  you hear  folks     than dad.  You may recall that     What was he most proud of?        pened just the way he told it.
      from the Texas panhandle talk      Audie Murphy was the most          What was the story most told?        He would escape several
      about ‘the thirties’, they never   decorated American  combat         It was about escaping from        other things over the years.
      have a lot of good things to say,   soldier of World War II.  He re-  a bunch of fraternity bullies     He escaped several tractors
      but my dad always did.  He was     ceived every military combat       trying to haze him.  He loved     turning over, he escaped a
      a kid then, and for him, it was    award for valor available from     his class in  ‘tumbling’ and      dozen other mishaps and
      family, hard work and good         the United States Army.   He       used those skills a lot over the   times when it could have se-
      friends that made that time of     was also from Texas.  He went      years.  He was always jumping     riously been the end.  He got
      his life worth remembering.        right into making westerns         or  falling  off  something  mov-  pretty banged up a few times,
         He was actually born in         when he was still in his twen-     ing and would roll and end        but I don’t think he ever had a
      Idaho.   His  folks had  found     ties and his likeness is a lot     up on his feet.  That night, as   single broken bone.
      work there and had traveled        like the ones I saw of my dad      the story goes, a group of older     Finally, almost ten years
      far from home as a means of        when we’d get out the old fam-     fraternity brothers caught        ago  now,  my  dad met  some-
      survival.  He and his brother      ily  photos.   They could  have    him, handcuffed him with real     thing he could not escape from.
      Bill, who we lost just this year,   been brothers.                    handcuffs and had him in the      He was not able to escape the
      were only a few months apart.         One thing I remember            back seat of a car on their way   complications brought on by
      They grew up in a town just        about my dad’s closet when I       out of town where they we         the dreaded  Alzheimer's dis-
      southwest  of Amarillo.   The      was growing up - it always had     going  to make  him  walk the     ease.  He had been run over
      school’s mascot was the ‘Her-      an old blue FFA jacket hang-       10-15 miles back into Lubbock.    by horses and cattle.  He had
      eford  Whitefaces’… It still is.    ing in it.   In high school, my   He got a window rolled down       been under a tractor, but this
      “Go Whitefaces!”  I wonder if      dad had been in the FFA.  In       and then got his feet under       was different.   There was no
      you can still say that today.      those days it was all boys and     him.  As the car slowed for a     escape.  I guess we’ll always
         Dad’s stories about hoeing      sitting naked on a block of        stop sign, he jumped out of the   miss him.
      weeds in rows a mile long and      ice  – reciting  the FFA  Creed    car with his hands handcuffed        If I learned anything from
      milking a dozen cows by hand       is not something they can do       behind his back, rolled and, be-  my dad, I learned about trust.
      never got old.  He looked back     anymore.   There are a lot of      fore they could stop, got away    His favorite Bible verse was
      on those days with pride and       things they can’t do anymore.      from them.  I heard that story    John 3:16 and I heard him
      a bit of humor… like the time      My dad talked a lot about his      many times over the years and     quote it from time to time.
      he rode the last milk cow out of   Ag. instructor.  He never forgot   it never changed a bit.  I be-    Therein lied his hope.  He be-
      the barn.  I guess she bucked      that gentleman, or his paddle.     lieve it happened just the way    lieved it. He trusted it.   The
      just as she went out of the        I guess it was a really big pad-   he told it… including the part    verse talks about love and it
      barn, and his head hit the top     dle and he wasn’t afraid to use    where he tried to explain to      also talks about something
      of the door. He was knocked        it.  The story goes that it had    the officer why he was hand-      else.  It talks about the last,
      out cold for quite a spell.  He    snowed in the panhandle that       cuffed and why he was hiding      the longest, and the most im-
      always laughed when he would       morning and  throwing snow-        in someone’s backyard.            portant  escape of  all.   None
      tell that story.  Years later, he   balls in the school yard was        That escape story could only    of us are going to escape this
      taught me to milk a cow.  He       against the rules.   The Ag. in-   be eclipsed by another escape     world physically alive – it’s
      could squirt a cat on the far      structor lined up a group of se-   story.  This time he was escap-   what happens next that mat-
      end of the barn with milk and      nior boys who had openly bro-      ing another kind of hazing –      ters.
      make him like it.  I thought       ken the rule and gave them a       the type for a wedding groom         Have a great Holiday Sea-
      milking one cow was hard.  I       taste of his board of education.    on their wedding night.  The     son.  Lord willing we’ll see you
      have no idea what milking six      Dad said that paddle would         old custom called  ‘being shi-    on the other side.
      to ten in the morning and then     sure  ‘make your eyes water’       vareed’ was  often harmless,      KwC
      again at  night  might be  like.    but he always spoke highly of     but sometimes it got out of
      I never have really wanted to      the  man  –  he  loved  that  old   hand.   I guess some people
      find out either.  Proud or not, I   gentleman.   In 1953 or 1954,     who claimed to be his friends
      never heard him say… “those        he rode the train all the way to   were playing like they were
      were the good old days.”           Kansas City for the National       going to take Dad down and
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9