Laugh tracks in the dust

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Who sez old folks can’t have a party? Ol’ Nevah and I survived (barely) a doozie during our 4-day “50FEST.”

We had more than 100 folks at the “Handshake and Howdy” reception and around 45, mostly extended family members, for the post-party in our huge garage. That party broke up shortly before midnight. We feasted, imbibed, and gabbed.

The oldsters got caught up on family happenings, the first-cousins recreated photos from their youth and played a few pranks on us (the honored couple), and the second-cousins got reacquainted by playing frisbee golf and card games.

And, although we requested no gifts, my bro-in-law broke the rule and brought me a well-rusted, but still usable, roll of hay baling wire so I would quit bugging him for a wire supply to keep Damphewmore Acres operational.

All our kids, hubbies and grandkids stayed over for an extra day or two of four-wheeling, card games and fishing.

On Labor Day I took my youngest granddaughter fishing in our pond. She had a new ultralight reel that I rigged for her. And, as luck would have it, on the very first cast, she caught a small channel catfish that gave her quite a tussle on that ultralight. We fished for 2 1/2 hours and caught at least a dozen fish. I think it was a memorable outing for her.

Our guests from the farthest distance wuz Nevah’s cousin from Marietta, Ga. Next farthest wuz friends from Hastings, Neb. Also a few welcome column readers dropped in.

All in all, it wuz a hoot. But when it wuz over, the trash hauled out, the place tidied up, and all the borrowed tables and chairs returned, Nevah and I said “whew,” and agreed that once every 50 years is a’plenty.

***

I want to mention that in cleaning up the garage for the 50FEST, we discovered a medium-sized black snake had made a home under our second refrigerator. Of course, it wuz my job to expel it before the party.

That proved a bit difficult and I had to move the fridge, get on my belly, and maneuver the snake until I could get my leather-gloved hand on it. I yanked the snake free of the fridge and while on my back whipped it back and forth on the concrete floor. As I wuz cracking the whip with the critter, I noticed something come flying out of it’s mouth.

Surprise! I made the snake cough up a dead mouse. So I guess I owe the now-departed black snake a post-mortem nod for rodent control.

One lasting result of the 50FEST is that our garage is less cluttered and varmint free.

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Over the weekend, we got a welcome 3.2-inch rain and followed that up with another 0.3-tenths the next night. That rain revived the area’s soybeans and perked up the little trees and bushes in our yard. I didn’t even have to water the tomatoes.

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Now I’ll relay to you a funny true story that happened several decades ago.

A prominent Flint Hills rancher and beef industry leader had recently expanded his beef enterprise to include a sizable feedlot. His other beef enterprises included summer-pastured feeder steers and heifers and also a nice purebred herd of Longhorns.

Now this rancher acquired many of his feedlot cattle from the southern states and most of the loads were of the “rainbow” cattle variety.

Well, on the day of the story, two pot-loads of mixed southern cattle arrived at the feedlot for processing by the ranch hands. As the processing took place, the rancher was occupied with other duties.

Suddenly, the ranch hands looked up to see the rancher driving his old Cadillac hell-for-leather, in a cloud of dust, over a series of terraces heading for the feedlot. Upon arrival, the rancher leaped out of his Caddy, hopped up on the fence, and looked over his newly-arrived cattle.

And then his face dropped and, utterly crestfallen, he returned to the Caddy and slowly made his way back to the feedlot headquarters.

Not long after the head cowboy came into the feedlot office and said to the rancher, “What was THAT all about?”

The dejected rancher replied, “Well, I forgot to mention to the crew that I bought an expensive, high-powered, young registered Longhorn bull and needed him cut out from the rest of the cattle before you started working them. I remembered too late and now he’s a dehorned Longhorn steer.”

***

I heard about and old ruralist who wuz sitting with his buddies over a few cold brewskis in a small town bar. They were discussing their memories they’d garnered with their sons.

The old-time said, “Ah, it brings back the memory of the time I took my son our for his first drink. I got him a Miller Genuine. He didn’t like it – so I drank it.

Then I got him an Old Style and he didn’t like it either, so I drank it. It was the same with the Coors and the Bud. By the time we got down to the Irish whiskey,

I could hardly push his stroller back home.”

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I’ll close with that little stroll down memory lane. No room for wise words this week. So, just have a good ‘un.

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