Laugh tracks in the dust


                Whew! This has been a busy week on a lot of fronts. On the sports front, my Kansas City Royals came up 90-feet and one run shy of sending the World Series into extra innings.

However, the Boys in Blue are still the American League champions and the future looks bright for the team. Perhaps next year.

Last weekend, ol’ Nevah and I met friends Canby and Mae Bea Handy, for a football game at my alma mater, Bea Wilder U. Our team won in a shut out and we met new tailgating friends who made a mean Bloody Mary to celebrate the victory.

The weather for the game was unreal. Temperatures reached 90 degrees and there wuz no wind — unheard of the last week of October in the Flint Hills.


But, today is quite a turnaround in the weather. The temp was 36 degrees this morning when I arose and it has only risen into the mid-40s, pushed along by a more-than-brisk easterly wind.

We had a light frost a couple of nights ago, so I decided to tear out the tomato and pepper plants yesterday — even though we’ve not had a killing frost. I got half the job done and quit when my back said “Enuf!”

I gave most of my pepper bonanza to my neighbor who promised me that his wife would make me another big batch of hot green chili sauce in a couple of days. Her chili sauce lights up my morning glass of tomato juice and certainly wakes up my taste buds.

The forecast predicts lows in the low 20s this weekend, so the rest of the ‘maters will go after a killing freeze. The only edible thing left in the garden are the last pickings of lima beans and cow peas. They’ve been producing like crazy all summer long and I’ve got a couple gallons of dried beans for making hams and beans during the cold winter.


A couple of sunny afternoons recently I went back to my childhood and went squirrel hunting with friends. The first hunt we got three “tree rats” and the second hunt we saw only one squirrel and he disappeared in a hole. But, the whole purpose wuz to enjoy the peacefulness of the woods on a fine fall day, so I’d rate the hunts a big success on that score.


And, on the subject of hunting, two days ago I scored a chicken-killing coyote on one long, lucky shot. The critter wuz standing near my west property line across the pond and eyeing my chicken flock– a good 240 yards away. I figgered I’d only be giving him a “courtesy shot” to scare him away, so I wuz surprised to see him drop when I squeezed the trigger. Folks, just start calling me “Dead-Eye.”


The Old Boars’ Breakfast at Saffordville last Wednesday morning wuz one of our more lively. That’s becuz it wuz just before Halloween and the conversation turned to Halloween pranks we pulled as grade-schoolers and high-schoolers back in the 1940s and 1950s.

I had to tell them about the time we high school boys scattered a hay rack full of corn cobs (with sideboards) down Main Street in my hometown. I also recounted that we (half) painted the new water tower. We would have finished the job if we hadn’t had to beat a hasty retreat. Have you ever seen the mess a gallon of paint makes when it lands after being tossed off a water tower? That night we also burned an “M” into the grass on the football field and tipped over a few outhouses. I only hope the statute of limitations has passed for childhood pranks.

Another breakfaster recounted how he and friends pushed a pickup truck with the bed filled with “aromatic” chicken feathers a half-mile and parked it against the door of the bizness that created the stinky mess in the first place.

Another story teller told about manually lifting a Volkswagen Beetle over a cable restricting access to the sidewalk in his town.

And another story happened in the county seat of an adjoining county. Another group of pranksters scattered flakes of prairie hay down the two main streets downtown. The storyteller and his friends thought it would enliven the prank a bit by setting the flakes of hay on fire. Which they did until local law enforcement put a quick stop it.

In those good ol’ days, such pranks were merely “boys being boys” and nothing of consequence came of it. I can’t imagine all the criminal charges (and fines or jail time) that such pranks would draw now, but I’m sure they would include criminal mischief, destruction of property, disturbing the peace, and public endangerment. And, we’d probably have to go through therapy.

Plus, these days our parents would be charged with negligent parenting, providing restitution and have to endure endless welfare followup checks.

I liked it better in the old days.


By the time I write my next column, the mid-term elections will be over and we-the-people will try to live with the consequences. This is one election when I held my nose through the whole ballot-marking process.


Hum-m-m? Halloween pranks and elections in the same column. So, let’s close with this wise quote from Will Rogers. He said, “Everything is changing. People are taking comedians seriously and politicians as a joke.” Amen.


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