This is one of my favorite times of the year — when the profusion of fall prairie wildflowers are widely in bloom. The yellows (regular old sunflowers, Maximillian sunflowers, and all the other types of sunflowers, the broomweed, and even dandelions) and the purples (led by the blazing stars in every pasture) make for memorable viewing by those of us who love the Flint Hills. The beauty of fall prairie colors easily match those of spring.
The fall fruit harvest is in full swing. Ol’ Nevah and I have frozen our apple crop and today we canned 21 quarts of pears that were generously given to us by the “Mocephus Clan.”
And, speaking of my friend Mocephus, I’m lucky to have him speaking to me at all after what I caused to happen to him. Here’s what happened. I had a boat trailer project underway and I needed two lengths of oilfield sucker rods. As it happened, Mocephus had some on hand — all we needed to do wuz cut it to length.
I proposed to cut the steel with a hacksaw, but Mocephus suggested an easier way wuz to use his power circular cutter. So, we laid the sucker rod out on a couple of sawhorses and Mo put the cutter to the metal amidst a shower of sparks.
Well, as bad luck would have it, one of the sparks flew us into his face and ignited the oxygen tube he uses frequently to help his breathing. Instantaneously, a flame ignited around his nose and, despite his swift action, the flames seared parts of the inside of his nostrils.
Luckily, no permanent damage wuz done, but it took more than a week of recovery.
As Mo’s wife sagely, and wittily, commented, some good could come of the accident if Mo agreed to be a poster child for supplemental oxygen safety.
All in all, it wuz a safety lesson well learned by both of us. We’re both thankful that it wuzn’t much worse.
After searching the community for a good place to dove hunt, I finally discovered a population using a little pond not a quarter of a mile from Damphewmore acres. I hunted it one evening with two young men neighbors and we harvested 15 doves and got my young bird dog, Mandy, some useful retrieving lessons.
The next evening, I hunted the pond by myself and the doves played peek-a-boo with me and I wuz nearly skunked.
A long-time friend and construction professional from Wamego, Kan., ol’ Sawn Hammer, whom I had never fished with, drove down this week for a few hours of fishing. It wuz just one of those forgettable afternoons on the water. We caught only four small fish in three hours.
But. we made up for our lack of fishing success by spending hours gabbing and telling tales while imbibing our favorite beverage. I think that wuz more enjoyable than good fishing.
Last weekend ol’ Nevah and I attended a football game at my alma mater,
Bea Wilder U. We stayed overnight at our daughter’s home and attended the morning game the next day.
The ol’ alma mater made it worth the trip — and worth enduring the excessively loud stadium noise — by trouncing the opposing team.
It’s hard to tell a true story without my good buddy Willie Jay from Mt. Vernon, Mo., having a story to top it. You’ll recall that last week, I mentioned retrieving a 40-pound waterlogged hedge post with my fishing line. Well, Willie Jay topped it with this story:
“Milo, I got a better one than that. Me, dad, and a good buddy were trolling for spoonbill cats. My buddy caught a real Wizard that really put up a fight on a 6-foot hackberry pole that my dad, H.C., crafted long ago. He had on 100-pound test braided line, plus the stream flow was probably 5 mph. The way that fish acted, we knew it was big. So, we boated over a gravel bar to pull in the whopper.
“When he landed it, it was a 24-inch old Wizard push lawnmower. My buddy said he enjoyed that fight as much as if it had been a real whopper. We’ve had a lot of laughs about it over the years. He says if it was to do over, he’d have it mounted and hung it over the shop door.”
What can I say/ That fishing line story beats mine hands down.
It’s been a while since I’ve reported on an escapade about my ol’ Asbury, Mo., buddy, A. C. Doocey. It seems that A.C. got grounded by the cops and had to resort to bicycle transportation. When I called him recently, he told me this story:
“Milo, I went to the liquor store Friday afternoon on my bicycle. I bought a bottle of wine and put it in the bicycle basket. As I was about to leave, I thought to myself that if I fell off the bicycle, the bottle would break. So I drank all the wine before I cycled home. It turned out to be a very good decision because I fell off my bicycle seven times on the way home.”
Here’s a closing political limerick:
A tin-pot dictator named Kim.
Let his ego get the better of him.
So he unleashed a nuke,
And it wasn’t a fluke.
Now his people hear only the “Kim Hymn.”
Have a good ‘un.