A Simple Command

horse-skidding

Vintage Picture of Logging Operation

For a time, Daddy had an old time logging operation.  Mr. Bill was old when Daddy was just a kid so he was probably at least eighty at the time he ran Daddy’s brought his horses and came to work.  He set up camp in a shack on skids he hauled in on his old truck.  A mess of barking dogs piled out when he opened the truck door, quieting at his word.  A truck pulled in behind him hauling in his two enormous logging horses.  At Uncle Bill’s command, the horses backed out of the trailer and moved into position behind his truck.  He harnessed them to chains attached to the shack.  In seconds it was unloaded and skidded into place.  He quickly set to work sawing and positioning a few saplings to make a shelter for the horses, topping it was a few pieces of tin he pulled from the back of his truck.  Two bucket for feed and a water bucket later, he and the horses were snug at home.  The intelligent horses needed no reins, following Bill’s verbal commands as they slid the big logs out of the thickets, positioning them in perfect loading position next to the skids of the log wagon. There they waited until unchained from their load, only to walk around the wagon to assume their position on the opposite side of the wagon.  As soon as they heard the chain hooked to their harness, they worked in tandem to pull the huge logs onto the wagon, halting at the sound of the logs settling into place.  Had they only had opposable thumbs and been able to manage the chains, they wouldn’t have needed the help of the man at all.  It was amazing to see the skill and respect Bill and his giants shared in the job they did.

 

Footloose and Fancyfree (Part 2)

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True - Wedding Dresses for Pregnant Women

Even though the occasion of Bobo and Inez’s marriage preceeded my birth by a few days, Mother has told me the story so often, I feel I was there. Bobo showed up with his bride just hours after they married. No doubt, he was proud of her. He was twenty-seven; she, fifteen and visibly pregnant. Now, he’d be arrested. Quite a buxom lass, she was lovely. Continue reading

Footloose and Fancy-Free (Part 1)

overalls 2repost:

Cousin Bobo was footloose and fancy-free, unperturbed by the economic responsibilities of four children in three years. He doted on his child-bride, Inez, living quite happily with her and their family in an old unpainted, farm house on her mama’s place. Despite his aversion to a regular work schedule, he and Inez managed fine. There was no power to the house, so no bills, the wood stove and fireplace sufficing for heat and cooking. The house was abandoned when they moved in, so he tacked wire over the open windows to keep varmints out, shuttering the windows for bad weather. Mama was real proud he did the right thing and married Inez, so she wasn’t about to stir up trouble, especially after the young’uns started coming. Bobo plowed and planted Mama’s garden, later helping get the peas picked and corn cut. Except for the few days he spent plowing, and cutting firewood, he fished and hunted every day. He happily peddled watermelons and turnip greens out of his old ’49 Ford Truck. They never ran short of game or fish. Sometimes he’d help a neighbor butcher a beef or hog, bringing in extra meat. He wasn’t averse to helping family with a little painting or carpentry work from time to time, as long as it was understood that his labor included a few days’s hospitality for his family. He kept Mama’s freezer full. That along with Mama’s chickens and eggs, the cow’s milk and butter kept them going just fine. Getting clothes for the kids wasn’t a challenge. Inez was the youngest of six spectacularly fertile sisters. Their cousin’s hand-me-downs were plentiful. All those little blonde tykes lined up in overalls year round was awe-inspiring. Most of the time, they wore shirts under their overalls in winter. Plenty of old tennis shoes lay casually around, should any of the kids decide they needed footwear. Some even had mates. Size wasn’t an issue. Should a shoe be too big, it worked fine to slide-style and let it flop. The kids weren’t partial to shoes anyway, unless they were picking around in a trash dump with old cans or broken glass. Strings were scarce, but I never noticed anybody complaining.

I loved it when Bobo, Inez, and the kids showed up. Mother wasn’t always so enthusiastic, figuring they had run out of groceries and needed a place to roost for a few days. They did seem more likely to show up in bad weather, when a warm house was helpful. Sometimes they’d stay a few days with this relative, a few with that one, moving one before the tension got too thick. Mother complained about relatives giving them gas money to help them down the road to their next hosts.  I know I saw her slip Inez a little of her grocery money once, after Daddy went to work.  They moved on.  We ate gravy and biscuits till Daddy got paid the next Thursday.

to be continued

Footloose and Fancyfree (Part 2)

Even though the occasion of Bobo and Inez’s marriage preceeded my birth by a few days, Mother has told me the story so often, I feel I was there. Bobo showed up with his bride just hours after they married. No doubt, he was proud of her. He was twenty-seven; she, fifteen and visibly pregnant. Now, he’d be arrested. Quite a buxom lass, she was lovely. Continue reading

Footloose and Fancy-Free (Part 1)

Boba and kids

Cousin Bobo was footloose and fancy-free, unperturbed by the economic responsibilities of four children in three years. He doted on his child-bride, Inez, living quite happily with her and their family in an old unpainted, farm house on her mama’s place. Despite his aversion to a regular work schedule, he and Inez managed fine. There was no power to the house, so no bills, the wood stove and fireplace sufficing for heat and cooking. The house was abandoned when they moved in, so he tacked wire over the open windows to keep varmints out, shuttering the windows for bad weather. Mama was real proud he did the right thing and married Inez, so she wasn’t about to stir up trouble, especially after the young’uns started coming. Bobo plowed and planted Mama’s garden, later helping get the peas picked and corn cut. Except for the few days he spent plowing, and cutting firewood, he fished and hunted every day. He happily peddled watermelons and turnip greens out of his old ’49 Ford Truck. They never ran short of game or fish. Sometimes he’d help a neighbor butcher a beef or hog, bringing in extra meat. He wasn’t averse to helping family with a little painting or carpentry work from time to time, as long as it was understood that his labor included a few days’s hospitality for his family. He kept Mama’s freezer full. That along with Mama’s chickens and eggs, the cow’s milk and butter kept them going just fine. Getting clothes for the kids wasn’t a challenge. Inez was the youngest of six spectacularly fertile sisters. Their cousin’s hand-me-downs were plentiful. All those little blonde tykes lined up in overalls year round was awe-inspiring. Most of the time, they wore shirts under their overalls in winter. Plenty of old tennis shoes lay casually around, should any of the kids decide they needed footwear. Some even had mates. Size wasn’t an issue. Should a shoe be too big, it worked fine to slide-style and let it flop. The kids weren’t partial to shoes anyway, unless they were picking around in a trash dump with old cans or broken glass. Strings were scarce, but I never noticed anybody complaining.

I loved it when Bobo, Inez, and the kids showed up. Mother wasn’t always so enthusiastic, figuring they had run out of groceries and needed a place to roost for a few days. They did seem more likely to show up in bad weather, when a warm house was helpful. Sometimes they’d stay a few days with this relative, a few with that one, moving one before the tension got too thick. Mother complained about relatives giving them gas money to help them down the road to their next hosts.  I know I saw her slip Inez a little of her grocery money once, after Daddy went to work.  They moved on.  We ate gravy and biscuits till Daddy got paid the next Thursday.

to be continued