4H Pond

4H Pond

I was up at the 4H Pond fishing with little success and saw a huge a pine tree that had fallen on the road. Someone had made long work out of cutting it up and left behind huge pieces of wood. I walked over and wondered how this grandfather had come to fall? Strong storm up at 6000 feet in the Wolf Mountains –

I thought back to a poem I had written in college – probably the only poem I have left after years of travel. My grandfather was a lumberjack. He was one of probably thirteen children – I really do not remember – but I do remember him telling me how as a boy he came home and found his family dead at the dining room table. Some in the family say it was mushrooms and some others  say it was canned food. Fact remains he and his sister were late for dinner.

My grandfather was drafted into the military and when they went to take his fingerprints they rolled one finger across two finger spaces. He had huge hands! He was a giant a gentle giant.  He finally took the whip away from my mother when I was thirteen and hid it away.

I get my stubborn nature from him – Grandma kept complaining about his driving fast and at 65 he told her if she said it one more time he would never drive again – yep – she said it and drove him around the rest of his life. When I was a freshman in high-school, I visited him in Florida and he was brewing homemade grapefruit moonshine! Breakfast had a kick!

I will let the poem speak for my grandfather – he passed at 98 or 103 depends on if one believes Ellis Island records or ?

 

Grandfather

Solid, very solid

like the many timbers he has hewn

A lumberjack by trade

He lived life not in hate

of forest

but in respect and love.

Once he said to me (his favorite grandson)

“Hoss, you need to be careful of the tree when

you go to cut, twenty minutes TIMBER

bellows from your throat

one hundred years yells growth!”

We both have an affinity

for sitting on the back porch

I could always find him there

killing bumble boars that

ate the soft redwood

I find him there chewing Havana Blossom

that ever familiar orange and brown pack

and drinking Genesee beer but always

the sweet reek of beer and tobacco

mix together – grandfather. Upon the porch we have spoken

He a man of few words.

At thirteen a Schrade knife he gave

me – symbol of his love. His bleary

eyes look upon me and seem to say –

of all my grandchildren – Hoss you understand me best.

At fifteen, he taught me

to use his double bit axe

sharp end for the tree and dull

for roots in ground.

Love of nature, trees, being outdoors

love of strong beer and whiskey

but never chewing tobacco –

Grandfather

Hopefully she remembers this day – as her grandfather – I can only hope I am as good as mine!

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About Me!

Skinwalker Shards Linger

About Me!, Native Stories

Just thought I would take a minute and send everyone an update!

My first book is available from Amazon – in digital format (soon in print)…please don’t kill trees unless you live way out and I understand!

http://www.amazon.com/Skinwalker-Shards-Linger-ebook/dp/B00EGWCRBS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376517555&sr=8-1&keywords=skinwalker+shards+linger

.99 cents! a deal at twice the price! 

86953

My first gun –

About Me!, Religious / Political

I am sure I will be moved to the top of the government “watch list” after writing about my first gun! Humor aside –

My derringer

My derringer

I was eight years old and my father had bought a Daisy BB gun for me when I was seven. My mother had forbidden him to give it to me until I was at least ten! My dad wore the pants in the family and compromised and gave it to me with 500 BB’s on my eighth birthday! I shot it for years till I wore it out! I still have one BB in my hand to this day – lesson learned. That was my first BB gun! I received a Marlin 22 when I was ten years old and an Ithaca 12 gauge when I was twelve! (My father had me buy the Ithaca Featherlight from my Uncle Tom for $50 dollars to teach me guns cost money.)

But my grandfather Kalman paved the way for my BB gun by making me a wooden gun when I was six! I had been reading about cowboys and Indians and I just had to have a derringer. My grandfather, pipe in hand, gave me a piece of plywood to draw my derringer on so he could cut it out. I remember the smell of fresh cut wood mixed with apple pipe smoke. Finished, he chased me off to play with the other Hungarian kids in the neighborhood. I still have my derringer 43 years later along with another gun he cut from scrap for a neighbor kid.

I remember taking it to school for show and tell and all the kids thought it was cool. I remember taking it everywhere with me – church,profile_336374526_75sq_1364330036 school, the grocery store, Ponderosa Steak House (and ya wonder why I like the nickname Hoss). I loved that little gun but I had been raised to respect guns. Our home was full of hunting rifles, pistols from WW2 complete with swastikas and a history. I was raised to respect guns, beer, my parents, and above all God.

asalt rifle

Amish Stink!

About Me!
The crash site -

The crash site –

(this story contains bad language and racist intent – but is true) 

One of my buddies was hauling Amish in his van to make a living and support his family – all good! He called me one evening and was sick and needed a substitute driver to haul two Amish guys over to the west side of Cleveland complete with their trailer full of gutter supplies. I figured cool a quick way to score $200 bucks! Ya drive em over – then you sit and read for eight hours – then you drive em home simple right? I mean they are Amish so they will be saint like and holy!

5am and I pick the first guy up at his home and pick up his trailer and hook it to my 1ton truck. He is about 6′ 4″ and stout – he  jumps in and I notice the lack of deodorant and what has this guy been eating whole garlic – it is barely warming up! We pick up his midget brother who has no home or wife because of his being short…but he is cool and talkative (and does not smell as bad!).

Fast forward, sit read surf the net and write all day and wrap it up to head home. We are hauling a 10,000 pound trailer through heavy traffic with AC blasting to mask the smell of Farting Garlic Amish man in the middle lane of a three lane freeway when bam I am slamming on my brakes as a crazy black girl swerves in front of me – bam my truck is climbing her right bumper and smashing the life outa her mini-car all the while she is still gunning it trying to make her exit three lanes over! Bam she pins a Ford F150 to the guard rail and it is all over! We screech to a halt!

Now this is where the fun begins! A black lady in her mid forties switches seats with a girl that had been driving! Then the lady gets out of the car and starts screaming as only a black woman can scream – “you killed my babies” ” you MF- you killed my babies!” Her babies were fine strapped in car seats in the back! She starts beating on the passenger side window of my crew cab. The Amish guy gets out of the truck and towering over this black woman endures her rage for about a minute and then says – “You f$@#ing nigger you are nothing more than a subspecies of ape!” The conversation stopped! I told the Farting Garlic Amish man to get back in the truck and we rolled up the windows! (Yes, the truck was still running fine – it is a Ford!) I could not believe the guy dropped the “F” bomb and said nigger! Wow… Amish are really

Not much damage - $3800

Not much damage – $3800 – you can see the hulking Amish dude!

different than I thought!

A cute redheaded Irish girl was our responding officer and she asked us to move down the highway about 1/2 mile so she could clear traffic! I move down the road and look in my rearview mirror and guess who is following us on foot! Yep, the black woman! Running after us screaming bloody murder! You racist MF! and on and on. Running after her was the little Irish cop – cute as a button she cuffed her and stuffed her!

I made it home later that evening after finding out the driver was 15 with two children, no driver license, and driving a Hertz Rental Car that was borrowed!

Her car - slight damage!

Her car – slight damage!

The Ford after!

The Ford after! Happily home in Montana!

Yep my insurance picked up the tab and my insurance went up despite it not being my fault! I will say that I have since switched insurance because Nationwide was the F150 drivers insurance and they were hardcore on his side! My Progressive was not progressive at all – they needed to be aggressive!

Disclaimer: I in no way condone the use of profanity or calling someone a subspecies of ape! I also eat garlic so I understand the Farting Garlic Amish Man could not control his smell!

Amish country near Arthur, Illinois

Amish country near Arthur, Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

West, Tater and Mojo

About Me!, Mojo, Uncategorized

My first memories are life on the farm! Classic American upbringing complete with church on Sunday and a great theologian for a minister: Ted Smetters. I remember being baptized in April with his son my best friend Steve Smetters  their was still ice on Kenney Pond that was  forty years ago! My grandfather wrapped me in an old blanket after I was fully

West and Mojo

West and Mojo

immersed. Back in town at his house, I sat on the steps and listened as he played the mandolin with his impromptu band sounding like Country Gentleman mixed with polka. I sipped Faygo red pop and all was good with the world.

West4

West having breakfast this morning

Life on the Davis Farm was great and I often search back through the catalog of my memory for highlights. Just this morning feeding West, my six month old colt, I remembered my first ride! I guess our family did not have much imagination or creativity when it came to names because we named my first horse Paint! Yes, it was a Paint! Original, I know!

We were sitting at the kitchen table and I was four years old, I remember asking my dad how to ride Paint. My dad laughed and said climb up on the fence with some sugar cubes and feed her then grab her mane and swing on and ride! He thought that was funny till the next afternoon. He was at Lubrizol working as an electrician and I was the horse whisperer and Clinton Anderson combined with sugar cubes! I remember grabbing her mane and swinging on her back. Paint was about five years old and definitely not broke. Paint took off across the field and it was like flying, well it was flying because she jumped the creek and I hung on to that horse’s mane for all I was worth.

No, I did not fall off! I slid to the ground “Indian style” just like all my TV heros. I heard my mother yelling and I knew I was gonna get whipped but it was worth it. I took the whipping and I was more careful where I jumped on Paint the next time – not in view of the farmhouse. My dad came home that evening and got a good tongue lashing from my mom. He was used to it just like I was used to whippings.

jus me

Tater Gun and Hoss

Now I have Tater Gun and West an appendix mare and a quarter horse. Combined with Mojo, my black lab, I have been blessed with animals. When I am waking up in the morning, Mojo is excited to see me. When I walk out the ranch house door, West is waiting to greet me. When I head down to the arena, Tater is waiting to be fed and loved on – and it never ceases to amaze me how life is a circle and I was baptized into horses at an early age.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Pastor Ted Smetters a man who profoundly influenced my life at a young age! 

Mojo and my 48th birfday!

Mojo and my 48th birfday!

My first farmyard hunt!

About Me!
English: A picture of our Rhode Island Red, he...

English: A picture of our Rhode Island Red, her name is Amber Bock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was four years old when I got my first bow and arrow. My best friend Eric Judy and I got bows and arrows and the complementary Indian feather headdress  Back in the day, a bow and arrow and cap gun were standard operating procedure in a boy’s trip to manhood. Of course, I was a “bad boy” (nothing has changed) and I took the suction cups off my arrows and sharpened the tip!  My dad was a hunter and we ate venison, rabbit, and even gator! We lived on a big old farm that was owned by the neighbor Harold Davis ( Dave Davis lives there now I believe) . Eric and I had the run of the farm growing up. We crawled into the granary only to see huge rats and were not able to hit one with an arrow. We circled the big red barn and knew better than to shoot the horses or dozen milk cows. We then came around to the chicken coop where Harold the Farmer kept his prize winning fair chickens. Rhode Island Red’s – every year Harold would enter his chickens in the county fair and win first prize!

I fit an arrow to the bow and pulled all the way back! Yes, that arrow hit dead center on Harold the Farmers best chicken! We ran like hell! Looking back I remember seeing the chicken fall over. Later that day, Harold came over to the house smoking one of his ever present  filter-less Camels (see, no one was politically correct on the farm!). He spoke with my mom and I was summoned to the kitchen. Did I know who shot this arrow? Yes, and did I know that I hit a chicken? Yes, and was I prepared for my whipping? Yes…I remember paying my allowance for a month to Harold because his chicken would not lay. I remember buying a porcelain chicken for Harold’s wife Martha. I remember her laughing and tousling my hair when I apologized and then seeing her years later and having her remind me of the porcelain chicken she still had 35 years later on her hutch.

Funny – my mom and dad did not take away my bow and arrow or headdress and I still remember that whipping! (and many many more)

Dedicated to “Grit Magazine” editor Hank Will for all the encouragement and positive feedback – you are a good friend!

The Why of a Blog

About Me!
Way out on the ranch - 4wheelin

Way out on the ranch – 4wheelin

I am a think outside  / act outside the box kinda guy! I have spent my life in pursuit of the essay/speech by Emerson “American Scholar”. My life personifies the theme “experience” that is put forth in this work!

I grew up in private schools as a socially inept youngster. While my father wanted me to become a Baptist minister, I knew I was far too cynical. I traipsed off to Bowling Green State University and crashed classes at Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and William and Mary! I finally landed in Guatemala and taught school and worked on local plumbing projects to help the poor.
I jumped to South Korea and taught kindergarten through university ESL (English as a Second Language). I used this as a jumping off point to travel Asia and study culture. I was body-bagged in Korea after a semi hit me on my motorcycle. I finally dropped that 40 pounds along with 19 broken bones and came back to the states.
I spent 11 years on the Navajo Reservation (a third world country within a first)  teaching school, writing articles for the Navajo Times, and ranching. I saw more UFO/ un-explainable events on the reservation and finally left to return to Montana and write! I love the Navajo people, my students, my good friends – you know who you are!
Lodge Grass, Montana – Westwood Ranch was established in the early 1900’s on approximately 19 sections. The Little Big Horn river runs through our backyard and 6 acre lake in front yard! Crow Reservation and still living with Native People! 13 - 1
My wife is Navajo and runs barrels at rodeo – her passion. I love photography, reading, bird hunting and making people laugh! My favorite saying is “chance favors the prepared mind”.
The Blog – ? I grew tired of the social networking and clicking on Facebook “like” and comments. I enjoy my friends and I enjoy their comments but wanted something more personal that will enable my close friends to grow.

Looking west

Looking west

While I am disillusioned with  Facebook, I remember my dear friend Mark Garland saying that he looks forward to pictures from Montana and my life. So, Mark this is for you! I know your health is failing at times and so I dedicate this blog to you! Thanks for believing and inspiring!

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