Yesterday, I was up near the oil wells on the ranch. I saw a new Lincoln Continental halfway up a trail going to the new well being drilled on the property. At a cost of $600,000, I figured hmmm, better go make sure the man is not stuck since it had just finished raining. I discovered a wonderful 82 year old man who just happened to be the man responsible for drilling all the wells on the property! He chuckled and said, “no son, I am not stuck – this Lincoln can go anyplace”. I smiled and loved this man’s spirit in an instant!
He sat back in the leather comfort of his car and lit a Winston and gave me a brief history of his life and how it intertwined with the owner of the ranch. He started out at 13 years old working in the mines back east and saved every penny! He got a guy to teach him how to fly and shot coyotes for $5 a pelt for gas money to fly his first plane. He could fly before he could “legally” drive. I was fascinated! It was my Sunday morning sermon from a man who could spend $600,000 and hope to hit oil. Of course, like he said – “I have already paid Charles Westwood (the ranch owner) well over a million in profit on that one well pumping right in front of us”.
He told me of his grandchildren, integrity (key to a man’s success), education and money. He talked about people we knew with little to no integrity and how sometimes one has to improvise to make money today. The difference between doing what is right and remembering one’s debts and how a man is judged on his word. He told me of the late owner Charles Westwood a man of his word and one that quietly helped more people than most would know. He smiled remembering when “this well came in at 2am” and how it formed a bond, a partnership that lasted a lifetime. He told me how he was at this very well with his favorite grandson and his grandson remarked how the oil smelled (like rotten eggs) and he smiled and said “smells like money” – now a favorite saying of his grandson,
We talked about politics and at 82 he had seen it all. He made one point that stuck! We are a nation of warmongers! He is a lifelong Republican but sounded more like a Libertarian – in his words ” doesn’t matter what party – they are the same and do not listen to the people”. Vitriol is the only word I know to express his disgust with our government. The waste, the regulation, the hamstringing a man’s ability to make an honest wage. He worried about his grandchildren and their education. He wondered where our once great nation was headed! In his words ” if we took all the money we have spent on wars in the last 60 years and poured it into our country – we would be the greatest nation – but now everyone hates us because we try to force our morals, ethics, and ways on the world!” Isolationist – perhaps? but I loved how this man who came from nothing and still let nothing stand in his way – thought!
You have my respect man in the white Lincoln Continental – not because you are wealthy – but because you know integrity and you understand how important education and young minds are to our great country!
I will visit with you again when the oil flows from this Crow Indian Land – Westwood Ranch!
I am at the local IGA – Lodge Grass has one of the worst school systems in all of the United States and the “white owner” has signs everywhere stating “NO SHOPLIFFTING!” – two “FF’s” – I laughed so hard and took a pen and graded the sign in front of me! Dear store owner – poor spelling is not indicative of race, creed, or socioeconomic status…it just means ya don’t know how to use spell check!
Furthermore – what I love about this sign is that it does not target “some” shoplifters = it targets – ALL!
Kinda sounds like someone has been watching too much Dawg the Bounty Hunter – because who “CAPTURES” a shoplifter?
I am sure I will be moved to the top of the government “watch list” after writing about my first gun! Humor aside –
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, 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.
I usually just take Old Iron (Jeep) up into the mountains to trout fish or explore. Today, I figured the sun was shining bright and I needed some Prana Energy so I peeled the bikini top off (the Jeep not me) and set out to see how the low road to Sheridan would be in Old Iron. The seats are probably original from 1969 and not comfortable so my right butt cheek fell off to sleep right away as I held the throttle down to a smooth 50mph!
I know, I am the guy in the old rig that y’all are cussin – but it is lifted and I could go 70 but I prefer a leisurely 50 miles per hour. 52 miles of bliss and ya know they say – Ignorance is bliss!
I roll into town and Sheridan is probably my favorite western town aside from Hot Springs, Montana. Hit the! local Taco hot spot and it is closed so I have to settle for Toxic Swill (Taco Bell). Satiated – I cruise town in Old Iron and Mojo hangs out the back barking and being a cool black Lab! Hit the truck wash and then park at Walfart (Walmart). I park way out so Mojo can relax and drink Gatorade, chew a rawhide, and smoke a doobie! I shop and get some fishing lures, Cherry Limeade, and Motrin and walk back out to the Jeep. I come out of Walfart and see about twenty people gathered around Old Iron. I am thinking “great, did Mojo get busted with doobie again?” He is just wagging his tail and happy as I walk up. A group of tourist from Scotland had never seen a dog left in a Jeep and were taking pictures of the Jeep and old Mojo.
Moral of the story – if ya wanna pick up hot old toothless women (or men) from Scotland – buy a 1969 Jeep, lift it, and throw your dog in back. It was really great meeting them and hearing about Scotland ! They loved the Jeep and Mojo – someone tonight will be getting a picture in their e-mail in Scotland of a cool dog and a sweet Jeep. I had no idea people thought the old beast was cool! Made my Day!
I ended the trip going to my favorite smoked extraordinary meat shop! The rack of ribs is $20 bucks for smoked ribs that are the best! I would rather just get some chicken and ribs smoked from Killy’s in Sheridan than eat out anyplace in Sheridan! Sure sometimes ya gotta fill the hole with Taco Bell – but Killy’s is the best meat in Sheridan period! http://www.killysmokehousedeli.com/ I brought home a rack of ribs and some chicken ! Good Eating! The cowboy beans are excellent, the salads are great, but the meat…is worth the drive! Just two more punches on my rib card and a free rack!
Thank you Jenni for introducing me to this awesome meat!
3.67 million Prius automobiles have been built and sold as of March 2013! Over half were sold in the US! GREEN! This car is touted as so green that it makes hippies dance without a hit from their bong.
For some reason, I just do not like the Prius. I have never driven one, never ridden in one, but I have been passed by one! I guess it is the irony of driving a Prius fast. It has not happened just once it has happened many many times. I was driving my 1997 Ford F350 with a 7.3 liter diesel at 75 miles per hour headed to Billings, Montana and bam there goes a Prius at 85 miles per hour – I thought well they might be charging their batteries on a downhill! I look down at the odometer and see that it is about to turn 400,000. I wonder how many Prius are about to turn 400,000? I think of the batteries in the Prius and Each battery pack uses 10–15 kg (22–33 lb) of lanthanum, and each Prius electric motor contains 1 kg (2 lb) of neodymium; production of the car is described as “the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world.”
Whoa – the biggest user times 3.67 million Prius built = huge environmental impact!
I pull into the parking lot here in Lodge Grass, Montana at the local IGA! I spot a hippie getting out of a Prius! I am driving my 1969 Jeep CJ5. I am thinking wow Earth Day and I am driving an eco-friendly vehicle! Her Prius has a bumper sticker “MiSOULa” I guess Missoula Montana has a soul..cute and “Who Would Jesus Bomb” well we all know the answer to that – Muslims! Oh wait… Anyway, the Jeep is lifted with 35″ tires and the original engine, tranny, and transfer case! Yes, it has new axles Dana 44‘s out of a 73 Ford Bronco (re-use materials makes me a hippie?)
Wow, 2013 Prius with cool bumper-stickers and my 44 year old Jeep! Which is more green? Well, I guess we have to find out in 40 years if the Prius is lifted and still on the road!
Happy Earth Day! and remember dream of Whirled Peas…peace out!