Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time Changes Everything

While trying to keep from feeling like an old bear in hibernation during the past deluge of rain, I decided to drag out some old photo albums and put together a memory slide show to share with the up coming generations.

Being a sentimental old fool, the blood shot eyes began to tear up when I ran across a photo of one of my favorite places to hang out as a young boy, my grandmothers house. This was the place where the aroma of old fashioned home cooking was always an open invitation. A young boy could always expect a handout when asking "Mom, can I do some chores for spending money?" knowing that a quarter would slip into my pocket without having to do anything.

This photo is the property where my grandparents home was in the 1950s. It was located on the north side of US 160 at McCabe creek. The auto parts store is where the garage was and a two story apartment was behind. The house was approx. 50 yds east of the present store. The hill in the background once housed the local school until it burned down in early 1900s. The land on top of the hill belonged to Buck and Nellie O'Neal who had two boys. Many adventures were enjoyed playing with those boys on the hill.
The water from McCabe creek ran under a bridge on US 160 and behind a big red barn across the street belonging to an early pioneer "Ed Speelman." The place where he cleaned his horse stalls near the creek was a perfect place to find feisty little red worms in the manure to lure a rainbow trout onto my fishing hook. It was under that bridge that I caught me 14 inch trout and proudly took it my grandmother who made sure I got my share for supper.
Yes its true time changes everything and now all that is left is memories and faded photos.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Where's The Ark??

Be careful what you pray for you just might get it! This golden state of sunshine has been in a drought and people were being fined for watering their yards, now it looks like someones prayers were answered but who ever is charge up there forgot to turn off the faucet. I"m just real grateful to be an old timer who don't have to get out in the rain to punch a clock anymore.
Being shut in has given me time to tackle a project on computer. Many attempts at capturing my old family photos into a slide show I could share or hand down to grand kids was getting the best of nerves but I think I finally mastered it. After recently acquiring a new computer and printer I thought my problems would be solved until I discovered my favorite photo program was not compatible with the new operating system. After using up all the colorful language I could muster I decided maybe I better just learn to deal with the programs that came bundled. Being a stubborn old fool has now brought forth good fruit, I now have a slide show with background music that brings tears to these old eyes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

By The Numbers

Well, old father time has turned the page on yesterday and now we can all wonder just what changes the new year will see.
As for me I'll just wait and see if I can add up more failures to my life span. I remember growing up and hearing my grandfather say, "get your hands out of your pocket"," or you're never goin' to amount to a hill of beans." After surviving for over half a century and looking back at my past failures, I see maybe he had the foresight into my future.
Back in my early teen years living in Pagosa Springs, my attempts to be accepted along with my peers found me only getting into trouble. Maybe the hormones were growing faster than the brain and looking for that magic bullet to strengthen the nerves lead me straight to the liquor bottle.
If only I could turn back the years and have the courage to say no to tobacco and beer, I would not have broken my Mother's heart or embarrassed my family. Many adventures found me letting the beer do my thinking for me, like the time I must have made some remark to a fellow on crutches that he didn't like. We were at the wildest night spot in Pagosa, a place by the name of "Pine Grove Inn," standing in the parking lot. I had no Idea what I was being accused of saying so when I denied it , I got beat to a bloody pulp by a cripple on crutches. I wouldn't fight back because he was crippled., big failure! My face was such a mess none of my so called friends wanted to be around me. All I have is memories of the the place called the bloody bucket or "Pine Grove', like many other landmarks it has disappeared. That was also the sight of a terrible auto accident that took the lives of four of my high school friends.
The last episode was at the age of 16. Both brothers had gone off and joined the Navy. Feeling lonely and sorry for myself I got into a car with some older boys who were celebrating a huge Elk Kill and the car was filled with all kinds of booze. After consuming so much, I got sick and ask them to pull over at a place called the "Y" where US160 and US89 merge. While heaving my guts out a car pulled behind and I thought it was more high school kids but it turned out to be the highway patrol. After a short pursuit we all ended up in the local jail for a few hours but the episode ended with a court hearing and fines issued. My punishment was to pay off my fine by sweeping the streets in "Jail" overalls after school and cleaning the drunk tank in the jail on the week-ends. Seeing all my school friends watch as I swept the street was bad enough but my Mother bless her heart worked at the bank and could see me from her desk. I couldn't wait to see my birthday roll around and talked my Dad into signing for me to join the navy. I missed walking down the isle to graduate with my classmates.
Military leaves and vacations always found me making it back to good old Pagosa, mostly during the summer months to attend the 4th of July celebrations. The "Red Ryder Roundup" was not only a favorite of mine but all of my in-laws. My parents never mentioned my troublesome teen years but I have always felt ashamed for what they went through.
I was really blessed when I fell in love and started a family as a young man, loosing the Mother of my children after only 18years left a big void in my heart. I've had many failures in my life since but the good Lord has been good to me and helped me steer this old ship on a much straighter course with extended families, so for those who read this, Happy Trails and many more Happy New Years.