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.


  1. What a truly inspiring story. I'm so glad that your void as been filled. :) All good things happen to those who wait and are good people :) Happy New Year to you my friend.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Keep 'em coming.