Today we are going to Muse about the West and youth. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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Way Out West In Another Time
It briefly turned cold down in our neck of the woods, not bitterly cold, but cold enough to turn on the heat. As the warm air flowed out of the ceiling vents we started coughing and sneezing. Dust! We were reacting to the dust.
That led to dusting and cleaning. Our closets merited special attention because they have high shelves which are hard to reach. And they have low areas which require stooping. I was futzing around in my closet and I came across some old friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.
Bet you thought this was going to be about cleaning.. Wrong!
Here were my boots.
And a great hat!
Couldn’t resist putting it on.
Don’t use these much in Florida.
But I think I have told you in the past that I am a westerner. My family settled in Prescott, Arizona when it was the territorial capital long before statehood. Some of my best memories are associated with Prescott. Finding my boots and the Stetson started my mind down the path of memories and brought me to one of the best times of my youth.
I was 20. It was the summer before my junior year in college. I was living in Prescott with my father and I had a job as a fire fighter with the Prescott National Forest. I was old enough to drive and my father let me use the car. It was a great time.
The guys I worked with spent many of their evenings downtown on Whiskey Row. There were several saloons with country singers that they liked. It was a place to catch up on some beers and maybe find a girl for a dance or two. I looked older and was never carded.
I remember one little gal asking me, “Are you a real cowboy or a drugstore cowboy?” Hah! I told her she would have to put me in the drugstore category.
In July Rodeo is big in Prescott. It is the world’s oldest rodeo. It brought a lot of people to town and a lot of drinking on Whiskey Row. When the crowds got too tanked up and boisterous, the police would handcuff the drunks to the parking meters and let them sleep it off to be collected in the morning.
One night I was cruising slowly down the Row when a guy I knew came running out of a saloon. He ran to my car yelling, “Let me in. Give me a ride. Hurry, He has a gun.” He told me later that he made a move on someone’s girl which was not appreciated.
I floored it and away we went. We headed out on Miller Valley Road which leads out toward the rodeo grounds.
At that time of night everything was closed except for one diner. My friend and I decided to stop and get coffee or pie or something. Killing time.
While we sat there a group of rodeo people came in: a midget, who I think was a jockey, a tall thin fellow with his leg in a cast and two women. The tall fellow was leaning on one of the women for support as he hobbled toward a table. Don’t know what set it off but suddenly the midget was on the tall fellow’s back, hitting him. The tall fellow was swinging a crutch. The women were yelling, pushing and hitting. Someone grabbed the coffee cream and threw it. Then someone threw another, followed by mustard and ketchup. Things were flying back and forth through the diner. My friend and I sat there mute, enjoying the show.
You don’t get memories like that every day.
More to come
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