Several months ago a good friend of ours took a tumble on an icy patch. Turned out to be a pretty nasty fall that resulted in a concussion, busted face and several banged up ribs. And then, making bad worse, about a month later he had to have emergency surgery to relieve swelling on his brain. Scared the heck out of both family and friends—fortunately, he’s now on the mend. Lucky for sure, and yet another lesson for all, that we don’t bounce like we use to!
Was sharing this story with the boys at the Frontier Café this week and after the normal “ohhhs, ahhhs and darns” we quickly got around to stories of our own previous misadventures with ladders, fence rails, hay lofts, tail gates and of course numerous “horse wrecks.” By far, we decided horse wrecks were the worst. And it was the general opinion that the distance from the arc of a horse’s buck to the ground is a long way down, thus allowing adequate time for flips, rolls, flops and plops! From there the conversation evolved to our “best” falls and a winner was quickly chosen as Cadel retold (a story that has been shared countless times) of the night the boys were gathered for the weekly card game at Franklin’s Place, a small dance hall and bar in Buena Vista just north of Timpson. As you leave the bar, you exit onto a small plank porch with chairs and cedar posts that support a tin roof. Several players tie up at these post as they routinely “saddle over” from neighboring ranches for the weekly game. For some, the trip home is usually safer via horse than truck! Now the distance from that porch to the ground is barely a foot, but a foot can seem a lot higher when you’re not expecting it and your step is made lighter by a pint of Wild Turkey. As old JG, one of the “weekly regulars” left the porch that night, with head turned bidding farewells to all and ready to mount up for the ride home, it seems he went stepping into the empty space beyond the planks and proceeded to land belly first in a fresh pile of horse poop! Embarrassing for all, but most of all for old JG. Now for those of you that know anything at all bout horses, you know their poop (as poop goes) is perhaps the least offensive of the bunch. It kinda has a “sweet western” aroma to it and JG was sure smellin’ western as he regained his composure that night. However, without missing a beat, he stood, dusted himself off, reset his hat, and then smiled up at group. “Sure glad I had my horse tied up out here tonight instead of my dog,” he said, as he bid adios to the boys! Kinda got me thinking—At some time or another, we’re all gonna fall. And it really doesn’t matter how far, or how hard, rather, it’s how we handle the get’n up that counts. Something to consider as we face “life’s tumbles” along the trail! More wit and wisdom from your friends at the “Old Bar R.” Happy trails—