Did I tell ye about the time your grandpa an' me was takin' out the old windmill? We was livin' there on the high plains, and generly we'd a just left it, but times was hard and anything ya could salvage was a nickel in your pocket. Arly Page, he was your grandma's cousin, he even saved the asphalt shingles offa his shack in Holly. Carted 'em all the way to Canon when he moved up there. His wife, Irene, come from over thataway, you know, and she'd have it no other way but she was goin' back where her mama was, Arly or no Arly. Well, you know Arly, and besides they had them twins, dickens of a pair, they was; but Arly couldn't bear to be apart from 'em, so they moved over to Florence and Arly built 'em another shack. Them twins even straightened nails from the old one to put up the new one. Sally, she was the purty one a them two, she later married Wes Turpin, had the Ford franchise over to Pueblo.
So Sam, that's your grandpa-- I swear I gotta call him Sam, you know I mean your grandpa. But speakin' of swearin', there was no way on this Earth Sam was ever gonna be heard to swear. Sign of a weak mind, he always said. So anyway, Sam had aholt of an ell on a two-inch horizontal pipe, hopin' to break it loose. He give a mighty heave upward on the handle a that pipe wrench and the pipe broke! That handle come right up, well not meanin' to be indelicate nor anything, but it caught him right where a man least wants to be hit. Sam turn loose a that wrench and doubled over like a jackknife closin' on its blades. Shoulda heard him groan. When he finely can speak, he says, (I think), "Oooh, gonies." But he never cussed. Not one cuss word outa his mouth. I told you Sam didn't abide swearin'. Ho! Not like Preacher Redkin over to Swamp Lick. Man, could that guy cuss! String out a swear two minutes long, never repeat a word. He warn't really a preacher, you know, but everybody called him Preacher on account of his ability to misuse the Lord's name in so many unique and creative ways. So then Sam picks up his wrench, straightens up, and says, "Could ya put your wrench on that hunk a busted pipe so's I kin get this ell offa here?"
So then we drove the new well and hooked 'er up. Fred Slocum over't the hardware says to Sam one day, "Sam, where'd ya get your parts for that new mill-- ain't seen you buy nothin' in here but horehound drops in a coon's age." Aside from Sam, the only person I know to forever be suckin' on one a them drops is your Aunt Jean. But she's not had a tooth in her head in thirty year. Her son, Jack, you know Jack, married Evie Tidler. Married her on Christmas Eve, and they got snowed in in their cabin for six days. "Didn't you dang near starve, Jack?" Uncle Milt asked him. "Who cares?" said Jack. Evie give Jack twins middle the next September. Twins do seem to run in the fambly.
So Sam said, "Salvaged 'em or made 'em. Hada pay your prices, I'd be a old man afore I had a well. Cattle'd die. Gimmee two penny wortha them horehound drops. Please."
© 2013 David W. Lacy