Tag: West Texas

Toothless in a Fur Coat

Hardly Saddler’s rolled up his wagon, pitched a tent and started up his Medicine Show. He told us about his elixirs and about how, if we bought them, they could treat most of our ailments. If he had an elixir for meanness, I would…

Anticipating a baby brother or sister

I worry that Mother’s not in the hospital. A few days ago I heard Aunt Nolie tell Mother, “Elnora, it’d be a whole hellova lot safer if ye had that baby in the hospital like ye did Cono.” They talked about the Great Depression…

Too much spur

Dad says that Mr. Posey “is richer’n four feet up a bull’s butt.” But he doesn’t act anything like Uncle Will McCleskey. He’d never pull me off a horse with a walking stick, even if he had one. Most of the time, we even…

Amen-er’s drinkin’ whiskey

Delma didn’t die. Every day my little sister got stronger and stronger and more and more like her old self again. Dad stayed about the same, hardly ever getting up outta bed. After the quarantine sign was pulled off our door and our prison…

The Devil’s Horns

1931: Busted Toothbrushes and Beaten Backsides I stack up these Devil’s Horns, so I can see how high they’ll go up before they all fall back down again. Here at Ma and Pa’s farm just outside of Ranger where we’re living now, Devil’s Horns…

Tellin’ it like it was

I’ve never been to jail nor do I plan to ever go. Growing up sometimes, I felt like I was in jail just from living under the same roof as Dad. I can’t imagine being all boxed in like that. I’d think the roof…

Can’t beat it with an ugly stick

At least we are together, Delma and me. It’s just another place that I plan to watch over her. I want to keep her close by, so nobody can snatch her away again. As long as I can do that, it doesn’t make no…

My kidnapped baby sister

My insides feel shaky. I know all this nose blowing is my fault. I run to my room and get Tiger Stick and run back outside to sit in the dirt. Tiger and me dig around and around in that dry soil, hoping we’ll…

Robbers in my kitchen

Dad clenched his fist and his jaw at the same time. “Show me a woman with long nails and I’ll show ya a lazy woman.” Mother ignores his comment but finishes up, putting the lid back on. “Damn that shit stinks,” he says, staring…

Great Grandpa Jim tells a story

Jim Dennis, my great-grandfather, bought the ranch in 1904. When he decided to retire to a simpler life other than cowboying, he told Ike he could run the place. Great Grandpa Dennis took Granny Dennis and moved to town. Jim’s recountings of his younger…