Okay, we have a new and improved, highly superior computer system now!! Woo-hoo! The only thing the thing it cannot do is make more time for everything that needs to be done. There is still homework to help with (One day soon, probably after Open House, I will write a little about Abigail’s start of high school, which is our first experience with the public School system since our fiasco with Elizabeth and D-11. Abigail’s in D-2 and it is going well.), work to do, places to go, a life beyond the blogosphere.
Now according to Katheren, Margaret’s sister that lives in upstate New York, I have told this story out of sequence already. I told the part about the wedding first, however, because it was the first thing on my mind and I thought my readers, especially the female ones (which I think outnumber the male readers). Yes, AbbyNormal, I am a guy about such things, often subjected to the epithet, “You are such a guy!” I look at the bright side. I would make a REALLY ugly girl.
It had been decided previously that Janet, Margaret’s sister, was going to come live with us and there had been a standing invitation to the sister living in New York (Katheren) to come out and visit Colorado. Well, Katheren and her boyfriend finally decided to come visit, so they swung by Wisconsin on the way here and picked up Janet and some of her more important possessions, like her two computers. This all in time for the wedding.
So, now, we continue the story in the evening of the wedding. We went to the Flying W Ranch. This is one of my favorite places in the whole world to visit and we had been trying to tell Katheren about it for some time. They have a western town set up which is kind of a mix between a museum and a gift mall. All of the buildings are authentic, and came from different areas on the plains. The schoolhouse is really amazing to me. They bought it from someone somewhere out on the plains (I didn’t think to re-read the plaque this time and don’t remember where), numbered each log, took it apart and rebuilt it by the numbers. There is a beautiful little church, a display with a couple of the different styles of coffins they had in the Old West. Yes, a pine box really was just that. There is a little jail that came, if I remember right, from Manitou, and several other things I can’t recall right now. In nice weather you can climb to the to of “Christmas Rock” and look down on the whole scene as well as spend a dollar and ride a little train around the place. The steakhouse is the old Ute Theatre that was in downtown Colorado Springs and has murals on the wall that are explained by a recording.
We get there early so we can get the best seats for the show. This time I stopped and watched the farrier shoe the horse with Wayne, who used to raise horses. (Wayne brought me a new Stetson and another hat and has also sent me a Coca-Cola ball cap! The Stetson is grey and a little higher than I am used to, but very nice 6X beaver. I guess I get to be part good guy now, huh?) This was the cowboy who had got the rescue horse, which was 250 pounds underweight when he got it. It looked pretty good now.
The shoeing of the horse requires a sidetrack now. Parents amaze and aggravate me. I liked the parents that I heard explaining things in an easy to understand, factual way. If you have never seen a horse shod, there is some trimming and cleaning of the hoof with sharp objects, being explained.
“What is he doing to the horse with that knife? Does it hurt him?”
“No, sweety, it’s like when mommy trims your finger nails. Does that hurt?”
“If you get too close it does.”
“Exactly. The man knows how close is too close and if the horse was being hurt he would make noise.”
“Why’s he digging in the horse’s hoof with that thing?”
“It’s the same as cleaning your fingernails, he has to get all that junk out of there to make a clean surface for the shoe to go on flat.”
“Why does the horse pull away like that?”
“Just like when we trim the dog’s nails and she tries to pull her paw back even when we are not hurting her at all. If we let them grow it would be worse.”
Fine. All intelligent answers. The one that got me was the feller telling the kid, “Oooh, he’s hitting the horsey with a hammer. Is he bad?” Aaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh! Shut up you meathead!
Anyway, it was a good time. Then comes supper. We are all seated, waiting for the instructions on how they are going to get over a thousand people through the line. I see my friend Scotty, who is one of the performers. We have been friends for a long time because I used to work with his wife, Cindy, who was a claims trainer at USAA insurance while I was there. Cindy is probably one of the best teachers in the world and I don’t think that I could say enough good things about someone who can put up with me for 8 weeks without killing me. Without getting too far off the track, I am an adult with ADD and my learning style reflects this.
At one point in my training I exasperated her to the point where she finally said, “Herb! If you keep up this way, I’m going to…I’m going to…” Cindy is a very sweet person who really tries to be a Christian in everything and generally doesn’t lose her cool, “I’m going to proclaim you the Mayor of this class!” Well, she told me! Hahaha! I still really don’t have any idea why this was an effective threat, but ever since then she has always called me “The Mayor.” How I came to be Mayor Biff is a different entry, however. The point of all that, however, is that I became friends with Cindy and through her got to know Scotty. By reason of all that, I wound up in a business deal with Vern, the bandleader and business manager. That was when I had the business and he was far more than fair and honest with me in our deal. I guess that’s another reason I feel comfortable sending friends and family there. I know that these are folks who believe in the values they talk about and have ideals and morals. Like anyone that goes into any business, they need to turn a profit, but it is honestly made. You don’t have a thousand people a night, seven days a week, all summer long, go to a place and go back and go back if you’re not honest. Things don’t work that way.
I went up to talk to Scotty as he was setting up and he told that Cindy was there! I hadn’t seen her in five years! I went and visited with her and re-introduced her to the family and the groom. Five years is a long time to not see someone. You would expect a person to have aged a little bit in five years, but Cindy had obviously been getting younger instead of older. So there was happy energy in the air, seeing Scotty and Cindy and Vern.
The chuck wagon dinner is good. They serve chicken and have steak available, but I usually have the bbq beef. They are a working cattle ranch in the middle of town and I guess I agree with Scotty that there’s just somethin’ not that western about ropin’ a chicken.
The entertainment is good clean fun. They are the second oldest Cowboy band in the nation, the only older one is the Sons of the Pioneers, and they put on a show that is just great. They play and sing Western music (as opposed to Country & Western music) and do some humor throughout. I say it is clean. It is one of the few places in town my pastor feels comfortable taking out of town visitors and guest preachers and inviting our entire youth conference to. I have seen people from many different sects with a reputation for being very strict visit there as well as Boy Scout troops and whole buses of out of town visitors.
Now, Scotty Vaughn is at least 6 foot, two and is a rugged, strapping cowboy. A big, manly, man of a cowboy. So, when he comes out onstage dressed in a squirrel suit to sing Ray Stevens’ “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” song, well, there ain’t nothin’ quite like that! Sometimes he does “Junkfood Junkie” or “I’m My Own Grandpa” but tonight we got to see the squirrel.
All in all, a fun evening and a great day were had by all.
The Good Book says, laughter is good medicine.