You Never Know Who He'll be Tomorrow…
I have a few talents I brag about… but there have been moments when I have seen, recognized and accurately understood the potential of people or events… even before the wise and savvy remainder of the community.
Growing up, I was a very active 4-H'er. And every year, my week at the Yuma County Fair was spent with my animal, either a lamb or a calf, which I had raised all year. The smells were sweet… the animals were especially friendly, because of all the attention they got, I suppose. And I loved to be there. Our schools then would allow us to take the whole week off without penalty… and it was a wonderful time.
We never had much money, and I always had a job from the time I was… well, pretty young. The bottom line was that there wasn't much money to spend on rides and such, so I took my love of the animals, the great friendships, the excitement of the competition, and sale, and all the rest of it, and I had a blast. Without money.
It is amazing how many free things there are to do if you are serious about clean fun, and how they really lead to great memories. I had friends in all the animal competitions, so I helped them with their animals, and I cheered for them in their competitions. I had some experience, so I helped block sheep, groom cattle, even identify some peculiar bugs (see my story on “How To Make A Criminal Out of a Kid…”). I never dated a girl who didn't like my kind of fun… there were some mighty fine young ladies out there in the animal barns… and I mean girls any young man would be proud to know.
I met a real sweet girl once, who was happy, alive, and funny as heck. I really liked her! One day, as she was running her hog through a chute to the show-pen, the pig stopped running. Instead of trying to smack it with her cane, as was the popular and manly practice, she started scratching the pig behind the ears, crooning to it. The darn thing started woofing softly, almost singing. I jumped up on the chute, and started laughing. I started making fun of her pig, and I forgot who I was. I made unkind references to the animal. That sweet girl reared back with that cane like Babe Ruth… swung a home run that caught me square in the numbers… and knocked me cleanly off the chute and flat onto my back. Unable to breath for the moment, and clutching my unmoving chest, I looked up through tears to see Dad standing over me, saying… "…and never make a woman who loves you real mad, Son… 'cause she may not hold anything back”!
Well, I loved to sing in those days. I used to go to the Barber Shoppers (SPEBSQSA, or the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing of America) with my Dad, and dream of my own quartet. I loved (still do) musicals, great musical acts and some theatre. And the Yuma County Fair had a big tent show each night. I always dug up admission one night during the week. And once, I caught a really wonderful show.
A little family act was traveling the South West and happened into our very own little County Fair. I was so taken with their act, and so short of money that I sneaked into the giant show tent every day that week to watch them practice. Did I mention that they were wonderful? The Mom and Dad would sing some, but the kids carried most of the act. I'll never forget the part where they sang "I want a girl… just like the girl…" and the little kid blurted out the solo part "…that Dad had on the side…", after which Dad would chase the kid around the stage…
Yep, those were good old days, happy days. My Dad and the Barber Shoppers arranged for me to meet that family, and they were even better than I had imagined! I was never much on hero worship, but they were… good. The little solo kid was slick, several years younger than I, and just a great kid. His brothers and sisters were terrific, too. I know they were good. And I was the only one in my family to remember them, after they became famous…
You know, that kid had a little sister. I don't remember seeing her… maybe she hadn't been born yet. But her name was Marie.
About the author
Since we have never met, the correspondent on the other end of these long-distance but two way interactive dialogues has a chance to be helpful or hurtful. You know how snarky those young kids on Facebook can be. At the moment, that correspondent is me. So, as far as I am able, I'd like to be unsnarkful when I say you are most likely a perceptive person. My peers even give me a thumbs up about being perceptive, and it takes one to call one. As they say, if you have it, flaunt it.