The Estensen family Reunion

As a youngster my grandparents Andrew and Minnie Olson attended the Estensen family reunion as often as there was one held in the community. I came across a newspaper clipping from a reunion that was at Lake Campbell near Brookings SD, decided to share this with my blogging friends. I’m sure there are many names for everyone to remember. I recall attending with my grandparents, even as a youngster it was a fun event. My wife and I attended our last Estenson reunion it Renner South Dakota in the early 1970s.



Family reunion were annual events at one time, or as close to annual as you could get. Reunions seem to be out of style in many families today. My wife came from a large family in Michigan and she loved to return to the family reunions in July as often as we could. I realized those reunions were very important to her so we attended often, even though it was a long drive. This year she didn’t want to wait until July so she went to the reunion in April, not to Michigan but that Huge Glorious Reunion where the streets are paved with gold. There is an eternal reunion with friends and family waiting, that is truly out of this world.

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Real Music

I have known this country music legend since we were teenagers and caddies at the Watertown Country Club, near Watertown South Dakota. Sherwin devoted his entire life to entertaining people with real music, Country Music. Listen and enjoy or visit him at one of the places on his schedule

To Don and Kay.

http://www.sherwinlinton.com/schedule.asp

http://sherwinlinton.com/

Mother / Cat

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Princess at Kitchen Table

I have to laugh my furry little old butt off at times. They talk to me like I’m a person but those two still think I’m a cat! Lee is such a pushover, I knew if I acted real sickly and underfed he would bring me into the house and that’s exactly what he did, many, many years ago. Rose is gentle and filled with love, as every good mother should be, she is my baby.

I worry about Rose, her health hasn’t been very good lately, she is suffering from every lung condition in the books, along with diabetes, even dementia. That makes days very hard for her, so I try to be really nice to her and show her lots of love and affection. I sleep by her feet all night and always sit on her lap in the recliner, she pets me constantly.

Lee doesn’t seem to be the Rock Hudson, she thought she was getting when she married him way, way back. I love to just sit with Rose and I know my presence makes her feel good, which is very comforting to me. She yells at me at times, about not to do certain things but I know she doesn’t really mean it. She hollers, “watch your claws a lot,” while I make biscuits on her stomach, or scratch the furniture. That’s what cats do, for crying ‘meow’ out loud!

Lee is always coming up with special names for me like Dumb cat, or Damn cat, my name is Princess. I have a Royal Countenance about me, everyone can see that. If Rose asks, “Did you feed Princess?” He always says something really dumb, like, ‘have you got an alligator?’ He thinks his so-called Terms of Endearment are really cute. When he does these things I have something special for him. I have the power to make a sore pop out in either one of his nostrils, or both, like an ingrown hair and it will stay sore for 3 or 4 days. I could put a boil on his butt too. He is very fortunate, I did like him a little at one time.

The hair on my back almost stands straight up when he forgets to empty the cat box on time, which seems to be quite regular. I thought he was going to have a heart attack one day, I pretended to do my job next to the Box. I got a big laugh out of that one. He was screaming at Rose, “Your cat is peeing on the floor.” Rose knew better because she knows me and trusts me in a special way. Lee asked, “Why has it been my job to empty the cat box since day one?” You brought her to the house! Why should I be punished for doing a good deed?

My tired, sore old body was still in bed at 9:00 AM today. I had a busy, half scary, long night thinking about our families, my own and my wife’s family, and the many cats our families have had through the years.

This following message came to me in a dream. My mother-in-law passed away at age 80, that was approximately 17 years ago. She did make a promise to me, it was something like this. If there was a way, ‘she would make life very uncomfortable for me, if I didn’t treat her daughter Rose right.’ It was more or less a threat. No, It was a threat, “You be good to my baby girl or you will have no peace and rest in your lifetime.

It then hit me, I brought princess into the house 17 years ago, shortly after my mother-in-law passed away. It surely can’t be possible! Did she come back as Princess? Her hair was snow-white, like the cat. If that is the case she wasn’t in limbo long, that is understandable, the keeper of the gate just looked the other way.

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Rose, “I will feed Princess and take the cat box out right now.”

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

Photo Challenge
Nostalgia

What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

The word that was suggested for the one-word prompt recently was nostalgia. It was a photo challenge, but the photos I’m using here are not current. The beautiful lake named Lake Poinsett in northeastern South Dakota is where I will take you on my nostalgia trip. I was born in 1940 and grew up witnessing many changes at the lake. With this post, I hope to take a short trip back down memory lane and recall different things about Lake Poinsett. It has seen dramatic changes in usage, population, residences, year around homes, food, drink, bait and tackle places and a multitude of water level changes.

We lived on a farm less than a mile south of the lake, our parents were Frank and Frances Olson. A lot of time was spent either fishing or swimming in our lives. Our great uncle Simon Hoel built a stone house on the hill just east of the park in 1885, part of it still stands. My grandfather Andrew Olson helped him farm the land.

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Simon Hoel Olson home 1880’s

 

Tall, virgin prairie grass grew for a mile along the south shore of the lake. Simon and my grandfather cut hay from it for forty years. There is a beautiful state park on that land today, trees and campgrounds everywhere.

A few tall original cottonwood trees were growing along the shoreline but through the centuries ice knocked most of them down. A wagon trail can still be seen in places, it went to the east boundary fence and on for another mile to the Hendrickson farm, what is now Runia’s farm. There were no homes or cabins on any of that land.

Just to the west of the State Park property, there was a very lively, noisy dance hall named Smith’s place. It flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was a very lively dance hall, where many big name bands played as they traveled through this area. We knew Charlie Smith the owner and his family very well. Their daughter babysat the three Olson boys on occasion.Karlton, Harlan, and Leland. My brother Harlan was a banker, writer, and collector of artifacts who helped start the Museum at the state park entrance. Harlan loved every minute of it, even the many volunteer hours. He passed away on March 8, 2016. I can see him searching for artifacts on old Heavenly terrain now. I would imagine there are some very nice artifacts to be found near those streets of gold.

Smith’s dance hall and the property was all sold to the Methodist Church, they may have become the first church to have a beer license. The original dance hall building where Lawrence Welk played still stands, in the same place on that stretch of shoreline. Today it is used for meetings and as a dining hall, that says something for old-time construction.

Arlington Beach, the next place west was run by a lady named Ann Oburn. This picture is of the Lake Poinsett water slide in the 1920’s. I think it was located at Arlington Beach, as far as I can tell from looking at the Hills and the trees in the background. I will be glad to edit this story and change the location if it is wrong. Ann Oburn had a few rental cabins, cafe and bait house.

Bud Mueller from Estelline gave boat rides at Arlington Beach in the 1940’s. This was his fancy boat.

In the nineteen forties or early fifties it was purchased by Russ Weiland and his wife who operated it for many years. Russ was possibly the original Evinrude Johnson dealer in this part of the country. His daughter and son-in-law relocated Weiland Marine, which is now on Highway 81.

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West from there were only two or three houses until you got to the little hill top farm with the goats. I think Madsens lived there. There were only two cabins between there and Mundt’s Resort. Mundt’s had several small cabins that they rented out. There was a farm between Mundt’s resort and what is now Pier 81.

There was another dance hall that later became Wieland Marine on Highway 81 just north of the corner by the Poinsett Cemetery, it closed after the War. It was near a gas station, some called Hilltop, others Ann’s Place.  She served lunches and usually had a lively crowd, Ann and Clyde served beverages to those with the most discriminating tastes. The place later became Ole’s repair shop. It was Gene’s repair until Weiland Marine bought it.

Ernie Edwards moved a building to the lake and started Edwards resort, possibly in the late 40s early 50s. Edwards served good food and had a bar and live music.
Edwards Resort had dances through the 50s 60s and 70s mainly Country Western and Rock and Roll music. They usually had very good crowds. I believe it was sometime in the 1960’s a truck driver must have gone to sleep at the wheel and he tipped his semi over in Edwards parking lot wrecking cars and almost taking out the gas pumps. I can’t imagine the call that fellow had to make to his company explaining he just wrecked a few dozen cars while tipping over at a crowded dance. I was there that night I recall there was a lot of commotion. It was a miracle that no one was even hurt, many people were outside.

On the west side of the Lake, there was a resort called Sportsmans Lodge owned by Nessen’s, the Hawley family was there too, it burned down. It was a very long large building with a restaurant, I believe they also had cabins and rooms in the lodge that they rented out.

What is now Lakeview Resort was a small resort opened by Ole Mikelmier. It later became Fish Haven, home of the famous Carp Sandwich. They had a secret BBQ sauce, It brought out the best in a big chunk of carp. From Lakeview North, there were two or three homes.

The Grape Farm had no homes until the first one was built right on the point in the 1950s. From there North to Saarinen’s the state purchased part of the shoreline and later sold Lots to private owners. That closed it for skinny dipping. From Saarinen’s Point North there were a few homes because it was close to the highway.

Nitteberg’s Resort was just east of the Stonebridge. That highway washed out west of the bridge in the spring of 1969 as flood waters from over a hundred inches of snow came in from the river and Dry Lake.

Nittebergs must have had a couple dozen summer cabins that they rented out along with boats and bait. They also had some carnival rides in the summer months and afternoon roller skating in the dance hall. The dance hall was built over the lake at one time, but ice damage made them move it back to shore. It was a family run business.The brothers John and Clair ran the bar and maintained most jukeboxes, pinball and other game machines in a large area, their sisters operated the cafe.

The Dance Hall was very busy and a lively location during the 50’s and 60’s and into the 70’s. There was all types of music, old time music was the most popular for many years, until Rock and Roll moved in. There were many big-name bands playing at Nittebergs Resort in the early years, the Model T and Model A days. Lawrence Welk who was from Strasburg N D played there in his younger days. Miron Florin from Rosholt South Dakota managed the Welk music when Lawrence stepped down.

Leo Fortin’s Orchestra was a regular at Nitteberg’s Stone Bridge Resort for many years.

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Leo Fortin

They had Thursday night dances in the fifties. I recall our football coach at Castlewood kept telling us “you guys have a good football team but just think how much better you would be if you didn’t spend all night at the dance on Thursday night.” I guess he had a good point there.

We danced a lot to Big Tiny Little’s Band who played with The Lawrence Welk Orchestra. He was born in Worthington Minnesota and was a regular there in the 50s and 60s.

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Dry Lake was north of The Stone Bridge. In the dryer years, it was full of muskrat houses. The Game Warden Ed White with his Smokey the Bear Hat would fire a shotgun to open the trapping season. From what I have heard it was like the Boomer Sooner land rush in Oklahoma. Trappers made a mad dash to claim as many muskrat houses as they could.

The County’s had a bounty on pocket gophers at one time. It was rumored that some entrepreneurial muskrat Trappers took the front paws from their muskrats and turned them in to claim pocket gopher bounty in the spring.

When you went east from Nittebergs cabins, there were only one or two houses, the one right below the hill was named ‘The Mouse Turd Inn.” The west side of that hill was real steep, just a dirt trail going straight up, many Model A’s some Model T’s, later newer cars had drivers who challenged each other to make it to the top. The dust really flew! I think some got sideways on occasion and rolled back down the hill.

The resort on top of the hill was known as Jim Bagley’s place. A long wooden staircase went down the hill to the lake. They also had a café, fishing equipment, and bait. The name was changed to the Hilltop Resort later when owned by Louie Morales and his family. Louie rented out boats at Thomas Lake one summer when perch fishing was hot.

Just down the hill, east of the hilltop resort, there were three or four homes before you got to Hammer’s pasture and to the outlet of Lake Poinsett, that led to Stark’s Bridge where flood gates were installed. There have been several fish winterkill years when oxygen in the lake got so low most of the fish died. Dead fish in windrows around the lake at one time. The worst spring brought out the National Guard with front-end loaders, trucks and lots of shovels.

The Bakke farm and Cemetery took up most of the east shore. Two homes were on the hill overlooking Prestrude’s Landing. Lots were developed and cabins built to the south of the boat landing in the 1950’s. Goulds opened a beer and bait place there in the late forties but it didn’t last. The next mile of shoreline was only recently developed by the Hansen family. Going south from the Hansen development to Hendricksons or now Runia’s there were two cabins.

This has been a rather selfish nostalgic trip around Lake Poinsett. I’m really young to have nostalgia for the water slide or for the swimming attire. So actually I feel a lot younger by taking this trip back just a few years before my time. I thought I would like to share these memories of Lake Poinsett while I’m still able to share them. The changes at Lake Poinsett are hard to imagine if you didn’t witness them. The number of very large homes today must reflect a great prosperity in this country or something?

At night the lake and all of the country side was darker than pitch, this was in 1945, before REA, no all night yard lights, no electric lights period. We played cards with light from a kerosene lamp on the table. This country at night was a whole lot darker, the small glow in the sky to the west was Lake Norden’s lights. The smaller glow to the east was Estelline in the Sioux River bottom. You could barely make out a tiny glow for Brookings, that was a long way off. You might say nights were a bonus for ghosts and goblins in those days. On a night with no moon or stars, you best hope your lantern did not go dry.  Can you imagine going back to live in those times?

NOVEMBER 15, 2016 / LELAND OLSON HOEL / EDITbeach-bunnies

Swimming attire has gone from one extreme to the other throughout the centuries. In classical antiquity, swimming and bathing were done naked. The swimming suits here from the 1920’s seem a wee bit extreme, the weight of the wet swim suit could pull you under. Now close to 100 years later we saw, peered, peeked our way through the teeny weeny, polka dot bikini era, we are almost back to swimming in the nude again.

What goes around comes around, with nostalgia or Murphy’s Law.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Family Dinner Out

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

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Modern Families

Somebody in our family got the idea a while back that it would be just great if we all got together and had dinner out. Of course, the first question that came up, where to eat? Some wanted to go to McDonald’s, others wanted Chinese buffet. We had a few younger ones voted for Italian. One grandson with the oriental wife wanted Japanese sushi. I shouted, “this is getting us nowhere, we are all going to go to Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen and pull a few tables together and enjoy a family dinner.”

We all finally got seated at Ralph’s Place. I ask,  “how about ordering.” Each one wants to order from the menu by themselves. Immediately I shouted, “No way José, this is not going to work, it will drain my bank account.” We can all have the special and I will pick up the check. If each one wants to order separately we will go Dutch. No one wanted the special, as I thought, with a breath of relief. Orders finally were all placed, waitresses started bringing out all the different meals.

Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their meals when we heard some police siren’s out in front. Pretty soon a policeman walked in the door with this big old fellow, who looked like a lumberjack. The policeman asked, “Is somebody here named Leland Olson.” That’s me, I replied.” The policeman says, “This old geezer was wandering around in the middle of the street looking for a restaurant called Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen. Nobody in town seemed to know where it was.” Whoever picked this place to eat must not get out of the house much! So anyway, “This fellow claims to be the great-grandfather of Leland Olson. He got the message to meet everyone here for a family dinner.”

I jumped up and gave my great-grandpa a big old hug, you look great, you died in 1914. I started banging a glass with my spoon. Can I have everyone’s attention, “This is great-grandpa Ole Hoel, he came all the way from Canada to have dinner with us.” Sit down and join us. So, “how have things been going with you grandpa, what would you like to eat?” Salted herring and lutefisk are out of season right now. They have excellent walleye fillets, I heard you always liked fish, we all did. Grandpa said, “That will be just fine, “but I don’t seem to have the appetite I had working in the woods all day.”

I asked, “How long can you stay,” They said, ‘until dinner is over’ “I thought maybe you could come out to the house and stay awhile.” ‘Well, that is not part of the deal.’ I’m here to just have dinner with you and your family, to see what you all look and act like.’ “Frankly, I am shocked, It looks like you all have a lot of confusion and bad manners.” “You should all be eating at one table at your home.” ‘Grandpa things change.’ He says, “Don’t know why things got to change that much, only been a little over a 100 years or so since I left here.”

So I asked him, “If you’re leaving after dinner, I hope you’re not walking all the way back to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.” No way, “Walk that far, you nuts? I did it once in 1905! “I will be returned to Canada the same way I got here. Something beamed me up, I didn’t have my Derby hat so they beamed me back down, got my hat, they beamed me up again and it brought me here. I hope they get it right going back.”

Thanks for supper, it was nice to meet your family. Leland, What did you say you do? Blogging? Never heard of it, “Now logging, I know a lot about log………

Bye, bye, great-grandpa, I love you.

Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA

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Fishing was usually good.

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Our old cabin

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Amber fish

Amber’s alligator !

 

 

 

 

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24 lb. Northern Pike

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36.5 lb. Carp

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The Olson boys L/R Leland, Karlton, Harlan

 

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2011 was another year of high water level, wind damage.

 

 

 

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Fears evolve over time. What is one fear you’ve conquered?

Marriage

I will have to say one fear that I finally conquered was getting married. I have had talks with myself through the years. They would go something like this. Hey self, ‘yes,’ “you sure your not gay,” ‘self, of course not, no way.’

I played high school football and had several different dates in high school. This one young lady and I had a bad case of puppy love that lasted about a year. Then a cheerleader from another town came along and that became more serious. She sent me a Dear John letter while I was in boot camp. I got to thinking later, never hit many home runs in high school, then I didn’t play baseball either. A second cheerleader was very special, she kept in touch with me while I served two years in Japan. I should have been far more considerate of her, for my future and hers.

I told myself dad beating up on my mother every other week had no bearing on me and my female relationships. My stepdad was a sex pervert who liked boys, that should’ve had nothing to do with me, he might have been an altar boy at one time.

I got sent to Japan for two years in 1960, a young lady working in our squadron coffee shop and I knew at first glance, THIS IS IT, we grew to be so close, it was as if our souls became one. In 1962 we said goodbye to each other at the train station in Tokyo. Half of me flew home the next day, the other half never made it back to the USA. We exchanged letters for a long time.

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Miki

In 1964 my back was broken in a car wreck. If you are lucky enough to get your neck broke there can be some sex after spinal cord injury. My fracture was in the thoracic-lumbar region, bowel, bladder, sex and one leg affected. I have often thought, that was my payback for being inconsiderate of my female friends and a coward when it came to marriage.

I tried living the life of a hermit for a couple years in Northern Minnesota. If you want to be a hermit, you better like lonely, that’s about all I can say about the hermit lifestyle.

My cousin like a brother was driving a refrigerated truck from Sioux Falls South Dakota to Arizona and California every week. He talked me into working with him. If we had a load of meat for Tucson Arizona, we stayed at the same motel every week, it was nice and they had a pool, bar, and a small dance floor. That is where I met my wife to be, this was 1969. At that time the family was even starting to look at me with that look in their eyes, is he or isn’t he, like marriage is supposed to be for everyone? I don’t think so!

Rose Marie and I dated, parked out in the desert and talked while listening to the Martians, desert sounds, etc. We did lots of dancing, some drinking, then decided to get married, sort of a take care of each other in old age deal, that’s now where were at. She had four daughters and a grandson when we got married. After 44 years I have lost track of how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren there are.

My life has been under constant change living with a spinal injury. I lose more ability to do things almost daily. It is an effort anymore just to do daily things that everyone takes for granted. Life is still good and it will go on as long as the creator has something for us to do. We may as well make the most each new day that we are given.

An older brother said one time, “married men live longer,” ‘no,’ “it just seems longer.” He said it as a joke but I do believe married man might live a little longer.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

My Best Hunting Dog

The best hunting dog I ever had was a small Brittany Spaniel, she was an outstanding hunter. Her breed could hypnotize a pheasant the way Fox can. The pheasants did not fly until she made them take off. Once I walked up she had a hen pheasant about a foot in front of her nose. It blinked its eyes at me then looked at the dog, but it did not move. Hen pheasants stay put a lot better than Roosters. Sam would stay on point. I walked up and made the pheasant fly one time. Sam grabbed it as soon as it took off the same way a Fox would do. I took the pheasant from her and turned it loose, that poor dog looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face, her head cocked to the side, like what did you do that for? Sam always rode up on the back of the seat right behind my head in the pickup. That was her favorite spot to ride, she could see out the back window or the front, it gave me a warm headrest also. You could take a lunch break if you wanted, she would point until you got back.

She only had one litter of pups, but it was huge. She had a baby every hour for 10 hours. Those ten pups were draining her energy. Feeding that many babies got to be too much, I bought milk replacer and helped feed them.  A friend of mine got one of those pups, it turned out to be a good hunting dog for him for many years.

There was a pasture across the road from our place. A trapper set traps out there every year. One day I saw Sam out in the pasture by herself, she wasn’t moving. I walked over there she was laying there with a trap on a front foot. She had a look on her face like “look what I have done” she didn’t fight or try to get loose as a wild animal would do. She was just lying there waiting for me and let me get her foot out of the trap. We walked home with her limping all the way. From that day on, anytime we were out hunting she would smell a fox trap and slowly back away from the area, exactly the way a fox would do. They know where the trap is at by smell.  

Sam loved to eat field mice fox also have a diet of field mice. They must be tasty little critters. One day my son-in-law Gaylord and I had been hunting all afternoon. Sam was doing her usual good job of hunting for us. I notice she was filling up on field mice, half the time the mice must have gone down her throat still alive. She just loved them, couldn’t get enough. After hunting all afternoon we were driving home, Sam wasn’t on the back of the seat behind my head likes usually rides she was between us. I could tell she didn’t 0feel good. We were almost home, Sam jumped up, let out a few loud burps and then regurgitated half a gallon of field mice onto my son-in-law’s lap. I stopped the pickup quick Gaylord bailed out leaving a trail of mice parts all the way to the road ditch. I think he also lost his lunch.

We lived about 30 yards (ca. 27 m) away from busy County highway with traffic going past 60 to 70 miles (112.65 km) an hour. One morning I looked out as a neighbor was going past. He was going very slow Sam was coming across the road. He ran over her right on the center line and didn’t even stop. I quickly ran out there, picked Sam up and cried all the way back to the house. She died while I was carrying her, that was a horrible day.

https://lelandolson.com/

Arizona Sonora Historical Ruins

We lived in Tucson Arizona USA in the early 1970s. I hunted quail about 40 miles (ca. 64 km) Southwest of the city, every time an opportunity came up. My favorite spot was an old abandoned place that was occupied about a hundred years ago near the Mexican border.

I liked to hunt pheasants and ducks. Quail hunting tests a shooter’s ability to hit a target that bursts into the air at his feet and is instantly traveling the speed of a bullet. Some compare it to dove hunting. I could never shoot a dove. When the three Olson boys were growing up, we raised pigeons and had individual names for most of them. The Lord never made a bird more caring and loving than a pigeon, there is no way on this earth I could ever shoot a dove or a pigeon.

The Gambel’s quail are plentiful and can be found in large coveys in the hot, parched, desert of the south western United States. When a covey explodes into the air, they all go in different directions. I suppose that is, so they don’t collide with each other, but it also confounds the Hunter as he tries to quickly pick a target. Usually by the time the one with gun makes his decision the quail are long gone. They only fly a short distance, as if beckoning to you, just dare try to make us fly again. You will see them scurrying along the dry creek bed seeking a new shaded hiding place.

A sad, but true testimony to my wing shooting ability, we didn’t have quail under glass, a brace of quail would be an appetizer. The table was not graced with quail very often. It was time for celebration if I got enough little birds ‘about 90 grams each’ about ‘3.97 ounces’ for my wife and 3 daughters to enjoy a taste.

Those ruins must have been witness to a colorful history in that wild western desert. I always took a ‘time machine’ rest break, sitting in a shady spot near one of the cooler, stonewalls. After checking for scorpions and black widow spiders, I would sit, close my eyes and conjure up memories of what must have taken place there.

In studying that low doorway, I concluded, if Matt Dillon ever followed a gunslinger down here from Dodge City Kansas, he had to bend down low to enter the house and bring the bad guy out. There was no doubt many shootouts there. The total amount of hot lead that got ricocheted off those rock walls through the years would have made an anchor for a large ship. I wish there was a list of Sheriffs, U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers who rode in there. You can bet some never caught the gang off guard so didn’t ride out, not sitting upright, maybe tied in the saddle.

It didn’t take much  imagination to decide it must have been a hideout for numerous murderers, bank robbers, horse thieves, cattle rustlers and other unsavory lawbreakers. The location was perfect, if the word came down that a posse was approaching from the North all they had to do was hop on their horses, a short ride later they were safe in Mexico, until the Federales chased them back north.

It would have been a perfect hideout for desperados trying to escape the law and the hang man’s noose. It would have been a destination discussed in all the saloons and honkytonks in places like Dodge City Kansas or Fort Worth Texas or other areas where bad guys did dastardly deeds then headed South as fast as they could go, a perfect location to rest and recuperate from gunshot wounds.

Land seeking settlers probably built the house, and corrals. It took all the labor a whole family could muster to survive there. It was nearly impossible to grow enough to stay alive on.  The stone corrals keep a pig or two, possibly, captured Javalina, from roaming off into the dessert. Chickens could fend for themselves until a hawk came to visit. Water was a constant issue. Pigs fed on cactus and wild gourds. Goats would never stay behind a low rock wall, but they needed to roam free to find enough food to survive on. Goat was the main meat on the menu no doubt, unless you got lucky enough to shoot a rabbit, then you had meat for a couple of days.

The first early settlers had to have many hair-raising meetings with the Apache people over trespass rights. It is likely the desperadoes found many houses vacated.

Several arroyos or creeks converged on that property making it the most likely place to find underground water in the area. After closer examination I discovered the remnants of a shallow hand-dug well, it was one of the few places in that region where water was available during the hot dry months.  Walking along a Creek bed searching for quail early one morning I saw the largest rabbit my eyes have ever tried to focus on. I figured my mind was playing tricks on me. The broiling hot, rising sun, glaring on the dew in the creek bottom must be creating a mirage. That rabbit seemed to be several feet tall with ears as big as a donkey. He just stood there looking straight at me from about ten yards. I didn’t have my dog then, a good thing, she probably would have chased that critter all day long. That night just before going to sleep another vision of the bunny appeared. He was similar to Harvey the rabbit that was on the television program. I then decided about seriously considering the amount of alcohol I consume.

This is a rabbit.

http://www.lelandolson.com/


 

December 1, 2019

This is what I saw when I looked out my front window this morning.

This is what I saw when I looked in the mirror this morning. YIKES!

I became 79 years old today. Miracles still happen in this world. There is still a chance, someday I will grow up.

I want to thank all the faithful followers at “My Mixed Blog,” also my Facebook friends. Thank you Don and Rosie Bowers for the funny E card, also thanks to Patty and Craig for bringing me a combination meal from Guadalajara last evening. It took me back to the good old days at the Tucumcari Truck Terminal in New Mexico. They had the best combination plate on our route. Thanks also to Phil who is going to bring me his famous enchiladas this evening.  This old geezer has had a good birthday and is thankful for family and friends. You have all helped me make it through another year. I love all of you.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

Sonora Desert

The Sonora Desert in Arizona can be an unfriendly, foreboding place. You do not want to be lost without drinking water. In the spring scarce rain starts to fall, which is rare indeed. Arroyos creeks and rivers flood the low land, everything becomes alive overnight. Dormant frogs come to life and crawl out of the ground making a roaring sound on still nights. Cactuses start blooming multicolored flowers for birds and bees to savor. Wild poppies are in full bloom as far as the eye can see. It is a true marvel of the extremes nature can show us in a relatively short period of time.



Image result for sonora poppies

Wild poppies as far as the eye can see in the Sonora desert near Safford Arizona.

http://www.lelandolson.com/

I Swear I Curse

I Swear I Curse

My wife and me we’re married close to 50 years. I’ve had a bad habit of calling myself a name after doing something dumb. This drove her wild, she would threaten to use a Willow switch on me if I didn’t stop it. I always seemed to belittle myself for doing something wrong, now in my old age I do things that are even dumber. My wife has gone to be with the Lord, her physical presence is no longer here. As I grow older and become more of a klutz, I catch myself swearing at my actions more.  Everything I put in my hands gets dropped. Hearing aid batteries are the worst culprit, they hit the floor multiple times as they are readied for each ear. This creates verbal barrages as I swear at my-self, alone here in my humble abode. Why do this just for being disappointed in myself? It now brings out an unhappy female spirit stalking about carrying a very stout shillelagh each time I start a tirade. The conflicting ties that bind. An oxymoron? It might get me to quit that bad habit, under these unique circumstances.

Being disappointed in self should not bring out swear words. This got to the point I asked myself, “why do people swear?”  You hear young people swearing a lot, yet they are not disappointed. There must be another triggering device. I believe human nature leads us to copy what others do. Monkey see monkey do too. If people your around swear you automatically follow their lead, so you’re accepted as one of them.  If you’re in a crowd where nobody is swearing, and you still swear you stand out as the different one also. If we do enough swearing, it follows us no matter where we go. It becomes second nature. 

Employers might swear to get the quick attention of someone doing wrong. Some people in high office use swear words as they delegate authority to advisors and staff members. To most people this will cause a negative effect, especially if there was no reason to be sworn at.

We had an old blacksmith one time his hands and fingers always seemed to be bandaged from burning them or waking them with hammers. I don’t imagine he said “Praise the Lord” after hurting himself, but I never did hear him use the Lords name in vain.  He had a sign hanging in his workshop, “Swearing shows your intelligence.” He must have been offended by swearing and the sign reminded people of that.

As a youngster growing up one of our aunts was determined to have authority over her domain and swearing. She had a bar of soap that served the purpose of cleaning up language, it only needed one application in most cases. There were no swear words said in her presence or on her property.

We grew up on a farm me and two brothers. Two of us were less than a year apart, it was rumored that mother had some anxiety trouble once. I can imagine there were many times when she felt like a mother duck trying to get a dozen duckling across the freeway.

When she took us to visit at our aunt’s house, we naturally became acquainted with the soap dish quite fast. My aunt knew the language we were listening to at home because our dad was her brother, and she had to grow up with him. Dad claimed the use of colorful adjectives was to make his point of view more clear, that it did. That is undoubtedly where the soap bar idea came from.

I have decided as far as foul language is concerned, society will get back what they put into it. We are all that we accept good or bad.   

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Full Life

Full Life

As I grow older, I have come to learn life really is a race, run in different phases. We start out as helpless infants who need constant care. Before learning to speak we learn to get assistance with different cries and noises, sometimes quiet and weak at other times loud and prolonged.  Our caregivers faithfully race to rescue us and supply our needs.

Through some small miracles, we reach the age of 2 years. We race in everything we do, and every place we go, racing constantly, to the echoing word “NO.”

We are learning language, and how to communicate. No is a strong starting first word very easy to hear and understand. The perfect word to start life’s race with, a warning word, no will come and go through our minds during the whole race, sometimes we will listen sometimes we won’t.

One day, usually while you’re at school puberty starts to take control of your body. You wonder what’s happening to me? I think something is going awry. Physical and psychological demons are fighting over my mind and body. Doubt and dread were foreign to me yesterday. You just got slam dunked into the adolescent stage of indecision and despair. Change wants to rule your mind leaving you in wonder about self. You might feel like staying in bed and hiding from the rest of the world. It, feel’s best to shut everything else out, stay in your quiet little shell. That feeling will soon pass as a young adult you continue your education or join the workforce.

Upon entering the workforce your first lesson is to be on time. From that day on don’t start out late and race to your job. It would be easier to get up early, old habits are hard to break. It seems like Friday will never come each week. Your race to work made you successful, with a wife, and children and lots of stuff. That’s what modern life is all about. You fulfilled the American dream, you have a big house, three-car garage, loving family and loads of stuff.

As you get older the body slows down. It finally becomes an all-day snail pace, race to put your clothes and shoes on. Everything gets done in super slow motion, but it is still a race for the finish line. Fridays seem to be every other day, meaning the end must be near, but you can’t see, or hurry it. You know it will come for you, it’s a fact, your days are numbered but you know not how many. You continue that living race in a worn-out body, soon needing special care again. Your final hope is to be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

https://lelandolson.com/

Tend Your Lamps

In my youth wicks were carefully trimmed. Mantels got cleaned with deliberate care, bright light they would share. Sootie glass reflected poorly on a housekeeper, yet it never got noticed until Twilight, with the sound of breaking glass everywhere.

https://lelandolson.com/

                                                          

Replace

Dear Ralph,

I write this short memo with deep feelings of regret.

The executive committee recently met behind closed doors. They delegate their authority extremely well, that is why they chose me to write you this letter. A vote was taken, the new members all decided on me as I have been your best and oldest friend here at the firm. After much deliberation and carefully worded consideration the decision was made to replace you. It was unanimously decided, you would be replaced with a vacancy.

Respectfully yours,

John

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/