Slow Teamster



Daily Prompt


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Slow Teamster

I had a great uncle named Gideon Hoel Olson. He was born in Norway in 1882. The family were all copper miners in Norway. His parents decided to move to America to take part in the copper mining that was going on in the state of Michigan. They went on their first journey together as a family crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Four sisters and their parents stayed behind in Norway, the three brothers moved their families to a new land and the promise of a better life. Uncle Gideon and his brother Andrew stayed in Calumet Michigan only a couple years and then they moved to Northern Minnesota. They both were still single and went to work in the iron mines, saving their money to make their final move to South Dakota. They both wanted to be farmers. I seriously doubt if either one set foot in a saloon while they were there in the North Woods.

Gideon became what you might describe as an early day Teamster at age seventeen. One of his first jobs after arriving in South Dakota, was hauling bags of wheat in a Studebaker wagon to a Flour Mill on the Big Sioux River at Dell Rapids, South Dakota. This too was a long journey in those days about 1898. He hauled bags of wheat in a wagon pulled by two oxen, the travel could only have been a couple miles an hour. The flour probably had weevils in it by the time he got back home.

That was the good old days before bleached or treated flour, the flour sifter took out the little critters quite well. One thing about the oxen they can live on any of the grass along the way. There were plenty of waterholes where they could get a drink. An ox is nothing more than a mature bovine with an “education”. The education consists of the animal’s learning to respond appropriately to the teamster’s (ox driver’s) commands: in North America such as (1) get up, (2) whoa, (3) back up, (4) gee (turn to the right) and (5) haw (turn to the left). Mules went faster but they are just muley at times, most of the time.

Gideon had his trusty old double-barreled 12 gauge along as sort of a deterrent for anyone with the idea to cause them harm. Maybe they should just leave him alone and let him go about his business. He got to know the Santee Sioux Indian people very well as his trip to Dell Rapids took him right through the Santee Reservation. It was approximately 60 miles from where he lived in Lake Norden, South Dakota to Dell Rapids were the flour mill was located. That was a long journey with that wagon and his two trusty oxen Bova and Urus pulling it.

At that time Prairie Chickens and Grouse were very plentiful. I would imagine he roasted a Grouse, or a Prairie Chicken over his campfire every night. There were no established roads yet at that time. Rain could make any travel difficult to impossible, sometimes for days. Gideon was the quietest man I’ve ever known in my whole life. He had to be the perfect person to work with oxen. One time the wagon bogged down in some mud He hollered at Urus BACK UP-BACK UP they got out of the mud and proceeded on their way. I can imagine those two oxen  talking that night as “Urus was so sad.”” Bova said to Urus “Let it go, you know, he didn’t mean to raise his voice.”

I became a Teamster almost 80 years after my uncle. I hauled my freight by truck instead of ox. Sometimes I felt dumb as an ox for driving a truck for peanuts at the time, but I was stubborn as a mule and stayed at it because it kept the wolves away from the door. I would load my truck with meat at Sioux Falls, South Dakota and deliver it to stores in Arizona and California. After the meat was unloaded I loaded produce back. Everything from fresh vegetables to fresh fruit and avocados, cantaloupe melons etc. .That load of produce would be delivered back, usually to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rochester or Duluth. This whole trip would take just a little over a week. You can see why our economy has been able to grow and prosper, mainly from the advances in the transportation systems.





Daily Prompt
Write a post using todays one word prompt.


If you plan to drink alcoholic beverages, please use a glass. It just seems proper and will get you in a lot less trouble, if you are consuming your beverages from a glass.

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a cold beer served in a frosty glass. It will tease, test and then tantalize your taste buds! Your thirst will be quenched a lot better than with cool aid when it’s 99° in the shade. You could drink that cold beer straight from the bottle for more burps and a belch. Chug a lug drinking, your swallowing air with your beer, more burps for the buck but less class without the glass. Go for that tall frosted glass show that you really do have a touch of style when it comes to enjoying your favorite ale or beer.

If you buy alcohol by the bottle always measure with a shot glass, then pour it into your drinking glass with whatever you are serving it with. It is so uncouth to drink alcohol directly from the bottle and it can start you on the pathway to destruction. A life of crooked footsteps and tipsy turns of events in your life. Being a social drinker will usually keep you out of trouble, as far as alcohol abuse goes. Do your drinking with others in a bar or lounge for the enjoyment and the camaraderie of having a night out.

If you come to a point in your life where you quit using a glass, beware! It is very easy for too much alcohol consumption to take a bear hold on you. Directly into your mouth from the bottle, it doesn’t make much difference if it is still in the brown bag or not. Infants are even tempted to take one or two extra swallows from their bottles.

There are groups of people who are confirmed bottle drinkers. They like to stand or sit around in a circle and just shoot the breeze and pass the bottle. Everyone gets afraid to pass his bottle around sooner or later. One or two good old boys will chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug. The smart fellow gets stingy and only passes his jug after he already drank most of it on the way to the meeting. He knows the bottle will never come back to him with anything in it. Each person is going to take a couple extra swallows to make sure he gets his share, just in case the bottle never gets passed around again. Which it surely will not with the wrong person in the group visiting over the fine art of liquor tastings.

Some of the good old boys themselves used to cook a lot of moonshine. I would imagine any time you have liquor in large quantities you don’t drink from a girly glass. You don’t want to see too much of a surplus start to develop. So instead of using a glass you do your drinking from a fruit jar. Fruit jar drinkers seem to be of breed all their own. They are usually very happy fiddler, banjo playing, harmonica experts as well as being the famous fruit jar drinkers from down south. Many famous Bluegrass music groups were formed at fruit jar drinking festivals. I propose a toast to the drinking glass, jar, dipper, cup, shoe, glass slipper etc..




A Piece of Advice

This week’s challenge brings out the positive: tell us about a piece of advice you’ve received — and would like to share with others.


This piece of advice doesn’t sound very positive, but here is my advice. M.Y.O.B. Mind your own business. If a friend shares something personal with you, don’t betray that friendship by telling it to others. Don’t Yakety Yak on the cell phone all day long and then all night long about others people’s business. Take care of your own business, don’t worry about someone else’s business, or repeat it to keep cell phones hot. Gossiping on the phone always causes problems for everyone concerned.

When a story gets told about someone else’s trouble, it will get changed each time that it is retold. If you have a half a dozen different people who love to gossip about other’s problems. You’re going to end up with a lot of different variations of that story. There will be hard feelings started always and feelings of betrayal by someone that you called friend. Instead of gossiping about a friend’s problem. If you are truly concerned, go to that person and share your suggestions about what might help solve that person’s problem. Do it out of friendship, alone, as a single person, not as the answering committee for a gossipy group of cell phone addicts.

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone for communication purposes. He did this with the thought that the telephone would be attached to a wall, or setting on a desk. He would no doubt feel real bad if he could see all the people walking out into speeding traffic, stepping in front of a train, falling in a swimming pool, falling down the stairs. Mr. Bell would no doubt wonder, as I do. What on earth can they all be constantly talking about?

The old switchboard operators at the telephone company must have had a lot of laughs. They could over hear all the different conversations on the old party lines. The original gossip lines, where a half dozen homes shared the same connection. If we act on and show concern about our own problems that will keep us occupied. Worry will do nothing for us or friends. We have no business listening to or talking about anyone else’s lives, troubles, business, or activities on the phone. That job is for Home Land Security.


Dirty Little Coward


Daily Prompt

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

“Cowardice is a trait wherein fear and excess self-concern override doing or saying what is right, good, and of help to others or oneself in a time of need. Cowardice – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia <Cowardice>”

After reading the definition of the word cowardice. You would think a coward would live a reclusive, low-profile lifestyle and not want to be noticed by the people around him. Robert Ford that dirty little coward that shot Mr. Howard, then took glory in his cowardice. He hoped to collect a reward on old Jesse’s head! Maybe he killed Mr. Howard to stop him from seeking the good life? He knew Mr. Howard well. They traveled together, shared the same rooms together ate the same food together.

Jesse James evidently decided he was going to change his lifestyle and settle down and raise a family. He took the name Mr. Howard and married and had three children. He and his wife and family were living a peaceful life in St. Joseph, Missouri. He was hoping to leave his colorful past behind him and start a new life.

Robert Ford came to St. Joseph one day, went to Mr. Howard’s house and shot him in the back while he was hanging a picture on the wall. He did the perfect cowardly act by shooting his old friend Jesse James square in the back because he was too much of a coward to ever face him in a gunfight. Robert Ford turned on his old friend and comrade and killed him in his own home, in cold blood, while he was unarmed.

The James Brothers gang along with Robert Ford robbed many trains and many banks. Jesse James became a Robin Hood to many people that he helped in the mid-west. He and his brother Frank had many different gang members in their time. They were feared by most and welcomed by many who hid them from the law and tended to their gun shot wounds. They shared some of their loot with the hungry people that helped to hide them until things cooled back down.

The James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876. They joined up with the James Younger gang to rob the bank at Northfield, Minnesota, the Younger gang was all killed or captured at that time and that gang dissolved for awhile. Jesse James was reported to have rounded up a new gang down in Missouri.

The robbery of the bank at Northfield, Minnesota backfired. The whole town was waiting for them to ride in and get off their horses. That was a very bad day for the James and Younger gangs. My grandfather recalled that day of the Northfield Bank robbery many times. The James gang got shot up real bad at Northfield and the ones that got away rode right through this part of South Dakota as they were heading down into Nebraska or Kansas. There were many different posses on their trail, no cowardice among those riders .

Lost In Death Valley


Lost In The Mojave

Baby, “please talk to me.” I don’t know why you’re so mad, “You wanted to see the Mojave Desert, and here we are.” We might be a little bit lost right now, but we will get out of here, everything will be just fine. Yeah, right, “Mr. Adm. Byrd, Mr. Christopher Columbus, the great explorer of the 54,000 square mile Mojave Desert.” Idiot, “A little bit lost!” You are the one who decided to turn off the Highway to do a little exploring. Have you ever heard of a compass?

There are so many All-Terrain Vehicle tracks out here you don’t know where any of them will go. Maybe that’s the problem, way too many paths, and I got confused about which one I was supposed to be taking. You sure got confused all right, “You don’t even have any idea what direction we are going, north east south or west.
We are running low on water, and the sun will be going down pretty quickly. Dear, we will spend the night right here by these big rocks, and be real cozy.

Hey lover boy, “I wonder if they got wolves out here that will come to have us for a midnight snack?” I can’t believe the mess you got us into because you wanted to be the Brave Desert Explorer. You left the pickup and trailer parked somewhere back along that road miles from Baker. We will be lucky if we ever see them again. Do you know this isn’t even a highway, just an old wagon trail between Baker and Kelso?

Baby, I have a strategy, the best thing to do right now is cuddle up to each other by this four-wheeler. Try to make ourselves as comfortable as we can. We don’t have that much gas left. We are going to have to wait for sunrise. When the sun comes up, we go the opposite direction to get back to Baker, California, or somewhere in California and back to civilization. Sooner or later, we will have to come to the interstate Highway that runs through Baker.

We are so far from nowhere our cell phones are useless out here. No one has any reason to be checking for a GPS signal coming from either one of our phones. We are not missing, just on vacation. I don’t think we could have gone far enough north to be near Death Valley. Baby, “It just seems to me like we been going around in circles all day.” You bet Sherlock, “Around in circles, that’s what you’ve been doing.”

Two weeks later, a Marine helicopter on maneuvers from Camp Pendleton, California, found an all-terrain vehicle out in Death Valley. The only signs of anyone being around there were torn pieces of clothing scattered all over. They were finally  reported as missing tourists at Death Valley by the authorities.


Once Forbidden




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

We have been given the word forbidden as a daily prompt. There is not a long list of things that are forbidden in our modern times, “One might be murder” and another “Shouting fire in a crowded movie theater.” One fellow out in Colorado thought he would do both at the same time. That brought out copy cat killers. I will rent my movies now. It would appear, some where along the way reverse psychology has taken over. I don’t blame Dr. Spock for that. His influence on young parents and child raising will be discussed for many more years and the decision that is made will be by somebody who is far above my pay grade.

If something has the forbidden label attached to it, that is almost like a green light for many people. The first thing that comes into their minds is, “Let’s do it.” Since the early 1960’s society in both Europe and United States have been moving to a much more permissive stance. Many things that were considered forbidden in the 1950’s became acceptable before the 1970’s rolled around.

The college-age people of the 1960s were given many labels. You might have called them the good time generation. They enjoyed their freedom and their rights to express themselves verbally and physically. Many claimed their mental condition improved dramatically if they had marijuana to smoke. That helped sharpen their senses and furthering their education worked a lot better.

There was much for those young people to demonstrate against besides just society in general. During the Vietnam War years millions visited Washington D.C.. For much of it they had good reasons to demonstrate. The government was really caught off guard, they had never seen demonstrations to the extent that the colleges and universities were doing. The government overreacted in many cases causing the deaths of some young people. The National Guard only exacerbated the problems, with the shooting deaths at Kent State. That was like throwing gas on a roaring fire

We got through the turbulent 60s and the troublesome 70s and the world did not end. Many more freedoms became acceptable after those years ended. Was it good for society or was it bad.? The world continues to move on and a lot of people seem to show less respect for their neighbors, a lot less love, sharing and caring goes out from peoples hearts.

The word forbidden has kept much of society around the world in check for centuries. Humans, like sheep, need rules and leaders to keep them out of trouble. That world has now become a lot more permissive. I don’t think it’s a real stretch of the imagination to connect this with the terrorist activity that has been growing almost everywhere on earth.

The people whose religion has the word forbidden on many pages of their religious literature, hate the word permissive. Their belief is so strong they will murder innocent people all over the world to keep the word forbidden on everyone’s tongues and at the front of their minds. Obey or die leaves no wiggle room or need for lawyers.