Friday, July 19, 2013

Just Thinkin'

Was just thinkin' about that little cafe in the mountains. Every time he made the trip to Salt Lake, he had to stop for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. It was the only place between Duchesne and Heber that sold ANYthing. You entered through the old wooden door into a room that had a counter running from one side to the other and a few tables by the front wall. Most of the customers were male and sat at the bar drinking a beer. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, etc., were available, but he was never hungry enough for anything but a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. It didn't make any difference what kind of pie. If they didn't have apple or cherry, he would eat what they had, even banana cream one time when he was desperate for pie. He was not a very big man, skinny and about five-foot-nine was all. Soaking wet, he might weigh a hundred thirty pounds in Levi's, plaid shirt, cowboy boots, and Stetson. But don't let his size fool you. He was tough as nails with rough, leathery hands from working his cattle and building fences, plowing the ground, planting crops and all that familiar stuff that ranching requires. Most times, he was in good humor and would laugh right along with you at the jokes everyone laughed at as if he were hearing them for the first time. His laugh was as honest as he was and full of enjoyment.

That was back in the 1930's and -40's when he had that old Dodge sedan. The Dodge wasn't old then. In fact it was practically new and went lickety-split when he put the pedal to the floorboards, and he'd argy with anybody over how good a car it was. You can't beat it, the way he would carry on over the eight-cylinder engine and how fast it would go.

Well, there ain't no pie anymore. He died a few years ago and that cafe closed up, too. Every time I go back to that country, I can't forget the way he used to buzz around in that old Dodge and all the dirt roads it had traveled over during its lifetime. There ain't nothing left to his place except a pile of rocks and more rocks scattered around the ranch. It seemed like every time he moved a rock out of the way another one would take its place. He always said that he'd seen all the rocks he ever wanted to see in his lifetime. So the wife one time packed up a few of the little rocks in a small box and sent them to him. I can hear him now, swearing up a storm, "Damn your hide! I don't need no more damn rocks! What you send them damn rocks to me for?" But, as mad as he was, he put them in a prominent spot on top of the fireplace ledge where everybody who came to visit would be sure to see them and he'd tell them, "That damn wife of so-and-so sent me those damn rocks from Arizona, as if I didn't have enough of 'em around here. Damn her hide!" and he'd start laughing along with everybody else. "She's a pistol, she is!" he'd say.     


  1. Replies
    1. It was a happier time even with the war going on.

  2. Guess in the end there won't be much more left of any of us.

    1. Not much, Charles. Even the memories will be forgotten.

  3. I can't go that far back, but I knew several who stopped there for coffee and pie.