You Talk About A Memorable Ride!

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 09:12 AM.

            As I’m working on an exit strategy, let me tell you what these stories have meant to me. If you just “remember” the Tri-County Stockyards, it’s an old building on the outskirts of town.  If you go to write something down about the place, well, that’s a whole new ballgame entirely! You’ve got to “feel” the railroad tracks as you come up the hill and turn into the parking lot. You’ve got to “see” the concrete cafeteria and office on the left and the big, sprawling holding pens and auction area looming in front of you. You need to “smell” the best hamburger in three counties cooking on the grill……..mixed in with the aroma of manure, hay, diesel fuel and chewing tobacco. You’ve got to “hear” the pigs squealing from the far back side of the giant barn and the auctioneer singing his way through lot after lot of horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and goats.

            And you’ve got to do the same with the elementary school, J. A. Abernathy’s Hardware, U’tot’em Grocery and a hundred other places in town…..well, ok……maybe twenty other places in town.

            If you’re going to tell the story, you can’t just watch the homecoming parade, you’ve got to jump aboard. You don’t just cruise the Dairy Bar, you’ve got to “taste” the shake and onion rings. You don’t vaguely remember “The Coasters” blasting out of those big speakers at the swimming pool; you’ve got to squint a little from the sun bouncing off the water. You’ve got to feel the Baby Oil greased into your skin, the faint chlorine smell lingering in the air and, of course, you’ve got to be singing “Fe-fe, fi-fi, fo-fo, fum; I smell smoke in the auditorium.”

            I’ve made a career out of writing about the people I grew up with. I’ve poked fun, shed a tear, revealed a few secrets and, thankfully, have NOT told “all I know” in some instances. I hope my love for them has shown through more than anything else. My best friends in high school……are still my best friends in life. I write about them often……because I think about them often. Whatever the story, it makes me dig deeper into my memory bank. You will never know how grateful I am for that.

If I misspeak or exaggerate at times that because it’s the way I remember it.

I do know this for dead certain positive; the town, the old buildings, each and every single person, even writing about them…….has certainly given me much more than I have given back.  


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