Posted 1/13/10 (Wed)
Well, it was quite a week. The temperature dropped to around thirty below and the wind blew! I kept the tractor plugged in and covered up with a tarp. Jumped in it the first real cold morning and it went rrr…rr…r..click…click. That was it for the week.
Shirley was gone legislating, so I was in charge! I hate being in charge. That’s a lot of responsibility for an old guy. But a neighbor with a heated shop saved the day. But that is another story.
In the morning, I always check the weather map of the United States. And it was darn cold all over. Water pipes bursting in Louisiana, snow in Florida, snow in Texas, and going to stay cold. But in Hawaii, it is always 81 degrees. I recalled a trip we took before the government grounded me.
It was back during the oil boom in the early eighties. We didn’t have any oil. We didn’t have any oil field jobs. But what the heck, everyone else was doing good, so I used some of my operating (feed, seed, family living….that kind of nonsense) money for a trip to the Islands.
I can still recall the conversation with the loan officer.
“This is Dean Meyer. I need $4000 put in 123456.”
“Yes, and what will it be used for?”
“I bought a bull.”
“Wonderful! We’ll take care of it. Thank you!”
Man, life was simple then. Then came spring and my banker came for a visit. He’s a cattleman you know. So he was pretty interested in seeing this high priced bull I had purchased a couple months earlier. He knew I never paid over forty-two cents for a bull in my life.
So, I did what no one has probably ever done to his or her banker. I lied.
“The bull died.”
“The bull died?”
“Yep, the bull died,” I said, while concentrating on kicking a cat that was walking by. Wasn’t a very good cat. But quick. I missed.
This banker was quite astute.
“Nice tan,” he says to me.
“Why thank you,” I replied. “Wind burn.”
“Nice sunglasses too,” the very observant banker mentions.
“Snow blind,” I replied. “Burns just like welding. Best if I keep the glasses on.”
I think I had him. I was thinking I was so cool. And then Shirley ruined it. When we went in for coffee, she was wearing a grass skirt!
Did I mention the loo-ow, or however they say it? You know, where they cook a pig. And they drink these mai-tais or something like that. Anyway, I was enjoying eating this roasted hog. It was good, but not like the guys at Killdeer can cook. But that’s another story. I was eating this pig meat, and sipping on these rum drinks with an umbrella in them and watching the hula dancers and stuff and I guess I got carried away.
Everyone loaded the bus. And there were a lot of buses. The drivers were all standing in the parking lot, having their last smoke before departing. Our bus was full, so I stepped on, greeted everyone with a big “Aloha,” and slipped into the driver’s seat of that idling bus. Everyone hollered back, “Aloha.” Which I figured was Hawaiian for “get the show on the road.” I was easily recognized. The big guy with the shorts, white legs, and cowboy hat.
Off we went. Down a winding, mountain road. Our bus driver screamed and ran after us for a while, but he was slower than that cat. He jumped on the next bus and we led a caravan of buses down off this mountain.
He didn’t need to be nervous. I grew up driving in the breaks of the Little Missouri on snow and ice and slippery gumbo. My passengers started a sing along, and really, I think I could have hired on as a tour guide.
Did I mention how nice those Hawaiian jails are?