My name is Samuel Moses Cardiff; mostly I go by Sam. Some years ago, almost forty, in fact, I stood upon this porch that overlooks the barn, the corrals, and Old Woman Creek and told my friend Pickles this was an excellent place to watch the world go by. I was right then, and I’m right now. Pickles, who was born Francis Knudson, is gone now. In fact, most of who I knew back then is gone, but this old porch is still a place to watch the world go by. Step on up, you can use that rocker there. That’s the one we got for Laura, and have a sit-down. She raised two babies on her lap in that chair. Did a job second to none. If they turned out good, it was her, not me.
What’s wrong with me? I haven’t offered you coffee. My eyesight isn’t what it once was, but I can still manage to hit the cup with hot coffee; let me get you a helping.
There ya go. Let me kick my boots off, and I’ll set down and join you. When I was a young man, it was considered improper not to be dressed in public. I always enjoyed sitting back on a good solid chair and kicking my feet up on a rail of some kind. Always liked to get out of my boots. You know how it is, feet get sweaty in those heavy old boots, kicking them off, and getting your feet up in the breeze was a treat just not enjoyed by many. It seems most people were just too uptight to let the dogs run, as they say. Never bothered me though.
Oh, yeah, I remember, it’s not like I was favored among most people, especially those who considered themselves the upper crust. That never bothered me. Truth be told, I had other things on my mind back then. If you know me at all, you know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, fate being the jester that it is, I have outlived them all. My sweet Laura has passed. Pickles is gone. Tigress O’Dell, well, I lost touch with her. I heard once she was in Abilene, but I can’t swear to that. Never did find out what happened to Ed West. I lost touch with him when I left New Mexico. I like to think of him somewhere, in a saloon, enjoying a beer. I was never a drinker, per se, but I have to admit, that man could make a good beer. I have no idea what all he put in it, not sure I want to know. No matter, it was a good beer.
Do you remember Julio, the little Mexican, who rode with Hack Baskins? He was one tough little man. He, Hack, another cowboy and I nearly shot it out one day. At the time, I would have welcomed it. They’d killed me sure. Now, looking back, I’m glad we didn’t. I’ve enjoyed a good number of years since that day. Anyway, and pardon me, I meander worse than that old creek down there, but I will come to my point.
I was telling you about Julio. Well, he’s got a daughter, pretty thing. Between you and me, she reminds folks of her aunt, Julio’s sister. Anyway, here a few years ago, I sent my boy Luke down Amarillo way to see Hack about breeding stock, and my boy runs into Juanita, Julio’s girl. It seems the two fell head over heels, and my boy wants to marry her. He tells me she feels the same, but I’m not sure Julio will go for it. I guess we’ll see. One thing for sure, I’m glad the two of us are too old to be going at each other with guns. He’s still one tough piece of leather. Would be something though, don’t you think? My boy getting married to Julio’s girl? That would be a match for sure.
See that little brown filly down there in the corral? She’s the granddaughter of the filly Nutmeg. You might remember Nutmeg was the horse I was interested in when I met Hack. I guess you could say, the little horse saved my life, and Hack’s, for that matter. Anyway, that’s the granddaughter. Isn’t she something? If things work out, I’m thinking of sending her to Texas to see if she can run with those horses down there. I’m guessing she can get the job done. It’ll be fun to watch, no matter how it turns out.
I see your cup is empty, and mine’s cold. I talk so much anymore; I forget to drink. Just set your cup on that little table thing there, I’ll take it in with me when I get a refill. Appreciate you dropping by. If’n you got time, stop by again. I’m running out of years, but I got all the time in the world to tell you of things now past.
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