The Red, White and Moo — and other musings…

This will be kind of a mish-mash of short subjects that occurred to me last week and during one mostly sleepless night when a late evening glass of iced tea was responsible for my caffeine-charged brain wandering around aimlessly in my skull.


The first involved a trip to the Southern New Mexico Fair, where we attended the “Ranchers Rodeo”. We got there early enough to enjoy all the usual hoopla and pageantry that seems to be required for any rodeo event that I’ve ever attended.

Of course one of those elements was the singing of the national anthem. The rodeo organizers had lined up a talented female singer with a strong voice that would carry easily through the noisy indoor-outdoor arena. Unfortunately, in preparation for the first event of the rodeo, about a dozen calves had been penned up in the center of the arena. When the woman began singing the young cows responded with unabated loud bellows for their mothers. It was as if they were singing along with her.

I recorded it on my I-phone because I thought it was so hysterical, but unfortunately the endless sorrowful moos of the calves were drowned out by a more powerful PA system so I decided the video wasn’t worth including. I hope the young singer didn’t feel offended by the calves response to her performance.


I have no idea why I thought of this.

While working in Albuquerque about 10 years ago, one of my colleagues was discussing her family roots in the city. It turns out her father was a hard working plumber who had retired after many years doing a job many of us home owners dread doing ourselves.

When I asked her what her father was doing in his retirement years, she answered in a manner that left me nonplussed

“He’s writing a book on the history of the plumbing industry in Albuquerque.,” she answered, possibly with a slight tone of embarrassment in her voice.

You can’t beat that for page-turning reading.


When in Ruidoso recently, I spotted this vehicle at a car show.

A shocking pink and yellow Mustang with hyper rear wing and unusal tow device circled in blue

Aside from its eye-popping color scheme and ridiculously tall rear wing, the thing that most drew my attention was the heart-shaped tow ring at the right rear of the car. It was rather flimsy looking, and I’m not sure it would have endured even a minor tug from a Ford F150 four-wheel drive truck to pull it out of a snow drift.

I’ll leave it to you to interpret that feature.


Speaking of cars, my sister informed me after reading my recent blog that she had no memory of my near-death experience when she launched our 63 Chevy Belair station wagon into the stratosphere as it zoomed over the top of “Thrill Hill” in Ruidoso. I guess as a perpetrator of such a potentially life-altering event, her brain had erased it some years ago. 

What both of us did remember, however, was when she was flung out of the back door of our 57 Chevy 210 sedan when it rounded a sharp corner. She was leaning against the right rear door of the vehicle when my mother rounded a corner on the main street in Ruidoso. The door had apparently not been properly latched and seat belts were a thing of the future. I was sitting on the left side of the back seat when I saw her tumble out of car and disappear in a cloud of dust. I don’t remember her crying or making a big fuss about it, but from that point on she made darn certain that her door was shut properly.

I attribute that incident to her lifelong passion for following the rules. And maybe having an occasionally weird hiccup in her brain.

And speaking of dumb things that happen to teenagers in cars, I also recall an incident in which I almost impaled myself with a falling tree top. I had acquired a World War II surplus Ford-manufactured Jeep that I drove to high school and used to explore the back roads of Ruidoso. On several occasions, I got it stuck on a back road and had to be rescued by a giant four-wheel-drive tow truck. I did dumb things in it. 

Full of invincible teen-age hormones, I was always seeking new tricks that I could do with the virtually indestructible Jeep. On one trip, I spotted a dead ponderosa pine that I was sure I could topple with a solid punch of my all-steel front bumper while the Jeep was in low-range four-wheel-drive mode. When I hit the trunk of the tree with a jarring thud, the bottom part of it remained intact. Then I heard a snap and looked up to see at least 20 feet of the top of the tree hurtling down directly toward me in the driver’s seat. Luckily, we wore no seatbelts at the time, and I was able to eject myself from the Jeep before the top part of the tree hit my seat, leaving a ragged hole in the cushion where I would have been sitting.

Who says kids don’t have guardian angels?


And lastly — I’m sure you wanted to know this — I captured another squirrel this week. During my squirrel eradication campaign, I managed to trap six and Chester nabbed one. I hope the one I got earlier this week the last one. 

My disposition of the critter was not a fond memory, however. I had been taking them to a field south of Mesilla where there was lots of cover, water and a pecan grove nearby. This time, I decided to cut corners and stopped at a vacant lot just west of us to let it out under a thicket of pecan tree trimmings. 

Just as I let it out, I heard a booming voice behind me asking “what did you just release?”

“A squirrel,” I said as I turned to see a stern looking young man who had approached me  unnoticed from behind.

“Is this lot your property?” I asked sheepishly.

“Yes, and we already have enough of those around here,” he said. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t do that again.”

I apologized profusely, never suspecting that the weed-infested lot was something that anyone nearby owned. I drove away quickly, continuing to apologize and hoping he did not write down my license plate number.

Lesson learned.

But at least I think (hope) I’m out of the squirrel trapping business. 

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