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Monday, August 08, 2005

Uncle Sam

No, not that one. I had an uncle who's name was Sam Young.
I saw a Thermos in the sporting goods store satuday, and it reminded me of a Uncle Sam.
A little background:
Sam and his wife (my mother's sister) lived in a cabin deep in the rocky mountains. Sam was raised on small ranch there and inherited some land from his parents, where after marrying, built a cabin on it for his family. They raised cattle there for many years.
This land was so far up into the mountains, that when the road was clear - about May to November, it still took roughly 1-1/2 houirs to drive to it. In the winter, it was impassable, so they lived in town during that time.

He was also an outfitter or hunting guide. He had built several stand-alone, one-roomed cabins for hunters to stay in while they were at the ranch. During the day, Uncle Sam and a couple other men would take the hunters looking for game, then in the evenings, they would come back to the ranch and my aunt (with the help of my mother, me, and anyone else she could find) would feed them dinner and cocktails.
These hunters liked to unwind quite thoroughly after a long, cold day on horseback. There were all sorts of tall tales and adventures being discussed over meals.

One of the stories was told by my Uncle Sam. It was about the best 'Thermos' he ever had. It went something like this:
"This was a few years back, and I'll never have another Thermos that good. I don't know exactly how it came undone, but it must have been when we had to go over that fallen tree.
"We were going up that draw just north of the cabin following some elk tracks, and there was a downed tree laying across the trail. My horse went to step over it and he had to sort of hop. First he brought the front feet up, then he sort of kicked with his hind feet. Well, sometime during all that, my Thermos came untied and fell off into the snow. I didn't realize it until I got back to the ranch that night and unsaddled the horse.
"Well, the next day we were going back up the same draw, so I thought I could find it again. No luck. I looked around that fallen tree for a good fifteen minutes or so, never did find the Thermos.
"Come next spring, after the snow left, I went up the same draw to set the traps on the line. Well I don't know how I missed it but right there by that fallen tree in the draw was my Thermos. I opened it up and by God, the coffee was still hot."

1 comment:

As always... Rachael said...

When I was young I always loved to listen to the adults tell their stories over a few beers. As long as I was quiet, I could stay up really late. Good times!