Drunk and crazy cowboys

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Ike, my great grandfather, at age 23


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Ike, “Is’ral”, in later years




According to Grady, Logchain and “Is’ral” got real liquored up, the two of them drunker than Cooter Brown. They hopped on top of Nellie, Ike’s old Gray mare, and rode straight into the lobby of the Gholson Hotel. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nellie wore a bell around her neck that swayed back and forth like it was ringing an announcement that the two Cooter Browns were itching for havoc. Fire Chief Murphy chased after them, hollering for them to stop their nonsense. Instead of stopping, they roped ol’ Fire Chief Murphy and pulled him around a little bit. They didn’t hurt him none, but the madder the chief got, the more they laughed their fool heads off.

When Fire Chief Murphy finally freed himself from the rope, he just brushed off and mumbled, “Damn fools.” Then he walked off shaking his head like he still had dirt in his ears from really being dragged in the road.

That wasn’t the end of it. Ike told Pa he needed to go to the barbershop for a shave.

Pa says, “Aye, God, Is’ral, ain’t no need te pay Grady for a shave. I’ll do’er fer free.”

“Well,” says Ike, pondering the idea and probably clicking his cheek. “Alrighty then.”

They stumbled into the barbershop, and Ike walked over to Grady’s barber chair where he plopped down his dusty butt. Pa threw the shaving towel over him and lathered him up real good with the shaving brush. Grady said he just stepped aside and leaned up against the wall with his arms folded. He told me it was better than watching a picture show.

After the first nick, Pa slapped a little piece of paper over the cut and kept on shaving. After the second cut and the second little piece of paper Ike says, “Don’t ye be drainin’ m—” but Pa slapped a piece of paper over his mouth, so he’d shut the hell up saying, “Quit yer bellyachin’, Is’ral.”

By the time they walked out of the barbershop, Ike’s face was covered with those tiny pieces of paper. From cheek to cheek and nose to chin he looked like he’d walked out of a mummy’s tomb.

Grady said he was laughing so hard he barely heard it when Ike mumbled, “Logchain, it’s a miracle you didn’t cut my head plumb off.”

Then, those two crazy cowboys got back on that old grey mare, her bell just a ringing and rode off to who knows where to do who knows what else.

From No Hill for a Stepper, my father’s story.