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Smoke School Stories

The Cat the Horse and the 57 Chevy

Mad Cat Mad Cow

Ever seen a cat fish

How do he hold the pole?

I am going to stuff Angie’s cat Maggie.

The cat sleeps on Angie’s laptop computer and the other day Maggie the cat had somehow rotated the computer screen, had fixed it to the screen was sideways. I looked at it sideways, the right way, the left way, and upside down. I tried to read it, tried to fix it, and then called in the 12 year old. Well what do you know, Aaron could not fix it either. What a surprise. So I did the Google search for rotate screen and there it was in black and white. The cat is arrogant. She declared ownership of the entire house and  most especially- the bedroom and the water bed. So we have the arrogant Queen cat and Queen Maggie don’t like me and visa versa. Long live the Queen. Maggie sometimes forgets that she is sleeping between my legs. I pet her and she freaks out. Get your paws off me and I mean right now.



 I must be freaking out. I finally got a horse again. I have been wanting a new one for years although the old one when I was 14 was Dolly, a paint horse that some starving lawyer friend of Daddy’s gave my brother for fetching his rubber boots out of the truck at the deer camp. Ricky was 9 at the time so I must have been 12. Ricky was scared of Dolly and I can see why. That blame, idiot horse used to do all sorts of evil things to me.


Ø     Bite me on a routine basis

Ø     Step on me when I pulled the cinch tight on the saddle

Ø     Hold her breath when I pulled the cinch tight, so when I got on the saddle I fell under Dolly and then she stepped on me.

Ø     Run away when  I called her to ride

Ø     Drag me off under clothes line hangar wires, hook me right above the saddle horn- what part of the human anatomy would this be?

Ø     Drag me off in the woods while deer hunting- drag me under tree limbs and low hanging vines. I would fall off and stick my gun barrel into the mud. If I shot the gun, the barrel would blow up and blind me. Then she would leave me laying on the ground and run to the barn. Since Dolly knew where the barn was and I did not know where the barn was, well I got lost for hours.

Ø     Start running at full blast directly to a concrete drainage ditch that was 15 feet deep and 10 feet wide. Then she would make a 90 degree sharp turn and I would go flying off over the ditch and have to walk a mile to reach the other side. She would be smiling at me at the barn waiting for oats.

Ø     Start running at full blast directly towards the cyclone fence at the baseball stadium, then make a direct 90 degree turn and throw me off across the fence into center field during the 9th inning. Time Out!!!

I took over ownership of Dolly from my kid brother, which meant that I was the one who had to feed it, brush it and ride it. After 3 years at age 15 in 1962, I nursed my broken bones and gave up on Dolly. I sold the horse, saddle, and blanket on EBAY to a New York City! Starving Lawyer for 75 bucks. My momma always used to say, there is a sucker born ever day. I later told that Lawyer that life was just like a box of chocolates- you never really know just what you are going to get. That's what my momma always used to say. Ain't no matter that nobody ever heard of EBAY, nobody had computers, very few people had televisions, and nobody ever heard of New York City! , if it were not for Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. I took that 75 bucks and got me a yellow and green rusted out 1957 four door sedan Biscayne Chevy and drove it to the levy but the levy was dry. I drove it like my daddy said until the wheels fell off, literally at a red-light on Diseard Street downtown Monroe Louisiana. Old Yeller the Chevy was a lot more dependable than that dang horse- well most of the time- until the wheels fell off. That car would take me anywhere.


There were a few problems with Old Yeller. She did not have an air conditioner and it was 112 in the shade back then. Old Yeller had powerful steering- you needed powerful arms to steer her. There was a lot of slack in the steering wheel so you might be pointing Old Yeller to Dallas and end up in Fort Worth, kind a like that old cross-eyed girlfriend of mine. She was always glaring at someone but we could not figure out who. The best thing about Old Yeller was the rusted out hole in the floorboard. When the brakes gave out, you could drag your feet out the hole and tell how deep the water was. The hole allowed us a great escape for the six pack of Falstaff Beer, as ole Dizzy Dean used to say. " The choicest product of the brewer's art." When the cops were in the rearview mirror with the red lights flashing, we dropped the Falstaff through the rusted out hole in the floorboard. Back in 1970 I swapped a horse, saddle, and blanket for 75 bucks to get a 57 Chevy and now for twenty thousand bucks you can buy the very same car on EBAY- what the heck happened?

Nevertheless, after all of these 45 years, I decided to try a horse again. We were doing some smoke schools in Ohio and I decided to leave the smoke trailer at my Employee Dave Hudson’s farm in Amish Country in Indiana. Angie and I flew back to Louisiana and let our employees Larry and Dave Wallace drive the trailer to Dave’s. While there Larry found us a horse and a trailer, as well as a few chickens. The horse is some sort of an Amish horse Thoroughbred or something, maybe a Morgan. She is a very large horse for a very large man- me. She is beautiful and very gentle, you can ride her bareback and she can pull an Amish buggy. That and she looks preggy. I think we may be having other Morgan’s or something. Sure hope it is not kittens.

There is one slight problem. The horse’s name is Katie. My last girlfriend before I married Angie was named Katie. They don’t look anything alike, the human Katie was a blonde and the horse is black. Nevertheless- Angie wants to me to change the horse’s name to Mildred. And that is the way it is.

Silver Stallion

Lyrics by the Highwaymen- Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash Chris Kristofferson,
I'm gonna steal a silver stallion, with not a mark upon his silky hide
Teach him he can trust me like a brother, one day we'll saddle up and ride

And we're gonna ride, we're gonna ride
Ride like the one eyed jack of diamonds with the devil close behind
We're gonna ride

I'm gonna find me a reckless woman, razor blades and dice in her eyes
Just a touch of sadness in her fingers, thunder and lightening in her thighs

I'm gonna chase the sky forever, with the woman and the stallion and the wind
The sun is gonna burn into a cinder, before we ever pass this way again

Photo Album of Katie, our new Amish horse

The Melvin and Sharon Yoder Farm and Candy Shop



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