Hard To Walk In Ski Boots #1363 by Eddie Trapp 12/18/2014
During the 1986 deer season there was a huge buck roaming near Kensing. The first time I saw him Jean and I were riding around north of Vasco. We turned around at L.D. Malone’s grain tanks and stopped for a minute to look northeast out over several hundred acres of “green stuff.” Several deer were running across the field almost a mile from us. The late afternoon Sun seemed to illuminate the huge rack on the buck. It was the largest I had ever seen in this area. The kind of buck you lay awake at night thinking about and planning for. His territory seemed to be North Sulphur Channel on the north, the county road north of Kensing on the east, the edge of the hill (where the bottom land stops and the high ground starts) on the south, and the road north of the grain tanks on the west. Several of us had seen the buck and walked through the woods while others waited on the far end a few times. My deer hunting was interrupted by the following.
From my ledger. Friday, December 19, 1986. Several members of the East Delta Baptist Church and their guests left Charleston at 7:00 tonight bound for Winter Park, Colorado. Travel was in our pickup and Carl Nelson’s Suburban. (The Nelson’s didn’t go but graciously loaned us their vehicle.) Those on the trip were Curtis Blagburn, Doug Wicks, Phillip Kerr, Kathleen _____, Mike Lawson, Ronnie Green, Wade Hocutt, and five of our bunch. Sheila had to work. We drove all night, passing through Greenville, McKinney, Denton, Decatur, Amarillo, Texline, Clayton, Raton, Denver, and finally, at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Winter Park smack beside Fraser, Colorado. Fraser has an average annual temperature of thirty three degrees and claims the title of “Icebox of the Lower Forty Eight”, an honor also claimed by International Falls, Minnesota. The last hour or two before arriving at Fraser there were dangerous curves and narrow roads. All the Texas cars were going slow and the Colorado natives were zipping around us on curves. Jean and Phillip were screaming for me to slow down. The natives were honking their horns and giving us some kind of “We’re number one” signs.
Sunday, December 21, 1986. Up at 6:15 and across the street to a restaurant. Doesn’t open until 7:00. Jogged around trying to stay warm. Thirteen degrees and eight percent humidity. My eye got scratched during a basketball game years ago and the low humidity irritated the scar. Your eyes will dry out at eight percent humidity. Took ski lessons for a couple of hours. Ski boots are hard to walk in. Rode the Gemini lift and came down the Turnpike. Some rocket scientist must have designed the lay out. Right at the bottom of the Turnpike is where a woman gives ski lessons to little kids about three to five years old. I couldn’t stop and gracefully rolled right up to all the little kids. While I was trying to get up the woman instructor was hollering not to crash into her classroom and possibly kill some little kids. I guess it was about seventeen days later I thought of several things “I should have told her.” Like, come down to Texas and we’ll show you what happens to women that sass men like that. (Just joking.) Like, don’t have the little kids right at the end of the big slope crash zone.
Monday, December 22, 1986. Ski boots are hard to walk in. Came down the slope a few more times and when I thought I had it down, fell and twisted my knee. Hobbled on down to the big porch at the lodge and watched. Pretty disgusted with the ski business. I was about to agree with what somebody from Colorado wrote on the bathroom wall. “If the Lord had meant for Texans to ski, he would have given them a mountain.” Limped around the stores in Fraser for a couple of hours. One local gathering place had a game that kept its customers coming back daily. A gallon glass pickle jar sat on the counter. It was one fourth full of quarters. A smaller jar contained five dice. You put a quarter in the big jar and roll the five dice. If you get four of a kind you win all the quarters. (Until preparing this article I had forgotten how the rules went. About a week ago I told one businessman about it and the game is going strong. Due to inflation, he uses dollars instead of quarters.) Back to the room about 3:00. The Sun went behind a mountain and everyone thought it was supper time.
Tuesday, December 23, 1986. Knee still hurting so I paid to ride the two hour tour on the Ski Cat. Looks like a small bulldozer. Sat on the front seat with “Cy” and he told a lot of Texas jokes. Like, if Colorado was flattened out it would be bigger than Texas. Said Texas got populated as folks moved west back in the 1800’s. A sign in Texas showed Mexico to the left and California to the right. The ones that couldn’t read just stayed right there. At midafternoon we checked out of our rooms and headed for Texas.
Wednesday, December 24, 1986. Drove all night last night and got home at 2:15 this afternoon. Rushed to Christmas dinner at Jean’s folks. Johnny Watkins ruined my appetite and attitude by telling me Jeffrey Preas got the big buck several of us had been after. I was proud for Jeffrey but mad at Colorado. The buck weighed 156 pounds, had a 25 ½ inch spread, and eighteen points. Scored somewhere around two hundred points. To be continued.
Most Monday nights I go to the North Hopkins area to a guitar picking and singing. Sometimes jokes are told. Jamie Brice told us a good one recently. Remember the Flying Red Horse on the building in Dallas? Jamie said a family was passing by and the daddy said to look at the flying red horse. A little boy after a few seconds asked, “Where’s the fly?” That reminded me of one so I shared it. The Lord told Lot to take his wife and flee. A man was telling about the wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. After a few minutes his little boy asked, “What happened to the flea?”
Saturday we paid our last respects to one of the guitar pickers and singers, Larry Spradlin from Posey. Biggest crowd I ever saw at a funeral. A fitting tribute to one of the best men I ever knew.