What a Christmas…


Our camp hosts here at Friendly RV in Weed California, Carolyn and Don, invited us to join some other friends for Christmas dinner. What a thoughtful and lovely gesture. She even baked us our own non-dairy cranberry pumpkin bread! Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Corwin a day early.

But the STORIES! They were unforgettable! Here is a mosaic of the pictures first. I will list them with descriptions after…scroll down for stories.

One fellow at Christmas dinner was 16 when he was a 105 pound jockey and won 32 thousand bucks in a day. His teacher mentioned that was what she made in a year. He told one story of being in a race, someplace famous I don’t remember that was not the Kentucky Derby, but sounded familiar. He had won two races and was feeling his oats, and was passing someone named Schumaker (even more familiar sounding), when he…

unfortunately… said something similar to “I’m going to win again Old Man.” I’m not sure the exact verbiage, but it was obviously talking smack and had the words “old man” in it.

He told us how the “old man” deftly and expertly took his whip and flipped the young jockeys foot out of his stirrup (easy to do he told us, since they ride on their toes), and he was soon tumbling head over heels instead of having his third win.

My mouth was agape as I asked, “Couldn’t he have killed you?”

Floyd smiled and nodded, “Oh, yeah, he taught me a lesson.” This was amidst his tales of the TWO times he broke his neck, and “every other bone in his body” doing horse things; twice having to set them himself so he could carry on with what he was doing. I believe him completely.

You think that sounds wild? He hadn’t even told everyone at the party about the time he had Bigfoot cross his path about 20 feet away while riding with his Grandpa when he was 7, they had to slam on the brakes. I had found that out during an earlier chat and made him tell the story. Everyone at the Christmas Dinner Party simply nodded and told their own stories of the “Monster Howlers” and how the noise our covert primate friends make is unmistakeable and unforgettable. Bill said something about his hunting expertise, so I told him of my friend in Port Angeles, Betsy Shultz, who has friends that claim to be in some kind of contact with the Sasquatch. She says that everyone keeps the whole thing quiet precisely because of excellent and ambitious hunters like Bill. He was actually very understanding.

We are definitely not in Seattle.

Bill was another stalwart, hard working, salt of the earth character right out of a Western. He has three grown sons that are all firefighters a daughter who is an FBI agent, and the smoothest whisky I have ever tasted. He had lots of great stories, mostly of hunting and fishing and adventures I could only dream of. When he told about his friend that was an underwater surveyor (diver) who discovered catfish at the bottom of Lake Shasta “the size of Studebakers,” Carolyn was reminded of a story of her own. (I don’t know how big a Studebaker is, but I know it’s a car… so it would probably snap your line).

“I had a friend who owned a dive shop at Lake Tahoe,” Carolyn joined in. She then told us about how her friend was diving with a group and decided to explore a little deeper. There he encountered a catfish so large it could have “swallowed him whole without thinking about it.”

“He closed up his dive shop” She told us, feeling he could not risk taking clients in to waters with mysteries like that.

Compared to these tales, stories about the bear that was literally tearing down a front door (thank heaven’s she had her ’45… she killed it…..), and piling up migrant deer road kill around the sign warning drivers to watch for deer sign…as a practical joke… were icing on the cake.

I brought my guitar and played a few songs, (two James Taylors, an Elvis and of course, Country Roads by John Denver) and they were appreciative as only folks who don’t sing along at all can be. I started on Jingle Bells but when no one joined in, I stopped… grateful. I didn’t want to play Christmas songs anyway. Bah humbug.

Corwin was there to help me out and sounded fantastic on Country Roads. His voice is beautiful, a natural tenor like Matthew.

Thanks for reading. Please comment if you have time. I realize this blog is as much for us as for you, I will try to keep it as entertaining as possible. Here are the pictures again with descriptions…

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