Ricky Harpole 7/15/2014

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Assurance of ‘communal asset’ rings hollow, necessitates hike

Welcome back to liar’s bench. I have been slacking on y’all due to medical issues and all the related attendant aggravations and unpleasant procedures that accompany. 

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 Don’t misunderstand me. There is still a lie or two left in me, but the way I have been feeling lately it’s getting harder to do them justice.

A week or so ago I was paid a visit by some of my old friends from the motorcycle age (I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and look at our pictures from back then and suspect that our motorcycle age was pre-jurassic). Of course we had memories not fit for print except for a couple, so we started on the “here lately” stuff.

 Arkansas Greg had been, in the wild years, probably the most die-hard scooter tramp since God kicked Adam out of the garden and on the eighth day created Harleys.

Back in those days he rode an old Ironhead Sportster (extensively modified) that was 2/3 his height and out weighed him by about 150 pounds.  He had an estimated I.Q. of 160 (whatever that scale is based on) and used most of it in defiance of authority.

One time on a celebration ride we managed to get the whole club together at a spot north of Helena where the St. Francis River joins the Mississippi River, and Greg was there, the very profile of independence, and she was there and of about the same caliber. It was by all standards at a match made in hell which suited them both perfectly. 

Although it appears, through the years, the pair would sharpen straight razors for a week to cut one another’s throat, they don’t, for the sake of a mitigating factor, their communal asset, Heidi Grace. 

She can’t seem to have a wish or request that will not be granted. You would think she would be a spoiled seven-year-old brat by now but she is an exception to the rule. 

She said “You are smooth Rick, momma and daddy told me about places you’ve been and the good times y’all had until I met you I thought it was just a damn bedtime story but now that I met you I guess I owe them an apology for not believing, although they are famous liars.” 

Heidi Grace sounds so much like the pair of them that there is no doubt in my mind that they are a bonded bunch.

Heidi  decided she wanted to be a cowgirl so Greg bought her a horse, a gentle and tame creature (as horses go) with a benign spirit and of obedient nature.  I guess it’s time now to point out that of all Greg’s talents, equestrianism was not one of them. Being Greg, however, he learned more or less and eventually became a semi horseman. 

At some point on the 12- mile turn around trip she stated that they needed to rest the horse and let her graze. Greg, who was pretty much “saddle burnt” questioned, ”Why? It’s only a 12-mile ride and she hasn’t even broke a sweat.”

Heidi Grace responded, “because you said we should always rest our horse.”

Well ol’ Greg did remember having said something to that effect, so they parked the old glue factory under a convenient shade tree. While Greg was attaching a steak line to prevent a horse from wandering off Heidi said, “You don’t need to do that, she won’t go anywhere without us.”

Greg by this time had come to the point that he had realized it was a fruitless task to argue with a seven-year-old daughter and a horse at the same time, so he let the long line go and the horse immediately broke camp for home. Of course, a chase was briefly engaged but that was a fruitless effort too. After a five-mile walk behind the runway they made it a foot to the homestead where the horse was basking in the shade of the barn expecting to be petted and fed. 

I, personally being an actor, already knew that you never work with kids and animals at the same time because I been there, done that. I couldn’t resist questioning as the outcome of the misadventure. All Greg had to say (being still sore and stove up) was “Heidi petted and fed the damned horse and rubbed her down and fed her a sugar cube and told her what a good girl she was.”

And then he went on to say, “I never cared much for westerns and shoot-outs and six guns that go with that type of Hollywood hype, but now I know why them old cowboys packed at least one Colt revolver.”

Since he didn’t seem interested in revealing his conclusion, I just had to ask why his response was.

“So you could shoot the ungrateful wretched beast, get your saddle and beer instead of walking home unarmed and beerless.”

Keep a Colt Handy and don’t believe everything you hear from a seven-year-old, 

Ricky Harpole