Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
Over the holidays, a friend came to visit and we got to talking about the “good ol’ days” of living in Brown’s Park. We remembered people who came knocking on our doors for one reason or another, usually lost or out of gas, and needing a phone, or something.
And since we lived right on the highway, we got lots of “knock knocks” on the door.
I have to say most folks were rather nice, but there were some you just knew were definitely asleep at the wheel.
One such fella drove into the yard early one morning in his pickup.
He climbed out and looked nice enough in his blue suit pants and white shirt. He knocked on the door and when we opened it, he showed us a very old dirty rusty soda pop can and wondered if he could have a drink of water.
We got him a drink of water, but not in the old can.
Then we offered him a cup of coffee, which he gladly accepted. He was trying to get to Rock Springs, but running low on gas so after he finished his coffee we gave him directions and sold him some gasoline. He drove out of the yard and turned the exact opposite of where we told him to go.
A couple of days later, he returned.
He asked to buy some more gas and had a wad of money big enough to choke a goat. He peeled off a $20 bill but didn’t want change.
We knew something was up, so our brave middle daughter felt like it was her duty to turn into an Indian and belly up through the grass, into the large hedges surrounding the yard, and she got his license plate number.
We called it in and later that day a deputy came and asked us a lot of questions. Then they went looking for him.
They found him and very politely escorted him right on over into Wyoming and requested that he not return to Colorado. What else were they to do? It was his truck and his money, and well, some people just act weird, I reckon.
A few days later, the “X” had to go to work very early in the morning, so he bebopped out the back door and left about 4 a.m. At 4:15 a.m., here came a “Knock! Knock!”
I turned on the porch light and there he stood. The weirdo guy. He must have been watching the place and here I was with five little kids who were now stirring from their beds to see what was going on. I asked them all to go back to their rooms and I grabbed up my rifle, phoned the sherriff’s office, pulled up a chair and planted myself right in front of the door facing the guy and held him at gunpoint, so to speak.
He kept yelling that he was going to break down the door because he wanted to use the phone. I told him that the first kick would be his last. So, he just proceeded to stare through the window on the door and I glared back. Can you believe that he stood there the entire time that it took the deputy to arrive? That 1 1/2 hours seemed like three years to me.
This time, the sheriff’s office didn’t fool around with him. It turned out, he was some lawyer who fried his brains on dope and escaped out of a mental institution in Utah.
I don’t know how he got a hold of his money, but he hired some pilot to fly him into Meeker, where he bought the truck, spent some time in Craig and eventually drove out to Brown’s Park because he supposedly had relatives living there.
Whatever the sheriff’s office did to him that time, we luckily never saw him again. Whew!
Then there was the 80-year-old lady who rode in on a bicycle one day asking for something to eat. She lived over by Aspen and was touring the country. Talk about a tough, leathery looking ol’ gal and smell?
Whoooo eeeeeeee! She was ripe. She told me she was mad at the sheep herders because they’d watched her take a bath in Vermillion Creek one morning.
And, I can’t forget the two guys and gal who came riding in one day on horseback, headed north and after they got a drink and headed up Irish Canyon toward Idaho, several people remarked they’d seen them riding their horses up through the canyon without a stitch of clothes on. Boy, that must have felt really good, since they didn’t have saddles and were only riding bareback. No pun intended.
There are plenty more strange “Knock, Knocks,” but I’ll save them for another story.