Baxter Black: Hurricane Charlotte
Every now and then a feller has a weekend that is hard to forget. I had one years ago on a beautiful ranch in southern California.
It was one of those trail rides you read about in Western Horseman magazine. There were about 200 head of assorted real estate agents, bankers, insurance men, judges, lawyers, doctors and a handful of “token cowboys” to catch runaway horses, sing ol’ campfire ditties and add “color” to the project. It’s kind of a boys camp for big boys. Now I’m here to tell ya these fellers do it up right! It’s catered by a famous cook. None of this ol’ salt pork and beans, no sir! Chalupas and tacos made from homemade tortillas, crab legs, barbecue, steaks, lobster meat and chicken wings!
Mariachi and bluegrass music filled the air every time the ride stopped for refreshments. I planned on sleepin’ in the big tent, but I heard some of the celebrants around the campfire makin’ plans to set the tent afire. I dragged my bedroll out into the grass. I woke at 5 a.m. to the sound of “Under the Double Eagle” played by a marching band complete with a bass drum marching through the camp.
At noon, they entered me in a horse race. They said I won.
I was just about to fall asleep on my feet when they brought out the mud wrestlers! Harley said we better stay. Now I had never heard of this mud wrestlin’ but it’s where two opponents get out in this mud arena and rassle. In this case, it was two ladies who appeared to me to be “professionals.”
There was some debate about who won, but then the mud rasslin’ ring master announced that he’s got a mud rassler who’ll rassle anybody in the crowd. To make it interesting they auctioned off the right to choose the opponent. An ex-friend of mine bought the rights and selected me to represent the “boys club.” Two big ol’ boys caught me halfway to the car and helped me change into the mud rasslin’ costume furnished by the management.
It was a little muddy bathin’ suit. They dragged me back into the arena by my hind legs. It was like those ol’ movies where they’re havin’ a boxing match or a dog fight. All these fellers hoverin’ around in a circle wavin’ cigars and $5 bills.
I wuz just gettin’ set to make my move and faint when this lady walks up and puts her chin on the top of my head! I looked her right in the neck and said, “Ma’am, what’s your name?”
She said, “Hurricane Charlotte.” I didn’t ask any more questions.
The next 15 minutes was like bein’ in a clothes dryer with an anvil and 50 pounds of horseshoes! Every time I’d look up, another part of her was descending on me! I remember them dragging me to the shower afterwards.
They said I did good — I only got pinned five times!
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The crisis on the Colorado River is not waiting for the state of Colorado to develop a program to avoid water shortages.