In the 50’s we had a terrible drought. It lasted for seven years, and put a lot of ranchers and farmers out of business. All of the water wells around me had gone dry, but my well went all the way down into the Edwards Aquifer, and I had water. I went around to my neighbors, and told them to come to my well if they needed water. Sometimes you would see two or three pickups with 55 gallon barrels in the back up by my well. There were no rural water systems so they were getting water not only for their animals but for household use as well.
One afternoon I was working on my fence and here comes a brand new big Cadillac pulling up beside me. Well, bless Pat if it wasn’t old Charlie.
“Hi Charlie, get out and rest yourself. I need a little supervision here.”
Charlie got out and sat on the tailgate of my pickup cutting himself a fresh chew of tobacco.
I asked him, “Where did you get that Cadillac?” Charlie replies, “I done bought it. I always wanted me a big Cadillac so I went into the store and tole them I wanted the biggest Cadillac they had.”
Pause a moment to imagine that scene. Charlie walks in to the dealer in his oil soaked, dirty old hat, plaid shirt with the elbow out and run-over dirty boots with no soles. What did the salesman think? Well, they showed Charlie a big red four door. Charlie took it and they probably fainted when he paid for it with a rubber banded roll of $100 bills that he dug out of his pocket. Cadillac’s sold for $2700 to $4900 in 1950.
About that time in my rumination, I saw something moving in the back seat of Charlie’s Cadillac. I said, “Whatcha got in the back seat, Charlie?”
Charlie says, “Them’s sheeps.” Hmmmm. I’m thinking.
Finally, I say, “What are you doing with sheeps in the back seat of your brand new Cadillac?”
The always pragmatic Charlie replies, “Taking ’em to the vet.”
Still thinking, I deduce that Charlie is not only transporting sheep in his spanking new, beautiful, big red four door Cadillac, but they are SICK sheep.
Charlie had been coming over to get water at my well for a while. Country people are real proud and I mean that in the good sense of the word. They will give you anything you need and never expect anything in return, but they hate to ask for anything. Charlie was shuffling around, and seemed to be at a loss for words. He turned aside and spit out some tobacco juice, took a breath and said, “I want to thank you for the water.”
I replied, “Charlie, you are most welcome and you know my gate is unlocked. You come over and get all the water you want, anytime you need it.”
Charlie stood their a little while longer and then said, “George, you are a good neighbor.”
I replied, “Thank you, Charlie, I’m proud to be your neighbor.”
Well, that was a little too much emotion. Charlie was embarrassed; “I got to git. Adios.” I said, “Adios, Charlie, take care.”
With that Charlie left driving down my lane toward the highway in his new Cadillac with a bunch of “sheeps” in the back seat.
Photo of 1955 Cadillac sedan found here.
Photo of car sheep found here.
Photo of sheep found here.