I think we have begin by saying the place I call home is a bit extraordinary to most folks. It's in the middle of the city of Simi Valley but is incredibly unique in just about all things. You see, it is a 2 1/2 acre parcel of land nestled in between two hills.
There are two houses, one occupied by my ever busy landlady, the other domicile is home to my neighbor Nicki and her 3 legged chihuahua, named Hashbrown. Hashbrown is a veracious watchdog that throws the fear of the lord into every bunny that crosses her path.
An then there is the 100 year old barn. Inside that barn is the small hovel, I have called home for the last eight years. A small one bedroom home, where I have converted the only bedroom into an office and the only closet into a bedroom.
The only problem with this arrangement is of the nasal variety. You see, on the other side of my wall, lies the residence of six horses, two sheep, a cantankerous pot belly pig named Snorkels. But, putting it as kindly as possible, my house smells, or so I am told, of a myriad of different but obnoxious varieties of dung. Thank god for the 80's, it seems that my now "so socially unacceptable" snorting of cocaine on a daily basis, has eliminated my olfactory sense of smell when it comes to this Whitman Sampler of common pooh. Where some almost faint, I stand unaffected.
There are also over 70 birds in an aviary, including peacocks, and about 10 dogs between us all. At one time, we had a blind Emu, that was capable killing you with a single thrust of his Ostrich like three finger claw. Sadly, hand feeding the emu was like a "cage-fight", and eventually, for the good of all, Mr Emu was sent to Emu heaven.
My grand kids love the "petting Zoo", but this is not what this story is about. Let me tell you a true tale of a cowboy who left Montana, only to wake, like Rip Van Winkle in place of unknown mysteries.
The cowboy is Jim and that is Jim's picture up above. Jim has moved on to the property as a ranch hand and horse wrangler. Over the last couple of weeks, Jim and I have had some conversations that have amused and astounded me and it's this story I want to tell.
We decided to visit the local coffee and donut joint and talk a little about Jim, the Montana horse wrangler. I started the conversation with brief questions about his history.
Jim was born some 38 years ago in Glendive, Montana. Glendive was a bustling city of about 4700 citizens. Early in life Jim moved in with his great-grandparents in the city of Wabeux, Montana. He went on to spend the next eighteen years of his life in this town of 567 souls. He and 18 other kids graduated from high school that year, Jim took the Mayor's daughter to the prom. (The mayor was also the police chief.)
Shortly after that Jim crossed into Canada to the B7EZ Horse and Cattle ranch. 10,000 acres of grazing land. After six months someone reported him to the Canadian Border Patrol and he was returned to the US. Unbeknownst to the mighty Mounties, Jim borrowed a horse and took a two day ride back to the ranch. Enticed to come to Chatsworth, California, to break horses, the guy that hired him didn't pay him and the long story short is he ended up here. And this is where Jim's adventure gets fun.
The girls have been showing Jim the town and I asked him to give me his reactions to a few places he has visited here and to tell me some of the things that he has never seen or experienced in Montana.
I am going to list his responses randomly:
THE BEACH AND BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Jim had never seen the beach. I asked how it liked it? Jim said it was beautiful, there were dolphins playing in the water, the waves were big, he was amazed at how big it seemed, and then there was a, "but". "But what?", I asked, as I watched Jim start to turn red in the face. "Well, gee, there was two guys laying on the beach, and they was a rubbing oil all over each other, and, I thought they were going kiss, grossed me out." Well, I couldn't let that go without the question,... "Hey, Jim have you seen that movie Brokeback Mountain?"......No, siree, that ain't happening..There ain't no coon in that tree." I asked if he knew what the movie was about, he said sure, "It's about two guys that fell in love with each other instead of the sheep." He explained that he and a couple of fellers "got stuck in a cow camp in the High Tender at 9000 feet for three months" and if anyone had come bumbling into his tent in the middle of the night, only two would have gone down that mountain.
Next he told me that he and the ladies had gone to Bogies in Westwood for kicks and giggles. Jim was asked by management to remove his hat. Dumbfounded by this insult, he looked the man in the suit and said, "That's just plain rude." They "got it" and he was allowed to keep his hat on and wasn't bothered by anyone the entire night. "You just don't never ask a man from Montana to take his hat off, it ain't right.
Loved every minute of it, his favorite was "Pirates of the Carrabean."
The first time he got laid here, he was reading cowboy poety and got picked up by a 32 year old that was actually a 52 year old.
"Never look up at a bird"
"Never squat with your spurs on."
"Never drink downstream from the herd."
MUSINGS BY JIM ABOUT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MONTANA AND LOS ANGELES.
"I saw a guy arguing with a lampost"
"So many women that look younger but are older but wear less clothes."
"I have never seen so many cars, especially SUV's. We call SUv's "Tour-on's", like moron tourists, if you need space get a fucking truck."
"Back home all the good looking women are taken and only the ugly ones are left, here, everyman has a chance at a goodlooking one."
"I don't speak a word of Spanish, and at first, I couldn't determine if I was in Mexico or the United States."
"Women are very forward, I like that."
And lastly, about the constant "need" for things by Angeleo's, Jim says..."People here are living tomorrow, today, and they are worried about yesterday."
I don't make this stuff up, I just pass it on.
WORLD - CITY LIVING
Copyright © 2010 Steven Lane
2007 and TOM MIX just rode into town!
Copyright © 2010 Steven Lane
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