Don Fraser

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Iihave an electric cart. The model is a Hurricane and, as there was a hurricane called Floyd blowing at the time that I bought it, I called it Floyd. Floyd takes me to talk to my neighbors. It takes me to garage sales all over the town. Floyd is a great companion to me, he has become a friend.

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Iit was the first part of December and the frozen ground was covered with snow. My little girl said to me, ‘Daddy can we have that tree we saw on our hike through the woods last summer, for our Christmas tree?

My little girl had a bad accident in the autumn and the doctors had said that she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Wanting to do all I could to please my precious child, I began getting things ready to do my chores, in order to get an early start next morning. I forked some hay into a pile to feed the cows and horses, I also set a bucket aside with some grain in it, to feed it to my saddle-horse. I then filled a pan with slop, to feed the pigs. This was all so that I could go and look for the tree that my daughter wanted.

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Iit is lonely out here on the range! There is no one to talk to except my horse, and the cactus. The ramrod of the 4d Ranch sent me out here to gather up strays that might have wandered off from the herd.

The boss and his family were going to lose the 4d if something wasn’t done quickly. I had found a few doggies, but that wasn’t enough to help save the ranch and, to make matters worse, the boss’s son had become a drunkard. Every night he would go to Zeke’s bar in town, and drink all of his father’s money away. If anyone said anything to him, he would want to fight. Most of the time he would win but when it looked like he wouldn’t, he would draw his gun. Luckily he didn’t shoot anybody, but often he came close to it.

He would come home to the ranch and stumble in the door; call his sister names and demand that she fix him something to eat. After he ate, he would lay on the sofa, in the parlor, and fall asleep. He would always tell his little sister: “Ever since Ma died, you have been Pa’s favorite, he is gonna leave you everything, but not if I can help it.” He muttered this while he was passing out.

What his pa and sister didn’t know was that he had made a deal with Zeke. They would gather up some rustlers, and have them rustle the herd of the 4d. Zeke would sell the rustled cattle and split the money with Ben, Zeke’s son. In the end, Zeke would buy the 4d Ranch and give Ben enough acres to start a ranch of his own. Continue Reading →

Ii just got back from seeing a wonder of my Maker. It is the beautiful Forest Park in my neighborhood. I ride along on my electric cart, gazing at the wonders that surround me. The trees reach so high they seem to be reaching for the Hand of God.

All about me, as I ride down a planned path, are wonderful shrubs, hiding the cottontails from view.
Look! There is a red squirrel, he must be gathering his nuts and food for winter. There is a rose garden in the park. Oh! What a fragrance it produces.

People are playing their games on the well-kept grass and lovers are on the benches, kissing. What a joy it is to go for a summer’s evening ride in my park. The winters are cold here in the northwest. It rains a lot but I can wait for spring and summer to arrive.

I look out my window, and, when it looks all right, I will ride in my park once more. It may be my last ride. You never know what God has in store for you!

I would like to say goodbye to the trees and shrubbery, and the green grass. Also the birds on the wing, the cottontails, and the squirrels that cross my path before I leave this beautiful park. Thank you, the men and women that made it possible.

But mostly, thank you God!

The End.
My Park by Don Fraser

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Mmy driving partner and I drove a truck with a bed in back of the cab. We hauled lumber from Oregon, to the Plains States, and then we would load grain, like wheat and corn, to haul back to the coast. It is of one of these trips that this story is about.

We loaded the truck in Portland, Oregon, with lumber and we had to put a tarp over it, so the dry lumber would not get wet from the snow or the rain, as it was winter. When we got to Nebraska we tried to unload the lumber, but the tarp has frozen to the lumber so we had to borrow a blowtorch to defrost it. After we got the tarp and the lumber off, we went a few miles to load some bulk corn.

The truck was equipped with folding sides and all we had to do was lift them up and put some stakes that were provided, in holes in the bed of the truck. We did what was needed, and I drove the truck under a hopper that poured the corn in the bed of the truck and trailer. After the truck was loaded, we headed for Oregon.

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Oout on the Nevada ranges he would run. He would steal mares from neighboring ranchers and fight for other stallion’s mares. If you saw him, you would think it was remarkable that he did not have more scars on his beautiful body from fighting. Even in the winter his coat would shine reflecting the brightness of the snow.

George made his way out West the hard way. He had many jobs along the way; he had been a lawman, a wrangler, even an outlaw. He married and settled down on a ranch in Nevada; it wasn’t much but it was his. George and Mable scratched a living on that ranch, until their fingers bled. There was growing and harvesting hay for the animals and growing and canning food for the winter.

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Iiwas watching television in my living room when the telephone rang. When I said “Hello!”, an elderly ladies voice asked. “Is Blanch available?” I answered that Blanch was my mother and she had died three years ago.

“Oh dear!” The voice said.
I so wanted to tell her ‘this is her son’. The was a click and all I could hear was a dial tone. I dialed star 69 and they gave me the number of who-ever had phoned, I dialled and I was connected.
“Maason Almagamated. How may I direct your call?”
I explained the circumstances to the lady that answered, and she told me that all long distance calls went through her: none had been placed that morning. I thanked her and hung up but I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I thought about it for about an hour, then I remembered I had some things of my mothers in the attic. I went up the dark stairs.
“Damn!” I cussed, as I tripped in the dark. “Some day I’m going to put a light on these damn stairs.”
I reached the attic and straight in front of me were my mother’s things. I don’t know what possessed me, but I started rummaging through her keepsakes. I saw an old box that looked like it had some letters in it and sitting on top was a letter addressed to me!

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Wwe had just finished the roundup, and all of the wranglers collected their pay. Since I was the ramrod of the outfit, I had a lot to say, but when the boys went to town, to spend their money on whisky and women, no one could tell them what to do.

Jim and I didn’t drink but we went to town with the boys from the ranch anyway. George got drunk and tried to pick a fight with Jim. George was so drunk he swung at Jim and missed, Jim turned him around and kicked him in the butt, and told him to sit down and sober up. The room was full of wranglers and hoochie women. They all saw what happened and started laughing at George. George just sat in a chair and yelled at Jim, while shaking his fist. “You and that damn ramrod will hear from me, you can bet on it.”

Jim and I had planned for weeks, during the roundup, that we would go out on the range, and look for the ghost horse that they said you could only see at night. We left the cantina and got on our saddles for the long ride on the prairie. We had all of our grub in our saddlebags, and we had our parkas behind our saddles. It was getting to be the time of year when it rains and thunders on the prairie.

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Aababy girl was born to some settlers as they were moving out West. The wagon train stopped just long enough for the midwife to help the mother bear her child and then it continued on. A litle girl was born that day and her parents chose the name Patricia.

By the time the wagon train had reached what is now called Oklahoma, Patricia was walking and running and, as there were no other girls in the wagon train, she had to play with boys. It wasn’t long before she could run faster than they could and, when they tried to wrestle her down, she would throw them off of her back and hold them down.

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Ttoday I picked a plum.

It is a simple thing to do for most people, but in my case it is different. You see I am an invalid and I ride an electric cart. As I sit here on my cart in the warm sun eating this plum, I think of how it was before I got this cart, I wasn’t able to go outside and do a simple thing like pick a plum from a low-hanging branch of a tree. I wasn’t able to bask in the warm sun. I do now, and I think of how it was before I had a stroke.

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