Back in the 50s I was ten and sent by my mother to accompany my grandfather, the last of the old cowhands, he was 80, to the store to buy a cabbage.
This was in Vernon, Tx. a town set between the Wagner, Goodnight and Four6s ranches.
Leaving the store with the cabbage in a tow sack, we were walking down the sidewalk when a young, drugstore cowboy, my grandfathers words, charged out of a door in front of us and bumped into grandpa.
“Watch where you’re going old man.”
Before I could register what was happening, the tow sack left my hand, swung in an arc and bashed upside the cowboys head, laying him out cold on the sidewalk.
Across the square was the office of the county sheriff, who happened to be outside and saw the whole incident. He came over, looked at me, grandpa, the tow sack in his hand, and the cowboy. He touched the brim of his hat to my grandpa;
“Afternoon Mr. Adams.”
“What’s in the sack?”
“Mind telling me what happened here?”
“This young pup spoke kinda short to me, can’t abide that sort of thing. Taught him some manners.”
The town of Vernon was just two years older than grandpa, and like most West Texas towns held those old timers to a different standard.
The sheriff sent us on our way.
I’d known that people were always polite to ‘Old-timers’’ but, it wasn’t till then that I had some clue as to why.
I like to think that George Bush, growing up in Texas, absorbed that lesson here, but that’s just local pride; his father surely taught it to him.
If George Bush told any country;
“Do this, or don’t do that, because if you do I will take this action.”
They believed him.
They knew of a certainty that he would pull the trigger.
It is hard to measure the trouble we were spared by that certainty.
It is a lesson that must be learned early in life I think.
Obama has had four years at the helm and doesn’t seem to have grasped it yet.
Bush could certainly tell him, if he had the wit to ask.