i A Time and a Place...: What's a Man?...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What's a Man?...

I think it just depends on who and where you are. I was just remembering something that happened to me when I was in Odessa, Texas. It's not much but it kinda stuck with me.

It was 1956 and I was just out of the army and working for the J H Marks Trucking Company, swamping on a rig-up truck.(*Swamping is pulling line on a rig-up truck and doing everything that has to be done so the driver will never have to get out of the truck. He drives the truck - this could be one of the smaller winch truck I worked on -- and works the winches and I do the rest.)

Each morning all drivers and swampers waited in a small shack we called the drivers' room. We stayed there until we were told where we would go and what we were to do that day. To pass the time, most of the drivers played poker. Poker in Texas,is of course, five card stud.

There were only a few swampers in the shack on this particular day. I, of course, and a younger man whom I remember as being 18 years old and a couple more.

the shack was crowded and the poker table was full with eight men playing. One of the drivers was an older man (probably fifty or so) wearing bib overalls, whose name was Snow. He was a short, stocky man, with huge arms and a shock of white hair. He was one of the strong, silent types. (There are a bunch of those in Texas)

He had left the poker table to use the restroom and was coming back into the shack. On his way in, he passed right by where the young swamper and I were engaged in a hot game of Casino. (*Let me explain: In Texas there is only one card game for a man and that is five card stud.)As he walked by, he hesitated for a second and looked at the cards on our table.

"What are you boys playing?" he axed. The kid looked up with a smile and said, "Casino." Old man Snow shook his head and as he walked away, said, "Next you'll be squattin' to piss!"

Well, our game of casino slowed to a stop and we decided to play five card stud,- for fun.

Well,(I say that a lot) like I said, whatever a man is depends on where he is and what he is used to. For me, if I ever go back to Odessa and if I ever decide to play cards, it'll be five card stud. Nowadays casino might be all right but I ain't takin' no chances! Old man Snow might still be in Odessa and I know, if I started up a game of casino, he'd walk by! There's no doubt about it!



Blogger tweetey30 said...

Arent memories great... Thanks for sharing them with us.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

That truck is an old junker, it reminds me of an old Ford truck my Dad used to drive Yearsssss ago. It is fun thinking back on your old memories....I do that too.

4:39 AM  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

Now that I am officially oil field trash, Odessa is a little different for me.

Being green aint as bad as you might think. Right after the fellas brought me my green arm band and bright orange hard hat, I showed them how I can touch a ten pound hammer to my nose. After two of them were bloodied up, they took my gifts back.

I may be green, but I'm old enough for a little treachery.

12:12 AM  

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