A blog about Cowboy Music, Western Swing and Cowboy Poetry. 2014 WMA Radio DJ/Radio Program of the Year

When summer comes to the ranch
Cowgirl Sass & Savvy by Julie Carter

If it rains, if the water tanks are full, if the pipelines are intact, if the spring on the mesa is still running a little water, there might be some time for a little R&R at the ranch. Depending on what part of the country you are in, this could involve a little sport fishing. In the case of this story, “with or without a pole” was written in the fine print.

Jed was working on a ranch with a lake reputed to be jam packed with fish. In a moment of running his mouth before his brain engaged, he invited everybody he knew to a fish fry and told them all to bring along anyone they wished. He got busy with work and subsequently didn’t get any fish caught for the event. In desperation, he resorted to the well-known dynamite theory of fishing. He’d never personally tried that particular method, but he had heard the stories about how it would land a big bunch of fish all at one time. That result was now needed.
His thought was that with these fish so fresh, everybody that showed up could help clean and cook them, making the party a fun do-it-yourself event.

The appointed day arrived and Jed was seen out on the lake in a flat-bottom boat with a couple sticks of dynamite. With his usual complete lack of forethought, he lit the fuses. However, instead of giving them a good heave out into the water, he simply dropped the dynamite over the side of the boat.

The guests that had arrived were lined up along the shore watching for their supper. They got more than they bargained for as Jed and the boat took flight, launching at least 16 feet into the air. The free unscheduled entertainment included a big water spout that sprayed in every direction. That finale drew applause from the shoreline. They tried to tell everyone later that they were laughing so hard they forgot to pick up the fish that floated to the top. The real story was, they knew Jed well enough to come prepared with a cooler full of pork chops and hot dogs for, well you know, just in case. It all went nicely with the huge catch of fish.

Later that evening and back in host-with-the-most mode, Jed recalled that he had a bottle of Curacao that someone had given him forever ago. He still had it because he didn’t know what to do with it. After all, it was very strange and very blue. One of his Lake Dweller guests had spent a little time in bartender school, although from which side of the bar that education came is still suspect. Between horseshoeing school and pursuing a welder certification this buddy said he learned about a fancy drink called a Blue Hawaiian. After a discussion of the recipe for this exotic cocktail, Jed rounded up what few ingredients he had in the house, which included pineapple juice and a gigantic quart-size bottle of lemon juice. Jed proudly told his guests the lemon juice had been on sale at Walmart and he just couldn’t pass up the big bottle for such a good price, even though he rarely used lemon juice. A good deal is a good deal. After a washtub-sized batch of Blue Hawaiians, give or take an ingredient or two, the evening ended with a room full of tipsy fish-fed folks with blue teeth and blue tongues.

Doesn’t get much better than that.

Julie can be reached for comment at jcarternm@gmail.com.

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