When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. Now that I’m a senior citizen, I can’t remember things I didn’t know I’d forgotten.
I often have ideas for a column, and in the past they were etched into my photographic memory. I could remember my ideas days later, but now if I don’t write them down immediately, the film never gets developed.
I don’t even have the memory of a goldfish, which is three seconds. I’m so concerned about my memory loss, I made an appointment to talk about it with my doctor but by the time I got face to face with him, I forgot what I was there for.
This is why a recent letter from my friend Monte Mills was so appreciated.
Monte’s name may strike a chord with some readers.
In my neck of the woods, if a person has an affair to celebrate their western culture, and they want to hire a band for entertainment, Monte Mills and his Lucky Horseshoe Band is the first name that comes to mind.
Monte is a fabulous performer, and we never know who he might drag along as a guest in his band. It might be an old member of Merle Haggard’s band or a young girl who plays the fiddle better than Charlie Daniels did.
I first met Monte decades ago when I hired him as my farrier. After one visit, I never used anyone else. Not only was Monte a great farrier, but my horse Gentleman liked Monte’s crude dog tricks. So did I.
I don’t know if Monte’s most recent story is true or fabricated, but it sure sounds like something that could’ve happened. I better tell it while I can still remember it.
It seems Cooter had just left the sale barn in Butte, Mont. As he left the building he reached into his right pant’s pocket for his truck keys and got the sick feeling all of us elderly Americans get when we lose something.
Cooter gave himself a rather thorough TSA pat down and couldn’t find his keys in any of his pockets, so he did a quick 180 and went back into the sale barn. He immediately went to where he’d been sitting and asked everybody in the vicinity if they’d seen his keys. Nope.
Cooter thought he’d probably just left his keys in his truck’s ignition like we’ve all done. Yup, that’s probably what he did. His wife Verna Faye scolded him 1,000 times for leaving his keys in the ignition and warned him someday someone would steal his much beloved truck.
But, the older Cooter got, the more he believed in the ignition theory – it was the safest place to leave his keys. This way he’d always know where they were. Theoretically, at least.
So, once again, Cooter frantically left the sale barn and headed out into the parking lot, which was a sea of white pickup trucks. He methodically went up and down every row of trucks, but the closer he got to the end, the more he realized he was going to have to admit to Verna Faye someone had indeed stolen his truck.
Once again, Cooter went back into the sale barn to ask the clerk at the window if she’d fetch the phone number for the highway patrol. Cooter gave them all the pertinent information about his stolen truck and his contact information.
Then, Cooter made the call he dreaded.
“Hello, honey,” he stammered. He always called Verna Faye honey when he was in the doghouse. “I’m afraid I left my keys in the truck and wouldn’t you know, someone stole it.”
There was a long silence, and Cooter thought perhaps the call and been dropped, but then he heard the dulcet tones of Verna Faye.
“Cooter,” she barked. “I dropped you off at the sale barn on my way to the grocery store, you idiot.”
“Well dear, would you come get me?” Cooter meekly asked. He always called Verna Faye dear when he was really in deep doo doo.
Verna Faye screamed, “I will just as soon as I can convince these highway patrolmen that I haven’t stolen your truck.”