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Wilbur Countryman, Cowboy

Story ID:5880
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA USA
Person:Wilbur friend of Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Wilbur Countryman, Cowboy

A while back--Chad I met a man named Wilbur Countryman.

This man was very direct and pretty much said what he wanted to say.

One fall when I was about 11 years old 1937 Wilbur asked Dad to come to his ranch and work on the engine of his tractor. I was tickled to death because Dad wanted me to go along. It was seldom that my Dad wanted me to tag along but he needed me to do some cleaning on the head and block of the tractor. I scraped the carbon and gunk off the head and cleaned the old gasket off the block and that was my job.

The main reason I wanted to go along was I knew that Virginia ( Wilburs wife ) would cook up some steaks for Dad and I, so all the time that I was working I thought of the meat in the skillet.

The Meat that we had at home was always Pig meat, Ham, Pork chops and such but no Beef, so I was really looking forward to the noon meal.

When it came time to eat Wilbur called Dad and I in and after washing up we sat down at the table with Wilbur, Virginia and their son Gene. Besides all the goodies I looked at the meat plate and didn't see any steaks, but I thought to myself "it sure looks good", whatever it was.

After eating what I thought were pork chops,

Wilbur said

“Monte do you know what kind of meat you are eating" I said no. He laughed and said that I was eating goat--I tried hard not to throw up, Wilbur evidently saw the pained look on my face and laughed and laughed.

Dad and Wilbur were good friends and when our farm house burned down Wilbur got hold of Dad and said “ you know where the key is to the house go and make yourself at home.” Wilbur was on another of his ranches in another state but he was kind enough to go out of his way and make Dad more comfortable.

Dad, just having everything that he held dear to him go up in smoke one early morning, needed some friendship and Wilbur presented it to him.

I went back soon after the farmhouse burned down and saw Dad while he was staying with Wilbur. The one thing that you did was stay for dinner at Wilburs and he did all the cooking. When we sat down to eat he had made stew and it had a spicy taste and I thought it was a cowboy recipe for stew.

You had to have fruit with the meal and Wilbur saw to it you had some. I don't care much for fruit cocktail but at Wilbur's you had it any way because he put it on your plate.

After supper I volunteered to help with the dishes and while Wilbur and I were doing the dishes he said my gosh, I forgot to wash the stew pot last night, and it had a chili coating in the pot. Now I knew why the stew tasted spicy it was the remaining coating of the used pot. I must say that the stew was great and I am trying to get my wife to do Wilbur’s recipe for it.

While there Wilbur said that I had to go to the wrestling matches with Dad and his gal and Wilbur and his gal.

I made some remark that the wrestling matches were all rigged, and that the guy in the white shorts always won.

I spent the next 30 miles catching hell from both he and Dad, and was told that I was not right.

When we got to the matches Wilburs girlfriend told me to sit next to Wilbur and I complied.

The guy in the white shorts wasn't doing so good. About that time white shorts made a good hold and Wilbur hit me in the chest in his excitement, with his elbow, and I had a hard time catching my breath.

When white shorts made another good move I moved and Wilbur missed me that time.

His girlfriend said to me “Monte do you see why I wanted you to set next to him.”

After returning to California, I received the news that Dad had died at Wilbur’s ranch. One of Wilbur's friends asked him why he didn't put Dad in some home and he said “Wayne's a good friend of mine and as long as he wants to stay, he can.”

I heard that Wilbur has died as many of my old friends have, and the world has lost a good man.

Written by Monte L. Manka in the year 1998