Aldis Ferlach OPeigh

The Ditched Car and the Cinch Strap
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The Ditched Car and the Cinch Strap

People can say what they want about “Child Abuse” and the associated ill-effects of disciplining our children, and not to wax all political here, but looking around at the results of a society that raises their children largely free from the “excessive burdens” of discipline, I am even more grateful than I already was for those beatings I did receive as a child, even if they were not all so well deserved.

I am quite certain that I got away with quite enough as a child to merit those few occasions when I did receive what I deemed to be an un-merited whooping. When we were young, these occasional whoopings indicated to us that there were indeed very real consequences to the actions that we took. We learned that doing the wrong things would result in negative reactions that were decidedly not conducive to accomplishing good things.

We also learned that, from time to time, one had to face negative consequences in order to proceed and do the right thing … despite the ramifications of our actions.

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The Jack-Knifed Drag Race
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The Jack-Knifed Drag Race

Despite the propensity for four-wheel drives for the American hillbilly, we also have a great love of American Muscle cars. Now people are virtually always protective about their cars, but this is especially true in the poorer regions of the mountains where the car is much more than just a status symbol and serves multiple roles, not the least of which is being able to get back and forth whenever you want.

Furthermore, a truly classic muscle car can serve, in a great many cases, to add to ability of an individual to earn an extra bit of money on the weekends, not without risk of course, but at a risk that is carefully weighted and undertaken. Such is the case with a couple of my brothers, one of whom is a die-hard Ford man while the other leans heavily towards GM products. Now both will, in quiet and more limited circles, readily admit to the strengths and weaknesses of each, but in public, they are every bit as different as the Ford and Pontiac they both built, love and drive.

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Two Stepping In Deer Country
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Two Stepping In Deer Country

When I was a small child in days of old, I listened to people talk with an almost reverent sense about how lucky I was that my Dad and Grandpa were so “Old School”.

At the time, that was a good thing, meaning that they had grown up with an ingrained and well founded set of morals, ethics and values that they would impart upon their posterity, willingly or not so.

I never dreamed for one moment that anyone could ever consider me to be “Old School” in much the same way, and while I doubt many people at all would discuss me with anything even remotely approaching the same reverence, I have indeed proven to be relentlessly and perhaps inevitably, relegated to the status of one who is, in virtually every sense of the word … Old School.

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The Fourteenth Street Bridge Songs
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By all accounts I am something of a freak. I am the proverbial introvert, but endlessly curious, and fascinated by history. As such, when I did begin to discover the wonders of DC, buried and hidden deep beneath the swamp so bloated from its occupation by the current cackle of complicit and corrupt congress critters and their ilk, that I was somewhat taken aback.

The Smithsonian is great, but there is so much hidden from the general public … far more than will ever be displayed, that to say it is lacking would be a gross understatement and overly kind. In fairness, I do not think that they could fully undertake the role that they have made for themselves, even if they were not hiding so much from the American Public, but there is another institution that is equally as revealing … perhaps even more so, in regards to American history and its people … though you have to read extensively to understand the depth of the material there.

I am referring to the Library of Congress.

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The Great Groundhog Scam
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When we were kids, my brother and I had learned to be much better than average with a rifle, primarily due to the fact that we had to hunt if we were going to eat. A bad shot would not only result in a butt-whooping, but also very likely in going to sleep with a belly that was less than full. Neither scenario was a desirable end to the day, so we learned young and we learned well, how to make each and every shot count. From the time we were old enough to own a firearm, the first firearm of choice had been the .22 caliber rifle.

Ideally, we would have one chambered for .22 magnum so we could fire the magnum rounds when we could afford them, or we could fire the long rifle rounds if the magnum rounds were not available or were out of our cost range at the time. With the exception of reloading, the .22 is by far and away the absolutely best all-around round ever made.

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The Great American Fishing Race
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In January of every year, my brother and I would lay out the course for one of the most difficult and challenging races that anyone could conceive. It started of course, at our favorite fishing hole, but from there it rapidly devolved into a challenge unlike any other most of us would ever face.

Indeed, that was the entire point of the Great Fishing Race, was to weed out … no pun intended … those of us who were not the most adept at cutting through the brush at breakneck speeds. My brother was unnaturally strong and an incredible driver. I was unnaturally tough but never very fast … which I have an ample supply of scars to prove.

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Ford, Carter and the Stagecoach … and the pocket pug .44
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Funny thing about Jackson Hole. It is so magical in so many ways. The local population was right around four thousand people when last I looked, with over seven thousand hotel rooms within Jackson Hole proper. (Mind you, that is from memory so may be off a tad, but seems about right as best as I can recollect)

The billionaires have run a great many of the multi-millionaires out as they bought up all of the best lands and made it too expensive for all but the most absurdly rich to live there … yet they rub toe to toe with the common joe on a routine basis as well. I have seen rednecks and cowboys dancing with people of a variety of colors and gays and lesbians and super-rich and super-poor … all out dancing on the same dance floor and nobody caring at all who or what anyone else was … as life should be.

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Slick Stogies and the Sleeping Indian
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A long place ago in a time far away, I worked as a hunting and fishing guide in Wyoming and Nevada. Nevada was great in its own right, and I ended up building a homestead there. Wyoming however, was something of an anomaly all its own.

As such, I ended up taking a lot of seasonal work in Wyoming, and from time to time, just striking out with a couple of pack horses on a string and staying out in the woods for a few months at a time. On occasion, one of my partners would join me, and this particular tale took place while I was with my partner Tom.

As it turned out, we had only spent about a month out in the woods at the time, taking a little bit of time to ride along the Continental Divide and peer out at the distant view of the Northern Lights … or what little was actually visible to us there.

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Bustin Hearts and Heads
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No matter where we ended up together, (though I cannot imagine it was any different when he struck out on his own) people always took a shine to my brother. Whether at work or at play, people just naturally got along well with him … and all things being equal, this was actually a good thing.

Still, my brother did have one weakness … though I suppose most men do.

In the case of my brother, he had a passion for entertaining members of the female persuasion … and they were most anxious for him to entertain them it would seem. More than once I was kicked out of my seat riding shotgun so that some gal could take my place … at least temporarily.

My brother also seemed to have a particular weakness though, and … sometimes it is just weird how nature seems to balance things out so that everything continues to work the way that it should.

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Why Your Horse Really Is Your Best Friend
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Some people question why I ride for the money, why I rope for short pay. They say I ain’t getting nowhere and I am losing my share, and I must have gone crazy out there. But they ain’t never seen the great divide, they ain’t never seen a hawk on the wing. They ain’t never seen the spring hit the Great Divide, and they ain’t never heard ol’ Camp Cookie sing!

That is a paraphrase of the song entitled “The Night Rider’s Lament” and it rings true for anyone who has ever lived out in the woods for any length of time. The very idea of being trapped in the city is more than just frightening or perturbing, it is downright disdainful. Still, like the cities, the wilderness can be a dangerous place, thus the need to always have a good partner. While the Hollywood (or Hollyweird) version of the great outdoors shows the Cowboy always relying on his trusty horse, their vision and story is incomplete. As a wise man used to say; here now, is the rest of the story.

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JB Weld and the Fifty Caliber Pistol – The Dad Chronicles
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There are certain things that absolutely nobody who is living off the grid should be without. JB Weld is without any shadow of a doubt, one of the things that should be purchased in excess and stored in its very own private location in every off-grid environment or homestead. JB Weld has been instrumental in our efforts to keep generators, engine blocks, wheel rims and a virtually endless string of items running long after they would have been formerly retired and quickly trashed in more “civilized” society.

While there are likely more than a thousand different uses for JB Weld on any given day, perhaps nothing will serve to better demonstrate its strength and importance, than a minor demonstration … and some tightly packed high-explosives.

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