There’s a helluva good tale being told on a favorite story site of mine. It’s one of those sites where you gotta have an open mind, cuz some of the stuff there is pretty raunchy, but if you’re careful to sort through the garbage there’s some real jewels to be found.
One such is a story by Lazlo Zalezac called “Country Boys.” The URL to that is: Country Boys
Here’s a note I dropped to him today.
“I’ve enjoyed your stories for a few years now, and was always a bit intimidated to drop a note, cuz they’re that good, and I felt there was little I could add except to say a simple “Thanks!”
But now with this “Country Boys” tale, you’re cutting pretty close to the bone. I’ve grown up in the west, from Washington to Wyoming to Utah and up to Idaho. As an 8-year-old kid, I got to live a year in the real “Old West” on a Wyoming ranch in the middle of the Red Desert country, owned and run by a pioneer rancher who at that time was 80 years old. Pete Fisher had been a member of the “Vigilance Committee” and could tell stories of rustlers and hangings. I was there in 1948, and I learned to carry and shoot a .22 rifle.
When we finally settled down it was in the Methow Valley of the Okanogan Country in the eastern fringe of the Cascade Mountain range. For my 12th birthday I got my own .22 rifle and freedom to roam all of that back country, alone, with a fishing pole and rucksack and my rifle.
The old timers and adult folk mostly had the same code, the code you’re outlining in “Country Boys.” Your description of the Daniels’ home town is spot-on. Same with their code of ethics.
I doubt many will truly understand what you’re talking about in this tale, but some of us old fossils do. Maybe my son-in-law, who is a fourth generation Idaho cattle rancher and half owner of the family’s 1000-acre ranch in the Little Lost River valley under the shadow of Mount Borah, he would understand.
But if you’re truly from the country, it don’t need talking about. It just “is”.
You’re a helluva good read.
Here’s a nice response from Lazlo:
Thanks for your note. You would be surprised how many people are still viewing this story as somewhat of a comedy because they don’t believe that people like the Daniels exist. Having grown up around a bunch of Daniels, I know they exist. Living with a bunch of Peppers, I know they exist.