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Two West Texas Cowboys and Mother

Today, I want to deviate from my usual writing about literacy, behavior, dyslexia, or politics and share a family story. This story is for my wonderful cousin, Susanne Couch Flowers.

Cousin JE Couch and Daddy — Two Good Old Cowboys

Even though the highway indicated that only six miles separated Barstow (where we lived before Mother died) and Pecos, it was a long, hot, slow trip. Going to the big city of Pecos to buy groceries was a big deal. Sacks and sacks of groceries to tote back to our rural community.

One afternoon, Daddy and I dropped Mother off at Leader Grocery in Pecos and we drove to Couch Hill. Even though I was disappointed that Susanne and Christy were not at home, I had a terrific time riding their big tricycle down the hill. I’d drag it up and then whiz back down. While I was playing, the two farmers/ranchers stood and talked. I’m certain Daddy intended to have a quick visit with J. E.

Farmers, like teachers, like to gab. Time went by. Daddy and J.E. talked and I happily flew the trike down the hill. We were all happy. We were happy until we drove up to Leader Grocery and saw Mother standing on the sidewalk surrounded by numerous paper sacks of groceries. Groceries and Mother were getting hotter by the minute. Silently, Daddy loaded the bags and Mother flounced into the front seat with unusually bad timing, the car chose the trip home to Barstow to break down. Daddy got out and began to tinker. Mother and I stayed inside the hot car with the hot, wilting groceries. (Of course, the car did not have an air conditioner. None of the cars had air conditioners in 1945.)

Mother stared straight ahead. Finally, I couldn’t stand the silence any longer. “Mother, people get divorced for less than this!” This ended Mother’s mad and Daddy was forgiven once he got the car started again.


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