Archive | November, 2012

It’ll Do – Hogs is Hogs

30 Nov

It'll Do

It’ll Do
Copyright William J. Conaway, 1989

Episode 14 – Hogs is Hogs

Hogs aren’t something to be taken lightly in Cherryville. We have too many of them and a good part of our revenue comes from them. They may not give Cherryville a very good smell but they pay the bills.

Some of the local boosters decided to have a greased pig festival. There were others who said that it was cruel and moved to stop it. Personally, I didn’t see anything cruel about a buch of folks slithering around trying to catch a greased pig–if anything it would be worse on the people than on the hog.

Of the regulars in the It’ll Do, only Alice Mae was against it. But when Alice Mae was against something it had an impact.

“Don’t you think we have enough cruelty without tormenting one of God’s creatures, Sully?” she asked.

Sully didn’t have an answer for this. Nor did anyone else at the bar, but I don’t think anyone felt that what she said made any sense. It couldn’t be any more ridiculous than picking a Home-coming Queen, and was probably less cruel.

This is how Vera and Sully almost broke up, because Vera took up for Alice Mae, and Sully couldn’t see any sense to it. Sully is anything, if he isn’t smart. So he says, “Why don’t we have a Pig Beauty Contest?”

It was a good idea–maybe better than the time we tried to start the Union Navy. We have plenty of pigs in Cherryville–and it just makes sense that some of them are more beautiful than others. Doesn’t it?

Sully was wearing that sliding grin that he gets once in a while, but he was right on the beauty contest. Why not?

Now, everyone got into the spirit of it and those that didn’t have any hogs were supplied one by Thad, who had plenty. Some of them were pretty too.

The city council thought it was a good idea, and the Chamber of Commerce put up three prizes from some of the local merchants. The radio picked it up and made a big thing of it.

Now, Sully started this. You might say it was his fault. If people hadn’t started naming these pigs after people it probably would have gone all right, but it didn’t.

The Governor was “honored” by one of the ugliest pigs you ever saw. That was all right. Reverend Thame’s wife also got an ugly one. “Rosemary” was really an ugly pig. It just went on building.

Mavis from the library, tried to put a stop to it. “Why don’t we,” Mavis said over her dark beer, “just have a people beauty contest, rather than hogs, they can fight back.”

We elected to go with the hogs.

Vera had this puppy that she was really fond of, and she entered it. It wasn’t fair, of course, because everyone knows a puppy is better looking than a hog. When Sully protested, Vera threatened something terrible and he didn’t say anything more about it. Then Old Man Williams said, “No.” and Vera backed off.

The fair grounds were not in use so the contest was held there. We had a good crowd of people and pigs. We had to take all of this seriously because about twelve kids had entered their pigs, and we couldn’t very well tell them that the whole thing was only bar-talk.

Would you believe it?–Senator Flogg was there expecting to award the prizes. Mrs. Seltz from the Chamber was there, and Pettybone from the Mayor’s Office. There were about twenty-five hogs of various sizes, each with an owner or renter.

When it came down to the judging, it didn’t take very long. If you like hogs, there were some really fine ones there. Yet, only one could win. So they drew straws, in secret, behind the stands.

The winner belonged to Alice Mae and she named it “Elvin”.
The real Elvin sticks pretty close to Cherryville these days, here is a story he told at the bar one day:

When he was a young man he left his farm home and went West. The funny thing was, he had a twin brother, Edwin, who left home about the same time. There were seven other kids in the family, and it wasn’t like they were abandoning their parents–I expect they were glad, in a way, to see them go.

Elvin went up to Oregon and found some work logging. Then he drifted back to Montana and tried to figure out how to stay on a horse and do something useful. He admitted that he wasn’t very successful at that. He tried Arkansas, working in a saw-mill. By that time he was twenty or so. He hadn’t been back to see his folks or his brothers and sisters in about three years. He hadn’t seen his twin brother either.

Right down next to the Bus Station there’s an all-night cafe. Now, how Elvin ended up in Cherryville is somewhat of a mystery–even to him. He was just drifting, he said. One night in November, he thought it was, Elvin stopped in there for a bowl of good hot chili. Who came in the door and sat down on the next stool? Uh-huh, Edward.

“Hi, brother. Those darn busses will give you hemorrhoids, don’t you know?”

“Yeah well, I’ve been on quite a few, been lucky so far”. “This chili is pretty good, though”.

“You talked to home?”

“Nope”.

“Me, neither,” Edward said. “Be seeing you, I expect.”

He never did.
We figure that Elvin has the strength of two. So does he, at times. He’s President of our Chamber of Commerce. If he had a mind to, he could be our next State Representative–but I don’t think he wants to get that far from Cherryville. I’ll tell you one thing though–if we have anything to say about it, he will be our next Mayor.

cartoon pig 3

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It’ll Do – the Doooo

29 Nov

It’ll Do – Sully’s Place

28 Nov

It’ll Do
Copyright William J. Conaway, 1989

Episode 13 – SULLY’S PLACE

I was sitting at the long oak bar of the It’ll Do sipping on a Bud. I was waiting for someone who wanted to shoot some pool, when this girl came in. She looked just old enough to order (although I’ve known Sully to make some exceptions for under-agers when they had one of his regulars with them). She was pretty, all right. J.C. and I were talking about something-or-other. We both turned around a little to get a better look at her, naturally. She was really a looker—in a clean sort of way. Her hair was black and cut short. J.C. and I weren’t the only ones looking, Sully was too. We all enjoyed a good look as she glided across the room. She slid up on one of the bar stools about mid-way betweenJ.C. and me.

“My name’s Orville,” I said. “Care to shoot a game of pool?”

“No thank you Orville. Could you tell me where to find the boss?”

“That’s him behind the bar,” I said, more than a little disappointedly.

Sully’s not a letch, he couldn’t get away with it in Cherryville. He might have been just a little more susceptible what with Vera out of town. At least, he seemed friendlier than he usually was with strangers.

I could tell you what they said back-and-forth, but it was just get acquainted talk. Her name was Jane. His was Jerome Sullivan, but just call me Sully; all my friends do.

About that time J.C. said he thought he’d go over and make her welcome. He were back in a few minutes. Jane asked for a couple of minutes alone with Sully. What I guess she didn’t know was that the It’ll Do is a quiet bar, a family bar, sort of…

“Mr. Sullivan, I’m looking for a job”.

“Well, you could try `The Barn’ just outside of town”.

“I was there last night”.

Her normal smile turned into a frown. It didn’t make Jane look any less pretty, though.

“It doesn’t have the—what do you call it? The right atmosphere. Not for me, it’s pretty rowdy. The manager out there! I don’t think he is a very classy man”. Mr. Sullivan, this is such a NICE bar, really it is. I could tell right away.”

“Jane, we’ve never ever needed a bar-maid here”.

“Never?”

“Un uh. Not much call for one in a place like the It’ll Do. This is a pretty quiet place, you know”.

J.C. turned back to me and whispered, “I’ll bet you five that Sully hires her”.

“Are you smoking some of that funny tobacco, J.C.? Sully doesn’t need any bar-maid. Besides, Vera would probably cut him off for a month for hiring her without her say-so”.

“J.C., I’m a hell of a lot older than you, and I can read people as well as you can read a comic book. It’s a bet”.

“Mr. Sullivan,” Jane said. “I really do need this job. I can work the booths. Full-time or evenings, if you want me to”.

“I’m really sorry, Jane, but I can’t use you,” Sully said.

When Sully hired Jane it did brighten up the place considerably. She was one hell of better person to look at than Sully that’s for sure. I’m not saying anything against Vera, but Jane was a good fifteen years younger.

Business did pick up some. Jane got all the normal passes you’d expect, regulars and salesmen, even some of the town folk who didn’t normally stop into the It’ll Do. She didn’t go out with anybody (we would have known about that) and she didn’t make any big fuss about the passes either. She just kept on being a nice, clean, sweet girl. Of course Sully didn’t have her dress up in any of those fancy costumes like they do in other places.

Sully seemed pleased to have her around. People sitting in the booths used to have to get up and serve themselves. When Jane started serving them, there seemed to be a lot more people sitting over there. It wasn’t the service so much as it was Jane. Ladies seemed to like her just fine. When the booths were empty, she would go back behind the
bar and help Sully with the clean-up work. Sully liked that, I could tell.

I kept on thinking on what would happen when Vera got home. That didn’t turn out to be the problem, no, sir.

One day, about a week after Jane came to work, a stranger came in. He went over and sat down in one of the booths. When a stranger comes in we’re polite but wary. The regulars check him out. This fellow dressed in smart fashion. About thirty-five, I’d say, with long hair for this part of the country. He was wearing a tie. Jane went over to take his order.

“Sully,” she said later, “I know that man from somewhere”.

“Is he giving you any trouble?” Sully asked.

“Oh, no. I just know him from someplace”.

“Well, if he does, just come over and tell me”.

Jane gave him a big smile and nodded a few times. A few minutes later I went over and asked this stranger if he’d care to shoot some pool, he accepted. Instead of lagging for the break, I told to go ahead and shoot first. This is just plain good strategy—it bound him to play a second game, giving me the break. I’m not a shark. I shoot good pool, that’s all. I don’t, as a matter of principle, pull my shots. Sometimes one game with me is enough for some people. So why not let him take the break? Why not? He ran the table on me. I might as well have been out baling hay, for all it mattered.

One thing I did notice about this fellow was, not only was he one hell of a shooter, but he sort of swished as he moved around the table, positioning his shots. I swear—he waggled his ass four or five times before and after every shot. You get the picture? That damn well didn’t keep him from taking the first game and my five dollars.

I went up for two more beers from Sully and overheard:

“Sully, how long has it been since you’ve given the It’ll Do a face-lift? It’s none of my business, I know, but, it’s getting a little dingy,” Jane was saying.

“I hadn’t noticed,” Sully said looking around the place.

“What made me think of it was I remember who that man is. The one shooting pool with Orville. He’s the decorator who redid the Park Place over in Wichita not long ago. I was working there. He improved that place about four-hundred percent. He might have some ideas for you”.

Well that confirmed it for me; about Delbert, I mean…an interior decorator. Sully called him over to the bar before I could get back to start the second game.

They talked for quite some time, until the regulars started drifting in. I couldn’t hear what they were saying because I was over at the table practicing shots. They talked so long that two farmers came over and claimed the table out from under me.

The next day the deer head was down, the beer signs were off the walls. Tim Foley was busy at work dismantling the horse-shoe booths. Delbert was doing some supervising, parading around the room looking this way and that. The day after, the juke box was taken out. It went on from there. Sully even closed the It’ll Do, for repairs.

When he opened up a week later all the regulars came back. It was terrible. As if your favorite bird dog had turned into a toad.

We knew who the culprit was. He was the fellow in the fancy sports jacket and shiny shoes who was jumping all of us. Pointing out this or that and taking credit for all of it. Thank God Sully didn’t, no-one would’ve ever talked to him again.

First, the pool table was gone. A good sized dancing floor was where it used to be. Some big speakers were hanging on the wall sending out so much music a body couldn’t talk. The oak bar was now padded plastic. Above it were wooden glass holders that held the glasses upside-down. Carpet was on the floor. It wasn’t even regular carpet. It was pieces of carpet in different colors cut to fit any-which-a-way curves. The ceiling was about seven feet overhead and had all these little colored lights poking out here and there. Seating? I’ll tell you. There were little round tables with ice cream parlor chairs around them.

The bar stools had been changed to things with chrome tubing and clear Plexiglas. Maybe a body could perch on one of them—I didn’t know. On the wall opposite to the bar was this painting. All different colors in circles, triangles and squares.

I had a double dark beer while standing up between two of those chrome things. Mavis actually got up on one. She ordered a double dark too. I imagine just about everyone ordered the same while sitting in those dumb ice cream chairs. They were served by Jane. She was wearing a halter top and short-shorts. Well, she was a looker, all right.

Sully was smiling. There was a twitch to it. “What do you all think?”

J.C. tried to bang his beer glass down on the bar, but it just thudded.

“Where in the hell is the God-damned pool table, Sully?” J.C. strangled”.

As we were all leaving we saw some men taking down the “It’ll Do” sign. There, in their truck, was a brand new one. It had colored lights and neon both, it read: “Sully’s Place”.

Well, you know what happened. We ended up hanging around in this dump on the other side of town. It had a pool table, even though it was as ratty, as the bar was.

Vera finally got home a few days later. We got the rest of what happened from her. She came in the front door and nearly fainted. Shocked or not, she didn’t turn mad. When Vera gets mad it’s something. Then Jane came out of the Ladies Room and Vera saw her. THEN it was something.

While she was working Sully over, the bank called to say that Sully had charged a bunch of materials. If he wanted a loan, they said, he would have to check with his partner, McGinty first.

Sully had to call McGinty and he drove over. One good look around the place and he told Sully he was dissolving their partnership. Just as soon as he could get his cousin, the lawyer, to draw up papers. Vera said she was going back to visit her sister again.

During the day a lot of curious people came in Sully’s Place to see what was what. Word spreads around Cherryville faster than your bad check will get to the bank. Before it got dark a strange thing happened. You wouldn’t think there were so many weird people living in a small town like this one. There are, they all started coming in until the bar looked like some of those you read about. It must have been a sight.

Sully started taking his own medicine, double dark’s. He normally wouldn’t do this. He was losing his senses fast. Finally he just put a bottle of bourbon on the bar and was pouring him self straight shots into a beer mug. One of the normal people in town must have come in and seen it.

The next you knew, Toot swings in the door and goes over to the bar. He lifted Sully’s head from the bar counter and tried to explain to him he was under arrest. For serving liquor contrary to State Law.

Vera, bless her heart, didn’t get on the bus. She stayed home so she could bail Sully out the next day. That left Jane to run the bar. Vera didn’t want to see Jane very much, so that was fine with her.

About noon the next day Sully returned to the scene of the crime. Jane, Delbert and the money from the till was gone. they had pulled a fast one. They were last seen arm-in-arm, boarding a bus headed west.

It took almost a month to put the It’ll Do back together again. One thing, Sully insisted on personally pulling down the “Sully’s Place” sign—and cut an ankle stomping on it.

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It’ll Do – The Gang’s All Here!

27 Nov

Papelandia Publishing Catalog

26 Nov

Papelandia Publishing Catalog

Gringo Guides
A Gringo Guide to Living in San Miguel de Allende – A complete 150 page, perfect bound book a guide, and advice for living and enjoying San Miguel de Allende as a resident or a visitor. A fun filled, Cartoon illustrated day-to-day guide with stories chronicalling the authors «Early Years» in San Miguel. Even long-term residents are guaranteed to find information they never knew before, supplied by a 50+ year Bilingual/Bicultural American resident of San Miguel. GG-101 – $20.00 plus $12.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com.

…to Mexican History – A 354 page, complete History of Mexico with historic pictures. An easy read to learn the incredible history of the Republic from the Conquest until Today. The places, events, and the characters that played out their roles in one of the bloodiest histories ever recorded. Interspersed throughout are accounts of events taking place in the U.S. and the rest of the world simultaniously to give one a sense of the time. GG-103 – $24.95 plus $19.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com at a considerable discount.

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…to the Cristero Rebellion – A twenty-eight page book with the complete forgotten history of the Rebellion against the Calles Administration 1926-1930 in which the Pope closed the Mexican churches, and the government waged modern warfare against their own people over religious differences. hundreds of thousands of people died and a half million people migrated to the U.S. GG-106 $14.50 Plus $6.95 Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…to Witchcraft – A 30 page booklet about the practice of witchcraft in Mexico now and in the past. Implements, herbs, and spells used in Mexican witchcraft told by a 50 year resident. GG-108 $7.95 Plus $2.95 International S&P. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount (Includes the following book in the same download)

…to Pulque, Mescal, and Tequila – A 30 Page booklet about these spirits from production to imbibing. The History surrounding the discovery and modern production. GG-109 $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com at a discount. (Includes the previous book in the same download)

…to a Bullfight, a Mexican Rodeo, and a Cock Fight – A twenty eight page book that serves as your personal guide to these Mexican sports events. Describing the tradition, the culture, and the mechanics of the events to promote understanding of them. GG-107 $14.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…to a Mexican Kitchen – A full 200 pages of time honored, traditional Mexican Recipes, with food and food preparation glossaries. Hundreds of Full-Color pictures, and it’s spiral bound for the cook’s convenience. The book Includes Party Snacks, Gala Banquets, and Mexican Adult Beverages too. GG-102 – $24.95 plus $18.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, for a considerable discount.

…to: Salsas y Chilies – A 28 page booklet with everything you should know about chilies, and naming the most popular Mexican variaties. Including how to prepare them. Seventeen delicious recipes for Salsa with full-color pictures. GG-102-A – $7.95 plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

…to: Mexican Beverages – A 28 page booklet to Non-alcoholic, and alcoholic beverages alike. Recipes from teas; coffee; hot chocolate; punches; egg nog; cold thirst quenching, cooling drinks and fruit ades to 27 different, popular, alcoholic ones. GG-102-B – $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

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…to Throwing a Mexican Fiesta – A 24 page booklet with 5 delicious Mexican recipes for appetizers, botanas; 11 great recipes for Mexican dips and spreads; and 8 wonderful, time-saving recipes for Mexican microwaves treats. GG-102-E $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

Walking Tours
Walking Mexico’s Colonial Heartland – A full 123 pages of History – Legends – Step-by-Step Walking Tours of the world famous Spanish Colonial cities of: San Miguel de Allende; Guanajuato; Querétaro; and the history of Mineral de Pozos, the Ghost Town. These are 450 + year old cities protected and preserved in the Spanish Colonial style of the XVII and XVIII centuries. They are living, breathing cities, full of life and culture, but mysteriously silent about their history and legends. With this book you will appreciate fully your visit to them. WT-101 – $10.00 plus $12.95 International S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

Walking Tours of San Miguel de Allende – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460 year old Spanish Colonial city, a National Monument. The booklet has a four-color, slick cover suitable for saving as a souvenier, and includes lots full-color pictures. WT-102 – $16.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

San Miguel’s History – A twenty-four page booklet of the history of San Miguel de Allende from the settlement through the War for Independence with historic pictures. WT-101-A – $7.95 Plus $2.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com.

…of Guanajuato – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-103 – $16.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of Santiago de Querétaro – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-104 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 Int. Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…of Morelia: The City of Music – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-105 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble at a discount.

…of Puebla de Los Angeles – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-106 $14.50 Plus $6.95 Int. Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of Taxco de Alarcon – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-107 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 Intnational Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of San Luis Potosí – A 30 page book of the History, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The booklet has lots of full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-108 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 Intnational Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…of Zacatecas – A 30 page book of the History, Legends, and Step-by-Step instructions for touring this 460+ year old Spanish Colonial city. The legends are authentic, and have been handed down generation after generation.The booklet has lots of historic and full color pictures, and is suitable for saving as a souvenier. WT-109 – $14.50 Plus $6.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

Driving Adventures:
Day Trips From San Miguel – A 56 page coffee table style guidebook to easy one-day trips with historic and full-color pictures. Visit Acambaro, Guanajuato’s oldest city; Dolores Hidalgo, the Fountain of the Independece movement, La Luz, Guanajuato’s Other Ghost Town; Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosí’s Ghost Town, and Jaral de Berrio, the ruins of an historic Hacienda. DA – 102 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…Hidalgo, and the Ancient city of Teotihuacan – A 56 page coffe table style guidebook with the history of the State, and instructions for driving around the state of Hidalgo with stops in: Huichapan, Alfajayucan, Zimápan, Ixmiquilpan, Tula de Allende, Teotihuacán, Pachuca, Mineral del Chico, Real del Monte, Atotonilco El Grande, Metztitlan, Molongo de Escamilla, Tlahuitepa, Huazalingo, and Huejutla de Reyes. with lots of full-color pictures. DA – 104 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…Mexico’s Colonial Ghost Towns – A 56 page coffee table style guidebook of the history and legends of: Mineral de Pozos, Gto.; Mineral La Luz, Gto.; Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí; Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosí. This book contains lots of historic and full-color pictures of these XVI, XVII, and XVIII century Silver and Gold mining cities. DA – 101 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…Michoacán, Touring the Tarascan Empire – A 56 page coffe table style guidebook with the history, and instructions for driving the state of Michoacán with stops in: Ihuatzio, Tzintzuntzan, Santa Clara del Cobre, Pátzcuaro, Janitzio, Zrahuén, Santiago Tingambato, Uruapan, Paricutín, and Paracho with lots of historic and full-color pictures. DA – 103 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…in Mexico’s Huasteca – A 56 page coffee table guide book with a complete driving tour of the Adventure and Ecotourism Paradise that is the Huasteca area of Mexico. Includes areas in the Mexican states of: Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Puebla, and Veracruz. Includes information on White water Rafting, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Swimming, Spelunking, Hunting, Fishing, Hiking, and Camping. With lots of historic and full-color pictures. DA – 105 – $16.95 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

Adventure and Ecotourism
…in the Copper Canyon – A 38 page coffee table style guide book with the history, accomodations, and tours of the entire Copper Canyon System located in the State of Chihuahua. Lots of full-color pictures and Driving Adventures down into the depths of the Urique and Batopilas Canyons. AE – 105 – $16.50 Plus $7.95 International Shipping & Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Barnes and Noble.com a considerable discount.

…with Mexico’s Glittering Monarchs – A 38 page coffee table style guide book with the Complete story on the migrating Monarch butterflies. Where they are, how to get to them, and how they were found. A Driving Adventure loaded with full-color, full-page pictures. AE – 106 – $16.50 Plus $7.95 Int. S&H. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a big discount.

…in San Miguel de Allende – A 36 page coffee table style guide book with the Complete possibilities for Adventure and Ecotourism sites to visit while you’re in San Miguel de Allende with lots of full-color pictures. Includes Horseback riding, ATV Rentals, Hot Air Baloon rides, Mountain bike tours, hiking tours, touring the Botanical Gardens , and the Cañada de La Virgen pyramid. AE – 107 $16.50 Plus $7.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

…in Edward James’ Surrealistic Garden, Las Pozas, Xilitla – A 28 page coffee table style guidebook of the Surrealist Sculture garden of Edward James with lots of full-color pictures and a map of the complete site. AE – 101 $16.50 Plus $7.95 International Shipping and Handling. Order by email: wjconaway@yahoo.com, or download from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com for a considerable discount.

All of these books are available in the San Miguel de Allende Library Gift Shop, the Casa de Papel Card Shop, Garrison & Garrison bookstore, La Deriva bookstore, and for downloads Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. Follow the author on Twitter @williamjconaway, and Facebook/williamjconaway. Join and comment with him online at: http://www.williamjconaway.com

 

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It’ll Do – Thad’s Balloon

24 Nov

It’ll Do – Hot Air Baloon

23 Nov

It’ll Do

Copyright William J. Conaway, 1989

Episode 12 – THE HOT AIR BALLOON

Anyone knows that hot air will rise; Thad Holtzer decided he would build a hot air balloon.We thought that it was a good idea, but his wife, Berenice didn’t. Thad is a determined person. He worked a farm for his dad, east of Cherryville. It wasn’t exactly the best land and it sure didn’t have all the best equipment. He was supporting his folks as well as his two kids.

He was a serious sort. Outside of stopping in for an occasional beer and going to church Wednesday nights and Sundays, he never got much recreation. We at the bar agreed that flying in a hot air balloon certainly came under the heading of recreation!

“Thad, buddy, you don’t know jack-shit about running one of those things, do you?” said J.C. as he lined out what could have been a balloon in a beer puddle on the bar”.

Nope, but it can’t be too hard to learn. I mean, what do you have to know about floating around?” He put Berenice to work sewing it. It turned out to be a patch-work quilt balloon.

Thad came into the It’ll Do on a Thursday afternoon. He said the necessaries to everyone and smiled over his dark beer.

“I figure to go up in my hot air balloon tomorrow, and I’d like for all of you to be there. You’ve always been good to me. I want you all to come to see me off”.

Mavis said that if Montgolfier could do it, she would bet that Thad could, Alice Mae cried.

In the back room J.C. was giving three-to-one that it wouldn’t get off the ground. We all agreed to meet at the farm the next morning, when it was cool and the balloon would have a better chance.

He shouldn’t have tried to take his dog, Jethro, up with him though—if he hadn’t, there might not have been any problem.

Jethro was just about as good a farm dog as a person would want—he was more-or-less yellow in color and big enough that you didn’t have to worry about him. We didn’t think he’d be any good up in the air, though. That may not be fair: as far as any of us knew he had never been further up in the air than when he jumped up to catch a fly or moth. In any case, it was Thad’s responsibility—it was his hot air balloon.

When the sun came up Thad had already laid out his hot air balloon on the ground and had connected up the burner for it, his welding outfit. There were only two problems: it’s not easy to fill up a gunny sack with hot air, and it’s not easy to get a big dog, like Jethro, into it. But it got done.

So a little before noon they took off together. They went right up and drifted off to the East. Lake Fenian is over that way. Not since Vera and I had sank in the submarine has any of our crowd been out to the lake. There they went, and I want to tell you that there has never been a prettier sight in Cherryville.

Jethro was barking and Thad was standing there in the basket as proud as if he’d just had twins. Jethro, of course, didn’t know very much about flying—and he took a mind to jump out. This could have been serious, but they were directly over Lake Fenian.

We all saw Jethro go—he sailed out of the hot air balloon like he was going home and he landed in the lake, and there’s one thing about Jethro—he can swim.

When Jethro left, the balloon must have jumped up a good thousand feet. That left Thad floating around up there all alone. The last Berenice heard, he was somewhere over Nebraska.

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It’ll Do – Orville and Beatrix

22 Nov

It’ll Do – Orville and the Pool Shark

21 Nov

It’ll Do

Copyright William J. Conaway, 1989

Episode 11 – Orville

There is, as they say, more than one way to skin a cat—and I suspect that Orville knew every one of them, for Orville had been around the track a few times, and he wasn’t slow. He had managed to work the Bank out of a foreclosure property they were sure to get, and had picked up a Quarter-Section just by paying the taxes. That took a certain amount of doing.

Orville was smart but just as human as the rest of us. He proved it one afternoon when “She” walked in to the It’ll Do all very lady-like. She found her way to the pool table in really quick order. This was a fine- looking Lady, and I have no doubt that Orville was willing to give her every advantage.

After he was down about twenty dollars, his attitude changed. Her name, incidentally, was Beatrix. She came from Paris, France (she said). We wouldn’t hold that against her. Orville had a difficult time accepting one particular shot that she made where she put three balls in the pockets—one done on a second bank. To Orville, that was nearly unforgivable.

We could tell, Old Man Williams and I, that Orville wanted revenge so bad he could have bitten through a nail. At the same time, he was staring awfully hard at all the charms this lady had. He was confused. She knew this and kept on shooting like Sergeant York. Where was poor Orville to go?

He came up to the bar. “Sully,” he said, “I’m in trouble.”

“Of course you’re in trouble,” I said.

“This Beatrix, or whatever her name is, is ruining my life.”

“Come on, Orville.”

“No, she is. I need some help. You know I don’t usually go around screaming for help, but she just finished off one rack and is going after another. Instead of getting mad, I just keep looking down her dress and thinking things.”

“Well,” I said, “quit looking.”

“Sully, it’s not that easy. She does it on purpose. There’s one way you can help me out—I ask it as a friend—load the hell out of her drinks.”

Of course I didn’t load up her drinks—that wouldn’t have been any fun. Orville went back to the pool table (that had seen so many Dollars pass into his hands) just stood there and lost.

Closing time came as a Blessing—for Orville. He was probably down more than a hundred, and for a person like Orville this was a tremendous blow to his ego.

The next morning he had a talk with J.C., who was just about as good a pool shooter as he was, although Orville had a good ten years on him. Exactly what they had to say, I don’t know. Even though J.C. is a younger man, he knows a thing or two. He and Orville were competitors, but they were friends, too. He couldn’t stand by and let a stranger take advantage of his friend. He set up a rematch between this Beatrix and Orville for the next afternoon. A high stakes game with just the two of them playing.

Word got around town pretty good and the It’ll Do was about as full as it could get. I was busier than a one armed paper hanger, drawing beers when in walks Beatrix. The stage was set.

She had on a flimsy something that was guaranteed to drive Orville right up the wall. Orville took his hand-made Mother of Pearl inlaid cue stick, out of its case and delicately laid it on the pool table.

“Would you care to play for two, or five?”

She went for the whole five. What she didn’t know was that J.C. had sent all the way to Kansas City for the most expensive call-girl he could find.

Orville was ready to concentrate totally on shooting pool.

Needless to say we didn’t see Beatrix around the It’ll Do anymore after that, but Orville seemed to spend a lot more time up in Kansas City!

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Mexican Revolution – Villa Battery

20 Nov

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