Dear Pulpwood Queens, Timber Guys, Readers, and Film lovers everywhere!
The New season is now streaming of the Netflix series Longmire, I just watched the last episode of the 6th season. Today was a day of rest and recoup time for me as finished colleges classes, finals, all while fighting a bug that just will not let go. So I made me a big pot of 15 bean soup with some deer meet with sausage that my friend Laura McClelland gave me, the best soup ever. I just holed up in my little cabin in the woods drinking my coffee, enjoying my soup, and watching Longmire based on a series of books by Craig Johnson.
Now Walt Longmire is a reader, his bathroom at the Sheriff’s office is even labeled READING ROOM. Many references to books including Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove with also love that book and series. Book quotes and book lines are quoted and referenced. Even his job hiring interviews involved the applicants reading Hemingway. I liked this character a lot, wonder why? All the characters in the film are great, I invested a deep interest in them from doing the right thing or wrong thing as each and every character is flawed, far from perfect.
Growing up I practically lived at my grandparents home place about 8 or 9 miles from my hometown of Eureka, Kansas in the Flinthills of Greenwood County. My grandfather, Dyke or Dirt as I called him, broke quarter horses, tended cattle all the while my grandmother, Mudder or Mudd worked the huge garden, tended her chickens and cooked real food that was homegrown or butchered from their own farm They also ran a business in town called Maloney’s Shoe and Saddle Shop plus while Mudd ran the store, Dyke also checked on Ladd’s oil leases and pumping units out in the county. I am as comfortable with the setting of LONGMIRE as I was at their place we called OUTHOME.
When I was little I did not think anything but westerns played on their black and white television from Bonanza, High Chaparral to Wagon Train, Gunsmoke to Roy Roy Rogers and Dale Evens show. I even went with them once on a driving trip to Colorado with my Great- Grandmother, Grandma Chilsolm to visit relatives out there. They took me to a film that struck me to my core, “How the West Was Won” that played on the gigantic cinematic screen in Colorado Springs. I still have a postcard from that place. So westerns are a big deal to me and are my comfort go to as beans and cornbread.
Lost in the story of the Longmire, in reflection, a flood of memories came back to me, of Mudder buying me a real Indian doll with papoose at a tourist shop on that trip. Of Dyke coming in after chores, eating that noontime meal with three types of meat, all the fixings, vegetables, jams, jellies, and pickle that Mudd cooked or put up on the table. Dyke’s cowboy tan of brown hands and face up to where it stopped short of his ever-present cowboy hat. Mudder always wore moccasins and had Cherokee roots, where Dyke always wore shitkicker healed cowboy boots, sometimes with spurs. I can still smell that home-cooking and hear the wind ever blowing around their oil field shack on the prairie. I hear their voices telling story after story at the kitchen table all while playing games of dominoes or playing card games such as partner pitch. My cousin Terry who too was raised by Earl Harrison “Dyke” and “Helen”, Mudd, Maloney and I are contemplating writing a book of that special place. The place where dreams were dreamed and you went to bed tired and woke up well rested. So I guess watching Longmire was like bringing home back home to me. Watch the series, it is so worth it! But check out the books too, it’s all about sharing the stories!
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