Modern Day Pioneers

Discussion in 'Tall Tales & Fabrications' started by Bill Boggs, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member

    May 13, 2015
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    I want to say this before any of you read this, if you do. It is not my intention to blow my own horn. I am not the best writer on the block. The is a true story aand the way I met these fine people.

    In the late seventies I lived in Lubbock, Texas. I was a sales rep for a nut house in Lubbock and I had finished calling on all my accounts in Seminole a farm community some eighty miles southwest of Lubbock. As I left Seminole I debated going back to Lubbock and starting over in the morning since it was getting late in the work day. I could save on a motel bill and I really wasn’t feeling up to snuff. Had a wheezy stomach, As I drove I noticed a man walking toward Seminole carrying something that looked like a two man tree saw? I pulled off the road and stopped. As he approached I opened my door and got out of the car.

    I said, “Excuse me. It’s awful hot to be walking out here in this sandy country. Are you going into Seminole?”

    In very broken english he said, “Yes, Sir.”

    He got in the car. Said he was hurrying to see if he could get another saw and some drill bits before closing time. To make a longer story shorter I ask if he farmed around here. He said he was a Mennonite and had recently moved here from Mexico. He said several families had moved here from Mexico. In town I took where he needed to go and carried him home. He thanked me and I knew he really appreciated it, the temperature running around a hundred degrees or slightly higher. Back in town I stopped by a couple of my customers I had called on earlier in the day to asked about these Mennonites. He told me the people in Seminole and Gaines County wished they had not picked this part of the world to settle. There did not seem to be much good will toward them. They speak what they call low german. Not all of them speak good english. You cn hardly understand them.

    A Month later I was back in Seminole calling on customers and always trying to find new ones. I called on an irrigation pump distributer who sold and serviced pumps. He seemed irritated and said he didn’t need anything. I said fine but you seem to have a bee in your bonnet. He laughed and said Boggs I’m pissed off big time. I’ve been trying to get an addition added on to this place. I hire a carpenter and his crew. They worked three days and I fired them. I wish you’d go out and take a look. We did and I understood why he fired them. He said they were not carpenters but con men. I asked if any of these Mennonites had come by asking about work?

    He said they had. I hired one and he’s going to start Friday. My place is beginning to look like a junkyard, I’ve got inventory outside. I expect a city inspector will come by any day and write me up for having a junkyard within the city limits. I suggested when this your man came come to work Friday, before he goes home, asked him if have any carpenters among them that could cut up your addition. I said these people are pioneers. Dad’s teach their son’s to what they do, You might find a good builder among them. The next time I was in Seminole I called on some of these mennonites, told them who I was and what I did. They said they didn’t use enough to buy from me but picked up what they needed at the hardware store. I thanked them and tried to visit a little bit. When i stopped by my Pump distributor, He gave me a nice order and I owe you one.

    Good, says I. What do you mean? Come look at my add-on, he said. It was up and painted.

    “Looks like you found you a carpenter, I said.”

    He said, I had to go to a meeting in Lubbock and I was going to get him started. I asked if he had any carpenters among his people who might want to do do what I needed done. He said show me. I did. He said I can do that. He said I’m nor a carpenter, I’m an apprentice; my daddy is a carpenter. He said be better to do building first, then clean up. I told him to make a list of what he’d needed, lumber wise and I’d talk to him in the morning around eight if he was interested. He brought some help had a list of his needs, and got started before nine. Come look at this workmanship. I said it’s had to find good help like this; good help like this ought to be rewarded.

    Then one day about six months after I had stopped to give a man a ride, I was about to go into a cafe and have a bite of lunch. Two ladies pulled up beside me and asks if I was the bolt man? The lady driving said we need to talk to you. Okay says I. I’m about to have a bite of lunch and I’d be delighted if you ladies would join me and you could tell me what’s on your minds. One said,no, no, we just wanted… I said again come in afore all the tables are taken. I told them the meal was on me and they both had a lunch special. They said they didn’t have a doctor among them but they had a man who was good and had a healing touch but he needed a stethoscope and one could only be obtained in Lubbock and could I pease bring them one next time I came from Lubbock. Sure I said, no problem. As the ladies were leaving the cafe, one turned back and said oh, I almost forgot, My husband wants you to come by and talk with him. How will I find your husband and where will I deliver the stethoscope. You know the man you gave a ride and took him home. He will tell you.

    I didn’t wait till next month. I asked my daughter who was a nurse at St Mary’s hospital where I could get one. You might as well get a good ones said. I’ll get it for you and she did the next day. That Saturday my wife and I drove down past Seminole out in the boondocks where these Mennonites had thew beginning of a self contained settlement. I gave them the stet and told them it was a gift of friendship. The husband of one of the ladies I had lunch with wanted to open store and one of the things he wanted to stock was bolts and nuts, drill bit and some tools and wanted my help. We became friends with some of them I had a business association until I retired.

    They are good people, they work hard, all I met were craftsmen and in that time were modern pioneers, who over came many legal difficulties and earned the respect of the city, the county and all west Texas.

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