Every story's a good one in Jim Hoy's...

Every story's a good one in Jim Hoy's collection

There are 36 comments on the The Wichita Eagle story from Jul 1, 2006, titled Every story's a good one in Jim Hoy's collection. In it, The Wichita Eagle reports that:

"Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales of the Tallgrass Prairie" by Jim Hoy Jim Hoy, in addition to being chair of the English Department at Emporia State University and the premier folklorist of Kansas, is an authentic ...

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Monte Manka

San Diego, CA

#22 Oct 27, 2008
Halloween (2007)
(Hovnanian’s 55 and older crowd.)

Halloween’s almost upon us and
Out here in Hemet Town
We’ll be waiting for the trick or treaters
Appearing in their nightgowns.

Out here on the reservation
After it gets dark, like a flock of sheep
We oldsters head for the bedroom
To get our beauty sleep.

None of us will have to wear masks
With our faces pinched and drawn
With our canes and walkers
We’ll have trouble crossing lawns,

In our house slippers
We’ll shuffle down the street
And in a raspy voice, at each door
Say “Trick or Treat”.

Each door will be equipped
With oxygen masks, you see
For replacing the oxygen
Used up by the energy,

It takes to shuffle
From house to house with a cane
For the entire population
Here on Mann Lane.

Our “Spirits” will remain high
And on our hip in a flask
Filled with 80 proof
Along with our Oxygen mask,

We’ll be able to make it around the block
Taking it a step at a time
With our bag of goodies
Thank goodness we’ve no hills to climb.

There’ll be lots of witches
Also lots of Old Goats
Crowding the sidewalk
In our flannel overcoats.

My hat’s off to you
I say to the younger crowd
You can yell “Trick or Treat’
Outloud

We will have to whisper it quietly
So’s no to disturb Wackenhut
Who’s guarding us from Terriorists
We’ll keep our mouths tightly shut.

Here in our humble hamlet
No kids are allowed
It’ll just be
For the Elder Crowd.

Don’t you think for a moment
We can’t remember when we were young
And costumed for Halloween
We had lots of fun.

We collected candy
By the bucket full
Home made fudge and cookies
And Taffy to pull

Apples and Oranges
The fruit filled our sack
And a few pennies
And Horehound candy in our pack.

Here, though
We’ll divide up our loot
And munch on our goodies
It’ll be quite a hoot.
Monte L. Manka 10-01-07
Monte Mankas

Los Angeles, CA

#23 Nov 10, 2008
Chelsea Kansas Landmarks
Besides the Chelsea Church
Besides the Chelsea School
Besides the Chelsea Cemetery.

Chelsea had a Train Depot.
That stood by the Santa Fe Track
A building painted yellow
With an Ice house in the back.

My Dad took me down
To pick up a sack
At the Chelsea Train Depot
By the Santa Fe Railroad Track..

We walked up to the counter
I remember a big Clock
He signed some papers
We walked out on the dock.

Dad picked up a gunny sack
Took it to the car
Headed home from the depot
Wasn’t very far.

I heard later,
That the Santa Fe Depot
Wasn’t used enough
And it had to go.

The Ice house was purchased
By my Dad, was set up here for makin
Not used for keepin Ice
But for Smokin Hams and Bacon.

My Uncle Ves would set there by the icehouse
On an old wooden chair
Holding that corn cob pipe,
The smell of smokin hams filled the air.

Another Part of Chelsea History
Has now gone away
Along with lots of other things
Has gone away to stay. Monte L. Manka
Monte Manka

South Pasadena, CA

#24 Dec 27, 2008
Retrospection
Down on the bank of the west branch of the Little Walnut River, in Chelsea, Kansas
In the shade of a giant Cottonwood tree
On a bright sunny summer day
I was waiting patiently

For a hungry catfish fish swimming by
To taste that juicy bait I prepared
Placed upon that hook
To nibble if he dared

At the age of nine or ten
My thoughts were free
To wander where they may
A true potpourri

My thoughts were bouncing on
Every thing from A to Z
Then they stopped
On something that really bothered me.

I lived to see the year 2000
I’d be seventy-four
What would happen if
I went off to war.

There were so many things
That stood in my way
Of making it to that
Mystical day.

I knew of several neighbors
That had passed on
At ages below sixty
Had gone to “The Great Beyond.”

luck would have it
I’m here today
I’ve passed the year of 2000
And am here to say

That it’s almost 2009
Never in my weirdest dreams
Did I ever imagine?
That I’d still be upon the scene

I came a long way from that Cottonwood Tree
Don’t have much to show
But you can bet your boots I’m glad to be here
Doncha know.

Monte L Manka 12-27-2008
Monte Manka

Valencia, CA

#25 Mar 13, 2009
A Heartbreaking Job

With lots of great memories
With lots of great thoughts
With love in my heart
For all the joy they’ve brought,

Of friends that I have had
That have gone on before
They rest in my address book
They’ll not e-mail me any more.

I have deleted their e-mail address
From my list of received
And put them in a file
Where they can be quickly retrieved,

So they can not be forgotten
By me ever more
They will be listed and remembered
As they were before

They joined the Angels
In Heaven above
I’ll look at the old addresses
With mountains of love.

And the flash Backs I receive
Will lighten my heart
From the memories of these friends
I remember “from the start”.

As I glance back in the years
I’ve had great friends
Who put up with me
And were friends to the end

Friends from the Army
Friends from out of State
Friends that I’ve worked with
Life has been great.

So I’ll go back to
This “heartbreaking task”
And finish the job
I’ll not work very fast,

For as they are deleted
And placed in new files
I'll remember my old pals
Their friendship and smiles.

Monte L. Manka 03-06-09.
Monte Manka

South Pasadena, CA

#26 Mar 27, 2009
That Old Barn

A Noble building
One unlike the norm
That’s withstood
Many a Kansas Storm,

Through the hottest summers
Coldest winters too
Through Kansas dust storms
Since 1892

She was put together
With hand quarried stone
Square nails and wooden pegs
Ax trimmed timbers so she could stand-alone.

She was there proud and tall
When I left her many years ago
I can see her in my mind
And on top a cupola.

The hay mow
Held tons of newly baled hay
Where we built tunnels
And could play on a rainy day.

In the front a “Dutch door”
For the stock to enter
Mules, Horses and cows
For protection in the winter.

Two foot long round tree limbs
Placed into the post uptight
For hanging the harness
Or Kerosene lanterns for light at night

Early in the A.M.
Way before school
We grabbed milk pails
And sat upon a stool

Milked those critters
Weather cold or hot
Then turned them out to pasture
And with the milk we got,

It was carried to the house
And the separator there
For the cream and milk
That went in to the Frigidaire

In the evening
We did it once again
I didn’t like to milk the cows
But I knew better than to complain.

That old barn was unpainted
The boards were weather beaten
Some of the sheeting
Was worm eaten.

The bottom floor was dirt
In every stall
Where stood the stock
Was cleaned every fall.

Every good thing
Comes to an end
I now realize that
The “Old Barn” was a friend

She kept the weather
Outside that Dutch Door
While I was milking the cows
On a stool on the dirt floor.

I saw her one more time
When the auction was held
Sold to the highest bidder
My throat seemed to swell

I turned my back on her
Walked away so sad
Never looked back
Kinda wished I had

With tender memories
Now I’ll stop my yarn
And end my “Ode”
About that “Noble Old Barn.”

Monte L. Manka 03-27-09
Monte Manka

South Pasadena, CA

#27 Mar 31, 2009
Started Thinking

While discussing a new technique of baling, with my cousin, I could not believe what she told me.

The discussion led to telling me about the tractors of today.

My gosh the operator has nothing to do but listen to lullaby’s, bask in the air-conditioned, temperature controlled climatic (humidity controlled) allergy void air and not a drop of dust can get near the driver. Computerized to handle any situation that should arise. I imagine that listening to that music could lull you into a deep sleep and could cause damage to the fence at the end of the field.

I think that is nice but those same kids will have trouble later in life because their immune system will not be able to cope with the common illnesses colds, mumps etc.

Their enclosed Igloo will be OK for the day time (while plowing etc), but when they step out of their Fridgidaire into the heat on the short run from the tractor to the house it plays heck on their lungs and Heart.

If you down load harvesting instead of plowing by mistake your computer driven machine would crash and you would have to call Hewlett Packard’s 800 number to get it back into the furrow.

When I was a kid (yeah I know here we go, walk ten miles barefoot in waist deep snow to school) there was not much to worry about with the Old Oliver Hart Parr tractor.

One gauge to watch on the panel, Oil Pressure.

No water temp gauge When you saw steam it was hot.

Converted later from kerosene to gasoline.

Converted from steel wheels to rubber.

1st. Gear 30 feet per hour
2nd Gear 60 feet per hour
3rd. Gear approx. 5 miles an hour.

No power steering hoses to worry about.

No starter to worry about.

In 1945 when I went into the service, Dad got an umbrella to keep the sun off his head and arms.
Without the Igloo, you had 360-degree vision.

No music to lull you to sleep, the gnats, mosquitoes, and an occasional grasshopper would hit you in the eye to keep you on your toes.

No adjustments from plowing, harrowing, planting harvesting to worry about.

I’m almost 76 and have no allergies, one hip, rather large stomach, dirt filled lungs, not many teeth, less hair and limp a lot but my immune system is A-1.(Cough, cough)

After sundown I came in from the field (with most of it plastered all over my sweaty body) and headed to the barn to do the chores.

The 55 gallon water filled drum that lay on top of the Chelsea Icehouse, we got in a sale, had hot water for a shower. After 16 hours in the sun, the water was hot and the day ended in time for supper and then to bed.
2
Sure I would love to have had all the comforts that the tractor drivers have today but I wouldn’t trade some of the experiences I had for anything.

Like the time, I cranked the tractor and it kicked and jerked my head into the radiator so hard, before I could turn loose, that it split my ear on the cowling. I heard bells ringing for a couple hours, and my ear bled a lot.

The tractor had no brakes-Hell who needed them at five miles an hour.

I misjudged the distance from the header on the combine and ran the divider board through a row crop tractor rear tire. We used the tractor to haul the two wagons of wheat to the elevator or to the bin.(Sears repaired it for nothing){They couldn’t figure out where the rock came from in the wheat field that ruined the tire.}

Or the time I dropped the front wheel of the combine into a small ditch and jerked the wheel out of the circle. Dad got off the combine with a 12-inch wrench and headed for the tractor. He made a sudden move and changed directions. After he walked about ½ mile, he walked back. He approached me and said that that walk kept me alive because he had murder in his thoughts when he first headed for me.

Experiences that forever will live in my fertile memory—do you see why I left the farm? In a sense, I did it to stay alive.
Ex Farmer boy, Monte Manka
Monte Manka

South Pasadena, CA

#28 Apr 9, 2009
High way 13

In Butler County, Kansas
I’ve hauled many a load
Of wheat, hay and alfalfa
Down this old Sandy Road.

When I leave home
And drive South passed Adde Berg’s farm
On down past the Chelsea Cemetery
In her early country charm.

On down and cross the low water bridge
And then to that treacherous RR Underpass
South a few miles between
Pastures of tall lush prairie grass

Right turn at the Old El Dorado Lake
Pass Mc Connells farm
Who made a beautiful home
Out of an old refurbished Barn.

Pass the tree
Where the lightening struck
During a storm while we were going to town
In Dad’s pickup truck.

Turn left passed Charlie Nuttles
A ranch and cattleman
Across the cement bridge
On South on this old road of sand.

Right turn on down the highway
Past acres and acres of corn
On John Teeters farm
In the early morn.

Through a couple underpasses
Ending up on highway 77
Left down Main Street
“Man you have arriven.”

This old road in the summer
Could be muddy or dry
Depending on the weather
In May, June or July.

In the winter sometimes impassable
Big snow drifts from side to side
Or frozen solid with sleet and ice
Made it a treacherous ride,

But old Gar Cundel
And his road maintainer machine
Almost always keep it open
Old Highway thirteen.

From our home to town
On the Highway was twelve miles
Did no good to speed, road was rough
For your car it promised many trials

Either you ended up a pile of dust
While driving to pick up your date
Or muddy fenders and running boards
When wet trying not to be late.

You pull up to your dates house
Your car a ball of mud or dust
She doesn’t want to enter
And looks on with disgust.

As you drive to the movie
She hides her head
The sight of being seen in this muddy car
Is an image that she dreads.

But my date was nice
And never said a word
But seemed to be busy
For a second date, it never occurred.

In the winter time
While driving from home to school
Trying to stay between the fences
As a rule,

You were on your toes
While sliding from side to side
Can’t be late to school
With all caution cast aside

Constantly wiping the frost
From your windshield
Defroster or heater
Not much heat did yield.

When you drove home in the afternoon
The top snow had melted some
The slush would freeze on your fenders
The wheels looked like a ball of gum

The next morning you head for school
No matter what the scene
Down that old road
That Old Sand Road “Highway Thirteen.”

This was many years ago
When I was at my peak
Now that old road
Ends at Durechen creek

Just a mile south of our old farm
Makes me kinda sad
But if you stand in the way of progress
You’re looked on as BAD.

The memories of Highway Thirteen
Will forever be etched in my mind
Never will there be another Highway 13
In my daily Grind.

Monte L. Manka 04-09-09
Monte Manka

Castaic, CA

#29 May 25, 2009
WHEN WE WRITE AGAIN

Seems to me
It’s been years ago
Since you wrote to me
To let me know,

What’s new
What’s going on
What’s happening
Where you’ve gone.

Let me know
Let me in
Tell me
Where you’ve been

Just write me a “Hello”
So I won’t worry
Just a note
Please hurry,

I’ve written to
Your old address
It said “Return to sender”
I must confess,

These words
Are so cold
And cause distress
The message so bold.

Has the addressee
Passed on
Are you ill?
Or have you withdrawn

To the quiet shade
Of an old Hackberry tree
Next to a farmhouse
On that Kansas prairie.

Sitting there
With a smile
Thinking back
And all the while

Knowing you can’t change
What happened back “when”
You were younger
How it night have been

How it was
How the past
Might have changed
Not so fast.

We can’t change
What’s gone by
We can’t
Sit here and cry,

Live for today
And recall
Fond memories
About all

Those great times
In the past
All the good times
I’ve had a blast.

“When We Write Again”
We’ll cry, we’ll grin
As we read
About what’s within,

The letter, card or note
You will write to me
About something sad or funny
Will make me happy as can be.

Monte L. Manka 4-09-2008
Monte Manka

Pasadena, CA

#30 Jul 4, 2009
INDEPENDENCE DAY
JULY 4, 2009

Back in July of 1776
Robert, Roger, Thomas and Ben
Showing the USA
They were responsible men

Produced the Declaration
We follow yet to day
Told the king of England
To go away.

Leave us alone
Set us free
From your rule and
Tyranny.

The signers of the declaration
To a man
Signed on to this
Fantastic plan

They knew what was best
For you and me
It has worked well
As you can see

So let us live
To be free
From oppressive government
This is our plea.
Monte L. Manka 07-04-09
Virginia Allain

Cumberland Center, ME

#31 Aug 3, 2009
We lived in El Dorado at the time of the tornado. We were lucky that our house was OK.
Many years later, my niece lost her home in the big Andover tornado.
Monte Manka

Pasadena, CA

#32 Aug 3, 2009
Virginia Allain, does not ring a bell. but we survived the big one, Huh Virginia? Monte

Since: Aug 09

Cumberland Center, ME

#33 Aug 18, 2009
Monte Manka wrote:
Virginia Allain, does not ring a bell. but we survived the big one, Huh Virginia? Monte
I was Virginia Martin then (parents Clyde and Gail Martin) and we lived on Carr Street.
Monte Manka

Pasadena, CA

#34 Aug 18, 2009
vallain wrote:
<quoted text>
I was Virginia Martin then (parents Clyde and Gail Martin) and we lived on Carr Street.
Did you graduate from EHS? if you did what year? I graduated in 44. onyr
Monte Manka

Pasadena, CA

#35 Aug 27, 2009
The day I ruined the picnic
(Probably 81 years ago)

I remember the stillness
The greenish haze
But not the sudden jerk on my big toe
This was my lucky day.

When I was much older
And able to understand
My mom told me how
I’d almost left this land

She told me that she
Had packed a lunch and Ice tea
For a picnic down by the Walnut river
We climbed into Mrs. Fowler’s Model “T”

Two other friends came along
Ruth Fox and her teenage son John
I was just a tad
Up to me to do something wrong.

As they all went swimming
They sat me on the bank
While they were swimming, having fun
I crawled into the water and sank.

The silence, the greenish haze
I remember thinking
As into the Walnut river
Deeper I was sinking

Johnny Fox had found me
Johnny got me by my big toe
Brought me to the surface
Every one was excited, doncha know.

I don’t remember anything else
About that day
Down at the old swimming hole
Only what I heard my Mom say.

Thank you Johnny Fox
For giving me another chance
If not for you
It’d be a different circumstance.
Monte L. Manka 07-15-09
Monte Manka

Pasadena, CA

#36 Aug 27, 2009
Spoke to and older gentleman
Yesterday outside a local bank in Hemet
We exchanged pleasantries
As face to face we met

He stopped and smiled
And started to talk
About other things
As we stood on the walk.

On my cap he noticed
My old Army patch
Said he was in the Navy
This was his “watch.”

He said he was 86
And was transferred to the marines
Fought on Guadalcanal in “42”
And related to some rather ugly scenes.

This ramrod straight serviceman
With eyes of blue steel
Was smiling while he faced me
As war stories he began to reveal

His tone softened
As he told of buddies that were killed
His eyes dropped toward the ground
And suddenly his voice was still

But I’m still here, Thank God, he said
And it all ended well
It was nice talking to you
Even for just so short a spell

We went our separate ways
This man who’d seen it all
And me who was glad I spoke to him
And who was amazed at his perfect recall

Monte L. Manka 11-08-2008
Monte Manka

Corona, CA

#37 Jan 30, 2013
Chelsea Threshing Crew

When the grain is in bundles
Shocked, row on row
Dad moved in his threshing machine
With grain wagons in tow

After the machine is leveled
Drive belt is made tight
I handled the tractor throttle
Set the revolutions just right

John Kerley from El Dorado
Felix the Indian from Oklahoma, Pete Unruh
Curly Amen from Liberal, Kansas
Wayne Dale, and me made up our threshing crew

Hay racks from the neighbors
Bundle men with their pitchforks
Everyone was ready
For the days work.

One man that stood out
In our threshing crew
Was a man from Cassoday
Known as Pete Unruh.

During the noon meal
He bragged on the fine food
The men paid no attention
The cooks thought it good.

Pete bragged on the gravy
Bragged on the potatoes too
Bragged on everything he ate
This was Pete Unruh

Pete was slender
Boy could he put away the food
By his praising the cooks
Pete was shrewd
Put the cooks in a giving mood

Pete was the last to leave the table
Last one on the truck
Pete was a good worker
Hard work he did not duck

He would sweet talk the cook
For extra portions he did try
It usually happened that
He got an extra piece of pie

Pete was liked by all
Hard worker this is true
Glad to have him aboard
Our motley threshing crew

Monte

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