The Wasatch Behind: Honoring Veterans Day
Dear Uncle Spud,
This is your old friend Butch Cassidy. Since this week is Thanksgiving, I thought I'd drop a line to say hi and let you know how Sundance and I are doing.
Things are going well here on the Robbers Roost. There are lots of tourists down here now, but we are getting along fine. We dress and act like old hippies and we fit right in. I think I told you that we ride mountain bikes now instead of horses. The transition went fairly smooth, except that it was hard to get Sundance to wear one of those pointed bike helmets. He didn't want to trade his 10 gallon Stetson for a plastic hat with holes in it. And then, it's tough to look cool in spandex shorts when you have to wear suspenders.
But in spite of the changing times, we have a lot to be thankful for this year, and the first thing is our health. We are over 100 years old now and still going strong. Oh, we have our challenges. At our age we can't see anything without glasses, hear anything without hearing aids, or eat anything without chasing it with Malox, but what the heck. It would be a shame to go back to old St. Peter with ears, eyes, guts, muscles, knees and noses that haven't been all used up. We might as well enjoy those things and wear them out. You can't take them with you. In fact, I think it says somewhere in the good book that St. Peter will take trade-ins on the day of resurrection. So go ahead, sing and dance and throw your back out. We'll get a new one later.
Another thing we have to be thankful for is family. Just like up there in Castle Valley, everyone here is family. Old flat nose George, Harvey Logan, Matt Warner, horse face Henry, and snake eyed Sally are all our adopted relatives. We're going to have a big reunion and a Thanksgiving feast out on the Happy Canyon rim where we can yodel down the valley and throw turkey bones at the buzzards.
Another thing we have to be thankful for is all of the stuff we enjoy. Even here on the Roost we have cell phones, satellite TV, sport utility vehicles and bottled water. We have all of the food, shelter, clothing and AARP discounts we could ever need. Everyone here is fat and happy.
And we can be thankful for our freedoms. According to the first and second amendments, we still have the freedom of assembly, speech, and the right to own guns. That means we can get together, tell lies, and shoot at the moon on Thanksgiving if we want to. It's also nice to have the freedom of choice. A man can only take so much of Oprah, Obama, cheesecake, and button-down collars. The freedom to choose is a precious thing, even for us outlaws.
And then, we can be thankful that we live in such a marvelous place. From the sunset's red glare to the book cliffs over there, there's no place like eastern Utah. We live in a land of plenty with scenic splendor like nowhere else in the world. We have red sand, cottonwoods, and juniper trees galore, with purple sage, yellow grass, and buck bushes evermore. We have mountains high, against a clear blue sky, with meadows and valleys too. There's still open space, where by God's grace, we can get lost if we really want to. There are canyons deep, where ancient Indians sleep, and creeks full of willows and fish. Coyotes howl, black bears growl, and "wilderness" is only a wish - so far. We have elk and deer, and antelope too, and jackrabbits by the dozen. And it's nice to live in a little town, where everyone is your cousin. We have much to be thankful for.
So hang in there, Spud old buddy. Enjoy your family. Have a nice turkey dinner and get some gravy on your shirt. And when things quiet down a bit, remember to thank God for all you have and for all you've been given. Old King Solomon never had it so good.
Your friend, Butch Cassidy.