Uncle Gabe

I’m pretty busy these days and I’m trying to find time to write about Chubby and the boys.  But I get caught up in all the hoopla of modern day life and forget sometimes where I come from.  That’s why I like to visit guys my age or older wherever I am.  I was just visiting a guy the other day.  Chubby’s Uncle Gabe.  He lives in a little log house by the river.

I brung Gabe a pouch of tobacco and a stack of old Two Gun Kid comics I had laying around.  One thing Gabe likes to do is smoke rollies and read comics.  Especially after a long day of stretching rats. 

Gabe was ratting out of his house in town; padding around the sloughs and cricks running down from the lakes.  Gabe been around as long as two horse kickers.  He talks about them like they were hotrods.  “Boy we sure took off when he opened it up, let me tell you.” 

Gabe said he was looking for a skinner and wanted to know if I knew how to skin rats.  I said sure why not, I’ll try anything once.  He showed me once and told me to try.  When I was done I had thirteen individual pieces of skin.   I was supposed to only have one.  Gabe took his knife back and laughed real slow, like a guy in a western.

Then he asked me if I remembered his dad’s first wife’s brother.  I had to shake my head and ask him to repeat it.  When I couldn’t, he said, “ah, you were probably still sap anyway.”  And laughed to himself.  “Anyway” he said, “he was a real crack shot with a twenty-two.  He could kill two rats with one shell.  Even if they weren’t lined up.  He would bank the bullet off one rat’s head, knocking it out, and hit another in the throat.  He got pretty good at it.  I guess he played pool quite a bit too so that helped him out with his shooting.”  Boy I was just about sitting in his lap at this point I was so into his stories.  He rolled another smoke and drank his tea in silence after that.

I finished my tea and told Gabe I had to pick up Chubby cause he had an appointment with his P.O. in town.  He gave me a bag of smoked rats for my mom.  She sure enjoyed them.  When we were driving into town, I asked Chubby if he ever listened to them old timer stories.  He said he grew up listening to them cause he was raised mostly by his granny and his step parents.  His granny was damned near ninety-five and still scooting around in her little house.  She like to play bingo and stop anybody on the street to go buy her bingo cards for radio bingo.  And even the thieves in town don’t try to steal from her.  Even if they’re blasted on something or other, they always come back with her cards.  She always gives them a little piece of drymeat.  I think they like it too.

So Chubby knows a lot of stuff too.  He even knows how to make what they call that
“witch brew,” from shoots and berries.  It’s a wine actually.  If you let it sit for six days you get a real buzz from it.  It’s supposed to be just for medicine man, but me and Chubby have a little bit now and then.  His “Granny Boots” sure like it.  Boy she could swear after she have a few swallows of that witch brew. 

Yeah, I guess life gets too fast some times.  Gotta slow it down I guess. Quit using hundred horse and use two horse, like Uncle Gabe.  Have a little bit of witch brew once in a while.  Nothing wrong with that.  I think I’ll unplug my phone tomorrow and sit around, drink tea, and talk to the birds.


About inuvik61

Filmmaker, apprentice bluesman. columnist, father, husband, master, and champion to all those who missed their boats.
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