Horns and Antlers for Sale by pandorasecho

Horns and Antlers for Sale

In the 60’s and 70’s in a little canyon that leads out of Cody, Wyoming on the way up to Yellowstone Park, in the triple digit heat of a Rocky Mountain high Desert summer there would be an old man selling Buffalo skulls and Moose paddles and Antelope pronghorns and deer and Elk Antlers off the back of a black “Ford International” truck. The longhorns were not an all the time offering but pronghorns were and so were at least one curving set of Mountain sheep horns on a skull.
Yes, I know, two different kinds of trucks but it was a Ford cab and an International pick-up box so it said one on the front and the other on the tailgate.
The old man was Lawrence Slack, my Mom’s Dad. He was born there in 1898. The younger man was my Dad and he didn’t really stay out by the truck, he worked for the sawmill at that time. But he was there the day the photo was taken and so was the dog I loved, out hairy “Perp”
My first job was helping my grandpa as an adolescent. I’d saw the deer horns off the skull and scoop out the brains and salt down deer and antelope hides and pull quills from porcupine corpses and skin foxes and bobcats that my grandpa bought from hunters and trappers. I’d stretch beaver skins and pickle jackrabbit skins in formaldehyde and stretch them over a fiberglass head with cardboard in their ears, and screw in small, forked deer horns and glue in glass eyeballs to create the mythical jackalope. It was fun and interesting and it took me through the winter months, but the summer was when I got paid, as we’d sit by the road, and I’d wave in the tourists and convince them they needed the horns for a memento of their Wyoming visit.
Many years later, I got my first teaching job and one of the older, macho male teachers was trying to upset me many times. One day he explained in detail how he was setting of over a three day weekend to kill Bambi. I must admit, don’t hunt, but I took great pleasure in going into the anatomical detail of dissecting the animals that I had done as a child, and he never again tried to, “Get my goat” with one upmanship over who could eat lunch while discussing blood and brains.
It was hot by the road and the truck had no air conditioning or even shade so every summer day of my life mom and grandma went to dairy queen and brought grandpa a milkshake or sundae. Once I was out there with him, that was the high point of the day, I had a hot fudge sundae, or a crème de menthe sundae and left experimenting with other flavors for someone else.
I love the hat, great vintage photos
September 10th, 2014  
The time we spend with our parents and grandparents can be so memorable, no matter the activity. I can feel the joy and happiness you must have experienced just by being able to be with, and help out, your grandpa and dad. Was that ok with your grandma and mom that you helped out the men with their work? Something tells me they may not have been able to keep you away if they wanted too, though... :) What was with that older male teacher, trying to intimidate you like that?! Hmmm...
September 10th, 2014  
What a fabulous bit of your life. These are memories to treasure
September 10th, 2014  
Wonderful narrative and lovely vintage photo.
September 11th, 2014  
Great story- and I really do like that you outdid the "macho" guy with his own bravado! I love the vintage-ness and Americana feel of this shot. It's like a story you'd read in a book- but it's a real story- your story!
September 14th, 2014  
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