From Saddle to Solarium03/24/10
I learned how to ride on a ranch with quarter horses and cows, chickens and goats, a vegetable garden, a watermelon patch, a fishin pond, and a wolf named Dakota. My favorite thing to do was take my Western horse, Pal the Palomino, swimming in the pond where he’d lope his legs like underwater cyclones and scare the fish to flopping. Sometimes he scared me too, so I’d jump up off Pal’s back onto the floating dock where I experimented in naked witchcraft, herding tadpoles, and trying to make dragon flies have sex with mosquitoes. This has nothing to do with Reclamation but I was reminded of Pal and Dakota and the water-bugs as I cleaned out my tack trunk Monday morning.
My dad sold the ranch house, so I stopped by ol’ MFF* on the way back to LA from South by Southwest to scavenge potted trees, Indian blankets and dad’s medals from Vietnam. I had almost forgotten about the red trunk- the one I bought with prize money from my first State gold in Hunter Jumper- until I found it covered in spiderwebs and wasp’s nests in the dusty tack-room where I spent hours upon hours polishing Pal’s bits and oiling my English saddle. I expected to find the trunk as I had left it- curry comb and hoof pick on the left, Mane n Tail and helmet on the right- but instead I found it full of a toy train’s tracks and a sack of old slides. They must be dad’s, but he doesn’t know how they got in there. I held a few up to the sun and found some young men posing on boats with flags.
I figure they could find new service in Solarium?
* MFF stands for My Fucking Farm. That was what my parents chose to name their ranch. When they got divorced, they fought over it a bunch and wrote it into lots of contracts. My dad moved there until he left for India, and my mom made me plant tape recorders under the couch. Now it seems very silly to imagine lawyers arguing over who gets access to My Fucking Farm.