Because this will take time, this suggestion is for
This is a gift idea from grandfathers to
their descendants and I offer family values advice
with trepidation as previous columns outlining such
simple suggestions infuriated the leftists.
For example, my column entitled “Selecting a
Wife” was filled with useful tidbits on finding a
trophy wife, but my remarks so enraged the
progressives they purchased a display ad in the
local paper so as to thrash me.
In spite of this, I am going to plow right
into this and let the chips fall where they may.
Here we go.
In terms of bonding and establishing a meaningful
tradition, the best gift grandfathers could give
their families is a wagon and mule team.
I bought my first in July of 1994.
They were jet-black with four white socks and
were named Amos and Andy after the main characters
in a popular radio sitcom of the 1920s who
apparently also had white socks.
To be politically correct, I should have
changed their names to appease the Mizzou, White
Socks Matter crowd, but I didn’t.
This was my
first team and their harnesses, collars and sleigh
bells were a package deal.
seller and local horse trader, showed me how to
harness, hitch and drive and although it was a hot
Sunday morning in July, the ringing sleigh bells
For the next decade, Amos and Andy spent their
summers pulling a chuck wagon in my cattle drive
December, I hauled them north to Laurel, where they
pulled Santa around town in a “one-horse open
On weekends when Santa was off duty, I
hitched them to a rubber-tired, hay wagon I rebuilt
specifically to haul people afflicted with the
Properly loaded with Christmas cheer, the
wagon could haul 15-20 celebrants.
I make it sound like driving a mule team is all
kicks and giggles, but Amos and Andy did have their
brushes with the law.
One New Year’s Eve, I hitched them and hauled
revelers through the tavern district of downtown
Keeping drunks off the street is a great idea, but
loading them all on the same hay wagon, not so much.
We left the Palace after midnight and headed
to a friend’s house for breakfast.
This is when I discovered that given enough
New Year’s cheer everyone secretly wants to be a
“Right turn” I hollered as we approached
Eighth Street and everyone on the wagon did their
rendition of a blinker with their antics capturing
the attention of a city patrol car.
Unfortunately, our route to breakfast
necessitated four more turns plus one stop sign and
the performance of my blinkers and stop lights were
so inspiring the nice officer followed us home.
At our destination, I hopped Amos and Andy
over the curb and onto the lawn before tying them to
a chain-link fence.
With them secured, I approached the police
car and asked, “Is there a problem officer?”
“No,” reserve officer Mike responded.
“I was just curious who it was and I wanted
to make sure no one ran into you.”
Amos died four years ago and this summer, Andy
I have since purchased another mule team I
named Martha and Abigail after America’s first two,
There were behavioral issues on our first few
hitches, but all the kinks have been straightened,
riveted and repaired, so we are back on the holiday
If any grandfather wants to cultivate holiday
memories, buy a mule team, wagon, sleigh bells and
load up the family.
Because government schools have replaced
Christmas carol instruction with Muslim chants you
will need to be your family’s choir director.
It will not be easy, only worth it.