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WELCOME!

Posted By on May 15, 2012

_MG_3687 GR Headshot color thumbHowdy! Welcome to my website:

G.R. Howe – Western Author, Stories from the Old West.  My name is Grover Howe.  I grew up in Kane, Wyoming,  a small town erased by the Yellowtail Dam Reclamation project in 1965. entitled SHORT STORIES OUT OF KANE.

I established this website to share western novels I am writing. I have written a collection of short stories  entitled SHORT STORIES OUT OF KANE as well.  In it I have included photographs of  some of the residents who lived along the Big Horn River around what remains of the ghost town of Kane, Wyoming.

Please enjoy your visit.

 

Gone To The Dogs

Posted By on September 24, 2015

_MK37115 JackDanielscopy

Jack the dog, (last name Daniels) died. Some so’n’so poisoned him and he couldn’t handle the toxicity. Neither could I. I’m glad I don’t know who left that stuff lying around. Fact is, I have no one to hunt down and kill. Killing is what I feel like doing. Sometimes being a Christian hardly matters or it takes on a lighter shade of green. You want to just spit whether or not it is the mannerly thing to do. A relationship with a dog is an oddity to say the least. Jack went everywhere I went: jumped right in the back of the GMC pickup, stuck his nose into the wind, and held fast except around corners. And I miss him.
Right after Jack did the hanging-around-the-house slow dying, Pep got himself bit by a rattlesnake. His head swelled up to the size of  a large cantaloupe, got so big it busted open and drained all over the place, but he’s alive and he’s with me, filling up the holes in my life.
Sad story.  Sorry, but it’s been on my mind. Grh

Words to live by: On not being too smart

Posted By on July 24, 2015

“Boy, don’t get all worked up over some feller knowin’ more’n you. It sure as hell ain’t their fault.” Newel Howe

Lovers And Moments In Time

Posted By on July 20, 2015

I’m thinking that love is a series of moments, moments that, if we string them together and stretch them out, can fill our lives. Small moments.

I’ve been writing western novels and, to the surprise of no one, an author writes essentially what he is, where’s he’s been, what he’s felt. In my latest novel I wrote about a sunrise over the Big Horn Mountains. I wrote:

“The dawn rose up like thunder exploding off the crest of the Big Horn Mountains across the canyon. The sun was a rust-red, colored by tree smoke suspended in the cool morning air. Somewhere to the west a forest of pine was burning. Dark underbellies of thunder heads rose high on both sides, framing the sun against the rise of the mountain and the Bull Elk pasture on the other side of the canyon.”
What I didn’t say is that the sunrise I described came up quite unexpectedly. It was early morning. Joy and I were riding along a mountain road in a brown Chevy pickup. I had gotten out to open a wire gate and was getting back into the truck to drive through. There in front of us was the sun exploding over the Horn, sending shafts of light through the dark thunder clouds, a fiery white ball burning up the universe. I sat there for a moment stunned. Joy reached over and turned the truck off and we sat there in silence and stared at that scene full of wonderment. It was just a moment, a moment we stretched into five. Sunrises like that never last long; a small moment in time.

I remember my daughter Martha’s birth. Joy pushed that little girl out into the world where she was apprehended by a fellow dressed in white scrubs. He held her up, his hand under her dark wet head, examining her bruised body, counting fingers and toes. With her first breath, she blew bubbles, then for a nanosecond she smiled. I was the only one who saw that smile. I know, I’ve been told it is impossible, but there it was. It was like she was saying to the world, “Oh my God, I’m here.” Then the nano-second was gone and she was crying, protesting such a rude entry into an unforgiving world. It was just a nano-second, an incredible brief interval, a moment in time.

When I was nine, I remember my father standing in the gate of a pole stock corral where one hundred thirty six yearlings were restrained, detained against their will. They were milling, bawling for their mothers, wondering what was going on. My dad stood in the opening, a twenty-five foot riata in his right hand, and with his left, pulled his Stetson down over his forehead to protect his eyes from the glare of the morning sun. They were his calves and his face said he was so glad to be able to work them, to mark, brand and dock them. It was his eyes. They were saying, “I’m the luckiest fool in the world. Look what I get to do.” Pure joy. A small moment in time.

In the early seventies a Country and Western singer named Sonny James sang a song– part of the lyrics were: “True love’s a blessing, such a wonderful blessing, True love’s a blessing just wait and see.” Life stretches out before us like a South Texas road, going on and on, until the straight line of it disappears on the distant horizon. Maybe Sonny James was right. Maybe true love is a blessing. I can’t wait to see what’s on that road, these small moments in time, the true, incredible miracle of love. Grhowe

JACK AND THE TENUOSITY OF LIFE

Posted By on July 8, 2013

(Tenuosity is a new word and is not misspelled)

We have a dog–two actually. Jack is not pictured so he can not be readily identified in the event formal charges are levied against him. His formal name is Jack Daniels. The surname of Daniels representing a long line of Jacks stretching back decades. His brother’s surname is Pepper. Pep is highly educated, receiving his doctorates from two renowned schools of higher learning: University of Wyoming and Brigham Young University. Pep relishes his experiences at both institutions but doesn’t say much about either. It’s probably just as well.

Jack is threatening to get himself killed. His pending demise is due to his developing taste for goat meat. Ruth and my brother have a herd of these miserable creatures. Jack has snacked on two of the younger crowd; snatching the life right out of them as they attempted to escape his flashing teeth. Trouble is no one saw him dispatch the goats. Otherwise he’d already be heading for the last round-up. Seeing Jack eat fresh killed goat meat and seeing him kill in order to eat goat meat carries weighted consequences; one has an immediate execution penalty. It is a rule and the rule is not applied equally. If it even looked like he’d been eying a yearling steer, he would already be there, i.e. dog heaven, purgatory, dog hell, places like that. You see cows are important; goats not so much.

There is precedence for the unequal application of the rule. The old man had a dog–a good one. In fact, that “damn” dog saved his life. Dad fell into a sink hole and was having a difficult time getting himself extricated. The dog grabbed him by the coat sleeve and pulled him to safety. It was an event. Had everyone talking about and extolling the “damn” dog adnauseum. Two weeks later the old man caught the dog chasing cows. And that ended that hero dog’s good graces as well as his life. The family still talks about that dog. Though dead, he’s still praised, eulogized, and held in high esteem. “One hellava dog,” my old man use to say every time the subject came up. “One hellava dog.” He doesn’t talk about that dog anymore because he’s dead too.

That wasn’t the first time. When I was five my mother, dad, baby sister, and I went from Wyoming to Missouri to visit mother’s folks. It was a first. In the midst of leaving, my dog suddenly disappeared. I looked all over for him–everywhere I’d ever been. My searching was restricted by my short legs and limited vision. The old man told me the “damn” dog had swam across the river. The Big Horn was plenty wide so all I could do is stare at the other side and call him. He never came. I was a forlorn and pitiful sight. I found out fourteen years later that the old man had shot him so we could go visit my grandmother; so he wouldn’t have to worry about the “damn” dog.

It must have worked. My old man never seemed to worry– not about dogs.

SELLIN’ THE YEARLINGS

Posted By on December 3, 2012

My old man, all five foot six inches of him, with his flaming red hair and gnarled hands, was sure a crazy fellow.  I remember him ordering a truck to take our yearlings to the Public Auction Yard in Billings, Montana to sell them to the meat packers and those cow people needing feeders and replacement heifers.  Every year he did that, every year without fail.  That is the reason we raised calves. They were born to sell. The money was used for baling twine, a new pair of Levis, a kitchen sink, diesel fuel, a set of tires for the tractor, a dress for mother: necessary things, things that allowed him to stay on the ranch raisin’ more yearlings, us kids, and to buy some beans and Campbell’s soup for the pantry.

Every year he’d feel “terrible bad” about selling those calves; sometimes he was so sad he’d not be able to speak for a week; once he had them on the truck ready to go on their journey and he stopped the trucker, had the driver unload everyone. He just couldn’t do it.  And now I’m selling mine, what’s left of a hundred and one head born last February and March, those that survived my carin’ for them and didn’t die.  I’m loading them on the truck this coming Thursday bound for the auction yards; already I want to stop the trucker, and unload every one: because they’re so beautiful.  My old man was sure a crazy fellow.

A YEARLING HEIFER

Posted By on November 21, 2012

We have a yearling heifer. Weighs about 500 pounds. The vet says she has Bovine polio. So we give her medicine. She walks around like she has stiff legs, her head in the air; if it rains she’ll surely drown. Gave her some more medicine. She gets up, eats, drinks, runs around, jumps a fence, wants to know why we’re bothering her. Gave her some more medicine. The next morning her toes are pointed straight up, her tongue is hanging out, and she’s very much dead. I have no idea what the moral to this story is except maybe we should have stopped giving her medicine. Query: will the buzzards develop bovine polio when they snack on her? Do I have a legal duty to tell them not to? Are you really going to respond to these stupid questions? Ahh, I see.

BOBBY HULL, THE CAT

Posted By on November 19, 2012

We have a “damn” cat. She thinks she’s a hockey player. She catches a rat, brings it to the kitchen and, using her paw as a hockey stick, slams it to the other side of the room “alive.” It inevitably ends up under the table. Joy goes wild as fans do when a goal is scored. The cat scampers after it. Joy gets on top the table. (Better seat.) As you can imagine, the rat is trying to get away. But Bobby Hull, the cat, brings the rat to center ice, bats it back and forth, bringing the crowd to their feet, then bam! takes a shot to the south side of the kitchen to the goal under the kitchen cabinets. The crowd (Joy) is cheering, the band is playing the Star Spangled Banner, the fat lady has entered the building. The game goes on and on and on. The score is fifty to nothing. The rat is dead and the cat, leaving it at center rink, goes to get another hockey puck. True story.