Orie Penny

Posted: January 27, 2017 in creative writing, poetry, writing
Tags: , , , ,
Tuesday October 12, 2010
Chapter 1

Orie Penny was retired, well let’s say not working for anyone, I never knew which occupation he claimed, horse trader, farm hand cowboy or dealer in Colorado fighting roosters. At the time he made his money breeding fighting roosters and illegal cock fights. He was an averaged sized man, with a 3 day beard, rolled his own and still wore Levis and toe worn boots with stirrup scars around the instep. He didn’t call himself a cowboy, farm hand was good enough for him. Walked with a left legged limp because he had a painful rebuilt hip, reconstructed years ago before modern methods were perfected. He never told me how he hurt his hip but his daughter Anita told me the story late one night.

Orie agreed to marry an immigrant worker’s daughter because she was too old for the father to claim as a dependent and she was going to be deported. The father, being Orie’s best friend, asked him to marry her in name only with the understanding that the marriage could never be consummated and she was to be left alone and never live with him. After a few weeks, Orie, thinking consummation would be the honorable thing to do, made an advance at the young lady . The next morning he heard his friend Ramone yelling outside across the street. Orie went out to investigate the commotion  and Ramone jumped up out of the weeds in the bar-ditch and lowered a 30-06 on him. He shot him through the hip. After he fell, Orie got one round off into the weeds from his old Colt model 1901 .38 revolver that he had grabbed on his way out of the back porch. Of course, he didn’t hit anything but stopped Ramone from popping up his head and shooting anymore rounds. That pretty much disabled him and he couldn’t work riding long hours out on the ranch … err farm as he called it. He never did live with her and never did divorce the girl. She is still living in the States. Orie never pressed charges but Ramone and the rest of his family were deported because of the shooting.

I came to know Orie in the early 70’s. Needing work, I found myself in Western Colorado. I got a job on the construction crew building the cable TV  infrastructure through the area. At the time oil drilling was ramping up due to the oil shortages and embargoes and oil shale had just been discovered on the western slope of the Rockies. There was an minor oil boom going on in the area, which meant no housing available. Until I was able to find a home to rent, suitable for a wife and 2 kids, I was sleeping in a tent and showering at a KOA campgrounds. I met Orie through a friend I knew there. Orie and I hit it off well and he told me to move the tent to his backyard, he knew a lot of people in the area and would help me get a house to live in so I could send for my family. That really did help out.

Although his home had running water to his sink, he had no other indoor plumbing so I still needed a place to shower. He had about an acre of land with his old home. We worked together and fixed up a solar heated water tank and made an outdoor shower out near his rooster houses and horse shed. I can still hear the cackling of his chickens and the rustling sound of his adopted thick legged mustang pony as I slept out in the backyard on those starry nights.

I will tell more stories about Orie and the year I knew him. I might tell about his teaching me to handle fighting roosters in the ring. I would also like to tell about his time riding the rails during the 40’s and his five years in San Quintin prison literally pounding rocks into the roadbed building roads and why he was there. I’m telling this just to say that even men who people may think as the lowest of men may let you stand on their shoulders and give you a leg up. Orie did that for me and I really appreciated it.

DSS

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Comments
  1. iampeacenow says:

    Very interesting. I’m glad he helped you out. I some how expected you would say that the “arranged” marriage ended with a few children and grandchildren and a happily ever after. Though actually more interesting as is. Peace to you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, how wonderful! Great write! I want to hear more about Orie!
    I’m glad he impacted your life in positive ways and I’m sure you were a positive in his life! 🙂
    Yes, we can’t judge people by their “cover”…we must get to know them, give them a chance, hear their story, hear about their struggles and pain…and it’s amazing what we can learn from them.
    Some of the people who have had the best, most positive impact on me were people society ignores.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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