This account is taken from Harry Hicks' life story. Very little has been edited from its original content.
Alvin danced with Bonny and I of coarse danced once with Bonny, then I retired to the back of the hall where the stag line always built up. And was talking to the boys about the girls and one thing and another, telling funny stories and getting about ready to pop the question "Any one care for a drink?"
When I noticed Wilford Hogan, that Mormon sucker, coming across the floor with a beautiful little Blonde. He had his mouth twisted up in a supposed to be drunken lear and walking in a supposed to be drunken swagger. I could tell he was trying to play a big shot with me. And he sneeringly introduced me to the Beautiful little Blonde. Dorishh Brown, this ishhh my old buddy Harry H H HIckshhh, like a drunken slur. I gave
him one look and I seen no more of him as I gazed on the Little Blonde, he fell out of my gaze.
She said "you’re the hardest guy to catch up with. I've been hunting you for three weeks and trying to get an introduction to you. I'm sure pleased that I finally caught up with you and got someone to introduce us". I stammered and stuttered "I'm very happy to know you Miss Brown, and would you care to dance?" I knew if I could get her to dance that was my best solution. I thought of what I had learned from Farnsworth "Try to win a fight talking and you'll lose."
Besides I wanted to hold her close and pretend. You see, the other girls was no glamor for me because I couldn't pretend. And then I wanted a chance to gain my composure and give my face and neck a chance to come back to the original color. She told me she was born on the last of September and those people born under the September 30, Libra sign was talkers and they may blurt out anything. I was glad she told me that, for she kept up a steady stream of language. I think she knew how hard it was for me to speak.
She told me how the family had come to the country just like pioneers (in this day and age). The whole family with teams and covered wagons, and the boys driving the horses and mules and 4-5 cattle along behind. While Ma Brown and Curt and Doris, Lola and Louise and Chuck, the baby, came on ahead in a Model T Ford and camped up on the bar by Jessy Creek, because they knew the Parmenters.
"Do you know Ralph and Frank Parmenter?" I told her yes, they are the only Mormon friends I have. "Now you have three" she said "because you forgot to count me and if you count my Mother, you'll have four." I said "I don't know your Mother." "Well, she knows you - because I've told her about you. Told her I was going to marry you–so there."
Well, if that is so you will have to not be scared of me because no one that I like is scared of me, because I will not hurt any-body I like. We finished the dance talking and joking happily and I lost my fear of her. After this dance, there's something I have to do, so I'll leave you for a little while. "What are you going to do? Can't I go with you?"
I said "No, I'll be right back, I'm going to get rid of some Seagrams and feed Hogans' goat some Sloe Gin." "What's that, what's that." she cried after me.
Well, I caught Wilford Hogan on the way out to the car of Vernons and I said to
Wilford Hogan. "Since you are such a nice boy to introduce to that, what's her name girl, I'm gonna give you a bottle of wine. It's called Slow Gin. You gotta drink a lot because it is slow to take hold. I figured since you are drinking anyhow, it won't be
noticible the way you can hold your licker."
So I gave the fifth of Sloe Gin to Hogan, and taking the Seagrams out of my pocket and passed it to Alvin and told him I didn't want it. I was going to set in the car all evening with a girl, and when he wanted the car, we would go home.
Then I went back to see if the Beautiful Blonde Doris was just teasing me or not.
She was waiting for me and consented to go out and set in the car and get acquainted.
Just st that time the band played, "The Waltz you Saved for Me." We danced it holding each other closely. Then, I loved her and remembered my prayer. And as we went out of the door arm in arm, I saw Wilford Hogan swilling that Sloe Gin like it was going out of style. I said to myself, I hate to have your head in the morning. That became our dance ever after.
We sat in the car until about 1 or 2.00 and when Alvin came out to take Bonny home, we got out and I walked her home, after having a hamburger, about all I could afford. We talked all evening about horses and dogs and cattle. She was 1 of a family of 8 and a cow-punchers girl. She told me about the Bull Pastures over in Wyoming and her Father and Mother and especially how proud she was to be a good Mormon. And I was to be a pretty good Mormon too, but it was to take 50 years to do it. The conversation didn't lag and to this day it never has.
I guess you can say we had a usual courtship of two people very much in love.
The thrill of the first kiss, it has never worn off. The first time I accidentally brushed my hand against her breast, and many loving tenderness that was to be ours through the years.
Well we met on Thanksgiving, had our first date on Christmas. When I was to meet her Mother and Father, she said "This is the man I'm going to marry", and that’s before we ever talked about marriage since the first time she spoke of it. Her mother, Mrs. Brown, was making carrot pudding for Christmas dinner, and insisted that I take a bite. It was an old family favorite, not unlike plum pudding. I have since learned to like it very much, and my wife carries on the tradition. Although some sweeter than that pudding of Ma Brown's. She treated me very reserved and quiet, and I was mannerly and polite. She gave me a taste of that pudding, although it was not quite sweet enough for me, I said it was very good.
The house had a very peaceful atmosphere. Just the Mother, my girl, and the baby on the floor. But she kept up a very interesting conversation about the family and their likes and dislikes. I could tell that she worshipped her father. As she had a father image of him ever after. It seems that her father was up to the timber getting a load of wood, and they were expecting him back at any time. It was early in the evening when he finally came in, and she immediately threw herself in her father's arms and he was very boisterous and began to tease her and play, like fathers play with their daughters, fun but reserved too. I expect she was showing off for my benefit.
Finally, her brothers, Scott, Jim, Larry and Dale came in. After they all but Dale took a turn at teasing her or pinching her I noticed they were all a quite loving family, and didn't care who knew it. But I noticed the boys all reserved the dignity of their sister, although their teasing seemed to anger her, I knew it was all put on. Then she introduced me to her father as Boone Brown. "His name is really
Achillies, but we call him Chill or Boone." It seems he had earned the name of Boone, because the family thought of him as a Frontiersman. Then she introduced me to her other brothers, Scott, Jim, Larry and the small one about 8 or 9 years old. Chill said “Now, to go with my daughter, you got to whip me or Scott with the boxing gloves, and Jim immediately brought a pair out to me. It seemed his way of getting acquainted.
This pleased me to no end, as I was proud of my ability and was only happy to show her. I grinned and laughed all over to scare them and even boxed a few steps and flicked my nose like boxers do. I chose Scott as they knew I would, because it would not do to take a chance on making a fool of her Dad. And I knew she would only make fun of Scott. Scott was a husky boy, just a little shorter than I, about the same weight and quite a harmful looking gent. With a slight overbite that made him look like a bull dog. I was laughing and grinning and acting as though I was anxious to get the gloves on, like I was a little punchy. “I’ll fight Scott, I'll fight Scott" I said. And the other boys was helping Scott get the gloves on.
Grinning all the time, like the cat that got the cream, I knew they were thinking, “we’ll show this feller how we grow em over in Wyoming". Well, we started in, I a sparring around the floor a little to let him set the pace. I always let the other man set the pace, so I'll know how hard to hit. I never hit any-one as hard as I can hit. Scott began like he was going to finish me up quick, swinging as hard as he could. That is the easiest kind of fighter, I could not take the same procedure, as if I did, I would down him in one flurry. So I decided to keep him pushed off and let him hit nothing but arms and elbows, which he did.
I speared him with an easy left-left once in a while, to spur him on and as I expected, he soon tired and set into swinging the harder and harder. Then I made him furious by stepping by his right side when he would miss me on the inside by a big hay maker right. And stepping behind him, turning at the same time, I would tap him on the shoulder, or the back of the head. And say “Here I am". Well, he never laid a glove on me. I used to do that often in camp where I would meet all comers every eve. I could duck inside of it. If I could see that I was going to take a blow and if I could see it was going to be a hard one. I would closen up to the blow, so it was not at the farthest reach when it hit me. This will ruin the effect of the blow.
I could be quite a clever boxer for a short time, but I would soon get disgusted with the dancing and toe work and pecking at someone like a ballet dancer. Because it was more to my liking to be a fighter and be forceful. I would make feints or back off, and was up to something to get an opponent to set a pattern, then bingo- I'd suddenly break that pattern.
I invented what they used to call Harry's Corkscrew. I throw that 4-5 times, it would do no harm to any one, then I would start another one, but I'd let my arm fall to my side, and bring a hard upper cut to their Solar Plexus, or right near under the heart. I learned how to throw an effective punch and every punch I threw, you could peg a name on it, and it was effective.
The boy's growing up do not learn to fight any-more. I've seen several so called fights, by I'd say about 20 year olds. They run in and slap at each other like girls. I swear, gawd, it makes me want to throw up. When finally one of the boys hit the other one, he started to cry and said I didn't mean it, honest I didn't mean to hit you. I ran back inside the shop I was cleaning and couldn't believe my eyes.
My Dad was considered a tough fighting man and I whipped him easily at 19, and he never even could hit me. So he ran in and got the .06-30.06 and was going to shoot me. Mama and I took the gun away from him. I felt if the boys fight like that, I must be a holy terror, even if I am 58. I will not linger on that any longer,
After Doris played with the family for some time, we went on about 3 blocks up the street and one block over and I introduced Doris to my Mother and Father. They liked her, Dad didn't say much to her, just grinned and winked at her. But she liked my Mother very much. Immediately Mother was very entertaining and interesting. We eat a bite or two at our place and talked and visited with Mother and Mothers sister, Aunt Hatty, who her husband left when she got so crippled up with arthritis, she was no use to him.