Wagon John's Campsite
Wagon John's Campsite
Bald Hill, Okla
By: Tom Wright
It was a typical Oklahoma August and the temperature had been soaring above 100, for several days. John was camped about 15 miles from our home and we,
(we being my wife and I), had driven to John's campsite to deliver his mail, and to share his wit and philosophy. He, his two wagons, five mules, two horses, and three dogs were on their way to New Mexico. We were delivering medicine that he would need. (My wife is Postmaster) His campsite had all the prerequisites of a good campsite as it had huge Oak trees for shade, green grass, and water in a nearby creek for the animals. He had been mending harness and it was strewn about the camp. Like John, being well weathered, it surely had a story to tell. During our conversation, we discussed his dogs, the price of horseshoe nails, and the intelligence of his mule Mollie, who I saw eating Poison Ivy from a tree while standing knee deep in green grass. Go figure. While noticing that he wasn't cooking, nor making what he called "Cowboy Coffee", my wife mentioned the heat and the campfire. Wagon John asked if we knew why he had the fire? Having been blessed with an analytical mind I shot back, ambiance or atmosphere. For the same reason people burn fireplaces in homes when other than for heat. That it makes your camp seem "Homey". He replied that was true but only a part of it. (There are no incorrect answers with John). That it was really for company. That the crackling of the embers were actually talking to us. In his solitude, he has learned to feel and appreciate those little things that most of us never notice or that we take for granted. While I looked at his fire and saw heat, he looked at the same fire and saw companionship. The first time I shared John's camp, I arrived a stranger, having no preconceived notions. I departed as a life long friend having been made much wiser for the experience. I thank you'll find Wagon John to be just "Folks".
Copyright © Tom Wright | Year Posted 2019
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