He still remembers who said what during combat in Europe but has a
hard time remembering if he's had breakfast.
The call went out down at the sheriff's office around 10 p.m.
that Pop had slipped through the enemy lines, meaning the kitchen
staff, and was on the loose. One of the deputies called Doc, who was
a friend of his since forever, and Doc alerted the rest of us.
Pop is one of our own, of course. A couple of years ago, he took
his coffee black and his philosophy straight at the philosophy
counter at the Mule Barn.
It was cold, and they found his heavy coat still in his room, so
this wasn't good.
The deputies checked out the interstate, and volunteers hit the
all-night diners to see if he'd checked in there. No luck.
The cook at the home was crying, and she said Pop had been
talking about going to see his buddy, Jasper, again, and did we know
someone named Jasper?
Sure. Jasper Blankenship, up at the cabin in the mountains. When
we heard this, the hunt took more form. Two guys started up at
Jasper's place and worked down the road. Steve and Dud both went
horseback and started from the edge of town.
[to top of second
Steve found him. Pop was sitting and shivering under a tree high
up on a ridge. Steve used the cellphone to let us know he was all
right, then built a fire and wrapped a blanket around Pop.
Pop wouldn't go back until Steve told him Jasper was down at the
home, waiting for him. And Steve let him ride in the saddle, too.
But before that happened, Steve ducked off behind a rock and made
another phone call, to be sure Jasper would be there.
Two hours later, everyone had coffee and doughnuts back at the
home, and they fixed the lock on the kitchen door.
We have to be careful with those who have problems. We can't
afford to lose beautiful people like Pop.
[Text from file received from Slim Randles]
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