Posts : 756 Join date : 2012-04-22 Age : 56 Location : Birmingham
Subject: July 2021 - Bang Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:14 am
Hello to all as we enter into July.... A suggestion has been made for this months topic
(Going with a ...BANG)
This may or may not allow for yet more 4th July Celebrations for the boys
Posts : 151 Join date : 2012-05-04 Location : New Jersey, USA
Subject: Re: July 2021 - Bang Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:54 pm
Not a fourth of July story but summer themed.
A Day at the Shore
A well-kept, gray weathered shingled, seaside cottage with a tin roof sat nestled at the end of a sandy dirt lane between the sand dunes and a small fresh water pond. A serviceable barn and corral were tucked towards the pond. Faded blue hurricane shutters framed the large windows and the doors. The covered porch, with a well-used but sturdy rattan furniture set, faced a broken clamshell paved path that meandered through the dunes down to the Gulf of Mexico. It was a perfect location for an Indian Summer vacation for two reforming outlaws.
Inside a slight breeze from the open screened window fluttered the deep blue curtains, letting the morning rays of sunshine brighten the guest bedroom of the modest seaside cottage. The dark-dark haired sleeper stirred, opened his eyes, and realized he, yet again, had slept the entire night straight through. He lay for a moment wondering if it was the salt air or the constant roar of the dune-muffled waves that caused him to sleep like a baby. Speaking of babies, he glanced over to the other side of the room where his blond partner was still fast asleep and marveled for the uncountable time how young the twenty-eight-year-old man could look in his sleep. He even slept like a restless kid as the blanket has slipped mostly off the bed and the sheet was tangled among the muscular bare legs. With eyes still closed, the Kid’s sunburned arm haltingly felt around for the spare feather pillow, found it, and pulled the object over his face, and promptly fell back into a deep sleep. Sitting up, the light blanket fell to his waist, exposing his bronzed torso as he stretched his long arms above his head. Hannibal Heyes swung his legs over the side and slipped them into the butternut pants he snatched off the floor and headed out of the room. He decided to let the Kid sleep. Smiling and looking forward to the day, Heyes left the room, closing the door silently behind him.
A cup of coffee in one hand and a piece of banana nut bread in the other, the ex-outlaw decided to greet the morning on the covered porch as he had every morning during the past week. He leaned over the gray porch railing and admired the brilliant blue of the sky with its scattering of small wispy white clouds drifting across horizon. It appeared as if their last full day on the gulf coast of Texas was going to be another warm fine day. Heyes sat in the comfortable rattan chair, sipping his coffee, nibbling on the sweet breakfast bread they had bought in town, and reading the book he had left out there the day before. A small group of gulls flew around the cottage, loudly crying to each other as they had been doing every morning Heyes had sat there. Heyes idly watched them as they flew to and from the water, circling the cottage every now and then. Time passed slowly by.
“Mornin’” Kid Curry stood in the doorway, scratching his tousled mop of sun-lightened curls and holding the screen door open.
“Good Morning, Kid. The coffee should still be warm, and I left you the last two slices of banana bread.”
The Kid nodded and disappeared only to return a few moments later with a pre-breakfast snack and morning coffee. He dropped into a chair, leaned back, and propped his bare feet on the railing.
“What’s with those gulls? And why are they called laughing gulls? They sound annoyed to me and sure make a racket every morning when you come out here. They can be as maddening as a rooster.”
Heyes chuckled but filed his friend’s question in the rhetorical category and not requiring an answer. He put down his book and commented, “Get up earlier and then they won’t bother you." He received a blue-eyed glare in return.
“I’m enjoyin’ the change of pace.”
“Yeah, I was a little annoyed at Big Mac’s friend when the promised bonus for an early and safe delivery turned out not to be money but the use of this cottage instead. But after riding all the way across Texas, this is real nice.”
“Yep, sure is. I could get used to this, it’s a shame we have to be headin’ back for a job since no one really knows us on this side of Texas.”
Brown eyes slid over to look at the sprawled and relaxed gunslinger. “Don’t get too comfortable ‘cause you know it wouldn’t last. There were way more people on those trains than we thought, and they always seem to remember us in the most out of the way places and inconvenient times.”
Kid’s feet hit the floorboards and he stood up. “There’s truth to that. Well then, I’m gonna enjoy our last day here.”
The open book fell off a nicely tanned and toned bare chest, falling half in the soft fine sand and half on the canvas ground cover spread out on the gently sloping sand dune. The dark-haired man shifted slightly in his nap in the warm sun. The gentle cooling breeze coming off the Gulf of Mexico ruffled the pages of the book, losing the readers place.
“Heyes! Heyes! I got another one. Heyes!”
Heyes clenched his already closed eyelids even tighter and counted to ten. He was going to strangle that old timer the Kid had befriended last Saturday night at the saloon if he ever saw him again. Curry already liked to fish but now he was turning fishing into an obsession and he expected Heyes to know what each fish was even though they both hadn’t spent any appreciable time on the coast. Luckily the cottage had a book on fish. He sat up and looked. Kid had reeled in a fish that was flopping around in the surf. It looked big. Heyes decided to take a closer look.
“Look, this might be the biggest one yet! And see what a nice-looking fish it is with its coppery scales. It gave quite a fight.” Curry was excited and proud of his catch and his enthusiasm was hard to ignore. “It was a good thing Lou, that old-timer we played poker with last Saturday night, dropped by on Sunday to give me pointers on how to fish off the shore in salt water. Wasn’t it?”
Heyes had to admit to himself that he was impressed. The fish had to be thirty-eight inches give or take an inch or two and meaty. “Wow, that’s a nice redfish. The best fish this week. Now let it go.”
“Huh, let it go? The fillets are gonna be quite a meal.”
“They would, except we have some of the black drum you caught yesterday still in the icebox, and by the way the ice block we had delivered is almost all melted. Plus, we’re leavin’ tomorrow and unless we make fish jerky, we can’t take it with us.”
Blue eyes squinted in the sun and looked from the voice of reason to the biggest fish he had ever caught in his life, tethered by the fishing line in the shallow water. The proud fisherman reached down and spent several moments wrestling with the magnificent redfish, unhooking it and then watching it swim out to sea on the outgoing tide.
Heyes turned around to walk back up the beach. He reached the ground cover and turned around, expecting to find his partner behind him. But no, the Kid, dressed in a ratty old pair of long johns he cut off a mid-thigh, was standing waist deep beyond the breaking waves, casting the surf fishing rod and lure that came with the cottage. He fondly watched as he lounged in the sun.
Kid Curry was constitutionally unable to sit still, relax, and do nothing for any length of time, unless he was sleeping, especially, it seemed at the shore. They haven’t spent much time at a seashore in their lives. Not one with warm water at least, except in Santa Marta and they didn’t go fishing. The Kid was thoroughly enjoying himself. He paid attention to the tides and fished for hours on the outgoing high tides. He dug for clams at low tide. He constructed sand castles, complete with towers and moats. He even persuaded Heyes to join him body surfing the waves in the heat of the day. It seemed as if Curry was just as proficient in food procurement with a fishing rod and sand shovel as he was with his Colt. Kid cleaned the catch and Heyes prepared each day’s meal featuring the seafood bounty du jour.
The sun was starting to dip lower into the sky. Heyes looked up from his book and called to his friend who was throwing some clams he had dug up into a bucket of salt water at the water line. “Hey Kid, you still want to try a clambake on the beach?”
Curry stopped mid throw and looked up, a clam in each hand. “Yeah, don’t you?”
“Yeah, so get digging. We need a shallow pit in the sand. I’ll go get the stones and wood we collected.”
The two partners spent some time preparing the pit. They lined it with rocks then added driftwood, which they lit and let it burn down. Kid shoveled the ashes off and put a layer of wet seaweed on the rocks, which started steaming. Heyes added the two spiny lobsters they had traded for three speckled sea trout Kid had caught, today’s eighteen clams were piled on top of the lobsters, the remaining large black drum fillet, and a few potatoes with seaweed layered between the food items all went in. The pit was then covered with a tarp that had been soaked in the gulf’s waters.
“Well Kid, we’re not in New England, the lobsters are the wrong kind and I don’t know if bourbon goes with it but we’re gonna eat well.” The partners sat in the sand admiring their handiwork and shared a satisfied smile. Life was good tonight.
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry staggered to bed late in the night. After being satiated with their large meal and passing a half filled bottle of bourbon back and forth they laid back against the dunes, unwilling to move. They had talked long into the night, staring at the stars in the clear sky with the relaxing background roar of the surf. The conversation was far ranging and even broached into the rarely discussed or acknowledged territory of hopes and dreams.
Dawn came, the sun rose higher in the sky. The pale morning light turned brighter in the guest bedroom of the seaside cottage. Two tired ex-outlaws slept on.
BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG!
The sunburned blond shot up in bed, his arm reaching for the Colt hanging by his head while across the room the bronzed brunet threw his arm out to the night stand and his fingers closed around his Schofield’s smooth grip.
Kid spilled out of bed, bending low he quickly ran to the window, while checking the load of his revolver. Crouching under and to the side of one the windows, he moved the curtain aside with the barrel of the pistol and rose slightly to peek out. He didn’t see anything amiss. A quick glance at his partner at the other window confirmed that Heyes didn’t see anything either. The two men stayed in their ready positions by the window as they listened for further shots.
“Heyes, I guess you were right. This week was too good to be true. Who do you think is out there?”
“Don’t know. If it was the law, they would be yelling out ‘you’re under arrest, come out with your hands up’ or something like that. And I don’t recall getting the look from anybody we’ve seen all week.”
“Four shots and then nothing. That’s odd. I don’t see anybody or anything moving. Do you?”
BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG!
The gunslinger’s face scrunched up in confusion and his eyes flicked upwards towards the ceiling.
Heyes whispered across the room, “Kid, that sounded like it was coming from the roof. But we would hear if someone was walking around up there. It don’t make sense.”
“Not only that Heyes, but those shots aren’t from any gun that I recognize.”
Both men look one last look out the window before straightening up. Heyes gestured to his friend to follow him. The two ex-outlaws, clad only in their underwear, stealthily moved through the house and exited through the back door, towards the barn and corral. The crept silently and slowly away from the cottage before standing up behind a small rise that would obscure them but allow a view of the tin roof. There was no one up there.
BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG!
Four laughing gulls swooped over the cottage and dropped clams on the tin roof. The clams bounced, their shells cracking, and came to rest on the roof and ground. The birds glided down and partook of the fresh clam meal before flying back towards the water, only to return several moments later with more clams.
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry watched as the gulls continued to drop clams on the roof to open them. They looked at all the broken clamshells on the paths. They shared a sheepish look at each other and burst into laughter at their own paranoia, for once, not justified.
They were still chuckling to themselves as they walked around to the porch, the gulls loudly vocalizing their displeasure at the human intrusion.
“And I thought the clamshells were all from throwing the shells out there after everyone was done eating them,” Kid remarked, shaking his head.
“They are Kid, just not only people eating them.”
Notes: I've seen plenty of gulls drop clams and/or mussels on hard objects (e.g. jettys, boats, docks, parking lots and cars) to open them. In fact, the marina we keep our boat at installed solar car ports over a large portion of the parking lot both for the solar energy but also to keep the cars from getting dented from gulls dropping clams.
Rock Lobsters or Spiny Lobsters do not have large edible claws like Maine/New England lobsters, but only tiny claws, which don't have any edible meat. Whereas the American lobster has marketable meat in its claws, body, and tail, the spiny lobster only has marketable meat in its tail.
In the fall on the Texas Gulf coast the major sportfish that can be caught from the shore are speckled (sea) trout, jack crevalle, black drum, redfish (aka red drum), and flounder. I have never been to the gulf coast of Texas (only Florida) so if there are any Texans reading this I’m sorry if I got this wrong.
Redfish can get pretty big, over 50″ in length. 16 inches is the minimum total length to keep a redfish. Five fish per person is the daily bag limit with not more than one exceeding 27, according to the regulations that I found
I’ve done clambakes on Nauset Beach in Cape Cod, MA with freshly dug little neck clams, lobster, striped bass, red potatoes, onions, linguica, a Portuguese sausage, and shucked corn on the cob. Don’t forget plenty of cold beer and bottles of chilled white wine and whatever the kiddies are drinking.
I'm born and raised in New Jersey so we go to the shore, if you want a beach find a New Yorker. However, if you're already at the shore and want to go to the sandy bit then you're going to the beach. (Please don't connect That horrible show about the "Jersey Shore" to any kind of reality.) Any Texans out there - what do you call the coast?
Icebox - The icebox was invented by an American farmer and cabinetmaker named Thomas Moore in 1802. The more traditional icebox dates back to the days of ice harvesting, which had hit an industrial high that ran from the mid-19th century until the 1930s, when the refrigerator was introduced into the home. Most municipally consumed ice was harvested in winter from snow-packed areas or frozen lakes, stored in ice houses, and delivered domestically. In 1827 the commercial ice cutter was invented, which increased the ease and efficiency of harvesting natural ice. This invention made ice cheaper and in turn helped the icebox become more common. Up until this point, iceboxes were used for personal means but not for mass manufacturing. By the 1840s, various companies appeared including Sears, The Baldwin Refrigerator Company, and the Ranney Refrigerator Company started getting involved in the icebox manufacturing industry. D. Eddy & Son of Boston is considered to be the first company to produce iceboxes in mass quantities. During this time, many Americans desired big iceboxes. Such companies like the Boston Scientific Refrigerator Company, introduced iceboxes which could hold up to 50 lbs of ice. In a 1907 survey of expenditures of New York City inhabitants, 81% of the families surveyed were found to possess "refrigerators" either in the form of ice stored in a tub or iceboxes. The effort of the icebox manufacturing industry and its improved technology allowed the United States' value to rise from $4.5 million in 1889 to $26 million in 1919.
Later 19th century versions would include hollow walls that were lined with tin or zinc and packed with various insulating materials such as cork, sawdust, straw or seaweed. A large block of ice is held in a tray or compartment near the top of the box. Cold air circulates down and around storage compartments in the lower section. Some finer models have spigots for draining ice water from a catch pan or holding tank. In cheaper models, a drip pan is placed under the box and has to be emptied at least daily. The user has to replenish the melted ice, normally by obtaining new ice from an iceman.
By the year 1781, personal ice pits were becoming more advanced. The Robert Morris Ice House, located in Philadelphia, brought new refrigeration technologies to the forefront. This pit contained a drainage system for water runoff as well as the use of brick and mortar for its insulation. The octagon-shaped pit, approximately 4 meters in diameter located 5.5 meters underground was capable of storing ice that was obtained during the winter months to the next October or November. Ice blocks collected during winter months could later be distributed to customers. As the icebox began to make its way into homes during the early to mid 19th century, ice collection and distribution expanded and soon became a global industry. During the latter half of the 19th century, natural ice became the second most important US export by value, after cotton.
Penski, Nebraska Wildfire and Gemhenry like this post
Posts : 1615 Join date : 2012-04-22 Age : 60 Location : Northern California
Subject: Re: July 2021 - Bang Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:20 pm
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry sat on the Porterville Hotel porch with their legs up on the rail relaxing and watching the townsfolk go about their business.
Deputy Harker walked up. “Howdy, gents.”
Good morning, Deputy.” Heyes and Curry gave him their friendliest smiles.
“Staying long in Porterville?” he asked with one foot on the porch step and the other on the street.
“No, just passing through,” answered Heyes. “Sheriff Trevors sent a telegram for us about a job and we’re just waiting for the response.”
Harker nodded. “Heard him say something about that. You have a nice day now.”
“You, too, Deputy.” The Kid nodded as he tipped his hat.
Heyes put his feet down from the rail with the thud, stood up and stretched. “Think I’ll go to the bank and make change from that golden eagle for tonight’s game. Coming?”
“No, I think I’ll just stay here.”
“Are you sure?” Heyes asked. “You’ll see Miss Porter if you come with me.”
Kid Curry smiled at the thought of Miss Porter. “No, I’ll stay. I don’t want to be encouragin’ her none.”
Heyes shook his head and smiled. “Okay. How about lunch when I get back?”
“Now that sounds like a plan.” Kid Curry tipped his hat down over his eyes.
As Heyes walked off the boardwalk into the street, he pulled out the gold eagle coin out of his pocket and tossed it in the air before grasping it again.
A few minutes later, the Kid heard horses coming into town. He casually tipped his hat up just enough to observe several men dismount in front of the bank, including the outlaw, George McCoy.
“What McCoy’s gang doin’ here?” he muttered under his breath. “This ain’t their normal territory.”
Two men led the horses to the back on the bank while four of the gang members entered the bank.
“Darn!” Kid Curry ran to the sheriff’s office.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Heyes waited in line for the next teller. He saw Miss Porter and returned a smile as she waved to him. When the customer in front of him concluded his business and left, Heyes walked up to the window. “Morning. I’d like to break this ten…”
The double front doors banged open and four masked men entered with guns drawn and quickly shut the doors behind them.
“This here is a robbery!” shouted the leader. “Don’t do anything stupid and you’ll live!”
One of the outlaws relieved Heyes of his Schofield while other gang members quickly disarmed customers.
Miss Porter immediately stumbled back into the safe, ensuring the door closed. She deftly moved the tumbler before raising her hands.
“What the…!” McCoy aimed his gun towards Miss Porter. “I should shoot you for closin’ that safe!”
Heyes cautiously stepped forward. “Are you okay, ma’am? It was an accident. You startled her so that she fell backwards into the safe. Ain’t that right, ma’am?”
Miss Porter nodded quickly.
George McCoy stared at Heyes. “I know you…”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Kid Curry rushed into the sheriff’s office, the front door banging open.
Lom Trevors was about to take a sip of coffee and surprised, spilled it on his desk. “Kid…” he shouted.
“Lom, George McCoy and gang are robbing the bank!”
Trevors jumped up from behind his chair, pulled out his gun and added the sixth bullet. How many?”
“Two are holdin’ the horses behind the bank and four are in the bank.”
“Inside the bank.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“Me?” Heyes diverted his eyes down and shook his head. “Can’t imagine from where you’d know me. Not like I associate with outlaws.”
McCoy cocked his head to the side and squinted his eyes. “I know you…”
“We gotta get goin’, McCoy!” one of the gang members shouted.
“Who has the combination to the safe?” McCoy demanded. “Someone must!” He grabbed Miss Porter towards himself and put the gun to her head. “Tell me or the lady dies!”
“I do,” came a soft female voice.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“How do you want to handle this?” Curry asked as they left the office.
“Think you can disarm the two with the horses and watch the back? I’ll watch the front until they come out.”
Kid Curry nodded and ran into an alley. He peeked around the corner to see the two men each holding three horses. Ducking back, he gave his chamber a quick spin to confirm it was full.
Lom met Deputy Harker in the street and had him sound the alarm to some of the merchants, who came out with their guns.
Meanwhile, Curry inched his way towards the unsuspecting men. He put his gun to one of their heads. “Drop it!” he ordered. “Both of you! Now quietly walk those horses out into the street. You heard me!”
Two guns dropped to the ground as the men quietly cursed.
“Let’s go!” Kid Curry motioned towards the street with his gun.
When Sheriff Trevors saw two men bringing the horses with Curry behind them, he ordered, “Ben, Floyd, and Wilbur, get the horses and take them to the livery. Harker, take those men to the jail and get back here.”
Three merchants stepped forward and led the horses away while the deputy took the two men to the jail.
Kid Curry joined the sheriff. “Now what?”
“Wait for what?”
“McCoy to come out.”
Kid Curry looked at the sheriff incredulously. “And risk folks gettin’ killed? McCoy’s known to kill. You know they’d be comin’ out already if they got the money. Something’s gone wrong in there.”
Trevors thought a moment. “Let’s give them a little more time unless we hear shooting inside. Go to the back of the bank in case they escape that way. Milton and Leon are good with guns and can go back there with you.”
Hearing their names, the gunsmith and livery owner came forward. “Need us, Sheriff?”
“Yeah. Go with Jones to the back of the bank. He’s in charge – listen to him.”
They nodded and faced Curry.
The Kid sighed. “Follow me.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“You?” McCoy questioned.
Miss Porter slowly nodded.
He grabbed her arm and pushed her to the safe. “Then open it!”
Miss Porter rubbed her arm where McCoy had grabbed and licked her lips. She fumbled with the tumbler as she nervously shook.
“I’m trying!” she cried.
“You’ve made her nervous and now she won’t be able to remember the numbers,” Heyes said with his hands up in the air. “Give her some space and time.”
“I know you…” McCoy gave Heyes a dagger look. “Get over with the rest of the customer. Adam and Warren, get all the customers over there in the corner.”
“McCOY, I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE! COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!” shouted Sheriff Trevors after he knew the bank would be surrounded.
“What the… How did the sheriff know we’re robbin’ ‘the bank?”
Heyes inconspicuously smiled as he thought about his partner.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“You stand on this side of the door and you stand on the other side,” the Kid quietly told Leon and Milton.
“Where will you be, Jones?” asked Milton.
“In front of the door. I’ll get the first two and you each get one in the back.”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
“Get that safe open NOW!” demanded McCoy, banishing his gun.
“Try harder or I’ll start shooting, starting with…” McCoy paused. “How do I know you?”
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Kid Curry sighed. “I ain’t no good at waitin’. Lord knows what’s happenin’ in there.” He looked around and noticed it was almost noon from the position of the sun. The Porterville church bell always rang at noon. “Milton, go tell the Sheriff that if they don’t come out beforehand, I’m goin’ in when the noon bell rings.”
Milton nodded and hurried to deliver the message. He came back a moment later. “Sheriff says he’ll enter the front on the third ring and we should do the same.”
Curry nodded and readied himself.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Miss Porter slowly turned the tumbler and felt the click. She turned the handle and the safe door opened.
DING DONG! McCoy grinned and pushed her out of the way. “It’s about time!” He went to grab the stacks of money.
The front and back doors of the bank banged open! Sheriff Trevors and men rushed in the front and Kid Curry and men charged in the back door.
McCoy turned, drew and aimed at the sheriff.
McCoy cursed as he dropped his gun, his wrist bleeding.
Sheriff Trevors, Deputy Harker, and townsfolk quickly subdued the other three gang members.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The lawmen and a few merchants marched the McCoy gang to the jail while the bank customers, tellers and other townsfolk hugged and told their versions of what happened. All were relieved that no one was seriously hurt or killed.
Kid Curry walked over to his partner. “You okay?”
Heyes nodded. “McCoy was trying to figure out who I was.”
“Good thing he didn’t remember.”
“Good thing you did remember who he was.”
Miss Porter excused herself and came over. “Mr. Jones, that was wonderful! You just burst into the bank and shot that man!”
Kid Curry smiled and shrugged. “It was nothing.”
“And Mr. Smith, you risked your life to defend me.”
The Kid looked at Heyes with an inquiring glance.
“Just pointing out the facts to the robber, ma’am.” Heyes smiled at Miss Porter. “You were the real hero.”
“Me? How so?”
“You didn’t just stumble back out of surprise when they came into the bank and accidentally lock the safe. And you took a fair amount of time to open a safe that you could probably open in your sleep. You saved the bank’s money and delayed until hopefully Sheriff Trevors was aware and in place.” Heyes winked at her.
Miss Porter blushed. “Maybe there were several heroes today.”
_________________ h "Do you ever get the feeling that nothing right is ever going to happen to us again?" - Kid Curry