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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: "Cowboy and Sammy"
By Alfreda Byars



Cowboy was one of sixteen children. His family roots were said to be traced from Canada. Old Cowboy and his brother Sammy were a handful. It was told one day their father Joseph smoked him and his brother Sammy for destroying one of the neighbors’ watermelon patch. By smoking them, Joseph their father, put the two boys in a large croaker sack and tied the top of it with a rope, he then tossed the rope over a large branch in a tree and heisted the boys into the air leaving them hanging. Joseph then gathered twigs and small branches together and lit a small fire and smothered it out just to get it smoking. The smoking was said it would help drive out some of the badness in the boys. Well, it didn’t seem to work, it wasn’t long before Cowboy and Sammy were back to their old tricks.

Cowboy and Sammy grew to be handsome outstanding young men but yet still full of mischief. Cowboy stood at 6’3 and 190 lbs and he loved wearing cowboy boots, white t-shirts, jeans and a cowboy hat. He smoked a cigar and carried a guitar and his voice was so heavy that it would really scare you when he got roused up.

Both Cowboy and Sammy enlisted in the Korean war. Sammy loved being a military man, his desire was to make a career out of it, but he was wounded in the war and suffered paralysis in his legs and was sent home. Both Cowboy and Sammy married after the war. Cowboy had eight sons, {two which were a set of twins} and four daughters and Sammy married and had two daughters and four sons. You would think that the mischief would have died down, well it didn’t, Cowboy and Sammy were truly two of a kind. You see, Cowboy was my Dad and his real name was Emanuel William Johnson Sr. and Sammy, which was Samuel, was my Uncle and God Father and he called me Freda delightful.

I remember working with my Dad out in the yard on a hot summer’s day, I stood close as to help him and watch. He would sweat so profoundly that it would literally drop off of him like rain. He would stop and take a cold drink and say, “Oh this water sure is wet,” then he would take his finger to wipe his forehead and then sling it at me catching me right in the eyes and burning so badly and I would holler out, Daddy how disgusting, and he would laugh uncontrollably.

I loved Cowboy, in my eyes there was not anything that he could not do. Everything he did, he excelled in it. Cowboy could out cook or out bake any woman. Sadly to say, Cowboy passed away in his late 70‘s and by that time I had children of my own and he had the chance to be in their lives as he was in mine. The children got a kick out of hearing about the tales of Cowboy and Sammy and listening to him pick on his guitar. My youngest daughter Tabitha did not get to know Cowboy. When I first began to tell her stories of Cowboy she cried, and I asked her why was she crying, and she said, “I missed my grandfather”.

Seeing Uncle Sammy was just like looking at my own Dad, they were so much alike. Before Sammy died, he would visit me frequently often talking of Cowboy and remembering the times they had together. Sammy wanted to give me a gun that he got in the Korean war. He said it was a gun he used to kill a Korean soldier that had fought with him for his life. The gun was still loaded and because of that I would not take it for fear of bringing it around my children and he refused to remove the bullets from the gun. After Uncle Sammy died, I wished I would have kept the gun, knowing that it once belonged to him. Uncle Sammy was so proud when my oldest son became a Marine. Before Sammy died, he and I restored their old war pictures and had them printed in the newspaper in honor of veterans day. Even though they are gone, I still get to see them every day when I look at that old snapshot. They still bring a smile to my face.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 05/11/07
I could feel your love for both these men in every word. I enjoyed this very much. Nice job!
Dolores Stohler05/11/07
Your story held my interest all the way through. Colorful character, your father, but the smoking made my hair stand on end, lol. Found some grammatical errors, but with a careful revision this story should find a place in some publication. Nice work.