Previously Gunsite Gossip
Lyrics by Lindy December 1995
When our daughter Lindy married Joe Wisdom
he brought to the alliance among other things six hundred dollars
in hard cash and an old sporterized 1903 rifle. A phrase slipped
out of the woodwork and into my ear that might fit into a Country
Western-type ballad. To wit:
"Ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix with six
hundred dollars and a 30-06."
Since the saying needs another syllable in order to make it bounce
properly, I raised the six to seven and thought we might use it to
start off something that Johnnie Cash might sing..
The years went by and I never thought about it further until Lindy
took up the writing of verse. I suggested to her that we had the
makings of a song here, but that I did not have any more words, so
just now the poem "Grandpa's Lesson" has turned up in the
- Pappy took to drinkin' back when I was barely three.
- Ma got pretty quiet. She was frettin', you could see.
- So I was sent to Grandpa and he raised me up real good.
- He taught me what I oughta and he taught me what I should.
- I learned a heap 'o lessons from the yarns he liked to
- There's one I won't forget because I learned it 'speshly
- "There jist ain't many folk who live a peaceful, carefree
- Along with all the good times there'll be lotsa grief and
- But ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
- With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
- Grandpa courted Grandma near the town of old Cheyenne.
- Her daddy was cantankerous - a very greedy man.
- He wouldn't give permission for a fancy wedding day
- 'Til grandpa paid a dowry--biggest ever people say.
- Her daddy softened up when Grandpa said that he could fix
- Him up with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six.
- Grandpa herded cattle down around Jalisco way.
- Ended up behind some iron bars one dusty day.
- Seems the local jefe craved my Grandpa's pinto mare.
- Grandpa wouldn't sell her so he lit on out of there.
- Didn't take much doin' 'cept a couple special tricks
- plus seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.
- Then there was that Faro game near San Francisco say.
- Grandpa's cards was smokin' hot and he took all one day.
- He woke up nearly naked in a ditch next early morn'.
- With nothin' but his flannel shirt, and it was ripped and
- Those others were professionals and they don't play for
- He lost seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.
- He begged some woolen trousers off the local storekeep
- Who loaned him both a pony and a rifle on a dare.
- He caught those thievin' cardsharks at another Faro game.
- He got back all his property and also his good name.
- He left one bleedin' badly and another mostly lame.
- My grandpa's trusty rifle shoots just where you choose to
- Grandpa's slowin' down a bit and just the other night
- He handed me his rifle and a box sealed up real tight.
- He fixed me with them pale grey eyes and this is what he
- "You're awful young but steady too and I will soon be
- I'll bet this here old rifle and this honest money too
- Will come in mighty handy just as readily for you.
- There jist ain't many folk who lead a carefree, peaceful
- Along with times of happiness, there's always woe and
- But ... aint many troubles that a man cain't fix
- with seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six."
Lindy Cooper Wisdom
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal
use only. Not for publication.