Sunday, May 20, 2012


James "Viejo" Trujillo is one of my best and oldest friends here (relatively- despite his nickname, given because he was gray- haired at 21, he is a decade younger than me). He is a horseman above all, a cowboy, and a farrier, a man who never spent much time indoors. Now he is laid up by terrible diabetes; he has been medevaced out 100 miles to Albuquerque three times in the last month and a half. He is on dialysis three times a week, and needs new kidneys. I believe others than relatives can sign up, and there could still be the possibility of a match, so I am putting out both a query for info, if anyone knows much (docs don't talk to unrelated friends and he has been preoccupied to say the least), and a general request. I am also told my Parkinson's disqualifies me but don't KNOW this...
James was my best man the second time I married Libby (without a divorce-- this was the local, Catholic ceremony rather than the first, a C of E version with a female priest in Montana); he wore his hat and boots and spurs despite the objections of the (obnoxious non- local soon to be gone politically correct modern) priest.

Viejo tale: for a while almost 20 years ago he leased the bar. I was working in a corner there as I always have, when three junior cowboys from a neighboring county (guess which?) came in. One was offended by the sight of someone reading and was suddenly leaning over me: "Where you from?"

I said back with just a little less attitude: "Here." Went back to editing. Kid shoves me: "Where you REALLY from?"

"HERE!" I stand up as he says "Where'r you born?"

... I am answering and starting to push back, at which point James is suddenly between us saying "He told you three fuckin' times: HE'S FROM HERE!"

"He is... and you're not. Your money is no good; the drinks are on me. Finish up... then you and your friends leave, and don't come back."

They left and I said, "Viejo, you didn't have to do that." He replied "The hell I didn't! You drink your drink and shut up or I'll throw your sorry ass out too."

This story is pro- manners, not even a little bit anti- cowboy. I will soon tell the one about Sis and the Sybille Bedford memoir. And leave you right now with this wonderful language, a statement that only a cowboy could say. Around the same time as the last tale, some boors were badmouthing women in general on James's watch at the Spur. He took it as long as he could, then came over, put his hands on the bar, and said: "I don't know about you boys, but that ol gal I'm married to?-- she is one good son of a bitch."


Unknown said...

...hate to say this but you look like Nana Bodio in this pic...mangia!

Unknown said...

...hate to say this but you look like Nana Bodio in this pic...mangia!

Steve Bodio said...

Yikes!-- not sure I wasn't sayin' it or the equivalent: "Damn, Viejo, yer too damn skinny!"