On our way out to Alaska we went thru Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota and a lot of other western states. I believe it was Montana where we stopped at ''Uncle Buckles'' trading post and gas station. It is one of those long low buildings that is a combination of a lot of things and they sell gas also. I eased up to the gas pumps and Willa and I got out. I told her that I would pump the gas and she cold go inside and see if they had any ''honey mustard'' that we were out of. From the look of the place it should have about anything you could think of. Willa went inside and I pumped the tank full. I went inside to pay for the gas and I was amazed at the variety of ''stuff'' this guy had available for sale to tourists. Somewhere in the back I could hear Willa talking to ''Uncle Buckle'' but they were too far away for me to understand what they were saying. I leaned against the counter and got a piece of buffalo jerky from the jar and waited to pay for the gas. Willa came forward in the shop with a big smile on her face and told me to cover my eyes, she had a surprise for me. I love this lady and I would do anything for her so I covered my eyes and stood there with buffalo jerky stuck in my teeth. Willa yelled ok and ''Uncle Buckle” came up toward the front of the store. I heard a loud ''thump'' on the floor and someone adjusting something on the floor. I still had my eyes shut and the buffalo jerky in my teeth when she said
''Ok, Open your eyes''..............''S U R P R I S EEEEEEE''..... ''HOW DO YOU LIKE IT''?
There before me was a piece of plywood three quarters of an inch thick and four feet by four feet square with the biggest buffalo head on it that I had ever seen. The outer edges of the plywood was branded with all kinds of western type cow brands and it had a rope imbedded around the edge of the plywood. I was so dumbfounded that I dropped my piece of buffalo jerky on the floor. All I could say was.....
''Uhhhhhhhhhhhh?...... What did you buy that for Willa?''
''You dont like it and I bought it as a surprise for you cause I love you and cause you like western stuff and we can re do the living room at the house in a western style and it will look good in there and this is the head of the last buffalo killed by Buffalo Bill back in eighteen something or other and it is signed by him. See right here on the plywood... ''BB'' killed this buffalo with a sharp rock.... Signed ''Buffalo Bill'' in red crayola crayon.''
''How we gonna haul the thing?''
''I figure we can tie it to the ladder and wrap it in plastic''
About an hour later we had the buffalo head tied to the ladder on the back of the coach. It was wrapped in plastic to keep out the rain and it actually looked like a buffalo had stuck its head thru the back of the coach wall from the inside and had smothered itself in the plastic liner from the wall.
Somewhere in the next little town we stopped at a stoplight when some ''Smart Alex'' cow boy in a pick up truck pulled up beside us and said ''HAY MAN,,,,,,,Your buffalo is escaping thru your rear wall '' and laughed real loud.
We headed west without comment...
Willa and me heading across country going to Alaska...