“Hope” is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops ... at all - Emily Dickenson

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I got this out of a scrapbook that James Paulson kept. Sorry it's trimmed off on the left. I know what it would have said. It would of said that Ella Lewis was an educated young school marm who married a big raw-boned hard-ass man who spent his life farming bad dirt, but always had enough money for pretty horses. Cassel ran about 6'2', wide and tough, at a time when 6' was a tall man. I knew him as a a crippled old man, his big hands swollen like baseball mitts, still trying to work. He only quit when he couldn't hold the reins of his horses, his true joy in life. His brother Jack was even taller and wider, a giant in his day. I remember them talking about growing up in Boone, Iowa when it was a coal mining town - a tough town with tough men. It was hard to imagine those two crippled old men leveling all comers in a bar room brawl. They grinned and clenched their big arthritic fists just thinking about it. 50 years later the memories of kicking someone's ass still brought joy to their hearts. I think it was all downhill after that. Life had no more asses to kick.

My grandparents lived in a rundown old house with no plumbing except one coldwater tap. It was heated with wood and oil stoves, insulated with Zane Grey paperbacks and held together with paint. But Mart (nobody ever called him Lawrence) always had good looking horses.

1 comment:

Margadant said...

I recognized the name, then checked the picture, and everything connected. Yah, I'd seen that guy around; but I never knew his details. Thanks for the kick in the (increasinly confused) memory cells.