My man, Hank Williams Sr., many years ago sang, “Mind your own business and you won’t be minding mine!” Obvious what he was thinking, obvious too who he was thinking of...everyone, all of us. I thought of Hank one day in a back alley, a couple of us having a smoke, talking small talk, one of us thought out loud, “What side do you suppose he’s on?”. I should have left my curiosity to myself but of course I asked the other two, “What side of what? Who’s he?” Shouldn’t have asked! “Your side,” Red says, so I figured where this was going and said, “See ya.” None of my business. I do try to mind my business, keep an open mind, get along. I could give a hoot where someone leans so long as they don’t lean on me. Maybe Hank said that.

My man Hank, he sang the old cowboy songs, wore the old cowboy double-breasted, pearl-buttoned shirts, white ten gallon hats, alligator cowboy boots, played the old cowboy guitar, yodeled, tapped his boots and strutted on the stage to his cowboy songs. Can’t get no more country! I danced to his music too.

Hank the cowboy died in the back seat of his chauffeured Cadillac, traveling from one sold out stage to another. My man Hank, he OD’d on pills. What? I thought cowboys OD’d on whiskey! Goes to show ya. Too bad Hank died so young, he was the man. Took a pill to get high, a pill to get low, another for in between ... none of my business, Hank was a helluva country western singer. Years back when my mom was riding with, I put a Hank CD in and she smiles and goes, “Oh, Hank!” She loved Hank’s singin’ and probably his struttin’ too. Maybe she didn’t know Hank OD’d on pills, maybe she did. Mom yodeled too, played the guitar and sang to the cows. They liked Hank, gave good milk!

So for sides, I guess I know what side mom was on. No side, too busy with the real stuff. She didn’t know or care what Hank did besides make country western music. Why bother? Got gardening to do, fields to put up, wood to cut, cows to milk and entertain, six kids to say the “what to” to, her ol’ man to remind her who’s in charge. Mom’s business time was taken up, she liked it that way. Easy. She had the party line crank telephone with shorts and longs so someone else could spread everyone else’s business.

Everyone in our family was right-handed except Dale. He was left handed. Dale would’ve had a time with this minding your business and what side stuff, being one to seven odds, left to right. That’s probably why he just wanted to get along, why bother. He trapped weasel, cut popple, shot deer, seined the river, speared suckers. Once in a while he’d swipe one of the folks’ Pall Malls above the outhouse door. Beat me up when he felt like it. He had his hands full. If I didn’t know better I’d say he leaned left! Not! But for sure he minded his own business.

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