Mystery mudhole dries up

by Gordon and Belle Hall, A Peep into the Past, Vol 1, 1990 pg 28

In a previous story, I told of how when we were living on a Bow View ranch three miles west of Cochrane in the early 1920s, Irish Armstrong kept an active mudhole, well-watered, with a lamp in the window at night and a team harnessed, so that when people got stuck Irish would pull them out, for a fee of course. 

Toward the end of the summer of this year, Joe and Alice Boston were coming to Cochrane – in their rig pulled by a snappy team. Mrs. Boston was arrayed in what finery she had, I suppose, topped off by a hat given to her by Lady Adela Cochrane at Mitford. Mrs. Boston used to be Lady Adela’s maid before she married Joe. The hat, I understood, was quite a creation with feathers on one side and berries and things on the other. However, they hit a mudhole and Alice left the rig and landed in some more mud with the hat on the bottom. Poor soul. What a mess. 

Joe loaded her into the rig and brought her to our place. She was almost drowned. And mud – there was mud everywhere. My mother took control and got her into the bedroom and got her clothes off and told me to start hauling and heating water as she would have to bathe her and wash her hair. I had a hard time hauling water because I couldn’t stop laughing until mother cuffed my ears. Lady Adela’s hat was a complete ruin and her clothes were muddy and soaked. 

Irish had disappeared, and I didn’t think about the mudhole until Joe Boston, who had gone on to Cochrane to shop, came back, and when he stomped into the house said “Why in hell is there a big mudhole in front of your gate and none along the rest of the road:” Well no one spoke up, at least not till the Boston’s were gone, then Irish was tuned in by mother, no more watering mudholes, no more lights in windows, and no horses kept in harness. Amen. 

In the 1940s when I was working at the Texaco service station in Cochrane, a Grand Valley rancher drove in one morning for gas. He had a Chev sedan with the rear seat removed and a nanny goat standing in its place. The goat had its head out of one of the windows and was bleating its head off. I don’t think it stopped for breath. Asked by someone what the occasion was, the rancher answered, “I’m looking for a he goat,” and departed. About three hours later, he returned, the goat still giving tongue. Asked how he made out, the rancher replied, “Oh I finally found a he goat, but by that time she had changed her mind.” 

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