Work in Progress
--an essay by Annie--



This little essay sprang from a discussion that we started on the Laramie discussion group. We thought we'd make it a permanent addition to our Laramie Tribute.

The Sherman Ranch was a regular place. As TV ranches went, it wasn't particularly glamorous like the Barkleys of Stockton, and it certainly wasn't vast like Shiloh, or glamorous and vast like the Ponderosa. It didn't even have a cool name like those. No, it was just a homey ranch. It was a working ranch, and boy did they ever.

Compare it with the Barkleys. Heck, those folks never even got sweaty or their clothes dirty! It looked like their clothes were freshly pressed and polished every morning. Slim and Jess (especially Jess) walk around with wet armpits a lot of the time and they got down and dirty regularly.

It's kind of amusing when you think of all the different skills Slim and Jess must have had. They were versatility incarnate. Think about it, Jess and Slim had to have been jacks of all trades. Repairing harness (Killer's Odds)  , soaping harness (that was a favorite thing to make Andy do), mending fences, gates, doors, front porches, and barns that got burned. Painting houses, barns and chest hairs too!  (The Mountain Men)  Rounding up strays (Men in Shadows)  , pulling cows out of bogs (Cactus Lady) , shoeing horses, breaking horses (Street of Hate)  , grooming horses. Catching wild horses for fun and profit (The Long Riders)  . Repairing wagon brakes (Glory Road)  and other blacksmith-y type stuff. Repairing broken axels on stagecoaches (Confederate Express)  , replacing wheels on stagecoaches and wagons, repairing broken furniture (No Second Chance)  .

And that's not even counting domestic pursuits including washing dishes (Killer's Odds)  , sewing (yes! Jess did that once!), cooking, baking (Drifter's Gold)  , washing clothes (Queen of Diamonds)  and of course, digging bullets out of friends, foes and family alike. Oh, and don't forget bookkeeping for the stage line. Oy!

Then of course, there were the "town" jobs. Deputy, Sheriff, Deputy-Sheriff, Acting Sheriff, Acting Deputy...,shotgun for the stage line, builder of gallows, dealer of cards (under-cover, of course). None of these part-time jobs ever bode well. When did Jess ever ride shotgun when absolutely nothing happened? NEVER! When was he ever acting sheriff when no strangers were in town to stir up trouble? NEVER! When did Slim ever leave town when Jess didn't get in trouble? NEVER! Would we have it any other way? NEVER!


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