|Newt Dobbs - Lonesome Dove|
Now Newt was a different story. That wasn’t his real name, of course, and to protect him a little…I’ll say his real name was Bob. Bob showed up to work in a big floppy black felt hat. It looked sorta like his dog had some time with it, because the edges had that chewed on look. He was tall and lanky, kind of had that look of almost being starved to death (which I recognized because I was in that almost starved to death category myself!). “Lonesome Dove” was on TV at the time and I think everyone in the country was watching it. One of our customers took one look at Bob’s dog chewed hat and started calling him Newt. Nicknames are a funny thing, the ones we despise the most are the ones that stick, because from the moment on….Bob became Newt. Newt was a pretty good kid (I called him a kid because my Dad said anybody younger than you is a kid and after all he was a couple of years younger than me!), he tried hard and always put forth good effort. No matter how he did the job, good or bad, he just looked like he was a day late and a dollar short. He also became the guy who did all of the derogatory jobs, which was all of the jobs that were beneath my vast skill level. He became the plumber/welder, which of course was just above the stall cleaner/cow feeders.
Once when we were getting ready for a weekend cutting that we always had in Patison, Newt was doing some welding on the pipe fence in the arena. He had the welding truck pulled in, using all the tools that went along with being a welder. On this particular truck the vise was always a source of consternation; the little balls on either end of the handle were always falling off, it could drive you crazy digging around in the dirt for them dadgum things. After watching Newt dig around in the dirt for a while, the boss must have thought he was playing…so he headed over to do a little multi tasking. One he needed to use the vise and second find out why this kid was still playing in the dirt. At the same time, Newt had enough of those little balls. So as the boss walked up, Newt grabbed his welding thingy (technical term there for anyone who is uninformed) and quick as a whistle…welded those little balls on either end of the handle, to the handle. No more digging in the dirt for him!