Jake

 

28" X 22"

Oil On Canvas

 

1976

The Rancher

     After a hard day's work he would light up a cigar, his Doughboy hat tipped forward, just trying to relax. With each puff the seriousness of the day would ease and his mood became less serious.

    Jake, a long time rancher, remembered the War To End All Wars (World War I). Sometimes he spoke about the war (Jake was an infantry soldier) as if the war was yesterday.

     I was caught up in his demeanor, the way his hat tipped, how he spoke with a slight southern drawl, the way he leaned on the fence post and smoked his cigar. I can still smell that cigar. I thought he looked real cool.

     Jake was somehow able to look at people and size them up. He would decide if he liked you right away. If he didn't like you he would not bother talking to you beyond what was necessary. If he did like you he would have a detailed conversation about something that was important to him.

     So, at the end of one of his work day, lighting his cigar, tipping his hat forward, leaning on the fence post and finally relaxing he said to me,

"Nick , there is one thing I like after a good day's work and that is a good smoke.

There is only one thing I like better than a good smoke and that is a glass of good whiskey.

But, seeing that I don't have the whiskey handy I'll just have a good conversation with you.

So, what do you want to talk about?"

     Knowing better I said, "Well Jake, let's talk about you!"