My Tennessee Brother-in-law

My Brother-in-law Don came into my life when I was fairly young. He was a big man and had a wonderful laugh. The first time I met him I liked him instantly.

Don Beene

Don showing off his new pickup in 1991

At the time he married my sister my folks were still on the farm and we had animals as well as farm land. We had pigs, cows, horses, chickens and maybe still some ducks. After observing all this one day my Brother-in-law announced to my Dad in his southern drawl,

Bill, they told me this was the land of the Big Sky, but now I see it’s the land of the Pig Sty!

Montana of course is a land for hunting in the fall of the year and my Brother-in-law got a deer this one year. We always took the deer hides to town and traded them for gloves or a little money. Don’s deer was hanging in the shed and my Dad told him to go out and skin the deer so my mother could take the hide to town. He went to the shed and was gone a long, long time. My mother got ready to go to town and still no Don and no hide. My mom went to the shed to see my Brother-in-law laboring on the deer hide. He had only skinned one back leg in all that time. My mother with her dress on grabbed the knife and skinned the deer in what Don said later was less than 2 minutes. She threw the hide into a sack and off to town she went without a word, leaving my Tennessee Brother-in-law standing with his mouth wide open.

Welcome to Montana..

Montana shed - Montana Musings

Shed where the skinning was done, a long time ago

My good old friend Don B. my sisters husband went to the big hunting range in the sky a while ago, and I sure do miss my Tennessee Friend.

What a good man.

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  1. Slim says:

    No disrespect to Don, he was just being very careful and doing a good job. My ma was just in a hurry, as she always had too much to do…

  2. Susan Schmele says:

    It seems great grandma was extremely skilled and very efficient. Grandma would say her mother was a “dead eye dick with a shot gun.” That still impresses me as I have neither skill set.

    • Slim says:

      Thanks for sharing Susan, I love these saying that these older ones had. They certainly had a unique way of putting things.

  3. Slim says:

    Yep Susan my ma your Great Grandma could shovel wheat, drive truck, tractor, generally work like a man if she had to. Then she washed clothes, cooked, and raised 5 kids on the side. Prairie people, a strong bunch.

  4. kent dolphay says:

    she had quite a talent with game birds as well, my first memory of Grandma is: I was staying with her for a few days, she was hurrying home to get there before the “guys”(Russell and Grandpa Bill) came back from hunting and she was driving fast down the dirt road at dusk; as she popped over one of the little rolling hills in the road she ran right into a bunch of pheasants crossing the road. Feathers flew as she hit the brakes she backed up a little and got out and started grabbing injured birds with both hands, and I can still see her in the headlights, bird in both hands wringing their necks.

    • Slim says:

      Yep Kent and did I mention she could ride a horse like it was second nature. She was raised on horses. Thanks for sharing that about the birds.

  5. Michelle Coyle says:

    My Grandmother was tough like that too! She raised 12 children in Grass Range, and then in Lewistown in a one room house! I dearly love the Montana Spirit! There’s nothing quite like it! Thanks again for sharing your stories -I’m really enjoying them!

  6. Slim says:

    Thanks Michelle for your comments and sharing that..

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