The corral-based lifestyle

As long as we’re checking in with old compañeros, say howdy to my man Hal Walter.

Hal is Bug-bound up to Weirdcliffe, in Crusty County, Colo., where he’s helping his son finish his sophomore year in high school; trying to cobble together something approximating a living (he doesn’t call his blog “Hardscrabble Times” as a party gag); and pondering the cancellation of the marquee events on this year’s burro-racing calendar.

“You know, these are weird times,” he says in the video up top. “I’ve been in the sport of pack-burro racing for 40 years, and the idea that we wouldn’t … have a season is just unbelievable to me. The important thing, I think, is for us all to stay connected — stay connected to our animals, the earth, and the sky.”

Social distancing isn’t much of an adjustment for guys like Hal and me. We’ve been home-based scribes for hire since forever (some days it seems so, anyway). And we weren’t all that cuddly when we had reg’lar newspaper jobs. Ask anyone.

But The Bug® is out to bite us all in some tender place, no matter what we do or where we do it. The sumbitch got Hal and his burro-racing buddies right in the ass. So, like the rest of us, he’s just trying to keep himself plugged in and plugging along, putting one foot in front of the other.

You can download a free copy of Hal’s latest e-book, “American Flats,” at “Hardscrabble Times.”

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6 Responses to “The corral-based lifestyle”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The thought of taking a book from Hal for free trouble me. That video was great, and the point that resonated with me is do we want to go back to normal. Patrick, thanks for this post. When I read about demand at food banks, and on the same page reports of farmers having to kill and dispose of pigs, makes me wonder if we don’t need a new normal.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Paddy me lad, Hal also sells books, so if you’d like to throw some money at him, it can be done.

      Check the sidebar on his website: “Full Tilt Boogie,” “Endurance,” and “Wild Burro Tales” can all be had in paperback or digital form.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Meena has been volunteering at the Food Bank here in Fanta Se and if her stories are representative of the food industry, you just don’t want to know. We long ago tried to distance ourselves from Agribusiness. Its hard.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Hal has some interesting stories about the thriving weed bidness in Southern Colorado and how some growers have to stray far afield (ho ho ho) to obtain water in the absence of a federal blessing of their enterprises.

        He knows a few people growing critters and vegetables who would love to have a little weed sideline to help pay the bills, but apparently the voodoo that is local, state, and federal water law makes this more or less impossible.

        Doesn’t seem to me that we’re much smarter now about what and how people eat, drink, and smoke than we were when the G-men were chasing Johnny Rocco and his Packard full of bathtub gin around Chicago.

  2. Hurben Says:

    Not quite on topic,

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Without comment.

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