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bus at curios shopMy mule story-a busload of kids     An introduction to Francis, our beautiful mule who loved drinking cokes and who entertained thousands of tourist over 50 years ago.   He is talking to you.  “Heeeee  Ha” 

This is the story about the busload of kids who gave Francis one or more bottles of coca cola one day.   It was on a Saturday when Francis saw the bus.

Francis heard the commotion but did not figure out who these kids were doing on a bus.  Then they started buying the 10 cent bottle of coke.

“Hee Ha”  “Hee Ha!”   Francis, the coke drinking mule brayed to the kids to give him a bottle of coke.  There were at least 20 kids.

 

 

 

 

All the kids were excited and ready to buy Francis a coke.  Someone had told the bus driver to stop at the Corral Curio Shop in Canyon, near Amarillo.

He knew that Francis loved to drink cokes out of a bottle.   All the kids got off the bus and ran to the porch.  The coke machine was next to the door and on the porch.

cokes for tourist and Francis

Francis was contained in an area at the end.  She had a fence around the area where he could walk around.   Tourist put their kids on Francis sometimes.

He was near enough that he could see the coke machine.  But the coke machine made a caching every time someone dropped a ten cent coin.

Every time a kid went to the coke machine to buy a coke, he would loudly cry our his mule talk.

“Heeeeee-Haa.”    The ‘heeee’ tone is deep down and held a short time and low in the throat.   Then the ‘ha’ tone is made abruptly and raised with an inward bray high in the throat.   

The kids understood what Francis was saying.   Yep, they sure did.

Now, you may ask me what does a mule story have to do with 501 Levi jeans for men?

I would say,  my vivid memories of those days of the big 47-foot cowboy, brings a wealth

of reminders of the denim jeans that the big cowboy wore.   Many tourists touched the denim

jeans and the cowboy and put their kids on top of the shoe to take pictures.  But that memory

extends to other things my dad did which the tourist enjoyed.                                                                                                             Writer of mule stories

I wrote some stories recently that just reminded me of that day over 50 years ago.   Yep!  My mule stories.

Every evening when I helped tourists with their souvenirs, I evening was usually not too busy.   I took the time to look at the sunsets.

Since the road was flat, the sunset was very beautiful to creative daydreams.  This picture reminds me of the road going close to the curio shop.

a typical road in Texas

 

Typical sunset in Texas

The Mule stories-‘a busload of kids’ was written before the 501® Levi®  jeans were made for the big cowboy at a Levis® manufacturing plant.

Remembering the late 1950’s, I had thought about all the innovative things dad did to entertain tourist and perk their interest in buying the souvenirs at our curio shop.

Levi Strauss built an empire of fashioned jeans, starting with the blue jeans that have lasted over a 100 years.

Both men were shrewd businessmen; yet humble and close to those around them.   Both loved Classical music.   But were humanitarians.

Jacob Davis            Levi Strauss

Jacob Davis, inventor of the blue jean

picture of Levi Strauss

 

 

 

 

 

When I write my mule stories, I think about the life of Levi Strauss, the man.   Both my dad and Levi Strauss had humble beginnings.

Dad entertained people by building and designing the big 47-foot cowboy, the museum, the signs all around, and a coke drinking and vocal, friendly mule.

That is the background I grew up with and it is not a surprise that I had a wealth of memories to later write about.

I wish I knew more about Levi Strauss in order to do him justice for all his works.

My mom was a composer, piano teacher and an accompanist for some university voice majors.

piano and composition sheet music

 

This website is to entertain you with these Posts.  The story about the big 47-foot cowboy is just one example.

In the short 9 years, dad built the curio shop, a little cowboy (22 feet). the life-size gunfighter museum;  the motel and the Corral Curio Shop.

The tourists in the 1950’s and 1960’s were entertained. 

These undertakings equipped my dad to be creative as well as providing financially for his family.   He was a civilian for the Amarillo Air Force Base and worked as an editor/writer for technical manuals.

This website, ‘findmejeans.com’  was written to help provide me with more financial security.  But mostly it is for my kids in hopes that they would appreciate the memories their mom had about the mule, the cowboy, the curio shop, and other stories written on my Website.

The site gave me the opportunity to entertain.

We were talking about the mule Francis talking to the busload of kids when they deposited their 10 cents in the coke machine.

One of the kids started giving a coke to Francis.  There must have been 30 or more kids on the bus.

Each one at least gives one coke, but many gave more than one.   Francis was overjoyed.  Later, the kids lost interest and went inside the curio shop to buy some curios.

After a while, they all got on the bus and left.

That night it was my turn to wash the dishes.  I had helped my mom when all those kids came, but my twin sister did too.

It was a family event that day.  We had tourist come every time some would leave.

There were often three separate groups that would come at the same time.  I was about to give change and knew the price of everything.

I had fun, but I was tired later.

We did not have the big cowboy nor the gunfighter museum in the early 1950’s.

The only entertainments that tourist had were the curios from the curio shop named the Corral Curio Shop and the beautiful, loving mule, Francis.

Tourists were looking for a cool and a different curio shop to buy their souvenirs.

There were some really great things we had in the curio shop such as jewelry, Texas plates and ashtrays, and cowboy stuff.  A large variety of things.

moccasins from the curio shop

Ashtray that is handmade

 

 

 

 

 

The next morning, dad started to clean Francis’s area where he lived to sleep and to eat or to get away from people.  Dad noticed Francis not moving very much.  As dad cleaned, Francis remained where he was in the middle of his “home”.

Dad tried to move him around, but Francis would not move.  Francis looked sick.  Kind of pink around the mouth; at least that is what dad thought.  Dad was finishing up when he tought he would have to call a Vet to come out to see what was wrong with Francis.

When He was finished, dad heard Francis give a sound not unlike a human being sound when they are releasing gas.  Swooishshshshs.

After that Francis was fine.  He did not sleep during the night, so he nudged dad and went to sleep.  Dad told this story and said that the busload of kids must have given a lot of cokes to Francis.  He did not think it funny.  Dad said, “he could have died drinking all that coke.”   Yes, and if you said coke overdose, most people today would think drugs and not cote from a coke bottle drinking mule.   We have wino’s, but Francis would be called a ‘mulo’.

All mules are personable and I  remember Francis as being friendly, sometimes obstinate, and decidedly loyal to my dad.  

The small Canyon in the panhandle of Texas

Dad found Francis at the Palo Duro Canyon which is a smaller version of the Grand Canyon.  Francis was there just a wild as he could be.   Somehow my dad was able to catch him and bring him kicking along behind our house in a large field.

Dad built a lean-to to protect him from the elements.  Now, this is not the picture, but I just want you to get an idea of how dad thought of everything.

Dad's lean-to for Francis

There is a lot of information about the mule.

Wikipedia contributors. “Mule.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 May. 2018. Web. 11 May. 2018.

A mule is an offspring of a male donkey (called a jack) and a mare ( a female horse)  A donkey The has been described the same way as a mule.  A hinny is the offspring of a female donkey (called a jenny) and a male horse.

Wikipedia, states in an article about the mule that “mules are more patient, hardy and longer lived than horses, and less obstinate and more intelligent”

Then the article speaks about the sizes of mules.  “The size of the mule depends on the breeding of the male’s female parent called a dun.  (Wikipedia)

DONKEY  (mule)      |   HORSE

Long thick ears          |   Short ears  

Large face             |   Long face  

Tails and manes are stiff and bristle manes  |   Manes and tails are softer  & more flowing manes  

Tails with separate strands & the rest are smooth  |   Tails are long at the top of the tail              

Hoofs are small and box-like    |   Hoofs are larger than donkeys

Bellies are hourglass shape & from front legs    |   Bellies begin with the belly behind the front legs        

Back has 5 vertebrae & with high front and with less dip tail end   |   Back has 6 vertebrae

Forehead and eyes are  wider apart     |   Forehead and eyes are closer together

 Neck comes up out of the shoulders     |   Neck comes up out of the front legs    

 

Harry S. Truman former Vice President, said once, “My favorite animal is the mule.   He has more horse sense than a horse.   He knows when to stop eating—and he knows when to stop working!”

Please leave a comment on the post article or any of my posts.  I would be very interested.  Thank you.  I would love to hear my visitors to my Website to comment on any of the mule stories.  Email is for notifying you about new websites I am building.

Judy@findmejeans.com

 

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