Francis had an invitation to a Tea Party at a fancy hotel downtown

Can you imagine a mule going to a fancy hotel to attend a tea party given by a group of elderly ladies?  

donkey eating grass

Francis was a friendly mule who loved my dad.  His mule followed him anywhere.  Mom stayed away, but she loved him too. 

This particular story is about,  “Francis at the Tea Party”.

Dad found this wild mule in Palo Duro  Canyon near Amarillo.  It is the second biggest Canyon in the United States.   It is worth a visit. 

Francis kicked up a storm when he was put in a Horse Trailor.   Why did not dad get a Mule Trailor?    Francis would have behaved beautifully!The small Canyon in the panhandle of Texas

Dad tamed the mule and also taught him how to drink coca cola from a coke bottle.  He managed this in the lot behind his home in Canyon, Texas.

Now, Francis followed dad all the time; whenever possible. Mules are like that.   They will favor one person and will be faithful forever.

Dad would be doing some project and the mule would be right there behind dad’s back.  I guess Francis was curious.

They are usually devoted to one individual.  You can read about mules.  They are so fascinating to learn about. 

Francis’ reputation grew as a mule who behaved beautifully and it came to no surprise that some elderly ladies invited dad and Frances to a Tea Party at a certain dining room in a fancy motel downtown Amarillo.

By the way, my dad’s name was William Harry Wheeler.  He did many wonderful things in his life.    

Anyway, Dad told these ladies that he would be glad to bring Francis to the hotel to attend their “Tea Party” thinking that the publicity about Francis would not hurt the curio shop business.                                                                        

Francis’ reputation grew as a mule who behaved beautifully and it came to no surprise that some elderly ladies invited dad and Frances to a Tea Party at a certain dining room in a fancy motel downtown Amarillo.   

This image looks like the same lobby Francis went to his tea party. 

Hotel lobby of the William Penn Hotel

Here is a picture of a tea room in a fancy hotel.   It looks like the one Francis went to for his tea party.


an hotel tea room

Dad later repeated the story to all of us about how Francis behaved.
 Well, the hotel people led Francis across the beautiful, elegant lobby to the elevator.  Now then, Dad was getting worried.  
As you know a mule doesn’t go to a furnished bathroom, so Dad was a little afraid he would use the elevator on the trip up as a restroom.   But Francis behaved beautifully!

Well, will Francis continue to behave?

Next, they walked down a long hallway to the tea room.  Now, dad became really nervous.

So now I want you to picture a gorgeous room with many tables and balloons way up high.  It was bright and distracting.   All these ladies were dressed up to the tee.  

(pardon my pun)    The bottom picture above shows a tea room just like the tea room dad took Francis to visit these ladies.

Francis was led up by one of the ladies to the front of the tea room so that everyone would see him.                                                                                                                                                            

After the whoo’s and aha’s, the leader of the group gave a small talk while the ladies drank their tea and ate their cakes and cucumber sandwiches.   Francis was standing

next to her.

Again dad was a little more afraid Francis would use the tea room as a restroom.   Dad tried to look calm; not worried.    He was not even thinking about the possibility of

Francis biting!!

Time passed slowly for dad.  One minute was like an hour.   Sweat was dripping from his neck and pouring under his armpits

Will Francis continue to behave even more?

To ask a question and answer yes or no.

                                                                                                                                                                             Yes?      No?

Finally, after 10 minutes or so, Dad was still smiling like it was glued to his face.  His mouth was not even twitching.   Dad just knew that it was too long for Francis to wait–

you guessed it–to go pee.

But, he did not.  After the party finished, the elderly ladies petted Francis and said their “whoo’s” and “aha’s” and thanked my dad for the privilege of talking with Francis.   Dad was so very proud of Francis; not one impolite hee haw was given.  

I believe Francis knew the party with these older ladies was a special event.

Then, Francis was led again to the elevator, crossed the lobby expanse and then dad led him out the door.  It was there on the pavement that Francis used it for his restroom. 

Dad guided him to the curb.

Both Francis and dad seemed relieved!!

Francis behaved beautifully!                                                                                                                        girl laughing                                                                                                                                                       Beautiful happy stars                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                       ++++++ fini ++++++

What do these stories have to do with my website, ‘find me jeans ‘ with the title, ‘501® Levi® original and tall & big original fit jeans for



Let me give you the reasons I included the stories about Francis, our coke mule drinking (out of a bottle). How is Levi Strauss and Company of the 1950’s and 1960 related to the events that occurred with my dad’s overlapping life?

Levi Strauss and my dad both had the same qualities and their way of doing business by their using innovations was similar.
I decided that these mule stories fitted in with the Levi Stauss & Co with their unique innovations during the 1950’s.

The 1950’s was the time dad trained his mule to drink coca cola out of a bottle; an innovative way to advertise his business, a curio shop named the Corral Curio Shop.
LS&Co also embarked on an innovative way for advertising and promoting his products. LS&Co, in the 1950’s, introduced a zippered version of the overalls to accommodate the people in the East. (too cold for them to have the original buttoned overalls).

Dad built his small cowboy (22-feet) to entertain the tourist. Training a mule to drink cokes out of a bottle was an innovative way to entertain the tourist and was considered “a new way” to advertise his curio shop.
In 1960, LS&Co opened and insisted his new plant in the south be fully integrated. This was before the Civil Federal Rights were enacted.

Dad’s new motel allowed visitors of all colors to be allowed in his motel rooms, even though all the motels from California to his motel in Texas refused to rent a room to “certain” people. Dad’s motel was also fully integrated.
Let me begin this little saga so that all will understand why I included these mule stories. These are my memories and I hope they will become yours too.


  Those were the times of new beginnings, rebellion,  new fashion, turnip greens and soul music.   I loved those jeans and I loved my childhood memories!

1950 fashion in ladies's pants

Soul group the Platters

                                                               1950's movie with Monroe          1950 fashion bell bottoms 



 I would love to hear from all of you.   These are true stories.   Please comment and perhaps you have a mule story too.   Many people would like to read more Francis stories.   Give me your opinion.   Any email I have from you will go only to inform you of more posts and Websites that I have written.


Judy. Owner of the Website,   The title is 501® Levi original and tall & big original fit jeans for men.

Thank you!

You can order your special DVD about another Francis who was a talking mule.  The theaters showed many Francis the talking mule and one or a whole set is available for you from

Amazon, a fine company.  There are 2 more of my stories about my dad’s coca cola drinking pal, Francis.  I invite you to wear jeans while reading the Mule Stories!

(I hope they are Levi jeans.  If not, I hope you will consider buying the 501® Levi original and the tall & big original fit jeans for men,)   Here are the links to the DVD Francis, the Talking Mule.

And get your jeans on and make believe you live in the time Francis was alive–the 1950’s.  Jeans were still around too although they were called overalls until they were named jeans.

 You have the complete works and the coffee mug and the three movies. (VHA–$ 29.99)   Also included is the comic book series.



Francis The Talking Mule – Vol.1: Classic Comics Library #348: The Complete Dell Four-Color Series in Two Volumes — Issues #1-9 in this Book — Over 350 Pages — All Stories — No Ads

Complete collection

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