October 14, 2014
My grandfather, Bob Guess, was born in 1888, on Crow Flat in New Mexico, under the shadow of the Guadalupes. The closest town was Weed, so that's where his birth certificate was filed. This is an alleged photo of him as a young cowboy. He died the year before I was born and I am named for him.
Bob Guess, somewhere in New Mexico
Celebrating The Life of Charlie Waters
We met in the third grade when my family moved out to Kingman from Iowa for the last time in 1956.
Boze & Bugs, fifth grade Palo Christy Grammar School, 1959
We were both precocious talkers and spent most of the fifth grade by the teacher's desk. Mrs. Klotch had a meritocracy system with everyone in the class seated in order of our grades. Consequently, the right hand row was almost exclusively girls. The only guy who ever penetrated the first row was Charlie Waters. He was a very smart boy. I was stuck in the middle of the second row (unless I was seated next to the teacher, which was often). The number that describes my position best is 86. A little above average, but not by much. Charlie was a 92 kind of guy, who got sucked down to 86 from hanging out with me. Notice the "Pachuko" curl he is affecting in the above photo.
After fifth grade, Charlie's mom, Martha, insisted that we never be in the same class and on registration day she would be there to make sure of it. I never saw the guy again until high school. Ha. Not totally true, because the school and the town were both very small, but is it any wonder we would end up to be best friends?
Oh, and Martha taught me to eat with a fork, but that's another story.
"Nothing is more dangerous than a man who thinks he's already dead."
—Old Vaquero Saying