Sunday, January 1, 2012

Impolite rats unwelcome at Grandpa's bank

Ray S. Dix as a boy

(left to right) Ray, Maynard, Leslie, Meredith, Leland, and Myrtle

DID I TELL YOU THE STORY of my dad as a kid selling magazines door to door posing as a one-armed waif?  He pulled one arm inside his jacket and conspicuously fastened the empty sleeve with a big safety pin in front.  Allegedly, he was selling a lot of magazines in Cedar Falls, Iowa until his suspicious dad, Ray Dix, previously mentioned in by one day in his jitney, (looking for him?) saw his armless, first-born son up on somebody's porch.  My dad was taking an order, whereupon there was a wood-shed re-enactment later, and an end to that. 

That's the same grandfather who pulled a Colt 45 from behind his bank cashier's window and shot the meandering rat that had a lady customer screaming.  I might have told you that one too.  He actually missed it in the bank and pursued it down the dirt street in Ainsworth Iowa, banging away till he hit it. 

Business at the bank picked up after that. People from neighboring towns moved their accounts there, for Grandpa thereafter had a fanning reputation in rural Iowa for being a small but brave man with a big gun and not afraid to use it.   Bonnie & Clyde gave the screen-doored Ainsworth bank a wide berth.  The map showing their rambling robbery route that was found in their bullet-riddled car that fateful day of their machine gun murders by the law was said to have a circle around Ainsworth and a boldly written warning: RAY S. DIX.

I stood on the front porch at 2009 Clay Street, Cedar Falls IA practicing with my own gun in full cowboy costume.  (Upper right photo)  In the attic of that four-square house there were boxes of saved toys
my dad and his 3 brothers had played with.  One was an old erector set assembly of a pick-up truck.

That rusty toy reposes in my office, and the gun-toting picture is co-framed with a similar photo of John Helt, also drawing a gun, in Burlington, Iowa.


Personally, I myself would not shoot a rat to preserve the peaceful halls of any bank.
And truthfully, the rat shown in our yesterday post was a wooden one, dated Feb. 28, 2003, 
a birthday gift to commemorate my being born in the Chinese year of The Rat.
That is not necessarily a bad thing.