The search for "Easy Bolton"

We should have truly known better than to run down to Green River on a Friday night. Four fools with so much more time than money, we were high on energy and gawd-awful short on common sense. At 17 you never seem to tire of the next adventure just over the hill.

There were Danny Jackson, Dudley Miller, Charlie and myself. Now we never did rightly know Charlie’s name. He was 4 years older than the rest of us and had a regular office job. He made $400 a month and his car was paid for. When you begin to talk about a fire engine red, 1959 Chevy Impala convertible, you do it in reverent tones.

This particular night happened to be one of those where as the moon crested the Book Cliff Mountains, it was the size of Texas. There was not a cloud in the sky, and the pale blue moonlight lit up the eastern sky brighter than a Roman candle on the fourth of July. The night was warm at 80 degrees with a light breeze blowing in all the way from Grand Junction. The top was down, the speed limit read 65, and of course, we four heroes had the speedometer on 80. It was 65 miles from Price to Green River and we were going to the rodeo dance.

“What is the name of that girl your sister was with last week, Danny?” Dudley asked. “She is such a fox.”

“Her name is Catherine, but everyone just calls her Easy Bolton. You know why she is called Easy?” He said with a wide grin on his face. The rest of us began to snicker like we knew the score, but for all the big talk we threw around, we were still virgins. We just talked a good story.

Charlie slowed down and looked over his shoulder with a wicked grin and winked a knowing wink at Danny. “It’s not like that at all, you idiots. She is called that because of the sultry way she sings Country and Western songs,” he shot back.

Well, when four big shots like us brain surgeons got together, immaturity waxed strong, and each one fanaticized that he would be the one to teach her how to sing rock and roll.

With the radio tuned to KOMA out of Oklahoma City, we were all up to date on the latest tunes. Roy Orbison was singing his new release, “Pretty Woman.” We were on a Pepsi high and wanted to dance the night away.

Now you have to understand that Green River, Utah, is the watermelon capital of the world.

Right there, smack dab on the edge of town, lay Kline’s watermelon patch. Old man Kline is known all over the west as the king of melons, and had 56 acres of them under irrigation. In the pale moonlight the notion to go dancing seemed to waltz right out the window as we rounded the corner. At first we were just going to take a look, but from that ragtop with the sounds of Roger Miller singing “King of the Road,” we came to an abrupt stop.

For the longest time we just sat there looking and then with a very watchful eye we surveyed the patch. Now I ain’t quite sure which one of us geniuses was first to jump out of the car and in one swift bound clear that four-foot fence, but they all told me it was me. Imagine that!

Everyone around knew that old man Kline had a double barrel shot gun filled with rock salt, and was quick to tell the tales of the slow ones that were caught in his gun sights. Tonight was no exception. I was sliding up to one of the biggest, long green orbs of wet, sweet watermelon. I could hear the guys behind me start to clamor and head for the car. Like the fool I am, I picked up that big old melon and turned to say something, when I heard the first blast from that old 12 gauge. It hit the melon and sent it in 40 different pieces for 30 feet.

Well, my Momma never raised no fool. I bent over to grab one I could run to the car with. Now, don’t go and get ahead of me. This is my story. In the pale moonlight I could see that old man’s face, and he had the grin from hell all over it as he let off that second shot. The force of that shot blew me ten feet forward, right on my face in the mud and what was left of the first melon.

That damn old man let out a war cry that I will never forget and swore before God and all creation that when he got reloaded he intended to send me to meet my Maker. I tried to get up but the mud was too slick and, OH, how my behind hurt. Somewhere between midnight and sunrise, I found my feet and took off over the fence and after that damn car. You see when that second shot exploded in the pale moonlight, the rest of the guys jumped inside and spun around. I managed to jump that fence somehow and after what seemed like forever, I caught up with them and they pulled me into the car. We headed straight back for Price without ever having the thrill of one of Easy’s sultry songs or a dance with a real country cowgirl
“Did you stop along the way, or did you come straight here to the hospital”? asked Dr. Robinson
“No sir, Doctor. We came straight here,” I explained. “Am I gonna die?”

Dr. Robinson smoked a pipe. He drew long on it and held the smoke in his lungs, savoring the aroma as well as the sight of me bent over his table with my pants down around my knees and those other three damn fools laughing like hyenas. “No, Glen,” he said. “I brought you into this world, but I won’t be taking you out—at least, not tonight.”

We sure should have known better, but at 17 and not having the sense to come in out of the rain, I just chalked it up to the misadventures of being me I guess.

Glen “Bear” Smith

The search for "Easy Bolton"


Ogden, United States

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Artist's Description

If you have NEVER done something stupid or foolish, then this aint about you

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