Title: That’s Once!
In the late 50’s, Morris Edelstein told me this “true account” of how he married
his wife Yetta … and why, throughout their long marriage of 50+ years, she was always so very careful not to rile him.
In the old days the primitive road to Morris’ ranch was made of concrete poured into the hard limestone bed of the very wide but shallow South Fork of the Guadalupe River, with a curb poured to dam the water out.
Over time, the river broke the curb in many places with the result that it
let water in on the road and the road caught many flood borne snags and had broken places in the concrete with gravel bars and little deep water-
filled holes in it.
As “Uncle Morris” told me, he had proposed to my Aunt Yetta and on his
wedding day, had saddled his horse and another one named Old Joe and
trailed Old Joe into Kerrville, where he “married Yetta, proper”.
After the reception, he put Yetta up on Old Joe and began the up river
trip back to the Ranch where they would make their home.
After a few miles, Old Joe stepped over a mossy patch of concrete and
slipped, thus startling Yetta.
Morris turned to Old Joe and said ‘Old Joe, that’s Once!’ Yetta
responded by snapping at Morris: “Morris, it was only a little slip and
the horse is old and the footing was slippery.”
After a few miles more up the trail, Old Joe tried to jump across a water
filled hole … but it was a little farther than he could reach and his hind
quarters didn’t quite make the jump and his back end went splashing
into the water getting Yetta’s dress wet. Morris turned around and said
‘Old Joe, that’s twice!’ Yetta again fussed at him for fussing at the horse.
A few more miles up the road and Old Joe stepped gingerly across a snag
left over from a past flood and a little branch tickled his belly and he
“hunched” thus frightening Yetta.
Morris never said another word, he just got down off his horse, walked
back, took Yetta off and put her up on his horse behind his saddle,
removed Old Joe’s saddle and bridle, took out his pistol and shot Old Joe
dead in his tracks.
With this Yetta got very upset and began to shriek and yell at Morris that
Old Joe was a nice old horse that he was innocent enough and that it
was damned cruel and inhumane for Morris to have shot him … to which
Morris calmly turned around, pointed his finger at Yetta’s face and said
“Yetta, that’s Once!”