"I was sitting on the porch in my overalls
As she packed her things to leave
She changed her mind, when she couldn't change me."
My name is Jackson Hunter; Jack to most everyone, except my mom or dad when I am in trouble. I got called Jackson a lot as I was growing up. You see I had a rather adventurous childhood. I've grown and at 24, am college grad, standing 6 feet 2, and weigh 205 or so.
The family Hunter, at least our part, consists of my parents, my two older brothers (James & William) and Alyssa, my baby sister. Don't let her know I called her my baby sister; she hates that. I am actually younger than she is but I'm taller.
The family is not rich, but is fairly well to do. My parents are hard working people and have always lived off of their earnings. However, there are trust funds set up for college, start money, and investments. These funds are courtesy of my great, great, Grandfather James and his son William. They made their money in land speculation. They are who my brothers are named after.
After college I used some of my trust fund to buy a ranch close to Greer's Ferry Lake in Arkansas. Okay, it was really a large farm (500 acres), with grazing rights on another 1000 acres of government land. I own it so I can call it a ranch if I want to. I started to raise beef cattle. Hired some people who knew what they were doing and I learned from them. I was working hard, making a little money, and having the time of my life. Everything was going great, and then I met Melody.
Melody Samuels was a reported for the largest T.V. station in the state. She came from Little Rock to do a feature on the troubles the ranchers and farmers were having with the extremely severe weather that winter. She had been told by people at the station, that I was the one to talk to.
Our Sheriff introduced her and she asked if she could spend a few days with me. Melody wanted to learn about the problems we were faced with and what we were doing to overcome them. I wasn't too excited about the prospect.
"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Miss Samuels," I told her. "Why don't you stick to some interviews and go back home?"
Melody informed me, "I need to see the problems firsthand so I can make a better report. You can call me Melody."
"You better find someone else then. I'm not interested."
"Why not Jack? I was told that you have one of the bigger spreads and that your methods were the best. I need to get this story."
"I, I, I, that's all you know. All you want is a story. Did you ever think about the families that may lose everything? Report about that."
"WOW. What brought all that on?" Melody was surprised at my outburst.
"Sorry, I usually don't preach until Sunday," I answered with a grin. I hesitated for a minute and said, "If I let you come with me you have to understand some things. When I go out to check on the cattle, sometimes I have to stay overnight. I have three or four small cabins set up just in case. The weather is going to be a stone bitch and I won't be able to run you back to town if things get rough."
"I can handle that, Jack."
"Not in those shoes you can't. If you want to go with me be at my place at 6:30 tomorrow morning, Sam. You need to get clothes for this weather though."
"Sam? My name is Melody."
"Not to me. You're Sam and that's it," I laughed at her.
Sam met me at my ranch house the next morning; with the proper clothes I might add. We jumped in my truck and started on our inspection and it was snowing lightly when we left the house. We were as far from the house as we could get and my truck just stopped. I'm a fair mechanic, but the problem was beyond me and it had started to snow much harder.
"What are we going to do? Can we call for help?" Sam wanted to know.
"No service out here and the CB radio is on the fritz too," I told her. "We are going to have to hike to the closest cabin and wait for the weather to clear. It's about 4 miles and we need to get going. This snow is getting heavier and the temperature will drop as the sun goes down."
We made good time to the cabin. I have to hand it to Sam, she was a trooper. She didn't whimper, complain, or bitch, she just walked. After three hours we got to the cabin as the temperature dropped steadily until it must have been in the low teens. If we had been in the Rockies, I would have called this snow storm a blizzard. Hiking cross country is not the same as hiking on roads or trails but we made very good time for the conditions and the terrain.
We stepped inside and Sam just sat down on the floor. She was about done in so I started a fire in the fireplace and pulled Sam over in front of it. I always had extra clothes in the cabins and I made her get out of her wet socks and jeans. Very nice body, of course I was just checking her for frostbite. Yeah, right. Even very cold, she looked lovely.
The cabins are always well stocked so I was able make some coffee. Our dinner was canned beef stew and some canned fruit. The cabin had a working CB radio and I was able to call the house and let them know where we were. Sometimes, I'm so smart; to think of well stocked cabins with radios. My foreman would be out to get us as soon as the weather let up.
We spent two nights at the cabin. During that time about all we had to do was sleep and talk. I know what you're thinking, but there was no sex. We didn't even kiss, but we did get to know and like each other. My foreman showed up for us after two nights. We were almost sorry to see him.
When we got Sam back to town she said to me, "We stayed two nights at your place. Come to Little Rock and I will return the favor. Here's my card with my cell number. Call me."
I may be a country boy, but I'm not some stupid hayseed. The call was place three days after she left; had to give her time to thaw out. She told me to pick her up at the station Friday, after she did the news. That was the start of our romance.
Little Rock is about 55 miles from my ranch, as the crow flies. Of course I'm no crow so I had to drive about 70 miles to get there. We became an item. Little Rock was close enough that we got to spend 2 or 3 nights a week together. Sam would come to the ranch and spend a long weekend and I would return the favor in Little Rock. Our time was filled with fun, passion and growing closer.
We were in bed in Sam's apartment on a Saturday morning and her boss called. He told her that a big public relations firm in L.A. had seen some of her televised reports and were very impressed. They were offering her a position with them and they wanted an answer by next Tuesday.
Sam was so excited but at the same time sad. If she took the job, she would have to move to California. It was a great opportunity but she loved her life here. Sam had grown to love me, the ranch, and our life together.
As much as I hated to admit it, I knew something like this would happen. It killed me, but Sam was too talented to stay in Arkansas. There were bigger things on the horizon for her, and I knew it. I was in love with her but I couldn't hold her back.
"What are you going to do Sam, turn it down? This is what you have been working for your whole career. The big time. You have to take the job."
"What about us? I don't want to lose you; I just found you."
"I know it sounds hokey, but if we are meant to be together, we will be. I'm a great believer in karma," I told her. I don't believe in all that crap, but I had to make it easier for Sam. Guess that's what you do for someone you love.
Sam called the P.R. firm on Monday and accepted the job. One week later she was gone; moved to the west coast. Our last week together was both wonderful and at the same time heartbreaking. During that week Sam tried numerous times to get me to move with her. She argued that my foreman was already handling the day to day operation of my ranch. I could fly back two or three times a month to check up on things.
"I'm a rancher Sam. Good or bad that's what I have decided to do with my life. I wouldn't fit in out there. What kind of work could I do? No, I'll stay in my world and visit yours'. That is if you want me to."
She said, "Of course I want you to visit. Not just for a weekend though. Come and visit for two weeks or a month."
I agreed to come to visit when she got settled. That's what I did. I would fly to California every two months and stay for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. This went on for a year and a half. Then Sam got a big promotion.
Sam didn't have as much time to spend with me after the promotion. She had to work late several nights until 11:00 or so; not every night, but at least once or twice a week. If we had been living together it wouldn't have been a problem, but I was only there for 7 to 10 days, so it was a big deal. It was always some show or movie opening that cut in to our time. I was of course invited to take her to these affairs and for some of them I did don a tux and join her. I wasn't really happy with all this Hollywood stuff but went along because it was Sam's job and she needed my support not my criticisms.
As I said, I was only with Sam for 7 to 10 days every two months or so. All of the late nights at work, the parties, and the PR functions were seriously cutting into our time together. I loved Sam and guess I would have gone on this way for a long time. That is, until the big gala for a major motion picture studio. It was a party to celebrate a movie they had just released, that was a box office smash.
.... There is more of this story ...