An old west town tosses a party for Sally.
Fleet Jack Hagen first had the idea to throw a party for Sally.
She had just turned sixteen. Pecan Grove, just north of Dodge
City, Kansas, was want for the shindig, was all revved up to
honor Sally with homemade gifts, cakes and pies, and an
occasional store-bought present; some of the more
well-to-do were able.
Turned into quite the shindig: a square-dance on
the dusty streets as the Kansas sun eyed intently,
even for mid-September. There were mild breezes
and occasionally a tumbleweed would roll into
town like some alien bramble-ball from far away.
Miss Kitty Long arranged for red balloons to help accentuate
the drab of pine wood storefronts. But it was Chad Jay
Ingle who had the idea of a horse for Sally; he knew
she had always wanted one. So he road out to the
Sioux encampment and made a deal with Chief
Red Cloud for a young Palomino fourteen hands
high and tied it to a banyan tree outside of town
in a field of flowing grass lush and thick.
Nellie O’Henry, owner of the General Store, supplied many of
the party accoutrements; her husband, Jonathan, worked hard
on hanging decorations and a, Happy Birthday Sally banner.
He even managed to dig up fireworks he had in the store; he
brought them back from a San Francisco convention.
The steam locomotive was on its way to Abilene but stayed over
so as to blow its whistle often and show that this was no ordinary
birthday celebration. The party grew—more and more people came,
even those from farms a fur piece away, yet they had time, for word
spread like a valley mist in spring days before, and thus this Pecan
Grove to-do morphed into a grand and showy shindig, with laughter
and dancing and hollering and a-fussing over one so dear as young
Miss Sally. Ponytails, dimples, a lacy white dress and eyes so blue
that the sky itself seemed jealous. So happened that a reporter from
back east happened to stop in Pecan Grove; and so he wrote about
the party. When Sally road in on her Palomino, the whole town cheered,
but Clarence Kent (the reporter), got so flustered he dropped his notepad
on the street. Miss Sally beamed from ear-to-ear, yet poor old Clarence
paused with a chagrinned look on his face. But it was also a look
of utter satisfaction.