Partners in ranching long years ago
came to the end of their rope;
personal or money, we can only guess
but devising one last hope:
They would play a game of cards;
both men finally agreed:
The winner could stay and thrive--
The loser must pack and leave!
They chose to play a favorite game:
A game called seven up;
requiring some amount of skill
and a little bit of luck.
Clark smiled to see his trey of clubs
and knowing low trump would win
The odds of Cooley drawing out
were somewhat less than thin.
So he uttered the words that named the city
"SHOW LOW" and laid it down.
What happened next would name the street
that marks the center of town.
For Cooley drew the Deuce of Clubs
And showed it in his hand.
Winning the house and all the cattle,
the ranch and all the land.
Cooley celebrating his luck
named his ranch Show Low;
The street he named Deuce of Clubs;
That's how it happened---now you know!
So what's all that to do with the Commons? Well, the 100.000 acres that the partners ranched were leased from the government---The National Forest---which we the people own and may use IN COMMON. (The seas and the air and the rivers are also a commons---how to manage them and use them is a somewhat tricky legal issue) Anyway, lucky me--My host Carol Berry has invited me to go see her favorite part of it---this little known backroad from Vernon to Greer.