Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “cowboy”

Adios, Pard

photo rodney and al

Rodney was, among other things, a Mountain Man, and his wishes were for his ashes to be spread at some of his favorite places in the mountains.

A gun collector, knife maker, and history buff, Rodney enjoyed going to Mountain Man Rendevous.  He had the outfit.  He had a great knowledge of American Indian culture, such as making a sweat lodge.  His spirituality included a connection with red hawks.  Back in the 70s, when the TV series Centennial was filmed around here, Rodney was an extra, playing an Indian riding a horse bareback.   Movie star!

Rodney enjoyed countless camping trips, ranging from sleeping under the stars in a bedroll to traveling in a Mercedes RV with his devoted wife, Debra.

Debra is a New York Times Best Selling author, who wrote about Rodney as an example of exhibiting genuine cowboy values.  He used to manage a ranch at a remote location, staying in a primitive cabin during the winter, taking care of the livestock.  You could depend on Rodney.   So could our nation.  He served in the military.

Rodney encouraged me to join the Single Action Shooting Society, found the kind of rifle I needed, and told me about the Hell on Wheels competition in Cheyenne.  He even suggested that my wife join SASS as well, using her alias, Miss Sugar.  She did.

Debra and Rodney regularly made trips to Santa Fe, relishing in the SouthWest culture there.  Sugar and I went with them a couple times.  Rodney knew a lot about Santa Fe, so we got much more out of the trips than if we’d gone alone.  They built a beautiful Santa Fe style home in the hills above Fort Collins, decorated like a gallery of Western art and artifacts.  There, in the place he loved, with the woman he loved, he died.

Adios, amigo.  Happy trails to you, until we meet again.


Loyalty To Your Pards

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An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The cowboy was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

 After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.

 Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

 He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”

“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered. 

“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.

“Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”

 As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, “Can I bring my partners, too?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

 After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.  “Excuse me,” he called to the man, “Do you have any water?”

“Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.”

“How about my friends here?” the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

“Of course! They look thirsty, too,” said the man.

 The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.  When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. “What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.

“This is Heaven,” he answered.

“That’s confusing,” the traveler said, “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”

“Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.”

“Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?”

“Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”

scamp crossing bridge

 Author Unknown

I did not write this, but I like it and wanted to pass it on.  I do take credit for the authentic illustrations.

The Path to Contentment

My wife has been holding me back from realizing my full potential.  Again.

You might recall reading in another post how she failed to show the proper enthusiasm for my plan to be a professional gambler.  Well, she is at it again.

“Sugar,” I said, “I have been reading some self-improvement literature that has inspired me to become whatever I desire to become, with no limitations.  I read that sometimes a person needs to quit his or her job and thus be free to explore.  Free to be me. ”

“I thought being a lawyer was your vocational goal that, by the way, you were allowed to achieve.  Wasn’t that your ‘whatever I desire to become’?”

“Yes.  It used to be, among other things, such as my NFL career, but I have been a lawyer for a pretty long time and I like to change jobs every thirty years or so, you know, just to stay fresh.”

“So what is your alternate plan now that you were not drafted by an NFL team? Again.”

“For your information, I am still available as a free agent.  Me and Tim Tebow and a lot of good players are free agents.  I am what is known as an undrafted free agent.”

“Yes, I have heard you explain that many times over many years.  It is very impressive indeed, but maybe, after thirty years, you should replace that goal of playing in the NFL.  If you quit practicing law, what are you going to do while awaiting that call from an NFL team?  Maybe it isn’t in the cards, even for a perfect physical specimen such as you are.  Maybe God knows that it would not be fair to the other guys on the field.”

“I was thinking of being an astronaut or something cool like that, provided NASA agrees to call forwarding of NFL calls.”

“Wouldn’t motion sickness be a drawback?”  Sugar can be very direct.  It is not an attractive quality.

“Hey, the Mind Eraser at the amusement park does not count. It is way worse than a simple spacecraft.”

“Well, maybe you should go back to your earliest inner and outer self-identity.  You know, feeling free to be the real you.  Look inside the essence of your being.  What are your first memories?  How did you see yourself at age two?  At age four?  At age twelve?  Sixteen? What was your passion then, when you had no responsibilities?  What made you truly happy?”

“Being a cowboy!”

“Exactly.  That is who you are.”

I saw her point. ” So you are saying that I should be a Cowboy-Astronaut?  When I am not on a space mission, I could record country songs and rodeo a little.”

“I was thinking Cowboy Lawyer.  We do live on a ranch.  You could ride horses in your spare time, when you are not going to your law office or court.  How does that sound?”

“Sugar, that is a perfect idea.  I am glad we had this talk.  That sounds like a satisfying life.  I will give it a whirl.  You are an excellent vocational counselor.  Thanks for providing clarity.”

Nevertheless, if the Broncos need me, I have to be flexible about re-arranging my vocational status.

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