A man, a horse and a cow
Gentle readers, I have always thought that when you can get a man (woman) on a horse with a cow somewhere in the area, it could result in something good excluding accidents, of course. I have had in years past two really good friends that were not cowboys, but somehow wound up a’horseback with me working cattle.
They did the best they could under the circumstances, and I tried not to be too bossy when things got a little hectic. My best friend ever, Jan La Juan Brooks was anything but the feminine sounding name his momma gave him.
We called him Jan or J.L. and that was what he preferred. “Blinky” was his nickname as he wore thick glasses and was always blinking. He had been manager of a Sear’s catalogue department, ran a wrecking yard, was an Allstate Insurance salesman and a reserve deputy sheriff for Ector County, Texas.
Glenn was my other friend. He lived close by when we lived out north of Amarillo, Texas, and I had a cattle backgrounding business. Glenn was a salesman for a wholesale grocery retailer. Put either of these guys on a horse with a steer in front of them in a big ol’ pasture and you had a new experiment about to take place.
It was always fun to have one or both of them with me. Although “Blinky” lived a few hundred miles away he would take the time to come up and “cowboy” with me and many times brought his family of three daughters and his lovely wife who was Martha’s best friend.
I have a photo somewhere in my possession of “Blinky,” Glenn and myself trying to wrestle down a 500-pound steer in a very small corral and brand him. We got’er done and this was at the very start of my cowboy career.
I think you might remember a previous story where I told about Jan “Blinky” coming up to our place to help me do some “cowboyin’.” I had called him and told him I had a contract to look after several hundred head of steers in a four-section pasture. I had also bragged a little that I was pasture roping and doctoring them by myself and I hardly ever missed a loop catchin’ them in the brush.
Here we are, “Blinky” and myself a’horseback as I take down my rope to catch a steer with pinkeye. Children, it took chasing him for over a mile and 13 loops, that’s right, 13 loops before I finally ran him down and dropped a loop on him. An exhausted “Blinky” trying to catch his breath while wildly blinking says, “yep, Hanks, yer one hell of a cowboy,” enough said.
My two good friends are gone. “Blinky” smoked himself to death. His girls, wife and myself badgered him to quit his three-pack-a-day habit and we thought he would after open heart surgery, but he didn’t. C.O.P.D. is not an easy way to go.
Before he went, he scolded me for not putting more pressure on him to quit. Glenn, on the other hand was always the risk taker. He rented an airplane, took one of his buddies up and was doing loop de loops when it stalled out and down they came, killing them both. I loved both of those guys for who they were and how much they loved every aspect of living. Both were solid Christians with wonderful, loving families.
Jan and his wife were here with me when Martha died and I needed them more than they knew.
When I need a little lift I go back in time to when my little kids worked cattle with me or my two best friends were on a horse drifting through the Mesquite with me looking for that cow.
I have been told I live in the past, but heck, I’m 77 and I don’t know the future so, just sayin’ ….
Stay tuned check yer cinch on occasion, treasure your friends and family, play yer cards close to yer chest and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.
By the way I am out of calendars and a BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO PURCHASED ONE OR MORE!❖