The cowboys

There are those occasions, gentle readers, when we get an unexpected surprise. One of those that just blows us away. Mine happened in Las Vegas at Cowboy Christmas about 25 years ago when I was selling my art work. A young lady came up to me, I knew her only as another vendor who had a booth close by. It went like this: “Mad Jack, did you know the Sons of the San Joaquin (popular western singing group, like Sons of the Pioneers) featured you in their latest CD called Whence Came The Cowboy?” I was shocked to say the least. She went on, “they chronicled the evolution of the cowboy from the time of the Spanish explorers and name four men in each time period that they had researched as being the best “cowboys” of their time. You along with Waddie Mitchell, Joel Nelson and (one other hombre I did not know) were selected for the song. Now folks, I know Waddie and Joel, and know them to be cowboys of reputation and good ones at that. Me? I was taken back. I will tell you that I have roped and doctored my share of pasture cattle by myself, some in the pasture, a few in the mountains when no one had a cell phone and no one knew exactly where I was working for sure. I have mounted a good many ranch broncs and some that belonged to John Public and have shoed my own horses, fixed my share of fence, pulled my share of calves and dodged a few mad cows and bulls in the sorting pen. I have castrated over 3,000 bull calves, if not more. I believe that would qualify most folks as being a real “cowboy.”

When I got home from Vegas, I called Jack Hannah, lead singer for the group, and asked “how in the world did you come up with my name, and trust me I feel greatly honored that you did as there are so many great cowboys out there?” He told me that when they started this project and were traveling all over the country performing, they ask folks they considered to be cowboys, who they would promote in the song. He said, “your name kept coming up time and time again and we knew you to be the type of man we wanted in our song, so we put you in there.” I personally didn’t think I qualified, but of course, I thanked him and stuck my chest out, bought a larger hat size and went on my way.

On this day, we will honor those who lost their lives on 911. Those guys on that plane in Pennsylvania were “cowboys.”

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and remember, “excuses satisfy only those who make them.” God Bless America, and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.


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