I learned something new the other day. The fourth Saturday of each July is the “National Day of the Cowboy.” Don’t get too excited. You don’t get any time off or anything. It is a day to remember the Cowboys and Cowgirls of our country and their heritage. I grew up in the west and know a lot of Cowboys but I’m definitely not one of them. I’ve always been a city kid. Even when Iived in the country amongst cowboys. One thing I ‘ve learned is that cowboys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
For example above is a group of cowboys in Idaho. Only three of them have cowboy hats but that doesn’t matter. I think this is a late 1980’s photograph. The guy to the far left is my Dad. I don’t know what kind of hat he is wearing but I don’t think that John Wayne would be caught dead in it. The guy next to my dad is from Peru or somewhere. The photo was shot at a roundup for cattle for my Uncle Frank who is third from right with his wife, my aunt Lois. They had an annual roundup of cattle in late Fall on my uncle’s ranch where they would gather up the cattle and doctor them up and figure out who was going to stay and who was going to become Wendy’s burgers.
My Dad is hardworking and tough and probably a good Cowboy but he makes a great grandfather. Here he is with son Logan. Logan still likes Dad even though he would squash the old guy since Logan clears over 200 pounds these days. (But I can still take him. Or so I tell him quite often)
Here is Dad, the at Geronimo’s grave a few years ago at Fort Sill. Wow, that’s post for you. Getting grilled by the MP’s at the gate (and Dad telling them that he used to be in the army about what we are doing to driving up and down the back country roads of Fort Sill passing all sorts of signs that look like we are about to be in trouble looking for Geronimo’s grave and finally finding it after dark when we were supposed to be back off the post.
Oh sorry, back to the subject. Here are the Cowboys all mounted up ready to go the roundup.
And about twenty years earlier when Dad was the Forest Ranger on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.
And even earlier when he was on either the Pecos or Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. (I forget, I’m sorry)
And about the same time. I don’t know why he is standing in the back of the old pickup.
Anyway, my Dad is my favorite cowboy, who is yours?
According to the National Day of the Cowboy dot com. The following exemplifies the Cowboy Code. Nothing in there about beer or martini time but it still pretty much describes my Father.
1. Live each day with honesty and courage.
2. Take pride in your work. Always do your best.
3. Stay curious. Study hard and learn all you can.
4. Do what has to be done and finish what you start.
5. Be tough, but fair.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. Be clean in thought, word, deed, and dress.
8. Practice tolerance and understanding of others.
9. Be willing to stand up for what’s right.
10. Be an excellent steward of the land and its animals.