does anyone out there of a certain age
not know who this man is?
of course not.
he’s the american male icon of an age.
oddly enough my father looked very much like him.
and he was lean and mean too . . . like this young john wayne above!
my father was not mean. not mean at all. that’s just an expression.
you know . . . lean and mean. meaning i think . . .
the kind of man that could handle anything he needed to! prepared. capable.
he was simply a man who knew exactly what he was. he expected a lot from himself.
he expected a lot from you too.
and you had better measure up.
and more than that . . . you WANTED to measure up. for him. for yourself.
in his genes . . .
his very blood . . .
his dna . . .
was the pioneer spirit of the old west.
he was a Texan.
and texans do not take that lightly.
his great grandfather had been a texas u.s. marshal.
he wore one of these.
and oddly enough . . .
each great grandson of that marshal later had a career in law enforcement!
my own father and each of his two brothers.
the little bit i know of my father’s side of the family is through word of mouth ~
from his own mother ~ and my mother ~ and his younger brother jack.
daddy died when i was 17 and the marine was 14 ~ as you know if you’re a peanut reader.
that didn’t leave much time to get to know him. to know him as an adult i mean.
i know he was an excellent horseman. i remember watching him ride.
he told me once when i asked him what he would have been in a different time . . .
and i remember that he never hesitated . . .
“i would have been a scout for a wagon train.”
so he was a cowboy in his spirit. i always felt that about him.
there was a certain quietness about him. a confidence in the inner man.
my father spoke cowboy.
that’s not to say he was an uneducated man. he spoke beautifully.
and he never swore. he said it showed a lack of vocabulary in expressing yourself.
when i say he spoke “cowboy” i mean he spoke with few words.
he lived by a simple code.
he never talked anything to death. he said what he meant. he meant what he said.
he was a champion of animals. all animals. and anyone helpless.
i see that same quality in the marine. and yet daddy died before truly having a chance
to instill that in his son. so where did he get that? it’s interesting.
here’s a picture of a young cowboy these days. i like that he’s got that dog on his saddle.
maybe it has a sore paw. or it’s plum worn out. or maybe he just wants to be near him.
whatever the reason . . . it tells me about that cowboy.
i found an example of that code. the code my father lived by.
the cowboy code i call it.
that pretty much sums it up doesn’t it.
simplicity of life. maybe that’s where i inherited my love for simplicity.
the life of a cowboy was one of a loner in many respects.
lots of time with your own self. your own thoughts. and the open air.
our father had that. the marine has that.
in my own way i have that.
i’m not a joiner. or a crowd person. no. not for me.
there was a camaraderie with other cowboys.
you might owe your life to one someday. the west was an unforgiving place.
it still can be.
he expected a lot from us. my mother. my brother and me.
a lot had been expected of him.
he’d lost his own dad when he was nine years old. you might remember that.
his story is in the side bar here of my previous blog posts. (the good ones . . . jim reed).
i wish you’d read it old bean if you haven’t. a fascinating man. a fascinating story.
worth sharing with you. i did love him so.
i don’t know why i should be thinking of him right now. but i am.
i’d like to think i’ll never let him down.
here i am 24 years older than he was when he died. and thinking about that!
funny what stays with you.
i also know he believed in ‘mind over matter.’ just as i do.
and next week . . . i am thinking my heart will be strong and steady and not flip out on me.
like it did in the stent thing some years back.
i intend for it to behave. like it knows it should.
it’s simply a matter of mind over matter old bean!
and now that i’ve publicly admitted that i don’t trust it very much . . .
i feel better! LOLOL.
confession is so good for the soul.
while we’re confessing . . .
MAN!!! could i ever put away a nice stack of pancakes with butter and warm maple syrup!
now what brought THAT on ????? pray tell. alas. and as it were !!!
yup. no pancakes for me tonight.
it’s late. so i’ll wrap this up.
i appreciate you letting me share my dad with you again.
memories among friends are always nice i think.
i can see his face before me. and it’s such a wonderful face.
it’s the same face he had when he was 45 years old. not a grey hair on his head.
he was beautiful! so strong and brave. i so wish i could have gotten to really know him!
i would be a fool to have those genes running through my veins and ever let him down.
there’s absolutely NO WAY i would have been a cowboy or cowgirl or a pioneer old bean.
i’d have stayed back there in the cool green lushness of the east where my little mother was from!
i want comfort. and civilization !!!
give me the civilized land!!! LOL.
AND YET . . .
i AM a romantic. and let’s face it. the cowboy IS a romanticized breed!
so for me
and maybe for you as well . . .
there will always be something about the american cowboy . . .
that i love.
til soon old bean!