Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: The most heartfelt assistance

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Cowboys and cowgirls help one of their own.”

There’ve been sarcastic remarks about contestants doing whatever it takes to beat the opponent. That might be true in certain sports and work environments. It may even occur somewhere in the horse world, but that’s sure not the case in several horseshow circuits.

Some might claim it’s due to seniority, maturity, being an old cowboy. While perhaps occasional indication of such, everybody is always eager to help another.

From wishing good luck, to congratulatory comment, to sympathetic understanding, to advice, to helping hand, whatever, congeniality is forever present.

Most fortunate it is as assistance has been sought increasingly throughout the season.

Outstanding speed event mounts want to do their best every out. Like with athletes in many fields, anticipating nerves create tension expressed in various ways.

Cody rides like a stock horse pleasure winner in the pasture, and warming up in competition pen. Third sense takes ahold when it’s run time becoming extremely cautious about entering the arena.

Without request, help is immediately provided from fellow contestants, gatekeepers, even bystanders. That’s from coaxing to driving to leading from the ground or horseback into the course so the race begins.

No matter the time and experience working with horses, things are still done with poor judgment, being plain dumb. Caring horseshow friends granted most gracious support to every degree when Maggie, rider just mounting, went over backwards.

Handler error admitted; with no blame whatsoever to the smart horse. Still, hard landing made imagined throb slow movement, while damage was real to the horn-broken saddle.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Whistle provides notice, warning

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Five working days a week, the town whistle blows at noon and again at 6 o’clock.”

City slickers are alarmed by the loud shrill questioning: “What’s that?”

Not too many communities regularly sound announcement it’s “dinnertime” and when to officially “stop working.”

Fortunately, the hometown these days continues the practice, although there is occasional malfunction.

Few realize the whistle absence, but there’s typical small town folk uprising when the buzzer continues screeching for extended time.

Rural town visitors always comment about the twice-a-day whistles, yet sirens are common place in the state’s capital city. There are also loud chimes that city churches regularly toll, certain days, specific times.

Some country churches still faithfully, thankfully, continue ringing the church bell, or semblance thereof, at Sunday starting time.

Even when there are real bells with truly beautiful melody, they don’t ring when electricity’s off or timer’s caput. That’s not a problem when the deacon, pastor or church board member pulls the bell rope.

Mid-last-century, Mr. Fisher, the Garfield Grade School principal, came out of the front door every school day morning at 8:15. With copper-colored bell in hand, he’d select one of the students for ringing the bell “school’s ready to start.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Lost are always found

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Somebody said it’s called “mazeophobia.” That’s a big word for fear of being lost.

Probably not actually a fright of such so much as it sure is easy to not know where one is.

It’s happened a jillion times in the big chain store parking lot, several times at a dozen airports and a handful of major cities.

As bad as or perhaps worse than getting lost in a metropolis is in a multi-section Flint Hills pasture. When there’s native prairie as far as can be seen everywhere, it’s difficult to know which direction is which. Fortunately, ranch managers have that keen sense, while bewildered wannabees sometimes ride in circles.

Worse case urban scenario was in a Boston, Mass., rented car trying to find the horse show grounds. That same coin-throw-toll bridge was driven over several times before making the correct turn.

Another nightmare memory was trying to find the Seattle, Wash., airport for a 3 o’clock morning flight. Repeated calls to the show manager kept responding: “It’s right there.” No, it wasn’t, but fortunately figured out where it was, just before the stewardess closed the airplane door.

Can’t help but reflect, too, on 1968 when lost in the state fair parking lot. Had ridden with neighbors to the best groomed boy contest, and was meeting at 4 o’clock to come home. Obviously lost was found.

Semblances occurred twice in recent weeks trying to locate horseshow arenas in small northeast Kansas communities. Maps, the internet and show bills all provide directions, but they’re vague or incomplete.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Unique purchase is right

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“What kind of cowboy he is can be told by the boots he wears.”

Not unlike the shape and color of hat, brand and fit of jeans, or shirt style.

Of course, there are many opinions. What one thinks best another wouldn’t be seen wearing “such weird-looking boots.”

Boots generally have little to do with one’s horseback abilities, but that’s arguable, too.

High tops on boots provide lower leg and ankle protection from stirrup leather friction while fending off brush. Upon dismounting, boot tops again protect legs from rocks, shrubs and even rattlesnakes.

Some claim high tops allow a cowboy to pull his foot out of the boot, preventing being dragged when bucked off. Unfortunately, not always, speaking from experience.

There are stove top boots, short round tops and variations in-between. Some feature about every array of fancy stitching, and others none at all.

Lace up tops, what some call packer boots, were popular mid-last-century. Disappearing for a while, there was comeback, but never personal appeal. Advantage of boots, in opinion, is slip on, not tie on.

Heels and toes create considerable cowboy controversy.  The angled “cowboy” heel is higher than the lower “walking” heel, varying from the squared-off “roper” heel. Fitting of spur onto the boot above the heel draws varied pros and cons, too.

About every extreme of toe shape has existed, come, gone, and returned through two centuries of horsemen wearing boots. Round toed boots in some form have remained throughout the years.

Square toes were popular in the 1950s, being replaced by pointed toes, sharper the better, often hurting toes. Square toed boots have returned with many thinking they’re the only kind.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Pleasant memories of inspirational hero

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t smile at a funeral.”

Whoever said that would’ve been offended by reflections bringing pleasantries at recent graveside services.

Uncontrollable, the honorable feeling as the good pastor put 92 years into 15 minutes.

True living, farm life to the ultimate, yet most remarkably one of the very best people ever known. Wasn’t acquainted with Max until he provided sheep for a judging contest hosted by neighbor farm couple.

Always the most personable gentleman, remaining-lifetime friendship soon established. When that annual field day became this ranch project, Max was most dependable help.

Sometimes call-request was late, but the class or two of sheep always arrived early. Whatever assistance needed, moving livestock, taking reasons, collecting cards, Max did it.

A quarter-of-a-century, sometimes beautiful, sometimes icy cold. One frigid day, big wooly sheep escaped. Younger set scattering to retrieve from a 10-acre field, Max grinned the way for which he was best known.

At first-year horse sale during the field day, Tyson offered Little Jo, filly he’d trained, for auction. Apparent affection between not-yet-teenager and proud-project created sentimentality.

Max’s heartstrings touched, demanding: “You can’t sell that boy’s horse.” Gavel dropped, but Jo remained.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Teenager projects serving today

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.

“A strong gate is essential to keep the horses in.”

Oh, sometimes a single wire or makeshift floorboard panel will do the job. Still, generally to keep “hay-burners” confined requires dependable fencing, yet convenient way for cowboy and mount in and out.

Five steel gates constructed 50 years ago with pipe and welding rod still serve that purpose well.

Grocery carryout boy-wannabe cowboy finished the freshman agriculture fill-in blank notebook fast. That was requirement to get into the shop to learn how to weld. Welding rod stuck to the steel, burned holes in jeans, stinging eyes from the rays, blisters received touching hot metal.

Nonetheless, skill gained such that test welds sometimes outscored farm kids who were supposed to already know how.

Vocational agriculture then was a two-hour class for sophomores. A personal project had to be constructed, or work on FFA road signs and hog feeding floor.

Old wire and makeshift wooden dilapidated gates were almost same as none, so efforts were directed to building steel replacements.

Measurement was taken of the first big hole in the fence and construction began. Inch-and-a-quarter pipe from the school pile was power sawed to appropriate lengths.

Upper-downer pieces were ground so top and bottom pipes would fit into them for convenient welding and strength. Five-eighth-inch sucker rods were pounded to bend and fit at 45-degree angles from end pipes to center piece as braces.

Two pieces of three-quarter-inch pipe were welded on one end to serve as hinge with L-bolts in the corner post. Steel caps were welded over open pipe ends, and all welds were ground smooth to enhance appearance.

Steel woven wire exact length of gate was purchased at Rumsey & White Hardware Store on the way to school. Strands were individually wired to one end pipe. Opposite end of the wire went around an additional pipe with three-eighth-inch bolts tightening the woven wire across gate opening.

Project got a blue ribbon at the county fair, and is still in use, with a heavier cattle panel replacing the original wire.

Actually, four more gates, with a few adjustments for improvement, were also made to rate the FFA chapter farm mechanics medal.

Reminds of Joshua 8:30: “He built it following the instructions of the teacher.” Then, John 15:3: “It has greater strength and usefulness than before.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Old prize still used

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Pack the bag and hit the road.”

Not used nearly as often as many would, suitcases are helpful convenience when forced to be away from the ranch.

Oh, a brown paper bag or plastic sack work for an extra shirt and jeans when just a few hours. Hanging the extras in the pickup is convenient, too. However, when gone overnight or a couple of days, luggage generally comes into use.

It’s the golden anniversary for the well-worn blue turquoise suitcases still being packed and serving fine. Fund raising effort for the junior class in those days was magazine sales to help pay for the annual prom. Maybe today’s high school teenagers still sponsor theirs that way, uncertain?

To make it a competitive effort among classmates, prize was given to top salesperson on the first day. Always wanting to beat others, up and down Main Street, all the grocery store lady friends, family everywhere solicited.

Ramona and a couple other go-getters had sales pads filled. But, the redneck grocery store carryout-wannabe cowboy had more signed lines at check-in.

Made from cardboard, with “cheap” plastic-type covering, original cost for the suitcases couldn’t have been much. Recipient was still pleased.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Complications of modern communications

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Where’ve you been? I’ve tried to call six times, and the phone just keeps ringing.”

That aggravated customer Thursday afternoon wanted to get a Saturday night dance advertised on the radio.

It was an offensive setback, as anxious to assist anybody wanting to spread good news and increase patronage. Most humbly apologized for the inconvenience making sure it wasn’t a direct line call, because they’re always answered efficiently.

No, the main number had been dialed, and it’s been going through transitions. Relieved, explanation cleared the air, so direct contact will be made in the future.

Modern technology to increase efficiency seems more time consuming than old ways. When wanting to talk to somebody at a business with many employees, it’s a major rigmarole.

After excessive rings, typically, a machine answers. Mechanism is usually apparent, yet sometimes it sounds like a real person, and conversation begins. There are situations when a verbal response is requested, and occasionally even correctly acted upon.

More common, the contraption first explains that everything will be recorded, so “please don’t be vulgar.” Then, “punch in the extension of the person wanted.”

Generally, there’s no clue what that number is. Others must be naïve too, as the next step is “say the first three letters of the first, (or last) name.” Another problem, “how’s Cathy spell it, C or K?”

Even when correct extension is known, automation doesn’t heed the ranch phone dial. These phones are only 46 years old and work fine. They shouldn’t be replaced with push buttons to call somebody.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Blessings of the rain

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Rain makes the grass grow.”

That’s good from every regard, way better than the opposite.

“When have the crops looked any better in the second week of August?”

Appreciating the sufficient rains on the home front, another rancher just 30 miles down the highway instantly contradicted. “We really do need a rain.”

Weather analysis not particularly disgruntled or even disagreeing always brings comment. It depends on locale, certainly. A field just down the road from another might have a bumper crop, compared to mediocrity.

Semblance, overall majority of crops appear lush driving by, but it’s not always the accurate picture. Several days earlier when temperature exceeded 100 degrees, curling plant leaves were most apparent. Yields undoubtedly hampered, although difficult to calculate extent.

Date of planting has direct influence on grain in the bin. Date of rains, temperature during stage of growth, it’s all left up to the power of nature. Just a few days make the difference between profits, loss.

Native grass in most pastures seen daily truly is stirrup high on a 16-hand horse. Even those intensely grazed generally have comeback of lush green, ample to turn more cattle out.

As importantly, ponds are full, many overflowing the spillway. Creeks running, as draws and wet weather seeps supply water, too.

Depending when and where, tame hay tonnage set records, as other was reported average, even low.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Doing what’s most important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s impossible to be everywhere at the same time.”

Something has to give, and it’s a major decision deciding which that’s going to be. More so, determining the one of many things wanted to do in a day.

What is the most important? Whatever selected means missing out on all of the others. Always in the busy life conflicts arise among opportunities.

It seems to strike harder than ever as calendar schedule overflows the lines. Life was supposed to be simpler in maturity, but opposite it’s become.

Reality of that has definitely moved to forefront in recent days. With a fulltime off-ranch job to assure bills are paid, evenings and weekends are packed with catchup chores.

Add to the complexity, so many “social” activities one desires to partake. Saturday, there were two “important” horse shows that needed to be participated in for valuable yearend points.

After serious deliberation determination made to attend the one with most events, efficiently using horse, rider, dollars, and time. Just “gave the winnings” to the competition at the other show, because couldn’t be there to try to beat them.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Demand despite industry changes

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hogs are mortgage lifters for farmers.”

That philosophy commonplace in agriculture for decades has changed. The fact came to mind during a hog show at the county fair.

Most farming operations included hog production for many years. It was because hogs generally earned some profit when other aspects of agriculture were losing money.

Nearly every farm had hogs, chickens and milk cows in the first half of the previous century. While poultry and dairy became specialized quicker, hogs remained on many farms longer. Now they’re much fewer and farther between.

Even if there weren’t larger numbers, many farmers kept a few sows to raise pigs. They’d either sell them as feeders or finish to market weight. Others specialized in buying and growing the pigs, perhaps considered easier than farrowing.

Hog enterprises appeared so enhancive in the final quarter of the previous century that many farmers built elaborate facilities. Some reaped good profits for several years. Others soon found demands to produce pigs’ profitability far less glamorous than those selling buildings claimed.

The industry’s changed completely. Vast majority of pork today is produced by “corporate hog factories.” Similarities to any other workplace except caring for live animals from mating through dinner plate. Well almost, as processing is still separate entity for most hog production.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Living to the fullest

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“You can’t take it with you.”

That comment comes to mind again with recent passing of a college judging team mate.

“Live life to the fullest. One never knows when it’s coming to an end on Earth.”

Another repeated remark hits home when 20 percent in a class of 100 have already gone beyond.

“Checked the obituaries again today and name wasn’t there, so still alive.”

One more observation heard on occasion.

Morbid as might be, second page death reports generally the first thing read in the daily newspaper.

Tongue and cheek, not actually checking for own announcement as such. Yet, as lifelong newsman with bred-in nosiness, truly am interested in those who have died.

Sadly too many are acquaintances. Plus always like to learn about others’ stories, big timers, and especially the common folk.

Still, date of birth is always of special note. Those who’ve lived into their 80s, 90s and 100s are true inspiration.

Why are they different? Did they eat better? Exercise more? Work harder? Is it in their genes? One wonders?

Of greater alarm is the number of those dying who aren’t even yet 65. Almost every day, there are some. Many don’t reach what as a retiree one could consider “maturity.” Cause of passing is notable, and if not reported question arises, why?

Then, when it’s a child, teenager or young adult, there’s even more intense grief. How come? They have missed so very much here.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kid remains in cowboy

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“You need to act your age.”

Uncertain exactly how that comment was meant to be interpreted? So, it was taken as a compliment.

Doesn’t really matter, but likely referred to being in every horseshow class could get in.

Even those where most entries were young sprouts, especially compared to wannabe’s maturity.

Expense to get to a competition so great; philosophy is to participate in everything.

It takes a long while for things to soak in a thick head. Mom always encouraged, “ride in pleasure.” Never did, with excuse: “Nellie won’t back.”

Really didn’t even realize horses were supposed to be in a certain “lead”; hardly knew what “gait” was. Thought if horse could walk, trot, canter on command, was doing pretty doggone good.

Story out of school here, hadn’t heard the word “lead” until after first professionally judged horseshow years later. For unknowing, “lead” is “which set of legs, left or right, leads or advances forward when a horse is cantering, the same as loping, or galloping.” The horse has more coordinated balance in the correct lead.

Anyway, now do what Mom said to do: “Ride in every class.” Some shows that’s 25 events.

“All on one horse?” somebody asked. No, two. One for “performance” classes, a misnomer word in itself, and another for “speed” events, self-explanatory.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Tire blowout no catastrophe

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It wasn’t just flat on one side.”

There was barely a shred of rubber showing anywhere on the wheel rim.

Already going six-miles-an-hour under the speed limit, honking from behind wasn’t initially heeded. Intrusive blaring continuing; whippersnappers with big ornery grins pointed to the attached trailer while whizzing by.

Still unaware of what was wrong, an intersection not far ahead allowed stopping place for the checkup. Finally obvious, the left trailer tire rubber had been destroyed as highway was grinding on the rim.

Uncertain how much earlier the blowout occurred, but an extended time, for sure.

The 12-foot, single-axle stock trailer used for hauling show horses was bought new six years ago. Typically taking two horses, sometimes one, occasionally three, it’s been a number of miles.

Inflated rubber tires always go flat sometime, but it was the first one on this trailer.

There was a spare, still no comprehensible way to get it changed. There is a jack and wrench someplace, but uncertain where in the pickup.

Notwithstanding frequent derogatory comments about cell phones, sure glad had one that worked.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Modern hay methods leisurelier

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Life’s easier in maturity.”

Of course, many disagree emphatically, and there are plenty of downsides certainly.

However, when it comes to hay season, there’s sure lots less labor required than half century plus ago.

Well, first off, a younger generation is in charge of the task. If the hay doesn’t get put up, it’s their fault – definitely not getting in the way.

Never had the ability to do much except lug the square bales, and tried the best to get out of that whenever could. Haven’t lifted a single bale this year, and won’t because the small square baling is completed.

As with majority of today’s producers, bulk of the hay goes into big round bales. It’s much easier and more convenient all the way around.

Still reflect having no baler, mowing with a seven-foot sickle mower, and operating a dump rake. After grass dried, manpowered-pitchforks went to work piling hay onto the pickup.

To the shed, it was pitched off and into stacks. Never was but only a few acres, yet enough to know the hard work required in large haying operations.

Work slackened when a small square twine baler was acquired. However, for years there was no hay wagon, let alone an accumulator and frontend tractor loader for stacking.

Bales were dropped on the ground while pickup followed behind and each bale loaded manually onto it. Many times that was one man driving, stopping, loading and going to the next bale.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Modernization in communication, conversation

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Technology demands are cause for stomping the floor, pounding the desk, maybe even screaming.”

No end to it seemingly from every direction and no clue what much of the modern-rigmarole is all about.

Telephones have become outdated, according to logic of many, family included. Email works for some, yet already “old hat,” too. “Just text me” is becoming common reference to making personal contacts.

Very grudgingly, effort has been made to learn that “messaging” system. It seemed to work with son, grandson, a couple others.

Then corruption approached vulgarity when 15 “texts” of unknown numbers, were on the cell phone.

No idea who they were from or what they were about, no findable-messages.

Worry prevented anything else from being accomplished so just gave up and started calling each of the 10 digits.

After figuring out who some were, with guidance from knowledgeable coworker, names were punched into cell phone for future.

Worse thing about dilemma was an important meeting the night before was missed. But, younger board members got the “text” and attended.

From now on, every “text” received is going to be called unless “message” is clearly stated.

After hearing “it’s on Facebook” many times, also finally gave into that one of several “social media” invitations, too. It was fun at first signing up hundreds of “friends.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Tractors still ranch necessity

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Cowboys aren’t made to be tractor drivers.”

That’s personal view, obviously contradicted by many ranchers baling hay this week.

A good number are quite professional and really enjoy the job essential to feeding cattle and horses.

While sometimes called into the task, it’s certainly not a likeable forte, hazardous to driver, vehicle, anybody, and anything around.

Called into recent action, the only way to get weeds and raggedy roadside grass cut was do it to it.

Aboard the “new-half-century-ago” John Deere 1020 with tightwad rotary mower knocked down the ample moisture-thrusted growth.

Monotony of chore-at-hand brought reflections of the Allis WD that Dad bought for the little farm 55 years ago. It was hard to steer, nearly-impossible to start, and beginning of low-appeal for tractor driving.

Mechanically-inclined Dad couldn’t get along with the orange verge-of-junk contraption either. Don’t recall what happened to it, but a nine-year-older 1939 John Deere B was replacement.

Nothing anything easy about driving the “B” either, but with frontend loader it was even tougher job. Then put the eight-foot drag disk on behind, hardly enough muscle for teenager to get turned around.

Yet, the rusting green machine stayed around dozen-years-plus seldom called into use.

Dad’s decision to get the new “1020” even brought tiny heart-flitter to teenage-want-a-be cowboy.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy to ‘Great Beyond’

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Say, I have a couple of broncs I got from a rodeo contractor up northwest. They wouldn’t buck, and I want you to break ’em to ride!”

That was first introduction to Keene more than a dozen years ago. It was beginning of a real cowboy friendship, great camaraderie with a most unique, talented individual.

Only realizing he’d passed last month, after seeing an estate auction advertisement – it was truly heartfelt loss.

All of the Keene experiences were instantly reflected. Smile automatically, uncontrollably spreads just remembering.

Roaring into the ranch yard, diving out of the pickup, Keene was all grins unloading those horses to train. “Rodeo broncs” was no exaggeration, at least in appearance.

Don’t know how old, but big, rugged, scarred, branded, rough hair, tangled long manes, tails, untrimmed at-least-shoe-size-four-feet, roan, draft horses.

Tales of the horses, his life’s adventures flowed as now-broader-grinning Keene aired meager expectations. “You get ’em started, and I’ll ride ’em,” promise taken lightly.

Never “gentle giants,” the “broncs” were rideable with enough cowboy try. Keene had that. Not perfect, they did everything: cattle work, trail rides, fox hunts, pulled wagons, whatever their big cowboy-owner decided.

Actually, that’s the best way to really know Keene. There wasn’t anything Keene couldn’t do and not much he didn’t do in his most colorful life, not all realized until reading eulogy.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Primping is big deal

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Show stall area is a beauty shop.”

That’s certainly a fact when one is getting horses ready to compete. Thick red lipstick, heavy powder, rouge and eye shadow are common nowadays for young cowgirls competing at horseshows.

It’d never influenced placings on judging cards days gone by. However, now realize getting the cowgirls all decked out is a major ordeal. No less than a half-dozen cowgirls were seated in chairs strewn down three alleyways of the stall barn.

Seemed to be mommas mostly as the beauticians or cosmetologists, whatever they’d be. Each had small tightly-packed makeup cases with the necessities, and portable working tables at side.

Never heard any “sit still,” or “quit fidgeting,” but raised chins and squinting eyes seemed common pose for the primping rigmarole.

Hairdos were included, too, with hint of old-fashioned-ism, as typically long styles were pulled tightly into buns bottom back of necks. Evidently doing that’s so hair didn’t fly wild with rough horse gaits. Sure took special knack too, so hats would fit over the hair yet look appealing.

Hats are another tale for sure, but today’s show participants better understand importance of well-shaped, proper-fitting head cover to the overall picture.

That’s different than decades ago when cowgirls, and definitely cowboys, often seemed to be competing in the “ugly hat contest.” Ill-shaped, dusty, sometimes looking like they been slept in, used as a cushion, or stored under the pickup seat.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Many methods of communicating

buchmanhead“They’re all marbles in the jar.”

Comment said frequently around the office helping customers coordinate efficient advertising.

First, must reflect the marble collection six decades ago. A quart jar in grandma’s closet about half-filled with marbles. Little plastic bags with half-dozen marbles came in cereal boxes for a time, and accumulation grew.

Never a champion, marbles were played during early schooldays. Teachers disallowed playing for “keeps,” meaning winner got the other’s marble. Of course, that rule was broken, just for the sake of not following rules. Sure wonder what happened to all of those marbles in the jar?

Subject at hand, there are so many ways to communicate today compared to even a few years ago.

Newspapers began in the late 1600s, continuing, contrary to some saying, “Newspapers are dead.” Admittedly, circulation and hardcopy readership are lowest in a long time.

The United State Postal Service in 1775 grew from horses to trains, through new technologies delivering mail worldwide. Modern inefficiencies are another yarn.

Since 1844, telegrams hand-delivered messages anywhere on the planet, yet almost impossible now.

A Cowboy’s Faith: ‘No getaway’ scheme awaits

buchmanhead“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”

There’s controversy who said that and when the comment was made. Originally quoted in the 1880s, it’s a true statement, known for certainty.

Still nobody’s come up with that perfect mousetrap. That has to be because those little furry varmints are so doggone smart.

Whatever the trapping method tried, those ornery pests keep scampering across the kitchen floor. Perhaps a seasonal dilemma when the light-grayish-tan menaces come most frequently. Recent wind, hail and heavy rain sure brought more into protective cover.

A half-dozen “old reliable snap-traps” were set all around baited with cheese, butter, even peanut-butter.

“Snap” gave relief of successful kill, until checking revealed bait gone, but no catch. Oh, once there was a young mouse without wisdom enough to shy away.

It’s those old fat ones that find stealing trap food easier than scrounging for table drops.

There’s some success with expensive glue-traps. Problem with them more than once ended up on the house-shoes when stumbling around.

For several days, that mischievous nightly intruder evaded every effort to catch. Big glob of whatever-nutritious-enhancer was always gone from the snap-trap, as it seemingly just sashayed from those gluey-supposedly-snares.

Finally, a mouse-trapping-maze was rigged. Glue-traps were set all around heavily-baited snap-trap.

Success at last, the plump invader with midnight supper in mouth sure enough snapped tight into the old-trapping-rigmarole.

Footprints in the glue-traps plain evidence he’d stepped right through only to still get caught. There is always tactic to outsmart wise-old-freeloaders.

However am thinking about inventing an infallible mousetrap. That’ll never happen, records indicate. The world won’t beat a path to the door.

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