Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Calendar turnover brings optimism

buchmanheadEd. note: Frank Buchman is taking a break to start off 2020, so we’ll revisit his New Year’s optimism from six years ago. Originally published Jan. 5, 2014.

“Everybody is talking about the new year.”

Somehow, new always has a positive connotation, whatever the subject. Thus, regardless of what the past has been, and despite sometimes even gloomy forecasts, when the calendar turns to January, most people look forward to better days ahead.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Generous Mom remembered at century mark

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mommas are the most important person in the entire universe.”

No debate about the comment, other than recognizing The Almighty God who created everything.

Nobody would be around now or before or into the future without a mother, mom, momma, ma, whatever moniker preference.

Mom, affectionately remembered by most as Laura Mae, passed away nearly 38 years ago at age 62. Do the math, Laurie, as sometimes referred to with orneriness by her only child, would have been 100 years old on Jan. 7.

Without prejudice, Mom was the most interested congenial generous person always giving others helping hand.

Laurie’s heartfelt way was related in a phone call Saturday afternoon.

A smiling farm boy was paid $7.50 every two weeks for milking cows twice daily on the family farm dairy. It cost a dollar a day to eat at the high school cafeteria, a total of $10, for two weeks. That was $2.50 more than the farm boy earned.

Never shy most congenial, the boy went into Laura Mae’s (what many called Buchman’s Grocery). He explained his financial situation to Mom always at the cash register in the front of the store.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Old cellphone’s just fine

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“You can’t send pictures from a cellphone to a computer.”

Two grizzly-type young bucks seated behind tables with screwdrivers strewn around cellphones declared.

First off clarify driving in the Capital City is difficult after growing up in a small town. It wasn’t a problem delivering groceries up and down alleys unaware of street names yet knowing where everybody lived.

Getting anywhere in a metropolis is a headache with bumper to bumper traffic and red lights. A lot of work could be done while just trying to travel from one place to the next.

Maybe those on hourly wages like it but for a salesman time is money. Every contact not made is one less opportunity to make a sale.

Anyway, after finally locating that cellphone repair shop, proprietors declared emailing cellphone photos to computers as done before is “impossible.” Perhaps there was some confusion between the cowboy’s terminology than that of the gurus?

Arguing less than typical with such smart whippersnappers, they congenially-enough informed the relic couldn’t be fixed. “It’s outdated and a new cellphone must be purchased.”

No way is a tightwad going to buy another one of those gadgets. It’s only six years old, still rings sometimes, and works if anybody really needs to talk.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cost for health unimportant

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Would you rather lose a calf or pay the bill to have a live one on the ground?”

The veterinarian responded that way four decades ago when growl was expressed for his charge to pull a calf.

While the cost seemed high at the onset, the good doctor was sure right in his comment. A dead calf isn’t worth anything, making his fee very low investment for possible return.

It’s a similar grudging feeling when the human doctor bills arrive in the mailbox seemingly every month or more often.

Yes, they are high, but as compared to what? Nobody wants to be sick, so a doctor’s services are sought and health is generally restored or at least improved.

The doctor has bills to pay like everybody else. Doctoring is his profession and there is lots of overhead to it as with what anybody does for a living.

Another monthly bill comes in from the health insurance company; actually it’s every two weeks out of the paycheck. An additional big grunt when that payment is made. Yet when even a poor mathematician analyzes all of the medical bills, thank goodness there’s insurance to help out.

Now what did the forefathers do when health issues arose as they have since the beginning of time? What about grandpa or for sure great grandpa when his knees, hips, or shoulders gave out? What about those poor relatives back a century or more ago when arthritis and rheumatism struck?

A Cowboy’s Faith: Old must look young

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“You can’t buy this without proper identification.”

The now-seemingly-inexperienced checkout woman insisted that when items were spread on the counter.

Smiling, thinking the checker wearing fingerless knit roper gloves was jiving: “You can surely tell who’s an old man.”

Attitude became very serious demanding: “A driver’s license or other proof of identity is required.”

While one little bottle had a round tag: “ID will be checked,” it still seemed like a clerk’s prank.

“Purchases of this stuff have been made here before plus buying other things many times. Besides, despite wanting to be young again, old is obvious without a piece of paper verifying it.”

Loudspeaker came on loud as the now most aggravated waiter publicly announced: “The manager is needed immediately at checkout.”

No spoofing, a young fellow who really couldn’t have been of age came dashing to the cash register. “He doesn’t have any identification,” the woman pointed at the want-to-be customer.

With a certain intended power of authority, the young sprout declared emphatically, “This cannot be purchased without an ID.”

Things were also becoming more heated on the intended purchaser’s side of the dilemma: “Legal age is 18 isn’t it?”

A Cowboy’s Faith: More to physical fitness

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Exercise bicycles will only do any good when they are ridden.”

That’s true of any fitness device, along with additional dedication and persistency requirements.

Television commercials make riding bicycles or workouts in the gym look easy, perhaps even romantic. Lots of people men and women are caught up in the promotions, believing how their physical fitness will immediately improve. Reports indicate sales of exercise equipment and memberships in bodybuilding programs have skyrocketed.

A month from now for sale ads everywhere will be filled with listings for exercise paraphernalia. “Used very little, like new, priced less than half of purchase price. Oh, just come make an offer, will deliver it free to get out of the house.”

Health clubs will have New Year’s specials “Join now. Pay whatever desired, but please keep coming back. There are plenty of machines to work out on available at all times.”

Airwave commercials and even picture advertising emphasize the glamor of those fancy muscle developing machines with all the computerized gadgets. The young, photogenic, already physically fit exercise gurus demonstrating the equipment are all smiles proclaiming how effortless it is.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Biggest hearted little mare

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The fastest pole bending horse has gone to the Great Beyond.”

There are many ways to interpret that statement depending on which angle is discussed.

Certainly nobody can ever argue: “Missy was one of the biggest hearted horses ever.”

Likewise undeniably, “Missy just loved to run.”

When preparing for a horseshow, Missy perked up and dived into the trailer. She was obviously quite disappointed whenever left at home.

The nicely made cow bred 14-hands, 28-year-old Appaloosa mare passed away last week in retirement native pasture behind the ranch house. Her sidekick, the spotted gelding Hot Diggity, was deeply saddened.

As a known breeder of Quarter Horses who likes all horses, a number have questioned, “Riding an Appaloosa?” It’s what they can do that counts.

Missy’s acquisition must be considered “His Plan.” A disc jockey friend heard efforts to locate a shodeo running horse and exclaimed: “I have the perfect one.”

Never knowing where a good horse is to be found, a trial ride was set up the next morning.

Besides being an “Appie,” first thing noticed was the split in her ear and a big right knee. The ear is a long ways from her heart and several previous horses with leg issues have been top riders.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowgirl’s generosity heartfelt appreciated

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The expression on your face was the best thanks and appreciation I would ever want or even imagine.”

Her comment wasn’t exactly like that, but close semblance after the horseshow friend showed off a new “quilt.”

Occasion was the horseshow circuit yearend banquet when the cowgirl displayed the blue, red and yellow compilation.

Room filled with horseshow riders from youngest to oldest all smiling radiantly rose in applause.

Obviously considerable hard work had gone into the unique brilliantly bright four-foot-by-five-foot quilt made with rosette ribbons won at horseshows.

How many isn’t known, but the blues for first, reds for second and yellow for third are artistically designed together. Larger rosettes with longer ribbon streamers for championships and gold yearend award medallions highlight the delicate piece.

No telling how many hours and hours of tedious heartfelt thinking, harmonizing, sewing went into the most appreciated gift. The humble seamstress cowgirl a champion in her own right wouldn’t give a hint as her grin expanded.

Making the lovely “bedspread” most cherished is the personalized embroidered Maggie and Cody. They are the horses entirely responsible for the collection. Undoubtedly to those great horses’ smirking scowls their wannabe-cowboy rider’s moniker is stenciled in too.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Best to go forward

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Backing is as important as going ahead.”

Well that may not be true in all predicaments. It’s not positive to go in reverse on business matters or in horse training.

Yet, when driving a car or truck, it’s essential to go forward and backward. Just think about how bad it is when the gear won’t shift into reverse. The heart skips a beat and sometimes not the nicest verbiage seems to come out uncontrollably.

Interesting how some really like to back their vehicles. The big boss and the engineer always back their big white pickups into the parking space at the office lot. Uncertain why they do that? It sure won’t protect their trucks from somebody slamming a door against the side.

Evidently those work officials are set up for fast getaway when the day’s done before somebody else complains.

There are bad drivers and many more poor backers. Hazards of reverse are voluminous.

Get in any busy parking lot and it’s impossible to get out without backing yet always difficult to see everyone. The vehicle on each side of the lineup, what is behind and oncoming traffic from two directions all need watched.

Even parallel parking a big pickup with a trailer hitch to go into the post office can cause fender bender. Especially hurriedly running out, backing up and the hitch rams the car behind.

Then there are the split hot water heater troughs in the pasture. They come from nowhere right smackdab into the feeding area to cause a blowout when backed over.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Generosity should be appreciated

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

The old familiar saying has come to mind several times over the decades.

Sometimes it does relate to horses and as often to life and people in general.

First off perhaps important to clarify exactly what the statement means and where it really originated.

A horse’s teeth become more protruded appearing longer with maturity. Thus comes the term “long in tooth” meaning an older horse. Those with much experience can open a horse’s mouth and determine almost exactly the age of a horse.

So, checking a horse’s mouth would be a sign of mistrust towards the gift giver and bad manners.

The polite thing to do is simply to say “thank you” and accept the gift horse graciously.

Actually the comment relates to anything given without obligation or expecting something in return.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Inspirational service to others

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Life is so precious very short making friends and family such importance only completely realized when one is lost.”

A crushing blow has been passing of the best friend true inspirational guiding confidant brother in spirit.

Call came that Ron Wilson had a stroke perhaps followed by a heart attack and he’d requested presence.

Upon arrival, his children, two siblings and an uncle were bedside verifying Ron’s serious condition. Time was spent pacifying praying for the dearest yet unaware comrade.

Realizing the treasured life was only in God’s hands, trust was given Him and His medical servants. Ron passed the following morning.

Complete heart sinking depressed sadness overcame, reflecting inspiration and services provided in 56 years.

Two beanpole third-string seventh grade basketball players, Ron, a farm boy, and the grocery store town kid wannabe cowboy met. On the cold armory floor lifetime friendship was born.

In high school highly intellectual yet country common Ron inspired as district star farmer and state public speaking finalist. Family farm was offered location for a rewarding vo-ag hog cooperative.

With a powerful noisy classic Ford, Ron was transportation for the girl watching pair. When wannabe’s small cowherd became short of feed, opportunity was presented to harvest hay on shares with farm family assistance.

Off to college Ron attended the cow college insistent the southbound friend follow trail for the second semester. Positive in many ways first day for wannabe on the campus, bride-to-be became acquaintance.

As sophomore dormitory roommate, Ron served as wedding groomsman that summer on his 20th birthday.

Friendship enhanced while Ron went many avenues, farming, drag racing, oilfield, trucker, feed-equipment distributor, insurance-investments, always fishing.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Continued efforts yield results

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

An old saying going back centuries has several meanings depending on the subject at hand.

Of course most agree to the mechanical aspect of the statement. When there’s friction in wheel rotation grease does at least stop the irritating noise until further attention can be given.

That’s led to common reference that the most noticeable problems are the most likely to get attention needed.

Others take advantage of such attitude to continue complaining about certain issues just to get their own way. Sometimes perhaps too often their demands are met in order to stop the argumentation and badgering.

Yet there is additional positive truth in the saying when it comes to getting action done on anything.

As a professional media marketing consultant, entire objective is to help others. That generally takes many avenues in order to completely spread the word about what they have to offer.

Of course paid advertising is one way. Yet which form is best to return the highest investment response?

The answer is not one but several. To get the word out about any matter requires marbles in a jar. A combination of efforts will work together to yield maximum results.

While helping promote a recent community attraction, the event coordinator became distressed in lack of mutual interest and response.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ranch crew mission accomplished

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s a bunch in that timber draw and they won’t move let alone come out.”

That was the ranch manager talking to the cowboy and cowgirl crew rounding up calves to sell.

Gather of this pasture known for renegades started with initial directions to horseback assistants. “Somebody will need to hold this horse while I walk the timber. There’s no way to ride through the brush.”

Before too long the herd from the north collected by the four-wheeler met with those brought out of cover. Diagonally headed northeast, one bitty from the south tore back from where she came with more pairs tailing after.

No whoop and holler but eight riders exploded into action on both sides attempting to prevent a potential stampede. Grudge apparent, the pairs were regrouped with others as one bitty headed astray yet toward the corral.

“Get her,” was the manager’s order. Threesome lariats unraveled went to pursue and in short order had cow roped, driving calf alongside into the pen.

By that time, a handful had escaped back to the north fence with determination made to save remainders.

Without much ado, that group was nearly corralled when a bawling heifer scattered past the gatherers. Fortunately that replacement quality bovine was quickly roped by the southpaw cowgirl and persuaded into confinement.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Chaps are for protection

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Nowadays people in all sorts of endeavors wear chaps.”

While cowboys may have been the original chaps wearers, Native Americans known as Indians to some were likely predecessors.

What those first natives in the Flint Hills actually wore is typically referred as buckskins, strong semblance to chaps.

For those unknowing, best define chaps. Mr. Webster said, “Chaps are sturdy coverings for the legs consisting of leggings and a belt.”

With a prod from Mrs. Webster, he shyly went ahead to admit: “They are buckled on over jeans. But have no seat and are not joined at the crotch (oops).”

Furthering description: “Chaps are designed for leg protection and originally made with leather.”

The name is shortened version of the Spanish word chaparreras (this is spelled correctly even though the computer disagrees).

Bringing up insignificant point for topic at hand, the alma mater rodeo group was long known as the Chaps Club. Change came after a couple decades as seemingly outsiders, maybe even insiders, couldn’t comprehend correlation between chaps and the sport. So it became the K-State Rodeo Club.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboys do wear ties

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The kind of tie he wears is a sign of the man he is.”

What a weird unnecessary thing to say. Yet there is certain truthfulness to the comment.

Of course, majority of men don’t wear ties, at least not very often. Some never wear a tie and wouldn’t think of it.

Something about having a tie on gives a man a professional, even an official look. Apparently not as common anymore, teachers used to generally wear ties. It made them head of the class, more respected, receiving the attention expected and deserved.

Generally men in leadership positions sport a four-in-hand tie, obviously the colored cloth piece intertwined in a four-in-hand knot. Broad end of the tie around the neck crosses over the narrow end forming a knot tightened under the collar.

A few men always wear bow ties presenting their unique yet defining role.

Interesting as an elementary student and yet today more than a half-century later evaluating four-in-hand ties and wide variations thereof. Seems nowadays most men hand-manipulate their own ties, but through the ages there were “fake ties,” often referred as “clip-ons.”

Requirement of new job a decade ago was wearing a tie to be a respected marketing consultant. It’s become distinctive identity to always have a tie on to present one’s best side to a potential client.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Help filling the tank

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Low Fuel”

A buzzer has gone off and the “idiot light” has shown bright twice in the past two weeks. An initial irritation, but well worth it considering consequences when running out of gas.

However after that deserved warning there’s no inkling how miles before it goes completely dry. In decades gone by there wasn’t any clue of such either than possibly bad unforgettable experiences.

Previously, only a gauge moved from full to quarter to half to bottom-quarter to red meaning empty.

Few haven’t kept the pedal going despite being made aware fuel was supposedly all gone. It sometimes seemed to create an inner dare to see just how many miles were left in the tank. Those tempters have generally been caught and run out at least once. They’ll not speculate the trickle of gasoline remaining again or at least for an extended time.

Nowadays drivers are spoiled comparatively as there’s a gadget revealing “fuel range” before a completely vacant tank. Every vehicle’s a little different and lots of things can come into play until an engine dies from no fuel.

Actually some buzzer warnings go off when the indicator has just shown “50 miles.” But there’s still a gut uncertainty uneasiness to get to the gas pump as quickly as possible.

Half-full means half-empty to many smart drivers and if the gauge gets near just-a-quarter, fill up is in order. Others wait until it’s below that line sneaking into the red before finding a pump. Those who just keep going are often sorry.

Slow learners have run out too often, like speeders getting citations, they just don’t get it, never learn.

Complications can be extensive when empty in the middle of nowhere. It’s a long walk home on a wide open country road with no travelers, especially in the days before cell phones.

Of many such semblances two are most memorable. One was traveling in Iowa to judge a horseshow; fortunately a congenial farmer had a tank to help out.

Another was nighttime two miles from home and passenger well along with unborn first child. Walked to ranch, filled gallon gasoline jug, rode ugly white mare Candy back, and eventually all was just fine.

There’s always been an upper power looking down helping out.

Reminded of Matthew 20:23: “My Father is taking care of that.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Wrecked fence needs repaired

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Somebody came across the highway again, tore the fence down and a car’s out in the brome.”

Not much of a shock hearing the news as it’s happened a half dozen times in five decades.

Circumstances are generally similar although actually what really happened is usually never known. Drivers from the east don’t heed the stop sign and traverse the north-south main highway right across the field.

Obviously to continue into the ditch through rough terrain and beyond would indicate pedal-to-the-metal exceeding speed.

Likely other factors are involved whether just not paying attention, dozing, off, nipping a bit, too many medications, whatever.

Used to be it was an abandoned country road grown into timber where the intruding out-of-control vehicles were eventually stopped. At least one time a fatality resulted, and on other occasions minor and even sometimes serious injuries.

Now, trees and old lane are gone with fenced pasture. That doesn’t stop wild traffic intrusion, and always a major ordeal to get those wrecks out of the mess.

Exactly what happened this time remains vague, although a full month has passed since the assumingly Friday morning incident. Uncertain exactly what to do initially, so followed common knowledge advice and called 911.

Phone answerer said the sheriff had been informed and law enforcement was on the way. With a tight morning appointment schedule decision was made to let officials take care of the matter.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Teeth sure are important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s a cavity in a wisdom tooth that needs to be filled before it gets worse.”

That was the dentist’s conclusion after extensive once-every-five-year’s x-rays and accompanying exam.

“Ugh.” Going to the dentist is dreaded enough and then such a report brings to reality the reason why.

There have definitely been plenty of lifetime experiences in those offices starting as a youngster. Included was a year of attempted straightening in ’65, although it didn’t do much good.

Yet, in actuality there are still plenty of positive aspects to negative sides of regular dental checkups. Teeth are essential to easy chewing food.

At least most of these are the original ones, with a few cosmetic enhancements after losing a front smiler. It was four decades ago when that untrained stallion went over backwards stirrup, hitting rider in the mouth.

Certainly not much personal wisdom, but having the tooth is different than many acquaintances who don’t. There have been stories about being forced to have that back fang removed, causing nearly unbearable pain to the toughest.

Always intending to brush regularly, it’s not been followed stringently and certainly not the extent of some. Have had coworkers and seen others who publicly bring out the teeth cleaning tool after nearly every bite.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Handicap no life setback

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Now, Keith quit that. Robert what are you doing? You boys better settle down.”

Actually that’s probably not exactly how Sandy said it, but certainly semblance.

That was every Saturday afternoon in the mid ’60s. Mom and the boys did grocery shopping while dad Billy generally went to the weekly sale barn auction.

Came to mind with passing of longtime friend Keith Bacon. Others may not have such vivid recollection of those days, while remaining fond reflections for one former grocery carryout boy.

Typical of Four Mile community farm families, the hardworking Bacons had diversified cropping and livestock operations. Keith and Robert were rambunctious farm boys who didn’t get to town very often.

One wouldn’t know it on the forefront and certainly not let on by him or any of his family. Keith had an incurable disease in joints forcing hospitalization in an urban hospital as a newborn.

Despite what most would consider serious handicap, Keith’s parents were determined the boy live a “normal life.” Nobody was to feel sorry for Keith or him for himself, and no shirking of any farm chores and responsibilities.

That became Keith’s definitely expressed always pleasant energetic positive attitude for life appreciated and respected completely by younger brother Robert.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Retiring friend amply appreciated

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hello. Kelly Lenz suggested we call you to come and work for the radio.”

Of course, Kelly had been a longtime friend in the media business and had assisted with personal ranch event promotions.

The surprising opportunity call came exactly a decade ago four days after being fired from previous employment. Assistant farm director Greg Akagi heard that personally defeating news, sharing it with Kelly who made recommendation to radio management.

Initially taken aback, first reaction was quite indecisiveness, yet with prodding interview was scheduled and before long a new job.

It must all be credited to now even closer friend and daily work cohort Kelly Lenz. There’ve been a number of airwave and print reports in recent days about Kelly’s retirement as a farm broadcaster.

That’s after a remarkable career serving agriculture around the world for nearly half a century with 41 years in Kansas.

Mention the name Kelly Lenz anywhere and eyes immediately light up appreciatively, recognizing Kelly for his knowledge and engaging congeniality. That’s from every local farm and ranch home to state, national and worldwide agriculture and political affiliations.

More than four decades Kelly was up at 4 o’clock, soon live on the radio reporting analyzing agriculture news and markets. Leaders in every phase of the industry, government programs and decision making were interviewed willingly trusting sharing with Kelly.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Early start to longevity

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Passing his farmhouse nearly every morning Monday through Friday, 6:30 to 7:15, for 48 years, he was always up working.

“Returning home, each of those days he was still going strong every afternoon 5:15 to 5:45.”

In the past month, his car wasn’t always in the garage, morning lights weren’t on, he wasn’t apparent at work.

Then the story was printed in the hometown weekly, personal hero Leroy Fechner passed away at 95 years of age.

At such admirable maturity passing probably shouldn’t be too unexpected but the news sent cringing recoil.

The lifelong bachelor cattleman, former renowned quality seed stock breeder merchandizer, conservation-minded crop grower, most ambitious, twinkling-eyed farmer seemed insurmountable.

One felt he’d surely live forever, and probably Leroy’s opinion was likewise such – whenever visiting conversation centered on future plans.

There’d been a couple setbacks in the past decade or so with body injury from farm-ranch work. Seriously out of commission at times forced to live away from his lifetime home some, Leroy always returned.

Back full force ahead, Leroy was checking cows, feeding backgrounders, operating farm equipment, driving slowly down the highway ranchland gazing.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas