Search Results for: A Cowboy's Faith

A Cowboy’s Faith: Go ahead do it

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Can’t is over in the ditch.”

That was first grade teacher Mrs. Gibson’s response, 62 years ago; when classmates said something couldn’t be done.

“Don’t say it can’t be done; just find another way to get accomplished what’s needed.”

That was coworker Sean Carter at the recent Farm Profit Seminar when somebody said there was no more display space.

While not always completely accurate in either scenario, both statements encourage efforts for finding solutions when quitting is easier.

Looking around the ranch front, office situations, community needs, and seemingly unconquerable projects everywhere, “can’t” is a common analysis.

An excuse of one kind or another can be determined for nearly every project that requires extra effort, coordination and cooperation.

In grade school long ago, it was easy for any kid to readily contend: “I can’t do that.” Whether printing their name, erasing the chalk board or adding one and one, the teacher proved everyone could do it.

Finding places for late arriving sponsors at last week’s seminar was as simple; crowd together, share areas, use smaller tables. Can’t was sure not the solution when all originally planned sponsorship areas were filled.

Of course, getting everything accomplished that the majority first insist can’t be done isn’t always nearly that easy. Still all things considered, generally, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” quoting a common longtime philosophy.

That’ll require a bit of give and take from everybody involved. Certain ones are not going to get exactly their method. It must be united effort for best results.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cold night healthcare rewarded

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Could you please come help a heifer with a prolapse from birthing her calf?”
It was 2 o’clock in the morning, below freezing, winter moisture, herdsman calling the veterinarian 25 miles away.
Less than an hour, not smiling but ready for her job, the bundled-up animal health doctor arrived.
Heifer and wet but alive newborn were in protection of the barn. That is a major deal compared to the wet, cold, snowy mud dim shadowy corral.
Or, in the middle of the half section pasture miles from civilization with pickup headlights and low-battery flashlights. Through the decades there have been all of those scenarios thankfully with understanding yet inner-grudgingly cooperating veterinarians.
Such medical assistance is difficult in the best of environment softened some being inside despite tightness of confinement. Sanitation is of obvious importance with barn straw bedding considerably better than sloppy germ-ridden barnyard conditions.
Sure not knowing much about the physical aspects of it all, for the even less informed, simple explanation seems appropriate. Mr. Webster said, “Prolapse is to slip or fall out of its proper place in the body.”
What comes out must go back in, stay there, combat any infections which might arise, and heal up. The very good doctor adjusted, manipulated, pushed, medicated and got everything in place again sewed up tight.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Are medicines really needed?

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Evidently, the ranch ought to become a pharmacy. That would be a “drug store” decades gone by, but it might get wrong connotation nowadays.

Boldface headlines daily target law-breaking news about “pills” and other such consumptions, unknown to ranch life, for “recreational” purpose.

“Getting high,” it’s said, although really wouldn’t know. Horseback ride on a brisk winter morning serves that purpose here.

Perhaps, giant medicine chest would be more accurate description of the mudroom and kitchen.

Except, most of the always very high dollar “supposed preventives, treatments” recommended health improvements aren’t in a cabinet. They’re here, there, wherever, ready for immediate use upon need or suggestion.

Now, this includes both livestock and human medication, or definition derivative thereof, maybe painkiller, to use old timer’s common terminology.

It’d be hard to know which requires more medicine these days: cattle, horses, and cats, or the ranchers. Counting all of the bottles and packages, there’s actually quite a bit more for critters.

That said, neither required such health “necessities” half century ago, can’t remember hardly any. Oh, a colt might get kerosene lard if a cut swelled up, but that was it.

Grandma, when she was in her 80s, would take one of Carter’s Little Pills. Dad was on high blood pressure tablets, and took one whenever he remembered. Mom never had any medicine period until terminal diagnosis.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Dedication receives right reward

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There were five drooling coyotes on the pond dam this morning.”

That was the son-herdsman’s report in the back door after another check on the first calf heifers in the corral.

In the frigid cold, the varmints were anxious for a warm tasty breakfast of afterbirth should a baby arrive. Obviously, they knew the flavor and somehow instinctively readily came into the barnyard in anticipation of free easy taking.

Should a calf arrive when nobody was overlooking the herd, the wild ones would all pounce for food without manners.

If new momma is attentive to her newfound duties, generally the baby wouldn’t be in initial harm. That can change if mother moves away from a cold shivering one or there is apparent newborn weakness.

Attentiveness to assist first calvers is a major ordeal, let alone worrying about hungry canines. It’s an every three hour task day and night confirming if help is required. Having gone through that dreadful ranch task, fortunately the younger stockman and his mom will still do the work.

Typically, especially in the subzero chill index, if there are telltale signs of an arrival expectant momma is moved inside. That far from eliminates problems but reduces elements harshness.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Calving by nature’s plan

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mother Nature does exactly what she wants.”

Cows work just like her. When momma decides to give birth she’ll do it, or do her best trying. Contrarily it’s almost impossible to predict when that’ll be despite telltale signs often turning out differently.

First of February is sometimes considered beginning of spring calving season, although ranches have varying philosophical datelines. Certain operations set later times to begin, and some producers calve in the fall, summer and even summer.

Not nearly as many as used to be, but several cow-calf managers have babies arriving year around. It’s determined when the bull is turned into the cowherd.

Everything being just right, cow is romanced by the bull that day maybe even within minutes fertile embryo starts growing. A baby calf should be on the ground nine months, nine days, nine hours, nine minutes, nine seconds later. It’s seldom exactly that precise and often not even close.

Uncountable tribulations can come into play in this mating game. At the beginning of the season, Mr. Bull is eager and ready to go. Certain sweet, fancy, foxy, young heifers on high nutrition feel the same anticipating action.

More mature mommas, baby at side taking breakfast, generally aren’t so fast. By nature’s intent, inner body parts need a bit of rest, relaxing, healing before starting the process again.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Songs tell county’s history

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hello. This is Monte Selby. I have a grant to write and sing songs about Morris County. Several people suggested I talk to you. Could I come by your office and visit?”

Sure, that’ll be fine.

Reflections from growing up in a farm town became one song Monte and Martin Selby presented in concert.

Laura Mae

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

My whole life, I’ve ridden my horse
Love to be a cowboy – rope and ride
Nearly 50 years, had the time of my life
But back as a kid, I had to bide my time
Mama had work, gotta bide my time

You see, Daddy had an accident on the farm
So Mama said we gotta make money somehow
A few years later what mama found was a
Grocery store in the middle of town
Right on Main Street, middle of town, they’d say….

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

A Cowboy’s Faith: Slow better than ditch

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Weather can change in the blink of an eye.”

Forecasts had been fairly consistent for several days from one predictor to the next.

“It’ll be above freezing with rain turning to snow.”

Exact timing when transitions were to take place varied moving later in the day with the snow.

“If it starts snowing or the sky looks like it’s coming soon, hit the road.” That was the plan.

Nearly everybody had already left the office early with the holiday weekend.

With most work done best possible and procrastinating on the reminder, headed out the door 45 minutes early.

It was raining, had been off and on, throughout the day, now steady, yet not all that hard. Dashboard temperature gauge read 36 degrees.

Obviously others had followed trend leaving work ahead of time with highways pretty much jam packed.

It was moving fast and smoothly with cruise fixed well above posted signs but generally allowable by the cherry top. (That’s what they used to be called when law enforcement was readily identifiable like Andy and Barney.)

Driving with little thought other than get riding done as soon as at the ranch, eat supper and do nothing.

All of a sudden out of nowhere seemingly passing a semi-truck, the roadway became covered with snow and apparent slickness.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Wet waste growth tomorrow

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“This is sure going to waste a lot of feed.”

After a day of rain, then five inches of snow overnight, everything was a mess.

Livestock must be fed despite weather and more so when there’s icy cold water topped with snow.

Better off than another rancher who reported an inch of rain covered by 10 inches of snow.

So, load up the feed and head to the bellowing cows rambling on wet prairie begging for bales.

Always try to find the lowest quality in the hay pile to unroll on the sloppy ground. Greedy, acting like they’re starved, no hay for 24 hours or less, mommas dive into the free food.

No respectful appreciation for the breakfast, rudely stomping hay into the wet snow more than actually being consumed.

Outsider unaware of actual working ranch conditions would air opinions of better methods for less loss.

“Put the hay in a big baler feeder, so they don’t tromp it.” That’ll work with a small herd sometimes, even those 40 replacement heifers in the growing lot.

But for 260 cows in the Flint Hills such really becomes almost impossible.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy never slept in

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I’ve always liked to get up early, there was always lots of work that I needed and wanted to do.”

Generally the day started way before daylight, horse waiting at the gate to be saddled and off to pasture work.

Cowboy has always been his first profession, although Kenny Muller certainly has been successful in many agriculture endeavors.

Slowed down a bit the cowboy still rises at dawn anxious to pursue plans in his sharp forever active mind.

Family was joined by friends of a lifetime for Kenneth Muller’s 90th birthday celebration. Most know him as Kenny.

Moved from the ranch to town residence, it’s been awhile since horseback, but the pickup gets daily use. Conversation always centers on heartfelt cowboy life in the Flint Hills.

Kenny was a grocery store carryout boy’s first and always hero-idol-mentor; wanted to be a cowboy just like him.

Perfect image always properly shaped hat, clean cut, sharp dressed, friendly, outgoing with saddled horse in the trailer.

In high demand for day work, Kenny assisted cattle owners over a wide area with roundup, branding, whatever needed.

Horsepower is essential for top cowboys and Kenny always rode the best. Whether cutting a stray from the herd or roping a sick one for doctoring, his horse knew the job. They were ranch raised result of Kenny’s horse breeding program headed by top stallion power.

Proof of quality came first with local winnings followed by recognition nationwide. Kenny’s horses claimed halter championships then as pleasure riders soon earning reining and cow work awards. Collecting trophy saddles, Kenny put them to good use in his life’s trade.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Jake dedicated to rodeo

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Roll ’em. Come on. Get down on that bull. Put your legs down.”

Jake must have said that a jillion times in his lifelong loving career as a rodeo stock contractor.

The show must go on, no wannabe cowboy wimping around. Chutegate could just open ready or not.

“The Rodeo and Sale Barn World has lost a great man. John B. “Jake” Jacobsen, 89, rural Delia, passed away Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at his home.”

Obituary opening is the most accurate description one could ever make.

Many have wanted to be rodeo contractors, but none had the business closer to their heart than Jake.

He lived, literally, to produce rodeos with the best livestock for a quality family show.

It’s been more than four decades, but like right now. Rodeo announcer Max Stowell introducing, Jake always rode in the grand entry.

When the national anthem concluded, Jake headed to the bucking chutes, unmounted, bareback riders better be ready.

Jake always opened the chutegate for the rough stock events, no cowboy piddling, rodeo spectators wanted action.

A family business, Jacobsen Rodeo Company contracted rodeos in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Their small trailer house was home as they’d arrive with livestock two days ahead of rodeo time.

Welcome smile drooling lip of snuff, always a bit round, Jake with Pearl, Dale and Sis were friends of everybody.

Nothing makes a rodeo producer grin wider than his livestock bettering cowboys.

Jake beamed to one champion bronc rider, “I don’t know how many you’ve ridden. But, I can tell you every one that bucked you off.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kindness is most important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Life’s changes for betterment ahead are the optimistic blueprint many consider at year’s end.

Annual resolutions are being developed and revised so they won’t be short lived as always before.

Listed for majority are make more money, diet, increase exercise, lose weight and live healthier.

Frequent others include manage debt improving finances, enhance family relations, become higher educated, get a better job, and reduce stress.

Without exception, New Year’s resolutions will be broken, but if only one is partially fulfilled it’s better than before.

Regardless of personal philosophies about all of the vast annual hype of the season, let’s help somebody now.

What else is there in life other than health, happiness and eternity than doing for each other, sincerely?

This is actually very easy, quite simple, yet more uncommon all of the time.

Why not try to make life better for another? Talk to more and different people, even strangers on the street. With few exceptions people like to talk and for others to know about themselves.

Ask how their life truly is? Then listen, look them square in the eye, be interested, and be concerned if there’s that need.

Then, comment, offer thoughts, even suggestions, perhaps points for guidance if sought in the least form.

Make a telephone call to an acquaintance of long ago, or a neighbor living alone, perhaps in an assisted care facility.

Everybody just loves to get mail in the box, write a note, and send a card. It’ll make a day and a memory never ceasing. Go ahead send a text, an email, or other social media to make contact.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth tell real story

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Children’s Christmas programs rightly bring out the true meaning of the season.”

With all of the commercialization towards shopping and buying gifts starting before Halloween, reason for Christmas is often completely forgotten.

Likewise, elaborate decorating seems to have gotten out of hand, for lack of a more appropriate description of all the vast lightings. It sure makes the electrical companies happy undoubtedly.

Through all of this Christmas “hype,” there is NO factual recognition of what Christmas is really all about.

In viewing literally hundreds of community and public Christmas decorating, there has been only one notable exception.

A display with a few strings of lights had a small nativity scene. That’s Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of the world, life eternal for all believers.

Used to be, a number of churches would have at least some nativity scene.  That’s a simple manger with Christ child, Mary, Joseph, sheep, donkey, shepherds, and wise men.

Sadly, this year, none have been seen as of yet. Live nativities became popular for a time, but have dropped out of fad as well.

Notable, Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 to cultivate the worship of Christ. He was inspired by his visit to the Holy Land seeing Jesus’ birthplace. The idea motivated communities to stage such portrayals.

Although, Christmas programs are still part of the season’s celebrations, most do not have any inclination of the true reasoning. Modern songs often leave a seemingly waning feeling.

Reflecting, grade school pageants of decades gone by never reflected the true celebration either. Yet, singing brought swinging joy to performers and audience with nostalgic appreciation and familiarity.

Fortunately, a few churches, hopefully more than realized, still host children’s Christmas plays highlighting Jesus’ birth and purpose.

Six decades ago, it was a special heartfelt inspiration portraying a shepherd, wearing night robe, turban and carrying a cane.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cards express season’s sentiments

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Has the mailman come yet?

That’s a common question around most ranch homes year around. Depending on weather, time of year, flat tires, unforeseeable conditions, it’s not always the same time.

Exclamation of question becomes more emphatic during this season. When the answer is “Yes,” there’s a dash outside regardless of temperature to see if there are any Christmas cards.

Earlier in the month a couple of times returnee’s lower lip drooped. Just a newspaper and another statement were in hand.

Fortunately, it’s picked up from a card or two, maybe a half dozen in recent days. Excitement continues to mount seeing where the envelopes are from and deciding which to open first.

“Don’t rip ’em, be careful, use the letter opener,” scowling orders more than once.

Those from afar with personal addresses get preference of the computerized even sometimes commercialized cards.

A store bought card with just a signature gets a quick once over. When the card is a photograph of the sender, even their family, makes it certainly special. Homemade cards are almost nonexistent nowadays.

The cards with a letter are always read carefully, usually then again. Many are duplicated the same to all on their list, yet informative catchup of the year gone by.

There are still a few with handwritten notes. Maybe just a sentence or two, but sometimes newsy paragraphs. That dairymaid across the section goes all out with several pages of handwriting happenings.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Changing trees remain spiritual

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Christmas trees have gone through a lot of fads in the past six decades.

All of the specially decorated Christmas tree shows so popular nowadays makes one reflect what has come and gone.

Origin and history of Christmas trees varies widely according to the source, country and time. Generally, Germany is credited with starting today’s Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century, while other reports go back much earlier.

Devout Christians symbolically brought decorated evergreen trees into their homes. A green, thriving tree in the winter reminded people of hope, new and everlasting life promised by Christ’s birth

For a number of years, fir trees served the tradition for many families. Right before Thanksgiving, the produce distributor unloaded an alley full of various sized fir trees at the family grocery store.

They were priced by height, three-footers about a buck. Taller ones went up to $3 for those reaching the ceiling.

A dozen fir trees were displayed for sale at the storefront with persnickety customers carefully evaluating each one. A number of buyers wanted theirs delivered, making a mess in the delivery wagon, or blowing off the top carrier.

Quite differently shaped, most would consider more attractive, pine trees, both long and short needle varieties, increased in popularity. Higher priced, harder to handle, they soon replaced fir trees.

Somebody decided the pine trees ought to be painted, often white, decorated with colored balls enhanced by revolving light.

Aluminum trees came shortly after, displayed semblance to the painted trees.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ronnie was always there

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“If anything needed to be done, Ronnie would make certain it was completed.”

Just as sure, whatever the task there would be smiles for everybody involved.

Recent passing of Ron Shivers, often referred to as Ronnie, although in his eighth decade, was a very sad loss.

Oh, before going any further, pronunciation of Shivers is identical to spelling, like shivering cold, no long “I.”

Actually impossible to comprehend how diversified Ronnie was and how many different people and functions he assisted.

A hometown newspaper feature most appropriately, accurately, complimentarily identified him: “Mr. Volunteer.”

Among his many diverse talents, Ron was a horseman, active in leadership of several horse show groups He was demanded as a judge at a lot of horseshows for a number of years.

Often, Ronnie would adjudicate the same entries two days in a row; sometimes the same ones the next two-day weekend. That’s a difficult task for the best horsemen, and Ron was always credited as unbiased, completely fair to every participant.

For the first part of his career, starting at an early age, he was a trucker for several companies. Ronnie always pulled the air horn and kept it down whenever passing the ranch no matter the time of day.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Free delivery twice daily

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.A grocery store delivery boy knows every house and every street in the rural town to get there.

Oh, don’t ever ask what the name of the street is, that’s really insignificant. But, those back alleys with the gravel are usually the best and easiest to get to most homes.

Front doors are visitor’s entrance, but the back door generally leads onto the porch right into the kitchen. That’s the best route to deliver groceries.

When parents run a grocery store, the son is expected to do everything there is to be done. From the time could walk would always go with Dad delivering groceries.

Morning delivery was at 10:30, so customers had what they needed for dinner. Afternoon delivery, at 5 o’clock, arrived before supper.

At least three deliveries were made on Saturday, because the store was always closed Sunday. Another run was often made during holiday weekends, or just if somebody called and wanted groceries.

Most days the delivery wagon was packed full with orders. Sometimes there just wasn’t enough room for everything with several filled boxes going to one home.

So those on the west side of town went first, and then back for deliveries east of the Neosho River bridge. Wednesday deliveries sometimes only had half dozen orders twice a day.

First delivery wagon remembered was a cream-colored Kaiser. It was replaced by a specially ordered 1957 Chevrolet panel wagon complete with rear wings. Turquoise in color, broad side panels had big bright red lettering advertising: “Buchman’s Grocery, Free Delivery Twice Daily, Call 410.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Warm days will come

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s cold outside, inside, everywhere.”

Always very thin blooded and chilly when others are comfortable, the past week has seen even those folks complaining.

“Turn up the heat, Rick,” was the serious comment to the office engineer.

“It’s on high. Nothing else we can do,” he responded.

Sweaters and coats too were common attire throughout the building with conversations centering on low room temperature.

Purple hands made slower moving fingers that a couple of women countered with thin gloves enabling business to get done.

“Get a desk heater,” somebody advised. A couple of cubbyhole sales ladies took the advice to heart creating the warmest spot in the building.

Then the email came, “Parts are in, and the furnace repairmen are coming in the morning.”

They did, and the room thermostat was turned down from 85 to 70. It was sure a whole heck of a lot more comfortable.

Actually, workers didn’t even know there was a heater problem, just blaming the inside cool on the outside record cold.

When those inside are shivering, what about the poor farmers and ranchers outside all day? Don’t forget the livestock, too.

Long johns, sweaters, insulated coveralls; heavy coats with hoods, extra gloves sometimes with mittens on top became common barnyard attire.

Admittedly, combine operators going fast forward completing soybean harvest shed a layer in the cab. Right back on when the door opens.

Poor critters didn’t realize winter was coming so early with hair coats not grown to extent of official winter weather. They hovered behind the windbreak, low down in the pasture draw and into the timber as possible.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Speaking softer always better

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

That order, actually meant as a special request, takes on special significance for those who have booming-voiced acquaintances.

Fact is some people just naturally come across in a more piercing manner. They really don’t intend to seem bossy, obnoxious or an abusive authority.

Sometimes despite diligent efforts to pipe down, changing the instinctive form of communication is nearly impossible. Oh, if one really concentrates on being softer spoken, there can be noticeable change for a time.

Yet, when pressure comes suddenly, excitement arises, adrenalin flows fast, there’s always that instinctive brash call.

Mom was in personal bias one of the most generous, kind hearted human beings ever created. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for somebody in need or seeking assistance in every special way.

Still, Mom was always somewhat high-pitched in most normal conversation. That itself offended certain ones, while vast numbers of friends and customers appreciated her unique, yet actually quite sweet mannerism.

But, be a grocery employee, especially a carryout boy, not necessarily a son, too, “that scream” sure wasn’t pleasing.

There are many things expected of workers in a small hometown family grocery. Doing everything there is to help all departments, sweep, wash windows, stock shelves, wait on customers, sack and carryout.

While the store was small compared to most of today’s supermarkets, two two-story, buildings were combined for the business. Mom was always at the front greeting, helping customers and tallying the purchases.

When groceries were ready to carry out, assistance was needed right now, not a second later. The deafening shout from the cash register operator was aired.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fun neighbors on Halloween

“Trick or treat give me something good to eat.”

That’s the threat of ghosts, goblins and every other imaginable getup on Halloween. But it sends them for a whirl with the response: “Sorry no treats it’ll have to be tricks.”

Living in the country, little Halloween visitors are usually few and this year there weren’t any.

The highlight several years though now is when the dairy farm couple from across the section rings the doorbell. It’s usually past bedtime when Keith and Donna come after visiting friends in a 25-mile radius of the farm. All lights were on so they’d know ranchers were waiting.

About 10:20, buzzer sounded, door opened and in came Uncle Sam and his appropriately patriotically attired lady. Big smiles shining through elaborate costume assured it was the dairy farmers who’d hired milkers to get their night off.

Impossible to repeat words of the Uncle Sam song they harmoniously presented. Then the milkmaid asked, “Why did Yankee Doodle Dandy come riding in on a pony?” With no certain answer, just assuming it was sure better than walking.

More than two dozen stops already made, with several more lights awaiting their arrival. Minimal visiting reflected how the elaborate silk red, white and blue outfits came to be.

Donna picked up pieces here, there, yawn, and with scissors, needle, thread expertise put together great semblance to ones pictured. Red stripes on Keith’s white pants were “just painted there.”

Memory’s shy who all they’ve portrayed years gone by: cheerleaders, Roy and Dale, Popeye and Olive, more. A couple other neighbor ladies helped one year for Wizard of Oz. Always with singing accompaniment.

Last year, before dark call informed ice was stopping them, but fortunately back this time.

The jovial neighbors hadn’t made trick or treat warning, but came with their own treats. Costuming, entertaining, visiting were special delight enough, but Donna again handed four big popcorn balls out of her satchel.

That would have been a good day’s work making enough of the evening snacks. Then they had to pack the goodies in the back of their station wagon to be given out.

Oh yes, uptown morning after there were no main street tricks, hay, tires, outhouses like of decades ago.

Reminded of Luke 15:9: “Call together friends and neighbors for a time of rejoicing.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


A Cowboy’s Faith: Always ready to help

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“How are the calves doing this summer?”

“Did the kids go to the judging contest?”

“What livestock is the family showing at the fair?”

Forever congenially interested in livestock and those who cared for them was Albert Morgan.

His recent passing left a void in heartfelt conscientious livestock production dating to depression times.

Equal to Albert’s dedication to livestock husbandry was belief in youth and programs where they could develop. Learn about the industry, but as importantly leadership and social skills.

There were always fond memories of Albert’s 4-H days, showing livestock, earning nationwide leadership recognition.

Soon, Albert’s Hilltop Hereford Farm also with Poland China hogs was producing seed stock demanded over a wide area.

While Albert was classmate to Uncle Ted, personal first knowledge of Albert was when he married grocery co-worker Gayla.

Albert was a middle-age bachelor-stockman called one Sunday to serve as lay minister where Gayla was pianist.

Accompanying Albert’s hymn singing, Gayla admitted, “I set the trap for him.”

Widowed mother of three, Gayla was soon to be Albert’s bride as he became stepdad to Cheryl, Sharon and Mike.

“It was the best day of my life,” Albert always contended.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Safety always comes first

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s just nothing to ride.”

How can that be with two dozen horses always anxious to get their noses in the feed bucket?

Of course, excitement adrenalin flowed when the nice lady asked for another outrider in the community historical pageant. Initial smiling consensual agreement then turned into concerned caution. Maybe that wouldn’t really be such a good idea all things considered.

Magnified voices, background sounds, extensive props, live bonfires, other animals, and costumed people create an atypical environment. Especially when dark and chill of the night are added to the equation.

An outsider looking in wouldn’t give second thoughts of what all actually could happen. Especially when seeing other participating horses very relaxed nonchalant to the unique circumstances.

Yet, easily there could be a real catastrophe if a horse decided those were the bogeyman out to get him. Even if a horse just sashayed a little bit with the tight scene layout unthinkable damage could occur.

Yes, the whole play would be caput with serious destruction to the extensively coordinated staging area.

That’s bad, but the horse, other horses and animals, could be readily hurt, too. Much worse is high possibility of injury to so many people, those in the cast and the spectators.

Several of the horses are considered well broke, while some have collected innumerable championships in a wide array of competitions.

Yet, none were considered safe to be a part of the program. Horsemanship abilities of handler can come into play, but that just doesn’t matter with certain horses.

Based on experience, perhaps horse sense, it just wouldn’t be sensible to take the high risks involved.

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