“Those really were the good ole days.”
Good times then and just as good reflecting half century later.
Naïve forever, a skinny small town wannabe cowboy was even wetter behind the ears going to uptown cow college. Dorm living freshman requirement, and no choice of where, as remember, although one was same as another with little knowing.
Paperwork assigned the second floor room with a New York hippy, just fine. But, the hatted obviously cowboy bunch in the lobby drew immediate conversation.
Interesting how likes attract likes. Of all the places possible, assigned the “cowboy floor” couldn’t have been any better.
Immediate friendships were formed, remaining always. Only see or hear about or from them seldom, yet fond memories always lighten.
One’s room became regular hangout for cowboy talk, orneriness, dreams and plans to become rodeo winners. There was a piggin’ string and somebody always practicing tying the calf dummy on the floor.
Grody porcelain spittoon had constant use for drools from snuff cuds. “Come on take a dip,” the teenage cowboys chanted. One time try – nauseated, green inside out, never since.
Several went to the Aggieville hangout, a dark dingy stucco hole-in-the-wall, with good cowboy music. Tagged along sometimes, even had a cowboy-kool-aid once, but it cost, tasted bad, too.
Of course, anything rodeo was the common interest, and active membership in the campus club soon found assisting with the annual rodeo.
Major ordeal converting basketball court with bleachers into arena, portable fence, chutes, working up hard clay floor. Young cowboys’ teamwork finished in short order for the greatest show on campus.
Only a few locals entered “bigtime” competition. Yet, classmates rated bulldogging and breakaway buckles.
An ingenious bunch, college cowboys coaxed a farmer to let ‘em build a practice pen in his barnyard. Three-pronged-carving on nearby tree was reason it became “Turkey Tracks.”
A contractor loaned some jump-n-kick, re-ride broncs to get off the feed bill. Thursday evenings, wannabes crawled on, infrequently making it to the pickup man assisted get-off.
Personal mountings drew comrades’ smirks more than once, for “bellying-up,” and hitting the ground, too.
Reminds of Psalm137:1: “Remembering the good old days, sing a happy song.” So, Jeremiah 44:18: “In the good old days, we had a good life.” And, Romans 8:17: “We’re certainly going through the good times with Him.”
Frank 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.