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.

There were three, each one fitting into the next larger one. Can’t remember where that little suitcase is now, but it got the most use initially.

Yet, when going back and forth to college weekly, judging team workouts many weekends, and to major judging contests, the middle-size luggage frequently went along.

Not a vacationer, usage through decades has been limited mostly to overnight work trips. Also a regular accompaniment when officiating Midwest horse shows.

One’s even been in dozens of airplane carryon overhead luggage carriers when adjudicating horses across the nation. On limited occasion checked in at airport, breath held until suitcase circled around to be picked up at the exit gate upon arrival, never lost.

No better for wear, the big suitcase is in the covered pickup bed with English riding boots and spurs to have when needed. The somewhat-dilapidated middle-size one still serves on occasion as well.

No denying those suitcases new in 1967 was a prize with longtime service to recipient.

Reminder of Ezekiel 21:11, “They’ve been handled and put to use.” Then, First Thessalonians 2:1: “Even with some rough treatment, there’s been no waste.”


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.


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