Frank J. Buchman – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Author Archives: Frank J. Buchman

A Cowboy’s Faith: Saying easier than doing

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

Mrs. Gibson, first grade teacher at Garfield Grade School in 1957, emphasized that to her students. “There isn’t anything impossible when one has the determination.”

It’s a lesson never forgotten always coming to mind when something seems unachievable.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” another teacher presented that advice to his class.

Both comments are encouragement relative to getting accomplished what needs to be done.

Frequently, “can’t” is used as an excuse for not doing a necessary task one just doesn’t like doing. However, the challenge whatever it is can often be completed with dedicated effort.

Still, certain people have more natural abilities in different areas than others. One which is an increasingly burdening factor today is modern technology.

This includes all aspects of cell phone, computer and other social media operations. Most young to middle age adults and even grade school children have no issues with such advanced conveniences. Yet that’s not the case with many of those born a half century ago or before. While they may have been forced into use of the “convenient” devices, their knowledge remains quite limited.

A number of “senior” citizens with cell phones and computers can make a call or look up certain information. Nevertheless, there are still quite a lot of older folks who don’t have the apparatuses.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Mom always knows best

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Come to the front and carry these groceries for this customer.”

While the directions to her carryout boy-wannabe cowboy seem simple enough, actuality was much more emphatic.

Mom behind the cash register checked out customers from two sides, ran the adding machine and wrote a credit ticket. All at the same time and when assistance was needed, the call was very audible throughout the grocery store.

Responding run from the upstairs stocking room far in the back of the two-front building was immediate. Or, the worker’s orders were repeated much louder with a distressed tone to the impatient voice.

That’s the way it was and employees whichever one, along with regular customers, were accustomed to such. Yet, sometimes those longtime grocery store patrons, who were always also close family friends, just had to smirk a bit.

Employees, who were in reality very highly respected, likewise appreciatively admiring their “boss,” son included, sometimes couldn’t feel the urgency. Still, it was all part of a fun job knowing everybody and where their car was parked.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Resolution for construction completion

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Where oh where oh where should that new line be?”

While it wasn’t a million-dollar question, there certainly was bewilderment where to put in a new waterline. Ranch yard is truly helter-skelter after very old trees were bulldozed out and hauled off by highway contractors.

Driveway has always been narrow, but with highly eroded ground on both sides of the culvert it’s worsened. Impossible to see at night with road construction so more than once the trailer has dropped off the edge. Width of the reconstructed ranch yard entranceway isn’t known but very significant when putting more stuff underground.

Sewer line has been redone before due to improper original construction and moving it again was said to be necessary. However, another highway engineer now says the wastepipe can stay although very close to being in the way. Still exact location must be known in order to keep from puncturing it with more pipeline work.

Five weeks since the telephone landline was ripped out by tree dozers. Emails indicating it would be and was fixed are complete misnomers. A dozen follow-up attempts to contact corporate expressing need have been ignored completely.

Uncountable cell phone calls from two personal numbers have been made to the company’s dozen different numbers to no avail. Each one required no less than 30 minutes with difficult to understand answerers frequently saying: “Wait a moment.”

Each time the “moment” has been minutes but the last one promised: “A serviceman will be there in five days.” While that ought to create optimism, it’s the same promise given 30 days earlier with nobody ever showing up.

Whether the home phone will ever be repaired is questionable, alertness must be given to exactly where the line is.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Season must overcome disasters

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“This too shall pass.”

While that is definitely a scratch in an already very bad injury, it is still the sad truth.

Perhaps more sympathetic somewhat less painful comment would be: “Mother Nature is overpowering having her way in every situation.”

Yet, a couple other responses could be “There’s nothing anybody can do about the weather except talk about it.” Or, “It is what it is.”

None are appropriate and far insufficient consolations for thousands nationwide who’ve suffered loss beyond comprehension from recent horrendous weather tribulations.

Hearing and seeing tragic impacts from storms thousands of miles away made hearts ache feeling the inner desire to help. At a distance often there seems no way to offer assistance other than possibly financially to the most in need.

However, everyone expressing their prayers for the others is so simple and likely greatest benefit of all.

Then when detrimental strong winds invade locally and statewide there is true inner realization of all the others’ suffering.

When lives are taken, livestock lost, homes and very valuable structures destroyed, lifetime work and dreams shattered, life becomes unbearable. There is no way whatsoever to recover completely with haunting to remain forever.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Glorious horses kick off season

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.A Christmas parade with all horses, vehicles, handlers decked out in red sure gets everyone in the holiday spirt.

More than 70 horse units from throughout the Midwest showed up at Lawrence to parade before street packed clapping admirers.

It’s the third time participating in that world-renowned most spectacular affair and perhaps the easiest and most enjoyable.

First time was with Mae decked out in her tassels pulling the antique fringed top carriage. There was certain applause but it was below freezing so the shivering mitten-earmuff-bundled spectators were somewhat sparse comparatively.

It was still better than the second drive in that parade with Mae pulling the high-wheeled cart in blizzardly cold rain. Honestly, driver and rider couldn’t stop teeth shattering for longer than the pickup ride back to the ranch.

This time, it was a bit cool, but sun shone brightly season-perfect with Maggie’s seemingly-choreographed jig for her red-decked-out cowboy. “Merry Christmas” was smiling and waving greeting to overflowing street side crowds everyone returning very happy gestures magnified.

Truly impossible to imagine all of the horse-drawn vehicles that participated, some very elaborate, surely expensive. Others were quite countrified, not very costly but just as much fun for drivers, riders and parade watchers.

Horse power was as diversified if not more so from smallest spotted miniatures to largest magnificent shiny black high-stepping Friesians. Every horse, vehicle, handler was remarkably adorned with the most colorful obviously holiday season attire.

A Cowboy’s Faith:Sentimental fourth generation firearm

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Davy Crockett is sometimes recognized for his gun ‘Betsy’ as often as the frontiersman is remembered personally for heroic feats.”

When one such as Crockett depends on a firearm for livelihood and defense, it can almost become part of him.

Many people don’t and can’t realize how something so “dangerous” and “harmful” as a gun can become so meaningful.

Yet, “The 410,” first major firearm owned by a now old wannabe cowboy, has such sentimental value.

Writing about guns is perhaps “dangerous” in itself with all of the controversies concerning nationwide banning gun ownership. Still, this country’s forefathers realized the “right of people to keep and bear arms” clarifying such in the Constitution.

It is true: “Guns don’t kill, it’s the people shooting them who are killers.” Brief study of world history reveals how nations have fallen when governments cease all guns. Enough said about such political issues.

“The 410” must be at least 80 years old if not older. There’s no brand or model number on “The 410,” although gun collectors could likely figure that out.

Uncertain when Dad bought “The 410,” or actually where it really came from. Still, “The 410” has been in the family well beyond this memory.

Graduating from a toy rifle to a BB-gun to “The 410” was big deal for a 1950s school boy. “The 410” is a single shot .410 (caliber) shotgun that will only hold 2 1/2-inch shells versus some 410s that shoot 3-inch shells. “The 410” breaks open for loading and the hammer must be cocked before firing.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Conglomerate takeover serious concern

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Whatever happened to good ole hometown friendly efficient customer service?”

While there are small businesses serving patrons with sincere congeniality, the number becomes fewer all the time. Small businesses in rural communities and even some larger cities start up regularly, but their life is short. Sadly, not very many continue to survive in today’s world.

Corporations are taking over nearly every facet of the economy. Obvious in agriculture is corporate domination of meat packing, livestock production and feeding operations, the dairy industry and more.

When conglomerates take over local businesses, personal care and service are the first to go. Staffing is sharply reduced to lower overhead and supposedly increase efficiency, cash flow and profitability.

Highly paid often right of college perhaps overly educated people in front of a computer try to manage businesses. They are thousands of miles from daily operations and don’t have a clue about those being served. Many haven’t looked at a map and don’t know where the state is, let alone a rural community in it. As the saying goes, they “don’t know milk comes from a cow.”

One thing many of those “workers” have is certain book-learned arithmetic skills. They zoomed through every mathematics class and can actually figure out when there is no profit.

Still very few of those sophisticated bookkeepers seem to have any understanding what is really required for a successful business.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Too busy to work

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“We’re very busy and can’t get your telephone repaired for at least 19 days.”

That was the summed-up response from the telephone company when reporting there was no phone service.

Actually, the conversation lasted half an hour as the phone answerer didn’t seem to understand there really was a problem. The same question was asked numerous times, apparently being answered to deaf ears.

Then the conversation would be put “on hold” for a time such to wonder if he’d ever return. Eventually he did, more confused than even before.

“If the problem is in the house, there will be a charge,” the difficult-to-understand answerer repeated. Yet he’d been told several times before that the issue was in the underground line.

Finally, responding to request: “We’ll send a repairman out in 19 days, but we don’t know what time it’ll be. You must make sure you’re there when he arrives.”

That’s the main reason most households now only have cellphones, completely shutting off landline telephone service. This place is old fashioned in its ways and cellphone connection is even worse than the landline telephone.

Problem with landline service this time came about when the big bulldozer driver was pushing trees out in front yard. The highway department has been planning to expand the road for several years and is finally getting started. While there’s “some work” being done for a 10-mile stretch now, actual construction isn’t to begin until March, maybe.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Honest and true living

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Be honest and true to yourself, and honest and true about livestock.”

Upon passing of a former college professor-longtime friend, obituary of Dr. Robert Hines quoted his life’s philosophy.

Viewpoint hit home quite emphatically such to initiate reflections of many positive influences.

Spring semester 1970, Dr. Hines’ one-hour college credit livestock evaluation lab was first acquaintance. Friendship developed during class although not realizing how dedicated the professor was to his now recorded beliefs.

Depth of the world-renowned swine specialist and breeder’s standards are quite complex requiring contemplation to comprehend. First and foremost, Dr. Hines, often in complete respect called “Bob,” was honest. He said everything “like it was” to students, producers, customers, all he was in contact.

Purchasing seed stock from Dr. Hines, he pulled no punches in what the hogs were. During college days, the son, today’s ranch manager, lived at and worked in Dr. Hines personal hog operation. Knowledge gained shows decades later in mannerisms, honesty, truth, people relations and livestock management.

While judging all livestock species is promoted essential to improvement, there are many respected animal adjudicators. Closely associated with a number, none more conscientiously evaluated livestock than Dr. Hines’ honestly truly critiquing composition.

A champion livestock judger, and winning judging teams coach, Dr. Hines was not the early ’70s college days coach. Recognized by a hog show in his name, Dr. Hines’ principles carried through in his family and adored grandchildren.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Early risers do more

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Early to rise gives a person the opportunity to get a lot more done in a day.”

While the typical well known saying is different than that, the same meaning is still there.

Always being one going to bed early compared with many others and getting up early, that way changed in maturity. It’s easier to just stay in bed longer, despite going under covers at the same time.

Years gone by several highly successful farmers frequently commented about how little was accomplished by late risers. They were right when compared to their early-rising personal achievements.

More than once farmers would only agree to visiting for a feature story by getting to their place before light. They had work to do and didn’t feel like they could waste time talking with chores needing to be done.

Many college students will only take classes starting late morning or in the afternoon. Still they don’t get up until right before class because they didn’t get to bed before wee hours.

As a student decades gone by, there was a college class scheduled every morning at 7:30. Many seats were unfilled and latecomers would straggle in. Professors were often late, too, with excuse of traffic instead of honestly admitting slow getting out of bed.

Best time of the day is the morning, although many deny it especially those night owls. Sunrise gives light to new opportunities and a freshness to accomplish.

Studies prove the brain works more effectively and efficiently in the morning. Ambition is considerably higher early in the day, diminishing as the hours progress.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fence posts are long-lived

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There sure are a lot of good corner and even line posts strung along the highway ditch.”

With powerlines being moved for new highway construction, the line poles and cross arms have been left behind.

Brings to mind five decades and longer ago how valuable those seemed at the time for use in ranch fences. Hopefully, neighbors and others will see their worth and put them to use this year.

Previously when wind and ice storms knocked poles down with power company replacement, they were grabbed for the ranch.

However that won’t be the case now as philosophy has changed with only steel posts used for fence construction.

However, it is interesting looking around the ranch and seeing how many power poles are still serving their purpose.

Back in the beginning almost anything was used in fence construction. With the original little ranch near tracks, old railroad ties were common. They were put into corral, pasture and hog pen fences, but seemed to be short-lived needing replaced within a decade.

Mom’s Uncle John was a partner in the garbage hog feeding operation for a number of years. He worked for the rural electric company with ample access to free worn out power cross arms.

They were used for making short lived fence and corner posts as well as fencing for hog pens.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Filly brings back romance

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“There’s a weanling filly in the southwest lean-to stall and small adjacent walkout.”

It’s the first foal that’s been retained in a dozen years from the nearly 60 years’ Quarter Horse breeding operation.

After developing a 40-head broodmare band, an annual production sale for 25 years attracted buyers from throughout the country.

The business was somewhat financially successful, but mostly enjoyment of seeing new foals every spring. Then merchandizing them to those who became best friends and made the horses into outstanding achievers.

A true romance is the only completely accurate way to describe the horse breeding endeavors. Bred to be and promoted as such, they were “The Cowboy’s Kind.” Now years later, contacts are received regularly from those who have, want or are interested in the horses.

Most years, the foals sold for what then seemed high prices. At least the income made major impact on paying for the ranch.

Market demand declined not only locally but nationwide as foals sold for as much as 80 percent below previous times. Dream-come-true and thrill of producing and selling horses with six generations of ranch breeding became work. Previous gratification turned into an annual dread.

Numbers were reduced dramatically mostly by giving mares away, selling some as seed stock and marketing others inexpensively to whoever. With two handfuls of mares retained mostly all going back to the 1962-beginning, merchandizing babies was quite the burdensome ordeal.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cattle business great life

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“When one day determines the year’s income, many factors play into if there’ll be enough to pay all the bills.”

For years, the calf crop has been sold at auction during the first part of October. While many ranchers spread marketing out throughout the year, these calves come right off their mommas into the sale ring.

That has proven logistically the only way it can be done, considering feedstuff, facilities and labor requirements.

Top end heifers are retained as cowherd replacements while all other calves are sold at the same auction. As with any business, there is a learning curve and calves are handled somewhat differently than in earlier decades.

Today’s calves are given traditional vaccinations before turning onto Flint Hills pastures in the spring. Conscientious care is provided throughout the summer with treatment for any eye, feet, respiration, and other ailments that might arise. The calves receive no growth implants and no special concentrate beyond native grass.

Certain breed associations said opportunities to increase calf value with considerable added investment have been tried without positive return. However, giving additional vaccinations, in lay terms called preconditioning shots, prior to calf sale day have proven advantageous. It is a major time and labor ordeal to accomplish with definite added expense that does seem to pay dividends.

Roundup of calves from pastures in four counties is a major task requiring lots of help. Ideally it would all be done sale day, but that is just not physically possible. Rather, more than four days are needed to get everything corralled.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Electricity often unappreciated convenience

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s almost impossible to imagine what it would be like to not ever have electricity in a ranch home.”

Reminder of its importance became obvious when the power company shut off electricity three times in a week.

Poles and lines are being moved several feet for a highway expansion that’s been in planning stages for years.

It was midday when the lights went out and everything operated by electricity quit working. There was no warning in advance, but evidently some neighbors immediately called the power company.

Three big power trucks in the driveway with a long new pole made it fairly obvious what was up. Electricity was off about three hours the first time as everything seemed to come to a standstill.

When much of modern-day work is done on a computer, there’s immediate time off without power. Still, a certain fear is present wondering how much work will be lost if the computer comes back on.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Bicentennial ride unique opportunity

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Certain things are an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and must be taken advantage of or lost forever.”

That was definitely the case with the recent 200th anniversary Santa Fe Trail Ride.

While far different from the original trail two centuries ago, the ride offered a glimpse of days long gone.

Only 11 miles from Bushong to Council Grove, the celebration ride was on the abandoned railroad bed trail. The Santa Fe Trail was said to have been nearby.

Fifty horseback riders were given the unique privilege of participating in the reliving of history. Fastest riders covered the route in about three hours while slower horses took somewhat longer.

Most participants seemed pleased that the trail this time was no longer. However, it gave an appreciation for how stressful long hours in covered wagons and horseback were for early day settlers.

Despite the slow daily travel of yesteryear, those moving West were facing virtually the unknown. Although a trail was apparent, they were unassured of water, food and encampment availability.

Today’s modern bicycle and walking trail is quite well maintained and virtually incomparable to that of former centuries.

Flint Hills grasslands, limited cropland, some timbers and nearby natural water sources were relatively lush for the season. They did bring a heartening sense of closeness to Mother Nature.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Native American mistreatment incomprehensible

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It was a well-done presentation about such a very terrible situation.”

Remarks similar to that were repeated by those leaving the Voices of the Wind People pageant at Council Grove. The outdoor historical drama was about the Kaw Indians, the Santa Fe Trail, and early day white settlers.

Appropriately performed in the Old Neosho Riverbed Amphitheater, many locals plus Kaw Indians from Oklahoma comprised the large cast. Evening presentations with live reenactments accompanied by elaborately developed technology including historical pictures, music and sound created eerie feelings.

Native Americans lived off the land for unknown centuries. Then America was “discovered” as intruders found what looked like wide open opportunities to prosperity.

Without regard for the natives, newcomers moved west to control what they considered free land for taking. Land which perhaps had existed since the beginning of time and cared for by inhabitants was stolen from its caretakers.

Peaceful Indians and their loving self-sufficient families all of a sudden were “bad people.” Settlers moved into the lands, mercilessly establishing trails, trading, implementing modern farming methods, and starting communities, declaring it was “their right.” Oh how terrible were this nation’s forefathers, still proclaimed “good guys” in certain stories.

There are records verifying the Kanzas (Native Americans) lived in Kansas in the late 1600s. A treaty arranged by the United States government in 1825 assigned the Kanzas to a reservation on “their own land.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Namesake family heritage important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It sure would be interesting to know more of the family history.”

Often that comment is made when children ask about their forefathers. Frequently a similar remark is said upon passing of a relative.

Certainly, every visit to the cemetery brings such thoughts to mind especially when the tombstone is engraved with the namesake.

It was a century ago last Tuesday when Grandpa of the same name died, according to his gravestone. He was born on October 20, 1865, and went to the Great Beyond on September 14, 1921. That was 30 years before birth of a grandson who was given his same name.

The story goes that Mom and Dad asked Grandma what to name their newborn son. She replied without second thought, it was remembered, “name him after his Grandpa.” So, they did just that.

It is interesting reflecting and wondering about Grandpa and Grandma as well. See, Grandma was a widow, after passing of her first husband, before marrying Grandpa. She was born November 25, 1883, so was 18 years younger than Grandpa.

Grandma had a daughter from her first marriage, plus two sons, including Dad, and a daughter with Grandpa. Her first daughter passed away not long after marrying Grandpa, but Grandma raised their three children after his death.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Trees provide cooling shade

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“I know which shade tree I want.”

A horseshow parent made that comment while unfolding three lawn chairs under the biggest tree around the arena. Soon chairs were placed under every one of the nine trees on the show grounds.

Actually it is one of a few if not the only arena with such convenient shade for show spectators. However, trees in parking areas anywhere near an arena are first to have trucks and trailers parked beside them. Often exhibitors arrive at a show early in order to get their favorite shaded parking location.

When the show gets underway, and the sun is bearing down between events, horseback riders are found under shade trees. Fortunately a number of eastern and central Kansas horse event arenas do have some trees for shade nearby.

Still many arenas have been constructed in fields far from trees and have no shade. That’s why many modern day exhibitors have portable tents and trailer awnings quickly setup on arrival at show grounds.

Shade from trees really does make a big difference in the outside temperature. Thermometers have proven it can be more than 30 degrees cooler under a shade tree than out in the sun.

Obviously that’s the case or people wouldn’t be so anxious to find the first tree they can for the shade. All one has to do is be out in the sun, go under a shade tree and immediately feel cooler.

Powered by WordPress