The Veteran returned to his ranch and was collecting strays a few thousand feet high up on a mountain plateau.
He could see a hundred miles or more at the valley far below.
The fire popped and crackled around his pot of brew
He watched the sparks disappear above while finishin' up his stew.
The breeze was pushin' on his 'stache and was cool upon his face.
He said outloud, "Thanks ya, God, for this here station & this majestic place."
He continued talkin' to his creator, though not a word was said.
It was his way of prayin', I guess, with thoughts there in his head.
"Thank, ya, God for givin' us this country, not just here, but all of our land.
Like the corn fields there in Iowa & the coast of Maine with its black sand.
It's a shame they don't teach geography in school today, and I ani't traveled 'round all that much,
But I learned 'bout places as a kid back in class, readin' books and such.
I sometimes think about those places to visit while ridin' on my pony.
Like seeing sawgrass in the Everglades, Minnesota's lakes, and the great redwoods. These thoughts keep me from gettin' lonely."
He was thinkin' about the great Southwest desert, the mighty Missipp, and the land they call Big Sky,
When colorful lights exploded in a town down below and happened to catch his eye.
He realized it was city folk celebrating the birth of this here nation.
How many of them have seen our land and all of God's creation?
Now ain't it funny how some folks will throw a party just once a year to celebrate the past?
I think we need to always remember where we've been so the next generation can last,
To take its place to do what was wanted when they wrote that Democratic Rule.
And that there paper signed in '76 was nothin' more than a tool.
Maybe, if people thought about America more than one day in a year, things could once again be good.
People might help each other out, take care of the old, and live true brotherhood.
We could throw away them contracts and go back to the shake of a hand.
Families might be rock solid rather than blowin' like the sand.
People might work harder at the job they is a-doin',
And they might be kinder and stop this ridiculous suin'.
Greed could be replaced by simply gettin' by.
And listenin' to our anthem might put a tear drop in the eye.
While thinkin' of what made this country the best,
He noticed a light flickerin' way out in the west.
What the heck can that be down there in the dark?
I know it's more than a cowpuncher's campfire spark.
It seems to be movin', but ever so slow.
Whatever it is, it's sure puttin' off a glow."
He watched it for a while more & lay down with contentment on his face.
And before he fell asleep he thanked God again for his life & this here place.
The veteran is a hero who can teach us a thing or two.
And each of us is a hero. Me. And also you.
The light he saw that night movin' west to east might give us a second chance. We can make things better and not be so lame.
If we follow the principles of Brotherhood, and the Heroes who carried the '96 Atlanta Olympic Flame!
* I wrote this poem and it can be found in my book, The Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry. I had the honor to carry the Olympic Torch on its way to the Atlanta Games in 1996. Even though I wrote for the 4th of July, it also applies to this Memorial Holiday. My book can be found on my web site or through Amazon.
Some of my friends and classmates served in the military. Many fought in the Vietnam War. You will know who you are. I want to thank you for your service to America and for your friendship.
* Chris C. * Tom P. *Whitey P. *Eddie W. *Bryan M. *Gene H. *Eddie W. *Jim F.
*Carson C. *Columbus H. *Leonard M. *Rex A. *Dennis C. Rick K. *Ron K.
*Leo H. *Frank D. *Ted S. *Ken M. *Jack S. *George S. *Mike K. *Jack P. *Bob D.
*Jerry B.(My sincere apologies to anyone I missed)
Trixie has had all sorts of jobs over the years. I even helped her get a second job at night after the Christmas holiday season. It was at a Target store exchanging items. For one reason or another, she could not seem to keep all those jobs very long! I guess it was her weak work ethic. I continued to spend the days going through the local classified ads, while having a bourbon and a cigar! I'll tell Y'all it was a lot of work for me underlining those jobs with a yellow marker and filling out applications on-line.
One of her favorite jobs was being a reporter for the local newspaper here in the South. On one particular day she was at the local grocery store loadin' up the truck with vittles that we sure enough needed. About that time, she heard an ungodly scream and turned to look.
It seems there was a Pit Bull dog left alone in the back of a pick-up truck while the owner went inside to shop. Trixie told me later it was the 'Rebel Flag' that first caught her eye when she went running toward that truck. She also noticed the 'Jesus Fish' symbol on the tail gate along with bumper stickers that said, "God is My Co-Pilot"and "I Support the NRA"!
That dog leapt out of the truck bed and was attacking a little girl in the parking lot. He was snarling and chewing on her coat at the shoulder. He was dragging her backwards while twisting his head left and right and growling while the mother screamed for help. People were running from all directions to help the child! Some fella came running with a tire iron that he took from his trunk. He pounded that dog to death! The mother grabbed the girl from the jaws of death while several people were using their cell phones to call for help! That fella saved the girl and there was quite the commotion with the police and ambulance there in the parking lot. All kinds of folks came a runnin' and wanted to know what happened.
Trixie left her shopping cart next to our pick-up truck and went over to interview the fella. He gave his approval for a photo and exclusive interview. After writing all the who, what, when, and where of the story, she told him she had a few headline ideas.
The first was 'Local Saves Little Girl'.
He said he wasn't from our town. So she blurted out, "County Resident Comes to the Rescue."
He said, "No, I'm from New York."
The next day the headline read, "Yankee Kills Family Pet!"
I don't suspect you'll remember all the "Cowboy Rules", but if ya lasso one or two,
And practice 'em each day, why, it'll be good for me and you.
There's grit that's in the "Cowboy Code" & it's shot straight from the heart.
If ya' follow 'em real close you'll have a smile when you part this here earth.
Like, if ya' see a neighbor's gate that's open close it 'till it's tight.
What goes around comes around. This rule is simple and it's right.
Put a 'welcome' sign there on yer porch for weary travelers movin' slow,
Like the fella did for Mary some 2,000 years ago.
When ya' see your reflection in a river or a pond you'll be proud,
When you've done more than is expected and less than is allowed.
If a chore is there that ya' really hate, always do your very best,
'Cause that is nothin' more than a test of your real self.
Thank your friends around you by puttin' out out your hand. Shake it firm!
'Cause you'll never know when it's the last time ya' will see them here upon the land.
Those weak in stature have a character pretty lean.
We should all be strong and tough. But never once be mean to ourselves or to others.
Don't hoard those gifts you have up under your cowboy hat, but pass 'em on so others can easily see
The Spirit is inside all of us. In you and also me.
Don't get attached to material things, but be thankful day and night for friends, family, and God.
Then you won't lose sight of countin' all your blessings.
When ya' criticize others like you're walkin' in their shoe
And pointin' a finger to blame, remember, there are three fingers pointin' back at you!