As I went out walking one morning for pleasure,
I spied an old cowpuncher a-ridin’ along.
I cocked my head and smiled in admiration as the tune Daddy sang filled the cab of the pickup truck. The miles whizzed by, gobbled up by the Whoopie, ti-yi-yo, get along you little dogies. I’ve long since forgotten where the road ended, but the pleasure of the ride lingers. Every kid should be so lucky to have a dad swoop her up and carry her off to whatever fancy demanded attention that day.
Daddy was unusual like that, taking me or my sisters off to look at a donkey or pick up a couple of roosters, perhaps scout out a lead for a trade he had in mind. Sometimes I found myself riding shotgun as we went to the weekly livestock sale or holding a shoebox full of day-old chicks to take to the house and keep warm until the entire nest had hatched. Unusual, because in the fifties other dads didn’t involve themselves much in the parenting process, but then, normal conventions held little interest for Daddy, then or now.
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This is the beginning of a story I wrote about my dad in 2001. It was my first published magazine article and appeared in SaddleBaron: Magazine of the West. I've been blessed to have a great dad who taught me a lot of what he knows, and although I'll never be the storyteller he is, I do think I inherited a bit of his take on life - enjoying the moment. So for you, Daddy, Happy Father's Day. You've blessed me with life, a lot of laughs, and a heritage I'm proud of.
In the photo, my sisters and me with Daddy at our son's wedding last summer.