MY GREAT GRANDFATHER AS A FRIEND
My great Grandfather was born out in western Kansas in a
sod house, on a ranch in 1897. He learned how to be a cowboy by tending his
father's cows and horses. He was just like a hired hand except that he did not
get paid. He learned to break horses and rope calves. Then when he thought he
was old enough, he joined the rodeo. He and his brothers rode in the rodeo. One
of his brothers bulldogged the steers, his other brother rode the buckin broncos
and my grandpa roped the calves. One year he was the champion calf roper.
Then he met the school teacher from the city. He fell in
love with the school teacher and they got married. My grandpa kept participating
in the rodeos and my grandma worked in the Carnival. Then when he needed more
money to support his family, he was the clown of the rodeo. He called himself,
Farmer Jim. Then he got hurt and could not be in the rodeo.
He learned to be a blacksmith. Then he bought forty acres
down in the Ozarks and built a log cabin by hand. By this time they had five
children. Then three more children were born. Then when they ran out of money he
went to Alaska to build the Alcan highway. With the money he made, he went into
the dairy business.
Then he bought a larger farm. He learned the plastering
trade. He worked at that for about two years. He learned to be a brick mason.
His favorite hobby is studying archaeology. He loves to
tell stories about his adventures. He is now seventy six years old. He is still
telling stories and making brick fireplaces. But he still walks bowlegged like a
By DOUG ROUTH