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Cowboy Boots

–Stories from The Dirt Road

1958

It was a cool and breezy April day.  The windows were open in the school classroom, and I couldn’t resist looking out on the fields and dreaming of cowboys.  While growing up, I wanted to be a cowboy and Daddy didn’t do anything to curb or discourage this ambition of mine.  Daddy never really said no about much.  He would just ask how I would go about doing it. The teacher rapped her ruler loudly on her desk to get our attention.  We waited in silence and anticipation.

Mrs. Cribb wanted our class to do a play about all the children of the world and was asking us what we wanted to be.  There was no question in my mind about what I wanted to be, so I raised my hand and said I wanted to be a cowboy.  She smiled which always translated to something other than what you wanted to do.

She said you live on a farm why don’t you want to be a farmer.  I pondered on that for a while and told her I know I am a farmer, but my Daddy says that I can be a cowboy if that’s what I want.  I believe I can be a cowboy so why can’t I be a cowboy in the play?  I have the boots and a hat, and I know how to ride a horse. I looked deep into her eyes with my saddest face on and waited for her reply.  She said I believe, I think, maybe I will speak with your Daddy.

The last bell of the day couldn’t get there fast enough.  I wanted to get home and tell my Daddy that Mrs. Cribb was coming by to see him about me being in the play as a cowboy.  I endured the long ride on the school bus thinking about what to tell my Daddy to convince him to agree with this grand idea of mine.  I knew Daddy liked cowboy shows on TV so I arrived home with hope and confidence that he would talk Mrs. Cribb into saying yes.

As the bus stopped to let me out, I saw my Daddy standing on the front porch waiting.  That could be good or bad, yet as I walked toward him, he told me to take my books inside and let’s take a walk.  I called my dog, Cookie, and the three of us headed out to the fields.  Daddy said that he had talked to Mrs. Cribb and told her that I believed that Jesus loves cowboys and all the children of the world.  He told her I knew the lines from all the cowboy shows like Roy Rogers, Gunsmoke, and Gene Autry.  He had told her he felt confident that I would be a believable cowboy.

As Sunday night came around, I was ready for the church play, all decked out in Wrangler jeans, a wide belt with a big silver buckle, black cowboy boots with red designs on them, and a black Stetson.  My Daddy went all out for me, and I got my best cowboy attitude on and was owning it.

The church was dim-lit and filled with people, and I had to admit that I was a bit nervous.  The stage was brightly lit with spotlights on all of us kids.  All the other actors had their best clothes on and there I was dressed like a hardcore troubadour. The choir director started off with Jesus Loves The Little Children.  Each of us had a part to say and after what seemed an eternity it was my turn, my first play, my first stage, and my lines were the last ones of the night.  I tipped my Stetson and sang, “and Jesus loves cowboys too.”  The congregation laughed and they all stood and gave us a standing ovation.  It was the best night of my life.  Mrs. Cribb gave me a big hug and said she loved me too.

Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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