My dad, and after he died, my step-dad, were both fine men remembered with honor for their knowledge and abilities in ranching in an era that is no more. I was blessed to have them both in my life.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that their legacies depend on me to carry them on and, even more so, to pass them on.
In a lifetime, I have collected a PhD-equivalent of little things about cowboying, cows, horses and right-living. I'd be hard pressed to itemize them all because they aren't all tangible things. They are things that just are because that’s the way it is.
Some of the lessons loom large in my daily life, even now away from the ranch. And I think even a partial list might hit home to many no matter where they live or what they do.
Some things that I know were never spoken to me, but were lived in front of me. They weren't verbal lessons but were a sum total of who these men were and where they came from.
Integrity was paramount. It encapsulated these basic men who simply lived life the best way they knew how.
They were cowboys, but they were also just good people. And in recalling anything about either of them, first comes to mind they could both laugh and enjoy life at any level.
That is the best of the legacy that they left to me.
I'm not only holding tightly to it, but I'm doing my best to share it with anyone that crosses my path.
Julie can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.