He was thin enough to hide behind a flagpole and had piercing grey-
blue eyes shaded by a battered, sweat stained, misshapen old Stetson. His sandy brown hair was thinning and going gray but as he was never without a hat, no one knew unless they were around when he wiped his brow with the bright red bandanna. His hands and face were tanned leather brown and reflected years of hard work under a desert sun. He stood well over six foot tall, but his bowed legs lent themselves to the appearance that he was shorter. Age was hard to determine but a guess of between 60 and 100 was a good bet.
During the week his attire consisted of faded jeans, a faded denim shirt worn thin at the cuffs, and scuffed battered boots. His Sunday go to meeting attire consisted of clean, pressed jeans that were a bit less faded than the ones he wore to work, and western styled shirts with white pearl snaps. His hat and boots were old and worn, but well cared for. He was a cowboy philosopher.
I met Brad while riding for the Sierra Mesa brand on the ranch along the old Butterfield Trail near Faywood, New Mexico. This was during the same period when I first encountered Chris LeDoux, the rodeo rider and the singer, at a rodeo in Texas. I adopted the philosophy expressed by these men, and a few others met on the trail, added my personal touch, and over the years honed it with lessons learned from studying men like David Buick, Walter Chrysler, and Elon Musk, and people met on various adventures.
My philosophy is a bit outdated but it has served me well through good times and bad. It has kept me focused and balanced in times of chaos, and gave me reason to smile during times of trial and tribulation.
Chris LeDoux sums it up best in the song entitled The Ride –
“Sit tall in the saddle, Hold your head up high
Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky
And live like you ain’t afraid to die
And don’t be scared, just enjoy your ride.”
More on why I am waxing philosophical soon. In the mean time, enjoy the ride.