May 15, 2019



Shirley and I attended our oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation this past weekend. I don’t feel old enough to have a granddaughter that will be going off to college next fall. I’m sure many of you have had, or will have, that same feeling.
Harding County is always about the kids. I’ve told you that before. From the local newspaper to the county fair. The kids come first. And that is the way it should be.  
The graduation ceremony was wonderful. Carrol Comes was the keynote speaker. She was injured in a horse wreck last spring and is in a wheelchair. She made a gym full of people realize what faith, strength, and love can do for a person. If there was a dry eye in that gym full of people as they gave Carrol a standing ovation, I didn’t see it. But then I was too teared up to see much. Thank you Carrol.
But my real highlight of the day was a young cowboy from Wyoming. Baze is his name. I guess he is 3 or 4 years old. Wears a big straw hat. Wears it with pride. Has a big championship bull-riding buckle that was given to him by a relative. Wears that with pride too. But the thing he wears with the most pride is a knife holster and a jackknife on his belt. Did I mention his roots run deep in Harding County? You could tell by looking at him.
Harding County is a place where, I would bet during hunting season, most of the pickups in the school parking lot would probably have a rifle behind the seat or in the back window. I would wager that most of the boys probably have a jackknife in their pocket also.
I’ve known Baze’s Dad for a lot of years. He is a cowboy and Baze is going to be one too.  
Seeing I was eyeing his knife, the young cowboy came over to me to visit. Now remember, this guy is 30 inches tall and 200 pounds lighter than I.
As I complimented him on his hat and buckle, he quickly pulled out his knife. It was a nice knife. Must have been an inch and a half long. Carried it in a holster on his belt in case he needed it in a hurry. He’s a cowboy.
Now I am sitting in a folding chair and I had to stoop down a bit to be at eye level. I pulled out my good Case jackknife. Well, it’s not real good. Only a two blader. Well, one and a half. Slate broke one off while digging in the dirt a couple years ago. Said it was an accident. That will happen.
I offered to trade knives with Baze. A defiant no. I pulled a dollar bill out of my pocket and offered a little boot.  A more defiant NO!
As I began trade negotiations, Baze leaned forward so the brim of his straw hat was hitting right at the top of my nose. Kind of like a drill sergeant I remember from Fort Leonard Wood. The knife wasn’t for sale!
You have to admire anyone that will stand up for what they think is right, in spite of the odds looking a bit overwhelming. I think this little cowboy is going to have an exciting life!
Oh, yeah, and our granddaughter, Gracy, was the prettiest and smartest girl in the class! Did I mention that?