The Last Cowboy

Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. The spurs on a cowboys boots- an apparent sound. An old sound, dating aback to the Roman Legions of Julius Caesar and beyond, that conjures up animosity of respect, awe and fear. The American Cowboy. Continued days, abandon wagons and courage are all words acclimated to alarm the activity of a cowboy to schoolchildren if they appointment avant-garde museums on acreage trips. But just like the gunslingers of the agrarian west, the acceptable activity of a cowboy is now alone preserved in movies like Lonesome Dove and history books.

Or is it? Are there any absolute cowboys left?

My ancestors and I were afresh arrive to appear the Steiner Valley Agronomical anniversary Beasts Roundup in Whitney, Texas. I accept consistently brash myself an “outdoors” guy so I ample it would be fun to get some photos of the kids with arenaceous old guys with big hats. Images of Billy Crystal in “City Slickers” abounding my arch but I was borderline what to in fact expect.

We accustomed backward in the black afterwards active no beneath than 20-miles off the blacktop road. The Steiner Valley Ranch, or SVR as it is called, was accustomed in 1849 and seemed to go on forever. Our aggregation of 12 accustomed a balmy acceptable from Wanda Harris, the Agronomical Managers wife and provider of all things good. Perhaps the kindest woman in Texas, her hospitality, generosity and affable are allegorical in these parts. I heard there was even a song accounting about her! Afterwards accepting acclimatized into our agronomical house, Mrs. Harris brash us to “Get affluence of blow tonight. Jay cast to saddle-up at daybreak.”

As my anxiety alarm sounded, I was assertive there had been a mistake. “Nobody in their appropriate apperception gets up this early!,” I anticipation to myself. As we rubbed the beddy-bye from our eyes and sipped coffee, we wondered what the new day would bring.

Ka-Ching. Ka-Ching. Ka-Ching. The heavy, adroit footsteps beyond the foreground balustrade adumbrated anyone was abutting the door. “Oh my God! It’s him!,” I accidentally said aloud as a agglomeration formed in my throat.

For years, I’ve heard belief of this old-school acceptable cowboy in Whitney, Texas. “Tough as nails.” “Eyes, aciculate as a hawk.” There is even a story, as the fable goes, of if he “sewed stitches in his own duke while administering a beasts drive!” Jay Harris- the Agronomical Manager of the Steiner Valley Beasts Ranch… He was at our foreground door!

Two quick knocks, again the aperture opened. Time stood still and no one breathed as he entered the room. Removing his hat, the Trail Boss bound inspected his newest agronomical easily and with a abrupt articulation said, “Good afternoon, girls. Let’s go, we’re late.” I anticipate he smiled, but was not sure. But what I did apperceive is he was at atomic 8-feet alpine and I now believed every adventure I anytime heard about Jay Harris.

As we helped saddle-up the horses in the pre-dawn moonlight, Jay and a host of added “real” cowboys aggregate and discussed the canicule bold plan. Hall Of Fame Cowboy, David Merrill was even there! I never accomplished that jobs like this still existed and begin myself afraid by the boxy men who alleged this home. Saddle covering creaked as they army up and abolished into the black as I secretly admired I was one of them.

We heard them afore we saw them. A few hours afterwards sunrise, broadcast forth the horizon, adventurous men on horseback herded the aboriginal accumulation of beasts appear the access area we waited patiently. A few beasts in the coulee complicated the drive, but the Trail Boss directed a few of his easily to breach off and annular ‘em up. The assemblage was anxiously guided into the access area the absolute plan began. The blood Angus were sprayed with a pesticide and beasts were afar from calves. I was asked if I capital to apperceive one of the beasts to affirm it was pregnant. I brash that it was abundant bigger larboard to professionals like them and ample I could leave that assignment on my “bucket list” for addition day. The beasts were led into the big “roping pen” and the Trail Boss captivated a assurance affair as the SVR branding adamant was placed into the fire. I was not assertive what was about to go down, but I could acquaint by the affection things were about to get exciting!

When the aboriginal dogie was roped and wrestled to the arena by the aggregation of accomplished cowboys, I accomplished the astronomic bulk of accomplishment appropriate to “work cattle.” No boys and actual few men accept the dust and courage to alarm themselves “cowboy.” These guys were professionals in anyone’s book and had acutely been accomplishing it a continued time! Jay Harris did a lot of of the roping from his admired old horse, Amigo. Adrian Hinojosa was aswell a accomplished roper and an asset to the operation. Amber Tiwater played veterinarian and administered all vaccinations. One by one, anniversary dogie accustomed the SVR cast and was vaccinated, tagged and castrated. Their mothers protested and waited impatiently in the affirmation to be reunited with their calf.

As the dust acclimatized backward in the afternoon, Jay absitively to alarm it a day and arrive us to dinner. A abundance of Steiner Valley Ranch-raised rib eyes were served up and every apprehensible ancillary bowl and arid was aswell available. I accept it was the best meal ever. I was able to appointment with Jay and aggregate abundant acumen into the activity of a cowboy. Their plan is real, allusive and important. Their lives are purpose-driven, authentic and honest. It is not a 9-5 job by any means, and there are actual few affluent cowboys. A groundskeeper, veterinarian, fence builder, welder, carpenter, accountant, plumber and abundant accessories artisan are just a few of duties appropriate of a cowboy. A day off? Not here. Jay brash that afterwards abbey in the morning, it was aback to work.

The beasts drive lasted 3 abounding canicule and we were exhausted. If the endure dogie accustomed the SVR cast and was appear aback to pasture, I acquainted a faculty of pride in accepting been amidst by such harder animate men of account and spirit. Absolute American Cowboys. I abstruse so abundant about accepting aback to basics and the joy of animate harder and active free. I apparent that beatitude and accomplishment is anon proportional to the bulk clay beneath your fingernails and diaphoresis decrepit assimilate the ground. This acreage was acclimatized by adventurous men on horseback like Elgin and Mike Guentert and that bequest lives on today in men like Jay Harris. I admired our time spent with Jay and Wanda Harris and bigger Christian association I accept never met. I actively accept that my activity is bigger accepting met them and I can’t delay to return.

Jay Harris, The Endure Cowboy? Probably not, but absolutely one of the best and a lot of admired in Texas. A actual appropriate acknowledgment to all the cowboys who advice accumulate the spirit animate including David Merrill, Rob Beasley, Jeff Sanders, Ronnie Doss, William Heard, Joe Hinojosa, Agustin Hinojosa, Adrian Hinojosa, Justin Moore and Bo Wohleb. My hats off to anniversary and every one of you. Job able-bodied done, cowboy.