My Dad, the Cattleman

My dad was a cattleman

He wore a Stetson hat and cowboy boots

He owned an auction barn where livestock was sold every Monday

He had a nice car but also an old pickup truck

He took me out with him to feed our cows

He’d have a bale of hay in the pickup truck

We’d bounce through the pasture

And the cows they’d follow us

There was a salt lick too where we fed the cows

And a pond

My father was a proud Texan

He loved the fields full of cotton and alfalfa

He’d drive me crazy driving so slow

“Now that’s a good crop,” he’d say.

My father could also dress up and cut a fine figure

He wore tailored suits from his brother’s Leatherwood’s Men’s Wear store

He could travel to Dallas and look right at home

A farm boy from Fannin County who was comfortable in his own skin

My dad loved his cattleman friends

Men who called me “a little jewel”

Men with kind eyes and starched blue jeans

Men who would have knocked anybody silly who said one sideways word to me

My dad was a man’s man who loved to drink Jack Daniels and smoke filterless Camels

He was gentle and also fierce

Decent and solid

A man who saw himself connected to his community

A man who valued his family above all else

A good man with a love of the land and people and home

My dad was a cattleman, through and through.

My dad at his sale barn. He’s the man standing with white hair and black glasses on the far right.

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