Today I received an award called the versatile Blogger award from my fellow blogger, Sotardalen Nokota Horses. Thank you my friend, I am honored. I enjoy your blog immensely! I see how these awards can be pretty time consumming in responding to but they really are a great way to network your blogs with other fellow bloggers.
In accepting this award, we are to write down seven completely random pieces of information about myself. I usually do not involve myself in my blogs as they are either short stories or recipes. But in this case I am requested to expose myself (OK, no visuals here as children may be present) to my fellow bloggers. I apologize for the length of this blog. Personally, I would have cut it down to maybe three Pieces of information and three nominations, but then I didn’t create the award, so here I go.
One. I write stories of the old west because I think I was born a hundred years too late. Or maybe I am just a dreamer who wishes for a life different than I now live. Maybe it’s both. One thing for sure, I love history and try my best to add some interesting history to each my stories. I also try to be as accurate as I can be without being obnoxious about it. You will never see my characters living in the last half of the 19th century using a nine millimeter semi automatic in place of their pearl handled Colts. Believe it or not, I have read stories where such mistakes are made.
Two. I was raised on a farm near Jerome Idaho until my Dad passed away. My Mom moved us kids to Boise where I saw people en mass for the first time. I had a hard time handling the change. I was so overwhelmed the doctor put me on tranquilizers. (real good Doc!) I saw my first Black person there. I pointed him out to my Mom and was scolded for doing so. I had no idea people came in different colors! True, Where I had previously lived, I saw many Blackfeet Indians (I’m part Blackfeet) but these folks were much different. Talk about out of the mouth of babes…
Three. My Moms family was from Switzerland and were Catholic. Strangely enough, all the rest of her family are Quakers and had settled in Sandusky Ohio. So I ended up in a Catholic school in Ohio. I did terrible. I began reading adventure stories to escape. By the time I entered High School, I could tell you about Alligators in Florida, Snakes in the Amazon, Buffalo on the Plains, Mt. Kilimanjaro and the sea life found in Puget Sound. Books were my world of travel. It was also during this time I found I loved cooking. In later years I would open and later sell a successful restaurant in the Florida Keys. Once again, all learned from books. I am putting my favorite recipes in my blog under the category Recipes from the Ranch House.
Four. At 24 years of age, I came home to a note on the table from my first wife. She had left with my best friend. Six months later a young girl asked if I had a cigarette. Two days later she and I were engaged, three weeks later married, We still are and have four wonderfull kids, all in their thirties now. After we married, I took a position on a cattle ranch as foreman. I kinda bull crapped my way into the job. Much of what I knew, which was actually a lot, came from the books I had read since childhood. No one questioned my abilities since I seemed to know how to run a large cattle ranch including doing the books. The ranch prospered. My wife took on the job as the ranch’s cook and fed up to thirty hands three times a day. It was the happiest time in my life. I loved ranching and living the Cowboy life.
Five. I have a secret dream. Not only do I want to have a ranch but I want to share it in the form of a Camp for kids. I believe that all of my life, everything I have learned has been to prepare me for this dream. I had mentioned my difficulty in adapting to the City. The one thing I thank my Mom for was the insight to send me to Camp each summer. There I met City kids from rich and poor neighborhoods who all seemed to have a similar problem as I had. Adjusting to life. As we exited the Camp bus with our stuffed duffle bags, we would look for a familiar face or at least a friendly one to make a new friend with. By the end of each summer, tears flowed and hard hugs were given during our goodbye’s. Black, white, Jew, Catholic and any other mix you can come up with, left as best friends. We grew up, we became tolerant of each other’s differences. We pulled pranks, cared for our horses, laughed, cried and learned to love life again. My secret prayer is that the Lord would grant me the means to give to those kids the same life changing experience as I had by providing all that’s needed to create a kids camp for them in the country.
Six. I’m a Quaker. No, I don’t go about saying Thee and Thou but some of our women folk at church still wear their uncut hair in a bun covered with a bonnet . Some of my Eastern friends are Amish and Mennonite and dress similar. We belong to an Evangelical Friends church (Quaker) here in Florida and wear clean jeans and a nice shirt to church. I love my faith and will never be ashamed to be called a Christian.
Seven. I live in Florida, near the horse country of Okeechobee. This part of Florida is called the Prairie. Our cattle graze amongst the sable palms and saw palmetto’s. They came from Spain in the 1600’s. The Cowboys here are called Crackers. Elsewhere, most cattle can be rounded up with yips and yells, but our cattle hide deep in the vegetation and come out only from their fear of the cracking whip. Thus the term Cracker. So here I sit with my laptop pounding out old west stories and dreaming of the day that can once again call the west my home.
My seven nominations for this award are; (If you have been previously nominated, just apply a 2X in front of your award widget title.)