My Dad

Father’s Day 2014

My dad is a true All-American cowboy.  He’s the real deal folks.  He wore black Wranglers, cowboy boots and a bowtie to my wedding.  I’ve NEVER seen him without a western shirt on.  He has the most epic mustache ever.  I’ve seen my dad wear shorts once.  It was about 1985 and he’s never done it again since.

I grew up watching my dad literally ride off into the sunset on a horse.  As time has gone on, the horse has gotten traded more often for a 4-wheeler and most recently, a shnazzy thing called a Gador.  The Gador is basically a souped up, all terrain golf cart.  This probably gets my dad into more trouble than the horse would.  Talking to my mom a couple weeks ago, I learned while out and about in the pasture, they found two calves that had gotten tangled up with a porcupine.  The poor things had quills stuck in their noses, obviously not an ideal situation for anyone.  While my mom manned the Gator, my dad, who has passed his 60th birthday, stood in the back of the thing trying to lasso the calves while they chased them around the pasture.

Yesterday I called my parents, only to find them in Rapid City trying to buy shot gun shells.  Bird shells to be exact.  Why???  To shoot the neighbor’s bulls.  WHAT?!?  To kill them?  Nah.  Just to scare them back to their own pasture.  Because apparently that’s a problem.  I can just picture my dad pinging bulls all day in effort to get them to go home.  Better than chasing them in the Gator I guess.

My dad has had an on-going battle with the prairie dog.  You know how Batman’s arch nemesis was the Joker?  My dad’s seems to be the prairie dog.  Pretty sure he has tried every possible means to ride the pastures of prairie dogs.  Bubble gum.  Poison.  Target practice.  This had become folk-lore in our family.

Every summer my dad would collect rattle snake tails.  There were always a lot of rattle snakes it seemed like.  I hate rattle snakes.  My mother made sure we had a healthy regard for the rattle snake and as a child I was always very aware of my surroundings, making sure a rattle snake was not in the near vicinity.  I remember watching my dad chop snake heads off with a shovel, or shooting them with a gun.  This basically solidifies hero status for little girls… it’s like watching your dad slay a dragon or something.

My dad can seem bigger than life at times, appropriately intimidating the bejebbers out of Jeff when he decided he wanted to ask my dad for permission to marry me.  They met at the park for a ‘conversation’.  My dad pulls up, gets out of the car with his cowboy hat on and seemed about 10 feet tall.  Jeff recounts my dad’s massive hands during their hand shake.  The situation itself seems to be an incredibly nerve wracking  rite of passage for any suitor.  For all the intimidation, my dad didn’t give Jeff a hard time at all during that conversation… which is either a credit to Jeff’s character or my dad’s kindness.

I have a father who is hard working, hard headed, and stead fast in his beliefs.  He gave me his eyes, his nose and his lips.  I also hope his integrity.  He will be a cowboy until the day he dies, something that was just normal life while growing up.  Now I realize how unique the upbringing I had was.

I love you Dad.

Happy Father’s Day