Cowboys often have a bad reputation for smoking and drinking. But I’d like to thank my dad for setting the example for me of being a cowboy who doesn’t do those kinds of things.

Once when I was tagging along with my dad to a rodeo, an old buddy of my dad’s came up to talk to him. During the conversation, the guy asked mv dad to come to the bar after the rodeo for a drink for old-time’s sake.

My dad just grinned and said, “You know I don’t drink.”

The guy said, “Yeah, I know. I was just checking.”

That answer was more important to me than just a friendly no. I respect my father for setting a great example for me that day. From then on, any time I was asked to drink or have a smoke, my dad’s answer would come to my mind and then come to my lips.

Illustrated by Greg Newbold