Not This Cowboy

Dad never stood taller than when he stood up to an old buddy.

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 that doesn’t do those kinds of things.

There was a time once when I was tagging along with my dad to a rodeo. An old buddy of my dad’s came up to him, and they started talking. During the conversation, the guy asked my 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 between friends. I had a great example set for me that day. I respect my father for saying no, and from then on, any time I was asked to take a drink or have a smoke, my dad’s answer would come to my mind and then come to my lips.

[illustration] Illustrated by Greg Newbold