50 years ago, I was nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. At the tender age of 22, this cowpoke was on the eve of getting branded for life. On December 23, 1967 I was going to get married.
For a little over a year, I’d been deepening my friendship with a dark-haired gal who shared my addiction to horses and my love of the outdoors, the mountains, and travel. We had sung folk songs together, sitting on tombstones in the moonlit graveyard, and on the steps of ancient university halls. We had ridden cowponies on trail rides at my folks’ ranch in Wellborn, and boiled and picked crabmeat in her folks backyard in Fort Worth. There were dances, and nighttime walks in crisp winter air to get ice cream at Vandervorts in Waco. There were sunsets over the Bosque River, with sharing secrets being interrupted by a cow clambering up the riverbank.
Now, we were about to make it official. Our families and friends were gathering in Waco to wed us together. Even though it was a bit scary to both of us, neither of us could begin to imagine what life would be like without the other. We still can’t. Through the joys, jokes, laughter and tears, miracles and losses, children and grandchildren, good weather and bad, it’s been quite an adventure. A lady that I’ve always thought was sharper than a sheepdog, ain’t had no better sense than to stick with this cowboy for fifty years.
What a ride!