Cowboy Grandpa

Cowboy grandpa

Handwritten page of a diary dated Feb 12th, 1948

I’d heard the story of my grandparents, but today, Mother got this photograph in the mail. She can’t stop staring at it. She says, “That’s my Papa” over and over. I didn’t believe it at first, because by the time I met Grandpa, he was old and shriveled up, and now I am in wonder at what a handsome, dashing man he was.

I will write the story down in case I ever get so old I can’t remember the details.

Grandmom said Grandpa was a lonely man, although he didn’t realize it till later. She moved to a big farm near his little house, and she rode horses all the time. She had many to choose from. He had only this horse with one white foot. She saw him out riding sometimes but he would never wave back when she waved hello to him. Her parents told her not to wave any more because he might get the wrong idea, and they said he was far too old for her anyway, but she kept waving.

Then Grandmom didn’t see Grandpa for a while, so, on a Monday, she asked some other neighbors, who said his horse had to be put down a few weeks ago and he wasn’t taking it well. So she went right home and baked some biscuits and put them in a basket with a flour sack cloth over them and rode a horse over to his doorstep. He wouldn’t answer the door, but she heard the floor squeak, so she went over to an opened window. She covered her eyes, in case he wasn’t decent, and she told him her name was Pearl, and that she brought him some biscuits, which she would leave on the porch, and that she would come back the next day and bring an extra horse so they could ride together.

Tuesday she did go back with an extra horse, and she found the empty basket on the porch with a note inside:

Dear Pearl, Thanks for the good biscuits, but I won’t be home today. Joseph

She liked his handwriting. She liked the way he folded the cloth before he put it back in the basket. She went to the open window again and said she expected he was in there, and wished he would come out. She waited a while and said she was sorry for the loss of his horse, and she knew this one she brought wasn’t as good, but that she was having trouble with him and wondered if Grandpa could help calm the horse down. She waited again. She spoke up loud then, said she would wait ten minutes, but he might as well come out, because she would be back the next day anyway. She waited longer than ten minutes, then went home, but Wednesday came and Grandmom’s cousin came over, wanting to play cards, and then it was dark outside.

On Thursday, Grandmom’s mother answered the door and a cowboy said, “Hello Ma’am, I’m your neighbor and I heard you have a horse that needs some work.” She was confused, but luckily Grandmom heard from the next room, and she went running to the door. She said “Hello Joseph” and he said “Hello Pearl,” and Grandmom went outside, while her mother stood there with her mouth wide open.

It took a whole summer for Grandmom to get Grandpa to admit he liked her, even though he came calling every day when he was free from his cowboy obligations, whatever those might have been. Then it took another entire year for Grandmom to convince her parents that the age difference didn’t matter that much.

Boy oh boy am I glad they finally let them get married, or


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Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment