Monday, 9 February 2015

Personal Writing

   Two years ago, I met Ross Procter.  He was 85 and had just finished putting together some of his photos and poetry, hoping to get them published.   He asked me to edit the collection.  What a privilege!  And what a delight to find the finished copy in the mail a few months later.  He titled it "Memories and Musings" and that is exactly what it it.
   Ross is a fascinating man to begin with.  He was a farmer by trade but really a cowboy in his heart.
   His book is filled with love and adventure.  What a guy!  How extraordinary to find this combination of love and adventure- tough guy and loving family man.  Here is one of his poems:

I like the smell of a horse.
I like the feel of their nose.
I like the sway of the saddle,
As I ride down the dusty road.
The trot is a bouncy encounter.
I endure it because we are friends.
I guess I'm a lover of horses
And I sure hope this 'affair' never ends.
I first met a plow horse called "Barney"
That my Dad used to work in a team.
I've known "Bill", "Mike",
"Rawhide" and "Brownie",
And a bay we used to call "Queen".
"Buck" is a foal out of "Ginger"
With a quarter stud for a sire.
Between us we've learned to herd cattle,
But I know Buck could prove me a liar.
You see, I say we keep cattle for profit,
But he knows the real reason of course-
A cowboy's got to have cattle-
So he can ride herd with a horse.
Ross Procter, 1975

The book has lots of family photos with poems for his wife, children and grandchildren.  Also he has written philosophical articles on the death or sickness of a friend.  Lots of travel as well.
What a gift for his children and grandchildren, to be reminded that Ross was a cowboy with a tender heart.
We met Ross again this year.  Although he was on two canes and often needed a wheelchair, his spirit has not changed.  He still is the cowboy!

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