John Denton,  1918-2017

 by Mike Capron
John Denton was a cowboy from Globe Arizona. His hat set down low to cover his face from the sun. His leggings were made of heaviest hide available, with bat wings. To protect him from the thorns, animal kicks and any rocks he might land on. His rope was heavy, short and tied on. His saddle was swell fork, pelican horn, short seat where his legs hung straight down, and double rigged. Boots with tall slopping heels and big rowel spurs. Him and his whole outfit, saddle, spurs and everything he packed on his horse might weigh 200 lbs. 

John came home from World War II with a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars. He was in the Cavalry. I never heard him say a word about the war or his time he spent in the South Pacific.
 I didn’t meet John until 25 years after he came home. He had a family and was living in Pecos Texas. He was ranching, cowboyin’ and raisin’ his family.  Lots of cattle around Pecos when I first knew John and he was busy.
Skip said he worked for John on the Moon Ranch in Culberson County, Texas. John was 70 years old and hell to keep up with. Lots of horse tracks and never turned down a neighbor in need of help. They watched their outfit while they were helping the neighbors. But sometimes it was late when they got home from the neighbors and they had waters to check and various chores to tend to. Skip said many a day he would saddle up way before daylight  and go check 3 Corners Tank. It was one of the main water sources and had to be checked daily to make sure they weren’t losing water from a water leak. John wanted the stand pipe to be 18 inches from the top at all times. They couldn’t afford to loose any water, there wasn’t enough to waste. So either Skip or John rode to the tank every day to check the water level. Skip said it was possible to drive a pick-up to check the tank, but you had to drive 4 miles around to the back side of the tank in order to get to the top of the steep hill that the tank was sitting on. But John thought it was better to ride up the hill horseback from the HQ, it was only about a mile, mostly uphill.  Skip said he rarely got to go in the daylight. 
Skip had been there about six months when he rode up to 3 Corners to check the water level and was sure surprised to see the stand pipe out of the water. This was not good. It meant they had a big water leak somewhere. So he untied the wire that was holding the stand pipe up and let it fall below the water level. Something didn’t look right, so he raised the stand pipe and noticed that it was not connected at the bottom of the stand pipe. He pulled it all out of the water and the bottom of the stand pipe where it was attached to the elbow in the bottom had rusted off. It had been rusted off for a long long time. He wasn’t sure how long. Skip was wondering  how many times he had adjusted that stand pipe to get it just right for the tank level and it wasn’t ever connected.  
Never phased John, it was just part of the deal. I never saw John upset at anyone or any animal, even the ones that didn’t conform to his wishes. He might rope them and put them where they belong, but he would be giggling the whole time. John told me he roped a mountain lion one time. He said it took a lot longer to get him off his rope than it did to get him on his rope. 
John came by the 6 Bar one time when I was just getting to the house and riding my stud horse. We were visiting while I was unsaddling. John asked me why I didn’t get rid of that cancer over his eye. I told him that I had taken him to the vet and the vet told me he could cut it off, but it would return and maybe be worse. The vet told me it was best to leave it alone. 
John said, “You can get rid of it if you want to. Just get you some Apple Cider Vinegar that is unpasteurized. Put some on the cancer with a cotton swab every day.  And while you are putting it on, say the Lord’s Prayer.” 
I did and the cancer was nearly gone in a couple months when I turned him out with the mares. When I went to get him at the end of the summer, the cancer was growing some, so I started with the vinegar and the Lord’s Prayer. The cancer was gone completely and had haired over by the time I turned the stud out with the mares the following spring. 
That was 20 years ago and I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar and the Lord’s Prayer every since. 
John loved to cowboy and be around cowboys. He would be chasing some old high horn cow trying to get her back in the herd and after he got her back in her proper place, he would come back just a giggling and say, “Boy when she left there, she was sure packing the news to Mary.”  
I never got to work with John as much as I would have liked to, we were both busy on our prospective places. We did neighbor some and would get to work together some at our neighbors when we would both show up. Always a joy. 


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