Malcolm Calaway

Tales of Texas
Texas Cowboy Art
                                                     Malcolm Calaway   
                                                        Mike Capron 
I met Malcolm 30 years ago. He was a feed salesman for Mormon Feed Co. We had a common connection consisting of a customer who we were both trying to satisfy. It was a problem that required a lot of understanding on all party’s part. As it turned out Malcolm and I were the only ones trying to find a solution and remain civil about the process. We got to know each other pretty good, as we had to unload a truck full of mineral and then reload it when the customer failed to pay for the mineral and Malcolm had to pick it up.  I felt bad for Malcolm to have to do all the unloading and reloading by himself.  Help was non-available except for myself. We were like a couple of bulls that just got penned in a small dirty pen with no water or shade. We weren’t happy with our situation and not sure how to make it better. Both of us bowed up and got the job done. Malcolm didn’t blame me and I didn’t blame him. We both came out of the situation winners and have respected each other ever since. 
We have always had a lot in common – horses, cattle, dogs, Big Country, and lots of good stories. Malcolm loved to live and loved to be around people who loved to live. Lazy wasn’t in his program.
 He and I went to the first dog clinic in the country. Both of us had a pack of dogs, working dogs you might call them. His were Leopard Dogs and mine were mongrel black and white border collie looking, but definitely cow oriented. We were standing in a pen of sheep, sheep that were being used to work the dogs on. My dogs weren’t interested as they had never worked sheep or goats. They never associated them with work ethics, just another animal to them, no interest what so ever. Malcolm’s dogs were the same. We had all our dogs on chains except one and it was my old alpha male, (Jack). Jack was laying a few feet behind me and we were busy watching the clinic. I heard one of the sheep jump and snuff at Jack while he was laying behind me. Jack jumped out of his way and the ewe jumped at him again. Jack thought that was enough and grabbed her behind the ear on the nap of his neck and threw her down like flanking a calf and was on top of her shaking her like a wet dish rag. He wasn’t hurting the ewe with all her wool, but the blatant noice she was making sure was drawing a crowd. The instructor came running to see what the ruckus was about, and I was explaining to Jack that he needed to turn the girl loose. I sure did get a severe talking to about dog etiquette from the instructor.  Jack and I didn’t say a word. Malcum was right next to me and after the class instructor left, he said he was sure glad his Leopard Dog was tied and didn’t jump in to help,……….. we might have been evicted from the class. I am pretty sure of that. 
A little later on the instructor asked to see our dogs work. I told him my dogs had never worked in a set of pens and they were used to working outside. Malcolm said to turn the cattle outside in the pasture. It would be no problem, we would bring them back. The instructor was a little hesitant,  but turned the cattle loose and they quickly left in search for freedom.  They were tired of all the dogs and corals. We let the cattle move a good distance from the corals and the instructor was getting nervous and wanted to know when we were going to send some dogs after them.
 Malcolm said, “Let them get on out there where the dogs have some working room.” 
The instructor said, “What do you think this is………Quigley Down Under ?”
My respect for Malcolm grew with the years of friendship. He met many challenges with all heart and positive attitude. He joined the real estate world traveling to many parts of Texas and crossing the border to Mexico. Big challenges and new problems were small steps for him. I always enjoyed hearing his stories of going to Mexico and trading in ranch lands over there. 
In his last years his love of life grew more and more towards the simple things of family and friends. We had many good discussions of how life can be so confusing, but so simple and beautiful if you see the small joys of everyday living. His life grew to know God in a way that I was glad to be a part of. His strength was from God in a way that was comforting and peaceful. He accepted his daily problems knowing that God was with him always and that this step was just one in the many to come with the joy of eternity. 
His life was a story for me to always reflect on when I need an example of how to live gracefully in a world of kris-crossing trails. When I think of Malcolm , I smile, thinking of how he accepted all problems with love knowing that God was always with him.

Mike Capron 


Texas Cowboy Art, PO Box 176, Sheffield, TX 79781
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