Good Cowboys and Good Cows
Good Cowboys and Good Cows will always have a big spot in my heart. Three good cowboys have made the next step, I am not sure what is in store for us when we quit breathing on this old earth but I believe they are making hands in heaven. The Good Lord is bound to have need for three more good men who certainly made a big impression while they were here on Earth. All three of these cowboys were the best and I know they will have no problem making a hand in heaven.
Brazos Davis, Buster Welch and Baxter Black were all well known in my part of the world, they were all cowboys with big hearts, great sense of humor, and all three were specially talented men in their field. They were like a good native cow that could make a living and be productive in conditions that were less than ideal.
I met Baxter Black at NMSU in a classroom, we were both students majoring in Agriculture, but it was a class called Dumb Bell English, not sure who put the handle on the class or who delegated the students to take it…….? Someone told me it was a given to all AG majors. Who ever decided Baxter needed dumb bell English didn’t know much about Baxter. I never met a cowboy who had a better handle on the English Language than Baxter. Thru the years since dumb bell English our trails haven’t crossed many times but when it did, I was the one in total amazement, his ability to entertain with his stories and a guitar were never ending. He was a native cow to his country and it never got too dry or tuff for Baxter. He just kept whipping them out, right down to the last day.
Brazos Davis doesn’t remind me of Baxter at all, their strength’s were different. Brazos chose his words very carefully. Brazos was a big stout cowboy who was most comfortable on the ranch with the native cows and dry hard times. We were gathering cattle to brand in a big rough pasture and short handed. We were all riding hard and making lots of extra tracks trying to gather all the cows we saw. The boss was making many extra tracks trying to keep up with all the cows and the crew which had some new young hands in it. We had made it to the hold up and were waiting on the boss to show up. When he showed up one of the older cowboys asked where he had been…..? The boss not to be put down, said, “Just checking to see if you all did a good job.” The old cowboy said, “It wouldn’t be so hard on you, if you just quit riding in front of so many people and stay in your position. Don’t you know anything about the code…….?” The boss was next to Brazos who was his segundo, and he ask Brazos, “Brazos do you know what he is talking about, I never heard of any thing like that out here, have you…….? Brazos looked at his boss and said, “I think we were raised a little too close to the Rio Grande.”
Buster was a lot like Brazos, you couldn’t back Buster into a corner. He was always cool and comfortable. When he was young and aspiring to learn the cowboy trade, he worked where the best hands were and the best cow outfits. It wasn’t long in his young career until he heard of James Kenney and the D ranch, he called James and hired on for the cow works. One morning James caught Buster a horse called Pinkie. James told Buster that Pinkie would sure watch a cow. Buster was sure looking forward to riding Pinkie, but just after saddling Pinkie he bucked in a big circle around Buster at the end of the bridle reins that Buster was holding. James said that didn’t bother Buster any, he just let him buck until he stopped and clammered aboard. They had a good day and became great partners. I never asked Buster about Pinkie, wish I would have.