The Old Cowboy has been thinking more about…

The Old Cowboy has been thinking more about our move back to Seminole, Oklahoma. We were back among family and friends. Seminole and Ada, Oklahoma are only thrity-five miles apart so we had stayed in contact with many of our home town friends, so this move was a very easy one. For the next two years this was going to prove to be a very good experience. We too were about to purchase our first house.

Just to the south of our rental house across the drainage ditch was where Mr. Angel lived. I haven’t been able to remember his first name. He was a nice old man who lived alone then and walked just about every place, except when several of us stopped and picked him up. You could tell by talking with him he was lonely, his wife had died several years before and his kids had moved away. Then one day he announced he was moving back East to live with his daughter Jamie. Jamie Angel was a year older then I was and her borther Nigel had been in my class at Seminole High School, years before. When Mr. Angel made it known that the house was for sale Patty and I bought it. We then with a little help from the First National Bank owned our first home.

The house needed quite a bit of work, and it was a pretty good size house as well. To make a long story short Patty’s father Leon Davis and I got to work, and we spent a lot of hours working on that house, In the end it looked very nice and we moved in. This little experience gave me and Leon time to talk about the Bible, being an elder, and about city politics. Our friendship which was already strong grew even more. Years before when I had started hanging around his house and his youngest daughter and wanting to take her out on a date, we would talk. In fact if Patty and I were ever late going any place it was because Leon and I were talking. I also never brought her home on time and strick Leon Davis never said a word to me. Over the years I have come to realize that Leon Davis was the solid, sound and supportive male influence I had never had. It became clear that Leon had done his homework on this Coffman boy that his daughter was dating. From my point of view I had an older male to talk with that wasn’t going to spend his time cussing me. That was a very enjoyable experience.

I am going to save the early story of my involvement as a radio station General Manager and my experience as a Seminole City Council Member for another time.

An Old Cowboy thought to take a little…

An Old Cowboy thought to take a little of your thinking process time today. There are a lot of opportunities out there. The problem is they just don’t come with an “opportunity” sticky note on them. Neighbor, you have to take the time to pay attention to what’s going on around you. First though you have to be interested enough to pay attention.

The Old Cowboy has a quick observation for…

The Old Cowboy has a quick observation for you today. In all of my years in radio and as a business manager and owner I found that one of the hardest things to teach a salesman is to quit talking. A great many times a salesman will talk their way out of a sale. Robert Greenleaf put it this way; “many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.”

The Old Cowboy in June of 1977 moved…

The Old Cowboy in June of 1977 moved his young family to a rental house on Lincoln Street in Seminole, Oklahoma. Patty was still a stay at home mom and the kids were excited to be so close to both sets of grandparents. Much to the displeasure of some of the business owners in Wewoka, Oklahoma I was going to be the first General Manager of KWSH Radio not to live in Wewoka. The house we moved into was a fairly nice three bedroom house right across the street from Patty’s parents and two blocks from mine. Amy was a pretty and fun six year old, and that fall she would attend Woodrow Wilson Grade School where I had attended the first grade back in 1953. Shane was a three and a half year old and that little cowboy was full of energy. Shane had already shown a interest in song leaders and what they did each week. Even back in Ada when Shane was big enough to stand up in the pew he had started waving his arms and hands along with the song leader. Patty had to sit on the back row in the auditorium with the kids and I expect you can figure out why. Idus England was the preacher for the Seminole Church of Christ, and I have already told you a little about my friendship with him. He and Shane were going to be good friends. Idus is some where at or near 90 years old today, and he and I still talk from time to time. This was a very good time in our lives and we were enjoying life together.

KWSH-Radio was in kind of a mess and I had already found that my hands were going to be full for a while. At that point I just didn’t how short the time was going to be. Roy Judge who had given me my first job in radio had been the president of the little broadcasting company that owned KWSH in Wewoka and KADA in Ada. A few years earlier he had quit and they had sent the owners son to manage KWSH and he made a real mess of things, then they hired another character and he wasn’t much better. Jerry Spencer who had been my boss in Ada was now the president of the little company. I found out a few months later that I was to be the stations last chance.

Patty’s dad Leon Davis was the Personnel Manager at the local Blue Bell plant which was owned by the Wrangler Jeans folks. Leon by then had been a long time elder at the Seminole Church of Christ and was serving some where around his forth term on the Seminole City Council. He had never drawn an opponent in an election and was well liked in Seminole. Zelda Davis, Patty’s mom was the perfect elder’s and city councilmen’s wife. She was the bookkeeperfor B&L Electric who was owned by the father of one of the kids I had played high school football with. With a little help from Leon I soon met everyone connected with city government, and the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, and was instantly involved in the activities of the Seminole Church of Christ. I was about to start teaching my next group of high school students..

One of the men Leon introduced me to was Howard Roberts. I don’t remember what his official title with the City of Seminole was, however he was the head of the Operation Pride Program and the Keep Seminole Beautiful program which had won a national award the year before. My involvement with Howard Roberts will be a part of the next installment in this trip through life.

The Old Cowboy in 1975 through most of…

The Old Cowboy in 1975 through most of 1977 contiunued to do the early morning radio show at KADA-AM along with selling advertsiing. With the help of several very good Bible scholars I continued to sharpen my skills as a Bible class teacher, and looked for any opportunity to preach a little or do a devotional. Along the way I made friends with a couple of men from the Central Church of Christ across town and got to speak a few times at their East Central University Bible Chair. Along with that my friend in the ECU administration Office and I brought a couple more shows into the ECU Fieldhouse.

I continued my rodeo announcing around Ada and South Central and South Eastern Oklahoma and announced a couple of rodeos up around Oklahoma City for Elmer Anderson. I met a lot of other rodeo announcers and personalities along the way. I met people like Clem McSpaden the legendary voice of Pro Rodeo, and the writer of what is known as the Cowboy’s Prayer. Clem was a big voice and one of the officials of the National Finals Rodeo which at that time took place in the old Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena in Oklahooma City. Along the same time I took a trip to the International Finals Rodeo in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I had met Jim Shoulders of Henryetta, Oklahoma several years brefore. Besides his well deserved reputation as a World Champion Cowboy, and rodeo stock contractor Jim was the owner of the legendary dark red bull Tornado. Back in 1967 Jim was furnishing a lot of the rough stock (bulls and horses) that appeared at the National Fiunals Rodeo. Tornado in 14 years had bucked off 200 bull riders and had the reputation as being the unrideable bull. That all ended on my birthday December 1, 1967, the Friday night performance at the N.F.R. Of all things a 46 year old cowboy from Soper Oklahoma by the name of Warren “Freckles” Brown drew Tornado. Eight seconds after Freckles Brown had said “Lets Ride” Tornado’s record of bucking off bull riders ended. In 1975 Freckles Brown was still a rodeo legend and I enjoyed having him on my radio show and announcing his appearance at several rodeos around the state. It was about that time too that I met Hadley Barrwett a PRCA announcer from North Platte, Nebraska. Hadley would a few years later help open the door for me to become a PRCA Rodeo Announcer and he and I would share a microphone at several rodeos.

During all of the years I lived in Ada and Picket, Oklahoma I was involved in the Pontotoc County Fair and became very involved in the activities of the 4-H program. I talked to them about public speaking, radio and rodeo announcing, and announced a bunch of their events. It was one of the most enjoyable things I involved myself in. I became good friends with the kids and their parents, and yes I saw some of them on Sunday’s and Wednesday nights as well. Then on Monday night October 11th, 1976 the kids and their parents and the 4-H leaders told me how much they appreciated what I had been doing. I was presented with an Oklahoma Friend of 4-H Award, and on it it said “In recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Oklahoma 4-H Programs.” Now that took me totally by surprise, and I really appreciated that award. Along about the same time one of the 4-H boys came to the radio station with his mom and gave me a plaster Cowboy holding a sadddle he had taken a lot of care to paint. That cowboy has sat on my desk ever since, as a reminder of some great young 4-H friends.

Near the end of June in 1977 our lives would begin to really change. On Thursday June 30th, 1977 the Wewoka Daily Times published an article on the Front Page under the heading “New Radio Manager Named.” I had been asked to return to KWSH-AM Radio as the General Manager where I had started my radio carrier not many years before. The Coffman family’s move to Seminole, Oklahoma and the next chapter in this journey is the next story.

The Old Cowboy had a little time to…

The Old Cowboy had a little time to think just a bit more about the experiences Patty the kids and I had while living at Picket, Oklahoma. As I have alluded to through all of this we made a lot of friends. We all played together, cired together, and worshiped God and studied the Bible together. Our kids all played together. There were a lot of discussions about Bible lessons too. The elders and my preacher friend Tom Wacaster taught a special series of lessons from time to time. At the moment I don’t remember what the year was, but it wasn’t long after we had moved to Picket that the Southwest congregation played host to the Brecheen/Faulkner Marriage Enrichment Seminar. Now that was a good weekend, and being able to talk with Carl Brecheen and Paul Faulkner in person was a treat. I have many times thought if Patty and I had experienced another round of that seminar about thirty years later, maybe things would have turned out better.

To fill in a couple of blanks in what I have written thus far, and to help lay the groundwork for a couple of personal comments, I offer a comment about an uncomfortable subject. While growing up in Seminole, I grew up in a very racially prejudiced home. If you weren’t white, well you were talked about rather harshly by especially my father. He didn’t make any exceptions, simply put it didn’t much mater if you were African American, American Indian or even Jewish or anything else for that matter. I bring that up because the issue is going to rear it’s ugly head through out my life, right up to today. At home I learnd all of the ignorant words that a person could spew out of their mouth. There too was quite a contrast between home life and what I experienced at school. We kids pretty well didn’t care what color your hide happened to be, it was all in how you acted. Unless you got into one of the larger cities at that time, for the most part the white church congregations were white, and the black congregations where black, and for the various folks with an American Indian heritage they stayed in their own tribal groups or attended where they felt welcome. If you are getting the point, all of this included the Church of Christ.

Shortly after I got my announcers card for the International Rodeo Association, I figured out that I wasn’t going to make much money if all I did was announce rodeos for the Burk Rodeo Company. I then started calling all the other rodeo stock contractors around the state. It didn’t take long and I made friends with Elmer Anderson the owner of the Circle A Rodeo Company in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Elmer was a true to life Oklahoma black cowboy, a cowboy right to the bone and a very good businessman. I would learn a great deal about being a rodeo announcer from Elmer, and even more about people. You see, Elmer didn’t have time for and didn’t put up with racial attitudes on either side of the issue. He would give me little hints about how to approach certain cowboys, and I never heard about any problems. I do remember anouncing some great rodeos. Elmer is one of the real cowboys that I really miss sitting down with today.

I think the story about our time in Ada and Picket, Oklahome is about told at this point. I’ll likely drift back from time to time I expect, these were special days in my life. Next is going to be a move back home to Seminole, Oklahoma, then Atoka, Oklahoma and on to Omaha, Nebraska where this story gets real interesting.

The Old Cowboy thought we should take a…

The Old Cowboy thought we should take a moment and look at the Coffman familie’s return to the Southwest Church of Christ in Ada, Oklahoma. On Sunday morning we got in the car and headed back to the Southwest Church of Christ building and pretty well picked up where we left off. The big difference was another member was teaching my high school Bible class. Patty and I had the opportunity to sit together in an adult Bible Class and learn from some great teachers together. Every now and then I had the opportunity to teach that high school Bible class and I taught a couple of adult classes too. I also seemed to spend a little more time down front each Sunday morning learning how to do everyting. My friend Tom, now the preacher still involved me in some of his one-on-one Bible studies with folks, and some were baptized. It wasn’t until a few years later it really struck me what Tom had been teaching me. I was learning how to conduct one-on-one Bible studies with folks, and I learned to answer some of those harder questions people will ask sitting at the kitchen table, and not in Bible class. Along with those lessons Patty and I were spending more time with friends in the church. Many of those friendships we made way back in the 1970’s I still enjoy today. Many are friends on Facebook along with their kids, and even some of their grandkids.

As a radio station time salesman I was meeting all kinds of folks with all kinds of religious backgrounds. One of our young announcers was a Mormon, and a couple of the kids that had “elder” on their name tags would hang around some. They finally got to where they would walk around the building so they didn’t have to walk by my office. They learned I had read all of their books and I asked questions they couldn’t answer.
On Saurday mornings I had a guy who came and took an hour of my show, and I have not been able to find his name. He was the preacher for the Freewill Baptist Church and the lead singer for the Ministers Quartet. I learned a lot from him and he and I had some very interesting conversations. Neither one of us ever backed down. Likely the most interesting pair of folks I met were Ted and Tommy Hudson, the owners of Hudson’s Furniture. Tommy best I remember was a Southern Baptist and Ted was one of the leaders of a very ultra conservative Church of Christ. Ted and I locked horns several times over various things. Mostly because we had been baptized the same way and for the same reasons and he refused to consider me his brother in Christ. He would get to where he would ask me why I didn’t come and worship with them. I went a couple of times, and I didn’t find any of the differences anyting to argue about. I would then invite him to come worship with us and he would get upset and say no. So I quit asking him. In reality we were friends and he played in a Bluegrass Band and would invite me to come hear them play, and they were pretty good. When all of the bluegrass bands would gather in the East Central University auditorium for a show, I would go emcee it.

I was learning a lot about people while I was involved in all of this. There is more to tell about my radio and rodeo experiences, and about our next move that would totally take us away from Ada, Oklahoma and finally to Omaha, Nebraska. Those stories are for another day.

The Old Cowboy and his young family were…

The Old Cowboy and his young family were headed back to Ada, Oklahoma. I don’t remember much about the little central Oklahoma City congregation where we attended. We weren’t there long enough to make much of an impression on them. If I remember right this was some where in the late Summer or early Fall of 1974. Amy would have been three and son Shane would have a few more months before he had his first birthday. I had found that J.B. Stallings a member of the Southwest Chruch of Christ had a little farm house with about two and a half acres to rent, about six miles out of Ada at Picket. Our next door neighbor was Austin Morris and his wife and his son Randy and his wife lived in a trailer next door. The big draw was a calf roping arena between the houses. I went back to work at KADA-Radio and soon was back doing the morning show and was now the sales manager. It wasn’t long after we moved in that one afternoon Randy was putting lights up on the sides of the arena. Soon we had a load of new calves in the pasture behind my house. That pasture had a two stall barn, and we had a couple of other out buildings. It was now roping time, and a lot of days Randy would be roping when I got home. I would take my suit coat off and crawl over the fence and mount up. No that did not go over well with the boss of the house. At times we had some World Champion Cowboys in that arena, and little Shane took note of especially Randy’s abilities.

KADA-Radio was doing very well at the time and Jerry Spencer a few years before had become the president of the broadcasting company which also owned KWSH-Radio in Wewoka, Oklahoma where I had started in radio. Soon I was asked to be the play-by-play announcer for the Ada High School Cougar Football broadcasts then for the East Central University Tiger Football broadcasts. I was learning a lot about sports broadcasting. About that time a friend at East Central University approached me about helping him promote a country music concert at the University. We hired Mel Tillis along with Karen Wheeler the daughter of the legendary Onie Wheeler to do the show. Mel Tillis had the number one country song out “Midnight Me and The Blues.” This was my first time on stage with a big time country music entertainer and it would not be the last. Long story short the show was a big success. Mel was a riot the next day on my radio show. Mel would return to be the headliner at the Ken Lance Rodeo several months later, only this time his daughter Pam was on the bus with him. Pam wasn’t quite 18 at the time and she had the entertainment bug real bad. Several years later at a CMA event in Nashville, Pam would remind me about how much I teased her that first time we met.

About this same time I got involoved with the Pontotoc County 4-H program and had a great time working with the kids. During my 4-H activities I met a cowboy that had a Sunday afternoon buck out each week at his place on the edge of Ada.. I started going and they figured they needed an announcer. Each week they were bucking bulls and a few horses and every now and then they would have a few calf ropers. The stock contractor who provided the bulls and horses was Lloyd Burk the 1965 International Rodeo Association World Champion Bull Rider. It wasn’t long and they decided to put on a rodeo, and I was to be the announcer. They knew they could get free radio advertising that way, and they did. It wasn’t long after that I was approached by Lloyd to announce some I. R.A Professional Rodeos for the Burk Rodeo Company and he and several others wrote letters and I got my first professional rodeo announcers card. Not long after that I borrowed a public address system from Ken Lance and headed for Konawa, Oklahooma and my first professional rodeo. There is a lot more to that story for another day. Not to many years down the road and I would take my talents to the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. That’s another day too.

The Old Cowboy a little later will get…

The Old Cowboy a little later will get back to the lessons behind the Coffman family travels, Right now I would like to bring your attention to a few words about “Leaders” found in Eugene B. Habecker’s book – The Other Side of Leadership; The true leader serves, serves people, serves their best interest, and in doing so will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because leaders are motivated more by loving concern than desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.”

The Old Cowboy earlier this morning had an…

The Old Cowboy earlier this morning had an old friend send me a message and ask why I had not mentioned the eldership in Ada, Oklahoma back in the years I was there. I know he asked me that, because it was a very good eldership. I thought it was an interesting question, and it made me think more about why those were such great days in the lfe of this young Christian. This was a group of men who knew what the job of being a Sheppard was all about. First they knew the Bible and each were active students and teachers. It’s true some were better in a classroom then others, however they were all active teachers in one form or another. This group of elders understood they were servants, and they were hands on, yet not overly so. They all had an open door if you wanted to talk, yet some times they didn’t wait for you to come to them. In the oilfields of Oklahoma you hear about men that have a firm hand, and an easy touch, and I think this describes this group of men For this then young cowboy and Christian they were friends to sit back and talk with about stuff, and most of all they were great examples for a young cowboy.

Now back to just a little more of my efforts to be a small market radio announcer and radio time salesman. Each day I would pretty well walk from one end of Main Street to the other walking in and out of stores talking with the business owners. One of the first places I introduced myself was to the folks at the Austin Morris Shoe and Saddle Shop on East Main. In that area when it came to western boots, shoe and boot repairs, hats, clothing, along with saddles and tack, that is where the cowboys went. Austin’s two sons Randy and Danny were calf ropers and members of the International Rodeo Association. Now I had a little experience with a rope in my hands from earlier years, and I found some great friends and a place to hide from work from time to time. Over the next couple of years that is where I met a lot of cowboys and some rodeo stock contractos. It would not be very long and they would be a factor in my constantly growing experiences.

With a good strong introduction to a large number of Nashville country music entertainers, and some success as a country music radio announcer, I had dreams of big market stardom. I sneaked off to Dallas, Texas to look for a big radio station to work with. Back a few years earlier while I was learning to be an broadcast engineer I had worked some at a couple of Dallas radio stations. So I put my application in at WBAP-AM and KBOX-AM the two big country music giants there, gave them my airchecks and waited for them to offer me a job. Well to make a long story short, that didn’t happen. So I turned my attention to Oklahoma City and the country music stations there, along with a couple of rock stations. In the end the only station that had any interest, and the only one to offer me a sales job was WNAD-AM in Norman, Oklahoma. So we packed up the kids and moved to Oklahoma City, and I started my sales job. It took about a month and I found selling advertising for a radio station that wasn’t very popular was almost impossible. The sales manager was a one time OU football player who’s only talent was a loud mouth, and the lady who managed the station liked him. Being a bit frustrated and tired of that mess I explained to him what kind of a total fool he was, and changed to being the morning drive announcer. I too started looking for another place to work. The program director was an old alcoholic rock jock and he didn’t like country music and you could tell by the way he programed the station. So about three months after moving to Oklahoma City, we had a stock trailer all loaded up and we were headed back to Ada, Oklahoma. That will be the next bit of the Coffman family story.

The Old Cowboy as many of us do…

The Old Cowboy as many of us do has often looked back on my early years as a Christian and experiences as a Bible class teacher and thought “what if.” It’s not to say that my Bible education wasn’t growing because it was still in high gear, and I was taking every opportunity to expand it. Besides the teaching I did more and more down front and when the opportunity to preach was there, I never said no. However there was the draw of the world of cowboys, rodeos, and country music entertainers, to balance with being a husband, father, radio announcer, and radio salesman. Some things just were not going to get the attention they required.

South Central Oklahoma and especially the Ada area served as the home turf of several long time professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, and several were World Champions. The home of the then International Rodeo Association was just thirty-three miles away in Pauls Valley. Just to the South of Ada, Stonewall, Oklahooma played host to the third largest PRCA Championship Rodeo in the nation at the Ken Lance Sports Arena. Ken Lance had been a national champion calf roper in 1962 and had traveled the world as a trick roper. The Ken Lance Rodeo drew the top PRCA cowboys and cowgirls, and he hired the top country music entertainers to come and perform each year. Ken had been life long friends with entertainers like Willie Nelson, who hid out at Ken’s place often. Reba Neil McEntire’s family home was just just down the road at a wide spot in the road called Chockie. It is so small you can hardly find a map that will show it. Chockie however is a little Northeast of Stringtown in Atoka County.

Ken Lance and I became good friends, and he gave me full run of his place. I met all of the top PRCA cowboys and cowgirls and most importantly he provided full access to all of the country music entertainers. I interviewed them in their tour busses, and introduced them from the announcers stand. Many of them would come to the radio station and make an appearance on my radio show. I became friends with many of them and we swapped phone numbers and addresses. These are the entertainers that several years later would make my early days at KYNN AM/FM in Omaha, Nebraska a huge success, and put me on stage with them in places I could have never dream of in these early years. This early experience introduced me to the world of big time entertainment and that bug bit hard. It would prove to be both a blessing and a curse as the next thirty plus years unfolded. I might end this by saying along the way I did find several entertainers who were members of the church and I did enjoy sitting in the pew with them. We also talked about the dangers of the business, and I guess I could have listened a little closer to them. That’s another story for down the road, and another day.

The Old Cowboy has a little bit more…

The Old Cowboy has a little bit more of the story and lessons learned from my time in Ada, Oklahoma. We settled down into the rutine of being residents of Ada, and I settled into doing the morning radio show, and selling advertising for KADA Radio. I don’t remember the name of the minister who occupied the pulpit. I recon the lesson of this story is that he wasn’t anything special for us at that time. The friendship I developed with my friend Tom continued to grow, as did my teaching ability in the high school Bible class. Then one Sunday the guy in the pulpit presented what I guess the old timers would call his exit sermon and he was gone. It didn’t take long and my friend Tom was in the pulpit full time, and he would stay there for many years. What that meant for me was that he left the high school Bible class for me to teach. This cowboy and a bunch of young high school kids over the next year or two grew a lot. Tom and I would visit about the high school class almost every week. I also enjoyed it when some of the elders of the congregation would call the radio station or drop by and we would go have lunch or drink coffee.

All the while Paty and I continued to grow as Christians, as husband and wife and as parents. Patty was a stay at home mom and Amy was a fun little girl and daughter. Then one day Patty made the announcement we were going to add another member to our family. Amy had been born on December 5th, 1971 on a snow covered Sunday morning in Shawnee, Oklahooma. Twenty-five years earlier I had been born in Shawnee as well. Shane was born on Friday morning May 24th,1974, in the same hospital where his mother had been born twenty-one years earlier. Simply put this was a great time in our lives, and looking back I think it was the best years in our marriage.

I recon at this point I should mention a word or two about my experiences as an early morning country music radio announcer and radio time salesman at KADA Radio. My radio show began at 5:30 am Monday through Saturday and weekdays ended at 9:00am and on Saturday’s at noon. During the week at 6:05 am after the news the Southwest congregation sponsored the “Power For The Day” little five minute radio lesson. A few minutes later I would open the phone lines for the “Trading Post.” The little ten minute segment was designed for regular folks to sell junk around the house. Some days it became a talk show and was very popular as was all of my show. Selling advertising I made I made friends with several people who would help to change my life for the next thirty-eight years. That will have to be the next story.

What I would like to leave you with today is that Patty and I grew as Christians, husband and wife, and as parents because of the individuals who made us a part of their every day lives, and seeing what a real Christian example looked like. Several years later we would move to Omaha, Nebraska and loose that support.

The Old Cowboy has another story about people…

The Old Cowboy has another story about people who have been a big influence in my life, along with a little lesson to teach. We had been married a little over a year and we left Shawnee, Oklahoma to move to Ada, Oklahoma, for me to take a job at KADA-AM. We moved what little furniture we owned and our very young daughter Amy into an old well worn house just off Main Street in Ada. Come Sunday morning we headed off to the Southwest church of Christ. Our lives, and especially mine were about to change. Patty years before when her family lived in Ada had attended the Southwest congregation, and it was like a favorite daughter had returned home. I don’t remember now how many young families like us were there, but there were several. Instantly we were made a part of their daily lives and activities. One couple, Glendel and Paula Hatton became very good friends, and the first thing I knew I was in a Bible study with them.

You see, up until this time I had not been baptized, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t ready, and didn’t know what I needed to do. I guess it was just that pipeline welder’s brat attitude, and the fact I really didn’t know if I trusted churches. I had not grown up in one of any kind, and my folks just did not like churches, and my dad loved to cuss the Christian Church preacher who lived next door to us. I had already figured out because of the gentle teaching of Leon Davis that the church of Christ was different. To make a long story short, Glendel was like Leon in that he could and did answer any objections I had, and he didn’t back down. So one night this young cowboy said lets do it. My life was about to experience a big change.

Not long afterwards the congregation moved into a big new building, and some where during those early weeks Tom, fresh out of preaching school came to be the youth minister. He was about a month older then I was and we instantly became friends, and have remained so through all of these years. He must have seen something in this cowboy and radio announcer. He started calling me and saying he had a Bible study to conduct and he was coming to pick me up. Some times he didn’t waste time, he just came and got me. Then of all things he told me I was going to be his assistant teacher in the high school Bible class. There were a lot of smart kids in that class, and most had grown up in the church. My Bible education kicked into high gear. Some of the young men in that class are now preachers, and I know a couple became deacons and there might be at least one elder from that class. Today I could not be prouder of this group of high school students. Many of them today are on my Facebook friends list, and I grin when I see how much they have grown and the great examples they and their kids have become.

There is a lot more to this story, however that is for another day. In the next five years I learned a great deal about what you find in the pages of the Bible from some outstanding teachers. I learned how to put together a Bible class, had my first experience in presenting a devotional, and my first experiences down front. My radio experiences made a big leap, and I learned more about being a calf roper, became a rodeo announcer, had my first motor sports experinences, and the entertainment world bug hit. There is a lot more to tell.

The Old Cowboy I recon will answer a…

The Old Cowboy I recon will answer a couple of requests of friends and write a word or two about politics and politicians. I figure both of them are like Oklahoma red mud. You drive around in the stuff and it gets all over the truck and the trailer, and it makes it hard to see the correct turn through the windshield. So you have to stop at a car wash and wash the stuff off the truck and the trailer and especially the windshield. That way you can drive off and leave the stuff behind, and then you’ll be able to see where the correct turn is.

The Old Cowboy looking out at a new…

The Old Cowboy looking out at a new week thought a comment from Ralph Lauren would be a good reminder for us; “A Leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” Be a leader this week!!!