Danny is now a grown man whose hobby is shooting guns, and in the photo he is dressed up in full Texas cowboy regalia: a cowboy hat, a belt that holds real bullets, a holster holdin’ a revolver on his hip, and he is about to aim a rifle at a bad hombre who’s been messin’ with someone else’s steers. I find the photo to be a howlin’ hoot. I started laughing and couldn’t quit. My wife, Peggy, came to the computer to see what was so funny, and she said Danny looked like Wilfred Brimley the actor. “Buy Quaker Oatmeal. It’s what’s good fer ya’…...........and leave dem steers alone or else I’ll shoot yer ass full o’ buckshot.”
It’s amazing how kids in some ways never really change; they evolve into adults, keeping many of their childhood qualities. To you adults blessed with children, I am suggesting that you already know your children for part of who they will become. When I see my old buddy’s photo I realize Danny grew up, but in some ways he grew up like a tree. He became larger but still that same ol’ sapling in many ways. When I see him strappin’ on a holster, totin’ a revolver, and aimin' a rifle, I realize Danny is still pretending to be Roy Rogers and when he finishes his rounds of target practice, he’s headin’ home to the DJ Bar Ranch to hug his sweetheart, Dale. I am especially proud of Danny because he has kept his heart and soul on the side of the law. He’s no cattle rustler; he’s the sheriff.
I, on the other hand, went in a different direction, but I’m still Dukeing it out with the bad guys.
That is a terrible quality photo, but I am very proud of it because it is the Double Sabre Form with Ray behind me. We were performing for over a thousand people. My form was better than Ray's, and at that precise moment it is obvious, but Ray was always flashier and more exciting to watch. Learning that form was about as hard as getting my Masters degree, but it took about two months less time.
What children become is one of the fascinations of life.