Aug 21, 2016

Old Rayburn Was Born 100 Years Too Late

Common Sense Commentary: My mind is in today's world, but my nature is in the Western Frontier of the 1800's.

I have never regretted the circumstances of which God assigned me at my birth and during my life. Born on a West Texas Ranch in 1930, at the beginning of  the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, to wonderful parents with my own unique gifts, talents  and body.  I do regret not using those blessings to the best of my ability and many wrong decisions I made during my life.

My love for the West is probably rooted in my early experiences in those wide open spaces, the West Texas hills, mesquite, cattle, sunsets, leather skinned western men, really hard working people, and the shrill whistle of a distant, ancient train on a cold winter's night.

As a boy I fantasized exploring the old West with the Lewis and Clark expedition.... canoes, loaded with supplies up the Wide Missouri, through Indian territory to and through the Yellowstone, over the Rocky's to the Pacific coast. Or leaving that historic note "GTT", Gone To Texas, on the door of  my Tennessee cabin so my friends would know where I went. Thousands of Americans from all over the Northeastern U.S. walked to Tennessee's Northern end of the Natchez Trace and then followed it Southwest 444 miles to Natchez, Mississippi on the banks of the mother river. Then hundreds more miles across the mighty Mississippi and Louisiana into Texas where they could get free land from the Mexican government where Stephen F. Austin had established the Austin Colony in Central Texas. Wild Indians were still raiding the western limits of these first Texas settlers.

I feel real sorrow for children today who know nothing of Lewis and Clark, nothing of Jedediah Smith and the Rocky Mountain fur trade, nothing of the Natchez Trace, Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas, the Alamo, of the long traverse of wagon trains crossing the continent to California and Oregon, of American history and of those who built this country on blood, sweat and tears ... and our Christian Heritage.

The first time I rode from Texas to Colorado, was in the back of an old pick-up, and the highways were mostly unpaved two lane roads. There were no motels and we camped on the side of the road and could drink water out of any creek or bar ditch in Colorado. My Grandfather had to drive his model T Ford the last several miles to his farm, in Colorado, across rocky ground and up a creek bed.

I am what I am, and that is a man branded to the core with a love for the west, for history, for what America was when I was young and for the God of the Bible and of our Forefathers. I love honest, hard working, God fearing people and I love music which speaks to my earliest years. When I start my car, a CD is playing my kind of  secular, old time music ... Home On The Range, Deep In The Heart Of Texas, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Don't Fence Me In, Red River Valley, Across the Wide Missouri, The Lone Prairie, Cool Clear Water, The Last Round-Up .... and Wagon Wheels Carry Me Home. I also like and listen to the old hymns ... which have a message and speak to my soul, not just repetitious words.

There aren't many people on the road I travel and most of them are old and Christian, but I do not apologize for being out of step with the rest of the world. It is the road I know and love and intend to stay on til I reach the Texas section of Heaven. When I leave, I'll leave a note on my door saying "GTTHeaven" ... so my friends will know where I went. Visit me some day and feel free to stay. RB

1 comment:

Rex Blair said...

Texas size love for a Texas size ride thru the past.
Thanks Dad.
I'd love to sit beside a Colorado bubbling brook drinking coffee out of an old metal cup and talking about those good old days.