RSS

Tag Archives: Aging

Don’t Let The Old Man In

That Clint Eastwood can make a movie! He’s had a string of good ones. You can see a list of them here. Starting out as young Rowdy Yates, a cowhand and cattle drover, in Rawhide (I never missed that one as a kid!), to his most recent role in The Mule’, as Earl Stone, a 90-year-old drug courier for the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, the movies he’s starred in or directed are nearing the 3 billion range in dollars generated! That’s mind-boggling! Whether it was the High Plains Drifter or ‘Dirty Harry’ Callahan, Eastwood has always managed to give a stellar, and genuine performance. And if you’ve kept up it appears he’s done nothing but get better at his craft. At 88, he might very well be at the top of his game.

I like a movie that arouses my emotions; one that can make me laugh, make me think, has plenty of suspense or mystery, maybe a surprise or two….and one that’ll even cause me to try to hold back the tears. His last one, The Mule, has all that. Without going into detail and risk ruining the whole story for ya, I’d just say, “You need to go see it.”. The critics gave it mixed reviews but if you like any of the things I like, ….you’ll be pleased.

There was a song closing out the last scene in the movie. It was a great song. I was pretty sure it was Toby Keith singing so when I got out of the theater I Googled it and, sure enough, it was Keith. The song title, “Don’t Let the Old Man In”.  As it turns out, sometime in the last couple of years at a celebrity golf tournament Toby Keith and Clint ended up being paired with one another. And probably just like you and I would be, Keith was enamored with Clint Eastwood. As they talked Clint told Toby that he was about to start work on this new movie. Keith asked Clint, “How do you still work so hard and stay so sharp at 88?” Eastwood quietly replied, “I just wake up every morning and don’t let the old man in.”

Keith realized right then, that would make good material for a great song so he went to work on it. After hearing about the song and then actually hearing it, Eastwood told Keith that he might find a place for it sometime. And, as it turned out he’d use it much sooner rather than later. It is so well placed in the movie that it puts just the right finishing touch on an already great film.

Whatever you do, click on the link above and listen to the song. You’ll be glad you did. But, heads up!! I’ll warn you ahead of time, it’ll get in your head!

And, as for me, I think I’ve decided to be like Clint; I’m gonna start wakin’ up tomorrow……and I ain’t gonna let the old man in!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VIP’s #10 – Cliff & Charlene Taylor

Obviously my VIP Blogs are not listed in any order of importance. If they were these two would be right up there toward the top of the list. Cliff and Charlene….that’s my Mom & Dad. I wish you all knew them. They’re two of the most incredible people you could ever meet. They’re now in their 80’s and live only a few blocks from us. I like that. I’ll go there at least a few times a week and have coffee and visit with them. They amaze me in that they’re still telling me stories that I’ve never heard before….and they can do it with nearly total recall.

Now seems like a proper time to write them up as VIPs since just about three days ago they celebrated their 66th Anniversary! Pretty amazing when you think about it. That’s setting the bar up there pretty high for the rest of us Taylors’. Good job, Mom & Dad! There’s no way I could come close to telling all the good qualities they have…and the good qualities they’ve passed along to Mont and I. It’d take a good sized book to get that done. But for the sake of time and space, I’ll try to give you a little insight on ‘who’ they are.

They have been the hardest working pair I’ve ever seen. Dad has always been a cattleman so we learned at a very young age to handle cattle and horses with the best of ’em. Dad had Mont and I doing things that most men couldn’t do when we were just little kids. We learned how to do it right. When I was 12 I started riding colts for other people for pay. I did that successfully, at least at some level, for the next 25+ years. Most of our  lives were spent on a ranch. It was a great life. Besides handling every aspect of the cattle business (receiving, shipping, gathering, doctoring, buying and selling) we learned to build fence, repair windmills and water gaps and about every other thing you need to do to run a ranch the right way.

Mom was the best! I can remember as a little kid, her pulling broomcorn to help make ends meet. She’d come home tired, dirty and worn out but always managed to get us one heck of a supper cooked, without fail. Later on in our rodeo days there were many times we’d roll into the ranch in the middle of the night with a carload of buddies. She’d get up even if it was 2 am and cook us up some chicken fried steak, french fries and gravy. There are retired rodeo guys all over the United States and Canada who spent time at our house and who have the greatest amount of respect for my Mom & Dad. Oh, and incidentally, when we’d come in to the ranch in the middle of the night and have that great meal….Dad was always gracious to let us sleep in ’til 5:30 or 6 in the morning before we started whatever project he had planned for the day…….and there was always a project! Most serious ranchers work their cattle according to the Zodiac signs. Dad always said that when there were a couple of carloads of rodeo friends at the ranch……that the ‘signs’ were right!

They sacrificed, and went without, to haul us to junior rodeos all over Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. They gave us a ‘leg up’ that way and enabled us to have a successful career in professional rodeo. We were both inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008. And in our acceptance speeches we made sure that they got the credit they deserved. In all actuality……they’re the ones who should’ve been inducted.

I could go on and on with those kinds of things but they gave us far more important things than teaching us cattle and ranch work. In my 62 years I haven’t seen them do one person wrong. I have seen them wronged plenty of times but they always handled it with class. They’ve lived their lives with the highest degree of integrity. Their ‘word’ has been their bond in the truest sense of the term. We didn’t go to church but they somehow instilled in us that God was ‘real’.…..and that He was good!

All those things are important but the most important thing of all is that we were loved……in word…..and in deed. We let them down plenty of times with some of the dumb stuff we did….but they hung in there with us, always having our back and always believing in us, and never, ever wavering in their love.

In the final analysis I’d say if, when it’s all over, if I’ve been half as good a person as they have been…..I’ll have done pretty decent.

Cliff & Charlene Taylor, VIP’s to anyone who’s had the good fortune of knowing them!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VIP #9 – Art Harris

I first met Art Harris in October of 1988, our last year on the ranch north of Allison, Texas. I had been taking care of 2500 head of cattle for Art’s cousin from Munday, Texas. Art came down that day that we gathered the cattle. We were busy weighing cattle all that day and I didn’t get to visit a lot with Art ……but enough to know that I liked him a lot. Art had grown up in Seymour, Texas and was one of the best athletes to ever graduate there. He played football and basketball where he was a standout in both sports. He’s still known, admired and idolized around those parts just simply as, Art Lynn.

When we moved across the line into Oklahoma and we needed to find a bank I looked for Art…..and after I found him he would be our banker for the next 27 years. In that time we became very good friends. I’ve said often that Art was the last of the ‘old time’ bankers. That kind of banker that believed in you as a person and loaned money based on that premise. In fact, he actually loaned millions of dollars on exactly that! We bought a several houses (rental properties) over the years and just called Art after the fact. It was never a problem.

By 1997 Art had become a VP and loan officer and was heading up the branch in Sayre. We started Trinity Fellowship in a home and then moved to a small building on the south end of town. When we grew to about 35 people (on a good day) we started looking for another place. We landed on Walter Merrick’s property two miles east of town on I-40. The Merrick family was gracious to allow us to use the property with no rent from ’92 to ’97…..which was a good thing because we had no money

The property became available for purchase and there were some very interested people who had the means to buy it. But we felt that the Lord wanted us to have the property. After a lot of prayer we decided we should try to buy. I remember vividly sitting in Art’s office and telling him that we wanted to buy the property. Art said “Yes”, and the rest is history.

Why do I tell that story?? I tell it because Art Harris believed in us when there wasn’t much to believe in. In two years we had the property (100 acres on I-40) totally paid off. Art started coming to church with us along about that time and our friendship deepened even more.

A couple of years ago Art was diagnosed with cancer. It was a tough diagnosis with the doctors giving him 6 months to live. I was there at his house when he arrived from Oklahoma City after getting the discouraging news. We prayed and he vowed to fight it…which he did. There was a mixture of reports from the docs over the next year, some good …..some not. Three of us went to Dallas in December to watch the Texas state football finals games. Art tired easy and didn’t have a lot of energy but it was a great trip, nonetheless. It was only a few months later that he was promoted to heaven.

When I look back over the years since I’ve known Art it’s very obvious how much he’s helped the Taylor family……and the Trinity family, as well. There’s hundreds of stories out there just like mine….of people that Art believed in. and gave them a ‘leg up’.

He was my Friend! There’s no question about it for me…..Art Harris is definitely a VIP! …….and you wouldn’t have to look far to find a lot of other people who think so too!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VIP #8 – Monty Taylor

I have an unlimited pool of people to write about when I write about VIP’s. There’s been so many people throughout the course of my life that have had a profound effect on me in one way or another. I’m grateful for the things I’ve learned from all of them and grateful for the deposits they’ve made into my life.

Monty Taylor, or ‘Mont’ as I’ve called him since we were little kids, is my brother (there’s just the two of us) but he’s been my best friend since the day he was born 59 years ago. Oh, we had our differences when we were growing up like all siblings do but neither one of us ever tolerated anybody else mistreating the other one. We’ve been ‘partners in crime’, so to speak, all these 59 years. We’ve had about every kind of ‘wreck’ with horses, cattle and bulls that you could ever imagine……and some you just couldn’t imagine no matter how hard you tried. We’ve even had a couple of car wrecks; one when we were headed to school in little Allison, Texas and hit a patch of black ice and rolled my pickup up on the side. Another the night before I got married. We’d had way too much to drink and ran off a bridge on the Oklahoma line. It was a miracle that me or Mont….or Ken Henry weren’t killed. Then there was the time when I was about a 3rd grader and  Mont hadn’t started to school yet. Dad had gone to shoe horses at a neighboring ranch and he didn’t let us go. We weren’t happy about that so we got on a big ‘ol tractor. We somehow got it started….and it took off. I bailed out! (Sorry Mont!) But Mont rode ‘er on out…until it hit a cattle guard and spun out ’til it died. It could’ve easily killed us both! And, let’s just say that Cliff Taylor wasn’t too happy when he got back to the ranch and the tractor had run through the fence.

We had no choice but to be cowboys and we took to it full blast. We started our bull riding careers on the arm of the chairs and couches in a little one bedroom ranch house on the Washita River 35 miles SE of Canadian, Texas. We graduated from the chair arm to riding on the back of our dad on hardwood floors. They don’t call ’em hardwood floors for nothin’! You learn early on to try as hard as you can to not get bucked off and bang your head off the hardwood. We went to our first rodeo when I was 8 and Mont was 5. We were determined to practice riding but we had no bucking chute….but we made do! When we’d see the dust from Dad’s pickup go over that last hill….we’d gather every cow, calf and bull we had and ride every single one of them. We’d run ’em in a big pen, rope ’em, snub ’em to a post, put our rope on ’em….and the rodeo was on!! Dad started gettin’ kinda suspicious when the cow herd wouldn’t even come in when he fed….and when he noticed how bad we were bruised and skinned up!! Rodeo was a pretty important part of our lives for the next 20-25 years. We rode in every major rodeo throughout the United States and Canada…..and won money at most of ’em! We were both inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mont Taylor is a ‘Man’s Man’! He’s a man of his word, treats every single person with dignity, hard worker, great husband and Daddy, has a thousand really good friends and I doubt if he has an enemy on the whole planet. He’ll ‘loosen up’ with the best of ’em….but wouldn’t ever cause anybody any harm. We live 300 miles apart but I talk to him a couple of times a week. I have a ton of respect and admiration for him. His impact on my life has been immeasurable…..Mont Taylor is definitely a VIP!!

IMG_0744

WordpressSignature2015b

Check out some more VIP’s:

VIP #1 – Booger Bryant

VIP #2 – Sarge Cook

VIP #3 – Ronnie Chadwick

VIP #4 Paul Luchsinger

VIP #5  & 6 – Edith Yowell & Nellie Millar

VIP #7 – Rick Hudson

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Look Before You Leap!

Totally goes against logic and reasoning, I know. But for those of us who are trying to follow the Lord by faith…it makes all kinds of sense. You see, we’ve been ‘given’ an incredible quality of faith. We’re apt to never find that out if we’re always looking before we leap. And even though our quality of faith is all that it’ll ever need to be, if we stop to take a long, investigative look at every single thing…..I fear we’ll talk ourselves out of a lot of things that the Father wants to do with,….and through, us!

What if Noah would’ve ‘looked’ before he leaped?? Here’s a man building a boat longer than a football field……in a place where it’d never even rained before! It’d be a little awkward down at the ‘ol lumber yard ordering all those materials and trying to explain your project to everyone! It’d be easy to talk yourself out of that one, huh?! And what about Moses?? OK, you’re standing on the banks of the Red Sea with 3 1/2 million people or so……Pharoah’s army is closing in….and they ain’t happy…..and all you have is a ‘stick’!!? Lookin’ ain’t gonna work……leapin’ is!!

OK, if you’re going to make a major financial investment, build a new home or start a new business it does make sense to ‘look before you leap’. But if you’ve heard the Lord (or even ‘think’ you’ve heard Him) I wouldn’t spend much time ‘looking’ ……no matter how uncertain it might appear. And, if you’re not careful you might just talk yourself out of something the Lord wants to do with your help! I think it makes sense to go ahead and ‘leap’!!

Got’s not looking for people to ‘play it safe’.….there’s enough of them already out there! He’s looking for someone to believe Him at His Word and exercise the faith that they already have. When that happens…..His kingdom comes….right here on Earth just like it does in Heaven! The world is waiting for people like that…….and so is the Lord!!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Prison Prayer Project

It has been nearly 20 years since the city of Sayre, Oklahoma began to explore the possibility of constructing a prison here. Not knowing the will of the Lord about that we just prayed about it at our regular Wednesday morning prayer time. One thing led to another and the idea became a reality. Construction started on the facility a mile east of downtown and finished up a couple of years later. All along, as we prayed about the prison, we asked the Lord to place ‘His’ people here. We prayed, amidst a lot of other specific things, that the upper-level management people would be born-again believers.

Construction had been completed but after a few months there were no inmates. Complications came up in the negotiating process. One morning during our Wednesday prayer time the Lord gave me a vivid vision of myself and a team of people praying inside the prison facility. I didn’t think much about it….but the next two Wednesdays’ I saw the same vision in my mind’s eye. I was thinking by then that it was definitely from the Lord. Just about the time our prayer session was over I got a call from a person at the prison who went to church with us. He was calling for another person, an employee, who was having some personal difficulties. He asked if I could come out to the prison and pray with the person. I agreed. I drove there and as I parked my car I said, “Lord, if You’re in this thing of us praying over the prison…put me in the company of the people who can make that decision.”. As soon as I went through the 2nd door….I came face to face with Rick Hudson (who I’d met only once a few months before), the Warden. He was flanked by the Assistant Warden and the Chief of Security, the top three positions in leadership there.

I said to them, “For three weeks in a row at our Wednesday prayer time the Lord has given me a vision of us bringing a team of people in here to pray over the prison. That’s probably against every rule you have….but if you would want us to…we’d come in and pray over every square inch of the facility.” They didn’t give me any indication one way or the other if it might happen. I left there thinking, “I shouldn’t have come across so abruptly.” I figured I had probably ‘scared’ them off. About 10 o’clock the next morning I got a call from the Assistant Warden and she said…..“We want it to happen.”! Amazing!!

I handpicked about 15 of our most faithful, serious pray-ers and met with, and instructed them about the project. We would meet in a couple of days at the church where we’d pray for about an hour and then we’d drive the 3 miles to the prison for the project. We all fasted that day and we went into the facility about 6 o’clock that evening.

There were only a few people inside the prison since there were no inmates. We started in the office area and prayed over every square inch of office space. We went from there to the ‘pods’ and prayed over each pod and every single cell in each place. We prayed over the meeting areas, the mess hall, the solitary confinement areas, the showers…..etc. There was not one single area inside the entire facility that wasn’t prayed over.

One of the guards that was in charge of leading us through the facility began to confide in one of our people that at a point in his career as a prison guard he had to shoot someone (who later died)…..and he didn’t believe that God could forgive him. They assured him of God’s forgiveness and ended up praying with him to receive Jesus as his Savior.

We were in the prison more than 3 hours….and when we entered the last room (a meeting room) there was a tangible sense that we had done all that we were there to do. There were some very prophetic things that the Lord spoke to different members of our team that night. Some of those things have already been fulfilled but there are many others that have yet to happen. 

It was really an amazing project….and one that the Lord, Himself, had initiated. As we left the prison we were encouraged that there would be some amazing things happen inside those walls in the years to come. It’s probably something that’s never been done in any prison facility on the face of the planet……..ever!

**Incidentally……We prayed that there would be a contract with someone within a week to start receiving inmates. And the negotiations with other states for inmates that had reached a stalemate for several months…somehow miraculously ended!! They secured a contract with Wisconsin within a week!!

We have learned that if God says it….and we cooperate with what He’s said…..stuff happens!!

If you like this blog post, you’ll love these too:

*(Click on the highlighted link to read)

Party at the Prison

VIP #7 Rick Hudson

 WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It Still Ain’t Over!

“It Ain’t Over Til’ It’s Over”; Nearly all of us have heard that quote. We know it’s from Yogi! Yogi Berra  (click on the highlighted link for full biography) died yesterday at age 90. To youngsters today he’s mostly known for his ingenious  and witty quotes….like the one above. But for a ’53 model like myself he stands for a whole lot more. As a kid I was an avid New York Yankees fan. I knew all the players names for the Yankees in those days. I’d call those the “Golden Years of Baseball’. That’s just my own opinion of course but I’ve never been as enthused about the sport since those days. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were in a race for the most home runs. Two great athletes on the same ball club. For me, it was unforgettable. It was an era marked by….if you started with a ball club, in most cases you finished with the same club. Not a lot of trading around like there is these days. I liked it better.

Yogi was the catcher in all those great years for the Yanks. Not only was he a great catcher, he was a slugger as well. Five different times in his career he had more home runs than strikeouts (Thanks R Bea). Stop and think about that one for a minute! And get this: Besides being a Professional Baseball Hall of Famer, Yogi was a 3-time American League MVP…..and 10 times World Series Winner (played in 14)! At 5′ 7″ and 185 lbs Yogi hit 358 home runs and drove in 1430 runs in his stellar 18 year career! 

I thought it would be especially fitting on this day to post some of Yogi’s quotes:

“Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical”

“All pitchers are liars, or crybabies”IMG_0668

“He hits from both sides of the plate, he’s amphibious”

“Everybody pair up in threes”

“It gets late early out here”

“I usually take a 2 hour nap from 1 to 4”

“You can’t think and hit at the same time”

“It’s deja vu all over again”

“You can observe a lot by just watching”

“Even Napolean had his Watergate”

“Cut my pizza in 4 pieces, I don’t think I can eat 8”

“Never answer an anonymous letter”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it”

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else”

“Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”

“The future ain’t what it used to be”“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore”

“I never said most of the things I said”

“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours'”

………and…….“It ain’t over ’til it’s over”

And in your case, Yogi…..it’ll never be over! A few of us’ll never forget!

Well done!

WordpressSignature2015b

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: