Friday, April 6, 2018



This is a love story from a small ranching community out west where there lived a man
and his wife and four children. Not much different that their neighbors, they raised cows, built
fences and did the best they could to keep the little town alive.

The children went to the local school where there were less than a hundred students.

The remoteness of their location gave them strong interdependence among themselves, the
ranchers and townies.

The man and his wife lived in the old family home on the ranch which they had plans to
remodel some day but the whimsical cattle business , routine ranch improvements and the
kids appetite prevented such.

When the youngest son started high school he dared to dream, dream the his wife could quit
her town job and they could spend more time together. For the last 20 years they never tired
for each others company.

Then, the assassin, cancer, drew down and shot out the light of his life.

His grief was deep, the neighbors did what neighbors are supposed to do, they put their arms
around the proud man and his family. They were there, looking after the kids, and him as
grief and loneliness ground away at his broken heart.

The fall his youngest was a high school senior he sold the cow herd since the market was
good and the interest on the ranch needed a payment.

One day Baxter Black got a phone call from this man asking him to speak at his sons
graduation. Forget the name of the town but there were six in the graduating class.

All of the arrangements were made, the afternoon before the graduation ceremony he has a
a big barbecue , four hundred showed up, and to them he expressed his appreciation to his
friends and neighbors. He never mentioned his loss and heartbreak, everyone already knew.

After the day was over, a few friends, his four kids, him and me, Baxter Black    gathered in
the living room. It was comfortable. Never was it asked about his plans now that the last one was out of school, but one could hear the pages of his life turning.

The hand lettered sign hanging on the gate post out front said it all.


Source: The Delmarva Farmer, 3 April, 2018, “On the Edge of Common Sense” Baxter Black

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