He was always Mr. Doug to me. And before Thursday’s ranch trip gets retold, I want to remember this man. His name Douglas Franklin. Below is the obituary.
It’s a kind re-telling of Mr. Doug’s service in the army, his church and his community. But, it left out a very important detail. Doug Franklin worked at the O’Brien Ranch for many years. And when I say worked, I mean it. I always new him as an elderly man, but that didn’t stop him from going to work cattle, working gates and getting in the crowd pen. In fact, he conveniently misinformed us of his age a couple of times just so he wouldn’t be told to get out of there. Or worse, to stay at the pens.
There are many stories about this man, but the best one I heard, was short and it didn’t even happen until June 4. That’s right, yesterday.
A pastor for his church stood and with the fervor that can only come from within a black southern baptist congregation, he said, “You all can cry if you want to… But you ain’t cryin’ for Doug. You cryin’ for yourself. ‘Cause Doug’s in heaven.”
And so he is.
Now, about that Thursday trip south. What a day. After getting everybody fed, I hooked up the Big Tex and off we went. South bound I-37 without horses for the first time in quite a long time. See, some how my Dad’s Big Tex flatbed trailer found it’s way to my house. Marvin Tavarez, a good friend of mine and agent for the Horse Insurance Company we use, borrowed the trailer to haul a 100 or so bales of that hay we unloaded on Mr. Miyagi Thursday back to his house. He gave Morgan a ballpark time for when he’d have the trailer back, but Dad told him he could just drop it at my house to save him a trip. No problem.
So I call Dad just before 8:00 am to ask if he wants his trailer back at the Murphy or over at the main pens. The Murphy. I pulled in and dropped it off and headed over to the morning meeting.
The morning meeting isn’t a meeting at all but it is where an unbelievable amount of scheduling goes down. Plans aren’t made ahead of time down there very often. Not because they aren’t planners, but because if a windmill breaks, cows get out, someone else’s cattle get on your place, gaps are down, etc. the plan changes anyway. Well, today was one of those days that would have changed plans. Mr. Douglas Franklin had passed away and most were headed to the early afternoon funeral.
Morgan and I caught up some of the elder green geldings I re-started a couple of weeks ago. Two had already been picked up, but a replacement gelding that fit the mold (older and still green) had been moved from the rope horse trap to this teach-them-a-weeks-worth-in-a-day group.
It’s a great challenge since you have to push the limits of what you can show one when you can only ride them once a week. However, these horses are mature enough to handle much more pressure than a two-year-old and they are progressing very quickly. It’s alot of fun.
Speaking of fun – After the geldings were ridden I went to get my truck over at Mom and Dad’s and guess who is there.
Taylor, Trinity and Taryn.
My nieces were ready to ride. So that’s what we did. The rest of the afternoon was pure goodness. Here’s a taste.
First, we had to go see some of the horses:
Then, it was time to mount up.
Warm-up time didn’t last long.
It was a hot day so we had to take a time-out every now and then.
All of this was fun, but there was one event that unfolded both beautifully and quite comically this Thursday. It’s the perfect way to remember that preparation is important. And sometimes, even though one may be a wonderful, positive leader, our follower may loose the way. We have to keep a smile on our face and trust in our walk. And remember that sometimes you’ll need more than your own strength to get the job done.