Tomorrow is the big day! We meet at the Mustang Heritage Foundation facility in Georgetown, TX at 1 p.m. and then head to Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma. They’ve booked hotel rooms for us for the night. Monday morning we wake up and go select our mustang! Then we drive back to Georgetown for a reception with MHF Staff, Purple Hearts, 100 Club members, Ann Marie Ludlow with the Advocate Newspaper, a Troop of Boy Scouts and other interested veterans and supporters. I was worried about my anxiety acting up since that usually happens around crowds and when I’m with a group of strangers. But, all of those people are obviously good people and it should be fun. I’m looking forward to it.
I bought a new Stetson. My daughter, Erin, says my old hat is too stained and smells bad. In addition to the hat, I bought some new ropers. I bought the ropers over a week ago so I could break them in. My old boots will be like my old hat, used for training. I’ve posted a picture of my hats. I told Erin that my old hat is a history book.
That old hat has worked cattle, mended fences, brush hogged trails, fed longhorn, fed bison, been slobbered on by bison, been knocked off my head by the horns of a longhorn named T-Bone, was on my head when I got kicked in the knee by a longhorn bull, has been on a horse riding for 6 hours in Terlingua, Texas, been pierced by a piece of metal that popped and would have put my eye out if the hat hadn’t slowed it down, been on my head while I gave longhorn and bison tours to children, adults, students, grandparents, great-grandparents, was on my head when a 7th grade girl saw a snake and grabbed me by the neck and damn near killed me in front of 104 other students and teachers, has been canoeing down a river, covered my head at night while working deer, watched from atop my head as I taught numerous people how to hunt and fish, bot the big stain from a blackberry while I was picking berries one day and I saw a snake and the blackberry flew and hit my hat when I was nearly pissing my pants, trying to get my hand away from striking distance of a Diamondback, been fishing with me and my wife, taught kids and adults how to rope calves at Fort Richardson, watched as I taught kids and adults about Longhorn and Bison at Brownwood State Park, seen longnose gar mating, had a surly horse with an attitude knock it off at least 15 times when he was demanding hugs… Cowboy hats have been watching history unfold for hundreds of years and will watch it for hundreds more… Every stain, ever tear, every sweat drop is a story. It’s better than any photograph album you’ll ever see.
I’m leaving here at 7:30 a.m. to get to Georgetown by 1 p.m. and have some time to visit and scout around. I packed my camping gear even though I won’t be camping this time. Just really looking forward to it. I haven’t had a horse to interact with since Levi. I truly hope it helps the way having Levi available did. The nightmares have gotten worse and the other day Karen said, “I had to chase you down last night. You were breaking my heart.” The thing I suppose that I hate the most is how my nightmares, flashbacks and mental issues affect her. She hasn’t done anything to deserve any of it and I wish I could just snap my fingers and make it all stop, but I can’t.
Well, anyway, I’m excited and really looking forward to this week. I really appreciate the people from the Mustang Heritage Foundation and others who make these things possible. I don’t know if they really ever truly understand how much “good” they do with these programs. The positive effect is immeasurable.