5/19/2017

Tribute to an Old Friend




With the passing of Chris Cornell yesterday my conversations and reflections fell onto friends who have passed away.   One memory that stuck out was of a man I met as a child and used to spend time listening to as he spoke of his life experiences.  A wild and exciting set of stories that could be very difficult to believe.

I was always told he was nothing but a storyteller.  None of it was real.  The old man was lying.

On the day he died I finally found out he was being honest, and telling true stories.  While helping to clean up his home after he passed, I saw all the things one would need to see to believe his stories. 

As I relayed this experience to my step dad, he was reminded of a song.  This song "Cowboy Bill".  Perhaps a bit "hookey', but... very close to the experience.

In tribute to this lost friend, I wanted to post these lyrics in his memory.





"Cowboy Bill"

He told a good story and all of us kids listened
'Bout his life on the border and the way it was then
And we all believed him and when he would finish
We'd ask the old cowboy to tell 'em again

You could almost hear those prairie winds blowin'
His saddle a creaking beneath his old faded jeans
You could taste the dry dust from the trail he was ridin'
As he sat there and painted those west Texas scenes

And the grown-ups would tell us
You boys keep your distance, that old man's just tellin' you lies
But to all of us kids Cowboy Bill was a hero
Just as true as his blue Texas skies


He told of a time when he rode with the Rangers
Down on the Pecos and he saved the day
Outnumbered by plenty, they were almost to cover
With thirty banditos headed their way


He looked back just in time to see a horse stumble
The captain went down and Bill pulled up on his reins
And through a flurry of bullets he rescued the captain
And they rode for a sunset, just the story remains


And the grown-ups would tell us
You boys keep your distance, that old man's just tellin' you lies
But to all of us kids Cowboy Bill was a hero
Just as true as his blue Texas skies


Well I still remember the day that it happened
We waited and we waited but Bill never showed
And the folks at the feed store said they hadn't seen him
So we set out for his place down Old Grist Mill Road

And we cried when we found him 
lying there with his memories
The old trunk wide open, things scattered about


He was clutching a badge that said Texas Ranger
And in old "yeller" letters, said Texas Is Proud 


And the grown-ups that told us
You boys keep your distance, that old man's just tellin' lies
Well now they're all sayin' Cowboy Bill was a hero
Just as true as his blue Texas skies 


Just as true as his blue Texas skies



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