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Reaching a ripe old age I have recently discovered that all the odds and ends and tidbits that my Texas Rancher Granddaddy said to me have turned out to be more or less worthy of remembering. To that end I am in the process of writing a book titled, Granddaddy Says©.
While looking through old notes, correspondence and childhood memories I found that most of the things he said have different meanings to me now than years ago. Some are real quotes attributed to famous and not so famous persons, some appear to be Texas idioms and some just my Granddaddy’s method of keeping me in line.
In his eighties he mentioned that “the old man’s face in the mirror was not his but he shaved it every morning just to be polite”. I get up in the morning and throw makeup on the face of the stranger in the mirror cause I wanna be polite too.
When I saw my grandsons in January I remembered that “there is no such thing as a hug that is too big or too small”. While listening to some guys catching fish and telling tales about the big ones that got away I finally understood what Granddaddy told me when I was about eight. When I questioned him about why his buddies were describing the small catfish they caught as “a really huge critter” he said, “Girlie…to a man six inches is ENORMOUS”.
There was a lot of truth in these tidbits, “If you didn’t learn to drive on a tractor, you didn’t learn” or “Sittin’ on the porch watching the tornado coming is never a good idea”. On the other hand sipping tea with lime in the heat of the day on the porch was the intelligent thing to do. “When a puppy licks your hand then goes on your rug you know the Creator has a sense of humor” or “If hummingbirds were the size of crows, we would all have to run for cover”.
Granddaddy taught me a lot and at the time I didn’t even know I was learning, I was the sponge sucking up all he had to offer. He explained that Texas Rangers are the oldest state law enforcement agency in the U.S. The original Ranger badges were silver dollars with a star shaped hole cut in center. Legend says a Ranger had to cut that hole with his teeth, if he succeeded he was tough enough to be a Ranger.
“Never bend over in the goat pen…Climbing a tree is good for you…If there is no blood and you are breathing you’ll be fine”. The truth in “You really appreciate the water if you have to dig the well”, is real, things I have worked really hard for are more precious. Guys should remember, “A woman who puts up with your snoring is worth more than Fort Know”.
Even though I have heard this one all my life the moment I first heard it is etched in my mind as I was being blamed for something I didn’t do, “Life’s not fair…then you die”. Yes no truer words are spoken except “If they can’t look you in the eye…turn around and go home”.
“Watching goats teaches us how to dance, mules on the other hand just teach us to say NO”. Even though he professed to be a rancher not a cowboy I have always felt his wisdom was the ideology of cowboys of old, “ If you work for the brand, ride for the brand”, “Care for your horse first” or one of my favorites, “Tip your hat to everyone…you never know when you may need a loan”.
Last of all, “If you’re gonna drive girlie, drive a truck or stay home…”