Just a few weeks ago Garland was on the skid steer helping Kevin (his son, our ranch foreman) pull the tractor out of the mud.
Yesterday (Thursday), we lowered Garland into the ground at the New Hope Cemetery just down the road from the 2S Ranch. His family sat under a small tent near his casket. The minister read Psalm 23. Martye and I stood under a tree to the left of the tent. The man standing next to me had his cowboy hat in hand. I noticed a hole in one of his old dirty boots when we prayed. There were more jeans, boots, and cowboy hats then suits, power ties, and wingtips at the service. Actually the only suit I saw was on the minister, and it had to have been 15 years old.
Funerals in the country are different than funerals in the city. They are more sincere, emotional, and raw. Martye and I got to the church early enough to speak to Kevin and give him a hug. He was doing okay. The First Baptist Church of Lone Camp was packed with folks standing along the wall in the back. Lone Camp has a population of 78, the whole town and more were there. As we walked out of the service Garland's grandson, Fisher, told Martye: "He and Kevin had gone over to the cemetery and inspected Garland's hole this morning." Fisher wanted to tell me about the 12- point buck he got.
Oh yea......I'm going to miss Garland.