On this day 48 years ago my father, Ira Franklin Walker, died. He was 58 years old. He was a cowboy. That's how he spent his life and I'm pretty sure he loved being a cowboy. He knew how to read the seasons and he knew how to repair saddle horns using two needles and he knew how to cure a variety of livestock maladies. He was also an early health food devotee. He loved trying out new healthy potions. For quite sometime my brother and I were each given a tablespoon of black strap molasses every evening. Daddy moved from molasses to glasses of vinegar and honey which just wasn't quite as much fun as the molasses but which Tom and I nevertheless endured with good spirits. Cod liver oil was such a hit that our mother had to hide it from us. Plain yogurt also frequented the dinner table. How a man with barely a third grade education became so interested in this type of culinary exploration was beyond me. I think he was just interested in everything. Often he sat with me while I did my geometry homework and asked me to explain the assignment. That my brother and I would go to college was never even discussed. It was a given. During my childhood we never lived in a town. Our electricity when we had it was provided by a series of generators. We often had to haul water not only for ourselves but more importantly for our cattle. My father was one of the most honest people I have ever known. He tipped his hat to women and taught me to treat all people regardless of their station in life with the utmost respect. He also played the harmonica.
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