Those of us who are members of Facebook, have those friends that post cars, or sayings from time to time.  They may promote booze, the fact that moms have a hard job, or just something that makes us laugh.

I like these.  Sometimes, as they are meant to do, they make me giggle.  Other times they make me want to ride and work out, and sometimes, I just sit, shake my head, and say “Really??”  It just depends on the post.

But then I see one like this:



And I just sat there and smiled.

Why? you may ask…  Well I’ll tell ya.

Back when I was a young lad, maybe the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th grade, my dad went to his book shelf (full of books for ADULTS only) and handed me one.  It was “Sackett Brand” by Louis L’amour.  When he gave it to me he said simply, “Here boy, read this!”

Cover of "The Sackett Brand (Louis L'Amou...
Cover of The Sackett Brand (Louis L’Amour)

This was the very first chapter book I ever read.  I honestly do not know if he was:

  1. Trying to get me to understand that even though we stayed away from family, that family was important.
  2. Trying to improve my reading skills.
  3. Trying to, in a very subliminal manner, mould me for the future….

Or all three!

I can’t tell you how many times I have reread this book.  It’s a classic.  And it resulted in me reading everything Louis wrote throughout the years.  When I was in Jr Hi and High School, I started a small notebook with quotes from his books.  I dearly wish I still had it now, but it was tossed one day in a fit of cleaning.  However, I remember quite a few things…

  • There’s no stopping a man who knew he was right and kept a coming.
  • A man saddles his own broncs and fights his own battles.
  • Never draw unless to shoot, never shoot unless to kill.
  • A man’s fortunes he can share, his troubles are his own.

and finally, a brave man is one who is afraid, and yet does what needs to be done.

My dad always impressed upon me that Louis was one helluva researcher.  If the hero in his story rode a trail, this path actually existed.  It added to the credibility of the story.  Now, in his books, the hero always ended up on top, which of course doesn’t happen in real life, but it exactly what I need from time to time in a story.  Even so, the message and moral of the books are no less meaningfull.

So when I saw this on facebook, I just smiled.  Because, someday, when I have to be brave, and I am scared spitless, I hope I will remember what was said here.  I will do what needs to be done, and maybe melt down later, but step up and take care of things when they are needed!

I am an avid reader, but the one person who has done more for me than any other is Louis L’Amour.  I just wish I could have gotten my kids to read him.  I even snuck in a quote from one of his books to the program of my dads funeral, from the Last of the Breed:

When I die, remember that what you knew of me is with you always.  What is buried is only the shell of what was.  Do not regret the shell, but remember the man.  Remember the father.

As Louis would say, my dad was one to “Cross the mountains and ride the river with!”

I can only hope, that someday, when I go out in a blaze of glory, that someone will think the same of me.

Reading the thing on Facebook made me smile, and made me remember what helped make me who I am today,

I can be a pain in the ass, as well as cold and callous.  But I will take on damn near any challenge, stand up for what is right and protect those that are important to me.  My friends know they can count on me, my wife knows I love her and kids know that I will  always be bigger meaner and uglier than they are, so they better listen!

I call ladies ma’am, I hold doors for them, and respect my elders.  I take off my hat during the national anthem, and sing every word.  And as long as I can keep breathing I will keep trying!

I learned a lot of this by reading these books!  So remember, bravery isn’t a lack of fear, it’s getting it done when you ARE scared!

Take care y’all

3 thoughts on “Flashback

  1. I recently joined facebook again. Not sure if you keep yours specific to close friends and family. But if not, add me! www (dot ) facebook (dot com) / echo.rivera.39

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