major miller, a neighbor out at my grandparents’ ranch in aladdin, wyoming died last week of lung cancer (though i don’t know he ever smoked) … his memorial service is today and i wrote the following for it …


his lifetime bridged the worlds
between the old west and the new
and he made a smooth transition
which not everyone can do


from cattle drives
to internet
stock rings
to big trade shows

where he’d connect with hunters

craving guidance from the pros
they jumped to try their hobby
on a ranch with wild game
and a host who knew his land
as well as his own name


like his moniker
substantial as the hills
where he ranged routinely

and no doubt took some spills


and major
like in music

no minor chords of trouble

clouding up his grin
though as a rancher in wyoming
he couldn’t always win
but disappointments didn’t show
in his glad-to-see-you smile
eyes twinkling with amusement
when you stopped by for a while


he knew me all my life
shared the triumphs and the strife
thanksgivings with his folks

where the eating didn’t cease

christmas at my grandparents
down the road a piece


as we travelled through the years

we shared successes and the tears

of parents passing
and inheritance usurped
with anecdotes amassing
to be jawed when we would meet
which wasn’t all that often
yet always was a treat


roots like those we shared
run deep as rains can seep

and so does life-long history
such memories to keep


this landscape will be barer
now that major’s gone to rest
but we can all be grateful

we knew the best of the old west


posted by bill on November 9, 2009, at 11:24 am | filed under news, poetry | no comments »

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