I officially retired in 1985 from owning cattle
or farming land, I forgot to quit working. Between keeping the ranch grounds clean
and mowed, as well as the museum lots and the Eldridge
Cemetery, summertime keeps me hopping.
The other seasons are spent
repairing all the above and working in my shops. In addition I fight mesquite
and cedars and continue extensive rainwater harvesting projects.
only me, myself and I to do the work I stay busy at trying to stay out of a rest
home. However, with age creeping up, muscles and bones not as strong as in the
past, I find myself depending more and more on my best friend Jose Kubota.
of my father, an old cowboy who didn't mind working but would spend a half-hour
catching and saddling a horse to prevent walking a hundred yards, I find myself
depending more and more on Jose when I start a job. Each time I take a shovel
to hand, I pause and look to Jose to see if somehow he can help me without straining
My friend Jose can lift or move anything I want to move.
He can dig a hole or a ditch, make a hill or plow the ground. Roads can be repaired,
cedar trees removed and fences built with only the push of a few levers. He loads
and unloads, carries and fetches, lifts and dumps, digs, fills and smooths out
any bumps I overlook in my work.
Jose never complains, stops to rest,
text or answer his cell phone. He never talks back, takes breaks or siestas. He
has no domestic problems, ornery children, time table or job definition gripes.
He is happy with the current economy, and his bad habits are zero. He doesn't
worry about social security, liability insurance or the latest change in immigration
I just have to remember to check his oil and fill his tank with
As a genuine card-carrying charter member of the
Southern Engineering Society, I sometimes build original equipment to help Jose
do his job. I can design, cobble and scrap, make innovative improvements and create
unique tools to help Jose perform faster and easier. The Kubota company would
be amazed at my line of home-built equipment.
No, I have never patented
anything. It's hard to patent something made from thrice-used scrap iron gathered
from a rusty junk pile and put together with welding that looks like the wild
turkeys roost there. It is interesting to watch visitors try to hold a straight
face when I show off one of my innovations.
I have learned to never, never
smooth, grind or paint my invention or try to make it look better. If it just
works I am happy. If something looks and works really good, you better be careful
or you will end up making it for a living.
"It's All Trew"
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He can
be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears