An update on Jerry the Amish cowboy
My two long-time readers may perhaps remember a sort-of series I did, sparked by a young man named Jerry, an ex-Amish cowboy for whom my youngest son fell hard. Our family met Jerry in the heart of western Colorado, at the Circle K Ranch, which is blessed with one of the most gorgeous settings known to mankind, along the lush and bird-filled banks of the Dolores River. Jerry is the oldest of eight children and was 17 when we met him; I’m sure he likely had a younger brother Wesley’s age, at home in Wisconsin. He gladly gave Wesley time and attention, playing Uno (which Jerry pronounced “You-no”) with Wesley’s made-up rules, and giving Wes a spot on the couch next to him, watching rodeo events on TV during the rainy afternoons.
Wesley is now almost eleven years old, and is still very careful about sharing relationship with anyone; it takes a special person to really capture his admiration.
The fact that Jerry hadn’t received anything past an eighth grade education also weighed in my heart, prompting a number of thoughts on the subject of the value of education, and… non-traditional ways of approaching life that might be, in the end, much more balanced and healthy. (One of my first blogs ever was on the subject, here, on July 14, 2006. I continued the thought about a week later… I’m kind of embarrassed about my writing style, but the thoughts remain relevant.)
Six years later, those topics are still very close to my heart: Living close to nature, pursuing a life that’s a good fit for one’s personality, the value of education… and even Jerry himself meanders through my memories quite frequently. In 2006, very shortly after I met Jerry, I read a book called Last Child in the Woods. And guess what? I’m re-reading that right now.
Yesterday, on Facebook, my cousin posted a link to a gorgeous black & white photo essay published in an English newspaper. It reminded me, yet again, of Jerry.
I decided, on a long shot, to e-mail the good folk at Circle K, to see if they ever hear from Jerry.
To my delight, I received this quick response:
Yes, I remember your family and the fact that your son was praying for Jerry. :-) He is working for a horse trainer in Grand Junction Co. We hear from him every now and then. He loves the work he is doing. If I speak to him, I'll let him know that you were asking about him.
Wesley is already making plans to visit Grand Junction.
We don’t even know Jerry’s last name!
But, I won’t discourage Wesley’s hopes.
And I’m almost giddy that Jerry is still a cowboy.