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11/23/2005

Thanks

A couple of young fellows from North Ireland stopped by Drovers Mercantile today. Having been raised in Belfast where one can only see as far as the next building allows one of the boys commented on the vastness of the prairie. He noted that he felt dwarfed by the endless horizon. Which put me to thinkin&  
 
My own great-grandmother, Ella Wilson, came with her sisters to the United States in the 1870s. They were raised in Belfast. A brother stayed home, so as far as I know I have lots of relatives yet in Belfast. The sisters worked their way over serving as maids on the ship that carried them to America. They somehow made it to Iowa where Ella and one of her sisters married two brothers by the name of Dearforff. Another sister married Alex Worl.  
 
In 1878, Alex came out to central Kansas to find new land for them all. He located that land very close to the center of the state. The following year several families besides our own arrived in Kansas, built sod houses and began their new lives. How overwhelming it must have been to look at the sun setting in the windswept distance with nothing to break the horizon. With the dawn came a rising sun blazing away at the new day and that horizon, that endless horizon dwarfing your very soul. They say that women lost their minds on the plains in those days. My great-grandmother was of stronger substance. She raised up a family of girls that in turn raised their own Kansas families.  
 
In time, I'msure my great-grandmother grew to love the open prairie. By the time I came along the prairie was beginning to fill in with trees. Horizons were the canvass to a thousand beautiful paintings. The limitless plains rather than being foreboding have become reassuring. I lift my eyes to the heavens above and give thanks for who I am. I am a son of the prairie and always will be.  
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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