Throwing My Loop…
By: Michael Johnson
That’s what some people call
them – Road Warriors…and I do love them. They will not work
in the factory or in the mines like their daddy did just so
they can scratch out a living. These are not the people
who work in drudgery with a ball and chain around their
soul, but rather those who spend their days reaching for
just one star. Most are hoping to catch that star, but even
if they don’t, it really doesn’t matter. They just keep on…
‘cause they can’t stop anyway. They have tasted something
and felt something that has come to have a powerful hold on
them, and they become the ones who do what they love to earn
their daily bread. These people always remind me of a line
in a Robert Earl Keen song… “I ain’t never goin’ back.”
They come from all walks of life. During the last
fifteen to twenty years, our farmhouse has become a way
station for such people - Road Warriors. Rodeo cowboys who
ride rough stock or rope, or sometimes women who chase cans
for a living. One week will find us with kids just starting
on the mini-tour – or maybe old men who can’t accept that
they are finished on the tour – with both still struggling
to find that last secret move that will allow them to hit
the golf ball pure and true.
Among our favorites are the stand-up comics - who live
the most difficult of lives - searching for a stage just so
they can make people laugh. There have been authors,
actors, singers, and of course, salesman of all kinds, and
the list goes on. Sometimes they have money, most often
not, but as Tumbleweed Smith says they all have one thing, “They
all have a gleam in their eye.” The people who are
still trying, still working, and still hoping.
Something about them has dawned on me in the last few
years. And that is, regardless of what these “Road
Warriors” are doing, in a way… they are all doing the same
thing. Their “cargo” may be different, but they are all
doing the same thing. Some are hauling horses, some are
carrying five-hundred little sticky scraps of paper with
their comedy routine scribbled here and there, some have
guitars, some have books they have written, some are
traveling preachers with the bible, and some bring only
their voice. They are all carrying something – most of all,
themselves and what they have to offer the world. Sometimes
you can see it, and sometimes you can’t, but all are living
the same life. All travel the road that never ends. All
stay at the same hotel in the same town, no matter what
state they are in. Then for a few moments, they stop and
have the privilege to rope for a moment, or to sing, or make
people laugh, to sell a few books, or to make a sale. Then
they are gone…and they can’t wait ‘til tomorrow.
I was one for a time. What a grand way to live.
I learned so much from them, and just one I’ll share.
Might help you in your life. I do hope so. That’s what
makes my cup full.
All Road Warriors are looking for anything that helps.
Since their life can be hard, they are always looking for
something that brightens the day, lessens the loneliness,
and makes the road shorter. Here’s a good one…
Next time you check into a hotel and the clerk is
asking you all those questions, at some appropriate moment
ask, “What’s your name?” And watch (this is so much
fun) watch for their reaction. First, his head will pop up,
then his eyes will lock onto yours, and often you will see a
physical jerk…the person’s body creates a small
reaction you can actually see. Then they will say something
like, “What? I beg your pardon?”
Repeat your question. “I said, ‘What is your name?’
“You mean my personal name?”
“Well, it’s…uh…my name is Jeremy, sir.”
“Nice to meet you, Jeremy. I know you are busy, and I
appreciate your help.”
At that moment, if you look closely, you will see this
person looking at you in a funny sort of way, staring right
at you with the hint of a smile in his eyes. And you can
look down into those eyes – way down inside Jeremy - and see
so clearly what he is thinking…
“No one ever asked me my name.”
For the rest of your stay, you just can’t imagine
the service you’ll get from Jeremy. Why? Because human
beings are so hungry for communion and connection.
Works with Jeremy, the maids,
the people who park your car, and the waitress in the
restaurant next door. Nothing phony here - no St. Bernard
jumping on people, lickin’ them to death and slobbering all
over them. Not that - just genuine, authentic, and sincere…
“Who are you? Thank you for what you do. I appreciate
Road Warriors taught me that…and so much more.
I’m glad for every single one I ever met. I love
The world needs them so.
Ed. Note: In January of 2012,
RFD-TV’s All Around Performance Horse TV, and Roping and
Riding with Tyler Magnus, will broadcast the first embedded
segment of The Advice Barn, a viewer call-in show hosted by
Dr. Harry Anderson, with featured guests, Dr. Michael
Johnson, and Dr. J. D. Norris.
The Advice Barn is sponsored by Total Feeds, Inc. maker of
Total Equine, Dr. Harry Anderson’s creation of an
all-purpose feed designed for the horse. Total Feeds, Inc.
sold thousands of tons of Total Equine last year.