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Copyright © by Greg German, 2008


 
The Limestone Cowboy

 

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The Limestone Cowboy
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Limestone9.com originated as an e-mail address just as the Internet was becoming a worldwide fixture.  Limestone9 wasn't my first choice in trying to create an internet identity.  I'd tried my own name first only to discover others of same name had already secured the rights.  (How many of us could there be?) Frustrated, on a whim, I typed the name Limestone, a word of which I had association... it too was not available.  Continuing to experiment, I tacked the # 9 on to the end of it... and I suddenly had my first e-mail address -  Limestone9@aol.com


A Brief History of the Limestone Cowboy & Limestone9

 

Years ago, then living outside the rural farming community of Glen Elder, in north central Kansas, I began breaking horses. Often, during early mornings and late evenings, I would saddle up my favorite horse or take out a "fresh" one I was training for a ride. The sight of me riding in the wheat and alfalfa fields surrounding the house became a common fixture for farmers driving by, each probably with a secret hope of witnessing me being bucked off or, afoot, chasing after a horse.

In between chores, riding, and other daily activities, whenever possible I'd take a mid-morning break and drive up to the neighbors. The Winkels' operated a family welding business and, along with their hired help, "The Winkel Welder Wonder Boys," as I called them, we'd sit around for a half hour drinking pop, eating popcorn and discussing whatever fictions or facts that seemed important at the moment.

Geographically, just a quarter mile west, Limestone Creek, a small tributary landmark, coming from way up north, ran south, past town before merging into the Solomon River a couple of miles on down.

One wintry morning. Paul Winkel, the owner of Winkel Manufacturing and the father of one on my best friends, being of keen wit, offered me his observations in a humorous greeting.  It seems that in a moment of musical reminisce, Glen Campbell's song "The Rhinestone Cowboy" had hit a strong note with Paul. This was followed by his visualizing chords of "Cowboy Greg" and "Limestone Creek" …Limestone/Rhinstone/horse/rider/Greg.

 

From then on, he would often greet me with an arid smile and a chuckle... followed by a long drawl: "Well, if it ain't the ol' Limestone Cowboy."

 

Paul's personal gesture was, and still is, received with warm appreciation.

It wasn't until years later, after I'd left the farm, that I actually thought to incorporate "Limestone" as a character into my writing. Thus, the Limestone Cowboy was born by combination of geographic and personal coincidences.

 

It struck me, after reading Pecos Bill to my oldest son, that it might be fun to write about, create a (semi) mythical character. The Limestone Cowboy was then pieced together from the observed personalities, quirks and actions of not only myself, but also those of a few close friends and acquaintances.  The Cowboy then walked into an environment of true life experiences presented from odd points of views and unexpected twists.

What's real and what's not real surrounding the Cowboy is left to the reader. Limestone's voice, though sometimes balanced on the edge of belief, sometimes mystical, is always founded in truth. Limestone most always sees things from a different angle than those around him. He strongly believes in what he sees and feels both physically and spiritually. He speaks his mind and says things we'd like to say but won't let ourselves. He communicates in ways others don't or can't and with "things" others probably aren't aware or can't imagine... perhaps even believe. He understands things and does things others can't, don't, or won't. He is fair. Perhaps he is someone that we would like to be. Maybe he is real, maybe not.

Maybe, only Paul Winkel knows for sure...

 

The Limestone Cowboy Poems