17 May COMES A HORSEMAN
“WHEN YOU SEE A GOOD HORSEMAN, YOU’RE UNABLE
TO TELL WHERE THE INSTRUCTION IS COMING FROM.
IT’S LIKE TELEPATHY.”
Years ago I remember going down to the COOP to drink coffee with the old guys and one of them made the remark “we used to come down to talk to the old guys and now we are them.” This has been driven home more and more as I age.
It has become a thing that I go to the obituary page grudgingly because of the knowledge that I will see people I know who have passed on and it brings home how short time really is and how little of it we really have.
And so, again, it has happened when I read the name Lester Day of Pretty Prairie. So many memories are running through my mind as I write this. There is no way to encapsulate the substance of his life.
He was a horseman, farmer, mechanic, heavy equipment operator, cowboy, and not at all the least, he was a husband and father. His good nature and the competent feeling that he would instill as you talked with him, was something that everyone wishes that they could be.
He worked tirelessly with the Pretty Prairie Rodeo and the Cheney Frontier Days Rodeo. He spent countless hours welding and building at the Cheney rodeo grounds original location east of town. I doubt that anyone could book the hours spent at the arena and grounds at Pretty Prairie.
And he had draft horses. Something that he is known far and wide for. His beautifully match pairs and the harness that pulled wagons in parades and pageants near and far. He could walk up to a horse and immediately know what the horse was capable of and how to get that from the horse.
One of my favorite memories was going early to the rodeo at Pretty Prairie where he always worked the arena with his team. He had two pair of horses and had laid out a four horse hitch. He had me hold the one pair while he hitched up the first pair. My comment to him was “how long have you worked on this four hitch?” He looked at his watch and said “oh, since about two o’clock, they only ran away once”. This was at 5:30. When Les drove that team into the arena and worked it all up they looked like they had been working together as a four horse hitch all their lives.
I sold an International backhoe to Les on an auction I was conducting to add to his other International construction equipment. He was partial to IH. Les did a lot of terrace work and many other things in the area.
Every time I met Les he had a smile on his face and a good word to say. At 93 Les packed two lifetimes into his time here with us. You always felt good around Les. He would not be shy about stating his opinion or tell you if he thought something was a bad idea or should be done different. He never let that get in the way of being friendly.
There is now a gaping hole in a family and a community. Lester Day will be missed and not forgotten.
Comes a horseman, not a movie title but a way of life. A life well lived.