There is a tradition at the Glenwood Rodeo, and every year it gives me pause. At the beginning of the show and before the events get underway, time is taken to honor those in the community who are no longer with us. It may be a veteran who served, a longtime resident who passed away, or a community member that left us too soon. For each person being remembered, a cowboy rides around the arena leading a riderless horse as our beloved announcer pays tribute.
This year one of those who is no longer with us was a young man named Angel, and along with working on one of the original ranches in our area, he attended community college to learn the art of saddle making. His new craft gave him great pride and hope for his future, and while his future was cut short, his pride in his work will live on.
In listening to this tribute today, I learned that a maker leaves his or her own unique mark on every saddle they craft. It is a mark that says I believe in what I do enough to stamp it as my own. Those lucky enough to own a saddle that came from Angel’s hands will treasure it even more now that he is gone, his mark a reminder of what it looks like to believe in what we offer enough to stamp it with our own unique mark for all to see.