And the Winner Is...

The contest is over, and we have a winner. The choice was tough, though. We read so many wonderful descriptions of men who epitomize the idea of a cowboy - fathers, friends, uncles, grandfathers, and even sons. The publicist who coordinated the contest suggested that everyone get a book! Unfortunately that wasn't possible, so we had to pick one winner. I'm pleased to announce the winner of the Kindle Fire is ... Janet Martin!

Janet wrote about her ideal cowboy at heart, her great uncle Anderson. Here's what she had to say:

A cowboy represents a certain value system: honest, honorable, good to children and animals, independent, trustworthy, gentle, hardworking, and kind. In my rural farm community, there were many farm folk who fit that definition, including my father, and more that didn't. My great uncle Anderson was the quintessential example. A baby when his family emigrated from Scotland in 1891, he grew up with hard work. He was a genius with horses. When he went off to France in WWI, his way with them was noticed by his superiors, and he was put in charge of stables. That didn't mean that he wasn't in the front lines, however, and although he never spoke of his war experiences, we heard tales of his heroism from others who knew him. His neighbors consistently came to him first when they needed help of any kind, and at his funeral, many told of kindnesses and debts he forgave. A master farmer, he acquired land, raised cattle, and prospered. When tractors took over, his gentle draft animals were not sent off to be butchered, but lived out their retirement years delighting all of us—they were hitched up to take us for bob sled rides when I was very young. I once watched him treat an injured cow, tears in his eyes. He taught all of his grandchildren, great nieces and nephews to ride, patiently guiding us and making sure we learned to care for the horses. His children got into the usual mischief, and laughingly related stories of his humor in dealing with them, never lifting a hand at a time when physical chastisement was the norm. Taken from school himself after 6th grade, he sent his children to college. He married his childhood sweetheart, a sharp-tongued woman with a great sense of humor—and he, possessing a wonderful sense of timing, could relate a funny story better than anyone. Not physically demonstrative, his enduring affection for her was apparent to all. To know him was to admire him, and those of us blessed to know him a little better, loved him.

Both Lori Copeland and I loved this description of a man who would touch anyone's heart. Congratulations, Janet! And congratulations to the 9 people who won a copy of A Cowboy at Heart! Lori and I really appreciate you for entering.