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Updated: May 12, 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Some stories last a lifetime.They get shared over and over and every time they are told they make you smile. Do you remember Cowboy?I sure do. I remember him walking through town pushing his grocery cart full of stuff he bought from the 4C’s. I remember his big hat, his yellow beard from his chain smoking habit! Often he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He was always ready to stop and say hello to anyone who had time. He always seemed to show up at every event that was happening around town.I remember sitting with him, and Madeline and and her little friends, watching the bulldozers work when they were building Foodland. I remember when Cowboy walked straight through the centre of our Dusk Dances event in the park, pushing his cart and enjoying the show. He loved the park. Every year our family got a Christmas card from him, hand delivered. I know some kind soul wrote “Love Cowboy” for him on every card.

My biggest memory is when my daughter was little, about 2 or 3 years old. She was at daycare and she, and the kids and Cathy, were walking home from a morning at CHACE place. I was on the street and watched them go by. All the kids were holding hands as they chugged along with Cathy. I watched as Cowboy approached them from the opposite direction with his cart. And then I laughed out loud as Madeline let go of her friend’s hands, and confidently marched straight ahead with her hand held out to shake Cowboy’s hand and say hello. Side note, she is “Jimmy Junior Hopkins”when it comes to greeting people and friendliness! She perfected her handshake at a young age. Madeline had her own little relationship with Cowboy. He often gave her stuffed toy gifts from the 4C’s, her favourite being Elmo. And pennies. He loved to give her envelopes full of pennies. He had a big heart and recognized the big heart in her.

The yogi’s have always said that we are each unique expressions of beauty and goodness in the world. We are all different and that is what makes the world interesting and creative. All of us matter and all of us belong. We are all one. We all breathe the same air. It’s when we forget that we are connected to all of life, that we get into trouble. This summer Madeline is working for the Kingston Association for Community Living. I believe Kingston has 12 homes where people live with support, and she will be working in a couple of them. She is so excited.It is a dream job for her. I can’t help but smile and think that Cowboy will be smiling down on her and wishing her all the best. It is stories like this that remind me why I love Haliburton, and I love living in a small town.

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