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Nebraska Cowboy

December 22, 2008
Aubrey Lord, 1922-2008

Aubrey Lord, 1922-2008

Occasionally we have an opportunity to meet someone out of the ordinary.  Over the course of the last several years, I’ve had just such an opportunity, but I didn’t realize what an honor it was until just recently.

Aubrey Lord was a true American cowboy.  

It’s been said that there wasn’t a horse that could throw him and in his day he was considered one of the best rodeo riders in North America.  He was not a one or two event rider; in fact, he often competed in all rodeo events – including bull riding.

Aub is The Wife’s uncle.  I first met him about eight years ago.  He was not a talkative man – in fact, I’d be surprised if he spoke more than a paragraph a day.  He was a hard worker and quite stoic.

While visiting the Lord Ranch last August, I was busying myself repairing the garage door.  Aub came out to help me find a tool and during the course of the “conversation” I discovered that he was a WWII vet and as an infantryman he had walked nearly all the way across Europe.

But it wasn’t until I was officiating at his funeral last Thursday that I discovered what a great cowboy he was.  A crowd of over 200 people showed up to honor Aub.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a collection of well-dressed cowboys in my life.

It’s a new day on the Lord Ranch

As I sat behind the podium listening to two of Aub’s friends tell stories about him, I was overtaken by a sense of honor.  It isn’t often one gets to meet a man of Aubrey Lord’s stature.

Later, Aub’s son, J.B. Lord, a professional rodeo cowboy with an impressive record, was telling me about his father.  He told me how his father really encouraged him to be a bull rider – and what it was like to ride a bull – and get thrown off of one!  J.B.’s 15 year old son is also a rising star.  The legacy continues.

I’ve grown up idolizing TV cowboys.  Chuck Conners, James Arness, Ben Cartright, and others.  But for this little boy in a man’s body, it was an honor to meet a real cowboy.  I will treasure my memories of Aub Lord.

On the morning of the funeral I watched the sun rise over the sand-hills on the far end of the ranch.  It was a beautiful sight.  A flood of memories washed over my soul.  I remember riding the 4-wheeler out amongst the cows with my then 2 year old Darling Daughter.  I remember Aub telling me about what it took to raise Black Angus cattle.  I remember rescuing an antique farming wheel from the dirt – it’s now propped up against a tree in my back yard.  I remember being awoken by the lowing of cattle.  

Those were good times.  But it’s a new day on the Lord Ranch.  I have witnessed the passing of an era.

  1. December 23, 2008 12:17 am



  2. December 23, 2008 10:27 am

    Amazing story.


  3. December 23, 2008 10:40 am

    Nice story. Well done.


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