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Posts Tagged ‘R.W. Hampton’

Name That Colt!

Posted on: June 7th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 80 Comments

Well, friends, I’m here today to ask for some help: our newest Clearview Ranch baby needs a name!

That’s right. Lisa, the boys and I can’t seem to agree on any name that fits this little fella. So we’re gonna leave it up to you.

Take a look at the video here and give us your idea for a name for this new colt.

Leave your suggested name for the colt in the “Comments” section below before midnight on Saturday, June 12 MT.

We’ll gather all the names folks have submitted via this blog, on Facebook, and through Twitter. Lisa, Danner, Ethan and I will pick the three suggested names the family likes the best. These three names will become the official “finalists” of our name search.

Next week, all my fans can vote for whichever of the three names they like the most. The name receiving the greatest number of votes is the one we’ll name the colt.

It’s gonna be interesting to see what we all come up with in this little “name game,” so join in and let’s have us some fun!!

P.S. The colt’s parents’ names are Ms. Molly Freckles, and Sport N Bet, a Bet Your Blue Boons stud. We like CV A Solid Bet or CV Bet on Me for AQHA, but that barn name has escaped us!

** It is with great sadness that we unexpectedly lost our colt Chaco this past February 2012.  He had turned into a really neat colt with a fantastic attitude and willingness to be handled.   We want to thank everyone who helped to name him and we were honored to be able to share his antics on youtube.com and here at the ranch with so many who also fell in love with him.  

22 Years and 5 Days: A Life Well Lived

Posted on: June 4th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 9 Comments

Last Monday, Memorial Day, Lisa inspired me to do something different, something special that would teach our boys and remind us adults about the real meaning of this day.  And so, about sundown, we found ourselves at a little mountain cemetery almost hidden in the shadows of the pines, sagebrush and yucca plants.

We were there to visit the final resting place of Lance Corporal Chad Hildebrandt U.S.M.C. As Lisa, the boys and I laid flowers on his grave, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of a life well lived. Lisa and I talked about how Chad’s sacrifice in Operation Iraqi Freedom has blessed and inspired so many and continues to do so even today. It would seem that laying down one’s life to help buy freedom for a stranger on foreign soil would be enough, but it doesn’t stop there.

Lance Corporal Chad Hildebrandt U.S.M.C.

My song, For the Freedom, was partially inspired by this man. I know my own son’s choosing to join the Marine Corps was influenced by Chad’s service. This life that lasted only 22 years and 5 days has birthed friendships and bonds that will last forever. A career in teaching rose up and grew from a mother‘s love and grief. Now countless children reap the benefits of this woman’s love and nurturing, not the least of whom is my 3-year-old son, Ethan. And on and on it goes.

Many of us could make it to the century mark and not make such a positive impact and leave so rich a legacy.
 
And so a life well lived, no matter how short, is still a life well lived. Especially when that life ends while performing one’s earthly calling, passion and duty. I know when this man met his maker, he was greeted by the words, “ Welcome home, warrior. Well done. Well done!”
 
Is there any greater achievement than this? I think not!
 

 

Heart Value

Posted on: May 25th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 4 Comments

There are things and then there are things. You know, you may own a rare one-of-a-kind something or other, but it doesn’t come close to meaning as much as, say, that first love letter from your kids’ mama so long ago. I guess you could say these things may have no dollar value, but they are priceless when it comes to heart value.

I should know. I keep an old box full of ticket stubs, photos, hospital bracelets, rodeo posters, old passports, baby blankets, Valentine’s Day cards, and a letter from Iraq. You get the idea: all junk to anyone else, but not to me. They are my tangible links to the past.

So while we’re taking this tour of the heart treasures, let me direct your attention over here to this corner of the room. Yes, I know, you’d have missed it if I hadn’t pointed it out. It don’t look like much, but if this house caught on fire, it would be one of the first things I’d grab to save from the flames.

I grew up playing in this old rocker. It always sat in the corner, and when I’d climb into it and get a little wild with my rocking, someone invariably would say something like, “Pull that confounded thing out away from the wall, it ain’t no carnival ride.” 

My guess is that my Dad and Grandpa got the same scolding.

The first owner of this chair was my great grandfather, Calvin Wade Hampton. He was born in the 1870s, and although I’ve got a picture of me and ol’ Calvin from when I was a baby, I never knew him. It may sound funny, but although I never really knew him, I’ve always sorta missed him, so this old rocking chair is my tangible link to him.

Calvin, or C.W., was a horse and mule trader and we both share Wade as our middle name. Family legend says he was a good part Cherokee and he looked it. It’s also told that he and an older son drove some decommissioned cavalry ponies to Alberta to sell to the Mounties up there! Did he plan this adventure while sitting in this chair?

This piece of furniture is stained dark brown – almost black – but the arm rests are worn to a light natural color. The ends of the arm rests are polished smooth and bare from the fists that have clutched them over the years. Come to think of it, I do that, too, when I’m stewing over something. Is this an inherited trait?

When I take a seat in this rocking chair, I take comfort in knowing I’m sitting in a place where three generations of Hampton men before me have sat, read newspapers, and thought. It’s one of my favorite places to take my first swig of morning coffee. Right now, I’m writing this by pencil on a yellow legal pad and sitting – you guessed it! – in my old rocking chair.  As soon as I’m done, I know my 3 year old son, Ethan, will want to climb up here and rock. When he does, I will say, without even thinking, “Son, pull that confounded thing out from the wall, it ain’t no carnival ride.”

Ah, some things never change. Maybe someday, in the dim and distant tomorrow, future generations of Hamptons will use this old rocking chair as their “tangible link to the past,” and it will remain as something of great heart value.

What are your things of great heart value?

Of Men, Music, and the Land

Posted on: May 17th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 1 Comment

I went to town the other day to get a haircut before I flew to Florida for the weekend.

As usual, our little barber shop was busy, so I got in line behind about a dozen or so other men who were waiting for Ruben to work his magic.

Now in order to paint a clear picture of my world, let me say that when you are the best barber in a huge county of about ten thousand people, you are always busy.

As I hung my hat and coat, I exchanged howdys with everyone and took a seat to wait my turn in Ruben’s chair.

I shuffled through the stack of girlie and hunting magazines.

Not seeing anything interesting, I decided to settle in and listen to the talk. Some in Spanish, some in English, and some in what we refer to as Spanglish.

After listening for what seemed like forever, I came to the realization that I never before had considered how little I had in common with these men.

Different cultures, races, languages, tax brackets, and religions.  The only thing I could see we had in common was that we were all men in need of a haircut.

Now Old Ruben is a music lover from way back. As a result, he’s always had an old guitar that he keeps on top of the pop machine in the corner. Many’s the time that Ruben has asked, “Hey RdubbleU, how about a song while you wait?”

One time I went in with my boys, and by the time we all got a haircut, I discovered I was a little shy of what I owed him. Ruben doesn’t take credit or debit cards, but he will take a song.  So, at two bucks short and a song being worth a nickel, I am, and have been, indebted to my barber for quite some time.

On this particular day, I went and grabbed that old guitar upon request and started to play and sing. Ruben loves Marty Robbins songs, so I played “I Walk Alone.” One of the other fellas asked if I knew “Cowboy in the Continental Suit.” I played that and some others and then handed the guitar to an old man who played “El Rancho Grande” and “De Colores.”

An old cowman from the Canadian River Canyon up around Roy, New Mexico, got to his feet and did a little jig to that ancient old tune while the other men laughed and clapped. Someone remarked that he was in his nineties!  The old cowman replied that he was destined for Dancing with the Stars.  And so it went, for the better part of an hour, until it came my time for a haircut.

I looked across this tiny shop and noticed that the faces that once had been courteous, but indifferent, had warmed. We all had a good laugh when one of the wives came in to tell her husband it was time to go home.  She said she had dragged him out of the saloon many times, but never the barber shop!

When Ruben was done, I left a ten on the counter, grabbed my hat and coat, and said adios.

Heading back to the ranch, I hummed “El Rancho Grande” as I drove and had to laugh at how wrong I had been.  We share so much in common, these men and I.  Our bond is a love for music.

But much more than that, it is a love for music about the land, this land, our land!

Living While Waiting

Posted on: May 5th, 2010 by R.W. Hampton 7 Comments

The last time we visited, I was waiting for our mare, Molly, to foal. Well, a little after midnight on a stormy night in late April, she finally did. It seems that she was on a different timetable than we were. We never consulted Molly with our precise breeding dates and gestation period tables, so in the end, despite all our preplanning and anticipation, Molly gave birth when she was good and ready – and not a second sooner. 

Mother and colt

Mother and colt? Everything went as it should. The colt is a dandy, let me tell you, well worth the wait. I have to smile, though, when I think of all the sleep lost getting up in the middle of cold dark nights to go down to the barn because we were sure it was time!

We spent what seemed like an eternity waiting for our youngest son to walk. All the books and experts said he was behind schedule. But when he was good and ready, he stood, got his balance and promptly ran off. We’ve been chasing him ever since.

It was the same with talking. According to the specialist, our lad was behind the curve. A team was assembled to study him and make recommendations. It was even thought that perhaps his facial muscles were underdeveloped, so cheek massages were ordered. Then one day he did start speaking; now at almost four years of age, we can’t shut him up. People are astounded at his vocabulary and gift of oratory! And when bedtime rolls around, this little guy can filibuster for hours.

As of this writing, we are waiting for our oldest son to receive the dates for his deployment to Afghanistan. Of course, when he does leave, then the waiting really begins. One thing for sure, though: despite my desire to know, nothing will happen until the Marine Corps is good and ready, and not a moment sooner!

It seems like a good deal of life is spent waiting. I could write a book about waiting on women. I could probably write that book during the time I spend waiting to catch planes or waiting for the traffic lights to turn green.

Musically, it seems like I am always waiting for inspiration or a block of quiet time to work on a song or idea. Right now, I am waiting on my next project, wondering when it will be released. It seems so long between when we start a project, when I do my part with the recording, and when you get to hear it; but this time, because the process after mastering has been somewhat out of my hands, it has seemed like an eternity. I have to tell myself that although I wait, there are people working on it and like that dandy little colt, it will be here when they have it done, and although this may not fit my timetable, it would be foolish to send it out into the world before it’s good and ready.

I suppose by now you’re waiting to find out where I’m going with all this. Well, here’s the deal:  we’ve got to learn how to live while we’re waiting, ’cause what we’re waiting on may or may not be quite what we hoped for.

Have I learned how to do this? No, but I’m working on it. My guess is that like Molly’s foal, understanding will come when it’s good and ready and not a moment too soon. Till then, I’ll do some living.