Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A Man To Ride The River With

Click on any image to view it in larger format.
Photos by David Stanton, Johnny Cates and Clint Perkins.

A Man To Ride The River With

That is the title of a presentation that Joe Dan Boyd presented at the Aggie Muster this year, April 21, 2010, at the Golden Community Center in Wood County, Texas. It's an old cowboy maxim applied to a chosen few: Those you are sure you can trust with your life.

It's the story of Forrest W. Cooper, Jr., Joe Dan's Texas A&M Classmate and close friend, who died in a tragic plane crash during 1981, an event which impacted Joe Dan's life in unexpected ways. He was not emotionally able to write about the event until 1997, and the resulting essay won national critical acclaim, eventually convincing Joe Dan to take the story on the road, especially as a speaker at Aggie Musters, held annually on San Jacinto Day.

Joe Dan, who is also a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church, has made the same presentation in a few churches as well.

In this presentation, he focuses on the life lessons he learned from Cooper, lessons in humility, loyalty, friendship and especially on the context of living a life that matters, however long or short it might be. Joe Dan also recommends the Harold Kusher book, Living A Life That Matters.

Cooper, a quintessential cowboy type, was heavily influenced by Carl T. Sprague, an Aggie of a previous generation, who was also America's first professional singing cowboy, and who first popularized the old Western ballad, When The Work Is All Done This Fall. Thus, Boyd sings that song during his presentation.

Joe Dan has made this presentation at Aggie Muster events in several other locations throughout Texas and is already booked to do it again in 2011.

Meanwhile, a picture of Cooper, made just before his fateful last flight, rests over the computer screen of Joe Dan's writing desk where his eyes and his imagination focus for inspiration. Cooper is still a man Joe Dan depends on when things get tough.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?