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The Quiet Cowboy

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
December 5, 2022 3:01 am

The Quiet Cowboy

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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December 5, 2022 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, J.D. Wininger, owner of the Cross-Dubya Ranch, tells the story of a man named John who kept to himself most of the time. J.D. lent him a helping hand, and in the end, Mr. John helped him just as much.

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18 plus C rules at This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. And we love hearing from you, our listeners.

Send your stories to They're some of our favorites. Today we're going to hear from author J.D. Winninger. He'll be sharing part of a story he wrote called The Quiet Cowboy. I met Mr. John at our church. Quiet fellow.

He'd sit by himself near the back. He would only speak when spoken to, and I made it a point to seek him out each Sunday morning for about a month to spend a couple of minutes sharing with him. One morning, noticing the brand on the vest, he quizzically looked at me. You got a ranch? When I affirmed I indeed had a small ranch, his eyes lit up. I grew up in Picton over by Como. Smiling, I replied, I didn't know that. That's great cattle country over there and good hay too.

With a broad smile, he looked up. My daddy brothers and me worked in them hay fields 14 hours a day years ago. Ooh wee, that was hard work. But hard work makes you healthy.

I'd make almost $30 a day. From there, the Roots of Friendship grew. As we grew more comfortable with one another, I invited him to Life Group. He shared he didn't drive, and he wasn't comfortable walking the streets after dark. I promised we'd carry him home, and he agreed to join us. When I learned where my new friend John lived, it broke my heart. It seemed prejudice and persecution displaced him, and he was most grateful that a nearby church offered him a dry place to sleep and others a shower now and again.

With no bathroom facilities and winter coming on, God placed a burden on my family's heart to do more. It took some convincing him, but Mr. John is the newest resident at our Cross W Ranch. As I'm getting to know my ranch foreman better each day, I'm learning more from him than he is from me. With the nod of his head, he states, matter of fact, we're burning daylight.

As he sits down beside me, I think to myself, this fella doesn't talk much, but he sure is a good worker. After early morning chores, feeding, watering, and herd checks, he glances my way. Time to feed them critters, and off we go to feed Bubba and the barn kitties. Following a pat on the head and straightening Bubba's rugs, it's time for our breakfast. He pours his coffee in silence. How do you want your eggs, Mr. John?

Scrambled, please. A brief reply is his usual response. Oh, sometimes he'll talk your ear off. I was a pretty good dairyman in my youth.

I could work a hundred foot straight A atop a dairy barn by myself before sunrise. He isn't bragging, but remembering his strong work ethic as a young man. That same spirit flows through him today, tempered with age and season with wisdom from a lifetime of lessons. He's quick to remind me. I wasn't always responsible, though.

I quit my dairy job, not because I didn't love working with them old cows, but because I wouldn't fear to them or my boss. They deserve someone more responsible than I became. I thought, I wish we could all be that honest with ourselves. He's cleaned up the old bunkhouse and he's made himself a great apartment. Mr. John is an answer to prayers to help around the house. I've never seen the barn, garage, workshop, and bunkhouse so sparkling and clean.

Neither is my Miss Diane, much to my chagrin. Together, we tackle all the chores that need doing around the ranch. I love his work ethic, attention to detail, and can-do attitude.

It's been years since being blessed to work with a self-starter who not only thinks for themselves, but does every task with skill, precision, and professionalism. Our cattle and other livestock adjusted to him quickly as he exhibits the same calm, easygoing nature I handle them with. When I glance over to check on him while we're doing separate tasks, I see a mixture of joy and satisfaction on his face. When we're not working, he keeps to himself. On sunny days, I'll find him sitting outside in the sun, reflecting upon life. At other times, I find him listening to music, reading his Bible, or reviewing a Sunday school lesson. He wanders out to the barn or pasture to check on things every afternoon. I find him out there offering a treat to Maverick the Bull or visiting the donkeys. There's such a peace about him when he's outside in God's country, as he likes to call it.

I can't tell you how many times he has said, I never dreamed I could ever do this again. When you find him sitting alone or with the animals, he seems to look into the distance, pensive, contemplative, as if he's reconciling his life. I sometimes wonder if he's thinking about the past, thanking God for the present, or wondering about the future.

Perhaps it's all those things, but John is quick to tell you there's a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the front window is so big. Watching him hold a newborn calf, cradle its head in his hands as he reaches down to nuzzle its nose and softly talk to it, his gentle soul is on full display. Surely God is redeeming his years. Since hiring on here to cross W, Mr. John has not only made my life easier, he's brought an infectious, childlike joy of discovery into our every day. The way he fusses over Miss D and spends time with Bandit the cat and her litter of kittens, he expresses his gentle heart in so many ways. To see his smile and hear his, ooh wee, when I gave him his own wrench business card and apparel with our brand on it was priceless.

In his usual laconic manner, he clutched the shirts and muttered, reckon I'm riding for the brand now. He is a tremendous help to me, brings joy into our home, and God's blessings keep pouring in. As is often the case, I suppose, the mentor can end up being the one who learns the most. And a beautiful job on the production by Madison Derricotte and a special thanks to J.D. Wininger sharing the story of Mr. John, aka the quiet cowboy. The fella doesn't talk too much, J.D.

said of Mr. John, but he sure is a worker. By the way, to read more of this story and others, go to The story of the quiet cowboy here on Our American Stories. Here at Our American Stories, we bring you inspiring stories of history, sports, business, faith, and love. Stories from a great and beautiful country that need to be told.

But we can't do it without you. Our stories are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love our stories and America like we do, please go to our American and click the donate button. Give a little, give a lot. Help us keep the great American stories coming.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-05 05:59:00 / 2022-12-05 06:03:41 / 5

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