The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted July 3, 2013


Endings and Beginnings …

Beginnings and Endings …


Dang!  I’ve had a batch of those over the past couple of years (well, I imagine that some of ya’ll have too!!) – some bad and some good; some terrible and some terrific; and the rest were just changes …


I’m embarking on a new, pretty big, self-imposed ending and beginning – I am quitting my “comfortable” job of 23+ years and starting a new one for (hopefully) the next 20 or so years of my life!  I’m excited as hell, a little scared, happy as can be, and sad all at the same time (kinda like anticipating and eating that goulash that Phil used to fix back in our poor boy college days!)  Even though I’m not moving – I’m losing some dang good friends (and a bunch of fine acquaintances), but I guess that I am not really losing these folks, after all, if the connection was really all that special, then some sort of connection ought to be maintained!![i]


Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that skinny (yes I WAS too!) north central Texas kid that went off to that forsaken land!  Martha, Godsey, and McElvain got me started off right – then ol’ Eduardo really did help me out and got me back home to Texas!  Trueman and Vanessa were pretty concerned when I first called, but all of that worked out pretty dang well!  During my time in the “hub” – Walter and RAH, among others, provided guidance (and both of them came back into my life/career which was pretty cool – though one left again, way too soon).


Then came the “Great Change”!  Without a doubt, without Cumpton’s tutelage and Donald’s friendship – I probably wouldn’t have made it through the first 10 years!  (If I die before he does, Mike gets my FLM of the Year Plaque – he earned it!)  Chris, David and Beth were also very important and critical during these “early years” – no one else really seemed to care too much – they were all waiting for me to fail (isn’t that what you told me back in 2002, JBD??!!) – hmmm, guess I messed up ya'lls plans (and I don’t remember any detailed help that was sent in to rescue me like some (fully staffed) offices get, or even having vacant FLO or PT positions being advertised or filled very quickly)!  It was completed with what was originally given us!  I became very involved in TACS – even though I wasn’t ever accepted by the "elite crew" (I didn’t get the “khakis, white shirt, and red tie” memo) that used to run the Association.  There were a number of us that, even though we were a little rougher around the edges, stuck it out and made hands for the Association – we didn’t QUIT the Association outright when the going got tough or the Association didn’t do it our way!  We KNOW what the Association stands for and it is the betterment of FLP in general and not your particular interests!!  I’ll refrain from naming names for a couple of reasons:  1) to protect the guilty (and innocent); and, 2) sure as shooting – I’ll miss someone (but – if you got a text or email, you know that you’re in what I consider to be the "good set"!).  Some pretty special friendships were made!  Thanks!


This is when I started coming into my own.  Larry came to power – he and I have a much better relationship now than we did then … I think that if each of us would have trusted each other a little bit more back then, that we would’ve become good friends.  Boomer came back into play (this time in a MUCH better way!).  Then Ms. Lori!  To whom I will be eternally grateful for all of her support and grounding through the years!  Thank You very much, it was certainly needed at times!  Strong relationships were built with Freddy Joe and Kelly – Thanks Guys!  Matt, Courtney and Lee all strolled through rather swiftly.  Then “the valuations” started – OED, Edmundo and, to a lesser extent, Tom – we shared many good times and some strange adventures (who else can connect the Weiner Mobile and Snoop Doggy Dogg!!)  But, there was one relationship that was formed during this ever so brief time that has forever changed me, and one that I will continue to cherish!  Yeah, that “secret”?? friendship with Christopher!  That one is for life, folks!  TurkWood came through in a blur – but, the trio had “The best year ever!  Surpassing all previous milestones!”  Yeah, they were super stupendous – I was … well … I was, ok.  I questioned it, knocked on the door, but no one EVER answered!!  Then along came Grasshopper – complete with the monkeys and the Jesus cows (pecan harvest and Immaculate Conception don’t you know)!! 


Of course, there were many other notables along the way (CO & GS) and I am sorry for everyone that I missed on this quick reminiscence through the government years!  It was REAL, and it was FUN ... !!

I wouldn’t take anything for the times and experiences that I had – even ALL of the people that I encountered … it helped shaped who I am – BUT, I don’t want to continue the ride ... the second half appears to be much scarier!!  It has been a great ride, and I shared it with some wonderful folks (and some, not so much)!  I am looking forward, with great optimism, at the opportunities that are now before me – I’m still hungry to go out, kill something, and drag it home!!!  I think it will be a successful hunt!

The timing of this is pretty cool too!  It comes at a time, that, way back when, a bunch of fellows got sick and tired of being held back, not represented well, in general, just not being treated as well as some of the other subjects – you know … they felt oppressed[ii] so they decided to take their destiny into their own hands.  Thinking about this is what kinda gave me the ummph to fight the tyranny[iii] that I felt was being thrust on me - the only way that I knew to fight it - while trying to stay as civil as possible - was to take my toys, and going elsewhere to play!


But, you know, thinking about leaving a known comfort (even when it is unpleasant) can be (AND IS) a scary thing (maybe that’s why folks stay in abusive relationships) … but, I think that looking back at the past and wondering WHAT IF, seems even scarier to me at this point!  Now, I am NOT slamming this job – it has helped me provide very well for my wife and dogs, I have some WONDERFUL friends, have had some great times, and have helped many producers accomplish their dreams!  If you’re satisfied with where you’re at and what you’re doing – THAT’S COOL!!!  I was for many years.  A very wise and good friend told me a long time ago that “If you weren’t happy, every day, to pull on your boots and go to work – with anticipation and not dread – then, it was time to find a new place to be!”  And, by damn, Donald was right!  He did it and never looked back!


To all that “got the email” – Thanks for letting me ride along with you!  Stop by and see me if you’re ever just east of Paradise!! 

See you in the Funny Papers …Happy Independence DayI’m Gone!




A number of quotes to ponder on:


Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?  I guess that wouldn't work.  Someone would leave.  Someone always leaves.  Then we would have to say good-bye.  I hate good-byes.  I know what I need.  I need more hellos.




If you're looking for a happy ending and can't seem to find one, maybe it's time you start looking for a new beginning instead …




Keep your eyes on the east side where the sun will rise because the past is on the west where the sun sets.




You and I will meet again,

When we're least expecting it,

One day in some far off place,

I will recognize your face,

I won't say goodbye my friend,

For you and I will meet again.

Tom Petty



Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

Dr Seuss



It is an eternal truth in the political as well as the mystical body, that where one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.

Jimmy Buffett



Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile, make footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.




Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

Dale Evans Rogers



Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necessary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.

Richard Bach



If you're brave enough to say good bye, life will reward you with a new world.




I’ll miss the people, but I won’t miss the _____________ (you fill in the blank)!

Every Former FSA Employee – notably Donald, Mr. McDaniel, Riley, Mike, Bobby, etc.









[i]        "If you love something set it free, if it comes back to you it's yours. If not, hunt it down and shoot it.  Just make sure you have somewhere to

              hide the body!."

Karla Jackson, Texasville


[ii]      Oppress - To keep down by severe and unjust use of force or authority.


[iii]     Tyranny - Arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power.



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