post Reunion Memories

June 13th, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:12 am

by Michele

How do I summarize what is the best part of the 2013 High Chaparral Reunion? As with other attendees stories, I too had a difficult year in 2012. The Reunion was the highlight and the reward for surviving a devastating medical problem. When I look at pictures of myself one year ago, I’m unrecognizable. When I look at pictures of me taken at the 2013 Reunion. I see the person that was hiding inside, wanting to come back out. I had an appointment with a doctor today. We are all amazed at the journey I took over the last 14 months. The report from my doctor was in part, very encouraging. But there was that stubborn fly in the proverbial ointment that she regretfully had to tell me more surgery is ahead. Supposedly minor, but as I’ve seen in past medical issues, I never do anything the “normal” way nor is anything “minor” when it comes to my history. So, another journey begins

As I mentally prepare for this next journey, the medical team might wonder.why I wear such a grin. A High Chaparral Reunion usually means laughing non stop, eating great food and embracing wonderful friends; long time friends, and new friends made at the 2011 Reunion. I’ll be remembering it all. My smile will be because I’m remembering the wonderful gentle hug from Rudy, the warmth he always greets people with. How his performance of “Geronimo” was so powerful, so moving it left everyone in the room spell bound. I’ll remember how wonderful Henry and Lauren looked, how great to see them again. I love Henry’s laugh! You just feel it all the way through. I’ll remember Kent & Susan McCray’s sincere thanks and appreciation for us, the fans! They are the ones we are so grateful for. And I’ll remember Don Collier. His endless, wonderful stories, his deep voice, his welcoming kiss, and his singing at the White Stallion Ranch. What a night that was to start our wonderful weekend. I don’t usually eat much beef, but I could have eaten a side of steer that night. Their food was outstanding, the beauty of the ranch magical, the company at my table were friends from all over the country. It was a night I’ll always remember. The best thing, the biggest smile was Sunday morning when I knew I had the highest bid on Bob Hoy’s hat at the silent auction. I’m now the current caretaker of this most wonderful piece of memorabilia. How I admire that man and all he stood for. His wonderful portrayal of Joe Butler was of a man who was loyal to family, friends and to the Boss. Usually the most quiet of the crew, always brave in battle, always the strongest in his horsemanship, his readiness to protect the brand and his fellow bunkhouse boys, and his resolve to never back off from what needs to be taken care of. No matter how hard it might seem. His portrayal of Joe Butler, and the way Bob lived his own life, continues to inspire me.

Right now, I face another medical issue to “take care of”. I’ll try to go through it with grace and with a smile, silently remembering all the wonderful hours of the 2013 Reunion. Remembering Joe Butler would never back off from what needs to be taken care of, no matter what. We didn’t know how the 2011 Reunion could be topped, but thanks to Penny, Ginny and the wonderful countless volunteers, they found a way. Thank you, thank you, thank you all. I love my fellow Chaparral family. Penny hit the nail on the head when she said this time together isn’t a conference or a convention. It’s a family Reunion. Times spent with all of you are the very best. There is never enough time to spend together with my High Chaparral family. I am already planning our trip to the 2014 Reunion and that is bringing another big smile.

Vaya con Dios to all,
Michele Simmons


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