Kenneth Dale Alexander
A Genuine Cowboy
So much of what we experience early in life comes back to us, and flood memories with those old experiences, such is the case with my dear cousin Kenneth. I grew up in the Panhandle of Texas, Kenneth in New Mexico, but we all gathered at our Grandparentʼs home in Morse Texas on special occasions such as reunions, holidays and funerals.
The Parksʼ also took regular road trips to Tucumcari and Farmington New Mexico and the Alexandersʼ made frequent trips to Borger, Texas. There we explored the lands, rode horses, swam in the cattleʼs watering hole, their mossy cooling troughs and had the best times of our lives, without a care in the world. Kenneth was always the cowboy.
We have a fantastic photo of Kenneth, my brother Gerald and I in front of this store taking on the town, the toy guns and attitude to boot. I donʼt think Kenneth ever stopped being the genuine cowboy he was born to be. I remember those early days filled with excitement, adventure, and fun even now.
Kenneth helped teach Gerald and I how to ride a horse, helped us learn how to stay in a saddle, showed us how to make the horse gallop and learn to enjoy it. Kenneth, looking back gave us the confidence to feel okay playing outdoors—like cowboys. Although I always wanted to be Geronimo.
Getting a little older, I remember distinctly having to go hunting with Grandpa and with his 22 gauge rifle—— and the poor rabbit! Peer pressure but I never ate the rabbit! After that, I only went with a bow and arrows and then it was just to hit a target not a rabbit. I remember that Kenneth never made fun of or ridiculed me, he was not a bully, was not a macho man, he was just a nice guy—and a great cousin.
Overall we all had a blast in those dry grasslands of the Texas panhandle and the beautiful canyons and the New Mexico landscapes. Christmas was exceptional, we all gathered in the Morse Gymnasium, and Santa Claus visited us. Santa had a gift for us all, such magic in those days. We saw Santa flying high in the sky over the schoolʼs rooftops. Years later, we joked how we truly believed what we thought we saw.
We had such wonderful childhood innocence. When Kenneth and I reminisced (which turns out, was not often enough), we always brought up those things and those times. It thrilled me that he felt the same about those beautiful innocent times. We learn to appreciate our Grandparents as we get older and realized how special they were to create these memories and the sense of bonding in the Alexander and Parks families.
Stories of growing up are such a part of us we canʼt help but have flashbacks of the joyous times we all had. Our grandparents let us into their lives wholeheartedly, they included us in all their events, even their adult games, Now some 60 or so years later, I am playing those same games and activities. Playing hand and foot, a modern version of canasta, Chinese checkers, and chicken foot, a current version of dominoes.
Perhaps it is to hold onto the wonderful memories of playing those same games with my cousins and grandparents. I hope so!
Thank you, Kenneth, for being such a kind loving cousin, your smile, and your memory will always be with us.