As you have probably noticed, the front image of my website boasts a beautiful pair of boots. I have received many comments and questions about these boots, and I am happy to tell their story.
These boots were made for… marching! Not walking.
These cowboy boots are very special to me because they were my grandfather’s. The boots were handmade for my grandfather when he was a member of the Cowboy Marching Band at Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. While I have his boots, I didn’t get his musical ability! But I did get many other wonderful talents and lessons, for which I give him full credit.
I was very fortunate to grow up in the same town as my grandparents and I spent many, many hours with them. We celebrated all our holidays and birthdays at their house. It was a special treat to get to spend the night at their house—my grandmother would fix a home-cooked dinner and my grandfather would make a special breakfast, M&Ms included. He had quite the sweet tooth!
My grandfather was an accountant by profession and continually used opportunities to teach my siblings and me about finances. When we were young, he would pay us ten cents for every bug we caught or weed we pulled and made it our job to keep track of how much he owed us (without bringing him a handful of bugs or weeds!). He started a lawn mowing business for my older sister with his neighbors, which was passed down to my brother, and then to me. He took me to open my first bank account and showed me how to balance my checkbook. He wanted to impart money management skills and a sense of responsibility—and he did!
My grandfather also played a huge role in my life as he encouraged me to follow my dreams of going to law school. As I took an interest in going to law school, he talked about one of his favorite classes, Negotiable Instruments. He even gave me his book from his class! He encouraged me through the entire process—college and law school. I was very proud to have him see me walk across the stage and accept my law degree.
There are numerous examples of his love and generosity, but one of the things I admire the most was his passion for problem-solving. He loved to fix things or make improvements around the house, do his own car maintenance, fix the lawn mower, you name it—he’d fix it. But he didn’t just make repairs around his own house. He helped his neighbors, and often made repairs at our house. Now, remember, he was an accountant by trade, but that did not stop him from trying to tinker and solve problems. He was a solution-oriented person and applied that to all areas of his life—work, family, friends, and the community. He didn’t quit until the job was done. I remember his passion and his dedication, and I strive to model that passion in my job as a trial lawyer, and in my life.
I proudly wear and display my grandfather’s cowboy boots in his honor, and in gratitude for the things he has taught me.