Almost a Calamity

Meetin’ Cowboy Roy’s Relatives

By Carolyn White

Eleven heads turned as we entered room 211 of St. Luke’s Medical Center in Boise. Everyone’s eyebrows went up. Outside an arena, I had never seen so many people dressed entirely in western shirts, jeans, cowboy boots, and rodeo jackets—and it was more than a little intimidating. Propped against several pillows, the old cowboy stared, too. Regardless of the oxygen tubes that snaked from a tank to his ears and up his nose, the dark brown eyes were alert, all-knowing.

“Hello, son,” he said.

“Hi, Dad. This is m’ girlfriend, Carolyn.” Roy placed a palm against my back and nudged me forward.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Silverton.” I took his outstretched hand and was surprised at the strength of the grip.

He looked me up and down for a moment before abruptly asking, “Where’d you find this one?”

Roy’s eyes crinkled. They were the exact same shade of blue as the worn silk bandana around his neck. “I picked her up beside the road,” he mumbled, looking down.

I giggled nervously and glanced around, but no one else was laughing.

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