Would you let a stranger...
...touch your spurs?
I had the coolest experience in Montana.
Last Sunday morning I was out in the hotel parking lot putting something in my car when a rumbling noise caught my attention. I turned to see a kindly looking, nicely dressed man in his sixties pulling a suitcase.
He was wearing cowboy boots, which one could reasonably expect in Montana. The boots had spurs. I was fascinated.
I’ve heard the arguments that spurs are cruel and inhumane. I’ve heard they don’t hurt the horse. But I’ve never been close enough to a set of spurs to draw my own conclusions.
“Excuse me sir,” I said bravely. “Can I ask you about your spurs?”
He stopped, smiled, and let me ask.
He said they just kind of tickled a horse.
Then, gathering more gumption than I realized I possessed, I asked this kindly stranger if I could touch his spurs.
Now that’s got to be weird. Some middle-aged woman stops you in parking lot and asks you that?
But this man was a gentleman through and through.
I knelt down and ran my fingers along the blunt edge of the spokes. Interesting. It felt like the top edge of a hunting knife as opposed to its sharp cutting edge.
When I stood back up to thank him and ask yet another question this retired university professor from Texas realized the best way to answer.
He turned around, put his hand on my shoulder and ran the spur down my calf. It was a biting tickle sensation.
I’m not sure how many people would be this accommodating, but it was broad daylight in a public place. I’m sure that helped. And it was a sincere question. I really wanted to know about spurs and there was nothing else to it.
I’m so grateful that I was reporter for almost 20 years. I learned that most people are helpful, kind, and accommodating. It taught me to approach people properly and because of that I can ask the dangdest things. More often than not it works out well for me.
Thanks to Debora Alder for taking this photo of me.