The Dr. McDonald Column : A column concluded – The Real Cowboy Way

By Jim McElvain

We talk cowboy a lot, but what’s the real definition or meaning of “Cowboy Way?” I’ve edited a few of Dr. Steve McDonald’s stories for NTFR over the last year or two, and Jessica Crabtree has been kind enough to print them. Reading about Dr. McDonald’s work and misadventures gives an idea of the true cowboy way, but let me tell you about Steve McDonald.
Steve spent much of his early youth on the land, eventually living with his grandmother in Holliday, Texas.

He hunted, fished and even trapped muskrats and sold hides for spending money. After high school he joined the U.S. Marines and spent one of the bloodiest years of the Vietnam War with a rifle company. Returning, he started school at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.

There was a whole gaggle of us Vietnam vets just returning, and parties upon the arrival of GI Bill checks spelled doom for many of our academic careers. Steve began working for a farmer near Odell, Texas, plowing, fencing, welding and any other work needed. He later started his own small company, a one-man operation welding and building barns and corrals.
I had graduated college and was teaching high school, but in summers I’d work for Steve. He was the hardest working man I’ve ever tried to stay up with, and as honest and good as a man can be.

To read more pick up a copy of the February 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.