Saturday, January 1, 2011

How To Grab Life By The Horns!

     As I promised yesterday, we’re going to start off the New Year with a unique outlook on life.  And it’s provided by my good friend, Lowell Goemmer.  Lowell and his wife, Karen, are the parents of Shawn Goemmer, whom I’ve often featured in paintings.  And you’ve met their granddaughters, Dally and Riata in past blog posts.  But now it’s time to get to know Lowell.
Lowell and Karen
     There are many adjectives to describe Lowell, and high on the list is “colorful”.  Life takes some big ol’ nasty bites out of him and he takes it in stride….kicks life back into his corner and turns it into a good story.  He’s proud of his scars and his setbacks and doesn’t blame anyone or whine about his troubles.
     We only got crossways once over a comment (I supposedly made) about Lowell packing his own wheel bearings.  He claims I made some snide comment about “I usually pay to have someone do that kind of work for me”.  To this day, I deny the comment (hell, I pack my own bearings!) and we have some good verbal sparring matches over the remark.
     In retribution, I emphatically state that Lowell cannot cook a burger beyond “cool rare”.  I realize that “cool rare” doesn’t even exist in the cooking range, but I’ve seen it in Willard, New Mexico.  “Cool rare” will most certainly not kill e coli and other friendly bacteria, waiting to wreck your colon.  But again, Lowell and I must agree to disagree on this subject.
     So without further adieu, enjoy Lowell’s Christmas letter.  It will show you just exactly how to grab life by the horns.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

     Ended up with less than I started off with.  Cut my thumb off in October….
     Shawn and Mindy are buying cows and a Nevada lease.  Shane and Sherri sold their house and they will run some cows here in Willard, NM.  I would think them damn kids would be smart enough not to get in the cow business after being raised in it.  Shane loved flying, but didn’t care much for the corporate world.
     In May, we all got together for Karen’s Mom’s 90th birthday party in Denver.  All 9 of her great grandchildren made it – ages 11 down to 5 months.  In June we all met in LaVeta for a memorial for Mom and Dad.  Mom passed away last year in December.  Turned out real nice.  Rained and country looked good.  About enough of this togetherness.  I think we were pushing our luck.
     In late June we hauled to Montana.  Karen was leading the world in the 60’s Barrel Race so we decided to take the plunge and go to Canada and the Calgary Stampede to insure it.  DAMN bureaucrats wouldn’t let us in!  They had changed their entry requirements and told Karen that New Mexico had sloppy vets.  They are a sorry lot no matter what country you go to.  Then her dog got run over up there and about got killed.  Good vet up there saved her.  1400 long miles home.  Got dog on road to recovery and went to AZ to the Cowpuncher’s Reunion (big gathering of cowboys, lots of visiting and roping---very big for ranchers and families).  Both granddaughters, Dally & Riata, won belt buckles and got baptized in a stock tank.
Reata and Dally
     My old calf horse “Cap” got crippled this year so had to borrow my blue mare back from my grandson, Kade, to rope on at the rest of the rodeos.  Have 5 calf horses, Cap is crippled, and the grandkids have the rest of them—two in New Mexico, and two in Nevada.  Fun watching them; all 4 of them have won all-arounds this year.  Makenna, age 2 ½, even won a buckle and enters every boot race.  She and Fallon share Porky.
     After fall Nevada rodeos, we came home and Karen turned around and took her mare to the vet, and went back to Nevada to run barrels with Mindy and the girls.  I was practicing team roping at home and cut my thumb off, so she flew home after the barrel race and we headed back to the Finals in Winnemucca (NV).  She was sick when we got back to Shawn’s; took her to the emergency room and she had SHINGLES!  She was as sick as I ever saw her.  She tells everyone to get a shingles shot.  She managed to run one round and turned out the other three.  So, no saddle this year, but we had a good finals, watching our kids.
     National Senior Pro Rodeo Association inducted Karen into the Hall of Fame and her whole family was there except her brother.  All the grandkids were pretty proud of Grandma, and to top it all off, Sally, her barrel horse was voted Barrel Horse of the Year.  SO IT HAS BEEN A GOOD YEAR.
     Didn’t have time to sit around and feel sorry for myself.  Got home and headed to Amarillo to the Ranch Rodeo Finals.  My sister’s kids were on a ranch team.  Now I’m back home and getting ready to go to the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas.  Oh well, people die in bed.
     A friend in New Mexico told me that the way I operate, it’s a wonder I didn’t do it 30 years ago.  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

God Bless!
Lowell and Karen

     So when you feel like life is getting you down, and you don’t have the stamina to go on, just imagine living a day in Lowell’s boots.  I’m 20 years younger, and I can’t keep up! 

     On Monday, we will begin the New Year with a demo.  It’s time to get back to painting!  Tune in!      
 All content © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. Mark, Are you sure Lowell isn't kin to Sue? His exploits are legendary as were hers. i couldn't even laugh even as absurd as it seemed that he continued on. I hope his whole family realizes what a legacy he is giving them with his amazing love of life.

  2. One of the best Lowell stories is the time he was dallied on to a large steer that jumped over a fence and pulled him and his horse over an embankment. Lowell's head landed right between 2 rocks in a soft piece of ground. It still knocked him out, though! He's one tough sonofagun.