“Oh, I’m doin’ a little day work for Irsik and ridin’ two green colts for $50 a month. I think I’ve just about sold that load of salvage lumber I traded Mr. Jolly out of. Some guy came by the other day and wants me to audition for the Marlboro Man. Said they pay pretty good even if they don’t pick me.

I’ve put down on some lease pasture. If my pardner comes through, we’re gonna turn out a few steers. I’ve got some other deals workin’, playin’ guitar with Butch and Jim on Fridays, shoein’ the odd horse now and then. Ol’ Man Gammon pays me to irrigate his yard every other Sunday. Other than that ... not much.”

Thank goodness his wife has a job. Skip is one of those fine fellers who eases through life from one project to another just fillin’ in the gaps. He’s the man you can call at noon on Tuesday and get some help. Chances are he could hook up a trailer and go pick up something for you at the sale. ’Specially if you gas him up first.

He’s one of the few individuals who never misses a ropin’, a weekday grade school track meet, a car wreck, a beer bust, horse sale, pancake feed or a political rally.

He’d no more think of makin’ a “career change” that would require his movin’ outta town than he’d consider filing his income tax on time. He was offered a seasonal job with the highway department as a sign fluctuater but declined at the last minute ’cause somethin’ came up.


I’ve always been curious what he writes on a form when it asks his occupation. Executive Enabler? Implementation Specialist? Relationship Analyst? Impediment Counselor? Maybe just Omniconsultant.

Every time I visit with him, the list of what he’s doin’ changes. A few come off the top of the roll; some new ones are included at the bottom. But he’s always got a lotta irons in the fire.

He’s the inspiration for that ol’ Coyote Cowboy proverb, “If it takes somebody more than 10 minutes to tell you what they do for a livin’, they’re probably self-unemployed!”  PD