Nobel Prize-winning playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”
He must have been talking about Bob Walters.
One of the last bedroll cowboys, the 80-year-old International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame inductee from Dimmitt, Texas, passed away on New Year’s Day.
“Bob was a man’s man, a cowboy’s cowboy,” says Danny Anderson, a Collinsville, Texas, farrier. “Manners and politeness were paramount to him.”
Treating people the right way earned Walters a lot of stock and recognition along the way — two books by Wayne Baize that are devoted to Walters’ photography of life on the open range, an exhibit at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and induction into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2011.
“He thought a lot of his friends,” says Darlene Walters, his wife of 17 years. “When he met someone who became a friend, he was willing to help them in any way he could.”
The freedom that comes with the wide-open spaces of the American West beckoned the Milwaukee native to hit the trail after graduating from high school. He worked for a number of ranches in California, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
“He slept many a night by a fence post, in his bedroll, tarp over him and a pistol under his pillow,” Darlene says.
Walters’ long journey to the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame began in 1966 when he started shoeing horses in Texas. His trade was…