Hank lifted up the latch and then he locked the gate down tight. The old man choked the tears back. This would be his final night.
The young cowboys had chided him, “You’re dang near old as dirt. It’s time you packed it in, if not, you’ll probably get hurt.”
But the ranch belonged to corporate, and the bankers weren’t no fun. They’d made a hint about Hank’s age. His cowboy days were done.
Hank had been the ranch’s cowhand forty years in all. Now starin’ at his final paycheck thumbtacked to the wall.
He walked out from the bunkhouse, then he climbed up in his truck. A young cowboy came runnin’. Said, “I hope you’ll have some luck.”
Hank had found an old farmhouse just one mile west of town. He was lookin’ for seclusion, maybe try and settle down.
But Hank weren’t much for separation. Hated loneliness. So, he made a stop at Merkle’s Store and bought a Weekly Press.
He scanned through all the want ads. Then one notice caught his eye. “Volunteer at the Living Center.” That’s the one he’d give a try.
The manager said, “Thank you and we’ll see you sharp at noon.” Hank felt a little nervous ‘bout the job he’d found so soon.
Hank washed his brand-new wranglers and he pressed a clean white shirt. He dusted off his Wing Tips. What the heck, it couldn’t hurt.
Hank’s brand new job was passin’ trays and helpin’ older folk. ‘Cuz some were mighty helpless from a devastating stroke.
Hank couldn’t help but notice he stood out like center stage. An older gal shot him a wink. He’d try to act his age.
That day, Old Hank felt comfort giving service to a few. The old folks needed Hank. Turns out, Hank needed their help too.