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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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I was right in the middle of a fairly precarious situation when I felt my phone buzzing in my shirt pocket.

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I brought the old pickup to a Smart Chick Olena sliding stop in front of the house. Any reiner who knows anything would have been impressed – had my mount been a blue roan instead of a beat-up old blue Chevy. To nobody’s surprise, I was running late again.

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Back in pre-hysteria days, when we could freely watch a high school basketball game unhindered by the fetters of a crafty little virus, I made a short trip from my place to the hamlet of Murtaugh, Idaho, to scout a game involving a couple teams, one of which would be the opponent of my hometown Oakley Hornets in the next round of the conference tournament.

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As I type the very words you’re now reading, struggling to make another column deadline for an ever-patient editor, my mind is not entirely focused on the immediate task at hand.

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Home to me is the early morning bang and echo of horseshoes on old trailer floorboards. It’s the half-eager, half-asleep complaint of the 8-year-old who can’t find his spurs as he clambers into the pickup.

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There’s a lot I like about fall. You know, the typical stuff like gathering cows off the mountain, beautiful fall colors and mornings cool enough to slow the flies down and keep the gnats at bay for the first part of the day.

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