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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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A while back, about the time winter was thinking about getting serious, I did something I’d never done before: I got a flu shot.

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A few years ago, I was asked to tag along on a trail ride in the great Owyhee country of southwestern Idaho with a few dozen state, county and federal officials and several distinguished members of the hierarchy of the Western cattle industry.

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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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