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We’re looking forward to venturing to Upstate North Dakota this weekend to be a part of “Otto’s Roundup.”
Otto’s Roundup is a gathering to celebrate my wee nephew reaching the ripe old age of two.

The entire contents of my underwear drawer are older than that and not due to be decommissioned until cheesecloth status is achieved.

Two years old. I remember when I was two…the year was 1974 and I was spiraling out of control, consuming an alarming amount of Pixy Stix and Licorice Whips in an attempt to deal with the birth of my brother, a birth that signified the end of my innocence and the beginning of being an instigating older brother.

I believe my second birthday had a bit of a cowboy theme as well.

I received a leather cowboy vest complete with conches and tassels from Great Grandma Arlene.

I still have the vest but it fits a little snug so I have to wear it without a shirt under it and it appears a varmint of some sort gnawed a few of the leather tassels off.

Grandma Rose made me a birthday cake, as she did every year, until the powers to be shipped me off to work at the brewery (college) when I was 18.

The 1974 model was western themed, topped off with a 12-inch toy horse.

I still have the horse but I can only play with it when I’m wearing my leather vest…without a shirt of course…can’t play horsey in restrictive clothing.

The horse and I didn’t always have such a congenial relationship.

On the day of my birthday, while I was off playing nail the tail on my little brother, Grandpa Ardell crumpled up a chocolate cookie behind the horse and told me it pooped on my cake.

No 12-inch toy pony is going to get away with crapping on this hombre’s cake.

I refused to play with that pony until Grandma convinced me of the 12-inch pony’s innocence…last year.

Otto, like his father, is an entertaining little cuss and I’m sure he’ll be a wonderful host for his roundup.

My son, Jackson, went through a cowboy stage as well back when I could count his birthdays with one hand tied behind my back. Seems like yesterday that our living room was a rodeo arena and I was the kids’ bucking bronc. It all goes so fast.

John Lennon was right when he said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

I’m thankful every day that my children are part of the life that’s happening to me. Being a dad is a great gig. The pays lousy, but the benefits are phenomenal.

For Otto on his special day, I wish him nothing more than many, many more and to Gabe and Marki…enjoy the ride with your little cowboy.

See you at the roundup, pardner.

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