I met Pauline and Ben on their ranch in Arizona. I sensed that in these two was the type of decency and true grit that is painfully rare these days. In short order I found myself staying on the ranch and feeling like I was part of the family. They were equally welcoming to my wife, who is from Africa, and we both have lasting memories of the ranch and Pauline. By the time that we met her, Pauline’s condition was challenging, and yet I never heard her complain. She only dealt in kindness. She was always warm, always welcoming and always looking for ways to spread her warmth to people and puppies. Because of the purity of her own heart, she saw the good in everyone and sometimes overlooked the less noble traits in some. I have always fantasized about being a rancher. Her intelligence was obvious when she shared her knowledge about the economics of ranching, which is a subject that fascinates me. Through discussions with Pauline and Ben I learned the sure-fired way to have a million dollars in the bank as a rancher….start with three million!
As I think about her passing, songs lamenting the passing of the days of the Old West circulate in my head. To me the life of “Home Home on the Range” is but a fantasy, but it was her reality. Sadly, as “progress” marches on, this reality is becoming increasingly endangered. When I think of the madness engulfing our cities, I can take refuge in thoughts of being on the ranch with Pauline and Ben, with room to roam, surrounded by nature and the country comfort of decent people. Happy trails Pauline.. till we meet again.