Cowboy Jack

I have permission to give all this information freely.

He was born, Irish, as Patrick Dean Darling in November 1944. A twin. When he was adopted into his German family at 5 days old, he was renamed John Thomas Shultz, Jack as a nickname.

I met Jack when he first moved into the park. We both keep to ourselves  so we didn’t really cultivate a friendship except to say hello in passing. Well, until now!

He asked the owner about me becuase he hardly saw me around. Mike, knowing what I was going through with some neighbours, encouraged Jack to get to know me. Jack stopped me as I was walking up the road one day and asked if it would be okay to come visit me and I said, “Sure”

So a friendship began.

We’ve spent some talking while passing a bottle of Honey Jack back n forth.

What have I learned about Jack? Well, besides the adoption and heritage stuff, Jack was a cowboy. A real one.

Jack has spent his life a bull rider, among other things. He’s broken many of the bones in his body including his neck. He’s had four wives and the first was a ‘Rodeo Queen’. He lost his oldest son to a rodeo accident when he was 23. When we talk about his son he says, “Cowboys live and cowboys die. He died how he lived and loved, a happy man.”

He is from Alberta and used to be a hunting guide there. I opened up to him about my time in Alberta and he was so empathetic. He is sympathetic to my ex’s current situation. He’s kind to me about the situation. There is no judgement.

We’ve talked openly about the experiences I’ve had in this park. Everything from my ex and I’s very messy break-up, how I coped, how that resulted and what I’ve experienced since. He’s heard a few things but has told me he will always defend me. He reminds me often, in a fabulous cowboy way, “Shaunda, you’re always welcome around my fire.”

We’ve shared some very personal things with each other. Jack has provided a kind ear. We’ve shared food and drink. He says things that make me feel good about myself like, “I like how you always dress and sit like a lady.” He makes me feel appreciated in a place where I sometimes get questioned.

I’m very glad Cowboy Jack stopped me on the road that day. I have a hard time reaching out. But he did. And now I have this really wonderful new friend.


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