Last week included a drive back to Kansas to see Mom (in rehab) and Dad. It was also a great opportunity to prepare for the Labor day holiday trip to Montana. K.C. had warned me that when you are in Cowboy country you better "fit in". So it was off to Sheplers to find the correct accessories. Dad gave me my Grandpa Wisner's string tie, and I supplemented that with a belt buckle that Dad and I modified to be Grandpa Well's cattle brand "The Rocking W". Dad then gave me his hunting knife to round out the ancestral history of my Cowboy inheritance.
So it was natural that I decided to go down memory lane and rewatch the 1989 mini series "Lonesome Dove". I had forgotten most of the details of the story of the Texas Rangers cattle drive from Texas to Montana. But I got very intrigued with the sign for Gus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call's Hat Creek Cattle Company that includes a Latin motto, "Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit." Captain Call had placed this on the horizontal stake at the cross of Gus's grave.C
What did it mean? Well it appears to be a reference to a proverb first attributed to Juvenal (a Roman poet). And without going into all the detail analysis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonesome_dove) - suffice to say it followed Gus's Cowboy philosophical comments during the journey.
Translated literally it means: "A grape is changed by living with other grapes" or maybe as the show illustrates "We are changed by the lives around us."
Hmmm .... Cowboy Philosophy ranks right up there with the Ancient Romans and Greeks.