Rudy was born July 13, 1931 to very poor parents. He left home at the age of 8 and in his own words, no one ever bought him as much as a piece of underwear again. He made his own way in the world. He lived for the most part in the theaters which were open most of the day and night. He learned his values from his cowboy heroes. The good guys wore white hats. The bad guys wore black hats. There was no difficulty telling which was which. The good guys won and the bad guys lost. It did not pay to be a bad guy. His heroes were Buck Jones, Tom Mix and of course Gene Autry.
He never went to school after the 3rd grade. He found others to be too cruel, making fun of the shabby clothing he had to wear. He educated himself and was quite successful in the Telecommunications field in later years.
He was a muleskinner at age 11(I always thought a muleskinner was someone who skinned mules). He had a way with animals and loved horses his entire life. He was a cowboy at heart. He always had the best saddles, hat, chaps, spurs etc. He said he loved quality things. I always took that as a great compliment.
Among the things I learned from Rudy was an appreciation of good movies. Some of his favorites were, The Grapes Of Wrath, The Ox Bow Incident, Treasures Of The Sierre Madre, The old Tarzan movies, Jeremiah Johnson, Monty Walsh, Cimmaron, Abandon Ship, Lifeboat, and I could go on forever.
Rudy was an honest man, a man of his word. He thought a lot of the modern world was a lot of nonsense. He did however like his VCR and I once watched him play Frogger on the Atari for 13 hours. He loved ribeye steaks and spanish peanuts.He made the best biscuits and gravy I ever ate.
He had a heart as big as the whole wide world. If you needed something that was his, he would give it without thought to himself. He had a huge big laugh and a smile that turned me to jelly even after all those years. He loved cars and many time had several he was restoring at once.
In closing I will say this...On June 11,1993 the world lost one of the finest human beings ever to live and the loss will always be felt by those of us fortunate enough to know him. He was truly ONE OF A KIND.
He went on a different range. A large herd and a brand that's strange.
So if you glance to the sky tonite, You'll see a new star a winkin' down bright.
Just pause and listen for a bellar and a whoop
And you'll know that cowboy is a buildin' his loop.
The ranch up there must need a good man.
So the Lord called Rudy. He needed another hand.
By Sug Peters