Chapter 1 –

The year was 1944. The full moon shone brightly through the back door where I laid on my designated sleeping place on the floor, in our one-room house which was home to my three siblings along with mom and dad. We lived in the sleepy little town of Port O’Connor, Texas, which was occupied by less than 100 people. Everyone in the town was mostly in the seafood business.This night, the bay perfectly calm, was peaceful with a south cool breeze.

The wind brought me something in the wee hours of the morning before anyone else awoke. An unfamiliar odor excited me, as it still does today. It was a defined odor of something I had never smelled before in the air where I lived. As I looked out, I saw an outline which I have never forgotten. It was my first sighting of a live horse. That was the night when my love for horses grew to become my passion. The dark black horse was grazing on the salty grass in our backyard underneath my mom’s clothesline. “There is a real, live horse in my backyard!” I thought, my heart thumping with excitement. Barefooted, I ran to the backyard, to touch the horse, hoping it wouldn’t run away as I got closer. As I approached him, the horse slowly backed away, making sure there was a safe distance between us. I was in utter disbelief. I had just seen a real, live horse. It was as if it had materialized out of the pictures plastered on my wall. I felt giddy with excitement. I could not go back to sleep; my adrenaline was racing, and I could do but wait for my parents to wake up. As soon as my dad woke up, my excitement bubbled out. “Dad! You’re never going to believe what I just saw! There was a horse in our backyard!” I blurted out.