What is it? It’s sure not your customary magic show that you would see as a stage spectacle in Las Vegas. The kind that makes you say “Wow, that’s impossible!” No, this is the kind of magic that lives in your imagination and if you let it in, it will show your spirit a better way to live in the moment. For many years, I have noticed in people who accidentally got off the beaten track and found themselves in downtown Parkfield, or have come for a visit, no matter the reason, that they are immediately transformed in a tiny almost imperceptible way with a feeling that things are about to get better. “Parkfield Magic” arrives in the blink of an eye, for it’s a state of mind. It’s a salve to help heal the bumps and bruises of any life that’s in need of a “pick me up“ and in some cases “I can’t get up!” I noticed this phenomenon at work on our very first cattle drive some 25 years ago. Those first people had to be a very resilient lot, for no matter how hectic and ill prepared I was, smiles were always present. It seemed to not matter that a horse stepped on our water hose going from our tank mounted water supply to a most primitive wash stand and food prep area. Sorry folks, we’ll be a couple hours late for dinner as my son John had to journey to Parkfield to refill the tank so we could have a “do over.” What followed next to test our guests ability “to tuff it out” was an outhouse that was coupled to an aroma that made a person’s nostrils take cover and even made me seek solace elsewhere. Everybody, you’re on your own. So it dawned on me toward the end of day 3 and spending enough hours in the saddle, that upon dismount, many legs were definitely wobbly and fannies in need of some T.L.C. and still not a hint of discontent.
This cattle drive certainly qualifies for a euphoria award! It certainly tested the limits of how much inconvenience would a person stand still for and not demand a refund! But, in spite of three days of trying times, what shown through were lots of smiling faces and much laughter. It was very refreshing for me, that in-spite of all the trials and tribulations, this was an experience that people wanted. So after all the dust had settled, I said to myself that there would be more cattle drives in the future. But they would have a slightly different look to them. There would be flush toilets that no longer contained that insufferable aroma that insults one’s nose and a reliable water supply that no longer had the taste of a “garden hose!” For Zera, myself and family, it’s been 25 years of playing Tom Sawyer by getting many cowboys and cowgirls to pay us to drive our cattle to greener pastures. For me, it’s been so gratifying to watch, as each cattle drive starts with people showing some of the strains of the EVERYDAY and asking themselves “what have I gotten myself into on Thursday night?” But by Sunday afternoon, their questions have been answered. It’s written on their faces, showing a satisfied mind for a time well spent. When did it happen? When did I awaken to the realization that my family and I were bringing the old saying to life that“the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person” I don’t quite know when, but I do know that without this tranquil and idyllic place, called “The Cholame Valley,” a Yokut Indian word that means “The beautiful one" there would be no “Parkfield Magic” for my family to give meaning to “the rules are, there are no rules except the Golden Rule!” See Ya, Jack
For more information on our cattle drives click here or call us at (805) 463-2421