My cousin Bully’s name is Kevin, but few people call him that. His wife does. His mother sometimes does. The rest of us call him Bully.
Bully is my double cousin. Mother’s sister is married to Daddy’s brother and having the same grandparents, it always seemed like we were four siblings instead of cousins. In fact, the four of us have names beginning with K.
We spent a lot of time together doing horse things, went to the same church, and took week about having Sunday dinner at our grandparents’ houses. We were together much of the time growing up.
One year when Bully was barely old enough to start talking, the eight of us took a trip to the IPRA fnals in Tulsa. All of us in the same car. There is some family controversy over the particular car we took, but I am sure it was Jimmie and Dickie’s Rambler. I can see it in my mind now, light green with a darker green vinyl top. Jimmie swears we borrowed Granny Fern’s Oldsmobile because it was bigger, but I am sure that time we were all crammed in the Rambler.
From the first mile we drove, all Jimmie and Daddy could talk about was visiting the Bully Good Saddle Shop in Muskogee. It was famous and they had never been there and both were sure it would be almost as good as Veach’s in Missouri (where Keith’s kid saddle was made by Monroe Veach himself, but that is another story). I don’t remember the shop much because I was 11 or 12 years old and I had a new hat and I was having trouble keeping it on and not bent in the car with so many people.
The miles rolled on, over 200 of them, with a great deal of the talk being focused on Bully Good Saddle Shop. Finally, at long last, we rolled up at the shop. So far, the baby had said very little, but when we all unfolded out of the car, whichever one it was, he said “Bully Good.” That was the first time Daddy called him Bully and it’s what we call him to this day.
That trip was memorable in more ways than one. While we were at the finals, it snowed. Arkansas roads being what they are, Aunt Dickie got worried we would never make it down the Osage hill. It’s a steep hill with a curve at the top and another at the bottom, right before the land flattens out at the McCoy’s house near Carrollton, Ark.
For the same 200 miles the talk was all about Bully Good Saddle Shop on the way, now it was all about Osage hill. The roads were a little treacherous in places, but when we finally got to Osage hill, it was clear. I don’t know if it was the road crews or protection from the mountain, but it was clear. Mother calls it Dickie’s hill to this day. The baby didn’t say Osage because he was asleep, but it didn’t matter because he already had his life long nickname. He just turned 50.
Now he has a tack trailer named “Bully’s.” He builds chaps, bridles, belts and other cowboy goodies. What could be more perfect than a maker’s mark that says “Bully’s, Marble Falls, Arkansas.”

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