Sunday, February 7, 2010
More On James Nash!
This is a very interesting article about our friend James Nash and I think that you would enjoy reading it. On July 2, 2001, Paul Craig wrote this article about our good friend James Nash for The Union Democrat in Sonora, California:
"Waking up with a smile on your face every day because you know you are going to be spending that day doing just what you want.
Some might call this the American dream. James Nash would call it his life as a retiree.
Nash, 49, retired seven months ago from the Texas Department of Transportation. He then took a job working for Alpha and Omega mounted patrol in Dallas. Nash decided that the Texas summers were just too hot and humid to be patrolling asphalt parking lots. He decided to do something different with his retirement time.
That something different led Nash to Twain Harte for this weekend's trail trials, sponsored by the Twain Harte Horsemen.
What Nash did was sell his house and two of his horses, pack everything he owns into a trailer, attach it all to his 2000 Ford, one-ton, diesel truck, bring along his remaining two horses—appropriately named Drifter and Chance—and stop where ever the horse activities were.
He has made his way through cities and competitions in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and now California. He had excellent things to say about all the cities and he's been through but Tuolumne County has really made an impression on him.
"This is the hot spot for horse activities," he said, standing near his latest campsite, behind the Twain Harte Horsemen clubhouse. "Y'all do everything we do in Texas, only you do it more."
Beyond the horse activities, however, Nash has been taken by the friendliness of everyone he has come across. Everyone, he said has had a get-up-and-go attitude with him. If there is something he hasn't seen or done, there always seems to be someone around to take him.
"The people you meet are just wonderful," he said. "The more I stay, the more I don't want to go home."
In fact, Nash is thinking about not returning to Dallas at all and taking up residence in the Tuolumne County area.
Nash is a divorcee with two daughters who are in college in Texas. He has had e-mail contact with youngest daughter Sherri, 20, who is vacationing in Venezuela. He said that she loves the idea of her dad moving to California and can't wait to visit when she comes back.
Oldest daughter Brandi, 21, on the other hand, he coyly said, has fallen in love with someone in Texas and doesn't care.
The Internet has proven to be a valuable resource for Nash on his journeys and not just for keeping in touch with his family. The Web usually provides him with details about the next horse activity to travel to. He found out about the trail trials in Twain Harte through an Internet search he had made a few weeks ago. He plans out his stops event to event by making a trip to the library in whatever town he finds himself in and using the Internet.
"I find something I want to do and then just go to that area," he said.
Of all the different kinds of events he has taken part in, trail trials have become Nash's favorite, even though he took part in his first one only two weeks ago. He might find similar events in Texas, he said, but all the obstacles—like a pool of water—would have been made by hand. In Twain Harte, however, he and his four-legged teammate went across real, flowing bodies of water.
"This is out in the woods," he said. "This is just so cool."
The trail trials involve riding through a preset trail, either for pure enjoyment or for judged competition. The competition involves judges rating each horse and rider for how successfully they maneuver through or around trail obstacles, like a log in a stream, for example.
"I'm more here to have fun," he said. "Fun is the key."
Nash is equally thrilled with the natural environment in Twain Harte, like the deer that came near him as he read his morning paper. That, he said, just isn't going to happen in Texas.
While he has loved his time outdoors, he still has most comforts of home inside his trailer. That includes a queen size bed and a shower with enough hot water for quite a few showers per stop. He jokingly admitted, though, while running his hand over the top of his bald head, that he really doesn't need all that much water.
Also in his trailer is a television with a VCR and satellite dish. The satellite dish lets him catch all of the Western Channel he wants. "I do actually watch the western channel after riding horses all day," he added with a grin.
While he may be a cowboy at heart and has been around horses since his youth, his modesty prevents him from talking himself up about all the events he travels to.
"I'm a novice," he said. "I'm not a celebrity, I'm just a retired old man."
Indeed, he's a retired old man—at 49—who smiles a lot and seems to enjoy each day more than the last."