Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Durward Lee Jones

 

August 26, 2021

Late on a hot July night a cowboy took his last ride. The bronc he rode was named Time and it was ready to collect its dues. But the cowboy was going to make the bronc earn every cent. For over two years the two battled. The Bronc stealing the Cowboys strength, making him tired with every passing day over the last two years. Every day the Cowboy woke up with a pledge to ride the bronc further than the day before.

With trips to the local Doc every week to receive new infusions of strength, the Cowboy threw his old worn boot in the stirrup and mounted the Bronc again and again. Each ride taking its toll on the cowboy. A man who once stood tall with schemes and vigor, daring the world to watch him ride was soon reduced to an old man. The weight of life hunching his shoulders, poor choices hobbling his steps but never stopping him in his tracks.

The Old Cowboy from the Wyoming town of steam did wild things in his youth with his compadres. Learned the ways of the west from his namesake, who taught him of cows and horses. Instilled an ethic to work and always get back on when thrown.

He wooed a young filly who gave him three strong boys, that grew up to travel the world to fight wars on foreign soils. Bringing relief to his worried souls when each returned safely home. But each gave the Old Cowboy grandchildren who made him smile and tell stories of his childhood.

But the Old Cowboy was only human and made choices that led to the little filly to escape to bigger pasture.

Not long, a penned up mare caught the old Cowboys eye, he took the chance and soon they were riding greener pastures. Setting up a small saloon on the other side of the river the two did their best to give it a go. Alas this trail ended in the two parting ways.

The years that followed time took its toll on the Old Cowboy. The world had changed on him and the old ways that served him were no longer needed. Instead of a horse, the Old Cowboy rode machines of oil and gasoline. He drove long miles and slept out in cold nights, had early mornings and short weekends to get by.

From Cowboying on a ranch that reached from where sun rose to where it set, the old cowboy moved to a humble homestead that's he shared with his younger brother. Spending as much time with his grandchildren as he could. Reminiscing of good old days and planning to take on the future as it came by. He dreamed of moving to warmer climates in the winter so his bones did not ache, he spent time helping his sons when he could.

But the bronc named Time was just around the corner and the old Cowboy mounted up and dug in his spurs for one last ride. Snorting and spinning the bronc kicked and flailed. The old Cowboy pulled the broncs head in and spurred and around they went, but the bronc had eons on its side and just would not tire. The Old Cowboy worn with age was not able to keep up with the bronc. But the old Cowboy's last eight seconds in the dust cloud, he would not let that bronc get the best of him. With a smile and a final kick, the two faded as the dust settled leaving behind the memories of the Old Cowboy from the Wyoming town of steam.

Durward Lee Jones passed away July 25, 2021. Born in Thermopolis Wyoming to Durward Bud Jones and Mary Ann Jones on August 1, 1951. Lee spent his youth on the family ranch, learning to Cowboy and Ranch from his grandparents Durward and Dorothy Jones. Graduating from Hot Spring County High School class of 1969. He married his first wife Sandra Lee Dale in 1971, they had three sons together. Durward D. Jones, Michael Jones, and Levi Jones. Lee was survived by his younger brother and sister Bart Jones and Suzan Crotts.

Memorial services will be held at the Picnic area by the river in the State Park on September 11, 2021, at 9 a.m.

 

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