|Mr. Lobo at haying time|
I often say that the greatest thing about Down Home Ranch is to have witnessed so many people bringing the best of who they are and what they have to share with us and our Ranchers.
One such person is Enrique Lobo Guerrero.
Most people call him “Lobo,” which, as he will tell you, means “wolf” in Spanish. I, however, refer to him as “Mr. Lobo.” Simply my preference, mostly because I have such enormous respect for Mr. Lobo.
He came here from Mexico when he was a very small boy with his parents. He grew up in El Paso and earned his citizenship through service in the U.S. Army, which gave him many things but cost him most of his hearing.
Nearly 50 years ago, he married a beautiful lady named Lucy. They were neighbors long before Mr. Lobo became an occasional employee of Down Home Ranch some eight years ago.
Unfortunately, one of he first things he did was fall from a height of 8′ while helping install the greenhouses where we now grow our poinsettias.
He was Star-Flighted out by helicopter with a broken back, but made an excellent recovery and as soon as possible he was back at the Ranch.
Mr. Lobo loves the “children,” as he calls our Ranchers. After years of working in maintenance–hard, outside, dirty work–we moved him to programs, working with them. Mr. Lobo, like us, is getting older and attention must be paid.
He's never been happier. He loves the Ranchers and they love him. He is their advocate, their buddy, their teacher.
Years ago Bishop McCarthy visited the Ranch and his eagle eye fixed upon Mr. Lobo. He talked with him at length about his work and I'm sure Mr. Lobo bent Bishop's ear about the “children” he cared for, and about the Ranch, and about his work.
Bishop was more impressed with Mr. Lobo than with the whole lot of the rest of us.
Bishop sees things others don't see.
After the visit he wrote Mr. Lobo a letter thanking him for his work and for sharing his love for the Ranch and our Ranchers. We were all proud.
This past weekend we had a Strategic Planning Meeting. It was a BIG hoopdedoodle, and lots of parents, and board members, and staff members, and friends and donors of the Ranch came.
We spent Friday evening and most of Saturday begining to figure out how to ensure that the Ranch will thrive, and with it our Ranchers, over the coming decades.
Of course Mr. Lobo was there.
At one point he said, “Every morning,you know, I wake up and I pray: ‘God, don't let the dream die.'”
He's talking about Down Home Ranch, and who knows?
Mr. Lobo might well be the reason it hasn't.