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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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It’s nearly 200 miles from my place to Boise. I have no idea how many times I’ve made the round trip in my lifetime, but no doubt, it’s in the triple digits. It seems that most folks generally disdain a large share of the drive up I-84 for its perceived lack of beautiful scenery. The drive is sometimes compared to driving across Wyoming or Nevada.

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I’m not a smoker. It never much appealed to me – on several fronts. For one thing, I don’t think I’m tough enough to pull it off. There is something to the old James Dean Hollywood stereotype. The image of John Wayne striking a match and lighting the cigarette hanging loosely from his upper lip carries a certain cachet with it.

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In the arid, high-desert country of the Great Basin, folks have learned to get by on not much more than hope, faith and a few acres of alkali ground covered with greasewood, sage and four-winged saltbush.

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I’m working on no sleep today. Of course, we all seem to have a good excuse to explain our deficiencies and our inefficiencies, but I really believe my excuse today has some validity to it. Here’s the deal:

I was going about my business with the chores in the early evening last night, when I noticed the dog pestering one of the horses that was lying over by the water troughs.

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A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine, who happens to be one of the county commissioners, asked me to write up a little roast/tribute to the retiring county sheriff.

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It’s a pretty tall order, if not absolutely impossible, to win all of life’s battles. The odds against you are even greater if you’re not careful when picking your battles.

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