The true director of our lives is the Lord

Our trails carry us down the pathway of life and most are oblivious to the direction, just figuring that, as the old folks say, “What will be, will be!” 

But there is direction, and at some point we realize that it is more than just happenstance  and we become aware that, just as a jib sail helps sailors with direction, we too need that direction. The true direction of our life is guidance from our Lord. 

Proverbs 16:9 - “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord will guide their paths.” 

It’s said that sometimes and tomorrow are not days of the week! Yet many are guilty of putting things off until tomorrow or sometime. 

I have been guilty on both counts, but now is the time to remedy that. I would ask you to humor me as I finally get around to honoring a Falls County and Marlin icon. 

My young bride Stella and I moved to Marlin in July of 1973, nearly 50 years ago. This icon was one of the first people that we had the opportunity to meet. He is a man of God and, through church, he pointed us in the right direction as we sought to meet various needs. 

As an assistant minister, he helped us find our church home. He convinced Dr. Fitte that we were trustworthy enough that he could loan us a trailer to haul our livestock to our new home. 

My young informative years holds memories of going to the Saturday afternoon picture show and seeing a film about Ma and Pa Kettle moving their clan in a rickety ol’ vehicle piled with belongings, kids, critters, and everything else they could stuff on to that rig. And that is what the Cathey clan looked like as we rolled into the city limits of Marlin on that hot July day back in 1973 in a pick-up and a borrowed trailer. 

We moved the remnants of household goods and our family, Stella and I, our daughter and son, Frances and Jimmy, a horse, two cows, four calves, two dogs, and a racoon. Clement astounded us with his many talents that have fit into our life through the years, such as preacher, school teacher, horseman, twine braider, leather craftsman, horseshoe nail ring maker, bullwhip popper, farrier, and these are just a few of his many talents. 

He and his wife Alma are our friends and for 50 years he has not failed to call each one of us on our birthday. Some of you are saying, “aha!” and you’d be right, I am talking about Clement Gordon and he celebrated his 90th birthday Sunday, Feb. 26. So “Happy Birthday Clement!” 

This excerpt from; The Confessions of a Horseshoer might have given you a clue to who this Falls County and Marlin Icon is.

An ol’ cowboy with gumption n’ try,

Said, “I’ll put shoes on this bronc or I’ll die”,

And he done it by heck,

‘Cause after the wreck,

He said, “I hung iron on everything that flew by.”



Ol’ Jackrabbit knowed exactly what he’d done,

As Clyde went flyin’ an’sprawled in the dirt,

An’ then he up an’ says, “Now you’ve done it Ol’ Son.”

Wiped his bloody nose ‘crost the sleeve of his shirt,

Grabbed his shoein’ rasp, ‘cuz he’d not be outdone,

An’ boys, ol’ Clyde was very much alert.

‘Course, Clyde knew without doubt he could shoe that horse,

“You sorry excuse for a bag of buzzard bait,

When I get done, I’ll have no remorse,

‘Cuz come the morrow, you’ll be packin’ freight,

Without a doubt, you’ll have new shoes of course,

I’m restin’ up, you just stand there an’ wait.


This sack of bones is what a trader might buy,

Clyde grabbed his nippers an’ bent to grab a hoof,

But this ol’ pony had a mean look in his eye,

Sorta spooky, something borderin’ on aloof,

Might talk a lessor man from even givin’ it a try,

But now Clyde figgered he was bulletproof.


Looped the rope around his neck an’ run it past his hock,

Took a half-hitch an’ drawed it up tight,

When Jackrabbit seemed to turn in his hide to take a look,

The back of Clyde’s neck is where he took a bite,

Shore pinched a bit an’ left ol’ Clyde purt near in shock,

Dropped the nippers an’ began to ponder his plight.


With a mouthful of nails an’ a hammer in his hand,

He did what he could tryin’ to tack on a shoe,

Jackrabbit, not to be outdone commenced raisin’ sand,

He kicked an’ stomped while hair an’ cuss words flew,

It was obvious that things were not going as planned,

It was beginnin’ to get dark an’ Clyde warn’t through.


The sweat poured from his brow, one shoe he had done, 

Of course, crooked horseshoe nails lay all around,

 An’ he gazed mournfully at the sinkin’ sun,

An’ the devastated chaos of his battleground,

Things looked dark an’ bleak, but he had just begun,

So with grit an’ a bit of courage that he had found,


‘Cuz he’d run out of cuss words an’ most of his nails,

An’ his ol’ back hurt along with his offside knee,

He was shore that the townfolk could hear his wails,

But he clenched his teeth an’ with a smile you see,

 Through the dust an’ the dark an’ all of his travails,

Clyde said,  ”Tomorrow, we’ll get the other three!

©  Ol’ Jim Cathey


Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by 59 delegates, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas

“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

Join us at First Baptist Church Marlin for worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and begin to experience the same Revival found at Asbury College and Texas A&M University!

Happy birthday Brother Clement, I hope you enjoyed this labor of love!

God bless Clement Gordon, a Marlin Icon and God Bless America!



The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
Fax:(254) 883-6553