My father Robert Rapp Sr. grew up at a time in Southeast Colorado where the Old West still existed. Cattle roundups and branding, bean planting and harvest.
The rhythm of nature dictated family life and gatherings. Ranchers and farmers did their best to make a living from a semi-arid climate. Families helped each other in times of need.
A handshake was your word. Small towns and schools were the social centers of the region. You might have to drive 50 miles just to see a doctor or go to the hospital if you were hurt or needed care.
In the summer of 1958 my father was riding saddle broncs in the rodeo circuit and ended the season near the outskirts of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He needed work and ended up breaking horses for a Scotsman who owned a local dairy.
One of the horses that he broke that fall ended up becoming a milestone for his life. That horse was a Palomino he was able to buy at the local auction who he named Alberta Minn. She had the smoothest gait and could walk for miles.
When the time came in May to go home to Rush, CO, he decided to test the hospitality of the Old West and ride her home 1,500 miles. On May 14th he saddled her up and 45 days later made it safely home. He had to contend with all sorts of conditions along the way from thunder, lightening and wind and rainstorms. Papers picked up the story and people took him in along the way and let him stay overnight.
A year later on August 7th, 1959 he and Alberta Minn participated in the annual Pikes Peak Marathon. They made the ascent in 2 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds, a Marathon Record. The only incident was Min’s bruised knee which prevented a round trip record.
Those 1,500 miles and the race up Pike’s Peak helped give my dad a strong sense of identity and self reliance, but he realized that it was people along the way that opened their homes and heart that helped him accomplish this difficult journey.
My father spent the rest of his life living that philosophy. If someone needed help he was there to offer assistance. He was a farmer/rancher, baseball & boxing coach.
The road of life is never certain. Events can happen that we have no control over whether it is the weather, an accident, or our health. These events not only impacts us, but our family and the community around us.
Thankfully, for many of us it is our family, friends, faith and even people we meet along the way that help us through difficult times.
This agency is dedicated to helping families, individuals and business manage risk and recover from the events we can’t control.