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Except from Bright Side Christmas
Posted By: Chris Boleman   12/30/2013

Have you ever contemplatedthe month of December?  Before readingon, stop and picture December in your mind. What does it look like?  What arethe first things that come to mind?  Letssee if my answer at the end of this introduction is close to yours, but beforereading the conclusion, read below first.

December is by far the most intriguing month of theyear.  No other month offers thedichotomy of our impression of it versus the reality of what December really is.  It is a month full of short days, longnights, cold weather, lifeless trees, and even animals are hibernating burieddeep out there somewhere. I mean really think about that.  Isn’t it true?

Well, that is where the inspiration came for thisbook,
Bright Side Christmas.  As Christians, we have made a conscience decision to celebrate life, family, and hope through the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. 

And through his birth, we have made the decision tocelebrate it at the highest of levels. Offices close, businesses go on hiatus, and the government shuts down.  Why?  Because it is a time of celebration.  A time offamily, friends, parties, food, fellowship, hope, inspiration, and mostimportantly, LOVE.  Love for all!

Excerpt from Lead on the Bright Side
Posted By: Chris Boleman   3/4/2013

  When I sat down to try and determine how I would develop this book project, I wrestled with two distinct concepts. One was leadership development and the other was being purposively positive in everything I do. As I made notes and started writing, I would lean toward one direction one day and then the next day, I would gravitate the other direction.

Many times I would just leave this project all together for weeks at a time because I wanted so badly to write about both of these ideas. I would wake-up in the middle of the night and ponder which one do I do?

Then, on September 25, 2012, it came to me through Ricki 4 (you will read more about him in this book). This was the darkest of days because this was the day Randi and I decided it was time to put Ricki down. He had fought cancer for sixteen months, but the little man just couldn’t do it anymore. As we struggled through the day, the idea came to me to combine both of these concepts into one. What a remarkable idea, leadership and positivity. I knew immediately that this was the direction I would go.

My goal for this book is fairly simple. I want readers to build on the power of positive thinking and be the best leader they can be. In addition, it is my hope that this is a book that can be read by kids, adults, parents, teachers, or really anyone willing to learn in an effort to better themselves.

The book includes some poems that will make you think in a positive and motivational way (I hope). I can say that it does do that for me. We have the tendency to judge others and think on the dark side of things. Hopefully, this will help us focus on laughs, smiles, friendships, love, and faith.

So, here we are. I guess it is kind of funny. It took a dark day of depression to lead me to this point and help me find the brightest of lights to develop this book project.

Excerpt from Winners Don't Whine, They Hustle
Posted By: Chris Boleman   12/14/2011

  At the time of this writing, it has now been five days since his peaceful passing on April 12, 2011 at the family homestead in Bertram, TX. It was critically important to me that I try my best to write this section immediately following his funeral because it is my way of grieving and I simply did not want to forget some of the stories that have been shared with me at the funeral, through email, phone calls, and even through Facebook during this short time period.

As I get older, I have always thought that the older people live, the less people remember about them and the impact they had on the world. I am certain that each of us have seen that over time. I guess that is the “only the good die

young saying.” In the back of my mind, I wondered the same thing about Gauke. Had he faded from the spotlight? Would people remember the truly impactful things he did for Texas agriculture?

The answer to those questions was unequivocally, “NO.” People from all ages and geographic regions came to say goodbye to a man they s­o dearly loved. Some of the words and phrases used to describe Dr. Tanksley included integrity, respect, spirituality, work ethic, energy, enthusiasm, passion, teacher, servant leader, and someone that cared deeply for every human being he ever touched.

I did ponder how many stories I should share in this section about Gauke. I know that some people like to keep their stories to themselves as their own memories and I wrestled with how much I should tell. At the end of the day, my decision was to share as many as I possibly could that I thought would be relevant to you, the reader. Selfishly, I chose to include these stories because quite frankly, I didn’t want to forget them. So, I hope you enjoy this section of the book, dedicated to Dr. T.D. Tanksley, Jr.; a man also affectionately known as Doc, T.D., Tank, D, Daddy, and to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, Gauke.

Excerpt from Big Hands, Big Heart
Posted By: Chris Boleman   12/14/2011

  On Friday, July 22, 2005, I was wrapping up the week in my office. It was close to 5 p.m. and I was trying to answer some final emails and get my weekend folder ready to go home. It was pretty quiet in Scoates Hall. As a matter of fact, the hallway lights were already turned off and the outside doors had been locked. Most everyone in the building had already begun their weekend. I was following their lead. I was shutting down my computer when my office phone rang, and I answered it. On the other end of the line was a man who asked for someone other than me. I politely responded stating that he had the wrong number. He said, “Well, this is Howard Hesby and I need to find him.”

I laughed in my head and said, "Dr. Hesby, this is Chris Boleman. What number are you trying to call?" Once I said it was me, he completely forgot who he was looking for. He instead asked me how I was doing and we talked for probably five to ten minutes. As we talked, he told me that he noticed I was judging the Saddle & Sirloin Steer and Heifer Futurity that weekend at Dick Freeman Arena. He went on to say that he knew that event was something I always wanted to judge and that he was proud of me.

We talked a little while longer, he asked about Randi, my brothers, and the rest of the family. At the end of the call, he told me he would not be at the steer and heifer show that weekend because he was heading to a national meeting. I told him to enjoy the trip and that we needed to catch up sometime soon. Before hanging up, he repeated how proud of me he was and that he really appreciated the Boleman and the Tanksley families. He asked that I tell everyone hello.

I had no idea that would be the last conversation that I had with Dr. Hesby. A wrong number, of all things, facilitated this conversation. I will obviously never forget that conversation. What I will specifically remember about the conversation is him saying that he was proud of me. When he said that to anyone, you knew, and still know, he meant it.

That weekend the folks at the livestock show asked me to announce to the audience that Dr. Hesby had passed away. I made the announcement during the American Heifer Division Champion Drive. For a person like me who likes to speak, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. What I distinctly remember about the announcement was the moment of silence I requested. Youth had their cattle in the arena, the next class was waiting to enter the ring, and people were moving around fitting their livestock, but at that moment, all stood still. Dick Freeman Arena was literally silent and it was as if time stood still. I will never forget that moment when everything seemed to stand still.

When I think of Dr. Hesby, many things come to mind. However, one quote that I think describes him best is, ““They have to know that you care before they care what you know.” Someone much smarter than I am said this long before me, but it is a perfect description of Dr. Hesby and who he was. Thanks for all the memories Dr. Hesby, and thanks for making a difference in every person’s life that you touched. You will forever be missed, but never forgotten.



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