By Nelseena Lehmann / Horseman’s Corner
Tooke. Just the name brings up memories. The family were friends of my family of different generations and different interests. We always seemed to cross paths at one point or another. Thelma Tooke, the widow of the late, Feel Tooke, was one of my grandmother’s dearest friends. They had this sign to check on each other. When they got up in the morrning and got dressed and were ready to tackle the day, each of them would open their living room curtains. This was a signal to the other that all was well. Sometimes Gram would have her porch light on and that was also a signal of some kind. They were wirey, busy little ladies. Each of them was a good cook, each of them would shovel their own side walk and drive themselves about to take care of errands. Each of them had family to check on them and they always had a smile and a short coversation to whomever seemed to be around.
We learned good lessons from these ladies. Thelma’s son Ernest was a bucking horse historian. He wrote a book that was quite interesting with stories and his own illustrations. I was a budding writer as well and Ernest would take the time to sit and visit with me. Sometimes he would attend the same poetry gatherings and the some of the same events and always had a minute for a word and a story.
Ernest’s other half was Miss Peggy. She was a character. Great story teller in her own write, phenomenal cook and grandma and sister and friend. Peggy cooked at the nursing home when I worked there as the assistant activity director. She was a cherished lady and always enjoyed her.
Toby has been trying to help and learn and coordinate all the bucking horse history for the documentary “Feek’s Vision”. I await the release with baited breath. So here’s a little side note, people ask where I am from. Well I grew up in Mayberry middle America. It was a great little town to grow up around. We had churches and bars and lots of entertainment in between.
We had a good school system and good teachers and administration that is still talked about and cherished yet today. Mr. Tuggle was our high school principal and he is so highly thought of and so many lives he influenced positively. The cooks and the janitors at the schools were just as highly thought of as were the teachers and coaches. The bus drivers were often double duty as maintenance people. Homer Harrington was loved by many and what a talented and highly thought of man as was his family. I had the pleasure of attending school and graduating with Homer’s only son Corbit who is an attorney.
Toby was a student just like the rest of us, but now he is a radio personality and he is a big fan of sports and Red Dirt music and of course Bucking Horses.
The point I would make to all of this is that it truly does take a village to raise a kid. And boy did I come from a great village and reap the benefits of the village. I would dare say that Toby would agree. We came from different families, but a very similar raising and our village certainly had the best in store and all the others that came before us and many of us that have come along later are beneficiaries of the village.
The Tooke family has contributed lots to the village, they are known in circles large and small and have created a legacy all their own in the roughstock world. Thank goodness for the vision, the dedication and for the caretakers of the vision and promotion of the industry. Very proud to be able to bring you the story.
Feek’s Vision is the story of Feek Tooke and the Tooke Bucking Horses. This champion-producing bloodline significantly impacted the history of rodeo and continues to play a strong role today. Hear stories told by such rodeo greats as Larry Mahan, Ty Murray, Deb Copenhaver, Mel Potter, Harry Vold and more. Production is in final stages, and the film will be released Spring 2020. To support continued production of the film, please preorder your DVD at feeksvision.com. Copyright Ken Howie 2019.