Leo Kuntz, R.I.P.
I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And thrown thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad,
Just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, hospitalized a brick.
I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.
- Muhammad Ali
I think Leo Kuntz could just as easily have said this about his own life - which I just learned came to an end. As a kid growing up in a tiny North Dakota town, he had to fight for respect. In Vietnam he had to fight for his life, having been shot and left for dead in a ditch. He's had to fight with prostate cancer as result of being exposed to Agent Orange. He's had to fight to save the last wild horses of North Dakota called Nokotas. He's lost fingers, been kicked by horses more times than he can remember, and endured a lifetime of bitterly cold winters. It could have made him a bitter man. Instead it made him a tough, soft-spoken, reflective cowboy. He is a hero to me. Heaven better have horses or he ain’t going.