Editor's Note: Firehouse Associate Editor Susan Nicol was sent to Texas following the tragic blast on Wednesday night. Stay with Firehouse.com for exclusive stories and more. Find full coverage of the West, Texas, Tragedy here.
Rita Jones, a dear friend of the Uptmor family, wrote this poem in honor of Buck Uptmor who was named an honorary firefighter by West. After getting horses to safety, he helped pull lines and manned a hoseline at the plant explosion.
Uptomor was named an honorary firefighter along with West community member Jimmy Matus over the weekend. Matus helped build the department's engine.
"I Guess God Just Needed a Good Cowboy"
It was a breezy April evening
In a little Texas town
No one could have imagined
What would soon be going down
Folks went about their living
As they had the day before
One of them was a cowboy
By the name of Buck Uptmor
Now, Bucky was a cowboy
He'd Just turned 45
He was a husband, father, brother, son
With three kids and a wife
A drummer and a jokey
As a friend, he was the best
And everybody knew him
In that little of West
He loved wolves and guns and huntin'
And ridin' bulls and steers
Made his living building fences
That'll be around for years
We ask, "Why couldn't he be selfish?"
He didn't have to go
But, he had to save those horses
Though he knew that plant might blow
Buck now rides the range in Heaven
It's a hero's death he died
And if I know Buck, he's teachin'
All the Angels how to ride
Let his mother's words bring comfort
For although it seems unfair
She said, "I guess God just needed a good cowboy up there."