In Texas, whether you are two-stepping, herding cattle, or sitting in the summer heat enjoying some barbecue, you will rarely find Texans without their boots. And the finest boots in Texas were made by Houston legend, Rocky Carroll.
This week, after a long and colorful life, Rocky died. The moment I met Rocky, I was immediately struck by his swagger. He looked like an outlaw out of an old western movie.
He was proud of the fact that he worked 25 years with the Harris County Sheriff's Department.
Through the course of his life, Rocky also handcrafted boots for seven Presidents, celebrities, the Queen, the Pope, and many others.
I once performed a small wedding ceremony for Rocky and his new bride, Judge Denise Collins. And right before the wedding started, in walked Rocky's friend, President George H.W. Bush. Rocky knew everybody.
And while the walls of his shop, which really looked like an old barn, were adorned with photos of famous people, most of his customers were regular folks like me. Rocky Carroll was larger than life and uniquely Texan to the core.
We will miss our dear friend, bootmaker for the Presidents, bootmaker for the stars, and bootmaker for regular folks.
And that is just the way it is.