Pioneer Family Cemetery Painting

Shade on the Mexican Border

“Shade on the Mexican Border”

The Pioneer Family Cemetery was started over one hundred years ago, in 1906 with the death of John Wells. It lies about 8 miles from the Mexican border northeast of Douglas, Arizona. Our family’s Cemetery Association spruces up the 70+graves annually for Memorial Day reunions. On one such occasion, a group of us were working there when a cowboy rode by. He’d been out checking his fences with his dogs and a .44 colt in his holster. While he stopped to talk to us, two of his dogs found a small patch of shade under a nearby bush but one dog staked out the shade under the horse as if it was his own territory. I asked the cowboy to pose for me and did this painting of him. He lives on an adjacent ranch and agreed to keep an eye on the cemetery for us, or as he said, he’d be glad to ‘neighbor’ us.