EP – 176 One To Ride The River With

He was a man to ride the river with. A long time ago, someone could get no higher compliment than to be known as one to ride the river with. It seems that this phrase came about during the time of the frontiersmen and cowboys. When exactly, no one seems to know. It might have been during the early days of the Oregon Trail or soon after that. When it came to be, it doesn’t matter, but it is a phrase that at once captures the imagination of a time long gone.

What I like about this phrase is that it conveys much information about a person when used. For example, if a group of cowboys was being pulled together to drive cattle north to the rail heads after the U.S. Civil War, having someone use that phrase to describe you might be all that was needed to get a very scarce job on a cattle drive.

Crossing a river with wagons, cattle, or horses is dangerous. There are many hazards in a river, from soft, muddy bottoms that could get a horse or cattle stuck to deceptively fast-moving currents that could float a wagon or push the livestock down the river, where they might drown. With these many hazards, someone with experience and a good head on their shoulders was of value to any group that had to travel far.

Unlike Tom Sawyer, who saw his funeral, we will not be so lucky to learn what our family and friends truly think of us. I think, therefore, we could use a phrase such as one to ride the river with as something to aspire to. This phrase encapsulates the idea that a person to ride the river with was dependable, knew a thing or two about navigating hazards, was honest, and would work well with others to complete the task.

While I will not dwell too long on my eventual demise, I will try to live or continue to live a life that when my time is over, I might earn the praise of one to ride the river with. I’ll consider it a bonus if this or something like it is how my grandchildren talk about me and my influence on them and their families.

What phrases or thoughts, past or present, inspire you to keep going, learning, and trying to lead a good life? I want to learn more about what motivates you to be the best you can be.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please share it with your friends and family and discuss living up to an aspirational phrase or saying.


If you would like to watch this episode, you can click on this link to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DKxIEr0fRHg

Affiliate Links

These are links to products and services that I highly recommend AND use. I do get a percentage of the purchases you make.

More than GrandMore Than Grand is an excellent resource for new grandparents AND parents. Listeners of The Cool Grandpa Podcast enjoy 10% off any fantastic products that More Than Grand provides by entering COOLGRANDPA10 at checkout. To visit More Than Grand, click HERE.

Intentional Grandfathering MasterclassGrandfathers have a unique and meaningful role to play in grandchildren’s development, yet they often find themselves behind the scenes, on the sidelines, or less engaged than they’d like to be. This masterclass delivers a playbook for helping grandfathers level up their influence and impact. Listeners to The Cool Grandpa Podcast can receive 40% off this course by using Cool40 at checkout.

Grandparents academyFounded in 2011 by Aaron Larsen as a way to honor his grandparents, GrandparentsAcademy.com is the world’s first and only online academy dedicated to helping grandparents grow meaningful relationships and rich legacies with their loved ones.

My Grandpa’s Grandpa

When it is time for bed, Charlie’s grandpa tucks Charlie in. Charlie asks his grandpa many questions about his grandpa’s grandpa. Charlie’s grandpa shares a magical moment as he introduces Charlie to his great-grandpa through fun memories.


This is my children’s book, created to entertain and inspire conversations about other family members that the children may not have had the opportunity to meet.



If you prefer an eBook, you can download the Kindle version by clicking on this LINK.

Recent Podcasts

EP – 183 Learning about Legacy Coalition

EP – 183 Learning about Legacy Coalition

This week, I am proud to have John Coulombe from Legacy Coalition on the podcast to discuss his work as a multi-generational ministry leader. We will dive into John's background and how he has worked with youth and seniors to build bridges of understanding between...

read more
EP – 182 I am Fine

EP – 182 I am Fine

With close to four million check-in calls, Iamfine is a passionate company that ensures that seniors and other people living alone are safe and accounted for. Paul Hammond, the founder, and his brother started this business to have an automated check-in for his mother...

read more
EP – 181 Rocking Retirement

EP – 181 Rocking Retirement

Kevin Lyles joined us this week to discuss his experience becoming a retirement coach. We discussed the difference between financial planners and wealth managers and how each helps grandparents and seniors plan for their financial future. Kevin also helped us...

read more