Memorial 1 - Rose
A Tribute to Rose
Every year since 1998, I had photographed Rose and her companion while traversing up and down the back roads in Wabaunsee County along the Eastern edge of the Kansas Flint Hills.
In June 2002, it became apparent that the two friendly horses that I had fondly petted and talked to, who had posed and stood so still for me while the sun was setting or during a warm Fall afternoon, were no longer greeting me as a pair, but as one, as I got out of my Jeep, camera in hand.
I clicked the shutter and took a few photos on that day, paused and looked for the other horse. My eyes searched every acre. As I was about to depart, I noticed a solitary white cross along the roadside, and I knew that something had happened.
My heart ached. The long, cold Winter lingered in my mind. It was a long drive home. I looked for all the photos that I had taken of this pair, but I couldn't seem to get them assembled together.
Today, I received word that Rose was shot and killed by someone on January 20, 2002, one day after my birthday.
To the individual who did this: I hope you will someday be able know and fathom how much that horse meant to me. It was a joy to me to photograph Rose and to share her photos with the World. I dare not imagine how empty the family who cared for her must feel now that one of their members is gone. I am forever grateful to them for allowing her to pasture where all of us who drove by the field could see and enjoy her. But no longer will I or others have the opportunity of sharing Rose, who was as much a part of the Kansas Flint Hills as the blue stem grasses that she grazed upon.
Rose was a beautiful mare, peaceful and comforting. I will miss seeing her standing tall in the sunset, as I did that very first time in the Kansas Flint Hills.
by Don Palmer 31 August 2002