Monday, September 1, 2008
The first southern gentleman I ever personally met was my Uncle Hight. He and Aunt Dorothy had a ranch just outside Evanston, Wyoming, on the way to the High Uintas. Uncle Hight was a transplant from the Carolinas whose ancestors were all very much on the south of that Mason-Dixon line, and listening to him as a child was the first taste I had of the realities of the Civil War, that there were actually people who'd been on the southern side of it. It was all so very real.
He was the first person to sit me down on a milking stool and teach me to milk a cow, the first to show me baby lambs, the first to put me on the back of a seasoned old mare.
I loved going to their ranch in the summertime, loved Aunt Dorothy's boiled raisin cookies with chocolate chips washed down with fresh milk (okay, the fresh milk took some getting used to), their horses, the interesting things in the ranch house and the barn. I loved all of it. They were radiant and loving as a great aunt and uncle, and he managed to fit into the wilds of Wyoming in spite of being a Carolina boy.
Hight Moore Proffit.
Hight Moore Proffit was not just a rancher, or a Dixie charmer. He was a servant of the people. He served eight years in the Wyoming State Senate and two years in the House of Representatives. His wife, Dorothy Ardell Marsh Proffit, succeeded him in the Senate when he was unable to complete his term due to ill health.
He died January 30, 2002, at the age of 90.