He’s a “Mac County boy” and one the county can be  proud of. He grew up in McDonald County, attended her schools and signed up and went into the Navy.

David Williams no longer lives in McDonald County but still carries the qualities that that County takes pride in. Father to two sons, he listens to a different drummer. Six feet and seven inches, with back injuries that dictate some activities are out of the question for him, even at a relatively young age.

He and the love of his life were on their way to Devil’s Den some years ago when  their eyes were brought to a palomino in trouble. Fastened in a pen barely large enough for her to turn around, she had serious injuries that were not being attended. Putting their honeymoon on hold they turned around, went back home and emptied piggy banks and brought all the cash they could collect and bought “Lucky.”

Did she know how lucky she was? Veterinarians appreciated the fact it was going to be a long haul to bring her back to a life worth living. You may recall local newspapers carried her picture and the story.

He is still saving the lives of those in need. Unable to hold down a full-time job, he and his bride found a paradise for mistreated animals. A mobile home had been abandoned for five years or more in the middle of 40 acres in a county north of “Mac” County, and David and his life partner, with the help of their sons, restored the residence, the barn, the grounds, making it more than liveable. Since moving in they brought Lucky and added to their family a pair of wild turkeys and, at this writing, about 11 horses to keep Lucky company, as well as dogs, cats and a pig. Not a Vietnamese pig, but one weighing about 4 or 5 pounds and with a lot of TLC their pet pig – who considers himself a pet,  now weighs about 700 pounds.

I received a text from him yesterday – a message with controlled rage. Someone had dumped a dog (is she a hound? Hard to tell). Maggie’s bones barely held together with the skin looking like it belonged to a 50 year old dog, not one barely a year old.  It’s probably a good thing he didn’t witness the dumping — good for the dumper. They brought her home to their peaceful kingdom and the message I received this morning was one of relief.  “She’s so glad to see us this morning, followed me everywhere I went as if she was afraid I, too, was going to abandon her.”

David and his family, one son just entering high school, and one just finished, have enjoyed beating their own path. No HBO, no internet, instead their time is spent around their own campfire, building a bridge across the wet weather spring-branch, repairing fences, enjoying their neighbors, a life that could compare to one of 60 years ago.

Tender hearted? You better believe it. Reane, his bride, as a nurse practitioner and lucky is the patient she is assigned to. Being invited to share their lifestyle is a privilege.

Lucky did well, she became a mother and it’s hard to tell if she realized what good fortune was hers when David and Reane spotted her in that pen. There are days when David can’t work on fences or build bridges but he bides his time and is out there in all kinds of weather as soon as his back will allow. In this day and age when our young people will announce they are bored, they are frustrated, it is a relief to visit David and his family at their “peaceful kingdom.” It’s good to take a fishing pole down to their ponds or visit with the latest new kitten or orphan. This McDonald County boy has stepped off the beaten path and made a life for his family and himself. No boredom, no frustration, just a controlled anger when they witness a neglected or abused, mistreated victim and pride in and joy when they are able to report, “She’s so glad to see the morning and that we are still here.” I look forward to my next visit with this loving household.  

Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.