Below is a copy of my mother's weekly column Just Talkin' from the December 13, 1984 issue of The Jackson County Advocate, the newspaper my parents own.
"This is the story of a white horse with a rainbow mane which I thought I would share with our readers.
"Among the many characters we have living in our barn is a special individual, By Jingo, a 16-year-old purebred Arabian gelding which we purchased for our son, Joe, in 1973.
"What is referred to as a Geym-Nizzam cross, Jingo was born on Friendship Farm, Moline, Ill., owned by the Hewitts of John Deere fame. Geym, an Arabian stallion, was one of the favorites on that farm and his progeny have done very well in the Arabian horse world, both in and out of the show ring.
"Now, through a twist of fate, or imagination, By Jingo, under a pseudonym, has become the most popular of the Geym offspring. Not because of his show ring career or his ability to produce champions, but because he is himself, a true individual with the beautiful eye of the Arabian breed and a very free spirit.
"Jingo's overall conformation has made him anything but a favorite of the judges in halter classes. He has a lovely head, and expressive eyes, but his legs are a wee bit short.
"The regimentation of the horse show ring does not appeal to Jingo at all. If he is in a Western pleasure class, he might decide he wants to be an English pleasure horse at that moment. If he is being shown in an English pleasure class he usually decides it is time to take things easy and go like a nice Western pleasure horse.
"He has won a couple of good top ribbons in versatility classes where he was shown both Western and English. He thinks changing tack in the middle of a class is great sport, thoroughly enjoying the added commotion and special attention.
"For three years Joe and Jingo carried the flag at the Greater Kansas City Arabian Horse association's annual All-Arab horse show. Again, this was different and was fun and game time.
"The first year he lived with us, I discovered Jingo loves music. His favorite song is one from the 1920's which includes his name. It goes something like 'Oh, by gee, by gum, by gosh, by jingo---!'
"I used this song to my advantage that first spring when the kids talked me into riding Joe's horse in the Jack Benny-Doris Day fun class at the Kansas City show. This is a class for people over the age of 39, definitely not taken seriously.
"Ole Jing and I had a real good time that night and took a third-place ribbon. The judges later commented they had never seen a horse enjoy itself so much. What they didn't know was that animal was laughing because I was singing to him every step of the way.
"Within two years two other Geym-bred horses joined our expanding string of barn residents, Storm Cloud, a Geym grandson, and a young colt, Gentleman Geym, a great-grandson. Jingo became 'Uncle Jingo' and traveled to horse shows with either or both of his nephews.
"At one show in Springfield, Ill., we made the mistake of placing Storm Cloud and Jingo in the same English pleasure class. Everything was fine until Jingo realized Storm Cloud and Annette were in the same class on the opposite side of the show ring from him and Joe.
"After a real western-type sliding stop and a classic 180 degree roll-back, Jingo was going in the opposite way of the ring from all the other horses. He wanted to trot alongside his stable-mate.
"When in 1979, after working all night to save Storm Cloud from a siege of colic to no avail, Annette and the veterinarian made the difficult decision to put Storm down in that fateful moment the only sound in the barn was a very soft nicker of farewell from Jingo to his good friend. An act which still brings tears to our eyes.
"A week later Uncle Jing came out of retirement to hop in the trailer to go to a horse show with Gentleman Geym. His true capacity was to be a babysitter for the much younger horse, but he had his usual play time in the show ring by pulling a few didoes in front of the judge.
"There is not a latch or a knot which Jingo cannot figure out. I have made the mistake of showing my Arab, Kasem, how to open and close gates. Now we do not dare put the two of them in the pasture at the same time. Frequently they have been found wandering around free. They learned real fast how to pool their talents.
"If you hear a loud noise in the barn at night you can bet it is Jingo playing soccer with his grain bucket. No matter how secure you think the bucket is on the wall, that Houdini will find a way to get it loose.
"The best thing about Jingo's character is that he is very loving and, if asked nicely, will do most anything you request of him. With his head and tail carried high, he is always looking for something new.
"Early last spring our spritely gelding went for a three-month visit to a stable in Raymore where he was under the care of the then eight-year-old Coban Rudish. The arrangement was great for both of them. Coban liked to dole out the carrots, and Jingo relished eating them.
"Their friendship prospered under the watchful eye of Coban's father, Rich Rudish, a stylist for Hallmark Properties, and a renowned equine artist. One of his most recent art works includes the sculpting of the Breyer figure of 'Sham' from the book 'King of the Wind' by Marguerite Henry.
"Rich's artistic eye and knowlege of horses has made him one of the most sought-after judges in the Arabian division of the American Horse Shows Association.
"It was not too long before Jingo's fun-loving dispostion caught the imagination of the artist and our horse became the inspiration for 'Starlite,' the white horse with the rainbow mane in the Rainbow Brite series seen in toy departments and on televison this week.
"Rich says Jingo's personality, physical appearance and individuality enabled him to create the little horse used in books and in the MattelŠ Toys Rainbow BriteŠ series which is the best selling first-year toy offering in their history.
"When we look at the flat work done by Rich, we who know Jingo, can see many of the personality traits which make that equine member of our family just a little bit different from any other horse.
"So, in a very unique way, the spirit of Uncle Jingo, as captured by an understanding artist, has become special to thousands and thousands of children.
"In this specific time of the year for giving, we are overjoyed to share in the love of our 'Star,' By Jingo.
AGGIE (Aggie Turnbaugh)