That title just sounds wrong. And it probably is. But hold on and follow me down this curvy road. It might get long. But you can always go do something else if you don’t want to read this crap. However, this could be fun.
It never fails. If Duke and I are both gone at the same time, something goes wrong in paradise. Friday night, Duke and I headed out on an adventure. That left Tammy taking care of things. She did no wrong. But we got a storm that brought just a half inch of rain and several feet of wind. It blew lids off of feeders. PITA! She took care of stuff but when we got home, I got to clean out wet feed from self feeders. Fine. No problem.
Except one pen has 12 young bucks and a crippled wether in it–Feb. to May born. A couple of these are horrible livestock. I mean bad. Every breeder has them. It happens. One of these Feb. born wethers is out of a great doe (that we sold) and his twin doe kid is a bad ass. But he may be the worst goat that I have ever raised. I was excited when this doe had twins AND….AND one of them was a buck. I was wrong. He is a POS and he tries to bully and rape everything else. So, I still have him. Why? The sale barn at Perry burnt down and Enid doesn’t have a sale until August 13 and Dodge City is on August 11. I am looking forward to him, as well as a couple of others, being gone. But, tonight, I cleaned out their feeder and sorted that sorry SOB and two of his buddies off. And I put them in with two fall-born bucks that have actually seen live action.
Now, any of you that know me, know that you don’t have to wonder what my thoughts are. Just wait a minute and my thoughts will become vocal. However, I don’t understand much about the gay rights and homosexuality debates. The tranny bathroom deal, whatever. I have views. This isn’t the place or time. But, I can tell you that if you have a fall born buck kid that has not been especially aggressive, all you need to do is put a smaller aggressive buck in with him. I think that I will now call that pen–Shawshank. It didn’t take long and it turned into a prison style rape. I am sure that sorry goat is wishing that he was still in that other pen. I walked off from this arrangement, in the dark, hearing the sounds of something that sounded like the kin of the mighty Chewbacca being put under some un-due stress with a rubber mallet, a vise and some pliers. Nature has a weird way of making things work out.
Speaking of buck kids waiting to bloom. We all want that great buck kid, or doe or wether for that matter, that looks killer at day 5, at weaning, yearling and as a mature. But in reality, they all go through stages. Some genetics take a bit to come into themselves. For instance, years ago, I told a very, very good livestock guy about a certain Joe Dirt wether. I said, “He will go through a funk and when he comes out the other side, get ready. He will be good.” He questioned me during the process. But….but….in the end….Morgan Craig ended up with a reserve grand wether at Tulsa. Good genetics, good program, even better showman and a banner was hung. And I put more emphasis on the kid than the rest.
My question? The goat industry seems to be hell bent on goats looking top shelf at an early age. And then every week after that. Everybody wants the homecoming queen but we all know in the end it might be better to have that one that “filled out” (for lack of a better term) just a bit later. A decade ago, I could buy Ralph Shafer, Steve Morriss, Bob Allen and Helms goats that were out of stuff like S100, R23, Yogi, Okie, T34, etc. that didn’t look good early and it took them a bit to look the part. We hung banners at shows like Tulsa and State Fair. Then the photo craze started. I guess. NOW, we need them fat and bloomy all the time. It is like the early 90’s. We want the chicks to wear those Rockies jeans. Remember them. Rocky butts drive men nuts. But sometimes, it is like a can of biscuits. And you have to wonder, how they ever fit into them. Did anybody else notice that I started this paragraph with a question, yet I never actually asked a question? I guess that is now my question.? IDK>>>WTH>>>I think that I am dumber for having typed this. I can only imagine what readers think. Pretty sure not much care is given by the person writing about biscuits and rocky jeans. You should probably re-read that last sentence and r-e-a-d it s l o w l y .
Back in April, I might have mentioned that I spied a little 2 or 3 week old kid at Helms. There was a chicken attack that day. I hadn’t been back until now. Guess what? I still found tag 8077 in the same dang pen with a bunch of other goats. Now, the rooster is dead. And tag 8077 is Helms keeper. He is a changer. No chance at being a wether for that goat. Lucky him.
I wasn’t planning on a goat trip but Blaine Rue called and asked if Duke could help clip goats this weekend. Duke had to work till Friday evening but said that he would be there. On Friday afternoon, I decided to tag along. (Truth is, Duke’s momma didn’t want him driving by himself.) I am glad that I went for the following reasons.
1–Duke and I had a good trip together. He is a 17 year old male. I’m probably not the easiest person to live with. And, genetically speaking, he is double bred stupid. But, a great kid with a strong work ethic. He and I have always traveled well together and worked on other people’s stuff together. That hasn’t changed.
2–I hadn’t been to Quitiquae this summer. I’m real sure that not many travel brochures have touted the beauties of the greater Valley Schools area this summer. Sandburs, goat heads, 100 plus temps and the dry land cotton looked like crap or was already dead.
3–I had never slept in a green box car before. Now, I am thinking that if/when the Dragon Lady kicks my ass to the curb, I could probably live in a box care, regardless of color.
4–I like helping Blaine. As do other breeders. He can annoy people but all of us need to respect work ethic and desire. Those traits are way more important than dollars. Ironically, those exact traits make dollars and cents or sense. Whatever. I just hope that he remembers us when he makes it big. He loves to study the history and genetics of show goats. Plus, I got to hear a story about driving shirt less and a speeding ticket. I’m laughing as I type this. If you don’t know Blaine, you need to. He will remind you about the good in the industry.
5–I got to witness history. Adon Alonis sitting and not working. He might have had a cerveza. Kenneth Helms was actually working. And, at that time, I was NOT having a cerveza. I was just keeping Blaine and Duke busy. And as a result, they washed and clipped more than they were planning for one day.
6–I like Joe Ed Helms. He has always been extremely polite and nice to my family. I also like a good story.
So, here you go. I have known that Joe Ed used to raise sweet potatoes. A lot of sweet potatoes. I did not know that he is still raising them. Almost 4 acres. That’s several sweet potatoes. He has raised them over 60 years. I didn’t want to live to be 40 and he has raised sweet potatoes for over 60.
This conversation led me to ask Kenneth about growing them. This turned into an early 80s story about owning a sweet potato combine (who knew that such a machine existed), it took 10 people picking and sorting, something about the border patrol, possible fines and jail time, having to finish the season with family and friends, never again, etc, etc.
Now, here we are, 30 something years later, still looking for people to work and we have a border problem. It’s amazing how things can be in the past and still be relevant. But watch enough media and it is all the Trumpster’s fault.
7–I’m pretty positive that if you can’t have a positive interaction with young people trying to make a honest dollar and/or their way in a given business while dealing with proven, experienced people in said profession, then you need to find a different path. I do worry that our industry forgets this from time to time. Some more than others. I like a $, maybe even two, but some people taught me that priceless things are worth more. Those people would be right.
I had the privilege to talk to my son about his future as we drove home. Not much talking from Turkey to I-40, since he slept. But from then on, he talked, not a lot, but for Duke, it was a world book encyclopedia.
All I really know, is that when raising kids, regardless of politics, religions or other crap, the journey makes the end goal worth more. Tammy and I are nearing a point that we can high five and say “Job well done–times two.” And we both respect the fact, that our parents did their job. Maybe, probably, better than we did as parents. It’s hard to compare. Now, get me talking about show winners. I can do it. But, I do a way better job telling stories about the kids and their parents and how we used a dang show animal as the vehicle to propel kids into better places. Put a price on that.
I had a good day. Two good ones in a row. I think that tomorrow will also be really, really good…… If it ain’t, well then I will wish that you are like the lactose-intolerant ice cream maker. You’ll just have to trust how good your product is, or just dive in and deal with consequences. Ironically, Johnny Cash’s, “Ring of Fire” is currently playing. I love that song.
Too long? Too stupid? I would like to direct you to use that mouse by your right side. What? Who doesn’t have their mouse to the right? Only a person that has bog roll coming off the bottom and not the top. Anyways, if you don’t like it, the internet is one big pond. Go fish somewheres else.