When I took this teaching gig that was supposed to last one year and now I am going on year 5, I bought an office chair for the ag building. A few fat ass seniors broke the back of that comfy chair two years ago. A senior last year patched it together. But this once comfortable chair is now toast.
So, my teaching partner, the Dragon Lady and myself traveled to Enid today to find Mrs. Abbey an office chair and myself a chair. We ended up at Staples. They had a wide selection, in all price ranges and colors. I sat in every single chair. Test drive, if you will. (I got thrown out of a awl mart years ago for test driving bicycles. I could try on underwear, but test drive a bicycle…no, no)
While I was sitting in the chair that I ended up buying, an older gentleman was strolling through the store and was also looking at office chairs. He wore a cowboy hat, boots, buckle and was chewing on a cigar. We talked briefly about office chairs. He had one at the ranch that the upholstery was wore out and it was cheaper to buy a new one than get it fixed.
This man sat down in a chair that I highly recommended and we began to talk. He asked where I was from. I told him Shattuck. He said that he had a friend that used to live south of Shattuck and now lives in Arnett. I know her. I told him that I grew up showing calves with her kids and actually had her granddaughter in class.
He asked what I taught. Told him Ag-Ed. He then told me that his best memories were growing up in the 4H club. He was even getting ready to donate land to the local 4H club. The doctor that is his fence neighbor wants to buy the land, but no, he is just going to donate it. “He has enough land and I want to give it to somebody because I can.”
We then began a conversation about judging livestock. He told stories about winning some little contest in Chicago back in the late 50s. He even won a pen/pencil set for being high individual. He then went to the great cow college in Stillwater, OK and majored in Animal Husbandry. He was on the livestock judging team there but he got in a little bit of trouble and they had to remove him from the team. He said that it worked out because it let a kid from Leedey, OK move on to the traveling team. He said, “That kid went on to operate a heckuva bank out in western Oklahoma.” I said that I know that man.
The women walked off and left the two of us sitting in office chairs in Staples. We then talked about feedlots, Boone Pickens, horses, government trade wars, goats, grain prices, the ag collapse of the 80s and the importance of 4H and FFA. He had a couple of brood mares that he didn’t have the registration papers on, so he was buying a notebook so that he could write down the pedigrees so that he didn’t forget them. Not one time did I get a sense that this guy was full of crap. Just a guy looking at an office chair that found somebody willing to talk and listen. I hope that he felt the same way when he left.
We exchanged pleasantries, shook hands and he headed to the checkout. I then bought two office chairs for our classroom.
Without a doubt, this was the best 30 plus minutes that I have ever spent in an office chair in Staples in Enid, OK. As I drove westward towards home, I spent a lot of time thinking about that conversation. Nothing more, just thinking. All in all, I think that I will call this a good day. Actually, a damn good day.