Tough Swimming

I will be honest.  The last several days have kind of kicked the heck out of me.  No, I haven’t had classes but I have been busy with this ag teaching gig.  The Shattuck school administration has been busy trying to prepare for this shit-show that we are currently experiencing.  This is a time of year when I am happy to be busy–kids working on CDEs, speeches, getting ready for convention and banquet–all while gathering calves, sheep and some goats for NEXT year.  But not this year.  We are all in new territory and this makes my mind swim.

Then,  throw in a former student that died this past weekend.  And now, shit gets tough.  Tammy and I have been working with the family.  No he didn’t die from the corona BS.  It couldn’t be that easy.  This kid wasn’t the best student ever.  But, he was one helluva of an ag mecher.  He was the kid that sold a lot of Blue & Gold, helped at every community service project, would gladly clean the shop and when he got his turn working in the shop, then he shined.  He was the best torch operator that I have dealt with and he was left-handed.  His buddies called him “The man with golden torch hand.”   When Shattuck FFA went to winning a bunch of these ag mech type deals, AJ was the offensive lineman that paved the way.  I delivered a pile of plaques to his mom that he won for us.  This stuff isn’t fun.   It’s tough swimming.

But, there have been bright moments.   AJ had built a WICKED bad ass horseshoe cross.  It won a division at Woodward District.  Then it was RESERVE GRAND overall at the State Fair of OK.  And it won a division at the Tulsa State Fair.  The Shattuck FFA donated it to the NW Cattleman’s Scholarship Ball.  It sold well.  When he was building this cross, he took up a whole 4’x8′ shop table and warned all–“I will beat anybody that touches this deal!”    13 horseshoes and about 250 horseshoe nails.  It was WICKED!!

This week, I contacted the buyer of this WICKED cross.  I told them that I needed to buy it back or build them a replacement.  They asked why, so I told them.  WICKED HUGE thanks to Austin Vanderwork and Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma for giving this piece of art back to the family.  In this part of Oklahoma, we have some wicked awesome supporters.

Now for the fun shit!!    Duke and this kid were buds.  Do I send a message?  Tammy and I along with AJ’s family decided to wait.  DAMN!!  Now, I am hoping that the corona stuff is done by June.  Then, we can go to Duke’s graduation, hug him and then tell him this news.

All of a sudden, goat sales in June don’t seem that important.

It is all going to work out in the end.  However, I am already well-known to be a surly bastard.  Now, add that my mind is swimming uphill.  Basically, here is a recipe that includes this corona shit, add this deal and I am now HOPING that we get to go to San Diego in June for a graduation, after which, a newly trained Marine may whip my ass for holding out info AND I hope that it is that easy.

I’ve had better days and better weeks but it could be worse.

Have a good one and a better tomorrow.  Here’s to horseshoes, horseshoe nails, good welders, wicked torch hands, RARE ribeyes at Cattleman’s, beards in 8th grade and being a bud.  Shamrocks dudes!!!


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