So, so many thoughts. It’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve had any kind of spring break. Now, I guess I’ve got one until April 6.
Huge thank you to all of the crew that runs the Oklahoma Youth Expo. They were doing their very, very best to get through this show. The current climate in the world is what finally shut them down.
Sunday evening, I knew that the plug was getting ready to be pulled. I had just settled in to a steaming hot bath at the Hampton Inn. I was going to soak this bad hip and bad hoof of mine. I was sending texts to stop Shattuck showmen from heading to OYE with wether goats and steers and coordinating equipment load out for Monday morning. Then, I got a panic call that they were going to let us show commercial ewes on Sunday night! And they were starting in 15 minutes. $h!t!!!!!! Washmon has a good one in class 1. They were in a restaurant so another family got her up and started getting her ready. We converged back at the fairgrounds just in time to head to the ring. Good thing we made it. Clayton won class 1 and then ended up reserve grand. That show ended before midnight.
OYE is well known for a strict dress code for showman. It is always impressive to see the blue & gold and green & white on these well dressed exhibitors. Not, in the ewe show. Whatever clothes you had on were good enough this time.
Then, they let all the seniors come in for one class of showmanship. “Thunderstruck” played as the seniors came into the ring. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t have to hold back a tear. Pretty cool.
Meanwhile, across the street in the hog barn. A group organized an “underground” barrow jackpot. It started at 12:01 am. They “only” had about 1,100 barrows show in this show. I went and watched for awhile. This show was kind of like the movie Fight Club. The first rule of underground hog shows is that we don’t talk about underground hog shows. Even though, it was held silently, there was a big crowd to witness this event. And it went smooth.
As I went from show to show on Sunday night/Monday morning, the R.E.M. lyrics kept rolling through my skull…It’s the end of the world as we know it…. It was all kind of a surreal setting. People weren’t happy, but they weren’t mad. There were lots of jokes and discussions about coronavirus and toilet paper. All in all, I absolutely loved the way the stock show world handled this crisis. Everybody did the best that they could for the kids and worked together. It is what it is.
Okies and Texans are both having to deal with an abrupt end to the stock show year. It sucks for the kids, the breeders, the parents, the shows, the hotels, the restaurants, the vendors and the list goes on and on.
I talked to a dad on Sunday night. He was a senior in 1985 when the pseudorabies outbreak shut down the pig shows that March. Now, his daughter is a senior in 2020 when the coronavirus shut down the shows. It ain’t cool. But, it is what it is.
But they did get to have the first ever OYE ag mechanics show. I am really proud of the Shattuck kids and their work. We ended up winning the decorative division, the wildlife division and was reserve in the trailer division. Our dump trailer was named Reserve Grand overall. We got beat by a really good gooseneck trailer. The top end of the projects were really good. And then the prizes, our kids came home with 3 new Makita chop saws, a grinder set, a John Deere upright air compressor and 2 Lincoln plasma cutters as well as some cash. And we still have these exhibits to sell.
In closing, THANK YOU to OYE for doing what you do, doing what you could do during tough times and adding the ag mechanics show. Thanks.