Yes, I recently saw both of the orginal Oklahoma goat gurus. Who? The L and the W in L&W boer goats. Who you ask? That would be Don Lenhart and Sonny Wagner.
It’s time for a bit of Okie goat history. Back in the late nineties, these two old geezers would sit around at Don’s country store at Camp Houston (look that one up on a map). Sonny had goats to eat weeds. He had a pile of spanish/nubian does. Don was always looking for the next great thing–butcher shop, raise pigs, raise parakeets, greenhouses, etc. Well, now, he thought these boer goats were the next big thing. So, Don talked Sonny into going with him to Texas to buy some goats. They came home with a couple of purebred does and a common buck. A year or two later, they went back and bought a young buck that was stilling nursing his momma.
These two crotchety old bastards would now show up at every county stock show and tell Jack Staats and I that, and I quote “All of you ag teachers have your heads up your asses. You need to be buying goats for kids to show. Goats are going to take over the country show circuit. you better wake up!” This would have been about 2001 & 2002. They took that little buck prospect named Rooster and grew hiim up and showed him. He was grand at the state fair of OK and the National Western. They didn’t know how to show, clip or trim hooves, so they conned Barclay Holt into helping them. He always smelled like a buck afterwards.
In 2003, Kela, Danielle Litzenberger and Kourtney Childers talked me into getting wether goats to go to Phoenix. Great. We bought two wethers for each girl. This was the first year that they had a show at Tulsa. So we went. And won a bunch of classes. We didn’t go to Phoenix as we all had the flu. In 2004, Kela and Danielle wanted goats again. We ended up buying some more wethers from Don & Sonny. We take 3 wethers to Tulsa. All 3 were a set of triplets. They won 3 classes and Danielle was reserve grand. One of these won the state fair of OK. Now, fast forward to the spring of 2005 and they have the first ever wether goat show at Woodward district. Kela was grand and Danielle was reserve grand. The next year, we move to Fairview and have to show at Enid. Kela has grand and Danielle has grand at Woodward, both with wethers from these two genetic giants. Kela then ends up reserve grand at 2006 OYE.
In the fall of 2006, Kela, Milligan and I had the first online goat sale on oklahomashowgoats.com. L&W goats were the featured items. Fred Slater and I washed, sheared, sorted, showed and promoted these wethers for them with NO pay or commission. Milligan took the photos and this first online sale produced an OYE premium sale wether for Chance Greenroyd. Don didn’t like this damn “video” sale on the computer. “I can sell wethers off the farm for $1,000”, he said, although he never had before that sale or since.
I made a trip to Mike Kelly’s in the fall of 2005 and saw what wether goats were supposed to look like. I told Don that there was a buck or two called “900 and Out Of Bounds” and he needed to look at these genetics. “No papers? They can’t be very damn good.” He told me that just because we had done some winning didn’t mean that I knew what a good goat should look like.
The next year, Don called wanting to know when we were going to have another “video” sale. I told him I wasn’t doing his work for him unless he could ask nicely. They never sold another goat online. Poe Cat kept dealing with him and managed to find a class winner at 2010 OYE for Danielle.
They don’t raise any goats now, but in true prophetic form they saw what was coming. Staats pulled his head out of his ass (kind of) and managed to win Tulsa with his daughter. I’m still messing with these dang animals. The jury is still out if my head is in or out. These two prophets were right about the rest of the country wanting goats. They had the best herd in Oklahoma. Period.
I once offered Sonny $150 for a wether goat that was loaded in a gooseneck trailer bound for the Dodge City sale barn. He said that “I was a dumb shit to pay that much for a goat. If I didn’t know better I would think that you were drunk. But hurry up and write the check before you forget and back out.” I paid him. Took the goat to a student. It was reserve grand at Woodward in 2005 and won a class at OYE that year. Yep, I’m the dumb one.
Sonny was at the Woodward goat show. He came up to me after the grand drive and handed me two quarters to “go buy a shave because I looked like crap and still didn’t know anything.” He then gave the Dragon Lady a big hug. He’s good about that. Sonny has always been fun to be around. He still wears his tape measure suspenders. And he likes to tell stories about myself, Fat Fred and Milligan looking at goats, drinking beverages and looking at the brahma bull. Don’t ask.
Don was at the heifer show today, watching his grandkids show cows. I got to see him for a minute…or two. I’m still a dumb bastard and he doesn’t mind reminding me. He sold the last of his does to Brandon Morgan a year or two ago. Don yelled at the cattle judge after the show. “Kennedy, just because you like to hear yourself talk reaons doesn’t mean that I want to listen to you. I’ve got places to go. Hurry up and quit talking them three times.” Classic.
Just look at the names mentioned in this blog. Sonny and Don had an influence on all of the Oklahoma show goat industry. Still do. I’d bet if you talked to Kela, some of her favorite memories are of going to the Camp Houston Country Store. Have Rhea heat up a sandwich for her while listening to Don, Sonny & I argue. Then go look at little goats. She just happened to win Woodward, Enid, the State Fair of OK and reserve grand at OYE with goats that Don and Sonny gave to her. Yes, gave to her. Why? Because, and I quote “You’re dad is a dumb ass and you work hard. Make us famous.” I still take that as a compliment.
If you ever get the chance to get near Freedom, Ok. Stop in and ask for Don or Sonny. They won’t be far away and it is well worth your time. If you want more stories, call Fred, Kennedy, Poe, Milligan or Staats. They all have a story or two about these clowns.
Oh yeah!! Speaking of seeing them both. I saw a picture of Tyke holding fresh delivered twin babies this morning. Tyke and Mandy have twins on the ground–a boy and a girl. Congrats to them. Big Bill and I look forward to helping the Greer’s manage these offspring from young children to adulthood. These children will have lots of positive influences. Yes!!!