It used to be an exciting thing to get the mail. Go gather up the envelopes that were sent to that address and bring them to the house. Back in the day, it was rare to get junk mail. If there was an envelope in the mailbox, it was either a letter, bill or a check. Or once a month, the yellow outlined magazine known as “National Geographic”. Or the swimsuit SI issue with Kathy Ireland or Elle McPherson on the cover. They didn’t have to do body paint to make them look good back then. Good stuff.

I remember a time or two in Shattuck back in the eighties, that we might have put a neighbors’s cat in the mailbox. It was a really nice mailbox. I don’t know why the cat didn’t seem real happy when the door was opened. It was all Jake’s idea, not mine. But I would do it again, if given the chance.

Now, we click on an icon to see what kind of mail we have gotten. Did we get an actual E-mail or just some spam crap? I have numerous e-mail accounts. One for work, one that needs to be extinct and one that I get all kinds of good stuff sent to me from people all over the world. The bad thing about e-mail is that there are people that look forward to getting an e-mail from ME. Why? Because if I forward something it is probably funny, political, or just plain wrong and you will lose a few minutes of your day laughing.

Sometimes, the pony express shows up. Today, a great American LEGEND delivered an envelope to our little piece of paradise. The great American was none other than Big Jim Rhodes. No, he wasn’t riding a Shetland. But he did bring mail. The envelope was addressed to Duke and was sent from the Oklahoma Youth Expo. It was a class money check and a premium sale check. It was interesting to see the break down of the money that went into the premium sale check. The check could have been for a smooth hundred dollars and we would still show without complaints. We do this because we like it, not because we are trying to make it cash-flow. It is real evident why I buy all of our tires, Kelln and Western Equipment’s, at K&S tires and I finance stuff throught Farm Credit. I highly recommend everybody do some trading with these places. Had some money from an old hog jock–Mike Robertson. I’ll need to buy him a cold beverage when the time is right. There was also money from a couple of oilfield industries such as Aaron Engine and Chesapeake Energy. There might have been money from a Papa and a Mimi included. Come to think of it, I could probably be convinced to buy all of these a cold beverage, maybe two.

Industrial Ignition & Engine Corp. from Hennessey, Ok was another company included. If you aren’t familiar with this company then you need to be. These people understand what the stock show game is all about–KIDS. Their daughter is why they do this and she is as cool as a Mercedes. If you ever want to discuss the importance of stock shows, talk to the Hardin family. They get it.

Also had some money included from a fellow showman. People ask me why we do what we do. We like kids and we like good animals. No other reason. It’s the little things that add up. Tammy and I love watching kids grow up in this program. Kela is currently “Living the Dream” because of her upbringing in the livestock industry. As I type this, she is in route to Australia.

We truly believe in passing it on to the next one in line. You earn your way to the front of this line through hard work. This person already had moved to the fore-front and didn’t need to put money on Duke. None-the-less, the gesture is appreciated. Her goats had already been picked out because of hard work and a dedication to achieving goals that is truly inspiring. I’m not going to name any more names, I’ll just say “Thank you”. And I mean thank you to all that support our junor livestock exhibitors.

Everybody likes getting mail, snail mail or e-mail, we like it. We should all remember the good old days and how exciting it was to actually get mail in the mailbox next to the road. Take time to walk to the mailbox and open it. There might be a check there. Maybe not. If a cat comes screaming out like it had turpentine on it’s ass, Jake did it.


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