Last night, I recieved word that Tom Lamle’s father had passed away.  I talked to Tom this morning and he and the family were fine.  Keep his family in your prayers.  Tom was in Okeene helping to take care of his father’s stuff and still managed to make it to Jared Bedwell’s memorial service.  Jeff Bedwell and Tom grew up together.  

     It is kind of neat to look at the successful livestock people and who/where they grew up and see the ties that they have with other successful livestock people.  Sometimes, it is an ag teacher/ county agent that is the common link, other times a judging team, sometimes a breeder and sometimes it is nothing more than geopgraphy and a stiff competition.  Whatever the driving force, no matter how big of competitors, when there is a loss in the livestock show world, people come together.  They give comfort, time, money, whatever is needed.  Although, we all want to win, we appreciate our competitors.  

     Today’s memorial service was impressive on numerous levels.  First and foremost, was the composure of the family in a time of great loss.  Jennifer, the little sister, gave remarks about her brother.  She is in high school and this is the 2nd time for her to do this–this fall.  She shouldn’t be a pro at it, but she now is.  The shear number of people was huge and it was a who’s who of the livestock world.  You would have had a hard time finding somebody to clip a calf today. Or teach ag or be in the county agents offices of most of OK or OSU for that matter.  It was also impressive to see the lives he had touched.  Young, old, it didn’t matter.  There were numerous young kids that had been influenced and they were missing their mentor.  There is a bovine or two that will be heard from come March.  

     I enjoyed seeing former students, but would have liked it to be on better terms.  One in particular.  He was an outstanding student that excelled in ag mechanics.  He showed sheep with success, but he should have been a cattle showman.  He was very good friends with the family.  He was never a good public speaker, but he stood in front of hundreds and talked about his friend without wavering.  Public speaking will always come in handy, even when you don’t want it to.  I watched him deliver his words and I chuckled.  Not because of what he was saying, but because of a thought of him and Jared.  Those two boys “might” have made a stencil that they used to spray paint a set of gonads on the deer on deer crossing road signs.  It was quite funny, to me anyways, to see these signs with the anatomically correct buck deer on the yellow & black road signs.  I am real sure that those boys still knew where the stencil was for that stunt.  

     I’m ready for sunnier days, happier thoughts, and well, some competitive action in the show ring.  

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