Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Just Visitin'
Oct 10, 2002

Ran onto a good old rancher this afternoon on my way home from the sale. He asked how calves were selling, and my report was about $10-$14 per hundred less than last year, but about $18 per hundred better than three years ago. Several years ago I visited with this same gentleman at a cafe the day after he had sold his calves. It was late in the fall, and prices had deteriorated quite a bit as the season had progressed. His calves sold on a real low-market type of day. He was feeling kinda down in the mouth, but pretty soon got a big ol' grin on his face. He said, "Next year cattle prices are not going to be worth a darn, and everybody will be feeling bad. It won't bother me though, because I'll already be used to it." What a great attitude. Someone else was quoting this same cattleman after a particularly cold nasty calving season. Everyone was comparing sad calving tale woes, and this feller just said, "No matter how hard I try, I can't kill 'em all."

Somehow the subject of my father-in-law (who passed away last May) came up in the conversation. One champion fiddle-playing wheat farmer used to say that my father-in-law was the most level-headed person he knew. Tobacco juice ran out of both sides of his mouth exactly even.

My father-in-law used to do a little bit of rodeoing in his younger days. One time he had signed up for the calf-roping event. He backed his horse into the roping box, and had a big loop slung over his shoulder. He nodded for his livestock, and the horse bombarded out fast after the disappearing calf. Somehow the loop inadvertantly hung up on a fence post, and as the rope came tight the hard-running horse pulled over the whole wooden-corral roping box set-up. It took several guys with diggers, shovels and hammers about 30 minutes to get the arena cobbled up good enough for the next roper to compete. This story was told to me by a reliable source, but I never quite had the nerve to tease the man in question about the event. I simply had too much money borrowed from him to risk his wrath.






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