Wednesday, January 27, 2010

San Antonio angel

Once again I am posting in the morning to try and stay on schedule. I am going to check each group of cows today and feed a bit extra to the yearlings hoping that things are safe and secure. Then we will drive to Spokane to escape the Columbia Basin.

We are headed to San Antonio Texas for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) annual convention. We are making it a family affair since my bride is from that area and has two sisters and her mother near there. If you have never been to San Antonio I recommend it highly. It is a great city with friendly people and so many things to do. Take a city that was made for a party and add 6000 plus cowboys to it and you have the makings of a super vacation!

You may wonder how in the hell a cowman from Washington State met a girl from San Antonio Texas and why today we both love to visit the area. That is what today’s post is about. I have always been a Washington State University (WSU or wazzu) football fan. They say if you live in the eastern Washington desert and do not support the “Cougs” they will hang you with a short rope from a tall tree. Being that much of eastern Washington is a desert it may take weeks to find a tall tree but still the imagery is powerful.

In 1994 the Cougs had finished fourth in the Pac 10 with a record of 7-4. This was an all too rare winning season if you are a WSU follower. The team was invited to San Antonio to play Baylor University which was also 7-4 in the “Builders square Alamo Bowl”. I had recently been through an amicable but still difficult divorce and was living like a yearling bull on the first day of spring turnout. I decided that I should not deny the ladies of San Antonio my glorious presence any longer and bought a plane ticket and secured a hotel in south Texas. The first night there I thought I had truly found cowboy nirvana. Cheap beer, late night honkytonks, and a ratio of women to men of about 5-1 added to my happiness and general cocky attitude.

After a few days of partying and visiting the sights of the city the day of the game finally arrived. It happened to be New Years Eve and my last night in cowboy heaven. I broke out my “undefeated” bright pink “brush popper” shirt to wear underneath my WSU stuff and headed to the game. The cougars had the second best defense in the nation that year and after scoring a touchdown on their first drive they added a field goal near the end of the first half. The Cougs only allowed Baylor (who averaged over 30 points a game) a field goal in the third quarter and won the game 10-3. I headed down to the River walk to celebrate. While there I was told of a country nightclub on the outskirts of town I had not yet visited. I ditched my WSU clothes and headed to “Coyotes” with my pink shirt, Wrangler jeans, Lucchese boots and cowboy bravado.

The place was massive and I quickly made the rounds looking for, well you know. Just when I was about to dazzle some blonde with big hair, big thighs, and a small mind an angel appeared and saved me. Christine was there celebrating her birthday (New Years baby) with her family and was walking back to their table with her sister. Her dark hair, bright blue eyes and perfection of her hindquarters made me slobber and say something stupid. Luckily she did not laugh or spray me with Mace and we spent the next several hours dancing slowly and talking rapidly. I was as smitten as a cowboy with a new can of Copenhagen. When the night ended we went to Taco Cabana and ate tacos and shared more conversation. Despite my best efforts she would not accept my invite to see what great beds they had at the Super 8 motel but she did give me a ride back there and dropped me off to sadly sulk back to my room despite my efforts to make my bottom lip swell like Barack Obamas ego. She did offer to pick me up later that day and gave me a ride to the airport for my departure from this frustrating heaven.

When the last boarding call was announced I asked for her phone number. She summarily refused but said she would take mine and “think” about calling me. As I flew home reality set in and I resigned myself to the fact that in another place and another time there was a spark but given the distance situation I did not hold my breath expecting her to call. Her delayed reaction to falling for my neon pink shirt and folksy charm happened the next day when she called me at home in Washington. Two weeks later I flew back to south Texas and that began a 12 month courtship with massive phone bills and travel expenses. On January 5th 2010 we celebrated 14 years of marriage and I still think San Antonio is heaven on earth and I return every now and again to let them have their Texas angel back for awhile.

Today’s picture is cow 9136w with her new bull calf. Can you tell by the look on mommas face that this calf will be waiting until branding for a tag?

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the American widgeon aka Anas americana.