Thursday, January 21, 2010

The rodeo queen

Today was yearling marketing day. The calves weighed about 30 pounds heavier than I expected and sold for quite a bit more then I expected. Not so much that it will be much of a profit but there are some years you are just happy to break even or make a little bit. I started my day early so I could check the calving cows before the semis arrived at 8 am to take the yearlings on a 75 mile ride. The loading went very well and other than almost missing a tag number which would have sent one of Dakotas fair show steers away to market things went well. She would have so killed me.

Today’s post is going to be a bit short as I am running on fumes here the last couple of days and I have to be up early tomorrow. I have to be in Pasco at 6 am so all I have to do is feed the remaining yearlings, check both sets of cows and drive 45 miles to Pasco before 6 am, no sweat. What I am going to write about is things I observed at the cattle auction today.

Things have changed so much over the years. There used to be auction barns within about 30 miles of anyone here in Washington. Now there are only two operating in all of eastern Washington. Shrinkage of the industry as well as consolidation has changed that. As a kid I used to love to go to the auctions, the adults at cattle auctions always are friendly to kids and for me being around so many potential heroes in cowboy hats was just a bonus. There are things you see at cattle auctions you cannot seem to find anywhere else.

You see lots of weathered faces, some by wind, some by sun, some by age, some by all the above. My dad used to say to always pay attention to the people with lots of lines in their faces. He said for each line in a face there were at least 50 life experiences they had lived through. With life experience people gain wisdom he would say. I always wondered if that was why Michael Jackson had so much plastic surgery. He either had no wisdom or did not want people to know about his life experiences.

One thing you often see at a cattle auction is a former rodeo queen. Sometimes they are with their husband or significant other sometimes they are all alone. You can pick them out easily if you know what to look for. They will usually have a jacket that is of faded satin material. Many times it is of a bright pink or baby blue color. The back will have some type of emblem with something to the effect of; Miss Rodeo Queen (insert town, county or rodeo name) 1985. The front will have her name stitched on the left lapel and since it does not have to fit in one of those oval name tags like the gas station attendants have many choose names like Brandi, Crystal or Destiny. The nice thing about those names is they can be on the fast track to an exotic dancing gig once the rodeo week is over. I am pretty much kidding of course on most (10%) of this.

I noticed a rodeo queen today I had known in 1985 and some things were the same about her and some things were different. Her hair was not quite as big as it was in 1985 but the amount of AquaNet holding it in place seemed to be the same ( 1 large can). I too have a bit less hair than I did in 1985 but I still can keep both hairs in place without any AquaNet.

She still wore the same tight Wrangler jeans she did in 1985. What was different is in 1985 her tight body in those jeans would almost make me drool spontaneously. Today all those jeans reminded me of was 7 tom cats fighting each other in a gunny sack as she moved. Of course to be fair in 1985 she could read where I had won my belt buckle and what I won it for. She still could read my belt buckle today but had to read it in bit parts each time I inhaled or leaned back to stretch my back.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Canada goose aka Branta Canadensis.

Today’s picture is a tired Festus on the way home today.