Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tell me a story (series on country music)

I could go on and on about country music and my takes on it but just like music variety is the spice of life and maybe it is time to move on? We'll see! So as I wrap up this series on country music and how it relates to my life, how I embrace the variety and changes of country music I would be remiss to not mention one other aspect of country music. The "story" type song

I love a good story, both hearing one and telling one. When a musical artist can tell a story in song that is the ultimate for me. I could literally go on for weeks with "story" songs but with anything in today's world things get stale in a hurry and people want to move on to the next thing. Let's see if I can tell a story about cattle and also share some country music that people will enjoy. 

It was February 2006 and I was at a cattle auction. I had mostly sat on my hands that day as bred cows were too high in my opinion given the current uncertainty of the market. 3 black brockle faced heifers entered the sale ring. These girls were only 2 years old, bred to calve shortly, but were thin, very, very thin. Long story, short I took a chance. .38 cents a pound at 1049 pounds. I had become the new owner of 3 very thin young bred heifers for less than $400 each. I bought a few other cows that day but when loading I saw these 3 particular heifers as a real "hail mary" A song that tells a story and captures that purchase is Kenny Rogers "The Gambler" a twist on his words that I have found very true! "Cause every cows a winner, and every cows a loser, and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep"

I brought my new cows and heifers home, vaccinated them, gave them a wormer and a vitamin booster and said a little prayer.Things did not start off well. The first of these 3 heifers calved fine but then went downhill rapidly and eventually died. Her calf was grafted on to a first calf heifer that lost her calf but at this point my investment did not look too good. Eventually the other two heifers calved on their own and had nice bull calves. They both also had gained some weight and looked pretty good. One of these new made cows was 4158W. I had taken a chance, and although not perfect it was just what a good old boy would do in this business. A song that tells a story and to me captures how I was feeling is Don Williams singing "Good Old Boys like me" 

These 2 cows #4157 and #4158 both straightened out, raised good calves and in terms of $ and sense I had probably broke even at a year later. It was in the second year of ownership that things began to improve. Both of these cows again raised good calves and the market had improved. They both continued to be good mother cows and they both kept producing bull calves, fast forward to 2009.  #4158 finally had a heifer calf, a patch eyed little firecracker that was was no doubt a "replacement" heifer. Her mother was a good calf raiser but was one of those cows that you really had to respect around her newborn calves. Here is #4158 with her calf in 2011.

 This was also the year #9158 became a first time mother and because of her history and the way she raised calves became probably my favorite current cow. She is very much like her momma, easy to work, easy to load but very protective of her newborns. Today as I approached her 3rd calf I did so with caution. She had birthed a beautiful black white faced bull calf that very likely will be a show steer prospect. I caught the calf, gave it a mineral injection and tried to tag it from the opposite side if the fourwheeler. His mother was blowing a bit of snot but was not particularly nasty today, but as I put the tag in her child's ear #3158 gave out a loud bawl and his mother hit me in my supersized gut which spawned a rapid mouth watering projectile vomit of the 69 cent burrito I had sadly chosen for lunch. Here she is shortly after said burrito was spat in a southerly direction. 

A story song that I think captures all this reminiscing about the past is Tom T. Hall singing "I remember the year that Clayton Delaney died"

Remember all pictures can be viewed full size by clicking on them and hope you enjoy the music as well.