I have spent the last few days in the great state of Texas. Visited our old stomping ground of Hubbard, Texas and seeing old friends, and then on to Fort Worth stockyards to work with Ron Gill and spent the day with the “Herd” drovers helping them with ideas to improve their stockmanship skills as they drive the longhorns on Exchange Avenue two times a day.
Ron and I rode drag to watch what was happening while the drove em. It was a great day and a real honor to get to follow those steers down the streets of Ranching history. Come to Fort Worth and see em, look on their website, and help keep this great part of history alive. “www.fortworth.com/theherd” is the website.
When we finished at the stockyards I headed up to the Convention center
And did a cattle handling demo for Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers.
I spent three great days in Fort Worth. I’m not much for big city’s but with all the great people I met and listened too, I really enjoyed my time.
I got to meet and visit with Boots O’Neal. He is a legendary cowboy that has been employed by the 6666’s, and he explained to me what good stockmen some of the crew were, as well as good cowboys. It was so inspiring to visit with him, and to see how he lit up with pride when he talked of being a ranch cowboy.
I got to visit with my old friend and Mentor, Bob Tallman. I went to He and Bob Feist rodeo announcing school many years ago. I really feel what they taught me, the skill to communicate what is happening in front of an audience, and explaining it in terms that helps them “see it” is why I get to go and do what I do. He was as full of life and B.S. as ever, and still got that twinkle in his eye when he really got emotional about something, and he is passionate in all directions.
Priefert set up the pen in the demo area. I just wonder how many times I’ve looked at an audience through a set of Priefert panels, in the last twenty years?
I will say this, their products have kept on improving over the years, and as I told my long time friend and Priefert employee David Fillibrown, they have always done what they said they were going to do. I guess you do that when your from Texas and your name is on the product. Not all equipment company’s have done that to me lately. Priefert has earned my trust and loyalty for the past twenty years.
I also received a new Greeley Hatworks hat and sterling silver toothpick and had the pleasure of watching Trent shape it. He named this hat style the “Johnson County” from the history around Johnson County ,Wyoming and all the controversy around the Tom Horn legend.
Many of the folks at the convention commented on my Greeley hat. I will say you can judge a mans style by his hat, but not his honesty, integrity, or skill. I think people often do. I’m a traditionalist and as I looked at the pictures in the Exchange building at the stockyards, and see photos from the old days, I am wearing a hat that is much more traditional to all parts of North America, and especially to the “Stockman” I am trying to bring back and represent. I actually think I’m wearing a traditional Texas hat, and the new big brims are more of a modern thing. I like both styles, but have learned to get to know someone before you go to judging his character or doing business with him.
If you want to figure out the northern versus the southern cowboy here are three ways. The shape of his hat, how much ice he puts in his tea glass, and if he says “Ya’ll or “You guys”. If your still not sure, if you hear the term “right smart”, “good bit” and “hug your neck” your talking to a Texan.
Texas is different. It is a huge state with many different climates and topography types. The thing that really sets it apart are it’s people, and I believe the people of agriculture, mainly Ranching are what have created lots of those people.
My friend and kin Chris Jameson came and spent the day with us on Thursday. He is a a product of Texas Ranch Genetics. His Daddy, the late Dick Jamison gave me my favorite book of all time, “The Time it Never Rained” and I believe it helped me to learn to live and act a little more Texan. His Mother, Virginia, was my Grandfathers sister, and she taught me about Texas ranching in a drought when I visited many years ago, and I got to help her pull sheep out of tanks that were bogged down, and take skinny old cows to the pens that had gotten addicted to prickly pear and couldn’t eat because of the thorns in their nose.
The people at the convention were so polite and enthusiastic about learning and wanting to share. Big Bend trailers let me hang my saddle and gear in the tack room of their great trailer. People doing talks and demos helped each other, and were real good about following rules and protocol. I’m telling you it’s just different in Texas.
So for this scoop loop I’m tied hard and fast as is the tradition in parts of Texas, and if you are confused about the title, I’ll come tight on it. I don’t like “Texas” , I love it, and can’t wait to get to go back.