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The capitol of cow country

Now, before you read on this week, stop and gander at that photograph…now take a guess who that it with the ribbon for showing that fine fat calf many moons ago. I’ll tell ya in a minute if you’re stumped.

Back in the day there was a heap of showing off good looking cattle. The late Joe Camp and Bill Scott used to give out the ribbons down at the stockyard. The earlier days I recollect had winners like, of course, some Rankins from Faunsdale, and there were the Thomaston Flowers girls, and the Jordans from Myrtlewood way.

A little bit later on came our hero for today. Okay, that’s our own Meador Jones with his short haircut and tight fitting jeans.

Meador still has a cow or two. There was a farmer in my office a few years back, and we were talking ‘bout Ol’ Meador over yonder and Commercial Bank. That sun and wind-weathered fellow shook his head, grinning a mite, and told me it was something when his banker had more calluses on his hands than he did.

It has been reported to me by several folks in the county over the years that my Great Grandaddy, Bill Cooper, introduced the first White Face Hereford cows into this area.

Now, I don’t know that for a fact, but I’ve seen pictures of the old man astride his horse, looking over a herd of those critters.

I hope Pa Bill’s feelings wouldn’t be hurt, but I reckon I’d rather run Black Angus stock out on my little ol’ cow farm, although I’ve been telling Buck Compton for a long time that I was really goner try a few of his big ol’ white cows one of these days, and I might.

They had a big ol’ sign down in Linden some time back declaring this area the “Capitol of the Cow Country.” Don’t know who came up with that slogan, but there’ve been a heap of sho ‘nuff cowboys in these parts raising some mighty healthy looking brood stock.

Hey, skipping on up to the present time, did you know that cattle are higher priced right now than ever before, far as I’m informed?

I have learned one thing. I’m not goner buy any replacements right now. I sold a 15-year-old one-eyed cow last year, hoping they’d give me 50 bucks, and be danged if I didn’t get near ‘bout 600 dollars for that critter I’d paid $325 for seven calves ago. Well, that’s my glory story of cow farming.

I’ve told y’all one of my favorite farming stories before. Wade’s daddy, John Drinkard, bought him a cattle operation back in the 50s and, in short order, he was running an ad in the paper. His ad was right to the point. It read, “Farm for Sale. Must Sell. Can’t Farm.”

My twins, Ben and Lynn, came running home one evening, telling me that the Lamar brothers wanted us to take a calf, whose mama had died. Well, although I had not gotten into the cow man business at that time, I agreed to the proposition, and I set up a pen and shed in the side yard, sorta licking my lips thinking about feeding that calf up fat, and putting her on the dinner table.

Well, for those of you who don’t know it, you don’t end up eating a calf your babies named “Squeaky.” When I finally sold Squeak, I think I figured I’d cleared about 20 cents over the long haul.

Now, I’ll finish with telling you about the first cow I ever owned. Uncle Billy Cooper bought a killer steer for my brother, Billy, and me in the 60s. Jed O’Neal brought a knuckle boom contraption down to Billy’s store to hang up that critter.

It took most of the night to skin and cut up that steer, but folks kept stopping buy to offer advice and help…mostly advice. I remember the fellowship of cowboying was mighty fine that night in the capitol of the cow country.