Shirley has been happily married for well over forty years. I know a lot of you realize that she is a lucky woman, but I have to remind her once in awhile.
We started producing rodeos the day after our wedding. And we produced rodeos for many years. Amateur, high school, college rodeos, and lots of jackpots. But all things must come to an end. So a number of years ago, we decided to hang it up. We had lost all the money we could.
But we had to keep a few of the best old mares around. Then we bought a bucking stud and went into raising a few horses as a sideline. We’ve raised some great horses. Had bucking horse of the year in the IPRA a number of times. Had horses selected to the NFR in Las Vegas. But all good things must end.
So one year, with a drought and all, we decided we had better unload the horses. So when Joe came to Killdeer to produce the rodeo, Shirley sent me up to see him. Joe was, and is, the biggest horse buyer in the world. Saddle horses, bucking horses, Shetlands, or race horses. Joe buys them all. He is a horse trader.
I told Shirley she shouldn’t trust me with this responsibility. Joe is tough. But I picked him up and out we went to look at the brood mare band. He looked them over and decided he couldn’t use them right now. But he would make a few calls. And in the meantime he was stuck with a bunch of roping calves, Brahmas, at the Killdeer rodeo and had no way to haul them. Maybe he could move my horses if I could move those calves.
To shorten the story up, I bought the calves. And four buffalo. Shirley was really tickled when I came home and told her Joe didn’t buy the horses, but I had twenty-five brahma calves and four buffalo!
I couldn’t lose on this deal. I loaded the calves up two days later and took them to the calf sale. While I was waiting for the calves to come through, here come some little Wild Russian Boar pigs. Remember my experience with them years ago? Well, I’m not quite over it. I wouldn’t buy those pigs if they gave them away. Then it happened. They kept backing the price down. Twenty apiece? Fifteen? Five? One? Five pigs for twenty? Fifteen? One?
Five pigs for a dollar! My hand shot in the air like God himself was pulling on it. It was a power no mortal man could resist. I was back in the pig business. Then came my calves. It kind of went like the pig sale. They started high and kept backing the price down. The buyers did not appreciate quality. Or else they had an aversion to floppy ears. Anyway, I bought the calves back.
I drove around till dark. With my trailer load of treasure. Brahma calves and Russian pigs. I backed up to the barn, with my headlights off. I was scared. I was just opening the endgate when Shirley lightly tapped my shoulder. Did I say lightly? Not.
When those calves came flying out of that trailer she used a bad word. And when the pigs came out, shot under the trailer door, and headed for the garden, the people in north Dickinson had to cover their ears.
I explained to Shirley that we were back in the rodeo business. We had bucking horses, roping calves, and, listen to this, DEAN’S RACING PIGS. It’s going to take a little time to train them. But then I have a lot of time at night. Since I can’t go in the house anyway.