Monday, August 22, 2016

One of My First Paying Jobs

This time of year, as a kid, I’d be getting ready to take my steers to the livestock auctioneer in Cortez, Colorado.

Dad would loan me the money to buy 3-4 steers in April, I would put them on pasture-- he would charge me a grazing fee-- then feed them grain the last two weeks of August and sell them in early September, hoping for about a 1.5 lb average gain/day over those months. I would usually make about $400-$500 profit on the whole deal. That was a lot of money at the time-- mid 1970s.

The stories along the way were priceless-- all the weird things that would happen while raising those steers and taking care of them-- like the one “crazy” steer—with horns-- that would charge you if you weren’t on a horse. We warned the auctioneer, but that steer charged the handler at the livestock pen, hooked the guy’s pants and threw him over the fence. As a teenage boy, nothing was funnier.

I practiced and practiced until I could do a pretty good version of the auctioneer. I can still do it…I uncork it in the morning when shaving…pretending to sell my razor.

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