The reason I took to the name – The Angora Chronicles – Angora goats were mine and my brother Kenny’s first business venture.
The year was 1960. Shelton Kennedy (one of my Dads very best friends) was a goat man.
When it came time to sell off his years kid crop, he sold 20 freshly weaned goats to us each. We had no money so he let us pay him after we had sheared them and collected the money. He sold the goats to us for $2 each.
We lived on 65 acres of the hilliest, rockiest pasture land in all of central Texas. It was at the top end of a Bull Creek Tributary south of Jollyville a few miles. (Travis County) The place was covered with Shin Oak Brush, a favorite diet of goats. So we didn’t have to buy much feed.
In just a couple of months we sheared them for the first time. The yield was 3-4 lbs each and fine kid hair fetched the best price, around $1.50 per lb.
By the time we paid the shearing crew $.50 per head to shear, we ended up with the goats paid for and money in our pockets.
We sheared twice each year and they soon started making babies. It turned out to be a fine enterprise for a couple of young fellows.
The other component to my love of goats was, that from the time I was 12, and Kenny a couple of years older, we hired out to help several ranchers around Smithwick gather goats at shearing time. There was riding horses to get them up and in the pen, sorting, drenching, doing unmentionables to the young males and then help to haul and tromp down the mohair in huge sacks. That was so the most hair could be stuff into each sack. There were 2 shearing as I mentioned earlier. In February when it was the coldest and the first part of September when it was hot. The dust created with that operation was so unbelievable. It made you appreciate getting home and taking a bath.
We made $8 – $10 per day for our service.
Last year I was honored to attend Shelton Kennedy’s 90 birthday party. (2014)
The ones we helped out with goats were Cecil Lewis, Jim Layton Cox, Melvin Heine, Landis Wier and Loftin Meredith. All have long left us, as has the market for mohair. But my fond memories live on.