Back When We Were Kids

I often look back on my young life and growing up as the little brother. There were just the two of us, Kenny and me. We did almost everything together. That doesn’t mean we liked all the same things. Kenny was always an animal person and still is. He broke horses, had dogs that he trained to work goats and cattle.

We both were involved in breaking horses, starting with Shetlands at a very young age, he was about 10 years old and I was 2 1/2 years younger. Of course that was his passion and I came along as his helper. If that venture had been left up to me, it never would have gotten off the ground.

I’ve told before that our first business venture was 40 head of Angora Goats that we had together in the early 60s, which is basically where the name of this group came from. I didn’t mind helping with every aspect of goats, but he was the one that was responsible enough to keep that enterprise going.

Kenny has always been a stockman at heart. While I have been involved various ranching endeavors throughout my life, I didn’t ever live for it, but rather always treated it as just another sideline.

Kenny continues to spend everyday caring for pastures full of cattle, some of the best you’ll see. He’s bred and culled until he got it that way. He has several nice flocks of Boer Goats, not just any Boer Goats, he has bred them to have almost identical markings and color. No oddballs stick around.

Thankfully he is willing to lease my land and keep cattle on it, so I don’t have to mess with it. I do enjoy helping him by watching for newborn calves and whether there is sufficient hay still on the ground. But just like our past 60 years it’s up to him to really take care of them.

My passion growing up was anything mechanical. I would tear into any lawnmower or anything with an engine and make it run. I graduated on up to working on cars and pickups long before I was old enough to drive one. Before I became a teenager, my dad would drop me off over at Pure Stone, where we used one of the covered railroad docks to work on our dump trucks. With a box full of tools I would singlehandedly install a clutch or do a brake job on those trucks. I could even pull and replace an engine.

While Kenny had all the patience in the world for an animal, he never adapted well to a wrench slipping off a bolthead and tearing skin away from the meat. However he was always a good welder, something he learned in Ag Class. Yet I’ve never been able to strike an arc. Was it that we couldn’t both like any of the same things? It appears that way. I guess we compliment each other by being opposites.

I could go on all day about the differences in the two of us. But for sure, no one had better ever try to get in between us. That just ain’t gonna work.

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