We purchased the land from a local man named David. He had reached a point in his life where he was ready to step back from the amount of time he was spending on the land. However, David graciously agreed to help us get started and he consulted with me for many hours. I'll be the first to admit that we weren’t really sure what we were doing. However, I knew that I did not want to be that “city guy” that bought land and became the laughing stalk of the town. I wanted to ease into this and learn as much as I could about ranching, I wanted to do it the right way. We are so thankful for David's time and his willingness to help us out. Looking back we couldn’t have gotten started without him helping us ease our way into ranching.
In the summer of 2004 David encouraged us to go ahead and buy a few cattle to get our feet wet. We bought five steers from Carter’s Cattle, purchase unseen. A truck delivered the cattle to our place and I was anxious to make my way back out west to lay my eyes on them. I took my youngest son, Andrew, with me. I was giddy the whole drive. I kept imagining how exciting it was going to be to finally see my dream become a reality... pull up to my ranch and see my cows.
Well we did just that, sort of…. We pulled up to our ranch, but I didn’t see any cows. My son and I parked the car and decided that we would walk to fence line and find our cows (I should probably mention at this point that our grass had gotten really tall, maybe 6 feet!). We have a small open-air barn in one corner of our pasture. As we approached the barn I thought I spotted something that resembled cows, but I wasn’t sure because the second they saw us coming they took off like cheetahs! I had never seen anything like it and I had no clue that cows could run that fast! This was not at all how I had pictured this in my head.
I remember calling Martye. She was just as anxious as I was about the cows. She answered the phone quickly and was ready to hear about the awesome steers we had just purchased. I defeatedly told her, “Well… we don’t have the fattest cows, but we definitely have the fastest!”
Andrew and I drove over to David’s house. We had some small talk and then I decided I would spill the beans about our unusual encounter with the steers. I started to tell the story, he smiled and in his thick West Texas accent said, “Yep, already heard that you and your boy here were just about trampled by that herd. Everyone’s talkin’ about it.” Wow, word travels fast in the country! Needless to say my fear of being the laughing stalk of the town quickly became a reality, but one that we still all laugh about.