Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: Terrific pigs and cows

  • Chloe Olsen loves her pigs.

    Much like Fern Arable loved Wilbur, I guess, in E. B. White’s beloved classicCharlotte’s Web. But Chloe didn’t name her pigs. “Didn’t want to get too attached,” she told me as she climbed into the pen looking every bit like Wilbur’s heroine in her summer dress and ponytail hidden under a bonnet.

    Chloe was proud to show off her two pigs Saturday at the Cache County Fair. They placed well, she said, though I don’t remember just how well. And though Chloe didn’t name her pigs, I had to laugh when she told me what her brother named his, the one closest to her with the black splotch on its side: Chris P. Bacon.

    I loved exploring the fairgrounds as a kid. Growing up I lived next door, literally, to the Sevier County Fairgrounds in Richfield. They were my playground, my fortress, my sanctuary. When the fair and the carnival pulled into town, I’d come out of hiding.

    It’s no different today.

    My roots tug me out of normal life every August. The tugging really starts in the spring with the new crops budding forth out of freshly plowed and planted ground. I spent a lot of my youth farming and raising animals. A trip to the county fair rekindles memories, enriches my soul, and invigorates senses. A trip past the feedlots, dairy barns, and silage pits are still as sweet as spring hay to me!

    My kids aren’t always as fond of the invigorating senses as I am.

    A Holstein dairy cow giving a wary look at the Cache County Fair.

    I fed pigs, raised sheep, and even had a couple dairy cows and calves when I was younger. The dairy cows were my high school FFA project – Future Farmers of America. I was set on being a dairy farmer at the time. I started with one cow, Bessie, and her four nurse calves. I raised the calves and sold them at auction. Bessie and I became fast friends as every morning and evening I’d bring her into the lean-to shed that served as our milking barn. I’d feed her some grain and plop down on the stool and set to work. At first I milked by hand. When we picked up a second cow, Nellie we called her, we graduated to a very old bucket milker ran by an even older compressor. We’d drink the raw milk and sell the extra, along with farm fresh eggs our chickens would lay, to families around town. I drank my fair share of the raw milk. Ironically, anything more than 2% milkfat today is much too rich for my taste buds.

    At the end of the evening Elisa and I found are lawn chairs to listen to Kelsea Ballerini, an up and coming country artist already with a number hit to her name, “Love me like you mean it.”

    In between songs someone behind us called out, “Hey Army!” Turning around, I was met by an outstretched hand belonging to Ron Thomas. He noticed my US Army/Iraqi Freedom cap and wanted to say thanks. Ron and his lovely wife Linda call Cache Valley their “summer home,” an escape from the triple digit heat of Arizona. A simple thank you created conversation, a budding friendship developed where one hadn’t existed before.

    Linda and Ron Thomas with Elisa and me at the Cache County Fair.

    Lastly, I leave you with Mike.

    We met him sitting on the front porch of the Beehive Home, a residential-style senior living facility a half block away from the Fair Grounds. He was enjoying the crowds walking by as we crossed the green grass to say hello. Mike was aged in body with squinting eyes, but quick with a laugh through his pursed-lipped smile. His bushy beard was reminiscent of an old seafaring captain sitting on a rocky Maine coast.

    He offered a firm handshake as we parted, asking to bring him some cotton candy. We didn’t get any ourselves (thankfully!) but we still stopped to say goodnight to Mike on our way home.

    And I dare say Chloe raised one “Terrific” pig!

    Have a great Monday!  Thanks for letting me share.

    Les Patterson

    p.s. Take 15 minutes today to enjoy your own trip down memory lane with Chris LeDoux’s “County Fair.”

    Les Patterson loves to share stories and the “Monday Morning Boost” is his way of sharing a story or two with family, friends, and clients. Les believes every person, business and organization has a story worth sharing. Since 1997 he has enjoyed finding compelling ways to share those stories through writing and producing radio commercials at the Cache Valley Media Group. Discover how he can help tell your story at www.CacheValleyMediaGroup.com. Feedback and comments are welcome at les@cvradio.com. ©2015, Les Patterson. All Rights Reserved. To UNSUBSCRIBE, reply to this email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line and your email will be removed.