Here is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. He is the man holding the microphone and he has on black “Barry Goldwater” glasses. He is above the ring where livestock came in one at a time and were auctioned off to local ranchers as well as to major meat-packing companies, like Hormel or Jimmy Dean.
I don’t know the names of the other men in the picture. If any of you Bonham folks recognize these men, I would appreciate it if you would post their names on here for me.
My dad wasn’t a cowboy. He was a businessman. But he knew that having a company that sold livestock in rural Texas was a strong and viable business. And it was. Most of the other men in that picture really were cowboys.
I know this is in the late 1960’s by how thin my dad is. He died in February, 1972 of lung cancer, which cropped up in November of 1971. He was just shy of his 70th birthday.
My dad was fifty when I was born and treated me as if I was his precious little angel. It’s hard to beat that. I was 19 when he died.
This photo is pure Texas. The auction was held every Monday and there sometimes were as many as 3500 cows, horses and pigs going through that ring to be sold. Sometimes Daddy didn’t even come home until the next day because the auction would go on all night.
I can practically hear the auctioneer from here.
Daddy was not an auctioneer. In this picture, he must have just been addressing the farmers and ranchers that were sitting in bleachers directly across from where he was standing.
Those men were good to me when I’d come to the sale on a Monday. They called me, “Little darling,” and “Sugar.” They also made sure that I didn’t wander off too far since cow-hands were moving livestock all day from pens in the back. I was not allowed to go back into the barn during the sale. This was considered too dangerous for “Mr. George’s” little girl.
I was a lucky girl to have that many kind-hearted men who looked after me when I was visiting. I was even luckier to have my dad. He was a decent, kind and loving man.
I just wish Daddy could have known Ray and our family. He would have loved them very much and they would have loved him back.
Yes, this is a real touch of Texas, sixties style. Like I say, this is one of my favorite pictures of my dad. The photographer caught him right in the middle of all the action.