Welcome to John’s Ranching blog. This will be where I discuss the day to day activities, the people, and animals, and events that happen around here. I’ll also post on things that happen to interest me at the time and things I remember from the past. So with that in mind you might be wondering at the title of this first post.
I graduated from High School in 1985. I was a farm/ranch kid growing up in a farming/ranching community. The 1980’s were devastatingly hard on my family’s business as well as many of our neighbors. People were going broke pretty steadily due to very high interest rates, high inflation and low commodity prices. It was pretty common knowledge at the time that the only way a young man could get into ranching was by marrying it or inheriting it. I’ve been super fortunate to have made my living the past 18 years with cattle, horses, and grass. We haven’t inherited it, but in a way, I did marry it and I thought it appropriate that this first post be about the girl that has made it all possible.
In the picture above you can see that Ann is hanging all over me… being my biggest fan, just like she has been for the last 20 years. If you can’t tell from the picture, I’m obsessing over some Angus pedigree just like I’ve been doing for nearly that long. Ann and I started dating when I was 15 and she was 16. Our first date was to the Drive In movie (she drove) and Rocky I was playing.
We got married in college and we knew what it was to be broke. She never complained. Upon graduation I turned down the company job with the company car and the company expense account for a ranch job. Ann and I moved into a little mouse infested house that hadn’t been lived in for some time. The ceiling was falling in, snow blew right through the North window and the wiring was questionable. She never complained, in fact she loved it. Crazy optimistic, that’s what I used to call her. She worked nights in town 35 miles away so that I could take cows in lieu of wages. I remember one night she was coming home about midnight or 1:00 and the roads were muddy, when she didn’t get there, I rode our horse out to meet her and brought her home horseback. She never complained.
She was my right hand man in those days. One time we were A.I. ing and there was a deep canyon that cows seldom ventured into on the far end of the pasture. Ann went down in there and found a cow that was going out of heat, I bred her that night and the next spring we named that bull calf JAD HANDY ANND.
She has worked very hard the past 20 years, ‘taking care of the sick’, as Cole says. Because of that, I’ve been free to keep living the dream through good times and bad.
She can only ride a horse for about an hour anymore due to an old track injury. And she has a debilitating phobia of snakes that keeps her out of the tall grass most of the time. Still, she is the best and most important part of John & Ann Dockweiler Angus. So marry up if you can, I sure don’t regret it.