Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chapter 98 We're Having Cows

Our Charolais cattle business continued to expand.  I sold a 418 acre irrigated coastal Bermuda grass farm between Devine and Jourdanton, southwest of San Antonio. I formed a partnership with the buyer in the Charolais business. We sold a bull and a heifer to the Rollins kids that did well in the Stock Show. We had another heifer that took a ribbon at the Texas State Fair in October of that year.

From time to time I would buy some more Charolais cattle. I heard about a small bunch an elderly man had down at Terrell, Texas that he wanted to sell. I went down and looked the cattle over and they were nice. We struck a deal at $20,000 for the bunch. This was on a Friday and I told the man I would come back on Saturday with a check and pick the cows up. He said why not just give him a check and load the cows up, as he did not want to find any more feed for them.

I said I don't have $20,000 in my account at the bank and I would have to go up there and make arrangements for the money. He said "No problem. I will just hold your check until Tuesday, and that will give you plenty of time." I said okay and called Jessie to bring the other trailer. I loaded 14 of the cows in my gooseneck trailer and about the same number in Jessie's trailer. I gave the seller a check and I told him to just hold on to it and I would call him when it was okay to deposit it.

Monday was so busy I barely made it to the bank a little after three. We regular customers could get into the bank through the back door after hours. As I passed through the break room and into the lobby Charlie stood up and took his handkerchief out and started wiping his face. He said, "Am I glad to see you! That guy you bought cattle from down at Terrell was in here Saturday morning and demanded cash for your check. I gave him the cash, and I figured you would show up, but I had begun to worry." That was the kind of trust between long-term customers and bankers in those days. Today's banker would bounce a check like that higher than a kite.

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