Pack an entire family in an extended or crew cab truck. Don’t forget the cooler and snacks. Suitcases in the trailer in case it rains or snows on the way there. Fight over who controls the radio. Ask if we remembered to pack everything when you are 10 minutes away from home. Fight over who controls the radio. “Are we there yet?” Get to the show and wait in line for a while. Fight over who controls the radio.
Sound like fun?
Well, it may not always be fun, but it can be a learning experience for a stock show family.
When I showed we had a 1986 Regular Cab Chevy truck. Stick shift. Creeper gear. I learned to drive stick on that truck. I also learned a lot from my dad. We spent a ton of time in that truck. I asked him thousands of questions and he answered them all. He told hundreds of stories in that truck. We became a team in that truck.
Now that I have my own boys that are involved in sports and showing livestock, we have traveled to a lot of out-of-town baseball tournaments. It’s not the same. First of all we ride in a minivan. Yes, a minivan. We are in much more of a hurry and we don’t spend much time together once they are playing the games. We don’t spend the time together on the field like we do in the barns at a stock show. We work together and we all have our own roles. We are our own team.
There is just something about getting in a truck and going to a show that is unmatched. We are all in it together and we all have our own role and job. We do everything as a family (except for walking in the ring of course). The conversations that happen on the way to and from the shows are special.
Bill McDonnell is a great family friend and his quote from many years ago still rings true today. “When you get in a truck and drive a couple of hours to a show as a family, there aren’t many secrets.” Truer words have seldom been spoken. That is what makes riding to stock shows so special. All of the hours spent may not be all rainbows and unicorns but they can be a time to learn about each other. Families bond and grow when riding together. You can learn a lot about each other when you get in a truck and head to a show.
Most people who work with Jeremy Evans at Dover Middle School in Dover, Ohio think Jeremy is a farmer. He prefers the term “Agriculture Enthusiast” because 8 acres and 5 head of cattle doesn’t exactly make a farm. When he is not grading papers or changing apostrophes that don’t belong in plural nouns, he enjoys feeding his son’s (Barrett, Brady, Blaine) steers, but not writing the checks for the feed. His wife Michelle is also a teacher at Dover City Schools and he considers his greatest accomplishment in life the fact that he converted his wife from a “horse person” to a “cow person” as evidenced by the fluffer comb in the back pocket of her ski pants at shows.