Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Denton, NC: Bill Sexton, cattleman

I don't have a whole lot to report about cattleman Bill Sexton because he was a man of very few words. We visited his lovely farm and sat at his picnic table while he thoughtfully chewed a toothpick and answered all of our questions in a matter of minutes. He is in his 80's and he gets straight to the point. I am pretty sure he thinks we are a couple of fools who want to talk about farming with people who would rather be farming than talking, but he humors us and politely answers each question.
He walks us down his sloped pasture to where his black angus are huddled under the trees and in the shallow pond on a hot, stagnant day. I am jealous of their shade and swimming hole, and they look at us happily munching their grass. Since Bill has answered everything in 15 minutes (most interviews take an hour or more as stories are told), Trav looks at me and desperately asks if I have any questions since he has been doing all the talking, but I don't, I am happy just to be here.
Bill's contriteness isn't a negative thing though. The simplicity of his answers summarizes what we hear over and over. Why do you farm? "Hm. It's 'bout all I know how to do." After 80-odd years being a cattleman, a person likely doesn't think too much about it anymore. It's just life.


Anonymous said...

Good ole' Grandpa


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