A FEW GOOD STORIES
Of Things That Have Happened Over the Years
By Steve Moreland, February 20, 2018
Jimmy Boeckman was an old cow trader and horse trader from Yankton, South Dakota. I first became acquainted with him when I bought a team of three-year-old Belgian geldings from him, sight unseen over the telephone, after having seen his ad in a paper. I ended up getting a new set of harness that Jimmy had made along with the two well-broke horses. I traded a buggy (which was made by Don Dasher) and a single driving mare, of the “Colorado Ranger” breed, that I had acquired from Tub Fish. I traded my horse and buggy straight across for his team, which I named “Homer” and “Jethro,” and the new harness that fit them. We had this nice team for many years, and covered a lot of pleasant miles while driving them hitched to a two-seated buggy that I had acquired from Gary Ruse. Incidentally, Jimmy advertised the buggy in the want-ad section of a livestock publication, and Brad Wolkow from Gordon ended up buying it and hauling it clear back to this country from Yankton. On a side note, do you know what is worse than a dog with worms? It would be a horse with a buggy behind.
On one occasion, Jimmy Boeckman had shot a coyote. Coyotes were worth seventy or eighty dollars each at the time, so Jimmy took his dead coyote to a local fur buyer. The buyer checked it out thoroughly and declared it to be worthless because of a little mange on the hide. Jimmy still had the dead coyote in the back of his pickup when he went to a local service station to get the oil changed in the pickup. When the job was complete, and the bill presented to Jim, Jimmy howled in disbelief that a simple oil change could cost so much. He then offered to trade his dead coyote to the service station owner in lieu of payment for the oil change. The owner thought that would be a good deal, so agreed to the trade. After Jimmy left, the station manager immediately looked up the fur buyer to cash in on the coyote. The fur buyer appraised the hide and declared, “This coyote wasn’t worth anything yesterday because he is mangy, and he sure isn’t worth any more today.” The poor station owner knew he’d been had, and certainly hated to have Jimmy get the best of him. Jimmy gleefully basked in his good deal until his dying day, and the story was told at his funeral.
Gary Sears was a longtime veterinarian in Hyannis, Nebraska. A lady rancher had a first calf heifer having calving problems. Dr. Sears was notified, and he realized that a caesarean was necessary. The heifer was tranquilized and deadened to make the procedure less painful. After extracting the calf, Dr. Sears was in the process of sewing up the heifer. He decided that making the original slit a bit longer would aid in better drainage. The lady rancher was watching intently, and when the slit was enlarged after the calf was removed, she immediately asked, “Why did you do that?” Dr. Sears, with his cigar clenched in his teeth and with his characteristic dry sense of humor, held up his needle and responded, “Well, I had all this extra thread to use up.”
On another occasion, Dr. Sears was preg-checking cows on the Medicine Creek Ranch south of Merriman, which was owned by Judge A.W. Moursund of Texas. A.W. and the foreman of his Oklahoma ranch, Elmund Fuchs, were both on hand watching, along with their wives, who happened to be sisters. One of the ladies observed Dr. Sears as he put his arm up several cows in rapid succession. She innocently asked, “What do you do that for?” Dr. Sears armed another cow before answering, “Well, on a herd of this size, I do it for a dollar per head.”