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Gas Prices

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Well-known member
Feb 14, 2005
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Western South Dakota
MRJ said to start a new thread on this one.

My Dad told me quite a few years ago that when he was working in the thirty's he got $1.00 a day. Gas cost $ .20 a gallon. So it took him a weeks wages to fill his 30 gallon tank with gas. "So never complain to me about the high cost of gas until it takes you a weeks wages to fill your tank" was how he finished the conversation.

I guess I could complain now as it takes $75 to $ 85 to fill my pickup with diesel and I don 't think I make that much per week! :shock: :lol:

Might be why I prefer to ride a horse. I can raise his "fuel". Maybe I'll post a poem on this order on the other site.
Is there anyone else out there wondering if the feds are letting the price of fuel rise so as to put pressure on the consumers, as to the amount the consumer spends on fuel, so that the majority of the people would be in favor of drilling in ANWAR?

If you could make the consumer think that the drilling would lower the cost of fuel, and therefore leave more dollars in the consumers pocket, wouldn't the consumers be on the phone to the powers that be, to tell them to let the oil companies start drilling?
Jinglebob, what was the capacity of the tank your dad was filling compared with that pickup of yours?

Might also be enlightening to consider how long that tank of gas lasted your dad, on average. My guess is you often drive much further per week than did your father, and more often because you want to go someplace than that you absolutely have to. If we are brutally honest with ourselves, that scenario fits most of us, is my guess. We could forego the daily trip of 7 miles to pick up our mail and go back to just getting it once a week, but I don't plan to do so anytime soon! I'm betting most of us fit into that mindset, for mail and other conveniences that "require' driving someplace.

BTW, for the sake of convenience, I will propose you spend $100.00 per week to fill your tank. You say you don't think you make that much per week. That comes to $5200.00 per year........does that make you a "hobby" rancher?

Don't know what them old cars built in the early twenties had for fuel capacity. My tank is 34 gallons I believe. Dad did say that motors lasted a lot longer on these newer outfits. Used to have to overhaul them at 40,000 miles or so. 'Course an overhaul cost 12.00 bucks then!

Suppose them old outfits didn't get real good mileage. Mine gets from 15 to 18 mpg with regular no trailer driving.

Your right about driving out of want instead of need. Our nearest village, that is about shot now( population 6 when the kids are home) is 2 1/2 mile by the road and about 1 1/2 across the pasture. Nothin' there anymore except a garage where you can get some stuff fixed if you have the right last name, and a used to be wonderful post office/country store (that got closed down when the preacher and his wife bought it) and our church and country hall. It was quite a town when Dad was a child and he always said that Grampa would throw a fit if anyone went more than once a week! Now my wife drives 60 miles one way, for a job that pays anything and has insurance benefits.

Don't believe I want to spend $100 a week for fuel if I can help it. I'd rather not spend anything for fuel! Or much else! Just spend what I have to, to do what I want or have to.

No, not a hobby ranch! Hobbies are fun! :wink:

Just a small ranch and we run a few cows and take in stockers. Seems to be paying better than running my own. And less risk.

Hope to have a herd again someday. We sold the cows to buy the land from the folks, who had debt on it when we bought it. Must have got all that debt when Mom was running around the country working with the Cowbelles and trying to get the checkoff passed! :wink:

Everytime I start to get a herd put together a drought or some other bother comes along and I sell them rather than buy high priced feed to put into low priced cows! With the BSE in 2003 I thought I was glad to not own many, but the prices have sure been better for past 2 years, so guess I should have re-built the herd.

Did you look at the other sites yet? posted a poem over on coffee shop for you and others.
I can identify with much of your ranching history. Similar stories except that we kept on plowing anything we could back into the ranch after buying what most people probably thought we inherited free and clear.

We still have a post office and a few businesses, knock on wood! Having to go to the "big" towns for doc and other professionals really hurts our small towns because it is too handy to do other business while already there.

Fortunately, or maybe foolishly, our hobby is also our living: raising cattle. Might be wiser to have other hobbies to get ones' mind off the frustrations of normal ranch life, let alone drought and years when neighbor bulls bring on an early calf crop, disproportionate number of backward calves, etc, takes a toll on the frame of mind of a cowboy!

You doubtless are wise to develop your talents for leather work and poetry, too. One has to have a real lucky streak to outguess markets, weather, and nature every time. Study of markets over a long time period helps, I suppose, but is time consuming and sometimes that time has to be spent doing the dirty work to the detriment of the better management.

I can really ID with your mom and the uncompensated costs of serving as a volunteer in and going through the offices of CattleWomen. I wasn't so involved at the time she was active due to having four kids at home in or near the teen age years. Guess every parent is shocked to learn it isn't only when they are babies that kids need lots of parenting. It's requires lots of fancy footwork to keep them all where they need to be, and fed and clothed and fed and working and fed...........during all those school years.

Haven't checked out much on here since last Friday. Had family here for three nights. They went home today. There were 26 of us here for dinner yesterday, if I counted right and didn't forget anyone. It was great fun. Just hope enough of the photo's turn out good. The new (6wk. old) grand daughter was the star of the show!

Your comments on your dad and his era of driving reminded of reading some letters written by my in-laws on their honeymoon in the '20s. Maybe I will look up and post some of the comments on the "high" gas prices in Yellowstone Park for Friday.

One memory of when I was a kid, was that gas was 33 cents per gallon, steer calves were worth 33 cents a pound, and heifer calves were 31 cents per pound. It seemed like those prices were fairly constant for a few years.

Today I drove a pickup pulling a 24' stock trailer to Martin to the sale. The load was eight cows and one potential paint bucking horse for Jeff Waln to try out. One of the cows was a black white-faced victim of slight cancer eye. She weighed 1270 and brought a whopping nickel per pound, for a total of $63.50 (almost enough to fill the pickup with diesel). (Current price for diesel is $2.29 per gallon.)

The other seven cows sold well, and weighed an average of 1360 pounds, at an average price of $64.30 per hundredweight. This made them bring right at $875 per cow, and they were all empty. Most of these gave us a calf to put onto other younger better cows. Selling expense was $11.25 per cow, not counting the transportation cost.

Today was a beautiful spring day, with the temperature over 70 degrees. Had to break out my straw hat, which very seldom gets used in the month of March in this latitude. Playing hooky is fun no matter how old a person gets. The rest of the crew carried on quite well at home without me, and our son enjoyed ranching today instead of doing his normal school routine.
Speaking of cattle prices, right after Dad died, I was going thru' old papers. Trying to decide what to keep and what to throw. I found a recipt from November of 1980. We sold 5 weight steers for 85 cents a pound and cull cows for 52 cents a pound. That was 25 years ago! As someone said, "when calves bring per pound what gas brings per gallon, things will be more in order."

Yestyerday was a wonderful day. Took the little woman for a horseback ride, as she was home from her job. Green grass coming up and a couple little calves sleeping in the sunshine. Best of all, got the beef we butchered and had my first home grown steak in about a year and it was wonderful!!!!!! Don't see how you could beat a great steak. Makes me feel sorry for those who don't ever eat one.

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