Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 9-19-11
In my line of work I read a lot of books. Periodically one rises to the top so far that I have to tell the world. “How to Spell Hoar with an ‘H,'” was written by Darrell Hoar, the title of which is a play on his last name.
Darrell has spent over 4-million-miles driving in his cattle buying career and has been a passenger on hundreds of private airplane jaunts. He mentions the rancher/pilots were the scariest as they landed and took off from places where they had no business doing either. He gives a great deal of credit to “the cattle buyer’s Guardian Angel,” protecting him during his many “almosts” that he cites.
He grew up in extreme southwestern South Dakota on a ranch where he learned early how to work hard. Once he got into 4-H his world expanded and he eventually ended up at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago. Darrell had come up through the ranks, as it were, to earn a berth in competing for the Master of Ceremonies on the WLS National Barn Dance Theatre stage, a very high honor that came out of the Congress. He won the contest and part of his duties was to make a presentation to the USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson. Darrell writes the highlights of this trip and his experiences in such a way that you understand his excitement.
Ultimately he became an order buyer at various sale barns and for private ranches. He tells of the people who taught and influenced him and how he learned the craft, which he is still plying to a small degree even though he “retired” in 2009 after 50 years in the business. During this time he also served eight years in the Army Reserve.
It’s a big book, 534 pages, and it covers a lot of ground while giving pertinent overviews of histories for such places as the Padlock Ranch; Big Creek Ranch; Black Hills Beef Palace; Golden Plains Feedlot; Western Cattle Company; Black Hills Packing Company; Fall River Feed Yard; McEndaffer Feed Yard; Moser’s Feedlot; Green Bay Dressed Beef American Foods Group LAK and True Ranches and more. Darrell tells how the True Ranches Annual Used Cow Sale got started. Darrell’s lively writing style brings color to each of these stories. Chock full of marvelous photos, he has inserted many quips and nice jokes throughout in what he calls “Break Time.”
You’ll meet wonderful people in this book, and I’m betting that many of you already know a good share of them and these stories will bring back fun memories.
Darrell wrote this on a nonprofit agreement under which the Western Junior Livestock Show, held annually in Rapid City, S.D., is the benefactor above his cost. Books cost $60.00 (add $6.50 for shipping) and are only available through him. Write checks to WJLS. Mail to Darrell Hoar, 7031 Anderson Road, Black Hawk, S.D., 57718.
Peggy writes from southwest South Dakota and has spent many evenings reading this book with many more to go. Her internet latchstring is out at Peggy@PeggySanders.com.