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Recent Stories by Lee Pitts, Columnist

Be nice

January 11, 2019

People the world over use their fingers to communicate; mostly in rude ways. Hip teenagers and Italians couldn’t communicate if they had to wear mittens or a catcher’s glove. The problem is this “finger talk”...


Pitts: Too cute

December 28, 2018

I blame all these coffee mugs, flower pots, cartoons, posters and greeting cards with Holstein cows on them for the declining consumption of beef in this country. And I don’t think that Miss Piggy helped...


Pitts: What were they thinking?

December 20, 2018

Have you ever seen something in a grocery store or restaurant and wondered what the person who first tasted it must have been thinking? Who was the first cave man to eat a jalapeño pepper...


Pitts: Bear huggers

December 14, 2018

I’ve always assumed the term “tree huggers” originated in the 1960s, when strung-out hippies wrapped their needle-ridden arms around trees so that big, bad foresters or condo builders wouldn’t cut trees down. You can imagine...


Pitts: Animals are people, too

December 7, 2018

Contrary to her name, Happy is a not-so-cheerful 47-year-old elephant who is being held in captivity against her will, at least according to the Nonhuman Rights Project. If you believe the NRP, Happy is being...


Pitts: Long gone

November 30, 2018

You’ve worked, scrimped and saved to put together a ranch for your children only to learn that your kids want no part of the ranching lifestyle. This has created a shortage of slave labor on...


Pitts: Unsustainable

November 23, 2018

Two of the biggest catchwords of the 21st century are “paradigm” and “sustainable.” I’ve noticed that college professors and the overeducated use the word “paradigm” a lot, while society’s fancy pants and hoity-toity tend to...


Pitts: My house runneth over

November 16, 2018

There are many benefits to being a syndicated columnist. Although you work for a pittance, the gifts you get more than make up for the paltry salary. For example, I wrote that I had a...


Pitts: Soup strainers and flavor savers

November 11, 2018

Have you ever noticed the obligatory five or six young men standing behind every Grand Champion steer or heifer at a major livestock show who were responsible for grooming the animal? While every hair is...


Pitts: Riding with the big boys

November 5, 2018

One of the best perks about being a cow writer has been that it served as a gateway to visit many of the biggest and best ranches in America. The highlight came when I got...


Pitts: I see by your outfit

November 5, 2018

When people ask my wife what I do for a living she replies, “He’s a writer.” It’s the only time I’ve ever heard her lie. Actually, I spend 80 percent of my work day going...


Pitts: Relatively speaking

October 19, 2018

My family talks funny. My mom and grandparents on her side of the family are all gone now but I can still hear them using words like privy, lariat, pipsqueak, scuttlebutt and wieners. They said...


Pitts: Signs of a stroke

October 16, 2018

One of the signs you’re getting old is the AARP and the American Heart Association will send you pamphlets warning about the signs of a heart attack or stroke. Trust me, it’s not junk mail....


Pitts: My best idea yet

October 5, 2018

I’ve tried everything to make a living in the cow business. I bought expensive replacement heifers when the grass was green and the price was high only to have to sell them for beef eight...


Pitts: Save the ice cube

September 28, 2018

I have lived for most of my life within 10 miles of San Luis Obispo, Calif., or SLO as it’s known. Normally I hate cities, long lines and traffic jams so I tend to stay...


Pitts: Everybody looks better in a cowboy hat

September 21, 2018

When I taught myself how to engrave silver conchas I practiced on coins. Most of it was foreign coinage but occasionally I’d practice on U.S. coins. And yes, it’s legal as long as a person...


Pitts: Name your poison

September 14, 2018

Today’s lesson is about poisonous plants, dangerous delectables and fatal feedstuffs. I’m talking nightshade, lupine, milkweed and the poison used to kill Socrates: hemlock. Water hemlock is said to look a lot like parsnips and...


Pitts: Slow-moving traffic

September 7, 2018

If all the cars in the world were placed end to end … they’d probably be behind a slow-moving cattle truck. Everyone is in such a hurry these days they don’t have time to waste...


Pitts: Don’t eat the bait

August 31, 2018

The Cigarette Act of 1965 required labels on packages to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking. Although, if people who inhaled all that smoke didn’t realize it was unhealthy I doubt they were smart...


Pitts: A losing battle

August 24, 2018

We’ve turned the corner on beef consumption and it’s back on the rise after more than a decade of falling like a sack of hammers. I attribute beef’s decline to the plethora of diets urging...