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Baxter Black

Baxter Black tackles ag issues with a strong funny bone. Black is an American cowboy, poet, philosopher and former veterinarian.

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Infinite Time: The way I’ve been able to absorb the concept of ‘No beginning and no end’ is that time must be like a rolling ball. Of course, in my mind, time recycles itself over a long period. Thus, my surprise when I read about the natural gas boom in Pinedale, Wyoming, and the record high price of farmland in Iowa.

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I received notice that a friend of mine was having a retirement party. He was only 55. I was abashed! Why, he’s in his prime. He’s too young to retire. He should suffer more anxiety, exhaustion and life-draining challenges; what’s the matter with him? Retiring at 55 is like:

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The sign in the health food store in New Sydney, Wales, said, “Sheep Placenta – On Sale! Half Price!” It was also printed in Chinese. My first thought was, ‘Do they eat it? Rub it on? Make party favors of it? Kick it around like a soccer ball?’ Then I had the horrible memory of the old farmer joke where he couldn’t get his pregnant wife to the doctor in time. Well, never mind.

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We were sitting in the Los Angeles airport waiting for a flight, just watching the local fauna when Will observed the striking similarities between airports and feedlots. We were in a seating area, confined in a controllable number; penned, one might say.

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Sometimes I think I live in a different country than the ones I read about in the newspapers or hear on the radio and television.

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I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for city girls who marry into an agricultural way of life. They are expected to learn, understand and participate in a culture that is as alien to them as the life of a New York cabbie, a San Francisco homeless person, or Donald Trump’s butler. But, to their credit, most of them try.

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