A few years ago, while researching some family history, I came across an old classified ad in the Austin American-Statesman. The ad was under “Livestock for Sale” and its author was hoping to unload 40 goats. The author was my maternal grandfather, Mack Morris, who owned a small patch of land in Leander, where he raised a few chickens, a few goats and a lot of rocks, my parents liked to say.
It’s hard to think of my grandfather without seeing his Stetson “Open Road” hat, in silverbelly, or his belt buckles, one inlaid with a silver dollar.
There’s a family story about a lunch at his Leander home that ended in tears when he served my sister a chicken she had just hours before chased around the yard. Mack had little use for the sentimental.
His way of a life wasn’t easy. And that classified ad is the only trace of a farm that was long ago plowed under to make way for the suburban growth northwest of Austin.
As we worked on this issue, I thought about my grandfather and relatives before him who raised cattle and other livestock in Texas, and about how most of us are generations removed from the farm.
But across the county, there are students who aren’t removed from that vital industry and are learning the importance and value of agriculture. They often are overshadowed by other students in sports. But they should be congratulated for the long hours and hard work they invest in preparing their animals for show at the Galveston County Fair & Rodeo.
In this issue, we tip our hats to the students across the county who are learning responsibility and about a way of life that feeds us all.
Coast Monthly Editor