Using horses for food was a bit unusual

Published 2:13 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Many, many years ago as a very small child I sat with my parents and cousins at my grandparents house in a large dim room with a glowing fireplace.

I dare not sit between my grandmother and the fireplace because I would be in line of her snuff spit which traveled at least ten feet from her straight chair against the wall to the blazing logs in the fireplace. She could literally put out the fire at times with her  barrage of “cud juice”.

But those nights were filled with stories mostly from the Great Depressing days.

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I remember one story my grandparents told about having to skimp on food because there was not much of it available. My granddad told of a man who would often butcher his horses in an effort to keep meat on the table. He would never butcher the mule, however, because the mule  was too valuable as a work animal. In other words that mule could be used for plowing the field, towing logs from the deep woods, pulling the wagon and other related chores.

Now, I realize people sometimes do unusual things when they are desperate. But, killing your horse for steaks? That really goes too far.
Or does it?

Yes, in contemporary America news surfaced last week that horse could be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption.

Now can’t you see those restaurants signs and marquees, “Hitch your appetites to one of our tasty steaks”, Whoa Nellie-come on in for the best steak of your life”, or Chew forever on one of the best steaks on foot”.

Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to create satirical thoughts, but I am only trying to point out what President Obama did     Nov. 18 when he signed into law a bill lifting a ban on horse slaughtering. According to the Associated Press in an Internet Yahoo News story this ban was lifted in a spending bill the President signed.

The news story further indicated no horse slaughterhouses exists today but if they were opened inspections would be made to insure the meat is safe for human consumption.

Now, do you think you could cultivate a taste for horse steak? Perhaps covered with onions, peppers and other delicacies would help. Yet, many people out there are going hungry as their jobs have vanished and have very little hope in sight. Those who are desperate will often do things they normally would not do.

I’ll be following this story and will keep you posted on all developments.

In some more current news the Oklahoma State Cowboys and all their fans got one good night’s sleep, thinking they were in BCS Championship Game, after their football team ran rough shod over what appeared to be an Oklahoma Sooners team taking a dive for their conference. That’s what one radio commentator said happened. I don’t know what happened to the Sooners but they certainly did not play like a top ten team.

I did learn that several hundred cowboy hats were lost when the game was over. Some, in gleeful excitement, tossed their hats  upward into the wind never to see them again. One unofficial report said the value of those hats ran into thousands of dollars. And, on a serious note thirteen spectators were trampled as fans stampeded the field following the game.

But those Okla. St. fans failed to realize this. Should they have earned a spot in the championship game, wearing a hat indoors like the Superdome is frowned upon. Jesting, of course, but Paul Bryant lived by the rule of not wearing a hat indoors.

Cowpoke fans and thousands of other anti Bama fans cannot blame the Tide for what happened in the BCS selection. Had the Pokes played LSU all their second half advertisers would have taken a hit unlike any other big Championship game. The Geaux Tigers from Baton Rouge would have soared to such an enormous lead  viewers would be switching their TV channel  for another game to eyeball.
(Pardon me Chandler. I did not intend to impose on your excellent sports reporting. Events like this send me spiraling to my early days of sports writing back in the 1950s. I won’t do it again).

In some news from days gone by Vanity Fair announced plans to unveil a new line of apparel in 1966. The thriving Firm offered attractive robes and loungewear manufactured in certain area VF plants. The Atmore plant employed more than 300 workers that year.

In the mid-1950s, a freight train switching box cars near one of the local potato sheds ran into a truck loaded with freshly picked potatoes from the field. The spuds were scattered over a complete block before the train could come to a stop. The truck owner insisted that every potato be picked up and rebagged. This caused the shed to stop grading and all graders and baggers spent several hours picking up the potatoes.

Finally, The Floral Garden, operated by Mr. and Mrs. Bud Mason had their grand opening featuring floral arrangements, pottery, china and crystal. The building was located, and still is, at the Frisco overpass on Highway 31 west.

Next week we will take another look at people, places and events from days gone by.

“….yes…it always whispers to me…those days of long ago…”