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It’s The Pitts : The Ties That Bind

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

by Lee Pitts

People are creatures of habit, and like most folks, I get attached to things. I’ve been married for nearly 50 years to the only girlfriend I’ve ever had. We are cut from the same cloth, in that both of us are fiercely loyal to products we grew up using. 

I’ve been a lifelong customer of Union Oil because they employed me in the oilfields when they really didn’t have to. I was paid $5.85 an hour when the minimum wage was $1.25, and I could never have gone to college without them.

In the course of writing my syndicated column for 40 years, I’ve used a hardbound Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary every day, which was given to me by a school teacher when I graduated from high school. 

It’s got my name imprinted on it in gold, and it’s the best gift I’ve ever received. I bought my Macintosh computer in 1984, and it made me a much better writer at a time when I could use all the help I could get. I became a lifelong fan of everything Apple.

In the lefthand pocket of my jeans is the Case knife I bought after I sold my first grand champion steer. Although it has cut me to the bone on a couple occasions, I don’t think it did it on purpose, and one will never find me without it. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve worn Pendleton shirts, Justin roper boots and J.C. Penney underwear.

Every time I grab one of my great grandfather’s wood planes, it feels like we are shaking hands across the ages. In my shop rests the family anvil which was made in 1845 and it still rings true. 

I could never go into a Sears store without buying a Craftsman tool, and now I have a shop full of them. The new Craftsman tools made in China just aren’t the same.

Whenever I mounted up, it was in my grandpa’s saddle, and I’ve never used a bit, reins or a pair of spurs that weren’t his. I wear a Stetson hat because he did. I used the same trucker to haul our cattle until he retired because he always had the latest copy of our livestock newspaper in his cab.

My wife and I drew up the plans to our home and have been the only ones to live in it now for 36 years. I can’t stand the thought someone someday will be living in our house. I can find my way to the bathroom in the black of night without ever turning on a light, and I know all our home’s groans and moans. 

Practically every piece of furniture in our house came from my family or my wife’s. She sleeps in the same bed her parents did, and I write on my great-grandma’s desk and eat off of the same table I did when I finally escaped my baby high chair and got to sit with the grownups.

I’ve never owned a bulldozer, but if I did, one can bet it would be a Caterpillar (Cat) because the Cat dealer in my county bought my second grand champion steer, which allowed me to buy my first cows, which set me on my cattleman course for life. 

I wore the Cat hat they gave me until it was in tatters, and I used a pocket watch just so I could attach it to the watch fob they gave me. 

I’ve been a General Motors (GM) fan for life – ever since a GM dealer bought another grand champion steer of mine, which allowed me to escape a toxic home life. 

My wife and I bought eight Oldsmobiles in a row from a GM dealer who became one of our best friends. When GM stopped making Oldsmobiles, our friend took us to the Buick dealer and told him to treat us well. 

He did, and we’ve driven the same Buick Lucerne for 15 years now. We drove our last Chevy truck for 25 years.

Why am I telling readers all of this? 

Well, if one owns a business and they are sitting on the fence about buying a 4-H or FFA animal at the fair this summer, let my life be a lesson. They’ll not only be helping a youngster, they could very well be buying a lifelong customer as well.

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