Yesterday for lunch I took a walk on the catwalk above the few cattle pens that are left here in the Fort Worth Stockyards and that are just outside my office. I looked across the area that used to be covered in pens but now is a parking lot. I looked straight down to the alley ways between the pens and saw the old original red bricks, the same ones the streets in the stockyards are made from.
There are a few horses that belong to the hands that work the cattle drive that are kept in the pens. And there is the small herd herd of longhorns that are used in the cattle drive. The cattle drive runs at 11 and 4 each day on Exchange Avenue in front of the Livestock Exchange building.
These old buildings and pens hold a lot of history. The livestock Exchange building is 107 years old and the Northside Coliseum is 102 years old. Even the bricks in the streets are historic!
While I stood on the catwalk yesterday there was a spring-like breeze blowing and I could hear the horses snorting, the birds singing, steers moo-ing and goats from the petting zoo going Baa-baa and the train whistle as it approached the stockyards station. I even heard the clip-clop of a horse and rider go by on the old red bricks below me. And for a moment, I was transported back in time and I could hear the sounds from 100 years ago. Cowboys yelling "git-up" and "yip-yip" to the cattle as they drive them down the alley ways to the Armour and Swift packing plants just up the hill. The conversations of the cattle buyers as they inspect the different pens of cattle. And the train as it brings in new herds to be sold.
But then the wind blew and the cup of tea I had sitting on the rail of the catwalk blew off and I came back to reality. As I made my way down to the old pens to retrieve my cup I thought about all the wooden gates and the bricks and the buildings and I wished they could talk. I wish they could tell me the stories of the things they have seen.
But wait..., maybe they just did. Maybe that moment that I thought was my imagination was really the voices from the past that lie in the wood and bricks. I think I will go back out there today and have my lunch and I will listen. Just listen...
Cowboy Poetry the Cowgirl Way!
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Other states were carved or born but Texas grew from hoof and horn!