by Darr Shannon
Monday, October 01, 2012
Darr Shannon Presentation
RANCHER PANEL PRESENTATION
by Darr Shannon
by Darr Shannon
Hello Fellow Americans…
My name is Darr Shannon. My life has been blessed by being a child of parents from the GREATEST GENERATION.
My parents sacrificed through heart, soul, blood, and sweat to make their lives work. We lived a life with a love of the land, and my young heart thought my world was perfect. I remember Daddy (known as R.T.) telling Mama….”If we have to live in a tent, I won’t ever let anything happen to this ranch”.
R.T. was in WWII and was in the fifth wave to hit Iwo Jima. He saw many of his buddies get killed. R.T.’s father was on the military draft board and could’ve made sure that R.T. didn’t go into the war, but RT told his dad “my friends are going, and nothing is going to stop me from going”. Mama (known as Willi), married RT and was the greatest wife and mother any human could ever have.
The cow’s water was the most important thing every day of RT’s life. Their water came before any of us. If the steelrim was low, we were not allowed to do anything extra with water. That included bathing and washing our hair. When my sister and I were in High School, we snuck into the kitchen at night to wash our hair and did it in the dark. We would put a flashlight on the kitchen table, and the reflection off of the kitchen window from the flashlight allowed us to see ourselves in the window like it were a mirror. From there, we would put in a few curlers, and then crawl back to bed. We don’t think anyone ever knew.
RT’s (and now Pecos’ (my husband) and my), cow herd consists of horned Herefords. The herd was established in about 1908, and we have NEVER purchased a Hereford cow. Bulls were bought and replaced every few years, to keep the herd progressive. The cows we now have are the many generations later of offspring from the original bunch. Every one of RT’s friends tried to convince him that he should “cross-breed”. He would tell his friends “It can take a lifetime to build a herd up to what I have now, and it only takes 30 minutes to change all of that”. He never did give in.
RT saved every penny he could, and bought a caterpillar bulldozer. He worked and worked, and was able to get grasses established in places that had been desolate for decades. He saved more pennies, and drilled wells to establish more watering spots for his cows.
RT taught us that no matter what job we had in front of us….DO THE VERY BEST JOB YOU CAN…WHETHER IT IS DIGGING A SEWER DITCH, OR SWEEPING THE PORCH. Willi taught us that if you are waiting for your “ship to come in”, you had better send on out first. She also told us “if you want your dreams to come true….WAKE UP!!”
After I went to High School, I went a couple of years to college, and then I just wanted to go to work, and make my own living. I moved to Washington, DC and lived there for over two years. I worked for a couple of banks, and then found out about a job up on Capitol Hill. Because I was still pretty much a country girl, I was afraid to drive up to the “Hill”, so I walked. Oh my gosh, it was a lot further than I thought. When I got there for the interview, I was hot, red, and sweaty. I tried to be very persuasive to the interviewer, but needless to say…..I didn’t get the job.
Well, almost 40 years later, the ranch belongs to my husband, my daughter, and myself. The land belongs to God. We are here to take care of it for him. In addition to cattle, we water javelina, squirrels, chipmunks, antelope, deer, horny toads, hawks, eagles, sparrows, swallows, rattlesnakes, lots of other kinds of snakes, buzzards, bats, kangaroo rats, mice, bees, frogs, badgers, coatimundis, terrapins, ducks, quail, dove, pigeons, and on and on.
My family is here to care for the land and the land’s possessions while it is in our legal custody, and that is what we intend to do. As I have now taken on the job of County Commissioner in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, I have a fire in my heart and soul. This fire is passion for the United States of America and everything it stands for. I want to live by the Constitution of this great country, and I want to help others as they live by our Constitution. I will not falter.
“If we have to live in a tent, I will never let anything happen to this ranch”.
Thank you all for your time.