Monday, September 18, 2006 :::
Both Nick and Ward have addressed the burning issue of the senatorial candidates' footwear (which some blogs believe tell more about the man than, say, the ideas in his head, or the words that filter through his dip).
All this shoe fetish business jogged my memory of an item I saw about cattle production in Virginia. And sure enough, Virginia now produces more cattle than Colorado:
Virginia currently ranks 15th in the country in terms of beef numbers and is slightly ahead of California, Colorado and New Mexico.
Texas occupies the number one slot for beef cattle producing states, while Missouri is not far behind at number two.
But Virginia's fertile pastures and rolling hillsides offer many advantages over Western states. While states with arid climates may need anywhere from 20 to 50 acres to accommodate a cow for grazing, Virginia farmers can typically get the job done with two to three acres, said Scott Greiner, an extension beef cattle specialist at Virginia Tech.
He added that Virginia has also escaped some of the long-term droughts affecting other agricultural regions across the country.
The number of beef cattle in Virginia has grown fairly steadily over the past 20 to 30 years, McKinnon said, and coincides with a significant shift taking place after World War II, when many of the state's dairy farmers turned to cattle production.
Okay, so maybe Virginia does have its share of "cowboys" after all. No, they aren't Marlboro Men. Nor are they (most likely) politicians. But they probably own a part of old cowboy boots anyway.
And while on the subject of senatorial footwear, I recall a time in High School when then-Senator Gary Hart came by to talk to a group of us about something important (I can't recall what, exactly). It was in 1984, long before anyone really knew of Hart's voyages on the "Monkey Business." And everyone was thinking, gosh, this guy might be presidential material.
Hart sat down on the stage to get comfortable while taking questions. In this position, the pant leg of his nice, dark suit rose up just enough to expose a pair of brand new cowboy boots. So new, in fact, that the soles were probably as slick as ice.
It's terrible I can't recall what he said. But I remember the brand new boots.
I wonder if Donna Rice picked them out?
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 9/18/2006