May 03, 2021

Saturday Melissa’s sister and niece came to visit, and I took some time to go for a drive and get in some fishing.  I had been given directions for a guaranteed fishin’ hole several months ago by a friend but had not yet been able to check it out.  I was not sure this was where I was going to go, but as I drove the car took me in that direction, so I followed along (even without AI).  The route took me across the river and then east along the interstate.  The further I drove the more I realized these were directions from his house up north.  A closer route would have been to head east from my town and then bend slightly north.  I was out to get away and the drive was through some beautiful scenery, so I did not mind.  While I was on my way back home, I passed the (locally) famous Budweiser Silo outside of Lavaca.

When I worked for the Kansas State Forestry Department in the 1970’s (yes, a real thing) we took care of the trees and grounds of the state park areas at two of the local reservoirs.  We mostly planted trees, pruned, and cut grass to keep the areas looking nice.  A couple of years earlier the high-water level from rains had resulted in the loss of trees along the reservoir, and that meant we also cut up the wood and transported it to a ground silo located on the other side of the lake.  The ground silo was previously used by the rancher who owned the land around the river the dam had transformed into a reservoir.  They would store silage as feed for their cattle.  Since it now belonged to the State, we filled it with limbs.

The silo I passed Saturday was located on a ranch that raised Certified Angus Beef.  They used this upright silo to store grain they used to feed the cattle during the lean winter months.  It seems the original owner was also the local beer distributor.  He had painted the Budweiser logo replica on the silo years ago, but it had faded over time.   After he died, his daughters ran the beer distributor business, along with the ranch.  They met artist Troy Freeman of Freesky Studios when he was painting a logo on their barn for Certified Angus Beef.  Since the original paint on the silo required frequent touching up, they hired Freeman in 2018 to redo the silo with a more durable paint.  Freeman located a beer can from the 1974-78 era, completely sandblasted the silo, and recreated the original to exact scale and specs.  The interesting part is the silo sits in a dry county.

Thoughts:  I remember one day when another worker and I brought limbs to the ground silo in Kansas.   I backed the truck up to the edge and got out to push the limbs into the slit.  My co-worker decided I was not close enough and got in to move the truck closer.  Every time he put his foot on the clutch it inched closer to the silo.  Finally, he revved the engine and threw it into gear.  Regrettably, it was in reverse.  The truck unloaded all right, but it now sat in the bottom of the silo.  Life can often be like unloading our truck into the silo.  We can try and tweak what we are doing to make everything perfect before we start.  When things get off kilter, we can become frustrate and just throw it in gear and hit the gas.  Often this causes us to end up in the bottom of the silo.  Sometimes it is better to accept that even though things are not perfect we will never make any progress until we start.  Perfection will never be achieved without first beginning the work.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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