You Might Be A Generation X Showman If...
I remember it like it was yesterday...but…it wasn’t yesterday. Ha! If you’re like me, you have no idea how you ended up close to or in your 40’s, and you still don’t believe it, but you wouldn’t trade those old days for nothin’. We were the Generation X livestock showmen, not show persons, because we didn’t think that way back then: showmen. And we rocked some pretty awesome trends if I do say so myself.
Let me refresh your memory:
You might have been a Gen X livestock girl if... you wore Rockie Mountain jeans with no back pockets that were mid-to-high-rise jeans in a rainbow of colors that creeped up your 'tokus (and for your young pups, keep in mind -- it was during the pre-thong era!)
You might have been a Gen X livestock person if... you wore a web belt, too (Yes, you can still buy them!) Guys and girls wore them. They were woven nylon with multiple colors. You usually had one to match every outfit, and if you were really cool, you folded them so they flapped down near your pocket. Let’s just call them the pre-curser to bling belts. And if you had a big-a$$ belt buckle, you sported that, too!
You might have been a Gen X cattle showman if... you ever used a tail tie. Normal people would call it a zip tie that was used on a tail to keep it in place, but not in the 80’s, baby.
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you were ever forced to use a wooden showstick to reach your bull’s long legs. Yes, they were wood and had like a screw-thing on the end of them. But, boy, did you think you were cool when they came out with the hot pink fiberglass ones!
You might have been a Gen X cattle person if... you ever had one of those suction-cup-diamond signs for your pick-up that said “Wrangler Butts Drive me Nuts.”
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you remember life before the Sullivan catalog! Yes, there really was life before that!
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you remember when laced Roper boots came out. It was kinda huge in our world!
You might have been a Gen X livestock person if... you ever bedded down at the shows with straw. Yes, we really used straw. No wood chips or bark for us, even if we didn’t have to walk both ways to school uphill.
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you ever used Orvus. It was a clumpy, white shampoo that dried the crap out of your cattle and you, but it got ‘em clean! Believe it, or not, they still make it!
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you ever had a fiberglass showbox that you sat on. You were extra cool if you had a padded showbox, too.
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you ever owned a Showstring sweatshirt or windbreaker. (Windbreakers were what we called pullover rain hoodies in the old days, kids.)
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you ever used actual metal and plastic-strapped lawn chairs at shows. Plus, you remember the people with director’s chairs were the “rich” ones.
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you remember having to actually wait for a magazine to come in the mail to see results from shows and see your point standings.
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you remember how excited you were when The National Exhibitor started printing.
You might have been a Gen X showman if... you actually showed in a non-collared shirt, maybe even a slutty t-shirt. (The girls, of course!)
Finally, you might have been a Gen X showman if... you ever called long-distance on a corded phone to talk to your livestock friends before a big show!
Yes, if you did any of those things, you are probably laughing realizing you were definitely a Gen X showman. But the good news is: we all survived! Plus, if you happened to keep any of that old stuff, it is officially “vintage” now, so you’re cool again! Your kids will be proud for sure.
But once a Gen X'er, always a Gen X'er…
Cover photo courtesy of Dr. Harlan Ritchie's Beef Cattle in Review