My grandparents received exactly one paycheck per year, usually in mid-August when they took calves to market. I was probably 5 or 6 years old the first time I got to go to the sale and sit in the grandstand as the cattle were auctioned off in lots.

I don’t remember much from the sale, other than the auctioneer’s cadence was pleasing even if it didn’t make much sense to me. It was the conversation with my grandparents as we were leaving the parking lot that’s stayed with me. It was a good year, and my grandmother said she’d picked up a nice check at the cashier’s office.


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