Streamline - Fall 2012 - (Page 37)
BY MICHAEL JOHNSON
You Gotta Have Heart
A FEW YEARS ago, I did a show for Stock Horse of Texas, an organization dedicated to creating better horses and horsemen. The conference and the show were held in Ft. Worth in the Stockyards. (Does it get better than that?) Sherry and The Rowdy Cow Dog were with me, and surrounded by such good wholesome people – and people who love horses – we had the best of times. Afterwards, a man approached our table and said, “I want to come see you. I have an idea.” Sherry and I said, “Come on.” A few days later, Dr. Harry Anderson came driving up the lane.
Years passed and Dr. Harry kept driving. Now the “road that never ends” had brought him to our farm … and to our kitchen table.
Sitting at our kitchen table – having one of my special “Killer Chicken Salad Sandwiches” – Dr. Harry told us about his life … “Grew up in North Dakota,” he said in between bites. “Graduated low in a class of fourteen. Voted ‘Least Likely to Succeed,’” he laughed, and I could tell he wasn’t kidding. “But my wife, Margaret, believed in me. Found my focus because of her, and eventually received my PhD in nutrition from South Dakota State University.” Dr. Harry went on to explain he did the professor/research thing for a time, and then entered the corporate world and became a key feedlot nutritionist and district manager for a major feed company. “In those days,” he said, “the company I worked for believed the horse came first and customer service was critical. If we did those two things well, marketing and sales success would naturally follow.” Times were good. Later, new management came with a different view. The new breed thought less about the horse, was less interested in customer service and focused more on the bottom line. Dr. Harry became disenchanted, and eventually left to
follow his dream – to create the best possible all-purpose feed for the horse, and to keep the customers’ needs right alongside those of the horse. He did so. He then got in his truck, pulling a trailer full of horse feed, and started driving across America. Hardly anyone would buy his feed. Years passed and Dr. Harry kept driving. Now the “road that never ends” had brought him to our farm … and to our kitchen table. “I want to do a TV show,” he said, wiping the crumbs away. “A three-minute embedded segment driven by questions from viewers. I want to offer people a way to gain information. There will be three of us. I’ll handle questions about nutrition; Dr. J.D. Norris will answer concerns involving areas such as hoof care, equine dentistry and other health issues. I want you to help horse owners with the ‘mental’ side of starting colts, problem areas and so on.” I said okay, wondering who in the world could ever vote for this well dressed, articulate, intelligent man to be “least likely” at anything. We pitched the show. While the people we were talking to were very nice, it was clear as a bell they had little interest. Afterwards, Dr. Harry gets in the truck and said, “Man, that went well, didn’t it? They are going to do it.” I’m thinking, “Did we just go to the same meeting?” For the next five years, Dr. Harry comes by my house when he’s in the area and – while eating his chicken salad sandwich – always says, “They are going to do the TV show.” For five years he said that. By this time, I have come to have a genuine fondness for this fellow. As a youth, others looked down their noses at him, but he rose to the heights of academia and gained his doctorate.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2012
From the President
From the Executive Director
A Day ( or Two) in the Life of a Circuit Rider
The Necessary Evolution of Water and Wasterwater Utilities
Craig-New Castle PSA: One Small System's Giant Leap into the Future
Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on our part
Extra Highlights from 2012 VRWA Conference
Virginia Department of Transportation Work Zone Traffic Control Update
FOG (Fat, Oil and Grease): Sewer Public Enemy No.1
The Inspector Found What?
Ergs, Joules & Such
Understanding your Job as a Board or Council Member?
Throwing My Loop
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Welcoming New Members
Board Of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Fall 2012