Rez Publica in ancient Rome: the House of Lords in London: The United States Senate. Throughout the ages men have assigned certain places where the great minds of that day gathered and discussed the issues of that day. The issues discussed and conclusions reached in those places have altered the course of human history for better or worse. Wars have been fought; both won and lost. Nations have been made prosperous or impoverished by decisions reached in these sanctuaries of great deliberation.
Today, there are other places that serve that same function. One such place is the sale barn diner, where ranchers and farmers from all around the area bring their livestock to sell and trade. The local conditions are discussed as well as national policy and even international trade agreements. Everything of any true importance is dissected and broken down, hashed out and minutely examined until a general opinion and understanding is achieved.
The Silver Steer, attached to the Texokana Commission Exchange, is one such place. In addition to the best bull fries and breaded pork chops in three counties, the Silver Steer offers the latest news and liveliest discussion of current events in nearly as large a territory. The clientele are regulars. While the food is first tier, the fact that it’s attached to a livestock sale arena, gives a certain uhhh “air” to the ambiance that doesn’t enable it to draw in customers who aren’t intimately familiar with the smell of livestock still on the hoof.
Tom and Doug are regulars. Regular sales are held every Monday; pigs in the morning, cattle in the afternoon. Tom runs about a hundred head of pigs and Doug about the same of cattle. Monday lunch was a tradition with the two whether they were buying or selling or just watching and listening.
As they sat down at the end of the counter before ordering Tom leaned over to Doug and asked, “Hey Doug, can you spot my lunch today? I’m having a little cash flow issue at the moment.”
“Oh? Still waiting on that big check from the government you’ve been expecting?” Doug asked.
“Oh no, that came in the mail Saturday.”
“Oh, no chance to get to the bank yet?”
“No. I stopped off there on the way in this morning.”
Tom was visibly confused. “Then why are you cash strapped?”
“Well,” said Doug “I went in and presented the check to Janice at the window, but she needed to get Rod’s approval because it was over her limit.”
“Oh” replied Tom, understanding dawning.
Rodney Tylerwell is a well known figure in the area. He is the Vice President of the Stockman’s State Bank and Trust. Among his other functions, he is Treasurer of the Arapaho County Republican Committee; Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church, a regular officer in the local Masonic Lodge and Lions Club, and sitting president of the Arapaho County Gardening Society and was instrumental in creating the new display of Begonias in the Leonardville City Park. Rodney, “Rod”, is not a shy man. His views on most subjects is well known to those who know him. Particularly when it comes to politics; and most especially when it comes to government spending. Generally speaking, he isn’t in favor of it.
“Yeah” said Doug. “He put a hold on it until it clears.”