Archive for abilene – Page 3

On Calves and Life

CattleA Letter to the Editor of the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle by Bill Jeffcoat:

I simply must report this, and I highly recommend a similar experience for a town person.  Why?  Here I am, born and raised in a farming place, not really knowing much about it; over 60 years old and it just did not interest me.

So, what is it I am talking about?  With the kindness of my friends, Dr. Laws and his assistant, I wanted to watch the birth of a calf.  When I went, I didn’t know we would run into a C-Section.  Dr. Laws asked, “Do you think you can stand it?”  I said I would try. Mercy, what a thing to behold; the patience of the humans and the mother, the sewing up, the gallons of disinfectant, getting the baby to start breathing, just the whole thing.

It was to me, simply amazing and the reason I am writing this is, for me, it brought to mind the whole balance of nature, that balance between animal and man, each helping the other through a time of difficulty, to keep the cycle of life going. As I dried the baby off with a sheet, I wondered to myself, will I ever be able to eat beef again?  Well, I can, and oddly enough, the helping crew of humans wanted to name the calf after me!  A final thought, this world of ours is very intertwined with the help of all of us; let us all just keep on doing what we can to help.  -Bill Jeffcoat

A Crocodile in Abilene

Bill Jeffcoat

Bill Jeffcoat

Bill Jeffcoat was a lifelong lover of history, and enjoyed sharing stories and people and events in Abilene.  He began sending letters to the editor of the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle newspaper, musing on some of Abilene’s interesting characters of the past.  Below, Jeffcoat reminisces on an Abilene individual who owned a crocodile.

“Francis Duffy started the bowling alley along I-70, and it was an instant success.  His wife ran the restaurant.  Somehow, Duffy bought a small crocodile and kept it in his basement on Vine Street.

“It grew to around ten feet in length.  All the chicken bones and steak bones, left over from the evening, Francis would take home to feed the croc.  In the middle of winter, I asked Duffy if I could watch a feeding.  As we descended the wood basement steps, Duffy said, “Be very careful, as if he is in a mean mood, his jaws can go through two inches of wood.”  The croc was curled up around the hot water tank to keep warm.  He was hungry and his meal was devoured quickly.”