Tuesday, July 11, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Some time back in one of our former lifetimes, we lived and worked in a small southwest Minnesota town named Worthington.

To call it rural would be an understatement. There were perhaps some 13,000 inhabitants not counting turkeys and hogs. In fact, the annual festival (as our Charro Days in Brownsville) was Turkey Days. The folks at Worthington, harking back to when a Campbell's Soup plant was open there, hailed the city as the turkey capital of the United States.

I'm not making this up. There was actually a Turkey Race called the Great Gobbler Gallop where a the local turkey (named Paycheck) would race down 10th Street (the main street) against a challenger turkey from Cuero, Texas, which also called itself the turkey capital of the county.

Then Paycheck and a racing team would make the trek to Cuero and race down their main street. Whoever's team won gave the bragging rights to the town to claim the national turkey town title.
Ah, rural America. You gotta love it.

But I digress.

The local newspaper (The Globe) catered to it rural readership and often (maybe four times a year) feature a Farm Beat section. One of the main features was a story on Century Farms recognized by the state and issued a proclamation by the governor. To be recognized as Century Farm, farms must have remained in continuous family ownership for 100 years and be a minimum of 50 acres in size.

Reporters on the staff dreaded the coming of the issues, but everyone swallowed the bitter pill, bit the bullet, and contributed stories to the issue. It fell on my lot to write a story on a Century Farm located just west of Worthington near the town of Rushmore. Now, Rushmore wasn't your average metropolis. It had perhaps 350 people if you counted the motorists passing on I-90 to the north at the time you did the census.

I went along with staff photographer Bryan Korthals. Bryan was an old hand at The Globe and had done scores (if not more) assignments on Century Farms for the Farm Beat. He was actually a pretty good photog just as Brad Doherty and Mickey Torres were in the Herald of old.

We got to the farm and set about to interview the couple who lived there. Their kids were all grown up and gone and they lived alone. The farmer and his wife were in their 70s and he had suffered a stroke which made interviewing him a team project between me and his wife. We were pulling it off when a brother – we'll call him Maynard – came in the house and sat next to Korthals as I took notes.

All of a sudden Maynard interrupted and asked me: "Hey, where are you from?"
I turned around and said, "Texas."
"What's the matter," Maynard persisted. "Aren't there any jobs in Texas?"

As I turned to look at him, I noticed the farmer's wife was getting exasperated with Maynard's intrusions.
"Let me get through with this and we'll talk then," I told Maynard as amiably as I could.

I turned to the lady and asked her a few softball question. One of them was: "What changes have you noticed in Rushmore when you go to town?," I asked.
"Mexicans are thick as flies," Maynard butted in.
Korthals smothered a laugh as I plodded on through the interview.

I finally finished taking notes and turned to Maynard, who was sitting smirking smugly at me.

"Now, what is it you wanted to know, Maynard?," I asked.
"How come you're not in Texas working instead of here," he answered.
"Well, Maynard, they tell me that people here don't know how to write and they hired me," I answered with a smile.
He looked at me sideways with a puzzled look and then laughed.
"You know what? I like you. You can come visit any time you want."

We parted good friends and as we drove down the long driveway of the farm Bryan burst out laughing and we kept laughing all the way back to the newsroom where the incident became part of the Farm Beat lore.


Anonymous said...

Economy in Brownsville not good. HEB lines not so long. Pawn shoos every where. Banks close restaurants close, helk even Lubys closed after 55 years. Rene Oliveira and Lucio to blame. Maybe even Vela. Change them or Brownsville will be in a 911 situation economically. No space x no Tenaska. Nothing. Homewrecker alcoholic greedy suckers of lobbyist and pac money.

Anonymous said...

Look baboon the jobs are coming. Go by hwy 48 gas lines are coming. Go to Boca chica. You can't no way in hell build infrastructure without basic utilities. Do you know how much it costs to put utility lines and road all thw way to Boca chica. Be glad state is paying for it. Money doesn't come out of arse man!

Anonymous said...

Racism rears it's head where every you are. Some places it is Anglos against Mexicans and down here it is Mexicans against Anglos. What is a vato to do? Even the esteemed scribe Juan Montoya has been known to blame all the ills of South Texas on gringos, dead and alive.

Anonymous said...

Say no to Rene Oliveira.

Anonymous said...

The McHale report is a sham. Do not believe the dillusional freak

Anonymous said...

Rick Zayas Mike Hernamdez Maclovio Sissy McHale Sister Elizabeth Brother Michael Pinkerton Joe Jamison Marco Henry Sister Celsius. Pennaeus Vannemei. Father Ameesse

Anonymous said...

Juan Montoya #1

Anonymous said...

John Bruciak. #1

Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveira out drinking again with lobbyist money staring at all the women with a creepy sweaty existence. Are you people ok with that behavior. Prowler

Anonymous said...

If Fliemon and the Lucios do not square off to Oliveiras behavior then no one should vote for them. Trash trash trash

Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveira for dog catcher

Anonymous said...

Lucio back to sale shoes at JC Penneys and take your son.