Wednesday, December 9, 2009

City Folks and the Boot Jack

A sad realization

In the past six weeks I have been on 12 flights. Yup, me and my suitcases are getting to know each other very well. Quite a few of those flights have been through the Denver airport. I have mentioned before that when I travel I usually where my belt and cowboy boots. 1. The weigh a little bit and it saves extra room in my suitcase, 2. they are great conversation starters, and a good way for me to talk about agriculture with people, and 3. cowboy boots are so easy to slip on and off in an airport while going through the security line.

A couple weeks ago when I was returning from the Range Beef Cow Symposium I was standing in the security line when this couple behind me said "what is that?" The husband reply "well I am not really sure." I looked behind me to see the couple pointing at a boot jack. It floored me that they didn't know what a boot jack was. It seemed like when I was younger everyone had one, whether it was going to grandma and grandpa's house or the neighbors for coffee.

I explained to the couple that it was a boot jack to help people take off their cowboy boots (I thought it was pretty cool that the people of Denver Airport were thoughtful enough to have one!). The couple explained that they were from the East and had never seen such a thing. We talked a little more about how I grew up on a farm and raised cattle.

You keep on hearing the statistic that people are two or three generations removed from the farm now. Well I believe it! People just aren't familiar with the west anymore, they really have no idea what goes on in agriculture, and it is going to take a commitment from everyone of us to help educate them. Work on that elevator speech! All you have to tell them is who you are, where your from, what you do and how it relates to them. Trust me they'll have questions, and I would rather us answer the questions than another New York Times article!

(the boot jack is from the Lou Talbert store in Casper, Wyoming)


  1. Just so you know if you want a personalized St. Joseph boot jack you can get them at St. Joe Boot!!

  2. Thanks for the tip Melissa. I need to go back in their one day, and look around. I always seem to find some neat stuff.

  3. I've been one of those non-cowgirl boots people almost my whole life! I've seen boot jacks in Lubbock, etc and always knew what they were for but had no clue what they were called. Boots I've had aren't practical for going through security but you'll be proud to know I bought some at NAILE last fall & have worn them through security a few times. Not bad for a city girl?


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