Gypsy Wagon April/May 2020

By Betty Jo Gigot, Publisher

Here at CALF News, the world is segmented into two-month cycles since we publish every other month. As I write this, I am having difficulty remembering what the industry issues were that I was so concerned about when I wrote the last Gypsy Wagon, but I remember being concerned about the state of the world. Oh, now that I think about it, Iran was threatening bombs, and Harry and Megan were leaving England. What a difference two months, or even one day, can make these days.

I just started a book about Winston Churchill. In the preface, the author, Erick Larson, tells about the people who were actually in New York City on 9/11. He realized it was a totally different experience for New Yorkers than even the rest of the country, or the world. His book is about the first year Churchill was England’s prime minister, a time when there were 57 consecutive nights of bombing by the Germans, followed by a long series of nighttime raids for the next six months. The book explores how Churchill was able to cope with the circumstances.

A quote in the front of the book reads: “It is not given to human beings – happily for them, for otherwise life would be intolerable – to foresee or to predict to any large extent the unfolding course of events.” The quote is from Winston Churchill’s eulogy for Neville Chamberlain, November 12, 1940.

There is no way to compare the effect of the coronavirus with the situation in Europe or 9/11, but the topsy-turvy world we are all experiencing right now certainly was unforeseen and something none of us has experienced before. The most discombobulating thing to me is how spoiled we all are and how our everyday life is filled with unappreciated choices. New York Governor Cuomo is on Fox News right now announcing the shutdown of all bars and restaurants in the Tri-State area and calling out the National Guard to help with the situation. He is looking for 9,000 extra hospital beds in his area and considering canceling elective surgeries. The Dow is bouncing between 1,400 to 2,000 on the downside. It truly is a brave new world.

That brave new world for me is less complicated than most. I work from home and tend to stay home in my little casa much of the time. I am of an age that they keep promising are “at risk,” but I already had lots of toilet paper on hand. Plane tickets for the middle of April were easy to cancel and I have my groceries delivered. But spending the rest of March and maybe longer here, alone, could be a challenge even for a music listening, book reading, game playing little “old” lady, but it’s certainly tolerable.

And so, as we go forward, who knows what tomorrow may bring but this I do know: we are living in an amazing world, in a country that has the assets and the ability to withstand massive threats and at a time when solutions abound. As things get back to normal, as they will, let’s all keep our wits about us and remember to appreciate the choices we do have and stay well, all of you. Meanwhile, all of us are wondering what the next two months will bring. Stay tuned.

We focused on” Trends” this issue, and our writers took the opportunity to visualize what is coming down the pike as well as report on the recent Cattle Industry Convention in Texas. San Antonio was a great time to visit with friends and test the temperature of the industry. That has changed drastically with the current market fluctuations, but all one can do is hold on tight … this too will pass.