"The Horse Traders"

  Pamy & Jerry

My brother, Jerry, and I were just children
when we made our first business transaction.
Back in the late '50s, there was an elderly man,
a bachelor,who lived just down the road from us
who one of the last of his kind.
 He was what folks used to call a "horse trader".
This was a very lucrative business in earlier times,
but things had slowed down for Billy since the advent
of the used car salesman.  This didn't stop Billy,
however, and he continued to ply his trade and he was known
to be very good at what he did, "trading".  Billy expanded
his business to trading for other things such as saddles, bridles,
or even scrap iron.  He also added to his income by mowing or
disking land for other people using, Nellie and Daisy, his team
of work horses.  Many was the time that I sat on Daisy's back
while he worked the horses.

One day Billy came home with what we kids thought was the most
beautiful horse we had ever seen.  Her name was "Boots",
I'm sure she got the name because she was marked by
what looked like four white boots on her legs.
She was mostly black
but she had a blanket of white across her back that looked like
someone had poured white paint on her that dribbled down
to a point on her back flanks.  We became very attached to Boots
right away and we wanted to buy her.  We were a bit dismayed
at the price that Billy quoted but we went home and
started counting up our money.

 Jerry had a savings account, since he was older than me,
and he mowed yards for extra money.
I was only eight years old but
I had milk money stashed away that I made from selling milk
from our milk cow to the neighbors.  With money in hand,
off we wentto talk, deal, and "trade" with Billy.
I think Billy was a little surprised
that we came up with as much money as we did but we were still
short about $50.00 of what the horse was worth.
Billy explained that he couldn't take any less than the price
he had quoted us as he was already
giving us a "deal" since we were his good friends,
and he couldn't afford to lose money on a deal.
I was feeling a bit forlorn when suddenly
Billy said, "I tell you what", "If it's okay with your Mama, I'll take
what you have and let you make payments on the rest."
We did check with our parents and we were ecstatic
that day as we rode Boots home.

Jerry and I dutifully fulfilled our bargain with Billy and paid off
our $50.00 debt within the year.  The interesting part of this story is
that most of that money was made from selling
milk to neighbors from our jersey cow.
You see, our best milk customer was Billy!

By Pamela R. Blaine
c April 13, 2000

Pamy & Nancy Jean
Riding "Boots"

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