Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Stock Market Education

I guess you could say that my father was in the stock market.  He worked at Stockyards National Bank, in the Livestock Exchange Building, when Omaha was the world’s largest livestock market. 

Livestock, as opposed to stocks and bonds, refers to (live) animals, such as cattle, sheep, and hogs.  I don’t recall how old I was before I realized that the phrase “stock market” might describe anything else, such as the New York Stock Exchange. 

In the Omaha Stockyards, there were miles of pens.  Trucks and trains would bring the critters and yard men would organize them into pens.  The yard men had the job I wanted because they dressed like cowboys and some of them rode horses through the pens to move cattle at least.  I don’t think they used horses to move hogs, but maybe they did for sheep.  They used long whips too.

My poor father did not get to do the fun stuff.  He had to work in the bank.  His customers were ranchers, yard men, commission men (who bought and sold livestock like stockbrokers do shares in companies), and guys who worked in the nearby packing houses. 

I vowed that when I grew up, I would be a cowboy, or at least a yard man riding a horse.  Don’t you kinda feel sorry for the guys in New York City who spend their time buying and selling pieces of paper?  It is way more fun buying and selling cows, especially if you use a horse to do it.


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