A Red Wheelbarrow
William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. Should we go home via Interstate 80 and Truckee or take the long way home via California 395 and Bishop? Interstate 80 would save time, but California 395 goes through Bishop with stops at Mahogany Meats and Schat’s Bakkery. The choice: extra time at home after a long rabbit show weekend or peppered bison and elk jerky and Sheepherder's bread and chocolate-covered macaroons?
I enjoy going to rabbit shows, and the West Coast Classic is my favorite. I am amazed at how the cavernous Reno Convention Center can be transformed into a bustling mini-city filled with rabbit fanatics of all shapes and sizes. I would like to thank the volunteers and show management for their time and effort. This rabbit show is a microcosm of democracy and capitalism at its best.
One thing I missed this year was the lady who operated a photography booth. Last year, she took pictures of patrons’ rabbits against a green screen, then digitally inserted the West Coast Classic backdrop. I still enjoy the picture we purchased from her; it just seemed to say, “We did it! We did something right.”
And we did something right again on Saturday. Wow! First, second, third in junior bucks. Unfortunately, on Sunday, the judge dispatched our rabbits quickly from the judge’s table. Well, at least MH51 hung around for a second place in junior bucks. My star, 2703, placed next to last. Back a few months ago, I thought MH51 was a candidate for the stew pot. So much for my picking winning rabbits. Second year in a row where I have kept a stew pot candidate around long enough for it to fulfill its God given talent. My lesson learned is not to judge young rabbits too harshly; they often just need more time to develop.
We did not win best of variety this weekend, which is our usual goal. That award is our validation that we are doing something right in our breeding plan for reds. It may sound odd to some, but we enjoy winning best of variety more than best of breed. Why? Because we get to leave early and explore other activities on the road trip home. We had fun at the Reno show, but now as a family, we could load up before noon and explore the big wide world beyond our small town of 1,000. First stop, In-N-Out Burger. “A Number 2 without tomatoes please. Can I substitute a strawberry shake for the drink?” I ordered with a small tear in my eye. It made me realize the picture was incomplete; my son was not here. Through three years of monthly three hour drives to UCLA for chemo, my son’s favorite stop was always In-N-Out Burger in Santa Clarita. Now he is 3,000 miles away at college. Next stop, Bishop.
Bishop has been my Emerald City ever since my big brother Bob used to take me backpacking at Lake Sabrina. Every trip to Ansel Adam's "Range of Light" would begin by stocking up on Mahogany Meat's jerky and end with a trip to Schat’s for macaroons and some sheepherder’s bread to take home to Mom.
The rabbits provide the impetus to get into the car and go for a family adventure. I’m lucky. My wife, two daughter’s, and my oldest daughter’s boyfriend made this weekend a family adventure; Oscar even won $90 playing poker at 3 in the morning.
The poet William Carlos Williams writes that “so much depends/upon/a red wheel/barrow.” I guess in the case of the Hacketts, “so much depends/ upon/a red rabbit.”