Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tales From an Accounting Book: Who Would Name a Cow Oscar?

      Well, my Dad would name a cow Oscar!

       In the accounting book my Mom and dad used for their farm was a place for inventory. Mom listed the cattle - by name.  So the names of six cows were listed. Small farmers with only a few cows gave the cows names.

      So how come a cow gets named Oscar? That's the story.

      My Dad started his farm in 1935. So most people know that this was in the depths of the depression. At the time many farmers were broke and had to sell and move somewhere else. There weren't big fancy moving vans. They had an auction sale and sold most of their belongings. These auction sales were not highly successful as very few people had any money to buy things.

     This is where my Dad stepped in. Things sold very cheaply on these sales. Dad would buy things on these sales. No two chairs in Dad's house were the same. He bought them on auction  sales for probably ten cents a chair! His dishes and pots and pans where the same. No set of dishes for him. Lots of cups and saucers but none of them matched.

    Now back to the cow. He bought the odd cow on a sale. He would name the cow after the person who had the auction sale. So Oscar was a cow that he bought on Oscar's sale. He also had a Neufy, Lowdy, Strong and Burr...and maybe a few I've forgotten about. 

    He also had a horse called Teddy and  a very ancient model T truck that he got by trading a cow?

    So there's a story I found by looking in Mom and Dad's farm account book. By the way, I don't remember the cow called Oscar.

47 comments:

  1. We at one time had over 500 head of cattle.. each has a tag and tattoo and the show Cattle were all named.. We had a prize and we called her Sparkles. One Bull that we had as a heard sire was called Super Star.. Perhaps someday I will add some photos of them. .Some of the babies I named even though they had numbers and tats.. no branding.

    Really there is nothing like country life and living. Not sure I could ever live in a City.

    I enjoyed your blog. Its really cold here today –34C and dropping.

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    1. 500? No names for sure. Once Dad got more than 10 or 15 cows they weren't named.
      Yes, the country is a great place to live.

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  2. Interesting story. Your dad must have had some cash when others did not. He was able to start a farm when others were giving up.

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    1. Yes, Dad had some cash. His sister helped him and he worked in the winters.

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  3. HA! I LOVE this post. Would you believe that I name a lot of the cows and bulls on the ranch. There is an old wives tale, that if you name a cow, she will produce 20% more milk. We don't have any milk cows, but maybe it benefits the calves. :)

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    1. Now I've never heard that old wive's tale. You'll send me searching on that one. It's amazing that you name some of your cattle.

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  4. These are wonderful stories from a very hard time.

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    1. I wish I had paid more attention and asked questions about these days. When I began to ask Dad questions most information he had was gone.

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  5. C'mon - your Dad was really into the future - unisex names are the go now! No one would blink an eye at a cow called Oscar! I bet Oscar if CDH's wives tale is correct was a good milker.
    Thankfully our heat wave has subsided for this coming week - not ready for 50 Celsius in the shade for awhile again too soon.
    My goodness it appears you are copping a load of white stuff, which isn't Oscar's frozen milk, in blizzard conditions all over North America. Looks horrible on the TV and yes - Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

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    1. Unisex never entered Dad's head.

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  6. "A Cow Called Oscar" rather sounds like a name for a book. It's certainly a most unlikely name for a cow. Although I know someone who named his car Oscar. I don't know why. Sounds even more unlikely than a cow.

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    1. Yes, wasn't there a movie called, "A Man Called Horse?"

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  7. An interesting post Red. Those depression years must have been incredibly tough, even for your parents. My grandparents used to have a big farm in the Midlands, but mum never mentioned anything about cattle having names. I expect there was a Daisy in there somewhere though.

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    1. As tough as think were they were happy and did not complain as everybody was in the same boat.

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  8. I think Oscar is a beautiful firm name for a cow. Here they mostly have old dutch names.

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    1. The cow certainly wouldn't mind the name. These animals usually had a name from the previous owner.

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  9. Aah - this post takes me back Red. My Uncle Nelson had a farm up in Marysville and he liked my name so much he named a new calf after me, cept he called her "Little Lilly", for Lilly was already taken. Little Lilly n I had much fun together whenever we visited the farm and she always seemed to know when we were coming, for she was at the road side of the gate waiting. I would gt out of the car there, while my parents drove up the lane and Little Lilly n I would walk back together. All the animals on the farm had names. This was just a delightful post and brought back lovely memories. Thank you Sir Red and have a wonderful day :)

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    1. Yes, some people name pigs , chickens everything. The small mixed farm were a lifestyle.

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  10. There are not a lot of people named Oscar these days. Especially no cows with that name. Good story, Red! :-)

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    1. Yes, Oscar is not a common name now. I hadn't thought of that.

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  11. what a great little log book you have full of memories and hard work.

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    1. There are the smallest of details that remind you of a whole story. So keep your account books years after your gone somebody will find interesting information.

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  12. Terrific post! That accounting book is a real treasure, and keepsake!!

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    1. It's funny how the smallest detail can produce a whole post.

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  13. Can you close your eyes and smell the straw in the barn or the dust on the cow path? I can.

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    1. This blows my mind. You remind me of all the smells and sounds

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  14. Dairy cows often had names also. I like the idea, I named a few fishing poles after their owners when given to me to bring good luck.

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    1. There are many naming traditions out there. Many times cars are named. One girl called her VW bug Ernie!

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  15. Someone said it already but your dad was ahead of his time. If you watch the home decorating shows "sets" of anything are out of style. Different chairs in dinning rooms and different place settings are now the vogue. Yep, your dad was ahead of his time.

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    1. I think there's a saying something like whatever goes around comes around. Dad never thought of style as he was too poor, but happy poor.

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  16. Now I am wondering if he named the horse after Teddy Roosevelt ~ who inspired the Teddy Bear .

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    1. For sure the poor old horse was not named after Teddy Roosevelt. You guessed it. He bought the horse from a guy named Teddy.

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  17. I remember the practice well. I had an uncle who named his cows after his sister in laws. My moms name was Bessie. I think my Dad found the naming practice quite amusing when we visited the farm....:)

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    1. Your uncle had a wicked sense of humor and probably stirred the sister-in -laws up.

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  18. Your Dad sounds like someone who was careful with his money so his family can have enough in case of need or an emergency.

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    1. Dad really wasn't careful with money. He didn't have much and was forced to be frugal.

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  19. You have a treasure in that accounting book.
    My Grandparents didn't have matching dishes either and I have just a few pieces of what was there. I cherish most the bowl my Grandma always put the pinto beans in. :)

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    1. Funny how one nice dish stands out among all the junk.

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  20. I love the story. And Oscar is a rather good name for a cow!

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    1. The method of naming was what I found interesting.

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  21. A great little story. I'm with Alan; "Oscar" is an excellent cow name!

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    1. I just thought it was interesting how the name was given. Now you could post many times on names. some of your critters have pretty fancy names.

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  22. Oscar is a fine name for a cow, we probably would have added a lady like middle name Oscar Anne or Oscar Mae. We used to name every animal on the farm. :)

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  23. Oh that is cute a cow name Oscar.

    I remembered a cow name Elsie at the Canadian Ex.
    I was a kid but oh that was thee thing back then. Go see Elsie the cow. It all lead up to Drink your milk.

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  24. A cow named Oscar.. that sounds more like a bit of bull. ;)

    Like Sparkle, I remember Elsie the Cow also. I think she was the Borden Milk mascot/logo.

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  25. A cow named Oscar.. that sounds more like a bit of bull. ;)

    Like Sparkle, I remember Elsie the Cow also. I think she was the Borden Milk mascot/logo.

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