I suspect that it had something to do with his Polish roots, but there’s no denying the fact that Dad liked his beer. At some points in his life, he drank a lot of beer; some would say too much, but I never saw it as much of a problem. Dad always acted respectfully and very seldom got noticeably drunk since he usually drank slowly and he had a pretty high tolerance for beer.
A short time before we were married, Cherry and I drove out to the farm to see Dad. It was early summer and Dad and the younger boys had gone to sheer the sheep. Sheering sheep in the Texas heat is a hot, sweaty job so I think Dad had doubled up on the Budweiser that day. I noticed right away that he might have had just a little too much beer, but it didn’t seem to be affecting his sheep sheering.
Sheering the back and sides of a sheep is pretty easy, but it gets a little trickier when you get down to the stomach and legs. You have to watch out for the nipples on the ewes that are nursing their young and you have to watch out for the exterior reproductive organs on the rams. And those body parts are well covered by the wool, so they aren’t always so obvious. The easiest ones to sheer were the young ewes that didn’t have any babies since their nipples were so small that you could sheer right over them without causing any harm.
Cherry and I talked to Dad for a while as he sheered several of the sheep. He grabbed a young sheep and sheered the back and sides and then flipped it over to sheer the belly. As he made a quick swipe down the center of the belly with the large electric sheers, the sheep hollered loudly, obviously in pain. We looked down and saw a bloody mess, with the poor sheep’s penis hanging by a thread of skin. Dad gave us a little grin and said “no wonder that ewe didn’t have any babies this spring”.