Friday, October 12, 2012

Here come the sheep


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

Oh, they’re coming—1,500 of them right through the heart of town. I wonder if any of the flock notices the many changes to the town of Ketchum since they started this parade a number of years ago. Do they enjoy getting off course and trampling some of the backyards of wealthy homeowners? Or, are they just glad to get out of the mountains and go to the green valleys that await them. I think probably so. But, hey, it’s their weekend and they can pretty much do whatever they want. They’re really getting famous, these sheep. It’s now one of the most popular events in the Northwest.

Some people don’t like sheep. Well, I do, and I hope that if you do as well, you’ll be out there on Sunday to see them travel down Main Street flaunting their fullness and thrilling the masses from all over the country. Yes, that’s right, there are many who plan their vacations to come to the Wood River Valley to see where this industry started, learn about their history, love them and eat them. They stay over for the Jazz Jamboree to listen to great musical performers and eat some more lambs because, apparently, jazz and sheep go together. What’s a saxophone solo good for without a crown roast, I ask you. Give me a lamb chop and some scat singing and I’m in nirvana. Add some mint sauce with some Dixieland licks and I just freak out with pleasure. But, that’s just me. Don’t just waive me away with disdain and snort under your breath, “Clearly, the man is just not right.” I’m not here to be judged by cow lovers and rodeo queens. I stand by the sheep and everything about them, OK?

Who cannot enjoy the skill of the sheep dog as he goes about his daily duties of handling the big herds? Have you ever had a Basque or Peruvian sheepherder cook for you in one of their wagons? I have, and I stayed up all night playing my guitar with some pretty nice, generous people.

So welcome back, sheep lovers, and let’s all make all the participants of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival feel right at home. If you need me, I’ll be right on the top of Sturtevants snacking on “ewe chips” and watching my old friends.

Nice talking to you.




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