Matfield Green - Our first years

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Catfish Chow

The temperature at the Emporia State Bank read 104 degrees Fahrenheit at almost 6 o’clock yesterday evening as we drove out west of town to visit Susan and Scott, new friends courtesy of the Emporia Chamber of Commerce. Hot and dusty on those dirt roads, harsh smell of manure on fertile fields. It's a different kind of landscape around Emporia - more tillable land, fewer cows. Passing expensive looking houses and well-manicured lawns on the way out of town, we'd wondered where the money comes from - the University, yes, and a substantial hospital, the huge and stinky Tyson meat processing plant, and most of all agriculture - machines, chemicals, seeds.

Our host, Scott, is enjoying an early retirement after selling his share of Fanestil Meats, while Susan directs the Career Services department at Emporia State. They are both Texans, which explains the six (count 'em, six!) pairs of cowboy boots, all Scott's, by the front door. Work boots. Dress boots. Boots for casual occasions. Boots beautiful enough to double as living room decor in their off hours.

After a wonderful meal of beer can chicken, sweet corn and coleslaw, followed by tart and delicious homemade raspberry sorbet, we ambled out to their backyard pond with a bucket full of Purina Catfish Chow. Sure enough, the pond is full of hungry bottom feeders - 10 pounds or more - who are not too proud to stick there noses out of the water for a bit of kibble.


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