Note: I hope my readers will bear with me as I become more persistent in getting the word out about my novel Pilot Point the remainder of the year. I intend for this to be my last big push on this project.
Some of you know that much of my novel Pilot Point, including almost all of “Dust,” a short story within a story, takes place at the North Texas Livestock Commission - which is pretty much the Pilot Point Livestock Commission around 1990.
My memories of first visiting the “sale barn,” as locals called it, are fuzzy. I think I first went because I expected to buy and sell cattle there and wanted to educate myself first.
And an education I got! It took quite a while for me to figure out what was going on during the auctions, and that with some assistance from helpful people. My first experience of auctions there were not unlike that of my main character, Clayton Hays:
…It took him a while just to figure out what was going on, especially to understand the auctioneer. He never did figure out who some of the buyers were since bids were sometimes made with little more than a nod or a twitch.
Trust me that my first time (and second and third?) at a Pilot Point cattle auction was very much like that!
But the “sale barn” grew on me even if it took me a long time to understand most of what was going on.
Eventually I knew I would want to make it one of the settings of my novel. And I wanted to get the it right. So I became known as the man up on the catwalk taking notes on the sales as cowhands below me moved the cattle through the pens and alleys and in and out of the arena.
I hoped to revisit the Pilot Point Livestock Commission earlier this year, only to find out it closed a few years ago. But it still lives in my novel Pilot Point.
Pilot Point is still available at Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.
Also, feel free to like the Facebook page for Pilot Point.