Last night, I was working my way through Sunday's New York Times Magazine when I came across this piece—a food feature that is part essay, part reporting, and all kinds of lovely.
The story starts with Larry Brown, the beloved Oxford, MS, writer. He died in 2004, and one of his final essays dealt with his son's dream of becoming a cattleman. From Brown's prose:
He’s mowed yards since he was 12 years old, and worked as a butcher, and hauled hay, and laid sod, and worked on a hog farm. He’s saved his money, and all he’s ever wanted is to be a cattleman. And it always hurt me deep that he has had such bad luck.
These days, that son, Billy Ray Brown, does have cows, but he's milking them:
Two years ago, he looked at a carton of organic milk at the grocery storeand realized it came from Colorado. “First I called the dairy manager and said, ‘Are you selling this stuff?’ ” he said, adjusting his Farm Bureau MS cap. “He said, ‘I’m selling it faster than I can put it on the shelf.’ I said, ‘Man, that just don’t make any sense to me to ship milk, what is it, 1,000 miles?’ I said: ‘We can do that right here. We can have a dairy as close to organic as you can.’ ”
I'll stop there—don't want to steal the piece's thunder. Read it yourself (it's short) and enjoy the warm fuzzies that ensue.