JULY 2000 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 07/2000; 2:00:00PM.
Baxter Black: 20th Anniversary Interview
20th Anniversary Interview
by Baxter Black, DVM
This month Baxter marks 20 years writing this column. It began in July 1980 in the Record Stockman, Denver, CO, and was soon picked up by the Livestock Weekly in San Angelo, Texas. It now runs nationwide and in Canada.
Q. So... I understand as of July 2000, you have been writing this column for 20 years.
A. Do you have proof of this?
Q. According to the Record Stockman and the Livestock Weekly, it's true.
A. Are they reliable sources?
Q. Absolutely - they would never exaggerate. Not about Hereford cattle, Mohair goats, or the price they pay their columnists.
Q. How many papers and magazines carry your column?
A. 130 - from Harlingen to Calgary, from Visalia to Delmarva, Montgomery to Klamath Falls, even Spokane!
Q. Is it safe to assume you use a word processor?
A. Nope, I don't trust `em, they don't know how to spell Limousin.
Q. Do you make a living writing these columns?
A. Every little bit helps when you're self-unemployed. But mostly I speak at agricultural banquets and sell my books and tapes.
Q. You always seem to have such fresh, clever, topical ideas and express them so well.... you must have a ghost writer.
A. Thanks. My wife does proof read them. The ideas come from the audiences I speak to, the mail I get and the people I know. If it wasn't for my traveling I wouldn't get all this inspiration. After all, all those wrecks couldn't happen to one guy.
Q. I've noticed sometimes you get political. How do your readers like that?
A. I mostly limit my political observations to subjects that affect agriculture. I have learned when expressing political opinions, be it congressional, purebred or special interest groups, you inevitably step on someone's toes. I try to tread lightly.
Q. You don't seem to write grammatically correct or in complete sentences. You even make up words. Do the paper editors resent this?
A. Of course! They're journalists! But I learned if you can talk funny and you want to write funny, you have to write like you talk. That's what I do.
Q. Do you get lots of mail from readers?
A. Yes. Especially now that everybody with time on their hands has e-mail. We get hundreds a week.
Q. Is it hard to keep writing?
A. No. It is satisfying and flattering to know that people you like enjoy reading your stuff.
Q. How do you know anybody reads your column?
A. Sometimes I do a test. Like for my 20th anniversary I will send absolutely free one of my latest softcover poetry books to the first 500 people who write to us at P.O. Box 2190, Benson AZ 85602 with the password.
Q. What is the password?
A. The name of this paper.