When I first met Herman Talbert (also known as Dub) in Bokoshe, last year I knew I was talking to the real deal, as they say in Oklahoma. Born and raised on the ranch his grandfather homesteaded around 1890, he's raised cattle there since he was 16. For 40 years Dub's lived the cowboy life, which when explained to me, was living with the land, his animals and raising the next generation of cowboys.
Four years after Making Money Having Fun LLC (real name) began dumping coal ash 1/2 mile from his ranch Dub began losing calves, 4 the first year, 6 and then 10. They looked normal, but couldn't stand and struggled to breathe. In January 2011 Dub sold his herd. "I couldn't take it, seeing those calves die." He'll stay and tend the ranch with his daughter and grandchildren, but their cowboy days are over.