Henry John Wiescamp, "Hank" was born in 1906 and died in 1997 at 91 years. His wife Freida died before him. He promised Freida he would build her the biggest gold brick house in Alamosa and he did. I never saw her out of the house. I think she was sort of a recluse. They had several kids and a number of tragic things happened in their family. Hank was King of the Mountain, but others around him seemed not so fortunate. Grant Wiescamp lives about 7 miles SW of Alamosa and is a sharp friendly alfalfa producer who raises beautiful high dollar hay and markets to the Clovis, NM dairy industry. He smiles when people talk of his legendary grand father but to replace or be another Hank would be impossible.
This is me on the left and Hank on his office/home door. As Hank got older he had less obligations, less travel, less horse shows. He hardly had time for normal people when he was in his 60 year prime, but after age 80 he had time to visit. I would call him and make sure he was available and drive to Alamosa and spend the day with him. I ask him about line breeding - when to know you had gone too far, questions like that. Sometimes he would give a detailed answer that made all the sense in the world and other times he would shut you out.
It was said he could look at an auction crowd and predict the sale average before the first animal came in his auction ring -- I ask him how he did that and he said "Just a feeling your get." Once I ask about evaluating young stock to know what they would be at maturity and he said, "Some people just have an eye for it." He shut me out. Once I ask him about pedigrees and he said, "Darol, you should really lose some weight."
We were talking about raising Skippers King and Skipper W and he said, about getting it all together, "It is hard to get every squirrel up the same tree."
We moved to Ohio with our Texas Longhorn breeding efforts in 1993 so I got a lot farther away from Alamosa. Hank was amazed at some of the prices I was getting for Longhorns. During the eighties I had sold several for over $100,000. He was amazed that this market was there. Although I never could sell him TL cattle, it was like he finally considered me a worthy marketer and would talk shop in a wonderful friendly way. He had great respect for a private treaty market person. Although he cried a lot of sales, his high dollar horses, during his life, all sold privately. I was honored to have known Hank and spent some quality time with him. I ask the hard questions and some he answered.
Author: Darol Dickinson