Audio: Barrett Golding / Art: © Jerry Iverson
Shearing Sheep at the Hutterites (1989 27×36 oil on linen) © Jerry Iverson
Part One: Lambs
“Counting Sheep” follows a year in the lives of sheep ranchers, herders, and shearers. The radio show starts, ends and spends much of the middle with Roxanne Linderman. She and her husband, Don, run a small sheep ranch near the Bridger Mountains of Southcentral Montana.
“Intro- Early, Cold, and Outside”
(0:40 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep00Intro.mp3 “What You’re Limits Are”
(1:52 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep01LambA.mp3 “Hard Pushin'”
(2:36 : mp3)
Sheep herder (1990 38×36 oil on canvas) © Jerry Iverson
Part Two: Herd
Sheep-herders Chris Spogis and Patty Robinson talk about bugs, bears and being by oneself — all in a sheep’s work day.
“Great Deal of Patience”
(1:59 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep03HerdA.mp3 “Honeymoon in a Sheep Wagon”
(1:53 : mp3)
Sheep: sheared unsheared (1994 14×17 oil on paper on board) © Jerry Iverson
Part Three: Wool
Roxanne awaits the shearers. Jim Moore, Jerry Iverson, and Jim Carr use their electric shears and strong backs to shave the sheep. They go in full-wooled; they come out bald.
“Sheep Up the Chute”
(0:49 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep05ShearA.mp3 “Rough Week”
(3:08 : mp3)
Feeding Sheep (1993 15×18 oil on linen on board) © Jerry Iverson
Part Four: Canine
Roxanne voice-commands her border collies, Price and Keeper, as they herd the sheep across a bridge. Then we walk to the Bone Hill (“every farm has one”), with an eye out for coyote.
(3:04 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep07Dogs.mp3 “Coyotes Are Not Stupid”
(3:16 : mp3)
Self Portrait Shearing Sheep (1992 26×32 oil on canvas on board) © Jerry Iverson
Part Five: Meat
Ranchers bring their sheep to the weekly auction at the Bozeman Stockyards. Roxanne culls her herd.
“More Money in Sheep”
(2:49 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep09Auction.mp3 “Direct Relationship”
(2:36 : mp3)
Last Sheep: Jerry Iverson retired as a sheep shearer in 2001 to paint; this is the last sheep he sheared.
Part Six: Death
For Roxanne and Don, this is the hard part. An animal gets old, an animal gets sold, and the result is the same.
“The Level of Your Gun”
(2:22 : mp3)
/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Sheep11Butcher.mp3 “Outro- Thanks”
(1:24 : mp3)
Jerry Iverson, Painter
Jerry Iverson’s site for more paintings and exhibitions.