Ewww, What’s That Smell?!?

We recently (Sept ’19) started a special group on Facebook called “Citi Reunion”.

Originally started as a USCC-only initiative by Maria Ferreira (former Direct Banker), we opened it up to our Citi friends from across the country…and the response has been overwhelming!

And so incredibly heartwarming!

The memories that people post about stir up emotions in me that have been dormant since I left Citi in late ’06…with few exceptions.

We have over 2,000 members & all it takes is for one of them to post a “Do You Remember When…” thingie…and a flood of responses, filled with warmth, laughter & surprise, come flooding through!

Recently, there was a post regarding the “smell of the cows” (er, cattle) on the ranches surrounding the USC C.

Back in 1992, Citi was donated some 40 acres of ranch land off Highway 211, across from the Texas Research Park, not far from Potranco Road.

It was donated to us by the owners of the Briggs Ranch (Note: Not sure if it was actually a true, authentic “donation” or if an exchange of some kind was really involved, but that’ll be fodder for another day!), carved out of their massive ranch.

Today, there’s a Briggs Ranch subdivision of magnificent, high-end homes…a spectacular Briggs Ranch golf course…the Golf Club of Texas…and several other housing developments in & around the USCC.

Over the years, the USCC grew in size from a single building to now three that house employees as well as the child daycare center. When employees go to the far ends of the parking lots, instead of seeing and, yes smelling, the herd of Longhorn cattle, they’re now able to see their neighbors and look in their backyards.

One of the people in the Citi reunion group on Facebook commented about the “smell of the cows”, especially on those days when the wind blew exactly the right way (or the wrong way, depending on your sense of smell)!

But that was nothing compared to what I experienced when I left Citi in late ’06 & joined Lehman Brothers in Scottsbluff, Nebraska a few months later.

Scottsbluff is a small town of less than 15,000 people situated in the southwestern corner of the state. It’s surrounded by absolutely nothing but cornfields, lots of farms, cattle ranches & the typical stuff you would find in most Nebraska areas. It was also home to a Western Sugar processing plant where tons & tons & tons of sugar beets were shipped by freight trains to be cooked, processed and converted into sugar and syrup.

Considering all the cattle, all the feed farms and this incredible putrid odor coming from the processing factory when the wind was just right, the entire town of Scottsbluff, as well as nearby town of Gering, would be completely engulfed with the worst smell imaginable in the history of mankind! it would permeate absolutely every inch of these towns…no place was safe nor spared. I remember when I first moved there, I was staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites (actually, living there for 2 months). I clearly remember opening my room door one morning & almost got knocked out by the smell in the hallway! It was like Elsie & all her friends crapped 2 feet away from my front door!

I would often tell my boss Scott Deatherage that had I come up for my interview on a day when that smell was present, there was no way in hell that I ever would’ve accepted his offer!


There were times when it was so bad that when I went to my favorite restaurant (the Emporium, a great place that seemed to have fallen from outer space into this tiny little town), we couldn’t eat outside on the patio because of the smell!

I chuckle when people in San Antonio talk about the smell of the cows. Believe me, it would only take one trip to Scottsbluff on the right (?) day to convince them that what they have down to San Antonio is absolute heaven!

Yeah, after awhile, one would “get somewhat used” to this nostril-burning terror (I was there for almost 2 years), but you could never ignore it or make believe that it wasn’t that bad.

I’d often feel sorry for the people as they were truly good, solid citizens…the salt of the Earth.

I’d often remark that one of their ancestors must’ve done something really horrible a long time ago to upset the Man upstairs pretty badly!

And we all know that He doesn’t forget stuff!


As always, thank you so much for listening!

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