Ernie Williams may be 80-years-old, but he stays young with his job, jokes and pepper jams. On Saturday afternoon, with a crowd continually surrounding his stand, he handed out samples of pepper jams, marinades, salsas and hot sauces made by his company, Cowboy's Touch.
One product, a green, jalapeno-based pepper jam, had a gel-like consistency and mean, spicy kick at the end. It also had a peculiar name.
"When people saw my product they said 'Well, good gosh, jalapeno jelly?'" Williams remembers. "And that's how it got its name. That was 30 years ago." Good Gosh Jalapeno Jam is now one of his top sellers, he says.
Williams and his company, Cowboy's Touch, based in Dove Creek, Co., have been coming to the Black Hills Stock Show for the past eight years. Though Williams now lives in Cortez, Co., while his children manage the company in Dove Creek, he still finds time to go to stock shows like the National Western Stock Show in Denver last weekend, and the Black Hills Stock Show this week.
He still finds time to joke with customers, too.
"Grab her books for her, would ya?" he joked to the husband of a woman who just bought one of his Campfire habanero hot sauces. "That's what I used to say to guys back when I was in school. Why change now?"