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"A Red Glass of Wine" by John J. Rigo, Texas' Poet

“A Red Glass of Wine” by John J. Rigo, Texas’ Poet

Silver Star Winery of Texas Silver Star Farm and Ranch of Texas

Stewart-Rigo Winery
Stewart-Rigo Farm and Ranch of Texas

New Sign for "Stewart-Rigo Winery" formerly "Silver Star Winery of Texas" copyright 2014 John J. Rigo

New Sign for “Stewart-Rigo Winery” formerly “Silver Star Winery of Texas” copyright 2014 John J. Rigo

Linda, my wife, my precious Gift!

Linda, my wife, my precious Gift!


In our retirement almost a year and a half ago, my wife and I were excited to find a beautiful home on thirty acres in Eustace, Texas.  My wife was the oldest of six on a two hundred acre farm in Celina, Texas, in her youth.  Her Father was a true farmer, in the sense of what a farmer was about.  Her memories from her childhood was neighbors were true neighbors in those day, in helping each other.  In our new home in Eustace, which will be the home of our on going vineyard, we have found that is far from the realities of life in the country.

As a rule, we have found country folks standoffish, isolated and as the old saying goes, “They would not give a nickel to see a piss ant eat a bale of hay.”  The worse thing we have found as new farm owners in East Texas, we are considered a “Mark-of-Sorts.”  Every contractor we have come across are out there basically is out to “take you.” Of course in the year and half, we have been blessed with a few bright spots in meeting locals that a “just good decent folks.”  Unfortunately that has been rare, and not the rule of thumb.

We are blessed in holding our own, especially with 45 years experience in sales training and management on my part, and my wife, who is a retired State Farm Insurance Agent of 28 years of service to her former customers.  In other words, when it comes to figuring out folks for what they really are, in most cases, we did not “fall off a watermelon truck.”

Over the last year, my wife who holds a BS degree, has been a full-time student in AG courses in the local college in Athens, beside over halfway thru a vineyard course thru the University of Davis out of California.  We actually know what we are doing!

If you are planning on buying a small farm in your retirement and go back to the soil, be prepared to deal with every con man and “user” that can be found in country life.  It is not the road that the old movies came from…..it is a tough road to accomplish a life’s dream.

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