FORT WORTH -- Stan Cross was an 11-year-old boy in 1951 when he first set foot on the Stock Show grounds.
Cross, now 73, rarely misses the chance to return.
Cross was in Cattle Barn 3 on Wednesday, getting ready to show 15 head of cattle in the National Charolais Cattle Show on Saturday.
"I'm not smart enough to do anything else," Cross said, laughing. "I just can't get away from it."
Raised in Oklahoma, he started showing cattle when he was 8, from polled Herefords to Charolais, from San Francisco to Baltimore.
During his peak, Cross said, he would go to 10 to 12 shows and state fairs a year. And one of his favorites for the last 62 years: Fort Worth.
"He's truly been a champion," said Stefan Marchman, the Stock Show's livestock show manager, who has known Cross since 1979. "But you couldn't ask for a more humble man who is always ready to help you."
Marchman noted that veterans like Cross are what make the Stock Show.
"We have more than you think," Marchman said, referring to exhibitors who have been to the show for over 50 years. "The Stan Crosses of the world are already planning for next year."
Cross said Fort Worth has been good to him and his cattle. He estimates that he has won at least six grand championships since 1951.
He said he's missed only a few Stock Shows.
"Icy weather has been the only thing that has stopped us from coming," said Cross, who lives in Cameron, between Waco and College Station.
He said Fort Worth has always been a must-stop on the cattle show circuit.
"You have good cattle people showing," Cross said. "And there's always been good crowds."
What about the future?
"As long as I'm vertical, I'll keep trying to make it here," Cross said. "It's just a great show."
Domingo Ramirez Jr.,