File Under Country Life

Bill Graham HAS never owned a pig (he’s never really even seen one up close) and lives in decidedly suburban North Royalton. So how did he beat out a host of country folk to win a hog-calling contest for the second year in a row? Credit his wife, Cathy. The couple had been checking out the changing leaves when they first stopped by the Apple Stirrin’ festival near Coshocton, Ohio, in fall 2006. “As a joke she signed me up,” Graham says of his first crack at hog calling. “I didn’t know how to call a pig. They told me to be loud, long and original.” So Graham, 37, let out a “Suuuuuey,” “Suuuuuuuuuuuuuey,” made some pig sounds into the microphone, then finished with another “suuuuuuuuuuey.” No pigs came, but a trophy with a gold-plated porker on top did. This fall, he headed south again and successfully defended his title. Dixie Wyler, the woman who coordinates the contest, says the most effective calls aren’t necessarily the best-sounding ones. “Everyone loves the hog-calling contest,” she says. “City slickers do just as fine as farmers.”

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