Both my mother an’ father wanted to follow ranchin’ an’ cattle raisin’ and minin’. Both of them were interested in minin’. My father was raised a cowboy an’ sorta’ sought out that kinda’ life, too. . . He loved to play the guitar. He played by ear, an’ he loved to sing, an’ he had a beautiful bass voice. An’ everywhere he went people would ask him to play the guitar an’ sing. . . He also loved to make horsehair ropes [very artistically] . . . He made rawhide riatas, too (lasso ropes) out of rawhide. He made those real nice. . . . An’ he loved fishin’ and huntin’. An’ he was an excellent cowboy and a rancher. He never did go out for bronco twistin’ like these people at rodeos or anything. He was just an ordinary all-around good cowboy, a good sensible cowboy, an’ a man that everybody loved. . . . He grubbed willows an’ sagebrush a’ burnt off I don’t know how many acres of new land . . . He’d make new fields (new alfalfa fields). Then he fenced a new forty acres on the lower end of the ranch. . . . An’ he put in a dam, an’ cleared off a big place up there to plant a bit wheatfield up above the house . . . an’ then made a irrigation ditch along the hills. An’ everybody used to tell him that he couldn’t make water run uphill. . .  The heaviest alfalfa that my dad had an’ the prettiest alfalfa field was up on what he called the bench. An’ the water was just running perfect. . .

An’ they built chicken houses an’ they built a big root cellar back in the hill (dug out back in the hills). An’ then he cut cedar posts an’ put in heavy ridge poles an’ made a roof out of cedar posts. Covered it with wheat straw an’ dirt. An’, boy, that cellar, you could keep stuff in there. . .  We had most everything we needed to eat in that cellar. It was way back in the hill an’ it didn’t freeze or anythin’. . .

We did so many things that were so different from nowadays. We had a way of our own that we got by. . . We didn’t have the fancy milk cows at the ranch, so whenever we got short o’ milk cows, sister and I would go out, round up some of the . . .  range cows that was fresh with a little baby calf and think that it might make a good milk cow. . .  I remember one time we was milking thirteen range cows in order to have enough milk and cream for milk for everybody to drink for the whole family, an’ to make our own cottage cheese an’ our own butter an’ then have the skim milk to raise several pigs that we had.


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