Dry Bean Camp

 

 

 

 

My dad expected his sons to make a hand, early in life.  He believed that if he put us on the best horses he had, we should be able to handle cattle like mature cowboys.  In later years, he recognized that his expectations were a little high for us young boys.  We did it; but not all of us boys liked it.  But we went with him any time we were not in school.  One particular episode involved feeding the cattle during the winter.  An unexpected winter storm blew in while we were on the feed-route (wagon and team).  He didn’t stop feeding, but apparently hurried all he could.  As soon as he had enough empty sacks (jute), he covered us up with them and tried to protect us from the wind and cold.  We all made it back, but mom said we were blue and plenty cold, upon arrival back at the house.    

[He was a lot more patient with my younger brother Joe and I.  When my older brothers got a chance to leave the ranch to go to college, they did.  Joe and I would have preferred to stay, but Dad really pushed us to go to college as well.  Where my older brothers found little joy in working on the ranch, Joe and I felt like we were the most fortunate kids alive, being and doing what we got to do, with (in our minds) the best of the best.  I decided to try to be a veterinarian.  Actually, thinking that when they told me I couldn’t, I’d go back to the ranch.  They never told me I could’t! ]

    A few years later, during WWII, dad was exempt from the draft because he was producing beef.  The ranch was issued certificates enabling the purchase of gasoline.  Dad burned “drip” (a liquid product product at the well head of the many small oil wells located on the ranch) in the ranch pickup, so he had an accumulation of certificates.  The proprietor of Dad’s Corner was in a jam because he didn’t have enough certificates for all the gasoline he had sold.  Dad gave him the necessary certificates to make up the difference.  Apparently, my older brothers, as I was just born in 1945, would receive a pocket full of candy just about every week when they went to Dad’s Corner.