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This is Page 143.

See some past photo entries below.

See an index of all past photos here.

See Page 1 here with the current photos.

 

We welcome your pictures. We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We're looking for vintage photos and contemporary photos: family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo to share, email us for information about sending it to us.


 

Send your photos.

 Email us.

 

 

If you enjoy this feature, you may also be interested in our 
Western Memories Project, the personal recollections—many with photos—contributed by BAR-D visitors.  Your stories and photos are welcome.



We welcome your photos.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

Share your part of the West or the West of your past. To send photos and their descriptions, just email them to us.   


previous  photos



index of all photos

See an index of all past photos here.

Find the current photos here.

 


 

May 4, 2015

 

Botanist and photographer Charmaine Delmatier shares Wyoming photos.

She writes:


This image is of our free-roaming wild mustangs (stallions and mares) I was lucky enough to photograph:
 


© 2014, Charmaine Delmatier; permission required for reproduction



Bobby McKee lives in Manila, Utah, and would commute 55 miles one way leaving at 3-4 am in the morning to supervise the wild-horse roundup operations based out of Rock Springs, Wyoming. He and his ground crew would then head out to set up a temporary corral in the backcountry/sagebrush far away from the nearest city. A helicopter would first find the herd of wild horses miles out in the backcountry and then steer them towards the ground crew made up of wranglers from Wyoming and other western states. At the right moment the helicopter pilot would transfer the wild mustangs over to the ground and then a prod horse (trained domestic horse to lead the herd) would be sent out to guide the mustangs into the temporary corral/trap. The ground crew would flank the herd and help steer them into the temporary corral. I took the picture above before the mustangs entered the narrow jute gateway to the corral.

 


© 2014, Charmaine Delmatier; permission required for reproduction
Bobby supervising the wild horse roundup

 


© 2014, Charmaine Delmatier; permission required for reproduction
Bobby helping a young colt

 

Charmaine Delmatier also shared two Wyoming ranch photos:
 


© 2014, Charmaine Delmatier; permission required for reproduction
MH Ranch front gate with Mt. Moran



 


© 2014, Charmaine Delmatier; permission required for reproduction
Serenity Ranch front gate
 

 

 

Charmaine Delmatier splits her time between Jackson Hole and Laramie.

She notes that this photo was "...taken after a heavy monsoon rain in West Texas on Jim and Olivia Blumberg's near the Mexico border. There were scorpions floating in the water, some alive, some dead!"

 

 

 

 


   Share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


 

 

 

February 10, 2015

Nevada poet and horseman Daniel Bybee shares photos, background, and a poem about his family's lively Western history. He writes:

My mother's father Leon Pitts grew up in western New Mexico in the late 1800s with his brother Fred. Their step-father and all their uncles were cowboys. Their grandparents were French and their real father was French. My grandfather passed away in 1943 before I was born. Uncle Fred lived until 1980 and saw his 95th birthday.
 


Fred Pitts the cowboy


Before Fred died, he was persuaded to record all of his memories of his life. What a life he led. He was a cowboy and a freight wagon driver in New Mexico, worked at a sawmill, worked the docks in San Francisco, and drove a cab there. When he was 11, he helped his parents and my grandfather drive 100 head of cattle and a remuda of horses from New Mexico to Oklahoma. He took a turn riding night hawk every night along with my grandfather who was 13. One of his uncles was killed in a gun fight when Fred was 5. After his family moved to Oklahoma, he returned to New Mexico to cowboy for a few years with his uncles.

In the recordings, which I found two years ago, he detailed the lives of his grandparents, parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He told of life in New Mexico in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I've tried to summarize over 9 hours of recordings into poems and short stories.

 


Chlothilde Grossetete

My great, great grandparents, Auguste Grossetete and Chlothilde Ringulet, both sailed to America from France around 1853. They met and got married around 1856. They first settled in Pennsylvania and had two children, Alexis and Mary Ann in 1856 and 1859. By 1864, they were living in Lawrence, Kansas where my great grandmother Marie Josephine was born. They called her Jo. Five more children were born in Kansas; Frederic, Alfred, Augustus, Eulalie, and Adelle. Auguste Grossetete died by drowning in Kansas in 1876. Around 1880, Alexis left for Colorado and after a couple of years there, he moved again to New Mexico. He homesteaded a piece of land in the Western mountains close to the Arizona border at a place called Gallo Springs. He had a partner named Robert Elsinger. Sometime in 1882, Chlothilde took her other sons and moved to Alexis' homestead. She left her two youngest daughters with her oldest daughter Mary in Missouri.
 

In 1883, my great, great uncle Alexis and his partner wanted to start farming their homestead in Gallo Springs. They were neighbors to a large ranch called the American Valley Ranch. The owners had been trying to buy Alexis' homestead because they needed the natural spring located on his land. They had an offer for their ranch at the time from some very rich politicians but the offer was contingent upon them gaining ownership of the land with the spring. Somehow, great Uncle Alexis found time to court and marry a girl who lived down the mountain in Socorro.

Nine days after they were married, on May 6th, 1883 things reached a boiling point with the cowboys from the American Valley Ranch. Alexis and Robert were kidnapped by the owners and some ranch hands. They took them up into a box canyon and shot them both in the back. Unknown to the killers, an Indian sheepherder named Hank was witness to the killings.
 


 

Chlothilde and her other sons searched for Alexis for a week before finally finding his body and the body of his partner Robert. Indian Hank came forward with his testimony and later on, one of the ranch hands agreed to testify against the two ranch owners who actually did the killings. It would have seemed that with two witnesses, the killers would have been convicted. However, at least one of the jurors was bribed by the politicians who wanted the land, and a mistrial was declared. Before a second trial could take place, Indian Hank was lynched and the other witness disappeared. No one was ever convicted of the murder of my great uncle. Because Alexis had gotten married just before he was murdered, his homestead was transferred to his widow and the killers never got the spring they were after.
 



In 1882, my great grandmother Jo was married to a Frenchman named Ed Michel and living in Missouri close by to her older sister Mary Ann. My grandfather Leon Michel was born there in 1883. Sometime in 1884, Ed and Jo Michel moved to New Mexico and brought her two younger sisters with them. They settled near Apache Creek, a few miles from Alexis' homestead. By 1885, they were homesteading in Luna, NM and my great uncle Fred was born there. Within a few months after Fred was born, Ed Michel left my great grandma Jo and went back to Kansas City. He hated New Mexico and hated the life there. He never returned.

 


Michel and Pitts boys, circa 1900; L-R, seated, Leo and Fred
 

Within a year, a Texas cowboy named Jesse Pitts rode in and swept Jo off her feet. They were married in November 1886. He adopted her sons and became a father to grandpa Leon and great uncle Fred. Jesse and Jo had three more boys in Luna before they pulled up roots in 1896 and trailed a herd of cattle to Oklahoma. Before they left they were witness to another tragedy in the Grossetete family.



Jesse and Josephine Pitts
 

In 1890, my great, great uncle Frederic (the second oldest boy after Alexis) got involved in a gun fight at a cow camp. A friend of his had been trying to court his youngest sister Della, who was 15 at the time. She rejected his advances, and he started telling other cowboys that she was pregnant.

At the time there were three outfits all running cattle in the same general area. My great grandfather Jesse Pitts worked for one, his brother-in-law Frederic worked for another one, and Frederic's friend worked for a third cow outfit. When Frederic heard what was being said about his little sister, he went over and challenged his "friend" to a fist fight. They were both wearing side arms at the time and the other man refused to remove his gun and instead drew his gun and shot Frederic. Frederic returned fire and killed his friend. His friend's brother was also working there and ran over, picked up his brother's gun and started shooting at Frederic. Frederic, hit three times, returned fire and killed the other man.

My great grandpa Jesse had heard about the possible trouble and had ridden to the cow camp, but got there after the shooting. Frederic was still alive when he got there, but died within the hour. Uncle Fred remembered his father Jesse coming home to deliver the bad news to his wife Jo and mother-in-law Chlothilde.

Fred's other memories included helping his father take cattle from Luna down the mountain the the stockyards in Magdalena and driving a freight wagon hauling lumber from a sawmill down to the railroad in Magdalena. He eventually moved to San Francisco only a few years after the big earthquake. There he worked on the docks, frequented the Barbary Coast district, got married and then drove cabs for 20 years.

Jo was the only Grossetete to leave New Mexico. Her surviving brothers and her sisters all stayed and raised families there. Chlothilde died in Albuquerque in 1920. Jo died in Oklahoma in 1944. My grandfather Leon had 10 children, including my mother and they all settled in the central valley of California. Two of my mom's brothers were cattle ranchers.

 


 

Chasing Ghosts of Cowboys Past

I used to think that maybe in a former life of mine
That I lived about a hundred years ago
I must ‘a been a cowboy driftin’ cross the open range
Ridin’ for the brand and singin’ bout “Wrangler Joe”

Mom’s brother was a rancher and I loved to be with him
He was bigger, he was braver, he was bolder
They never told me much about their family history
And I put off searching till I got much older

At ninety five mom’s uncle Fred sat down and was recorded
Reminiscing ‘bout the old days of his youth
For thirty years the tapes lie hidden in a plastic bag
Till I listened to them, searching for the truth

Fred Pitts had told these stories in the year before his death
Bout his dad and uncles —cowboys through and through
He talked about New Mexico, his sorrows and his joys
And these tapes revealed history I never knew

His grand-parents sailed from France and headed west to Kansas
Where his mom was born with the North and South at war
In ’83 they moved west to the high New Mexico mountains
Where two uncles entered old New Mexico lore

Fred was born in ’85 on a homestead in the pines
In Luna that was near Apache Creek
His step-dad was a cowboy and his uncles all were too
He was horseback just as soon as he could speak

His real dad left the family and had headed back to Kansas
He was just a man that Fred had never known
A Texas cowboy rode in, swept great grandma off her feet
And raised my grandpa Leo and Fred as his own

The oldest of Fred’s uncles had been killed two years before
He was murdered by a rancher’s hired hands
The rancher ran the county and a witness was found hung
And the killers were released on his demands

Fred’s grandma had to bury him, his bones remain there still
And he wasn’t the last son she’d have to mourn
Her daughter’s honor sullied, one brash son rushed to a fight
And was killed just five years after Fred was born.

Fred remembered that his father had rushed home that fateful day
That his horse was dripping wet and foamy white
That he ran and hugged Fred’s ma and she let out a long wail
When she heard her brother had died in a fight

His challenge at a cow camp met —three young men now lie dead
from a gunfight with two men who’d been his friends
She had to tell her mother that a second son was gone
And they both lived life with pain that never ends

In 1896 great grand-pa Jesse moved his family
Cross the Texas panhandle to the Sooner State
Fred and grandpa Leo helped their father drive the herd
When they got there a harsh winter laid in wait

They’d gone 900 miles in 90 days with a hundred head
Crossed the Rio Grande and Pecos on that trip
Great grandma drove the covered wagon with three younger boys
And their night time fires were fueled with dried cow chips

An old abandoned sod house was their shelter that cold winter
With a canvas wall to keep out wind and snow
Fred thought that they would die before the Spring sun warmed the earth
And with them stories that the world would never know.

They left as boys but when they brought the herd in they were men
They’d been tested and they’d learned the cowboy way
The more I learned about them it became real clear to me
That my blood contains some cowboy DNA

The tapes started me searching for more clues to who I was
A tattered diary twelve decades old showed life was hard
French cowboys and their families, men and women tough as nails
Scratching life out from a land so dry and scarred

I feel like all my life I’ve been chasing ghosts of cowboys
And my dreams were filled with horses, cows, and guns
I loved my uncle’s ranch and I knew the cowboy code
But never knew how deep that cowboy bloodline runs

© 2014, Daniel Bybee
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

 


 

Daniel Bybee previously shared other photos for Picture the West:


 2011 Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive

  California branding....

  A prisoner-trained mustang

 

Read more about Daniel Bybee and more
of his poetry here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


   Share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


 

 

January 5, 2015

 

Sara Nelson shares photos of Haakon, taken in August, 2014.

Haakon was out in the hay field watching his father make some square bales and the baler popped out this little bale that was just his size. He was two at the time.

 


Haakon comes from a long line of haying folks. His grandfather, Rodney Nelson, North Dakota rancher, poet, columnist, and Senior Pro Rodeo champion has a popular poem that draws on the subject, "Good, Clean Fun."
 

 

 

 


   Share your photos for Picture the West.

Send your views of the West.

We're looking for images that give a glimpse of the ranching, cowboy, and rural and working life of the West of today and yesterday. We welcome vintage and contemporary photos:  family photos, images of where you live and work, and the area around you. 

If you have a photo and story to share, email us.


 

December 15, 2014


Poet Dale Page shares photographs taken last month in Colorado. along with comments:

I took this up on Pinon Mesa, south of Grand Junction, Colorado. The cowboy riding across the photo is Ron Jackson, one of the grazing pool with whom Terry Nash pastures his cattle. [Dale titled this, "The High Cost of Beef."]

 



 

The weather was windy and cold. At least it wasn't wet. We combed over a hundred pairs out of the lease and got them to the shipping pens in the fading twilight. That last mile down an old wagon road would have been sporty in the dark.

This is John Thompson, my partner in this gather. John is 78-years-old and rides like he's 38. He's one of those folks who draw the company of other "good men and true," as Eugene Manlove Rhodes wrote.

 

 

This is the view from the top just before we started down to the shipping pens. It overlooks the Glade Park, Colorado, area.

 




 

 

Dale Page has shared a photo previously in Picture the West:

  Montana family homestead photo

 

 

 

Read about Dale Page and find some of his poetry here and visit his web site, www.DalePage.com.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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