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This is Page 19.

See some past weeks' photos below

See an index of all past weeks' photos here.

See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.


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.

Each week, we'll post selected photos from those received. We'll also share some photos posted previously elsewhere at CowboyPoetry.com.


Send your photo.

 Email us for information about sending it to 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.

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If you have a photo to share, email us.


January  21, 2008

Wyoming rancher, writer, poet, and horsewoman Terry Henderson shared these photos (courtesy of John Hewlett) about teaching her horse to lie down on cue. She tells:

My friend, John R. from Australia offered to teach me how to get a horse to lie down on cue, as in the movies. The first step was to tie up the horse's front leg with a soft rope.

The lead rope on the halter is pulled back over the horse's shoulder, so he will turn his head in the direction of his tied up foot. The idea is to pull his head far enough back that he will shift his balance and sink down on his front end.

Additional photos at Terry's web site show the forward and backward progress, including this one, which she describes:

The horse decided if it was too scary to go down, he'd go up instead.

With patience, the horse learns:

As soon as he lies down, I quickly untie his leg. The next step is for him to get up with a rider.


We both learned something.

Read more and see additional photos at Terry Henderson's web site: www.terryhenderson.net


Read some of Terry Henderson's poetry here.


January 14, 2008

Oklahoma poet Janice Chapman shared photos from her piece of Oklahoma. She told us:

I grew up on a farm on which my stepfather grew wheat and raised Hereford cattle and also had a dairy for a number of years. We had a paint mustang that we pastured, Champion, and he quickly became "my" horse. When there weren't chores to be done or studies to finish, I was riding him somewhere, even if it was just around the mile at the home section. He and I shared many an hour moving cattle in all sorts of weather, including snow storms.

Two years ago I had the opportunity to buy an eighty acre pasture with a windmill and good water just south and east of Buffalo, Oklahoma. I leased the land back to the man I bought it from.

This last September my youngest son, Travis, and I, found and ad for a six-month-old Appaloosa filly for sale. My son had always wanted to raise a colt, so we went in search of this filly. She belonged to a rancher, J.C. Dotson of Braggs, Oklahoma. My son fell in love with her and we bought her. Her mother is white and she is white, but the stallion is beautifully marbled.

While we were there J.C. showed us some other horses he had for sale and one black donkey who was then fifteen months old. I got home and called the leasee, Craig, and asked him about putting the horses and the donkey in the pasture and letting him use the gelding I knew I was going to buy whenever he needed him. He agreed, so I called J.C. and told him I would take the big bay gelding. 

I didn't want the filly, Magic, to run the pasture by herself. She is too young and too susceptible to predators. When Craig or I was using the gelding, Big Red, she was still by herself, so I bought little Houston, the donkey, as a companion for her as well as for a security animal for the horses. He grew up around the gelding, so that was not a problem. It took these two a few days to accept the filly as she was from another area and had run wild all her life.

Buffalo, Oklahoma, is right in the heart of cattle country. Most ranchers have several horses. Craig however was having to borrow a horse when he needed one. Now he doesn't have to borrow a horse. Big Red came off of a big cattle ranch where he was used to being ridden all day. He is good with cattle, but is also super gentle. I go out on my days off to help feed and grain them. My son goes out during the week while I am working.

Buffalo, Oklahoma, is the County Seat in Harper County. And in that northwestern part of the country there is a lot of wind and dry heat in the summer and very little rain, making water on the property a must if a person even dreams of raising livestock. In the winter the work force is at a bare minimum, but still confronted with wind and cold frigid temperatures, making grain, cake and hay a necessity for most types of livestock, especially cattle and horses.

I was raised around Laverne, Oklahoma, just twenty miles from where my pasture is. And as I said I love the country, and I love horses, and I love this big bay gelding. The filly is gentling down now. And everybody loves little Houston.

As time and finances allow I will also eventually set my younger son up with a few head of cattle. Right now Craig still has three years on his lease. I have The Five Cent Triangle brand which is registered with the State of Oklahoma.


Janice Chapman with Houston and Big Red

Read some of Janice Chapman's poetry here.


 Please share your photos.

Send your views of the West.

We need your photos. If you enjoy this feature, help keep it going by sharing 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. 

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


January 7, 2008

South Dakota poet and rancher Ken Cook  sent the following picture, which he said "is no doubt the tail end of 2007," taken as he and his sons headed home with the last of the cows: 

Ken told us:

Korey was horseback when he took it with his phone, as you can tell from the view of his horse's ears.  Kiel and Korey were messing around more than they were cowboying.  They have been bringing cows home from summer pastures to winter pasture for over 12 years.  Kiel's 22 and Kork (Korey) is 21 so they have had plenty of years to work on their "ridin' drag skills." 

Summer grass for the cows is about 18 miles away from home and we trail the cows home every winter.  This herd of red angus cows truly are the last of the cows to hit the south ranch. The cows will stay here to home till after calving, then around the 15th of May the cows and calves will once again be turned out on grass. The calves off this set of cows were weaned in November and we've been feeding them for about a month. The steers calves will go to grass and be sold as yearlings some time in August and the top end of the heifers will be bred for replacements and the rest will be spayed and sold before we run out of grass next fall.  Like Grandpa Buckles always said, "cows and calves, steers and feed, round and round we go."

He added:

Kiel is now working with his cousin on the place his Great Grandpa Buckles started.  The ranch is no longer owned by Buckles Ranch, but the fact that he is working on the place his Great Grandpa started is something.

A photo of Ken and his sons Korey, Kelly, and Kiel is featured in The BAR-D Roundup, Volume 2. Each year the CD features a photo from a working ranch family:


Previously, Ken has shared other photos with Picture the West, including Branding, 2007, and photos and stories about "Grandpa Buckles," here and in the very first Picture the West, here.


Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski

Read more about Ken Cook and some of his poetry here.


 Please share your photos.

Send your views of the West.

We need your photos. If you enjoy this feature, help keep it going by sharing 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. 

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


December 31, 2007

Nevada poet, writer, and gathering organizer Smoke Wade shared the above 1905 photo of the one-room school in Joseph Creek, Washington, which he attended for six years (and which his grandmother, mother, brother, cousins, aunt and uncles attended), more photos, and some history and recollections. He writes:

The Joseph Creek school house was built in the late 1890's to offer rural school service for the children of local homesteaders and ranchers. The school district, Asotin County No. 23, was officially organized February 8, 1896. The school was originally called the "Bradley School" after one of the first settlers in the canyon. Later the name was changed to the "Bly School" to coincide with the nearby Bly Post Office that opened November 24, 1896. The nearest town with a school house was 40 miles away—by horse or boat. Joseph Creek is a side canyon of Hells Canyon of the Snake River.

A new school district, Rogersburg District No. 30, was organized some six miles to the north on January 28, 1913. The Rogersburg School District discontinued and consolidated with the Joseph Creek School District on May 7, 1923, forming a new consolidated District No. 300. Often, the Joseph Creek School was mistakenly referred to as the Rogersburg School. The Joseph Creek School ceased operation circa 1936 due to lack of grade school age students in the canyon.

A rare photo of the Rogersburg School circa 1913. My grandmother taught school here when it first opened in 1913. She was just out of high school. The school district closed in 1923. This school house was located on mile from our ranch house. My father moved this building next to our barn in 1950 and converted it to a shop. The building comprised two small rooms, one for a class room, the other for the teacher's apartment. Note that there was not a barn for the horses that the kids rode to school, nor was there a wood shed for the wood. Had this school district remained in operation, I would have had an easy one-mile hike to school rather than the six-mile ride to the Joseph Creek School.

The school house sat vacant until 1951. At that time, five country boys needed schooling, so along with a hired hand's son, a school teacher's daughter, two first cousins and my brother, I began the first year of my formal education. The attendance dropped to four students during each of the next four years with seven students comprising the final class of 1957.

The creek bears the name of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce people. Joseph's birthplace was reported to be in a cave one mile downstream from the school house. The sheltered canyon was a winter home land for Joseph's people, and he welcomed the first white settlers into the canyon to winter with him in 1876. The family lived in a dug out a half a mile downstream from the school house.
A few minor changes took place at the school house over the years—a new front porch, an added wood shed, a paint job, electricity and a rear apartment for the teacher to live in. Yet some things remained the same—boys and girls outhouses, a horse barn and an indoor pitcher pump to draw water from the well below the school house.

This 1990 photo shows the teacher's apartment (teacherage) that was added in the 1930s at the rear of the school house.

My grandmother, Jesse Tippett, taught school there circa 1915. My mother, aunt and uncles attended school at the school house in the 1920s and 1930s.
I attended the school from 1951 to 1957, the first through the sixth grade. Though at one time, there were 33 such school houses in the County, by 1954 only three remainedJoseph Creek and two others. The Joseph Creek school was closed for good in 1957, the last rural school district to operate in Asotin County, Washington.

Class of 1954:  Country boys just cannot adjust to having a class photo taken without acting up. Teacher, Lorene Spangler on the left, I'm on the right. The wild plumb tree as a back drop would indicate springtime when the photo was taken.


Smoke Wade stands at the head of the class. Since my hair is combed, it must have been school photo day


Class of 1955: The library corner of the one room school house. Note the cowboy shoes that we wore. I'm at the far right. We never called ourselves "cowboy," for we were "ranchers" and we thought of "cowboys" as those that rode in rodeos. And we seldom wore pointed-toed cowboy boots in those days. 


This is a photo from the 1956-57 school year. It is one of my favorite photos as it shows the closeness of our class. L to R, my older brother, Donnie, my two cousins, Wayne and Ervie Tippett, and me. The school house had been closed since circa 1936, then re-opened in 1951, yet the tulip plant between the legs of Wayne Tippett survived all those years and bloomed early each spring during our tenure at the Joseph Creek School. 


The last class to attend the school house. The photo was taken at the beginning of the school year in 1956. The teacher was Mrs. Mallory. She became ill before the school year ended and Mrs. Spangler returned to close the school year. This was the largest student body we had during the six years I attended the school. I'm in the rear row, far left.

During my time there, my brother and I rode horse back six miles one way to school except on the coldest winter days when our folks would drive us in a Jeep. Riding a horse to school is best described in Mike Logan's poem, Temptation, "You have not known temptation until you have ridden horse back to school in the spring."
The first year we had coal oil lamps to study by. In 1952, the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 brought electricity to the school and we had electric lights. At all times heat was provided by a wood stove kept stoked by the teacher. We had a player piano, black boards on the wall and a library of sorts with books containing our uncles', aunt's and mother's names.

An article from an unknown newspaper dated May 27, 1954. These are the last three rural school districts in Asotin County, Washington as of that date. The Joseph Creek School is on the left. In this article, it was incorrectly referred to as the "Rogersburg School." I'm the young feller referred to as Bobby Fouste.

The largest student body we had in the entire school was seven students in 1957. During most of the years I attended the school, there were four students—two cousins, my bother and I. Wild plums grew in the school yard watered by an irrigation ditch. For playground equipment we had a home made teeter-totter that also spun around in a circle and a piece of play ground equipment long forgotten by modern youth, a Giant Stride. Behind the school house, on a flat area above a slope perfect for winter sleighing, was a small cemetery containing graves of folks we did not know.
The school house also served as a community center. The students would present a program for every major holiday. During the winter months, community dances took place, reminiscent of modern day cowboy jam sessions. The most noted was the Joseph Creek annual Ball held in February of each year. The desks would be shoved aside and the packed school house would rock with two-steppers and square dancers. At midnight, a covered dish dinner would take place, the kids would be bedded down in the two-room teacher's apartment and the dance would continue to daylight.

The teachers seemed to change every year. Perhaps four rowdy country boys were a bit much for the school marms. Yet, of significance, the last school teacher we had in 1957, Lorene (Fulton) Spangler, also taught classes to my mother in this school during the early 1930s. 

At the closing of the Joseph Creek School in June of 1957, parents of the students, alumni of the 1930s, and the class of 1957 join for a final photograph. The teacher, Lorene (Fulton) Spangler, is at the far right. I'm third from right, sitting.

The Joseph Creek school house now sets in arrested decay, and is currently owned by the Washington State Game Department. Vegetation slowly claims the building back to earth. I make a pilgrimage there almost yearly, to survey the vandalism and to reconnect with my youth. Most recently, hunters had removed the black boards to use as firewood and revealed behind were the original hand painted blackboards on the wall with names written in chalk. Names that I knew. Names that helped to further cement my roots into this canyon—the names of my mother, my aunt and my uncles.


Previously, Smoke shared a circa 1915 photo of his grandfather, J. H. "Jidge" Tippett, taken at the Tippett home ranch on Joseph Creek in Asotin Country, Washington, and other photos of the area, which you can see here.)

He has also shared photos of the gold mining ghost town, Bodie, California, which you can see here and some contemporary photos from Rachel, Nevada, posted here.

This story and photos are added to our Western Memories feature.

You can email Smoke Wade.

Read some of Smoke Wade's poetry here.


Share your photos.

If you enjoy this feature, help keep it going! Share 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. 

If you have a photo to share, email us.  


See Page 1 here with the current photo of the week.






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