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This is Page 25.

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.


 

May 12, 2008


previous weeks' photos

index of all photos


Oklahoma rancher, poet, and reciter Jay Snider shared photos and more about his grandfather, Marvin Turner (1905-1976), who was a brand inspector for the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA):

Here's a picture of Granddad riding in the Ft. Worth Stock Show parade, probably back in the late 1960's. He loved to haul horses down and ride in the parade.

He worked as a brand inspector for the Association from 1952 to 1974 when he retired. As a brand inspector, it was his job to investigate theft of TSCRA member's property. Sometimes it would be cattle or horses and other times it might be trailers or saddles or other related property. He was a trusted inspector, commissioned Texas Ranger, and as good a judge of horses as I ever knew. He also spent many years as an approved American Quarter Horse Association judge. He always rode good horses.
 

I was looking through Granddads old brand book that he carried while working for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and scanned a couple of the pages out of it. Notice Freckles Brown's brand and that he lived in Lawton, Oklahoma for a time. He, from time to time, would stop by
to visit with my grandparents. 

The R. C. Hood on this page is Oklahoma singer and songwriter Chuck Milner's wife's grandfather. Chuck wrote a song, "Grandpa's Brand," on his Cowboy Days CD, with the brand, the "O bar O," in the song.

 

Jay also sent an image of article that appeared in the Lawton (Oklahoma) Constitution newspaper in about 1972.

The article, titled "Rustlers Still Roam Cattle County," features Marvin Turner. Here are a few excerpts:

Turner has been an inspector with the TSCRA for 19 years. He, along with inspectors from other states, investigates the theft of TSCRA members' cattle, saddles, trailers, and other items. Turner's territory covers a Texas-Oklahoma area bounded by Jackson and Love counties, and extending north to Blaine County and including Oklahoma County. He regularly works a total of 19 counties....

"Cattle rustling does not flourish as in earlier days," Turner said, adding, "but today's rustlers are are hard to catch and harder to convict"....Turner, a veteran cowboy-detective, is also a noted judge of horseflesh. He has been on the approved list of American Quarter Horse judges for twenty years and keeps several head of registered American Quarter Horses.

Marvin Turner is included in the book, Brave Men & Cold Steel; A History of Range Directors and Their Peacemakers, published by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation in 1984.

Jay Snider has shared previous photos in Picture the West:

 

  Three generations of rodeoing Sniders, and four generations horseback in September, 2007

Jay Snider's Rafter S Ranch Cowboy Reunion in August, 2007

Read more about Jay Snider and some of his poetry here.


Photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others here.
Jay Snider, National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Elko, Nevada 2007
 

 

 


 Please share your photos for Picture the West.

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.


May 5, 2008

 

Poet, songwriter, and cowboy Mike Moutoux shares photos of the New Mexico range where he works.

 In early April, Mike wrote:

Yesterday, we drove 115 head about 12 miles to the neighbor's shipping corrals—the thinking was that walking them over would be less stressful than crowding them onto a trailer... the yearlings drove very well for the seven cowboys on the trip which included me, my boss, his son, two grandkids and two neighbors...the trip took 5 hours.

Gives you a good idea of what our country looks like. Pretty wide open with mountains on every horizon. It'll look greener if we get some rain.

We asked him about the ranch and he wrote:

The JEJ ranch has been in the McDonald family for 105 years. It sits just south of Silver City, New Mexico. The landscape here is pretty open but there are lots of steep draws making it necessary to work cattle with horses. Most days it's just the owner and me; when we're gathering cows for branding or shipping, the boss will bring in extra help. He raises Hereford and Hereford-Angus crosses.

Read more about Mike Moutoux and some of his poetry here.

Visit his web site.

 


 Please share your photos for Picture the West.

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.


April 28, 2008

 

  Wyoming rancher and photographer Nicky Groenewold shared photos and some history of a Weston County sandstone dugout. She told us:

Straight north of our house in NE Weston County, Wyoming (42 miles southwest of Newcastle), there is a sandstone dugout which belonged to Abraham Pettit.

Bordering this homestead to the East is the burnt out stone foundation of a house and a few pieces of lumber, wire and so forth from a cellar and corrals. In April of 2005, we had a visit from Ray and Helen Wolfe. Ray's parents had homesteaded where the foundation ruins lie.

This dugout is in a very remote, almost inaccessible location of our ranch (formerly the Ed Dixon ranch, then Elmore Dixon's. My folks bought the place from Elmore in 1972.)

The early photos above, from 1967 and 1968, show the original window, which was from a Model T car, and the cross beams of plain old cottonwood branches). Naturally, in the ensuing years, wind and weather have done a lot of damage.

This photo was taken in 2006. As you can see, the window is gone, the roof beams gone, the roof caved in.

Helen Wolfe provided Groenewold with some information, in a 2005 letter:

Abraham Whitman Pettit was father to Charles Adolph Wolfe's wife, Fannie Francis Pettit. Both had homesteads on what is now part of your ranch. The boundaries connected on the west....Ray remembers the well in the ravine with a ring of stone around it....Ray's brother, Charles Marvin (called Marvin), grew several acres of watermelons which were taken to Newcastle by team and wagon and sold for 25 cents each when ripened. On the way to town once while Ray was with them, they ran into a hailstorm and had to crawl under the wagon for protection from the hail. They also slept with the wagon to keep people from stealing their melons....Charlie Wolfe moved his family from Nebraska to Wyoming when Albert, Clarence and Marvin were small. Clarence had a bad case of asthma and their doctor recommended the move. Lyle, Harold, Ray and Richard were all born after moving to the homestead.... Ray was six years when the old the house burned down and they all moved to Newcastle...

Albert Eugene Wolfe (b.1916); Clarence Wilbur (b. 1920); Lyle Loren  (hiding his face, b. 1922);
Charles Marvin (b. 1918);  Front Row: Harold Munroe (vb. 1925); Richard Urless (b. 1930);
Ray Ernest (b.1927)

Gary Wolfe previewed this feature and commented on the photo above: "Those are my uncles at the Wolfe homestead cabin just north of the Cheyenne River…oldest to youngest…Albert, Marvin, Clarence, Lyle, Harold, Ray, and Richard …at the time of the photo my Dad (far right, second youngest) is about 6 years old. Dad turned 81 this year and is the only surviving brother. I’ve had the pleasure and wonder (due to the hospitality of Nicky Groenewold) to wander the old homestead of my Grandfather and one Great Grandfather who had a homestead nearby. Nicky invited us to visit their ranch and the homestead a few years ago (just after Dad’s 78th birthday). Dad hadn’t been back to the homestead since shortly after this photo was taken (72 years).  The cabin burned down and the family moved into nearby Newcastle.  This experience has renewed my interest in family history and I am compiling pictures, etc. for my cousins and sisters."

Abraham Whitman Pettit (1859-1945) and Rebecca Ann Teeter (1858-1953), Ray' Wolfe's grandparents.

 

Charles Adolph Wolfe (1886-1963) and Fannie Frances Pettit Wolfe (1894-1972)
 

Nicky's friend Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, whose mother grew up near the Pettit's and was a neighbor of the Wolfe family, comments:

"Pettit's were fortunate and probably ingenious to choose the sandstone formations which abound in that region but aren't found many places.  There, once the rooms were carved out, (and probably that was started already by nature, i.e., water erosion under the rock cap) the walls were more or less
solid, like stone, and the home was basically above ground.  It had a  walk-in entrance and the luxury of a window; where some dugouts, like one my mother visited, were totally subterranean.

"My mother once told me of the only dugout home she ever visited.  She was riding with her first husband, Cecil Donaldson, far from home on a winter day with temperature hovering at -25 degrees F.  They were looking for cattle that had strayed and had ridden from their Black Thunder place way out toward the Rochelle Hills.  She was very cold and stiff, with the equal distance to cover going home. Cecil knew of a homesteader's place nearby and suggested they drop in and maybe the wife would invite them into the dugout and offer  tea or coffee.  Mom was pregnant at the time, and got almost queasy at the thought of going into a dugout; but was pretty desperate to warm up.

"She said they put their horses in the barn, then went down "kind of a beaver slide" entrance and the dirt walls were hung with harness, saddles, etc. At the bottom a door opened into the one big room of the dugout.  She was so pleasantly surprised at the warm welcome by a bright young woman who offered a hot beverage and seemed really happy to have visitors.  The floor was dirt, that had been dampened and swept until it was hard and slick and there were bright rag rugs here and there; cupboards were made of apple crates and such and covered with bright oilcloth, as was the simple table,  all lit by a kerosene lamp.  There was a stove, a few chairs and a bed, and it all seemed bright, clean and very homey.  That would have been the winter of 1924, because my half-brother was born the spring of '25."
 

Susie Anderson viewed this article and wrote:

Thank you for featuring Nicky's photos and story line about the Wolfe-Pettit homesteads. I am one of the daughters of one of the seven sons born to Charles A. and Fannie Wolfe. My father, Marvin, had huge responsibilities toward the family's well being at such a young age. And there are not many women today who could have lived like Fannie did. She spent most of the year alone with her sons while Charles was away earning a living. The sons became very self-reliant and resourceful in the absence of their father. It's sad that only one of the sons is alive today...I miss my Dad and the others were wonderful uncles!

Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns wrote about Nicky Groenewold in a 2007 column in a special "Ag Pride" supplement from the Tri-State Livestock News:

NICKY GROENEWOLD  ~  ARTIST WITH A CAMERA

This personable artist shares the spirit that inspired Remington and Russell to capture the face of our great American West. She shares the talent of Huffman, Haines, Jackson, Curtis, and so many others since, in using film as her artistic medium. Her deep love of and respect for the land and its inhabitants puts the pulse of life into her photos, and her passion for recording beauty on film gives a living heartbeat to her finished images. 

Daughter of a civil engineer, Nicky saw a lot of America during her growing up years—living briefly in many states, from Alaska to Texas.  The family settled on her maternal grandfather’s ranch in Wyoming’s Thunder Basin in the mid-1960’s, and that was the beginning of Nicky’s love affair with the land and its creatures.

Good hands on horseback, the Groenewold’s understand the benefits of using their horses to work on the ranch and with the cattle. Still, they aren’t totally opposed to modern technology, and do employ four wheelers for ranch chores whenever it’s more practical.

Nicky’s love for photography goes back to high school days, when she had one of the earliest Polaroids—“the kind you had to rub the gel on,” she recalls.  Regretfully, she says, “I must not have put enough gel on them, because they’ve faded almost to nothing.”

Technology has run rampant in photography since that time, and Nicky believes the digital camera is the greatest invention yet. 

“I can go out and take 250 photos, come in and download them, sift them and keep what’s worth saving, then go back out with an empty camera to shoot more,” she grins. 

Art is meant to be shared, and Nicky appreciates the myriad opportunities the Internet and World Wide Web offer to do just that.  Samples of her work can be viewed at www.xb.mysite.com.  Dust storms swirling around her haystacks are on www.ranchersandfarmers.org and she also has some images on www.cowboypoetry.com.

Nicky’s up-close-and-personal photography of true and often rare ranch scenes pleases the editors of ag publications. In addition to frequent photos in Tri-State Livestock News (several of them front-page), her scenes have been featured in Cattle Business Weekly.

Every trip, even to town for groceries, provides photo op’s for Nicky. She’s made repeated treks to the South Dakota Badlands and has toured Navajoland’s famous Monument Valley and many of Utah’s scenic wonderlands.  She found plenty of fodder for her lens there, but says her aim now is to explore and photograph the natural beauty of Wyoming and nearby states.

Nicky also has a passion to record the cowboy way of life as cattle are branded, worked and trailed to pasture with horses, in the traditional manner.  She’s experienced that lifestyle for decades, yet realizes the present urgency to capture it on film. After all, branding tables have already replaced horses, ropes and wrestlers on many ranches. 

“Technology keeps infringing,” Nicky says.  “With changes in livestock identification, how much longer will we even be branding our cattle?”

Bunches of horses and their many moods and expressions also fascinate this avid horse lover, so she’s always on the lookout for opportunities to photograph them.

The first book of her photography, A Time to Speak, has just been released, and Nicky hopes to develop a line of products featuring her art. This will include more books and note cards, and could expand to encompass items like journals and calendars. With the wealth of photographs already in her collection, the possibilities are endless.

Once she’s able to produce a line of marketable products, income from them will enhance ranch profits, and that is her goal.  Beauty and freedom surround Nicky for the taking.  Capturing and sharing those scenes with the world will hopefully facilitate a happy exchange, improving the ranch income.

© 2007, Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, All rights reserved

 

Visit Nicky Groenewold's website for more of her photography, and information about her books, cards, and the XB Cattle Ranch.

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If you have a photo to share, email us.

 


 Please share your photos for Picture the West.

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.


 

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

 


 

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