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This is Page 31.

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.

July 28, 2008

previous weeks' photos

index of all photos


Utah poet and rancher Paul Kern shared photos, a poem, and more about the late Utah rancher Joe Mascaro. 

Joe Mascaro

Paul told us:

A while ago, a fellow named Clayton Mascaro wrote and asked me to write a poem for his deceased father, Joe. The Mascaro family was a very prominent ranching and rodeo stock family in the Salt Lake valley for many years. Clayton's uncle Jim, who recently passed away as well, ran the rodeo stock, to include bucking horses. I remember one afternoon, I was out in Herriman looking to buy horses and stopped in at the Mascaros'. I noticed a corral full of well tended healthy and very athletic horses that quite simply caught my eye. I just had to stop out of curiosity and spent the next twenty minutes or so with Jim Mascaro just talking about his horses, their bucking talent and rodeo. A nicer more affable cowboy you could never meet. I was honored when Clayton responded to my poetry and asked me to write something for his Dad. This is what he wrote:

My name is Clayton Mascaro. I have been reading your poems and thought they were very good. My father passed away in January of this year. He was born in 1933 in and grew up in Rose Canyon, in Herriman, Utah. This was a family ranch that raised cattle, goats, and rodeo stock. He owned his own trucking business for 42 yrs. He ran a large herd of sheep. He farmed and loved his family. He was my employer, friend, confidant, and father for 55 years. We rode horses together, ran the trucks together, repaired them together. Chased horses, sheep, etc. together. His passing has left a great void in my life. He is greatly missed.

Would it be possible to write a poem about Joe Mascaro for me to be displayed at his grave site every year in lieu of flowers? How much would the cost be to do such a thing? There is no intention of publishing it for any reason. I just think that he would appreciate such a jester as this, being so personal, just for him, one of a kind.

Thank you for your consideration.
Clayton Mascaro

Joe Mascaro

This is the resulting poem in honor of Joe Mascaro:

Of Kith and Kin
In MemoriumJoe Mascaro

I know that you're not down there,
In the willows of the Yellow Fork,
In the shallows of the Canyon of the Rose—
Where quakies stand and trails there bend and twist,
As they snake up to the air.

The long years flew on by somewhere,
In the squinting of a sunburned eye,
In hearts of kin who knew both horse and tack,
Where we ranched and rode and rattlers hissed,
And our mounts kicked up the air.

I know you know that it's still here,
Your kith and kin and your old ways,
You passed them on before you passed away—
Where we roped and rode and rodeoed,
And the sand blew in our hair.

The years went drifting by somewhere,
In the sifting dust of my mind's eye,
In souls of kith and kin who can't forget,
Where cowboys go beyond the great divide,
As they ride off in thin air.

It seems at times that you're still up there,
In the cedars of the grease-rock rim,
In the sagebrush of the Canyon of the Rose—
Where it's slick and steep I feel you by my side,
And it trails me out somewhere.

© 2008, Paul R. Kern
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Clayton responded:

Thank you very much for the poem. I really do like it and appreciate it very much. It fits him perfectly. If there is anything that I can do for you don't hesitate to call on me. Again, thank you.

(There was no charge.)

Joe Mascaro at work

Mascaro Ranch


Paul Kern has contributed other interesting photos to "Picture the West," including:

Contemporary photos for Father's Day, 2007

  Vintage photos of his grandfather


Read more about Paul Kern, see some of his photos, and read some of his poetry here.

Visit his blog at www.PaulKern.com.


 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.


July 21, 2008

Writer and cowboy poet Smoke Wade was raised on a ranch in Hells Canyon, and he shares his photos and recollections that center around log troughs. He writes:

These days, the livestock watering trough is usually made of shiny silver colored corrugated metal and it probably was purchased from the local farm and ranch supply store. Or it may be an old porcelain bath tub that has been recycled and used as a stock trough. In either case, the most noticeable thing about the modern day watering trough may well be the bubbly looking brown algae that floats on the surface if the flow of water is too slow. Such was not always the case. There was a time when a watering trough had its own personality and character.

At Rogersburg, our ranch on the Snake River at the entrance to Hells Canyon, the trough was a little more sophisticated. It was an old concrete bathtub coated in places with green paint. The trough rested on the north side of the corral where it slowly sank into the damp earth,. A tree grew beside it and shaded the water. Animals from both sides of the fence could drink at it. Water dripped continually from an old faucet at one end keeping the water fresh. The old trough had character and it was perpetual.

But the trough that I remember best was the log trough at Cold Springs cow camp in Wallowa County, Oregon. There was more than one log trough at the cow camp, and they were all very special. But the one that I am referring to was the first trough above the road before entering the pole gate at the cabins. It was about ten feet long and was carved from a large log. The trough looked like a dugout canoe that the Indians might have made. I don't know who made it, or when it was made. Whoever made it was an artist. This trough belonged there and no other could take its place.


circa 1949 - The rider is unknown. The wood pipe feeding the watering trough is still in place, but the spring box has been relocated uphill behind the bushes to a more secure location. The pipe feeds the trough from the spring box.


The trough was there in 1948, my first memory of it, and it was still there in 1968, the last time I visited it. By 1990 it had disappeared along with the cow camp cabins when a forest fire swept through the area.

Behind the trough was a pole fence made of peeled Lodge Pole Pine. Large mountain plants grew all around the wet areas. Close by grew huge White and Douglas Fir trees. Chipmunks drank there and red berries grew on unknown plants. The berries were round and hard, and they were excellent ammunition for the bean shooters that we made from the stalks of other plants that grew behind the trough.

Cold water came from a pipe that was fed by a small spring box which was uphill from the trough. The water was sweet and clear, and it was so cold, that even on a hot August day, it would hurt our teeth. In the spring box one could find a jar of sourdough starter left for the next person to use. It was a big responsibility to maintain the starter. Wandering travelers could look forward to sourdough biscuits or hotcakes, along with an unlocked cabin, any time they felt need for food and shelter.


circa 1945 - The log trough used for the cow camp cooler is on the immediate right of the photo. A spring box is seen at the far end of the log trough, and the pipe is made of wood. A second log trough can be seen in the middle of the photo through the gate. The building below the gate is the new cook house built of boards, and the cabin above the gate is the older log cook house. What appears to be a power line is a single strand telephone line that connected several of the remote cow camps, fire look outs, and Forest Ranger stations via a hand crank telephone system.

The old log trough lay covered in snow all winter long, but during the summer it was alive. Sometimes little water beetles would be found swimming along underwater like jerky little submarines. During the August roundup, the trough would be the camp's ice box. Not for meat or eggs however, for these were stored in the meat box on the cabin porch. The bears loved the meat box and would tear it down at night and scare the heck out of everybody. Lacking ice or refrigeration at the cow camp, it fell upon the trough and the meat box to keep our food from spoiling.

Sometimes there were watermelons swimming in the trough, and usually there were a couple of gallons of fresh ranch milk snuggled down in the cold water. Often there would be a few bottles of Nehi strawberry soda or a case of Olympia stubby beer bottles resting quietly at one end. Now, the men wouldn't admit that there was beer in the trough, but it was there just as sure as there was a bottle of White Horse scotch whiskey hidden in an upper cabinet of the cabin. The bottles of White Rock club soda bobbing at one end of the trough indicated that a bottle of scotch couldn't be far away.


The trough is well hidden by the summer over growth on the right side of the photo


We would sometimes make boats from yellowing cucumbers and float them in the trough. Sometimes we could find an old sardine can with the top wound back on a key and use it for an outboard motor boat. And when we were feeling brave on a hot summer day, the log trough became our swimming hole.

There were many of these log troughs located through out our summer range. One still remained when I last visited the area in 2005 at what was called the Old Cold Springs cow camp. Since then, another forest fire has burned through the area and it is unknown if the trough survived. These springs had been used for perhaps thousands of years by the Nez Perce people, and during the 1950s one set of teepee poles still remained leaned against the branch of a fir tree. The poles disappeared during a forest fire a number of years ago.

circa late 1950s - The fill pipe has been changed from wood to steel, and the trough shows wear from years of use and seasonal abuse. This photo pictures the pole fence behind it.


circa 1950s - Not far from the log trough a set of teepee poles rested against  the branches of a fir tree. The springs were used by the Nez Perce people for many years until the Nez Perce War of 1877. During the time our family used the springs for our summer cow camp, it was not uncommon to find many sets of teepee poles, artifacts and ruts left by the travois travelers as the Nez Perce migrated through the area on their seasonal march between summer and winter living areas.

Like many things in a cowboy’s life, the log trough is now just a memory. But memories like these are worth having. Life is good when a person can have fond memories of places and things like the old log trough.


This story and photos are added here in our Western Memories feature.

Previously, Smoke Wade has shared other stories and photos, including:

photos from the 1952 branding of the Hashknife calves at the Cactus Flat branding corral, posted here

a 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, which you can see here.

smokevintagesmo.JPG (17853 bytes) 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.

  photos of the gold mining ghost town, Bodie, California, which you can see here

and some contemporary photos from Rachel, Nevada, posted here.

photo by Jeri L. Dobrowski; see her gallery of western performers and others at her site here.

Read some of Smoke Wade's poetry here.

You can email Smoke Wade.



 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.

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  jdhayingcrewsmj.jpg (22694 bytes) lkwatsonsmj.JPG (24370 bytes)    jmturkeystif.gif (261657 bytes) dtnewborncalf468.jpg (24243 bytes)

prMomandDad1930smler.jpg (12186 bytes)    ccpittsburglanding500.jpg (10607 bytes)   lkFLEMINGfinal.JPG (40636 bytes)

kcFrankBucklesBabeand_Dolly.jpg (73113 bytes)    ancloudswagon.jpg (24930 bytes)  smokevintagesmo.JPG (17853 bytes)  jmranchwindm.gif (222693 bytes)

StanBetsy1949.jpg (27787 bytes)    prcelesta1.jpg (356401 bytes)   

















Tell us your stories!  If you have a photo to share, email us.

See past weeks' photos starting with the most recent, on page 30.

See an index of all past weeks' photos here.








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