Camp Cooks I Have Known

by Mike Capron
My first experience with one of these “Sultans of the Skillets” was on a small outfit near Toyah Texas. It was a very wet cold fall. Not good camp conditions at all and the cook had set up his wagon in the only available shelter.  A small shed that his wagon would barely fit in. His fire was just outside the door under a small porch. It was plum cozy if the wind was from the right direction and the cook was by himself. The crew looked forward to the shelter of the shed camp even though it was more than crowded. I was busy one morning getting my plate filled and couldn’t find a spot to eat.  I set my plate down on the checkbox lid and started to eat when the cook erupted into a screaming fit about my choice of dining accommodations. Apparently I had been breaking lots of rules. He unloaded his whole load on me about what to do and what not to do in his kingdom. By the time he got through with me, I was plumb comfortable squatting out in the rain eating my breakfast. Rule Number 1, don’t eat on his lid.
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Midnight Games

Midnight Games
Orion is 
            winter’s gymnast, his
                        span the vault of heaven-
                        his saltos plant starry kisses
                                                on the beam of the ecliptic-
                                                east to west each night, he hurls an aerial,
                                                                                    then sticks a landing-
At the other edge of earth,
the sun rises, applauds-
awards a perfect score
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The Cabbage Liberator

by Robert Shuford 
I spent last Thanksgiving with Mike and Anne Capron and had a really good time. Good Food (Two Chuckwagons , Bill and Jill Miller of Valentine TX., and Glen and Patty Moreland of Ft. Davis,TX), lots of good people and just one whale of a good time, or as the lady writers describe it, in the social columns. “A Good Time Was Had By All”.   And We Did ,!!!!!!
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Brock Hoover Horse Stories

By Reid Holmsley

Brock Hoover gave Gaston Boykin some horses (so said my dad). They were to be penned at the corral at Brock’s house. Gaston told me that the horses ran around the pasture (several sections). When they got to the corral, Brock ran out of the pen waving his hat. Gaston started to get mad. Brock hollered “circle them again so they will be tired enough not to tear down the pen!” Gaston, Ted Powers and my dad, Peery Holmsley, drove those horses through Ft. McKavett on to Comanche.


Fat Alford and Red Kizer (Kizer was uncle to Pecos Co. Sherriff Cliff Harris) were working at Brock Hoover’s. After a few days, Brock and Aunt Bessie went to town. Either Red or Fat decided to ride one of Brock’s personal horses. Hemmed him up in a corner to catch him. The horse turned his tail to them and backed up a step or two. This happened two or three times and Fat and Red didn’t want to get kicked and decided this horse looked like only Brock’s old pet.
Later when Brock got home they were going to saddle up. Brock got his bridle and walked up to his pet. The horse turned tail. Brock reached out, pulled the tail, then walked alongside the horse punching him in the belly and ribs with his thumb. That particular horse was trained to be caught that way.
Several of the Hoovers were working on the Sulphur well in Indian Canyon. They sent my dad (maybe the youngest one in the bunch) on Brock’s horse to the house to get a jug of water. On the way back, almost at the Sulphur Mill, the horse kept going faster. At the mill he wouldn’t stop and ended up running in a circle. Brock hollered “Pull his mane just in front of the saddle!” He did and the horse came to a sudden stop!


Frijoles Poem
From Reid Holmsley

Uncle Armond Hoover Sr. recited a poem about a fellow who fed his help mostly beans (frijoles). He said it was composed by a sheepherder some where south east of his house-this included nearly all the Hoover country. McIntyre (father of Drew, Arthur and Lacy) and also a group from Alsaise Lorraine (Basque) had sheep in this country soon after 1900. Probably others, too.
The t-5 brand was brought here by Lindsy Hicks on Dry Creek. Doc Turk also used it. Mike Turk has a letter from Ike Pryor to Lindsy Hicks introducing Doc Turk. My dad remembered Doc Turk moving horses up Prince Albert canyon when my dad was in his teens.
The parts of the poem I remember:
“He flavored his beans on the belly of a sow,
Fattened on the carcass of a T-5 cow.
. . . (verses I don’t remember)
Sow belly as tough as a boot,
Clogged you up so you couldn’t poot.
. . . (verses I don’t remember)
When high on damnation’s waves he rode,
Through the gates of hell he strode.
When on earth you cease to tarry,
A sack of beans to hell you’ll carry.”
Finishing verses called all the demons to get water, “I’ve brought the beans.”

We would enjoy hearing from anyone who has heard this poem or any information about it.


Old Bulger

by John T. Baker DDS
Old Bulger & One Christmas at the Baker farm around 1920 in Palo Pinto County.
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Going From Dunken to Pinon

by Rusty Fleming 
All these folks are dead and gone now except me so it’s safe to tell the story,,,,Where I was first hatched and raised, in the Sacramento Mountains west of Artesia, west of Hope, when going from Dunken to Pinon, a few miles down the road, the first road to the right went up Cuevo Canyon. The first ranch was Sonny and Jane Watts, they had a really nice apple orchard,,,along the same line as Runyan’s famous fine Sacramento Mountain apple orchards,  and like most folks around Pinon, were sheep AND cow ranchers,,,,the next place was one of Arvel Jernigan’s ranches, Arvel was a COW rancher, no sheep allowed, under NO circumstances,  then his nephew Larry Jernigan’s place.  I was working for Larry that fall, gathering, me being a one man gathering crew,,,Larry didn’t count,,,
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So Long Bonnie, But Not Good Bye

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Lawrence’s Fried Chicken

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Lawrence Chatman (Part Two)

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Lawrence Chatman


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