Boots O'Neil and His First Day on the JA

This painting and a copy of the book that it is in, “Some of them Dally and Some of Them Tie Hard and Fast”, will be in the Trappings of Texas September 16th and 17th. 

                                         Boots O’Neil’s First Day on the JA


                                                         Ed Ashurst

The following story is a word for word record of a conversation I had with Boots O’Neal in early June of 2021. I recorded it and wrote it down word for word in the vernacular. I first heard of Boots O’Neal in the fall of 1972 when I first met and worked for Mike Landis who was running the wagon on the Diamond A Ranch at Seligman, Arizona. Mike told me the story about Boots coming to work at the JA wagon, but he told it with one small change. Mike claimed that they had heard that a young kid was coming to the wagon who thought of himself as a bronc rider. Mike said everyone on the crew was laying for him and wanting to see him get bucked off. Boots tells it differently.

I met Boots in the early ’80s and got to work with him several times, for several months each time, at the Babbitt Ranch north of Flagstaff. I saw him ride a horse called Pieface several times that really bucked. I had broke the horse to ride, and in my opinion, he was hard to ride. Boots rode him with ease and he was in his mid 50s.

I consider Boots to be a very good cowboy of the old tradition and a fine gentleman. He always conducted himself as a good man should.

If I brag, I brag about the fact that I had the privilege to work with men like him and Bill Howell, Charlie Chapin, John Andrews, Whistle Mills, Bob Burris and others. I’ve never met J.R. Edwards or Wes O’Neal who are mentioned in these stories, but I know they are cut of the same cloth. They are all national treasures.

“I was 16 years old, and I got a job with the JAs on the telephone. It was a big wild outfit then; they pulled a chuck wagon with four horses, and a bed wagon with two, and a water wagon they pulled with two, and we stayed out six or seven months at a time, seven days a week. But they hired me, and I got out to the headquarters, and I didn’t have a car or nothin’, and I rode out to the headquarters with the bookkeeper. I rolled my bed out and slept on the porch at the bunkhouse for two days. They didn’t own a pickup then; they had 10 or 12 camps and five or six hundred sections there.

“They had a Jeep pickup, kind of a thing they kept down on their farm camp where they raised a little hay. He was taking a load of groceries to the wagon in that Jeep, and we got to the river and it was up. It was way out, 40 miles from nowhere. He just unloaded me and my bed and saddle and a couple boxes of groceries and then said, “There will be a wagon come across there in a little while and get you,” and then he went home. He said they had called a camp over there. They had a phone over there that would ring so many times, and someone might pick it up. He told that camp man to go to the wagon and tell them that he was bringing a man out there and some groceries, and he could dump them there on the edge of the river; and he just left me.

“It was an hour or two, and that river was runnin’, and there was sticks and logs and foam come down it. I was beginnin’ to think I should have stayed at home ’cause I was just sittin’ there miles from nowhere, and there wasn’t anything but a two-trail road. Directly “I saw a wagon pull up over there on the other side of the river, and two saddle horses. They hooked one of those boys’ ropes to the tongue out in front of that team, and the other boy put his rope over the wagon box and over the runnin’ gears and got on the upriver side, and they jumped in that river and come across. It didn’t swim them horses, but that water was sloshin’ plumb over the wagon. That upper man, his job was to keep that wagon box, to keep it from floatin’ off the runnin’ gear. And they loaded me up and went back across and went on up to the wagon, about a mile to where the wagon was camped.

“They give me a stake rope and a list of horses, and about five or six o’clock the horse wrangler brought the horses in. He had been day herding them, and he would bring them in and put them in the rope corral, and they would catch everyone a horse to stake that you would ride the next morning. They caught me a nice old 15- or 16-year-old horse for me to ride the next morning. We staked them and we got along fine that night.

“After dinner the next day, I had just been there a night and a half a day, they said that we would ride some broncs that evening. Even some of the older men got mad at that wagon boss, ’cause I was a little kid, but he caught me a six-year-old horse, he was a ’43 model and this was in ’49, and they drug him outa there with a horse and hobbled him, and they told me to get my hackamore. Mike Landis was working there, and I was in the bank in Seligman 40 years later, and Mike came in and he told that story to those people in there.”

I went to work for Mike Landis at the Diamond A wagon in the fall of 1972. Mike told me this same story then; that was the first time I ever heard of Boots O’Neal, and Mike told it just like Boots told it to me June 1, 2021.

“I got him saddled and unhobbled him and just oozed on him. I was only 16, but I had been ridin’ a lot of colts and had ridden some horses that would buck; not old buckin’ horses but colts that would buck a little. That horse would buck until he was give out. He bucked three or four times. It was July, and he had white foam all over him, and he would stop and rest, and I would regroup and get straightened out; and then when I’d move, he would blow up again. So I got him rode that evening, and I never had to ride that horse again; and after I learned those horses good, and later years I roped horses a long time there, I never did see that horse again. They must of sold him in a bunch they had condemned.

“That wagon boss was 40 years old then and I was 16.”

What was his name?

“Bud Long. We became good friends for life. I knew his family. I knew his mother. I used to stay with her when we was in town. Bud never married. I thought a lot of him. I never have known why he would have give a kid that horse. That thing weighed 1200 pounds and was about 15.2, and he bucked like a son of a gun. I don’t know how I got him rode. At that time I thought I could ride anything. I hadn’t run into some of them that could buck me off. I got him rode, and we got our stake horses caught for the next day.

“At that time they would move that wagon every three or four days so they would be close to their work. They rode everywhere. Didn’t have any pickups and trailers. The cook would always drive that four-horse chuck wagon and the hoodlum would drive that big water wagon. It would haul the rope corral and stuff like that, and they were pulled by big Percheron horses.

“There they had two-year-old buckin’ horses. I never will forget them. Their names were Scar and High Brown, and they had broke them to work and pull just a little narrow butcher-knife wagon, and they hauled the beds in it. They operated like that a number of years. They had them three wagons.

“Whatever old kid that was on the bottom of the seniority pile—well, the cook drove the chuck wagon, and the hoodlum drove the hoodlum wagon, and whatever old kid they had drove the bed wagon. He would put his saddle on top of the beds and drive the bed wagon. Well, that was me. We were moving right down the bed of the river in the Palo Duro Canyon following the remuda that they were driving in front of us. They would cross that stream, and take ’em across and bring them back, and take them across and bring them back, and then we would cross behind them with those wagons. The horses would pack that quick sand down where it was safe to cross.

“I was sittin’ up there, third man back, on top of about 15 bedrolls stacked up there, looked about like a big load of hay. I was trying to roll a Bull Durham cigarette, and I dropped one of those lines, and them two old horses left there. They passed that chuck wagon, and they was a runnin’. That old cook hollered, “Jump off, son, jump off!” So I did.

“They turned that darn thing over when they hit the river. Turned that wagon over and drug it upside down, tore up some of the harness and got the beds wet. We got it all out, and got it all straight. They sent a man across there; they had to lope across there five or six miles and get a tug and belly pan and a couple of other things from a camp to fix that harness up. I figured sure they would fire me, but they didn’t. Bud, who was runnin’ the wagon, he never said much about it, just told me to be a little more careful with those lines. I tell that story now to people, and I also advise them that I don’t smoke now. Kinda broke me from rollin’ Bull Durham cigarettes.

“We went on down there four or five miles and camped at another place, and camped and got along fine. That was the first four or five days I worked at the JAs. Mike Landis was there for all of it to verify it. You knew Mike Landis and maybe he told you some of the stories. He was about 18 or 19 when I was 16, and I visited with him several times when I was out in Arizona, and he would tell me that one of the things he remembered about the JAs was that nearly everyone there had a horse that would buck.

“We didn’t break them horses until they was four, and they had never been touched by a human other than when they were fore footed and tied down and cut and branded. They would turn them out, and they would run in that canyon, and I broke them three winters 50 at a time.

“We would run them things in a pasture we called Number One, and it was real rough and rocky, and they would drive them down there and turn them in after they cut the studs as two-year-olds. There would be two bunches: the twos and threes. They didn’t do nothing for them. If one of them got cut up or scratched up or got worms, that was just his bad luck because they never did pen them; and they would run when they saw a camp man trottin’ across the pasture. We would take the wagon crew down there and gather them things in the late fall, and we ran them out to a place we called Chuck Box Corrals, and we would pen them there and cut the four-year-olds out and turn the three-year-olds back, and then, a few days later, we would drive the fresh cut two-year-olds down there and turn them in there so we would have two years’ worth of broncs in there all the time. Then we would drive the four-year-olds out to a place that they called the Vat Bronc Pen, and then two men would break broncs. Me and my brother Wes broke them three years in a row. I think it was ’51, ’52 and ’53, and we would break around 50 head of four-year-olds.

“We just rode ’em five saddles, two in the corral and three outside, and then took them to the wagon. They had never been touched; they would try to bite you and squeal when you touched ’em. Me and Wes would go over there in the morning and forefoot and tie eight down and put a hackamore on them when they were on the ground, and then drag one out there with a big stout horse and stake ’em to a rock. We would leave them all day and all night. We would stake all eight and then ride back to the ranch, (JA headquarters) a couple miles over there, and spend the evening and the night and then trot back over there in the morning. We never went back to check on them or nothing. I don’t remember anything happening to one that was too bad. Once in awhile one of them would be a little rope burned on one leg or something but never too bad.

“We would trot back over there in the morning and drag them in and tie them, one at a time. The old man runnin’ the outfit told us to tie ’em up high so they couldn’t pull their neck down. They were just old pole corrals.”

How far was it from the stake rock to the corrals?

“Oh 50 to 100 yards. There was eight rocks out there. We would drag them broncs back in there in the morning, and we would tie ’em up high, and then we would drag one at a time into a round corral.

“We had a foot rope with a snap platted into the end of it, and about four foot down that rope we would tie a half granny knot around a three or four inch iron ring. As you threw that rope around a horse’s neck, you could use the end that had the snap in it to whip the rope around and catch it. You couldn’t do it every time, but you usually could. And that way you could lean out there three or foot from that bronc that was snubbed to a post, and you could snap that ring and then you would have a rope around his neck, and we could tie his foot up and saddle him, and then when you stepped on him you reached down there and undid that snap, and it would come over the top of his head pretty viciously because most of them would blow up and buck three or four jumps. You know they give out and got mad by then, and they weren’t grain-fed horses.

“We would ride one around in the round corral that day and out in the big corral tomorrow, and we would go outside on one apiece. There was never anybody else there. That’s the part that I look back on and wonder how we made it. There wasn’t somebody else there to help us get ’em goin’ or keep us together, and there was brush in that pasture. But we would make a circle, and the next day make a circle, and the next day make a circle, and that’s two in the corral and three outside. Then we would drive them eight head across there to the wagon wherever it was camped and then come back and stake eight more in the morning. We would do the same thing over and over until we had about 50 broke to ride.

“There were several things we really worked on when we were breaking those broncs: We hobbled them every time we caught them so when we turned them over to the wagon they could hobble them there at the rope corral. They were broke to hobble good. And we roped them horseback in a big corral, and we would jerk them down. We would catch them comin’ out of a corner just like ropin’ a calf. We would jerk ’em around and drag ’em around, and we did that every day, that we had them there, and then at the end of that fifth day we would drive them eight head across to the wagon and then stake eight more the next day. You know, it sounds to me now—well, we’ve got some boys down here right now breaking some horses. The way we did it back then seems almost foreign to me, but that’s the way we did it. That’s the way the fellers ahead of us had taught us to do it. Goll dang, you think about them things, we would run ’em in there, and they would try to bite you or kick you, and they would squeal when you touched them; they thought you was going to eat ’em.

“Another thing—we were getting $90 to $100 a month at the wagon working as cowboys, but they would cut your wages off, but they would furnish you groceries, and you lived at the headquarters. They would give you $15 per horse for every one you took to the wagon. You see that was three dollars a saddle, and you rode him five times. We wouldn’t get paid until we turned ’em all in to the wagon, so our check would be $750 or thereabouts. There would be 48 to 51 of them every year—something like that. We would split that money, and Wes and I bought our first pickup with that money. We went together and bought a little Chevrolet pickup. I remember it was a little half ton and had the gear shift up on the steering wheel. It was brand new and cost $1800. We had been savin’ our money.

“We broke them things three winters. Me and another boy was breakin’ ’em that first winter, and he got hurt. A horse fell with him and broke his shoulder so he had to leave, so they sent Wes over there to help me, so me and him broke them that year and two years following then. Wes broke them the next year while I was in the Army. I was in Korea when they broke that bunch.

“There wasn’t none of the old guys take a bronc or ride one, or if one of them did, they might tell you they would give you $10 if you would ride his four or five more times. Some of the younger guys would ride them for them out there at the wagon.

“I’ve heard one of these big-time horse trainers now say the worst thing you can do to a bronc is to choke him. Well, we choked on them things—all of them. They wanted us to.”

When you fore-footed them would you be on a saddled horse and tied to the horn?

“No, no, we would put them in a round corral, and I don’t know how we did it so easy, but we fore-footed them in a corral and we were afoot. When we fore-footed them we would run to ’em, and we would keep that rope up high, and we would try and get a foot or two from those front feet, and he would jump two or three times, and he would go in the air, and we would just keep a floppin’ him out, and when we were lucky he would stick one of his hind legs up between his front legs, and we would take two or three wraps, and we would have him.

“We drug them out there to the stake rocks, and we led wild steers the same way. Well you know what a shackle is: a piece of rope about a foot long with a horn knot braided into each end. Well that stake rope comin’ from that bronc, and we would take that rope, and we didn’t have any of these big dally horns like we do now, well some of our horns were even little nickel horns. We couldn’t dally a stake rope like that that’s 30-foot long. And if you lost one of those devils, sometimes it would take two days to get him back with that stake rope a draggin’ and him loose out there. We would tie a slip knot runnin’ back through itself about ten or twelve feet from the horse and put a shackle over that and then hook the other end to the saddle horn. That makes it solid from the saddle horn to that bronc, or a wild steer if you do the same thing to a steer. That makes it solid. But that loose end that’s draggin on the ground, if you jerked it out that turns it loose.

“And we would drag him out to that stake rock and one of us would be on the ground and that feller could tie that loose end to that ring and swivel on that rock. And the other man was on the horse, and if he could get just a little slack, he could take that shackle off of his saddle horn, and then when that bronc hit the end of that stake rope it would throw that shackle 15 or 20 foot in the air. Sometimes we would have to hunt it a little while to find it. You can do the same thing with a wild steer if you get him up to a tree somebody on the ground can tie that loose end to a tree.”

So that stake rock, did you just tie that stake rope to the rock?

“We had several strands of wire around that rock going one way and then around the other way with a swivel and heavy ring held to that rock by the wire that was wrapped around there good enough that it wouldn’t come off.

“Those rocks would be small enough that when the bronc hit the end of them they could move them a little, but not much, but at least they weren’t tied completely solid. We would stake eight scattered around out there. Now you would be worried to death about one of them getting hurt, but we would just get on our horses and just lope back to the ranch and come back in the morning. But I don’t even remember a dead one out there on the stake rocks. Once in awhile we would have a rope burn, but not too bad usually.”

So you would get a foot tied up on them and then go to saddle them. How much sacking out would you do before you threw your saddle on them?

“Oh, not much—we would just get our saddle on them. I’ve got some pictures of that time, and I was showing them to a real good cowboy friend of mine, just the other day; and I had forgot this and hadn’t said anything about it, but this feller said, ‘Boots, there are two or three pictures of you and Wes, and you don’t even have a blanket on underneath your saddle.’ Well we didn’t even use a saddle blanket on those broncs, we just saddled them and rode them. I wouldn’t want to do my saddle that way now because I wouldn’t want to hurt the lining on my saddle, but we didn’t even use a blanket on the first three or four rides. I don’t guess it hurt anything because I don’t remember any kind of problem as a result of what we did.”

What percentage of those colts would buck a little bit, and what percentage wouldn’t buck at all?

“Oh, I would say that 90 percent of them would buck a little that first ride or two. Sometimes they would be pretty give out by the time you got them tied up and saddled. They weren’t strong like horses now days because they had never been fed any grain or anything like that. We would hang a morral with oats in it on their heads and try to feed them a little, and they would try to buck that thing off. They were wild and had never been messed with at all.”

But once in a while you would get one that would buck a lot?

“Yeah, we had several. There was one that they broke while I was in the Army that became a legend. I never did get to ride him, but Wes did. There are several pictures of Wes riding him. He had a picture of him riding him for fun as an exhibition at the wagon. That horse was runner-up buckin’ horse of the year several times, and Steiners owned him. We called the horse Tom, and Steiners hauled him for years.

“He killed a man there at the ranch when he was a two-year-old when they were cuttin’ the studs. There was an old-timer named Clarence Long who was a real good old-time cowpuncher who was in his late 70s who didn’t have any business being in the round corral. His son C. H. Long was a very good hand, and he was there and he told his daddy, Clarence, that he should get out of the corral. If I was going to name the best half dozen cowboys I’ve ever know, C. H. Long would be one of them. C. H. and Clarence Long were no relation to Bud Long who was the wagon boss, but they were all working there at the JAs at the same time. They were forefooting those studs and cutting them, and C. H. had told Clarence several times to get out of the way. They forefooted this bronc that became known as Tom, and as he hit the ground, old Clarence was in the wrong place; and Tom kicked him in the head, and Clarence died the next day. So Tom the horse started out with a bad reputation.

“We had several horses there that were mean and would sure enough buck. There was a good young cowboy workin’ there named Frankie McWhorter. Frankie became a world-class fiddler and worked for Bob Wills. He learned to play there at the wagon, and I remember him sawin’ on that thing in his teepee of a night, and those old men would holler at him and say, ‘Put that damn thing up!’

“Frankie also wrote a book or two, and I read one of the books, and he had a nice story in there about me ridin’ old Twilight. At the JAs you staked a horse every night to ride the next day. Everybody at the wagon staked a horse every night. But it was against the rules to saddle your horse the night before, but they would let you saddle old Twilight the night before because you couldn’t saddle him in the dark of early morning. I rode old Twilight a long time there but saddled him before it got dark the evening before I rode him.”

Did they have horse pastures to turn the remuda out in at night or did they just herd them day and night?

“No, all the time we were in the canyon, the horse wrangler would herd them all day and then put them in a little bitty trap at night. We had 175 - 180 horses in the remuda, and we all had a horse staked; and the crew would saddle up and leave before daylight. The wranglers would have a horse staked also, and come daylight he would let the remuda out of that trap and take them out and graze them all day. He would come in and eat in the middle of the day but would go immediately back out there and stay with them. About five or six o’clock in the evening, he would bring them into camp and put them in the rope corral; and we would catch horses for the next day.

“When I was at the Matadors, they had a nighthawk who stayed with the horses at night, and then he would come in and sleep at the wagon during the day. They had another man who wrangled and herded the horses during the day. There at the Matadors, every evening we would catch and stake two horses to be used as emergency horses and maybe help the nighthawk run the remuda in when it was time to catch horses in the morning. That nighthawk had to be tough. He was out there in storms, lightning, thunder and rain; and he was an 18-year-old kid and tough. Now days, I would be worried to death about that fella, but at the time I never gave it a thought; I just figured that was his job.”

So at the JAs, was Tom Blasingame there when you worked there?

“Yes, you know Tom had run the wagon at the wagon at the Matadors in the ’20s when my dad worked there. Me and Wes had grown up hearing stories about Tom Blasingame and spoke reverently about him. He had a camp there at the JAs, and I’ve stayed there at that camp with him helping him catch wild cattle. He was a master at catching big steers and getting them out of bad country. He was fanatical about not hurting them and taking good care of them. He would make sure an old steer was tied to the right tree and was led out just the right way.

“Tom didn’t drink or smoke, but he chewed tobacco, and he was very neat and wanted everything done right. My dad always claimed that Tom Blasingame was the best bronc rider on the range he ever saw. Tom was born in 1898, and he told me he left home when he was 17; his folks had a homestead over in Oklahoma. He said the day he left he was ridin’ out, his dad was on top of an old windmill workin’ on it, and his dad waved at him, and he waved back as he was riding away. He rode horse back across there to the JAs which would be over a hundred miles. He worked at the JAs, and then he run the wagon on the Double Circles in Arizona, and then he came back and run the wagon on the Matadors a good long while back in the ’20s, and then he came back to the JAs when he married Eleanor and worked there the rest of his life. He stayed there 50 some odd years that last hitch.

“He died there. He was batchin’ there in that camp, and Eleanor was living in town. They weren’t separated or divorced, she just tired of living out there in that canyon. There was six or eight gates going in and out of there. It was what they called Camel Creek Camp, and it was a western deal. Tom just saddled up one morning and left to go prowl and was going up there into that Number One Pasture where we used to run them broncs; and nobody knows, but it looked like he just got sick or felt bad and got off and laid down by the side of the trail where he was travelin’ and died there. Somebody just happened to go down there to that camp and found that horse had come back draggin’ the bridle reins. They got the crew and went to lookin’ for him and found him along side the trail where he had folded his arms across his chest and died. He was 92 years old. Me and Wes went to the funeral out there on the edge of the canyon, and he had on a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of Levis. He told his dad when he left home that he wanted to make his living looking through a horse’s ears, and he did.”

What was your father’s name?

“Boots. I was named after him. His name was James, and when he was about 17 he and another boy was batchin’ in a camp on the Hayhooks. He bought a pair of red boots in town one time and came back to the ranch with them red boots, and all of those guys got a kick out of those red boots and started calling him Boots. I didn’t know anything but Boots when I was growing up. I started school in 1928, and my name was Bill. That first morning of school, I went to get on the school bus, and the bus driver opened the door and said, ‘Get on here, little Boots,’ and I guess it stuck.”

You were raised out northeast of Amarillo?

“Well, it would be more straight east, on a ranch there called the Davis Ranch about 50 miles straight east of Amarillo. A town that was close to us was Pampa. We moved there in ’33 or ’34 when I was about a year or so old. We spent a number of years there. A little town close by was called Lefors. That’s where me and Wes both went to school.

“We broke colts to ride when we were kids. Me and Wes. We would stake them out around camp and ride them when we got home from school. We grew up doing that. We would ride colts for somebody that had one or two to ride. We had some that would buck. I remember one summer we had one colt that bucked both of us off three or four times apiece. I always thought when I got to be about 20 that I would like to have a shot at him again. I remember one time that old man that owned that outfit cut about four or five feet off of an old lariat rope and made it wet and stiff, and he asked me, ‘Billy,’ they called me Billy then, ‘You think you could take him into that bronc corral and take this rope and get on him and try to lift his goober out from under him?’ We were hoping to take the buck out of that horse. So I got on him in the corral with that piece of wet rope in my hand, and the first time I hit him with that ripe he throwed me plumb over the fence.

“My dad never did say anything about us ridin’ those darn things. Now days I would be plumb worried about some kid riding some of those things, but nobody thought anything about it.

“The first bronc we broke for a big ranch was in 1948, and we broke 20 head for the ROs. They were three-year-old broncs. That was always confused with the ROs out there in Arizona, but it was the ROs out there near Clarendon. My dad was working there at the ROs when I was born. They branded RO on the left hip. When I got out of the Army in ’55, the manager of the RO came out of the house and asked me if I would come and help them for a few days; and I told him I wasn’t ready to go to work yet. Cowboys were getting about $100 to $110 a month then. He said, ‘I’ll give you $10 a day if you’ll help us a few days.’ So I went out there and came back after 51 days making $10 a day. That was pretty good money in 1955. I came down in this country just after that. I came to Waggoners and stayed 24 years. I went on the payroll at Waggoners in May of 1955. Wes came to work there about four years later.

“They sent me to the bronc pen to break horses at Waggoners in the winter of ’56, and I was stayin’ there breaking horses. But I had a string of horses at the wagon in the remuda. Wes came down to see me but he was still working at the JAs. We didn’t have communication in those days like we do now, and I didn’t even know he was around. He got to the wagon, and he knew two or three of those cowboys because they had worked at the JAs, and they told him to just stay at the wagon and ride with them instead of coming to see me at the bronc pens, so he did. I had a horse in my string that was a six-year-old sorrel horse called Satan, and, boy, that son of a gun would buck. So they caught old Satan for Wes to ride but didn’t say anything to him about Satan being bad to buck. One of our buddies should have said something to him, but they didn’t. Well, they saddled up, and Wes got on Satan, and he was six years old, and he would buck; but Wes put it on him, and it tickled them guys to death. Of course Wes was a good bronc rider then. The year before he had won the big bronc riding at a big rodeo and had won a big belt buckle.

“That same horse that he won the buckle on bucked me off two years later at a rodeo. I drew that horse and the boys said, ‘That’s the horse Wes won the buckle on. You’ll like him!’ They had to move me to shut the gate.

“G.L. Procter was the one roping horses when they roped old Satan for Wes. G.L. Procter was the best cowboy I ever knew. He never got too hot or too cold or didn’t require any petting or special treatment. He could do it all. He never roped or rode broncs at rodeos, but he could rope and ride out at the ranch as good as anybody and was a fine man.

“We used to rope a lot of yearlings in the fall that needed to be worked. You could neck big yearlings weighing 600 pounds or more and drag them out of a herd, and G.L. could rope two feet on 15 or20 in a row without missing. This was roping big, wild, juicy cattle jumping like deer; but it didn’t matter, he could catch ’em one after the other all day long. I had tremendous respect for G.L. Procter.”

Leave a comment