Peery Holmsley ....Camp Cook

  Peery Holmsley….Camp Cook 


    Mike Capron


I got a call from a friend in Idaho who was looking for a camp cook for a big Idaho ranch. We were playing 42 at the Hall and one of the players Rowdy Holmsley could overhear the ranch manager asking for a cook.  Peery’s brother (Rowdy) said, “Call Peery , he likes to cook.”  I called Peery right away and told him about the ranch in Idaho looking for a camp cook for 15 to 18 men for 2 meals a day, seven days a week and for a little over a month, just for the spring branding. I tried to discourage Peery as I knew what the work load would include, washing dishes and tending to 18 cowboys in a mobile camp situation.  He was very excited and told me he had been waiting for this call all his life…………!!!!!!!    I gave him the Ranch Manager’s phone number and wished him good luck. I couldn’t believe Peery was so excited.

Camp Cooks are born to cook.  Peery is my neighbor. He is a hunter, a business man, a good man and an adventurous soul and a little different, but never cooked for a cow outfit that had definite ideas of what a camp cook was. Peery had cooked when necessary for family and friends. He was raised in a part of Texas where ranching, working, and eating good simple food was a priority. When he came by the house, he would stop for a visit and share some of his hunting spoils with me. Maybe deer meat or mountain lion, I wasn’t picky but I told him I rode my horses and mules and didn’t eat them. I called the ranch manager and told him that Peery was the only man I could find as it was spring in Texas and all the available camp cooks were committed to ranches this time of the year, but that Peery was a good man with lots of ranch experience and I knew he could cook , just not sure about a camp cook and the style of camp available.  I would be glad to help out but this was the best I could do this time of the yearIn a couple weeks the Ranch Manager called and was so happy about hiring Peery. He said Peery could out cook his grandma and all the crew just loved his cooking. He couldn’t believe they were so happy.   I was tickled but shocked.  

Peery came home and was full of stories. He thoroughly enjoyed the spring works and was looking forward to going back. He said they branded around four thousand calves and did it all outside herd style and roped every calf by head and heels. They ate early breakfast and worked until three or four in the afternoon and then came to camp for their second meal of the day and are through for the day working cattle.  Peery said they were cowboys and could rope and brand a lot of calves in a day. They have a different way of gathering and working in the fall as they don’t have a camp cook. Peery wasn’t sure how things got done but they didn’t use a camp cook in the fall.

I guess  it was all working just fine because Peery is cooking for them again this spring and he is up there right now cooking for the spring works on the YP ranch in Nevada and Idaho.

Peery wanted to take something from Texas to the ranch manager. I gave Peery the above drawing and one of my calendars. I told Peery to tell him in Texas we swing big and throw hard.



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