Salt Flat Cattle Co

 Salt Flat Cattle Co.


                                                         Mike Capron

In the late 80’s, Sam Dove, Jerry Crisp, and myself leased the Fig. 2 ranch in north Culbertson County Texas. It was an inexpensive lease, but all we got for the lease was the grass, water system, and corrals. No houses, minerals, hunting, or damages for land paid by government or private concerns. But there was 150,000 plus acres of grass, mountains, and wide open spaces. Sounded like a good deal to us.  We had lots of desire, horses, youthful vigor, and plenty of stories.  An old man told us we needed to have two of the necessary ingredients (cows, grass, labor) in order to be a success in the cow business. We didn’t have any of the necessary ingredients, except our own youthful vigor.  That didn’t slow us down any.  We still thought it was a good deal.  We got the money borrowed to pay the lease and went to work finding cattle to pasture on the lease.  Sounded easy to us and we could find a job for our wives to pay for living expenses. What else could we possibly need…….???????   

We went to work on the water system and fences.  Plenty of plumbing and fencing to occupy our time while we were advertising for cattle to pasture.  We managed to get a couple small bunches of cattle, but we needed a big herd to fill the larger pastures. Our hopes soared when we got a call from Jerry Taylor from the HP El Sauz Ranch at Raymondville Texas. He said they were drought out in South Texas and he needed a home for a 1000 plus cows.  He wanted to come look at us and our outfit. We certainly agreed and he said he was coming to see us right away and would be there tomorrow.  We were excited but not sure how to accommodate Mr. Taylor.  We were living in a make shift camp on Hwy 54.  Our kitchen was a chuck box and camp fire.

 Sam said, “What are we going to fix for supper……??”

I said, “All we have is a liver from the steer we butchered, and I sure would hate to see a big cow deal go sour over a liver for supper.”

Sam said, “Don’t worry.  I will cut that liver up into strips and double batter them and he will think they are steak fingers.”

Mr. Taylor showed up early and we spent the day looking at the ranch.  We invited Mr.Taylor to stay for supper but we didn’t have a bed for him unless he had brought his bedroll. 

He said, “No I didn’t bring a bedroll but I will stay for supper and go to Van Horn to a motel room.”

We got back to the camp and started supper. Sam and I were busy around the chuck box lid fixing supper and had a big fire built.  Mr.Taylor was busy enjoying the fire and telling us tales of South Texas and his days rodeoing in college.   We stuffed ourselves on liver fingers and listened to his stories until way past midnight.  He throughly enjoyed the evening and left very late to go to Van Horn and then on to get us some cattle shipped from HP El Sauz  Ranch.   The liver was never mentioned in all the years we worked with Jerry Taylor.   We pastured cattle and worked with him until the Fig. 2 ranch was sold.  



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