1984 32

1984

In 1984 DCCI had pastures in 6 counties of Colorado. Regular observation and 100% inventories were imperative. The minute school was out our kids all had jobs. Chad, at age 13 rode pastures with the senior cowboy Don Kraven. Don was known to be able to ride through a herd and hear every animal breath. When they were all breathing and accounted for the horses were loaded and the next pasture may be 40 miles away. If a cow needed doctored she was head and heeled, treated in the pasture and off to the next problem.

There were places like here on the Quixote Ranch at Boone that cows would run in the brush and were hard to rope. If a cow could be driven out to an open area it was very important to catch her with the first loop because a second shot might take a lot of time to get her out again. If Chad missed a loop, Kraven had a John Wayne way of "dog cussing" and with words of "blue lightning" explained the stupid, ignorant, dumb, poor judgement, and horrible problem he had caused. Chad worked with all his heart not to miss a loop, but 100% catches under less than smooth arena conditions is difficult even for the best.

This photo is Kraven doctoring an embryo recip cow with Chad holding her stretched. Chad would hear Kraven at the crack of dawn drive up to the ranch and he was gone for the day. He would get in after dark, eat supper, be dirty, sun tanned, red eyes, maybe a few rope burns, and be fairly quiet. After supper he would go out to the barn and practice roping a bucket for an hour or so and off to bed.

Today 7 grand kids and 1 great grand kid were working on the ranch. Most worked the cattle with Honda 4X4s, some were sorting cattle for breeding pastures, some keeping records, some applying vapor ear tags, and life goes on at the ranch. Three of Chad's kids were working today. Chad is a builder in Georgetown, Texas. There are less rope burns in Georgetown.

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Darol Dickinson

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P. J. O'Rourke