Always A Cowboy

Always A Cowboy

Australian born and bred into a farming family I worked as a cowboy on cattle ranches in the United States from Texas to Wyoming for two years.

I was fortunate and privileged to have had two amazing bosses in Frank Menix in Texas and Francis Ricker in Wyoming.

I arrived at the ranches and left at various times and was always welcomed by both men and their families. I have always said I learnt more about cowboying from these two men than everyone else combined.

Frank was the Foreman (Manager) of 'Indian Canyon Ranch' outside of Lamesa, Texas and I worked there at least four times in two years.

Indian Canyon Ranch is located in the Caprock region in the Panhandle of Texas. The region is home to some of the oldest and largest ranches in American history and in the Dawson and Borden counties, near the town of Lamesa, Texas is Indian Canyon Ranch owned by the Dean family. Established in 1882, the ranch was originally part of the historic Slaughter Long S Ranch, one of Texas's most notable ranches established by businessman and cattle baron, C.C. Slaughter of Dallas. It is a working cow/calf outfit that is 56 sections (35,840 acres) of rangeland along with leasing another 23 sections (14,720 acres) near Midland.

Francis Ricker was the Foreman (Manager) of 'Flying Lazy Lee Ranch' outside of Wheatland, Wyoming in the Laramie Mountains on the edge of the Rockies which is where the photo on this page was taken in 1976 when I was 20. He later became the Foreman (Manager) of 'Twin Pine Ranch' also in the Laramie Mountains in Wyoming. 'Twin Pine' was the parent ranch of approximately 81.25 sections (52,000 acres) and both were owned by Lee Hagermeister. It was a working cow/calf outfit. All cattle work was done by horseback. Over 2,000 acres was irrigated alfalfa but I never had anything to do with it other than feeding it out to cattle in winter time. Fence repairs in the high country was done by packing the equipment and wire on pack saddles on the horses as it was totally inaccessible any other way. Today 'Twin Pine Ranch' is owned by Lee's daughter Peggy and her husband Larry. It is now only 14,000 acres and it produces Bison and Bison hunts. As Peggy said "No one wants to work like cowboys work any more".

Other ranches I worked on were 'Hijos de la Cejita' near Embudo, NM and the 'Ferguson Ranch', Woodward OK.