Monday, June 25, 2007

Dances and Church

Dances were the greatest pleasure. People came for 25 miles to dances often staying all night. The cowboys were always welcome in a nester’s home, and this meant much to a lonely puncher. Churches and Sunday schools were organized as the settlements began. It was a pleasing diversion for some of the campers to attend the services.
From The Camp Life of a Cowpuncher by Carroll Doshier as told by Jim Christian

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Sunbonnet Incident

My friend Jeff would ride out occasionally and visit with the nesters. On one of these rides, he had met a young lady who had impressed him somewhat, and he wanted me to meet her. I consented, and we rode over. The house was a two room box affair with nothing between it and the horizon but a barbed-wire fence. By the time we got our horses tied, a bunch of youngens came flocking out of the door, and climbed all over Jeff. He struggled out at the door and with one hand hanging to each boot strap. There were several women in the house, some of them neighbors from eighty miles away. The girl we had come to call on had climbed onto the loft by way of a ladder to whiten her face. I was very bashful, and not much of a hand with the ladies, so I sat quietly by and let Jeff do the talking. The girl fuluetted in, and everything went nice enough, until a youngster slipped up behind me and swung an old fashioned sunbonnet over my face. Holding on to the string with all of his might and main, he fastened it tightly. I had to fight to extricate myself. This naturally put an end to our call. Jeff stamped out, frothing at the mouth and never called on the young lady again, nor does he like to be reminded of the incident.
From The Camp Life of a Cowpuncher by Carroll Doshier as told by Jim Christian

Monday, June 11, 2007

No need to lock the door

Nobody did not bother any property. If you left your house, money, or anything else, you would find everything right there when you came back. I could not explain that. I went to a camp that I had not been to in quite awhile and there was a man in the house. I guess he was a convict. I saw he had not anything much to eat, and I told him the wagon would be there in a little while with something to eat. I went to get something off my horse and when I came back, I could not find him. He must have gotten out in the Canyons. He never bothered a thing. There was a gun sitting by the door and he did not take that.
From Fred Scott transcripts

Monday, June 4, 2007

True Hospitality

There was true hospitality at camps. A puncher riding up always made his presence known. If it was dark, he called out who he was, and the nature of his mission. A knock was so rare, it caused suspicion. Anyone was welcome at mealtime. If the host were away, it was the custom to go in, cook what you found, and leave the place in order.
From The Camp Life of a Cowpuncher by Carroll Doshier as told by Jim Christian