Oral Histories

Jim & Nellie McPherson

I don’t know how much snow fell that winter, but a lot, and it was cold. When it started to melt off, there was a huge ice cycle on the northeast corner of the bedroom. I tried and did bet Jim how long it was. I bet a fifth of brandy and won, he never paid that either. Of course I always had enough.

We went to the winter range to ride. Elmer Lee got a dozer and cleared the road to the Scarf Ranch. Snow was really deep. A yearling “wither” steer had gotten in with one of the cows. It followed her everywhere. We were gathering every critter to take to the ranch and feed. We broke a trail with the extra horses and the wither stayed on the tale end.

Snow was as high as the sheep. Lester had a sheep camp on the rim of Cottonwood. We had to go by the herder’s tent. I had the lead bunch and it was getting late. The herder rode a white horse bareback. Here he came down the trail and stopped when he caught up with me. He said, “I’ll take them now. You go to the tent and get a cup of coffee.” I thanked him, but said we wanted to get them by the camp, then we would drop them for the night. He called Jim “Bill.” I’ll go talk to Bill, but Jim Bill told him the same. We made it through that winter in better shape than some.

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