Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Dad knew he had to go away to work, because there was no way to make a living around there. Nobody was hiring. We knew Mother couldn’t manage alone, without water and wood, like most of those dry farmers had. We went out to Herm Butts. He was just going to move to take over a store in Dove Creek. It was just one building that was built inside of a hill. You walked into the downstairs part and that was the store. You climbed the stairs up the hill to get to the living quarters. Pearl had a couple of extra rooms she rented out, and that was the hotel and grocery store. That building is still there. I don’t know what they use it for anymore, but we see it every time we go through Dove Creek.

Well, Dad ran that ranch for a couple of years. My eighth birthday was when we got out to the brush patch, where we grubbed sagebrush for my birthday out there. We ran the ranch for a couple or three years, while he ran the grocery store. Dad found a place next to Herm’s that had a spring and timber on it, ‘cause he knew he couldn’t go away to work and leave Mother where she would have to haul water and wood. She wasn’t able to do much of them things. So I was practically the man of the house when Dad was gone. I had to carry the water, wash on the board, and gather the stuff off the hillside that I could chop up for wood. We lived in Herm’s place for two years, then Dad filed on this place and built a dugout, a cellar, a pretty nice cellar. You walked in from the ground level. It was built into a hill, with one log around the edges to hold the roof up. We got the cellar dug and the log around the edges. It was getting winter. We needed the roof. The Malotts lived about two miles over the Colorado line and they had a post office. It was called Northdale, I believe. But, anyway, they ran the post office and we’d go over there after the mail once a week.

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