6666 Ranch

The sounds seemed magnified and surreal that far into the country side. The sun hadn't reached the horizon, darkness surrounded me. Stepping out of the truck, I noted the crunch of the gravel under my boots as I gathered my gear out of the rear door, fumbling in the low, soft cargo light. I paused to listen to a lone coyote call in the distance. A moment later, a door closed quietly, followed by the distant yet sound of spurs jingling as they made their way to my truck.  Stepping out of the shadows was a handsome young cowboy, hand extended with a warm country accent...he shook my hand with a "Good morning Ma'am, pleasure to meet you." We exchanged  few words as we walked to the barn were he began to saddle his horse. I watched him slip the bridle on as first mornings light had settled onto the scene, then, I took my first shot....

6666 Cowboy "Will"

As he mounted, he notified me he would be back in about 20 minutes with his remuda he'd gather up and bring into the corral...then he was off and out of sight into the west Texas flat lands. I looked for the perfect spot to get an interesting shot when for he returned. Choosing a low angle by the entrance gate that they would come through seemed perfect. So I tucked myself against the oil pipe fence, couching low, I patiently waited. Then I heard a faint rumble of horses hoofs. After a few moments there they were, a beautiful sight as he strategically herded then up and over a small draw, heading my way. After I took a few shots, I realized they were darting left and right not entering the gate. He tried again to push them through and as they bolted away again I realized it was my crouching like a predator and the clicking of the camera had spooked them into not coming through the gate! I quickly steeped back away and he rounded them up yet again and then charged right past me into the corral. As the cowboy passing me, he spoke quietly..."They aren't used to a camera ma'am." He still maintained his cool even with his hands full wrangling them all.  I was impressed to say the least.

Then he proceeded to do what cowboys do...tend to their "string" (their personal group of horses). Giving them medicine  and checking their hoofs ect. I watched as he roped them one at a time and cared for them. He was a complete gentleman. None of  the cursing, fighting, loud mouth characters you see on Yellowstone. That's just Hollywood...these guys are the real deal. Remember, I speak from experience having worked on movies for seventeen years.

Everyone on at the ranch was very kind and accommodating to allow me to walk around and enjoy the grounds. A very impressive, clean and well run operation.  I came around the corner and low and behold there was the man the myth and the legend, Billy Milton O'Neal...known as "Boots", a childhood nickname that carried him to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. For over three quarters of a century, he has acquired many awards, friends, stories and blessings working for all the top Texas ranches. The stories he shared with me were so visual that I could have sat at his feet(boots) taking it all in for hours. I truly did not want to leave. My hat is off to him. I was in awe. Please take time to look up articles about him, of which many are written...They should make a movie about this cowboy. Truly amazed. Thank you Boots!

Story Time with Boots O'Neal

The Supply Store has so many wonderful gifts to purchase. Each time I have stopped by, I find all sorts of fun things. I usually pick up a coffee cup, T-shirts, a hat and sweets for the road.

A step back in time...

It was hard to leave this ranch. All the history, people I met and the timeless lifestyle that seems to be fading into days of old. May it never be! I adoringly respect the cowboy way of life...