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Saturday, September 8, 2012

UNCLE DAN Chapter 5

Working on the ranch
While trying to find employment that would be a reliable source of income Uncle Dan got a job working for a rancher who owned several large ranches.

Each of these had barns, out buildings and usually a large ranch house. He raised cattle, sheep and farmed at the same time and Uncle worked in all phases of the operation. While Uncles salary was small he lived in a ten room house rent free. His brother-in -law who was about age sixteen moved in with him and his nephew also.  As it would happen the time came when I had no job and couldn't find one so I ended up with him also.

Seems his wife was very fertile and his family kept increasing. We boys did everything to get work but due to the fact we were under eighteen no one would hire us except on occasion we would get a day or two doing a farm job; cutting grapes, walnut harvesting, sheep shearing and working on the harvesters.  

Actually Uncle's brother-in-law was the only one who worked the harvester for it paid good money and a lot of people were hoping for that job.

courtesy photobucket.
The rancher realized that we needed to contribute something for our board so he told Uncle to round up some of the cattle that had calved and milk them. Let me just say that was an experience for those cattle had never been handled except by men on horses. Out of the whole herd there were only about eight that we could get settled down enough to milk. We would put their heads in stanchions and lock their legs together with kickers and still they could kick with both feet. It was only after some time had passed we were able feel safe while milking.
After the milking we had to extract the cream from the milk for that was what we were selling. We also had some raw milk to drink if we wanted it.

Then one day we were informed that the rancher who was the head of the Farm Association had managed to buy one hundred tons of potatoes from the government for fifty cents a ton. These large trucks came and filled the barn with potatoes. The next day a five hundred gallon pot was delivered and we boys were instructed on how to cook potatoes in it. The method was actually pretty easy but the doing of it was a little more complicated. First you had go out and cut the wood. Then you filled the pot about one third full of water, after which you dumped five hundred pounds of potatoes and cooked them to feed to the pigs.
courtesy photobucket

The rancher had us build several pens and then there was delivered a bunch of pigs to feed. We boys never received a penny for doing all this work but Uncle got a share of the profits which he needed badly. One more thing I'll relate about them taters. The agreement with the government was we couldn't eat any of them taters. With food in short supply we ignored that part of the agreement and enjoyed potatoes every way you could fix them and all we could eat. 

Let’s talk about chickens next  - - to be continued

This post is shared at: Stacy’s Heartprints Hallelujah

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