Thursday, February 3, 2011
We do think of our father, Russell Marion Blood, as a cowboy, but in truth, he lived on his aunt Elsie and uncle Dewey Riddle's ranch from the age of 16 until he married our mother. While the ranch was a working ranch, it profited from the rage of the Eastern dudes (and dudenes), from the East, who came to live the make-believe Western life for a short time. Dad always loved his Stetson hats, and one would last forever, being gradually demoted from a "town" hat to the hat he wore to irrigate, drive the tractor, etc., only traded for a straw hat in the middle of summer. The conch (the round piece above) is from his conch belt, which he wore proudly for many years. I think that when it disintegrated, the conchs were distributed to me and my siblings. Do you have yours? The bucking horse was made into a pin, which school teachers and others proudly wore. Later, they were transformed into refrigerator magnets. The picture of Mother and Dad and baby Louise to the right, shows Dad dressed in the well-worn, practical clothes of a ranch hand. We usually celebrated Dad's birthday with a cake and the table set appropriately. He would come in from milking and comment that it must be somebody's birthday because of the way the table was set.