When I was a kid we used to go on quite a few vacations. One summer my parents said we were going to visit my Uncle Jake and Aunt Marie. As it turns out Uncle Jake owned a ranch called the Horseshoe T Ranch just outside of Sterling, Colorado.
Uncle Jake was my grandfather’s brother and a real cowboy. It was told to me he never owned a pair of shoes only cowboy boots. Since I had never been out west or on a ranch before I was amazed to find out that his driveway was five miles from the main road. I remember driving those five miles up the road and seeing a different world. Cute jack rabbits with big ears greeted us as we drove along. while Hereford cows grazed peacefully in the afternoon sun.
Once we got to the main house we were heartily greeted by my Aunt Marie. She introduced me to the peacocks. They had beautiful peacocks with brilliant fans of teal, green and turquoise blue. All you had to do was walk in front of them and they would follow you around. Needless to say we brought home many beautiful peacock feathers. My Uncle Jake was anxious to show off his roping skills and came in on a horse and lassoed his dog. I remember being very impressed by this.
Aside from the cattle, rabbits, peacocks and did I mention rattle snakes? Uncle Jake was sort of a Jed Clampett kinda guy. In the 1950’s they discovered oil on his property. He had a LOT of property. My uncle had many oil wells on his property. That in itself was something to see. Now my Uncle being the oil man that he was owned a few of these oil wells. He owned a mile long strip of oil wells and one gas well. He got every twelfth barrel of oil for years and years. It was said he went to his local bank one time and got into an argument and threatened to buy the bank! Not an idol threat.
My Uncle’s property also held one more secret. The government rented property from him and had nuclear missiles buried and pointed at Russia. Uncle Jake’s land was very popular for a number of reasons.
That was the first and last time I was ever at the ranch. My Uncle and Aunt have both passed on long ago. But memories and history are always important. I’ve never forgotten my trip to the west and am pleased I got to pass this story on to you.