Birthday girl with a grand nephew
Two of my father’s sisters are still alive out of a total of 12 siblings. The youngest was 85 last week. A family gathering was today at the “soddy”. Probably 30 people from four states representing four generations were present.
The place where my great grandfather homesteaded is now a Wheatridge, CO park. The sod house that was there when he acquired the property still stands as does a modern house he later built next door.
Yesterday was the annual Cider Days gathering and our family had a reserved spot next to the soddy and away from the folk music, quilting, etc. that is part of the celebration.
Banner had a banner day with thirty different strangers petting him. How many treats he got behind my back he isn’t saying.
The face mask, social distancing, self appointed police were quick to confront me. Since a cousin has a part time position with the historical society, I refrained from profanity. Instead I used my limited vocabulary to tell them to fuck off. Their feelings were soooo hurt!
Before urbanization, the area along Clear Creek where the homestead is located was a vast truck garden raising vegetables for the Denver markets. The water table is high and the native grasses were prairie tall grass while the surrounding area was short grass.
Prior to WW II a large number of Japanese settled along the South Platte River downstream from Denver and started raising vegetable for the Denver market. They were better farmers than the “whites” who soon found themselves in perilous circumstances compounded by the Great Depression.
The family had holdings 200 miles to the Northwest where Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming meet so several, including my father’s immediate family, moved back to Cross Mountain. Their cattle herd grew much faster than the regular breeding practices that were the norm.
What made this a special gathering was, for once, we weren’t attending a funeral! Assuming 2021 is a “normal” year, we will gather again in Maybell for the Great American Horse Drive.
Dudes pay around $3,000 to participate. My sister and I moved horses with just the two of us and a good dog; granted, not nearly as many.
The old family homestead including our private family graveyard is about 14 miles West of Maybell.