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Sunday, January 22, 2017

From Belgium to Here

Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 1:36 PM


Cowboys are somewhat mythical figures that have almost always been around.  There is a special something that makes a man/woman want to be a "Cowboy" 

I grew up around cowboys, and really never thought much about it.  My Aunt and Uncle  had a ranch past Grandview.  Looking back, I think they probably had some pretty good cowboys working for them.  I remember lots of stuff, but not wrecks, and stupid things.  My Uncle Bill was a quiet man, and I remember him telling me, "Do enough to get it done, and no more, and be quiet"  "Don't get in the way or your day might be over, .... do you want your day to be over?"  I remember lots of teasing... mostly I remember so much fun, I so loved being there.  When we trailed cattle, the 'youngest had to open and shut gates'  I could always open the gate, but shutting was nearly impossible at times.  Sometimes, I'd say "I can't!"  He'd say  "See you on the way back by"  and they'd leave.  I shut the gate.... sometimes after a long long time, in my mind... thinking, "they can't leave me!!!!!"  But the lesson learned was, I actually could shut the gate.  Looking back, I know he knew I could too, or he wouldn't have done it,...and I'm betting he would have come back..... eventually.

  I've learned that a good genuine cowboy knows more about cattle than most/(any?) big rancher/corporation does.  They don't just "ride the range"  and look like a cowboy.  Yes, they do that, and they rope and ride, and can do rope tricks, and throw fancy loops to be envied. 

There are such simple things like being able to see in a cow/calf's eye that they just don't feel good.  Or maybe by the way it walks, or doesn't walk.

He can give horses, cows, calves, and more, IV medication.  Not in a vet office, (in perfect conditions) but out in the field.  Because he has to.  He can pull a calf, out in the "field" (literally), make sure it's breathing, and help Mama live.  He knows the doses, and the wide range of medicines that should be administered and when.  And what should not be given.  And he knows how to make sure all this happens, while keeping me safe!

He can talk genetics and the history of specific DNA.  Gads... literally, my mind reels at times. 

What I couldn't really believe at first, was after being thru a herd of pairs, he can tell you which one is which one's calf/mama.  And he can tell you the type of calf she had last year, and if he knew her, each year.  And whether or not she had good calves or not.  He can tell her breeding, and where she was bought, or born.  Not to mention the brands, ear marks etc, that she might carry.  The ear tags have #'s, but he detests the cowboys that can only tell you "The black cow with a purple tag"  Be specific for heck sake! I've started looking at them more as individuals, but I''ll never really be able to distinguish them like a truly good cowboy can. 

Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyy.... In the last few years, I've met a few other good cowboys.  Some that call on Wayne from time to time for advice, and a couple that we met together. 

One is recently, and I'm sorry to say that right at this moment, I can only remember his first name.  Charles. 

Charles is about my age, and he is from Belgium.  He tells stories of growing up there, watching western movies ... (Mike, you know the ones) and telling his family, "I'm going to go to America, to that ranch, and be a Cowboy"  He grew up riding horses, English.  I suppose that was a far fetched dream, but at the age of 17, he had the opportunity to do just that.  He came and spent some time on the "Spanish Ranch"  and a few others on his "list" of ranches/to do list.  He has stories of hard knocks that he learned.  I hope to describe some of them later.  He went back to Belgium, after about a year.  But he could not forget and let go of this dream he had.  So, again, he had an opportunity and he came back when I believe he was about 20.  He calls America his "home" now, though he visits Belgium from time to time. 

I met him the first time something over a month ago, at the San Jacinto Ranch in Nevada.  I'm kind of shy, so I really didn't talk to him much, but he had a horse that I kind of liked...so I got some pictures.

I kind of  have a thing for Buckskins.  And this one was so nicely behaved.... due to a good cowboy, that he caught my eye.

San Jacinto 086

While I'm at it, I'll show you some of the

San Jacinto Ranch

Lots of these big ranches have RV hook ups, so a person can take their own "home" to live in.

San Jacinto 002San Jacinto 003


San Jacinto 004

Of course my Marshmallow, eating oats.  You can always tell when I'm riding her, she will be wearing pink!

San Jacinto 008

This is just a 'shell' of a building.  Can you imagine my Grandkids there?

San Jacinto 013San Jacinto 022San Jacinto 025San Jacinto 023

The San Jacinto has some Historic Value itself.  This used to be ..hmmmmmmmmm.... Stage Stop????  I will have to check into that.  But it is in itself a Signature Rock of sorts.  Lots of names on this wall.  Including Kelly Dennis, another great Cowboy

San Jacinto 035

Kelly Dennis.  Our good friend, and History in himself

San Jacinto 059

Meeting room/Break room, in the bunk house.

San Jacinto 040

Good horses.... gosh I love photos like this

San Jacinto 047

Charles, from Belgium, on his Buckskin. left

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San Jacinto 092

Belgium Charles on dark horse.  Another thing about a good cowboy, is they don't make just one horse do all the work.  It's hard work, and only fair to let them have breaks.  I've seen some just ride them into the ground.

Nov 14 202

Wayne and Charles, can you tell it's cold?

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Charles talks with a deep brogue.  I love listening to him.  He's soft spoken, and not bragging.  He talks about the amazing places/ranches he dreamed/lived to live his dream.  He talks about the mean owners/cowbosses, but always said he came away with a great lesson.   While in the states,  he has become a phenomenal braider.  There is a lot of quiet time, and that's what he learned to pass the time.

Nov 14 232Nov 14 241

A big gentle man.

Nov 14 247

Wayne and Kelly

Nov 14 290Nov 14 316

Charles actually has a Facebook account, though we haven't contacted yet, I hope to.  I want to know more about his life, on so many ranches.....and I plan to share.


Showing most recent comments first
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I just now saw this comment. Sorry to take so long to reply.

Yes, his last name is Liesen. We are since friends on Facebook!

His is an incredible story for sure, and I can imagine him saying that in his deep accent.

thanks for your comment!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sun, Jan 22, 2012, at 4:19 PM

His last name is Leesen (sp?)great story by the way. My husband tells a story of working with him at Simplot in the early 90's. If you see him ask him if he still has a bump on his head. They were cleaning out the pens and Billy threw one of the rocks over the fence but instead of clearing the fence it ricocheted off the fence and hit him in the head.....On accident of course. He said in his accented deep voice, 'What you do that for?" Billy thought he was in big trouble!!

-- Posted by desertcowgirl on Fri, Dec 30, 2011, at 10:22 PM

Thanks Linda!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 9:59 PM

Yet another great story and great photos, Jessie! Keep 'em coming!!

-- Posted by Snoshu2000 on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 5:43 PM

Great story

-- Posted by Eagle_eye on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 12:25 PM

Great Story and Pictures.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Thu, Dec 1, 2011, at 2:24 PM

Katie, you would love Charles. When Wayne stayed there for a week, they spoke alot of similar lives and 'ways'. Maybe some time you can go, and he might still be there.

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Thu, Dec 1, 2011, at 1:57 PM

I like that Charles rides with a bosal... I've always loved the look of them... and it takes a really good hand and a really soft horse to make it work the way it should.

-- Posted by ktlm on Thu, Dec 1, 2011, at 1:46 PM

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Jessie Miller
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I am interested in this Community, County, and the beautiful state of Idaho. Most of my photos will be in Idaho, but from time to time, they will be my vacations aay from Idaho. You'll see lots of my Children and Grand children, along with others in my family. Of course there will be horses and horse related things, and things I photo'd horseback.
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