Monday, December 21, 2009

The Budge Ranch Days

Beginning with the 3rd grade I attended Emerson elementary in Paris Idaho.  We were transported by bus each day.   This was a big change for me as I went from 4 kids in my 2nd grade to about 25 in my third grade class.  It was fun in a lot of ways but also a big change. It became much more difficult for me because shortly after school started Dad and Mom took a job with the Budge ranch.  This ranch was located about half way between Georgetown and Soda Springs and about 2 miles West of Highway 30 and nestled against the foot hills.   It was about 3000 acres and dad was acting as the foreman and mother cooked for the ranch hands.   I went to live with my grandparents Arthur and Nina Eborn for the Winter so that I could attend school.   It was the first time that  I had  lived away from my parents and was very difficult for me.  I was able to visit them on major holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas during the winter and on several other occasions  when an automobile could be driven to the ranch.  During the Winter all the roads to the ranch were closed and the only way to get there was by horse or team drawn sled.   There was a bus that ran from Paris to Pocatello several times each week.  The bus driver knew where to let me off and I would start out through the fields.  Usually Dad would meet me but sometimes I would have to walk for a half mile or so until he got there.   It was an emotional time for me and I hated to leave to return to my Grandparents.  I had to travel back over to the highway and wait for the bus.   I remember dad saddling a horse for me  and took me with him as he rounded up the cattle from the foothills and into the fenced fields on the ranch.  I also remember a hill on the south side of the ranch house which was a neat place to go sleigh riding.  I also remember coyotes coming right down to the house,  In the spring I received notice from one of my cousins that I was to take the bus home that night and that my parents had come home.  That was a great day.   When I lived with my Grandparents I had a bedroom upstairs.  It was completely without heat as none of the upstairs in their two story house had heat.  I about froze to death during the Winter.   I would get out of bed and quickly slip my clothes on and run down stairs where it was warm.  One other thing I remember when I lived there was I got home from school one day and Dad was there.  He was on his way to the Budge Medical Clinic in Logan.   It turned out that he had a defect in his heart and they told him not to work anymore or he could easily drop dead.   He decided just to go about his business as he had always done and accept what ever happened.  Doing nothing was about the same as dropping dead in his mind.  He lived until he was 86 and never slowed down until the last five years or so.  Even though our little old log home on Lanark lane was modest by most standards, it was still home and I was glad to get back to cutting wood, milking cows, hauling feed for the animals etc.  The result of Dad and Mom taking the job on the Budge ranch for about 7 months was that he was able to save enough money along with the proceeds from selling several animals at a very good price to pay off the mortgage on the farm.

By Ellis

Thanks, Ellis for this post. Instead of just commenting to the post I'm going to take the liberty to add some of my personal memories of that time in our lives.  Some of my very earliest vivid memories are associated with our time at the Budge Ranch.  I remember  going with Dad sometimes to pick Ellis up from the bus.  It was about two miles through the snow with a team and a sleigh.  I remember the horses plowing through the deep snow and blowing steam out of their nostrils into the cold winter air.  We were all so very glad when Ellis could come to the ranch for a weekend or a holiday.  We hated to see him go back to Paris and to school.  I remember one time, when he was about ready to leave, I had a feeling I didn't understand, I think it was the first time I ever felt like that, but not the last.  I told Mom that I just couldn't swallow,  I had a big lump in my throat.  I think it was about then that I realized that I really loved and missed my big brother.  Another of my most distinct memories while we were there was my fear of going to the outhouse.  It was located about thirty yards from the back of the house.  It was a typical outhouse equipped with all the latest conveniances, an ice cold seat and an old catlog for toilet paper, but that was not the worst part of it.  The worst thing was, that at night during the winter months the coyotes came out and got up on our wood pile, which was between the house and the outhouse. We could hear them howling and yapping almost every night it seamed.  In the morning we could see their tracks in the snow between the house and the outhouse.  Somehow, that just scared the living daylights out of me as a little six year old who needed to go to the outhouse.

I also remember going out with Dad to feed the animals on a horse drawn sleigh with a hayrack.  As we went along, I looked back and noticed that eight or ten coyotes had come out of the willows and were following us.  Was I ever glad to have Dad there with me.  These things made big impressions on my little mind.  Another memory was of me and my little sister, Brenda, who was about two and a half years old at the time.  One time while Mom was cooking for the ranchhands, Brenda and I went for a little hike.  I guess hiking got into my blood early, but I liked to go exploring and I wasn't afraid to take a walk to see what I wanted to see.  The problem this time, however, was that what I wanted to see was on the other side of a slough or very marshy area.  I started off across the marshy area and my little sister followed, not far behind.  Soon she was stuck in the mud and water and couldn't get out.  I  turned to go back and help, but soon found , that I too was stuck in the mud.  Brenda cried and I yelled for help, but no one could hear us. Finally I freed myslef and I don't know how, but was able to help Brenda get free as well,  Covered in thick, gooy mud, we made our way back to the ranch house.  Mom was about to serve dinner to the ranchahnds and was very busy.  She cleaned us up the best she could by turning the garden hose on us until we were clean.  Mom told me afterwards, that she was proud of me and that I might very well have saved Brenda's life. I might add, and my own as well.

I've been back past the old Budge Ranch many times since and it always brings back fond memories of that short period in my early life. It has changed hands several times since then, but it still looks, in many ways, just the same.  We were glad to get back to Lanark and the old, cold cabin, where Ellis would be home with us every night.  It was a great feeling to be together as a family.

By Bart

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