The Casual Reporter: Clay Smith: Before and After the Wild West Show

Friday, April 18, 2008

Clay Smith: Before and After the Wild West Show

Clay Smith, a former Cowboy in our show, emailed The Casual Reporter an outline of some of the differences in his life before and after working at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Clay's prose is written in the Arkansas-rancher dialect. I only speak broken Arkansas-rancher, so I've provided links within the article where possible to aid the uninitiated and started The Casual Reporter Glossary for terms still undefined among several billion web pages. Here's Clay's email, edited slightly to enhance readability.

Life Before And After The WWS
Everyone who has worked at the Wild West Show has probably realized that the Show has been a milestone in his or her life. Here are just a few things that have changed for me.
Before: I worked at S&S Farms (Dad’s ranch), about 5000 acres in size
After: I work at Lazy Colt Ranch (same place), 1000 acres in size.

Before, at S&S Farms: When you went to pen cattle, 1500 head, you needed to prepare for half a day's work, be riding a good horse, have 3 leapord cur dogs, and be carrying 2 ropes, 1 short tie down rope, chinks, hat, gloves, boots, spurs, brush jacket, hobbles, and a bull whip. Gathering the cattle would require swimming your horse, fighting the brush, and roping and tying to the ground any “Swamp Brammers” that had brushed up.

After, at Lazy Colt Ranch: We only have 250 head of Angus cows, all gentle. To pen them you need 1 horse, (you won’t be gone long) 1 Blue Healer (yapping punching stick - no tough dogs needed), any kind of saddle, no roping necessary on Angus cows. You ride into the pasture after sunrise - no need to hide from Angus cows like Swamp Brammers, You just spread out behind the heard and they walk to the lot. Instead of cattle ranchers we have become cow farmers. Now, I still wear my hat, chinks, boots, spurs, ride a good horse, and carry a rope. Sometimes I feel it’s a costume. Very little of the gear is really needed. This is just one aspect of my life that has changed, more to come later.
Clay Smith
CR: Ironic that when the outfit was "ranchy" it was named S&S Farms and now that's it's more farm-like it's named Lazy Colt Ranch.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I don't publish comments I feel are inappropriate, but since they filter through my email first, feel free to say whatever's on your mind. I enjoy the interaction.