22 hours at the LO

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We Blakes got to hang out with the Potts and Brown families this past Wednesday for a day of branding at the LO Bar.  The LO is a beautiful green-grass ranch south of the Missouri Breaks between Sand Springs and Mosby, the place where Taylor Brown’s family is rooted and where Taylor’s son Travis and his wife Mary live today.

The Potts crew lives there too — patriarch Rick, his son Clint and Clint’s wife DaLauna and their two kids.  My family goes way back with the Pottses; my mom actually graduated from high school with Rick, and my dad and Rick are long-time buddies; our family and Rick’s family had lots of fun together back in the good old days when all the kids were little (I’m the tagalong of the bunch and waaaaaaaaay younger than Clint).

Clint and my husband Beau have to be friends by default, which works out all right because they seem to get along just fine.  These days they continue the legacy by cooking up schemes over the phone.  Their most recent scheme involved us Blakes, here at the VX, being in need of a panel wagon for our branding… and our neighbors at the LO, which is 29 miles away as the crow flies but 81 miles away by road, just by chance having a panel wagon we could borrow.  And since we were coming to get the panels anyhow, well, how ’bout we just spend the night and brand with them the next day?

So we did just that.  Tuesday night found us Blakes pulling into the LO about 8 p.m., and we returned to the VX Wednesday night about the same time.  While we were gone we did things like this:

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That’s Beau and Clint, by the way… still young enough to wrassle a few calves together.  And actually, I did nothing of the sort.  Though I have helped to brand plenty of calves in the (distant… forgotten… imaginary?) past, Beau is the person in our family who does the actual helpful helping these days; my hands are usually, and sometimes literally, tied up in the-taking-care-of-the-Blake-children.  So I just sit on the sidelines and take a few pictures while trying to keep the baby from streaking, naked or otherwise, across the branding pen.  And it was truly just a few pictures the day we branded at the LO; it was so hot that day that my camera had a complete meltdown and refused to cooperate.  It didn’t actually melt, it just wouldn’t turn on anymore after I’d taken a few photos.

But I did get a few, like this one of Morris, who worked at Ridge Camp on the PV for several years when I was in high school and college:

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And this one of Bill and Taylor at the branding pot:

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And this one of young Kale, whose horse had fallen with him the day before and who had been knocked out and suffered a broken nose and who told the story several times within my hearing!  Love his suspenders.  Such a sweet little guy:

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And this one of Kary, who is in her early teens and already handier than I will ever be.  Sure, she can wrestle calves, but you ought to see her roping:

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Actually, there were several young cowgirls there helping out who impressed me with their abilities.

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And so many other good folks I wish I’d gotten pictures of, but again, the camera had a meltdown.  The good news is, it seems fine now… which I’m thankful for for many reasons, mostly because it means we don’t have to buy a new one yet… and also because there are more pictures coming soon… of branding here at the VX!

© Tami Blake

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