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April 6, 2009
Ranch-raised Texas poet and writer Linda Kirkpatrick she shares photos and comments about some of the horses and horsewomen in her family:
Clemmie Kirkpatrick and matched horses Ole Selum and Dilcey
Clemmie is my paternal grandmother. This photo is of her new buggy and the matched grays. Note all the rocks and imagine the ride. My grandmother was 100% the lady. She did have chickens and turkeys but I do not remember seeing her in pants or on a horse. She always wore a hat when she was outside and she would not let us, the grandkids say the word “whiskey” when we were playing “Gunsmoke.”
Florence Thompson on Paint
My maternal grandmother, Florence Agatha Thompson, could not wait to come to Texas to see the new life that her daughter was living. Well, was she in for a big surprise. It was a dramatic change for her to come from Philadelphia to the remote land of Sutton Count. Her new son-in-law, Alton was always good for a practical joke so he put a tall stick beside her bed and told her that before she went to bed to take the stick and run it between the sheets because the rattle snakes loved to sleep there during the day. I am quite sure that she thought her daughter had totally lost her mind when she moved to the forsaken part of the world; but my mom is still here, living conditions have improved, and she recently celebrated her 84th birthday.
Audrey Tomberlin on her mule
I wish that I knew the name of this mule but I don’t. My aunt and her husband Joe D lived in Alpine, Texas at the time of this photo, she rode and worked the livestock with Joe D every day. Notice the bat wing chaps that she is wearing. I still have these.
Aunt Audrey and horses
Here is another photo of Audrey and two of the horses that she and Joe D rode. Notice her high-top boots.
My other aunt, Dawn, was the wife of Lloyd Kirkpatrick. She was of the same generation as Audrey and my mother. She grew up on a ranch in Sutton County, Texas and after her marriage she helped Lloyd on the Uvalde ranch on her roan mare, Bonnie.
Bette Kirkpatrick and Paint
My mother, Bette, came to Texas straight from Philadelphia. She and my dad Alton Kirkpatrick were married during WWII. She worked for the Stetson Hat company and fell in love with the cowboy that was printed in the hat lining of the western hats, “The Last Drop.” She decided that she would one day marry a cowboy. She left the easy life of Philadelphia and came to a ranch in Texas there the house had no running water, electricity, or her beloved radio. Notice the holster, it is now on my wall.
Linda Kirkpatrick on Paint
I remember this photo as it was the July 4th Parade in Rocksprings, Texas right before we packed up and moved lock, stock and barrel to Leakey, Texas. Dolly was my new horse and my dad was riding her. He had more confidence in Paint and I think that he hated to move me to Dolly but Paint was not going to get out of a walk with me on her. Dolly was a young gentle horse and I could make her move into a trot and eventually I could make her move out whenever I wanted. Paint on the other hand was still a good ranch horse. She died on the ranch at the age of 32.
My cousin Ann, spent a lot of time following along and learning the ropes just as I did. As we got older our jobs on horseback became exactly that but we did enjoy and occasional turn around the lot without work being involved and of course that only happened when our dad’s were not looking.
Amanda Brice Triplett
Amanda is my daughter. Fireball was a great first horse for any young rider but I do remember the day she came to me in tears and said, “Fireball won’t go fast enough.” She was right and it was time for her to move up to a faster pony and time for Fireball to move on to help another little girl to find her seat in the saddle.
Amanda and the faster horse Pepsi
Lari, cousin Ann’s daughter, mounted up a time or two during roundups on the ranch in Uvalde. Of course by this time this generation was moving away from ranching but the need to be in contact with a horse is still there.
Chelsea Triplett on Digger
Chelsea, Amanda’s daughter and my granddaughter, is the youngest of the family to mount up. Digger is pretty much the all around horse. He is a fantastic team roping horse but yet a great teacher horse for a novice rider.
Linda Kirkpatrick has shared other interesting Picture the West photos:
Raising goats in Texas
Vintage dolls from a ranch girl's life
Photos and a story about the wild hogs of Frio Canyon in Texas Hill Country
Sheep and goat ranching photos from the 1950s and later
1930s photos from her Texas hometown's history
A 1905 family photo, Texas Ranger family history and contemporary photos
A 1930s-era photo of cowboy polo team
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