I keep forgetting to mention how nice the iron fencing looks at the Catholic Church.
Dee Dee Coppinger gave me a letter and attachment from Kelly Summer. The letter says in part, "Clarence Thompson and I wish to thank you for allowing us to visit you at your home near Mancos. Since my father used to own your property, it brought back many memories of when I was a youth and visited the ranch and Mancos Hill with my father."
Kelly attached six sheets of material, of which I will use only a part.
"My father was raised in Paradise, Utah, located in the south end of Cache Valley, Utah. His parents had 10 children, Dad being the third child and second son born in the family. Edwin, the oldest child, didn't work with the sheep, but Dad and the other three boys were heavily involved in the operation. Dad was out with sheep when he was just a teenager. He started high school each year in October or November because he was with the sheep and left in April to help his father. He missed so much school that we made a rule in our house that I was to go to school, and I was taken out of school only one day to work with the cows in my 12 years, and that was to gather and take the cattle off the permit at Groundhog. Dad's father became sick, and my father had to withdraw from his junior year and run the livestock company. He graduated a year behind his class."
"Dad and Jay Redd had 220 cows on the Trimble Point Permit and 110 cows on the Groundhog Permit. In addition, Calf Creek summered 50 to 100 cows. The cattle wintered at Dry Valley and Big Indian."
"Dad and Jay Redd bought a ranch that went from east of the town of Mancos bearing east to Mancos Hill and East Canyon. It was an essential part of the livestock operation since the ranch had irrigated fields and pasture, where grain and hay were raised. There was a home, barn, granary, corrals and a lambing and shearing shed on the property. The bucks used to breed the 3,000 ewes owned by the partnership were summered at the ranch. I was there one day with Mr. Kennedy, the farm manager, who lived with his family on this ranch. He heard dogs barking where the bucks grazed. He ran in the house, grabbed two rifles, one of which he tossed to me, and we raced to protect the bucks. Town dogs were attacking the bucks that had formed a circle for protection with their hind feet in the center and their heads and front feet on the outside of the circle. Many had horns, which they used to defend themselves. When a dog attacked the circle, the bucks lowered their heads and used their front feet defensively. Mr. Kennedy was faster than I was and a better shot. By the time I arrived where the bucks had made their stand, he had killed two town dogs, and the other dogs turned and ran back to town."
"Among my many memories of Mancos is getting to stay with my father in a motel. He insisted that we rent a room with two beds. I never understood why until I had kids of my own and found how uncomfortable it is to sleep with your kids."
There are no Summers or Redds listed in my cemetery book.
Darrel Ellis is a longtime historian of the Mancos Valley. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.