I was in the Palo Duro Canyon in the winter of ’04 cooking for Rex Glover and his crew. It was the same crew for the past three years and they were like family to me. Gathering around camp, me and the cowboys would occasionally get bored and start looking for new things to do and new topics to discuss. Now Bobby Crosslan, Chris Morton and I go way back and there isn’t anything we don’t feel comfortable talking about or trying out… especially at Rex’s expense.
When you take a crew of 12 cowboys and scatter teepees out across the countryside it looks like a scene from state park- without the tourists. Everyone has their special spot with their homestead and special belongings. That is sacred ground, and you don’t mess with a cowboy’s things. Now as for me and ole Bertha, that spot was centrally located. And if we were lucky it might even be out of the wind, which can blow 45mph on a calm day in the Texas Panhandle. Then a comfortable distance away, Chris would set up his mansion and on the other side of me would be Rex and his Holiday Inn Suite. Now as for Bobby, his commute to the meals on wheels would be further than anyone else. He claimed that me and Chris started way too early and made too much racket in the morning.
There would be days when the boys would finish early and be back in camp around 2:30 in the afternoon, and we would discuss the day’s drives and wrecks (the ones that nearly happened and the ones that did). That particular Thursday afternoon it was calm and clear and a balmy 25 degrees in the sunshine. We were camped in what is called the Mallard Trap where Rex runs some purebred red Brahmans. He had a particular one there that he had raised as a bottle calf and was sorta of gentle.
Now ole Red had come into camp to visit and see if there was any handouts of cake or hay. He remembered those good ole days of hand fed cottonseed cake and alfalfa. Well, boredom had set in and the Budwieser was flowing pretty freely when Bobby said, “I sure would like to see if that pet of Rex’s would get in his teepee.”
After ten lbs. of cottonseen cake dumped around Rex’s teepee, and 5 more pounds inside, the trap was set. We waited like little kids on Christmas morning, except the wrapping paper that was going to get torn to shreds was made out of canvas and the present was a yearling red Brahman bull. All we had to do was be fast as Matt Dillon on the draw and zip the door down when the bull went in.
Some how things didn’t work out as planned and the only bull ole Rex got was from the BS that Chris, Bobby and were dishing out. Let’s just say our jobs were probably a whole lot safer when that bull would only go halfway in.
One thing for sure, ole Rex had alot of company around his teepee that night and he told me the next morning he thought maybe them yearling bulls were getting a little too attached!