When we moved to the lease here we met a lot of good people. I liked Tammy’s mom right off. She told me her husband, who had passed away, spent a lot of time helping on the lease and always tried to keep track of the lease rider in case he was ever hurt, because of an incident that happened with one of the riders many years ago.
I quote from an article by George Rempel in the Brooks Bulletin, January 1961 that referred to the incident.
“Since the range rider is usually alone there is always the element of danger, when he must rely entirely on his own initiative. This brings to mind the experience of Don Sampson, who for nine years was employed as range rider by the Grazing Association. He is at present riding for the McKinnon ranch south of Bassano.
“On December 1st, 1955 Sampson sustained a badly fractured leg and narrowly escaped death by freezing when his horse fell with him north of Rosemary. He was chasing horses when his horse stepped into a snow-covered badger hole and rolled over him. Unable to stand or mount his horse after the accident, he was compelled to crawl two miles to his camp on his back with the injured limb carried on his good leg. It took him nine hours, from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday to crawl the two miles through the snow in subzero temperatures. His hand and the broken leg were frostbitten, the latter somewhat severely.
“The man laid unaided in his camp until Monday afternoon at two o’clock when he was discovered and taken to the Brooks Hospital by Ernest Klassen, rancher of Rosemary and Hanna, who dropped in to inquire about some cattle.”
One thing I do know about cowboys is that they are a tough lot (old cowgirls not so much, at least not this one).
Some one told me that Tammy’s Dad always said he was born a cowboy that ended up having to be an irrigation farmer even though his heart wasn’t in it, his heart was more at “home on the range.” That makes me think I would have really liked him too.