The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929 Page: 49
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A History of the J A Ranch
quarters two days before the dinner and dance. This time he
brings with him his slicker, chaps and bedding besides his saddle,
saddle blanket, bridle and spurs. He also brings his "feed" horses
with him. The feed horses are his two favorite horses, and one
or two "broncs" which were assigned to him in the fall of the year
to feed during the winter months.
The first day the cowboys are at headquarters after their return,
each cowboy fixes his stake pins, tepee and stake rope. When these
are fixed, he takes them and his other "belongings" and places
them in the hoodlum wagon, which is the wagon taken along for
the purpose. The hoodlum also carries a "fly," a tarpaulin, chuck,
feed for the hoodlum team, and after the round-up is started it
carries a forge.7 It is ready to go about two days before time to
The day before the dinner and baile is a holiday for the cow-
boy. He must get ready for the dinner and dance. He usually
goes to town and has his "hair cut off" (hair cut) and his "whis-
kers drove in" (shave). He also makes a date with his best girl
for the dinner and dance.
The following day, which is "The Big Day," the campers and
their families, the farmers and their families, and the cowboys and
their lady friends arrive at Headquarters in time for the big din-
ner, which is usually served about five o'clock in the afternoon.
When all have arrived, there are about a hundred guests. This
year, May 10, 1927, there were a hundred and thirty-five guests.
The long table in the dining room, which has been lengthened
until it will accommodate sixty people at one time, is loaded from
one end to the other with good things to eat. The menu consists
of the following articles as a rule: beef prepared in every form,
turkey and dressing, boiled ham, creamed potatoes, sweet potatoes
smothered in marshmallows, fresh beans, celery, several kinds of
6A fly is a sheet which is stretched at the end of the chuck wagon to
make a shade for the cook and the cowboys at meal time.
'The forge is a blower or bellows attached to a perforated iron pipe about
three feet long and this pipe is placed under the ground. The fire used
for keeping the branding irons hot is built over the end of this pipe. The
forge furnishes plenty of wind for the fire and in this way the branding
irons are quickly heated and kept hot. Will Lewis, owner of the Rowe
Ranch in Donley County, is said to have invented the forge.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 32, July 1928 - April, 1929, periodical, 1929; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101089/m1/53/: accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.