Tuesday night, that is who he’d have you call, Don Baxter! Problem is these guys are memories in my head from the 1960’s.
That’s when Ed had Don come down to his farm in the little hamlet of White Creek along County Route 68 and round up his herd of bulls…Yes I said herd!
Now my facts are coming from when I was a teenager who was there, dumbfounded, but there. Marilyn Robinson would most likely be our best source for factual parts…So I’ll just stick to telling what I saw and heard as a kid!
My vantage pint for most of the day was in or around Marshall Fillmore’s red truck; in fact Marilyn’s husband Howard, was in the truck and went from sitting on one side of the seat to sitting on Marshall’s lap when one bull put a rather large dent in the door. A big haha moment at Howard’s expense by people who had no right saying anything, as they were draped all over the truck; I mean on the hood, even on the cab, jumping in the back under the cap made of that real strong fiberglass stuff!
All this while Baxter, with one of his cowpoke helpers was heading and healing these bulls, some must have been 8-10 years old and weighed over a ton…They must have taken six or more of the biggest up to the same auction where the one went missing from.
They would both rope the bulls horns while on rider rode over to the truck, handing his rope off to someone who would run the rope through the truck, jumping out the side door, giving the rope back to the rider who steered the bull to the truck with his rope!
Wow, what a thing to watch with those bulls fighting all the way, they never had to make a second try! All this with just four horses that they kept swapping out so the two they were riding were always fresh!
Each truckload was just two bulls so the ones they caught while the truck was gone were tied to Ed’s big John Deere tractor, not sure if it was an A or B, but either way, they used the same double header idea, leading the bull up to the tractor, where crazy cowpokes placed another rope over the bulls horns, using the tractor like a shield…
The bull was tied to the tractor which he then skidded around like a toy as those cowpokes would reach over to steer the tractor into rock piles to wear the bull down…For the bulls who stayed on the farm it was a DonBaxter quick castration. At the point when the last good sized bull got caught, Ed said there wasn’t any other one to load on the truck with him…can he be castrated…I heard someone say no, he was too big…at the same time Don turned around with testicles in hand saying, he’s not that big without these…we’re letting him go…
All the castrations, big and small, were fine. Even that small, say 400 lb one who everyone thought would be kool to walk out to in the pasture and watch, but got up and chased people all over!!! Really amazing how quick some people can move even in a bog filled cow pasture!
Now, I have been to half a dozen or so PBR events…never seen a show as good as that dy on Ed Niles’ farm…the ‘Woodstock’ of white Creek in my lifetime…No groomed arena or hundred dollar ticket, instead a cow pasture and the perfect excuse for a day off from school.
The horsemanship I know every one witnessed that day was that which was thought to happen on the ranches in the lone star state of Texas, not little old White Creek.
Seeing Jr. Hunt hold an 1800 lb bull by the tail, some private parts and a knee in the right place, while they removed the rope from his back legs to put on his horn’s with the other rope. Then, with a yell to Jr. to let go and run the other way and don’t stop, which by the way, he did as the bull jumped up to be rushed away by the two horses to get loaded for auction!!
Meanwhile, they finally stopped Jr. just short of the county line!!!Then when all this was done most people had left my father along with some other people while talking to Don…who my father knew…about how well the horses performed when he told how the young mare he was riding had never done anything remotely like this ever before; so he was very excited on how well she had done while his other horses had jperformed flawlessly, per normal; something this whole day sure wasn’t!!
Many times while writing this post, the ‘what if’ crossed my mind: what if as today, everyone had sell phones! Wow the YouTube videos those guys would have been viral, famous…mot to think of the tweets that would have come from the likes of Marshall and Ed chewing his half piece of Wrigley’s gum…
But instead we have to rely on the Kodak moments ingrained in this Ed’s head!!!