Dinner on the cattle drive
Contributor: cindykay1 Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
This is a story about Richard LeRoy Holyoak Jr my father, as quoted to me when I was younger. My dad grew up in Moab Utah. His father Roy Holyoak Sr and mother Sarah Schofield Holyoak (Sadie) were ranchers and raised beef cattle and horses. They also had chickens, turkeys, pigs and other farm animals as would any other family living in a small rural community in the 1930’s. This was their means of support and their living. My dad was the only boy in a family of seven sisters. Although he would have had a brother but the child was still born on November 18 and buried on November 19, 1924.
Raising cattle was hard work. The cows were driven down by the Colorado River for the winter months to fend for themselves and then had to be gathered and driven up into the LaSal mountains in the spring to fatten up on the grass the mountain provided. Then they were gathered up in the fall to be taken back down to warmer climates to spend the winter. These cattle drives in those days were often overnight so they did a lot of camping out. It was during a spring drive that this story took place.
It was late at night and the men had been gathering cattle all day. Roy Senior and his brothers all worked together when it came to gathering their cattle in the spring for the cattle drive to the LaSal mountains. They rode into camp after dark, started a fire, then put together the means for an evening meal. My grandfather Roy was known for his Dutch oven biscuits and usually made some on these trail rides. My father Richard, a teenager at the time, was asked to get some water from a nearby pond so the biscuits could be made. It is kind of hard to see by the camp fire when you are preparing a meal but they did the best they could. The food was prepared, the biscuits were baked, and everyone enjoyed a nice hot meal after a long day on horseback.
If you have ever been camping you know how good the food tastes no matter what you eat. That night was no exception. However, Dad did say that the biscuits tasted a little different they usually did. But everyone was hungry and they just appreciated the fact that they could have this nice meal after an exhausting day.
The next morning, they woke up well rested and ready to start the day. The sun was just coming up. My dad, still a growing boy and hungry as most teen age boys are, remembering there were some biscuits leftover from the night before. He was anxious to get a quick snack before breakfast, so he found the leftover biscuits and decided to help himself.
Frogs lay eggs early in the spring so the little pollywogs can get a head start on their growing season. Their secret hope is to become full grown frogs before the summer ends. Of course, as you know, frogs lay eggs in pond water. That morning as my dad anxiously opened a biscuit to put a little butter in it, he discovered why they tasted a little funny the night before. The biscuit was full of little black pollywogs. Mm Mm good!!
R. Larson Holyoak March 2017.