red butteMy father-in-law, Johnny, had an older brother James E. Greet, who wrote down some of his “reminisces” in 1991.  I glance at the book every once in a while, and I always enjoy his tales about this Red Dirt Country.

“There was the summer that the folks lived on the mountain claim with my older brother and sister and me.  I was about three years old, and that would have been 1921.  Our home was a one room log cabin that dad put up.  It had a window in either end, and a home made door in front, with a wooden latch that was operated with a traditional latch string.  Mom would pull the latch string in at night, and our door was locked securely.

The cabin was real snug, as it was chinked inside and out with mud.  Mom made it even more homey by taking old burlap bags and opening them up and then sewing them together, until she had enough to cover the walls and ceiling.

When mom had that tacked in place, she took old newspapers and homemade paste and papered the whole inside.  This was very effective in keeping the dirt and dust down.  To discourage the mice from chewing it up, she put red pepper in the paste.  No need to get bored, for there was endless reading wherever you looked!

The folks had to be very resourceful, as the mountain claim was eighteen miles from the home ranch in the Nowood Valley, and that was eighteen miles from the little town of Ten Sleep.  All supplies were transported from the ranch by team and wagon, since we didn’t even have a car.

My mother was an accomplished pioneer woman.  She could milk a cow, ride a horse, drive a team, and was a “dead eye” with a rifle.  She could make a place a “home” for her family wherever necessary.”

My, how things are different almost 100 years later!  Makes those whiny people on “House Hunters” who HAVE TO HAVE blahblahblah in their house look pretty spoiled!  I mean, hey, the Greets had red pepper in their wallpaper paste!  That was COOL!


Reminiscing — 8 Comments

  1. Carol, I LOVED reading this and could “see” the inside of that cabin as clear as if I’d been in it…..Please share more of these! Your AZ Partner in Crime….Davelyn

  2. Fascinating – and humbling…
    The photo of the gorgeous rock formation (chugwater, no?) is so beautiful! Looks like some rain turned the color a deeper red.

  3. Is this a book you are writing from? If so, what is the title and can it be bought anywhere? Interesting stories. Any news on when Longmire might air on Netflix? So scared I will miss it because I have to subscribe to Netflix.

  4. Very interesting story! We are spoiled! We all need to be thankful for that generation’s resourcefulness and our heritage therefore from their hard work and tenacity!

  5. What a wonderful insight into life in the 1920’s Wyoming. A remarkable women. I wonder what she’d think of life today .

  6. What a treasure his “reminisces” are today! We have some similar things here – my dad’s being one. C’s sisters have compiled his family history on both sides, one from interviews. Fun reads!

  7. So many things here. Resilience is an underrated virtue. Your grandmother-in-law sounds like a fascinating woman, and she reminds me of my own paternal grandmother, who was an enterprising, conniving old bird. She was a practical nurse, which meant her sons got a hip full of penicillin at every major scrape. She also had an excellent business mind, and was making land swaps for coastal California properties at a time when many were quaking from fear of a Japanese invasion.

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