By Lisa Morton
Long time area ranch wife Lottie Evans Woods died Sunday at the age of 99. Her grandparents, George and Kate Evans came to settle this area by covered wagon in the 1800’s. The Evans family were some of the original founders of Bloys Camp Meeting an annual gathering of worship at Skillman’s Grove near Fort Davis. Lottie first attended Bloys at 1 month old and was recognized last year at the event as having attended longer than anyone.
Her children have given The Advocate permission to publish a few exerts from her first and only published book, Memories of a Ranch Wife, published just last year. We appreciate their contribution. Please see obituary in this edition for memorial service information.
The first Livestock Show in Van Horn was held in January 1949. Boys 9 to 18 years old could participate. Tim qualified because he would be nine a few days before the event. Beary and Tim fed, groomed, and exercised their lambs for several months in order to be ready. One of Tim’s lambs was judged First Place of its class. The prize was $4. Immediately upon the conclusion of the Livestock Show, Tim went to the dry goods store where he bought a pair of real Levi’s for $4.
I remember a rodeo in Valentine when I was quite young, for my dad participated in the goat roping. I don’t recall that they had calf roping. They roped short-haired Mexican goats. Goats are hard to rope. They do not run straight like calves when turned out of the chute. They may suddenly veer to one side or the other, stop, or even turn back very unpredictably. The cowboys did not practice roping continually as ropers do now. They just used the skills they had acquired in their usual ranch work, but they were accomplished ropers.
There was a community meal at the schoolhouse. I guess it was the 4th of July celebration. I remember it was hot weather, and I welcomed the cold lemonade. The cowboys must have ridden their horses form whatever ranch to Valentine. Horse trailers were not even dreamed of then. It was a 30 mile ride for my dad – a one day ride. That is the only rodeo I recall in my childhood. In later years rodeos and horse races at Marfa.