From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Article about Shovel Dot Ranch

Buell "kids" I grew up with at Rose, Nebraska



The Omaha World Herald Online has an interesting, though short, article about the Shovel Dot Ranch of southern Rock County, Nebraska and its owners, Larry and Homer Buell. Thank you, Carolyn Hall, for pointing out the article.

These guys are neighbor kids I knew in my childhood. The Buells attended a different little country school than we did, but we were all members of the Rose Scouts 4-H Club. The Shovel Dot Ranch had Hereford cattle, and the Hereford 4-H calves exhibited by the Buell kids were always some of the best at the KBR 4-H calf shows.

Larry is my age, and he was in the same grade as me. Homer (or "Skip", as we called him then) was a couple years older. An older brother, Roger, was about the same age as my older brother. Sadly, Roger was killed by lightning as a young man. Their sister Jan was the oldest, a few years older than my brother.

In the article, Homer mentions that solitude is a natural part of the lifestyle at a Sandhills ranch. He is right. Children who grow up on ranches learn to be self-reliant at both work and play. They know how to be alone. It is a useful skill.

I think the Buells own some of the pasture land (the old Haskins place) that my family used to own, south of the Calamus River in Loup County, where the sweet red plums grow.

6 comments:

ptg said...

Those were the days. Your 'Memory Lane' isn't just nostalgia, but insightful as well. A memory is like anything else: use it or lose it.

Genevieve said...

Memory can be surprising. When you really start thinking about something, sometimes you remember a lot more (or less!) than you would have imagined. You ought to have some pretty interesting childhood memories, PT. You should write down more of them. :)

Rick said...

Hi Genevieve! I've enjoyed reading your blog. It's been a trip down memory lane. I'm Jan's son. I'm a career Army guy now and haven't been back much for years. I was googling Shovel Dot (my Dad and uncles had a partnership for years) just to see what would pop up, but I never expected this.

I never read the article, but the quote sounds like my Uncle Homer. I have always noticed since leaving that I was comfortable with myself and a lot of the city folks I know just aren't, so it is an interesting observation. You do get comfortable with yourself. I also think it gives you deeper faith, but that's another subject entirely.

I'm thinking about going back up that way later this month and taking my boys with me. It's such beautiful country in the spring, and so desolate in the fall. If I get up there, I'll send you some pictures.

Rick

Genevieve said...

Rick, what a nice surprise to hear from you. My parents always thought your dad and mom were nice people and good neighbors. I hope you'll tell them that you happened to meet up with Charlie and Doris Hill's daughter, via the internet.

You definitely should take your boys with you next time you go to Nebraska. They need to know where you're from and appreciate their own Sandhills roots. They'll be grown up before you know it, and then it's hard to schedule the time to make a long trip together.

I don't know if I'll ever go back with both kids now, but I did take them to the Sandhills three times and we all have wonderful memories of those trips.

I hope you'll continue to visit the blog. I've written quite a lot about the Sandhills, and it will probably seem familiar to you.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Genevieve,
I did a search on the Shovel Dot Ranch after seeing the news story on the environmental award they got. I live in Lincoln, and as a girl, always enjoyed visiting relatives in Iowa and Minnesota who farmed. I always thought I'd like to live on one.

I love gsrdening, and am in the process of adding some native plants to my yard, but know I'll never have anything close to a prairie. I am a monarch waystation, though, and have a nice crop of milkweed my neighbors have not complained about so far.

I see this is from a few years ago. I'll have to see if you are currently posting.

Genevieve said...

A friend sent me the article about the Leopold environmental award that the Buell family recently received. I am very proud and pleased for them, and as always, I wish them happiness and continued success!

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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