September 24 – 29, 2010

by Redhorse


Texas fall weather kicked off during the Jim Bowie Echo ride this year with 48 degrees one morning and 1 degree warmer the next.  Deer were plentiful jumping the fence lines along the dirt road west of Stockpen Crossing RV.  Gene Crisp’s campfire scent filled the air and brought visions of upcoming deer camp settings to mind.

Thursday night was the traditional Homecoming bonfire in the big ditch in the Stockpen Crossing Park.  Friday night Menard beat Gorman 23-14. Riders started gathering on the 23rd and rigs kept pulling in through Saturday.  Several folks were noticeably missing from this traditional ride and we hope to see them return next year.

The Jim Bowie Days celebration was well under way on the banks of the San Saba River on Saturday until heavy rains started in the early afternoon.  Both sides of the river served for parking a few hundred.  Within just a couple of hours, the vehicles, all the tents and kiosks with arts & crafts and food vendors were gone. Most riders were back in camp except for a few of us that got drowned. (You can put up a nice clothes line in the back of your horse trailer).

The Sunday ride to the Menard Cowboy Church was well worth the enjoyable light hearted sermon and the wonderful home cooking.  Though they still haven’t replaced the hitching posts, everybody found a way to secure their mounts.  The dessert table was so full of goodies that some folks started their meal with the sweets.  Church members always greet the riders with hugs and handshakes and fresh tea, coffee or water. It’s always a joy to see familiar faces and meet new ones.

I had the pleasure of visiting with Mrs. Gwen Nelson from Hollywood (yes, at the Cowboy Church in Menard, Texas!) and her husband during the service.  They reside in Menard and have homes in other states. Gwen is the niece of Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow from the 1939 WIZARD OF OZ movie!  Gwen and her husband are very active in evangelic and missionary related Christian activities.

The annual Monday night BBQ & Dance at the Menard VFW was yeehaw, boot scootin’ great!  A band of headliner musicians from central Texas honkytonks and dancehalls in years past volunteer their time for this shindig. The list reads like a WHO’S WHO of classic western dance music performers; Tommy Burney (of Tommy Burney & The Blend Band, a western band that played at the Old Dickerson Club in London, Texas). Tommy still plays at the London Dance Hall where one rule is still strictly enforced: No hats on the dance floor. That rule survives at London Dance Hall in London in Kimble County, but few other places today make any issue of patrons wearing hats. Coy Moses is a notable fiddle playing entertainer who played several years during the Big Bend ~ Stillwell Ranch Trailride; (Roy Don Scott and Bobby Rountree, San Angelo 50’s and 60’s musicians, claim Coy was, “probably the best fiddler in five counties”).

 Gene, Doris and Tommy Crisp work hard getting this trailride together each year.  We look forward to riding with them again.

As pictures are turned in, they will be posted here.



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