Dick Hunt's Blog

December 2, 2013

The Four By Fours.

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The Four By Fours.;
by Dick Hunt, November 29th, 2013.
When I was a boy, a four by four was a post, 4 inches by 4 inches by whatever length. And it was still a post for my Father too By the time my 21 year old Brother Bill, four years my junior, was employed to manage a “Guest Ranch, in the shadow of Banff International Park, I had to again change my understanding of what a four by four is. It is now what most moderns are familiar with, a four wheeled vehicle with power delivered to all four wheels. That picture entered my mind when Bill discovered that one of the Herd Bulls fell into the Red Deer River which bordered the Ranch property and was afraid to swim the River to get back to the herd. Bill parked the Dodge Four by Four by the River Bank, unreeled the very useful windless cable from the rear end, got on his horse, swam it across the River, attached the cable to the Bull, hollered to one his men to pull the Bull home. The Bull had nothing to do but give in to the pull exherted by the Cable. All was well and Bill followed the Bull home. At that time of his life Bill looked very young to be in a position of authority. But he possessed a lively set of black whiskers and let them grow. That done, he looked suitably mature and when he shifted his growly voice into gear, the work got done according to his plans and desires. He got the Ranch stocked with a breeding herd of Beef Cows, fired most of the crew for the sake of changing the Guest Ranch into a profit making Cattle Ranch. He made plans to produce the Feed grains and Fodder necessary to the operation and his employer let Bill go. He lived to regret his action. No-one in charge!
That left Bill free to manage a large Ranch of 48 sections away east of Calgary. I was able, with the help of an old timer to build him a new House to replace the old one which had burnt down the fall before. That set Bill on the look out for a pretty young Ranch born Gal, Lee. Bill had by that time acquired a four passenger Aeronca Sedan Aircraft which needed a complete overhall and installation of a rebuilt 145 H.P. Continental Motor. With the back seat removed, they flew off to Chicago with the new motor in the rear space, and honeymooned in that City while the plane was fully serviced. Then it was back home to the Ranch where they lived for a number of years. They were joined in due course by four daughters and one son. But wherever they lived, Bill and Lee his wife made a great success of what they attempted. That Ranch was sold and they moved to the original Ribstone Hereford Ranch where our Father Ranched successfully for many years and where we all grew up and learned how to live and be merry and Married and to succeed at what we attempted. Bill pioneered the making of pit silage for harvesting, and the crops that were used were widened to include corn etc. They brought in new breeding stock from France, a specie called Charolaise which produced great beef with the fat beautifully marbled throughout the lean meat and he became successively President of the B.C., then the Canadian and finally the World Charolaise Associations. They traveled widely and with great value to the whole Beef Cattle Industry. Sadly, Bill contracted Lou Gherigs Disease and lived only three years after the Diagnosis. He died at the age of 71 at height of his career. Sorely missed.

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