Ford I. Gano History – Tape 4 Side A
All mixed up here now. I couldn’t try to turn the tape over, and I can’t find anything on this side, so I guess it doesn’t have anything on it, and I don’t know if I had the other side on record or not. So, that’s me all over. Anyway, I’m going take out on this side from where I left off on the dissertation about the horses I had used from my ranch work, while I was living there at the Bivens’.
To go over that again, I had Dynamite, which was my favorite horse, I had Shorty, which was a smaller horse but he was really spry and fast. He was a good little horse. He belonged to a friend, Jack Freu, who couldn’t keep him because he lived in town, and he boarded him out where he could do that, and I happened to be the lucky one, Lynn and I were the lucky ones. Of course I had the old pony to go across the river to go to high school, and put in the barn up there, where she stayed all day till I got home at night. But I never rode her much for ranch work, she was just a nuisance to keep around. She would bother the other horses quite a bit, because she thought she was the boss of the menagerie there.
Now the third horse I had was a palomino which belonged to Uncle Art and Aunt Edna, he was getting just a little bit old for real hard work, and consequently they didn’t use him too much for their ranch work, so they let me keep him quite a bit, just to get him pastured and taken care of. He was an awful good horse, and really a nice looking animal. Everybody that came along, my brother Frank and my sister Paula when she came to visit once, all wanted their picture taken on Pal, which we called him. But I kept him in my string, and along with my chaps and saddle and blanket – I had a nice saddle blanket which I’d accumulated – spurs and etc., I really thought I was a pretty good cowboy.
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…back from Texas last summer, and taken care of the cattle and branded the calves, and got all that done, why I didn’t have much else to do, so my mother suggested maybe that since my brother Lynn had joined up with the CCC’s (Civilian Conservation Corps) which paid young men to join up with them for $30 a month and their board and room, which $25 of that was sent to the parents, and $5 was given to the enrollee. Well I did that, and though I wasn’t in the same camp as Lynn was, he was over in the Prescott area, and my camp was there in the Verde Valley area. I really enjoyed that time of life. I got to play with, to mix with other boys and made friends with quite a few of them at that time. We were divided up just like the Army divided their troops when they enrolled, into a troop of 10 or 8 I guess it was, in one tent, and then there were a group of about 5 tents that was called a division. Then there was another, the whole camp was called a… well, I’ve forgotten what they did call it.
But anyway, when I enrolled, I was put into a tent with some boys from over there on Oak Creek, and they was all good fellows, all clean boys. I don’t think a one of them smoked, so I enjoyed living with them. I never had taken up the habit of smoking or drinking, and I enjoyed being in with them. I guess that’s the reason they put me in with that group was because that was one group that didn’t like to do those things. I was made patrol leader of that one group of boys in that one camp, and out of it I got an extra $5 for my big heavy job of leadership. I don’t know why they did that, but anyway they did, and I enjoyed having the extra $5. Which I got to keep, they didn’t send that in to my mother, so actually I had $10 at the end there each month to play with. Later on, during my period here in the CCC camp we built roads, we built a lot of fences, we called them drift fences, which they just start out and dig holes and string wire, barbed wire, until one of the valley to the other. The idea was that when cattle were drifting southward always, they’d run up against this drift fence and turn around and go back, usually towards more grazing. Although it was hard work, I didn’t mind doing it at all. I kind of like the money I was getting, and didn’t mind working. I was made the truck driver also, and always got to drive the truck and haul the other boys in the back of the truck, with my supervisor sitting in the front seat with me. So that was, I don’t know why I was made supervisor, but I was, and took the extra $5 with thanks in my heart to my Heavenly Father, whom I never had paid much attention to or thought about after I left my home there in Verde Valley, going to Sunday School with Chris Shayler as my tutor, but that was beside the point.
I had been in the camp maybe for six months, and they offered the division leader, which was leader of the whole camp, for a salary of $75/month. But I didn’t take that, much to my mother’s regrets; she said "Why on earth didn’t you do that?" and I said, "Well, I didn’t want to have the responsibility of that job, you had to be responsible for the whole camp" which was made up of about 150 boys. And I said I just didn’t want to do that, because a lot of them would go out over the weekends, whenever they had time off, and get into some kind of mischief or another, and you had to pick them up and bring them back and get them straightened out. So I turned that down, but I always called it a feather in my cap even to be offered that job.
Well, I stayed on that job until the CCCs were ended there, and I found a job up in Oak Creek Canyon, at the Penley Ranch, raising fruit. So I, this was the next summer after that first summer in the CCC, I spent the summer up there with the Penley family. Another boy who I had known in High School, Frank Anders, and I were the two permanent hirees, workers of the apple orchard there, if I leave out Uncle John. Uncle John was a sweet man who’d come there wandering in one time and they took him in just as their own family, and he slept in their house with them, and did washing and cooking sometimes, and always milked the cows, except later on I was given that job, when they found out I knew how to milk a cow. So I had to go out and milk the cows because it was too hard for Uncle John to go out and find them in their pasture, and bring them into the barn to be milked.
Well, I enjoyed that summer there at the Penley Ranch. They were very good to me. We just consisted at that time of Frank Penley and his wife Jane, she was quite a bit younger than he was. Frank, he was a middle aged man, and she was a younger girl, you might say, that he had wooed and captured up there in Oak Creek. I was made their chauffeur, and always drove their car to take them into town whenever they wanted to go to town. I don’t know, there’s a lot of things I could talk about the Penley Ranch. I might mention one thing later on, because after that summer, I went back to school, or I got to school. That was my first year in college. My mother insisted that I go on to school if I possibly could. She offered me, she says, you take the cattle down there, and sell them to the government (who was paying $15 a head for them, and they would take them – you weren’t supposed to have over 10 head of them, anyway) and the young stuff you could sell off to the butchers very conveniently and profitably, and the older stuff they would buy for $15. Well, I did that, and she says, well you take half of that, which was $75 dollars, and I’ll keep the other half, and I want you to go to school at Tempe. So that was at Tempe State Teacher’s College down at Tempe Arizona. So I went down there at the beginning of that school year, and enrolled in Tempe Teacher College. I selected as my major agriculture, with [laughs] horticulture as my minor, because I didn’t know much of anything to select except that.
I might mention along this line, another little feather in my cap, that one of my high school teachers, the physics teacher, physics and science courses, had kind of taken a liking to me. I’d got good grades in his class, and did a good job of studying one thing and another. So when I got through high school, he offered to send me on to college at Tempe, if I would major in Chemistry and Physics. Well, I didn’t hardly want to do that because I didn’t think I knew too much about physics and chemistry, so I didn’t want to do that. So I turned him down on that, passed that deal up.
But mother and I got together and when I enrolled, I enrolled in agriculture, which was a 2-year course there in Tempe, I guess maybe three years there altogether. When I finished at Tempe, I had to change schools and go down to the University of Arizona to get my 4th year of agriculture, which I did, which I’ll tell about as I get along.
Anyway, I enjoyed my freshman year there at Tempe. I got a job with the school, of course part time. They paid me only minimum salary, which I think was $30 a month, for waiting in the dining room: helping in the dining room, doing odd jobs, waiting on tables, etc., etc. That was the biggest job, waiting on tables. Now and then we had to do a few other things also.
I got to be a good friend of a young fellow who’d come down from the east, from Michigan, and was going to school there. It was his first year, as a freshman. And he hitchhiked out from Michigan, and was enrolled in Tempe State Teacher College there, and I’d made friends with him, and he was a good clean young man. Much heavier and bigger than I was, but nevertheless, I found him to be a fine friend. But when we first enrolled in Tempe, you couldn’t get a room in the dormitory, so we both of us had to find a rooming place off campus. We both roomed in a house that rented a spare room in their attic for $30 a month, and provided a little bed and a desk in one corner, which we rented for our school room that year. Well, we stayed in it until a few of the freshman had dropped out about mid-term. We found a room in the dormitory to live, and from then on I lived in East Hall, on the college. It was easier that way. While I was living off campus, I had to buy my meals out in various different places, just little side joints, one thing or another, fix something up myself, but when I got on campus, I bought a ticket for the [microphone switched off]
…mind goes blank sometimes, and I had to turn the tape off and try to remember what the dining hall was called. Anyway, we got a ticket to the dining hall, we ate all three meals there. At the same time, I had that job in there, and was getting a little help from the school, so I kind of enjoyed doing that work there. I got to know about everybody that was enrolled in the school, girls and all! I used to have to serve them the food, and clean up the tables afterwards, and so forth and so on. Well,
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Norris and I both enrolled in sports, football that fall. So as freshman there in that college, we were both on the freshman squad. I enjoyed playing football. I was a little older than the boys who came in as green freshmen from high school, and I kind of took advantage of that I think, I cowed them down a little by having been in the CCC camp, and roughing it out in woods and valleys and the mountain area. In other words, I was just a little tougher than most of the freshmen coming in. So I made the freshman football team that year. It was separate from the varsity team, but I enjoyed that. We only played about four games all year long as freshmen, so I didn’t get banged up too much. Nevertheless, it was taking a large part of my time. We had to spend at least four hours after school out there on that football field or in the gymnasium where we were exercising. And if you take four hours out of your day, and then take the time out to earn your $30 a month board and room fee, it didn’t leave much room for studying. Although I made a good, or a B- average, or a good C+ average, my freshman year, I wasn’t satisfied with that. I wanted to do a little better than that if I could. So, when I went back the second year I didn’t go out for football anymore.
But in the mean time, the summer of that freshman year I went back up and went back to work for Penley again. I was getting a little older, and I guess, I don’t know if I was any smarter or not, but this year he paid me $30 a month, room and board, to help him there in the apple orchard. It didn’t take long for the summer to go by, but at the end of the summer, I didn’t have enough money to enroll back in Tempe without getting help from the school. But the school that year said that because I’d dropped out that I wasn’t eligible for their help any more. So I had to, I decided then that I would stay out that year, and continue to work for Penley for my $60 a month deal and board and room.
Well, that year he made me a kind of a salesman, and I got to load the truck up and take it around to places to sell the fruit. I got a lot of good experience out of that, going to the various towns and it gave me a little confidence mainly. I never did have much selling ability, but that gave me a little experience in that field of endeavor.
When the year’s fall apple season came on, I would help harvest apples, and I would help sort them. Now Frank had a very big and expensive apple house, he called it, at 2-story deal. The bottom part was for storage and the upper part was where they sorted out the fruit. He had a big machine in there that sorted out the apples instead of having to do it by hand. I’m not going to try to describe it, it simply dumped the apples in one end, and they went out onto a belt, and they’d drop them off according to their size. Then the laborers, the people working along the sorting bench, put them in their right bins in order to accumulate the sizes, the small size, the medium size, and the large size apples. They were boxed in that manner. Uncle John was the official boxer. He made up all the boxes, and he filled them all up, and put them in there in beautiful little layers, and then he would put a lid on the box and nail it up. We’d stack them up in big old piles.
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After the harvest was over, there was always a few things left to do around the ranch there, [unintelligible] had to be taken care of from the late apple trees, the winesaps and the stalens, and so on and so forth.
But it came selling season, in the cool weather, why Frank would
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Mr. Penley had made a trade name for his apples, and they called them the Falls Branch Orchard. All labels had to be put on by hand on all the boxes, and we’ load them into the truck, and most of them were hauled down to Phoenix. That was my job that year, to haul those apples down to Phoenix. Frank went along down there a time or two, to show me the ropes of how to do it. I should say Mr. Penley went down along with me, and we’d leave in the evening time, about 11 o’clock, by the Coalingus Mountain, and down through the Lonesome Valley area, down into Prescott. Down from Prescott on down the Arnell hill which was quite a little hill going down into the valleys below. And it sure was a twisty old road. A good paved road, that was all there was, from Prescott down the Arnell hill was all paved and well taken care of, so it was never a big task to drive that distance. From the Arnell Hill down to Phoenix was probably a distance of 50 miles, and then we ‘d get into phoenix about 4:30 in the morning, and go the open market.
Now, this was a place where the wholesalers came in to buy their stuff, buy their goods for the day. And of course, all Frank had was apples. He had made some customers down there, and we’d try to sell the customers as much apples as they could use off of that truckload. Then we’d have to peddle them around to the different other stores that would come to the open market there to buy their produce for the day, smaller markets usually. By the time we’d get through that task, it was mid-day, and we’d load up anything we had left, which was never very much. Frank didn’t like to haul anything back to the orchards, but we’d drive back about mid-day, starting back, and we’d make it in to Oak Creek Farm there just about dusk, at evening. We were always glad for a good home-cooked meal from Jane Penley. She was a very good cook. She cooked in big batches, because she had to feed the hands that were working in the field, as well as her 5 children and the boarders in the house.
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Although there was usually snow in that part of Oak Creek, which was called Upper Oak Creek, from about the first of November until spring of the following year, so we always had snow to put up with there in the winter time. After we got the apples taken care of, we had the job of pruning the trees. We’d start in on that when it got cold enough so there was no sap in the trees. Mister Johns, the old Swede that lived there with them was the chief pruner. He was very, he showed the rest of us, and there was only two of us that worked there in the wintertime, how to prune trees. And we had to prune them and stack up the branches, and haul them off into a pile. And when they got tall enough, we’d manage to burn them. Our winter job then first was pruning the trees, and then later on odds and ends around the place. That was when I was given the job of milking the cow, always had to get up in the morning early, and go find the cows out in the pasture, and bring them in the barn where the hay was kept. I’d milk usually about two cows, which I never did mind doing, particularly, but Mr. Johns, as we always called him, used to resent my milking, because that was a job that he thought he should have. Nevertheless, the Penleys thought that we should [Tape Ends]