The Almorranas Story
Hi, Iâ€™m Mr. Almorranasâ€™ ranch foreman. He asked me to respond to the questions one of your writers asked. Computers are a bit foreign to Mr. Almorranas who is what folks around here refer to as a genuine cowboy and rancher of the old west. We are up here in Oregon close to Halfway, which is halfway between two places. The town is a way too bitty for the ranch to fit inside its boundaries. More reasonable would be the fitting of Halfway inside our ranch. Halfway has a post office and a few stores so we kind of refer to it as where we live just so folks will have some idea where we are. Itâ€™s kind of hard to find a place if it doesnâ€™t have a dot on a map. In all weâ€™re a bit over 100 miles south.
Mr. Almorranas was born around 1932 or there about in his folkâ€™s house in your town. The house was very large and was in the shopping district on a small street named Holloway Court. He thinks he was about eight years old or so when his mom and pop pulled up stakes and headed west, probably in the early 1940s. Along the way they settled down numerous times, unfortunately only temporarily. For Mr. Almorranas this did not bode well for his formal education. Many different schools and long gaps in attendance, I think you get the picture. By the time he was driving he was entering the eighth grade. One day he finally grew tired of the taunts and ridicule from the much younger kids in class so he up and walked out never to return. That ended his formal education. He is well aware of the fact he has difficulty expressing himself with the written word. Thatâ€™s one of the areas I help him with when he asks.
Eventually the Almorranas family made their way to this area purchasing a small ranch of about 100 acres. Mr. Almorranasâ€™ mom and pop oversaw the place while Mr. Almorranas worked as the foreman and ranch hand. In those early days he was the only ranch hand, which made him boss of himself. Ranching seemed to come natural to the Almorranas family. Every year they added more territory to the place. Eventually his folkâ€™s retired and Mr. Almorranas became the ranch owner. By that time the ranch had grown large enough to require several ranch hands to keep things running smoothly.
Over the years the ranch has grown considerably under his expert stewardship and management. From that humble beginning it will have grown to over 100 sections by years end. Maybe I should have said this right off, Mr. Almorranas never liked to be called by his given name preferring everyone to simply call him Al. Iâ€™ll do that from here on out. Typing Al is also much easier.
Al never married. His mom and pop have long since passed and are buried here in the ranch cemetery. He has no other blood family, his family being all the ranch hands and their families living and working right here on the ranch. We all love him and every minute we spend here with him. He is a father to those who are older and a grandfather and great grandfather to those of us who are their children and our children. I donâ€™t think anyone could ask for a nicer place to live, work and raise a family. Probably the best description is â€œitâ€™s a wonderful way of life.â€
Al is generous to a fault. To see him you would never guess he is incredibly wealthy. If he were not a generous man he would have sold this ranch and retired long ago, as he well could have. But not Al, he chose to do something few folks would even remotely consider. He placed the ranch and his entire fortune into a trust for the benefit of the wildlife that live here, the land, our families and those of us who work here on the ranch. He has provided for our childrenâ€™s education so they will have an opportunity to enjoy a bright future. Once the ranch ceases operation, which is defined in the trust, those of us remaining that so choose will move into the retirement facility Al has provided for us. Once that happens the ranch will be restored to a natural state meaning that all traces of human encroachment will be removed, with the one exception being the ranch cemetery. Eventually it too will succumb to the call of the wild, as all grave markers are level with the ground and will eventually be obscured by Mother Nature. Al doesnâ€™t want the ranch, which will become a wildlife preserve, to be a monument to him but rather a monument to a way of living. He has chosen to simply call it â€œNatureâ€™s Way Wildlife Preserve.â€
Our livestock consists mostly of cattle, sheep and horses as it always has. The horses are mainly working stock for the ranch because we do not use motorized vehicles for the majority of our operations. After a couple of years working the range our horses retire to pasture. They live the remainder of their natural lives being cared for in a natural environment. We raise a few fine thoroughbreds for sale to owners who enjoy the sport of racing. We have hunting safaris at various times during the year. The only shooting permitted is with cameras. Lots of folks come here just to see and photograph the many species of wildlife that live on the ranch with us. We co-exist with the wildlife, they donâ€™t harm us and we protect them. I know they sense this because they do not hide from us when we enter an area where they happen to be foraging. Many of them have a special relationship with Al, knowing him by sight and smell. When they detect his presence they run to greet him going right up to him. He pets them and hands out the treats he always carries for them. I think they know heâ€™s their great benefactor and protector. How all this first came about occurred long before I was born. Ever since I became old enough to ride the range with Al and my pop I have been witness to it. All I can say is there is something very special about Al. You can be in a room full of folks with your back to the door. If Al walks in you can sense his presence without a word being spoken. His interaction with wildlife and folks says it all.
Early this spring Al asked me if Iâ€™d mind taking him back to his birthplace. Once we had things tidied up at the ranch where we could get away for a few days we flew to Cleveland and drove to your town. There was nothing between Cleveland and your town that Al recognized. We saw nothing but large highways passing by areas dotted with various buildings and houses. When we got close to town where Al was born he expected to see a few farms like he remembered. That was not to be, all we saw was lots of houses. When we arrived at the place where Al knew he used to live all we saw was, as Al best described it, â€œThereâ€™s nothing left but nothing.â€
We wandered around some thinking we might run into someone Alâ€™s age or older that might remember Al or his mom and pop. That wasnâ€™t to be either. It must be that most the folks Alâ€™s age get moved off someplace where they wonâ€™t be a reminder to the younger folk that one day they too will grow old. Thatâ€™s not the way itâ€™s done up our way.
We didnâ€™t stay long because Al didnâ€™t think there was any reason to. Seems everyone he might have known or may have known his mom and pop have vanished to parts unknown. All wasnâ€™t lost though as this was Alâ€™s first trip on an airplane and also his first ever vacation. We rode first class both ways. To say that Al was the center of attention on that plane is an understatement. He has a way of telling stories and expressing himself that is genuine and folksy. Iâ€™m sure all the folks on the plane will cherish the memories of their trip with Al.
If you happened to see a couple cowpokes wandering about town this summer past, it was probably Al and me. Next time you see some older folk, go on up and start a conversation with them. You might be surprised at how much fun you have, and you never know, it just might be Al youâ€™re talking to.
I think I have mentioned everything Al wanted to say plus the few things I added so you would have a better understanding of him. I read this to him and he gave it his blessing except he would have preferred I not mention the generosity thing. Fortunately I was able to convince him that it belongs.
I printed him a copy so he could read it again one day. Heâ€™s very proud of what he has accomplished in life and at the ranch and weâ€™re most proud of him. Al hopes this answers all the questions your writer has.
By now you may have figured I was born here on the ranch. My father was also Alâ€™s foreman before me. I took over for him when he retired some years back. Mom and pop have remained here on the ranch since. Sure is nice having them and all the other retired hands and families here with us. Best of all, we have Al as the Patriarch of our extended family.
Itâ€™s time to get back to my duties. Winter is setting in and thereâ€™s much that needs doing before it arrives, which it sometimes does without warning.
Al asked me to tell you he said, â€œTell them By again,â€ and that goes for all the rest of us as well.
T. L. C. Masterson IV
Hacienda del Lobo
Copyright Â© 24 October 2009 - Chet Headley â€“ All Rights Reserved
Copyright Â© 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C.J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved
This story is 99% fiction; it's taken from a long running childhood dream I had of what I wanted to do when I grew up and how I wanted to live. I never achieved this dream, others have come and gone and now I have one I am living and it trumps everything that has preceded it.
This came about because I was writing articles for another Web site that was dedicated to the city I mostly grew up in, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio from 1946 - 1960, ages 6 - 20.
One day as I was reviewing articles I had written for the site, I noticed that some of the wording had been changed (edited) without my permission. I contacted the site's self styled censor about the fact that my work had been altered without my permission. A disagreement arose between us and I was banned from the site. About 10 minutes later I was back on the site and logged in as Almorranas.
My purpose in doing this was to show them just how silly they were and also to highlight the ignorance of their self styled censor. I decided I'd become a pain in the rear that they would have a difficult time recognizing. The name I chose, Almorranas, is Spanish for Hemorrhoids, which are a real pain in the butt when they become inflamed. No one noticed.
A bit of a side story, hemorrhoids are something we are born with. They are in the rectum as a cushion; so we all have them, just some of us lucky folks have problems with them once in a while, which I know from experience.
I don't remember exactly when I started writing this story, though it was in October 2009. There was a lot of posting prior to the actual story as I had to build momentum for it. I wrote this story 24 October 2009.
So there is the story as told by T. L. C. Masterson IV, Foreman of Hacienda del Lobo (Home of the Wolf). It takes place in Halfway, Oregon, a real town about the size of a postage stamp and a ranch of 100 sections, 64,000 acres, 100 square miles or 10 X 10 miles square.
Best Always, Love
Copyright Â© 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C.J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved