Blast from the Past

The coolest thing happened to me in the past week.  I was posting a comment on my Facebook page about my uncle donating a pot load of calves to be sold after 9/11.  He instructions were simple — all the proceeds had to be used to purchase beef certificates for those devastated by 9/11.  I did a Google search to find the article for which I was searching.  Crazy enough, one of the things that came up when I searched his name was a picture on Ebay.  So, of course, I clicked over to see what I had found!

I was so excited to see that I had found a picture of his epic trail drive in 1962.  Below is an article taken from the Utica Daily Press in Utica, NY on January 8, 1962.  His trail drive made national news.

“Winner, S. D. Wn—Rancher Don Hight’s 1,800 Herefords were on the last lap yesterday in a revival of the cattle drive of another era.  A blinding snowstorm Saturday night, with high winds whipping up snow to cut visibility to nothing at times, threatened the 65 mile trek from Hight’s ranch to market at a sales rings here. * 

Yesterday, however, with rising temperatures and
diminishing winds, the herd resumed plodding over the
rolling hills of south central South Dakota, ki-yi’ed along
by Hight and seven cowboys.  The severe weather Saturday forced Hight to hold up
his herd and feed the animals yesterday’s rations, gambling
on a break in the weather to replenish the feed supply.  

HE WON. Yesterday, trucks hauled cake, a high protein
commercial feed, to the herd from Winner. The situation
had been eased previously when Hight was able to obtain
400 bales of hay at another ranch.

The rancher, who hopes to sell the herd—1,100 cows
and 700 steers—for some $360,000, reverted to an old time
“trail driver Instead of trucking the Herefords to market.
He estimated he will save $2,000 in transportation costs.
Hight hoped to have the herd here by tonight or early
tomorrow. The animals move slowly, as the cowboys speed
up stragglers and keep all of the critters headed in the
same, direction.

The drive is a cross-country operation, as in the old
days, and not a matter of following highways. The rancher
got permission to cross private lands in the lightly
populated area, where the herd had few highways to
cross.

• ALTHOUGH WINNER, 28 miles north of the Nebraska
border, is a livestock center, Joe Janickr manager -of a
sales ring here, said he doubted that more than a few of
its residents have seen more than 700 cattle together.
“It would be the biggest herd I’ve ever seen.” he added,
-“and I know lot of people are loading their kids in the
family car just to go out and look.”

The picture I found on Ebay was a press photo of the trail drive.

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The second picture is the caption on the side of the press photo.  It says:  “WINNER, SD, Jan 7– FORTUNE ON HOOF– The 1,800 head of Herefords plodding over South Dakota’s rolling hills hark back to the trail drives of another century.  Rancher Don Hight drove the herd, estimated worth $360,000, 65 miles over the hills to be sold this week at a Winner sales ring.  He and nine cowboys drove the animals the old way, instead of trucking them.  Hight estimated he saved $20,000.  (AP WIREPHOTO)”

Because of the national coverage regarding this trail drive, my uncle was invited to Hollywood to be in an episode of Rawhide.  Below are a couple of those pictures.

don & clint Clint_Eastwood_Don_Hight_Rawhide_1962This was my fun blast from the past for the week.  Hope you got a little smile out of it!

Have a grand day…

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