We’ve all been to wonderful places that bring memories flooding back to us. Places of awesome beauty, like the Canadian Rockies. Places of great excitement like the Grand Ole Opry. Even a quiet spot under a tree at Grandma’s house. Here’s one of the places I remember from my own past.
Guess you thought I was through talking about the trip we took with the Truelson family in 1951. No such luck. Too many fond memories.
We spent several days at the Moncrief Dude Ranch near Gunnison, Colorado. At least part of that ranch is now under the waters of Blue Mesa Reservoir, but it wasn’t in 1951. The lake wasn’t built until the 1960s.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Never having been to any other dude ranch, I can’t say whether this one was typical or not, but it was fun. Our parents spent their time pursuing some kind of boring adult stuff, but we kids had better ways to spend ours.
There was an old railroad track running along the front of the place between the ranch headquarters and U.S. 50. It was either abandoned or so rarely used that it was considered safe for us to play there. An ancient handcar sat on the tracks, and we’d get onto it and pump the handle to move it up and down the rails. Something about that handcar really fascinated John Truelson and me.
Our other favorite pastime was riding horses. I suppose we had to demonstrate first that we could ride, but they would let us take the horses out and ride around the ranch unsupervised. John and I had more fun playing cowboys and Indians. I guess today’s kids would play Darth Vader or something, but cowboys and Indians or cowboys and outlaws occupied a lot of boys’ play time back in those days.
One of the memories that has stuck the most vividly in my mind came in the dining room. I’ve never been a fish lover—any kind of fish. I’d seen people eat it before, of course, and had in fact eaten it myself when I couldn’t avoid it, but it was always filleted and fried.
One evening as we sat in the dining hall, I noticed a couple with what looked to me like whole, raw fish on their plates. The eyes stared up as if watching what was going on. Apparently trout is served whole at times (it wasn’t really raw—just look that way to me), with the head and tail left in place.
Maybe that’s a delicacy you enjoy, but not me, and especially not at age eight. I don’t think I threw up, but I felt nauseated and grossed out by the sight. Yuck.
Ø What are some of the places you remember from childhood—or maybe from last year?
Ø Think about what those places mean to you.
If you liked this, feel free to comment and repost link on Facebook or Twitter.