The Cabins

A. The original water system at Mickey's
When the group first started hunting at Mickey's they camped out while they were there. After camping and staying in the trucks for a season or two, having a building to stay in was coming up in the world. Either Woodly or Mickey gave us permission to use the old house and barn. There was well water about 40 yards away at the cattle trough. We were able to run a hose through the bathroom window for water in the house and by filling a bucket, we could get enough water to flush the toilet. It was also the water for washing dishes and such.
Doc cooked a meal for us and used every dish and plate we had.

B. Now that's a cold shower
When we first came to the Price Ranch, there was no shower. Shoot, there was not Even a bathroom. EB helped by building us a shower stall. It was out of doors and not fully enclosed. The whole shower is now the pumphouse. When it was a shower there was no roof, just a open topped box with a showerhead. You could close the door. I was told there was hot water. It was great in the summer, OK in the fall and numbing cold in the winter. No matter how warm the water, the wind whistled over your head and shoulders and getting back into the house was a real laugh ... for everyone else. There was no "dressing room". You could take a towel but it was beyond reason to try to dress or put shoes on out in the winter wind. The procedure was to turn off the water, Dry as much as you could, as quickly as you could and run for the front door. You need to remember that the screen door opens against you when you're coming from the pumphouse. And then the wood door opens the other way. Everybody inside was ready to hoot and cheer you on. Once you made it in. It made cleanliness not only next to Godliness, but next to hypothermia, as well. There, I'm sure there are colder ways to get clean, but you need to talk to the bow hunters who camped out for those stories

C. The new room and paneling ... square is relative
When the guys first took the Price lease EB was adding the front room with a cement floor. That's why the inside wall looks like an outside wall. It was. It was the first room with a concrete floor. We got the front porch and outdoor shower then, too. A few years later the guys added plumbing and more electricity. EB, added an inside out house with shower. Also, a water pump was bought by Ralph, at a sale in Oklahoma, and they worked with EB to put a covering on the walls and and a ceiling. Up until then there were just the wall studs covered with cardboard, all open up to the roof. Then the bedroom floor fell in and that floor was poured. That's also when the big patio was laid. Later the guys put windows in the front room so an AC could be used. Then the bedroom and shower. The kitchen floor was the last.
I need help with the chronology!!
1. the front room, front porch and outdoor shower
2. plumbing gas and water and more electricity.
3. Covering on the walls and and a ceiling.
4. Bath and shower, water pump, bedroom floor and big patio poured
5. Windows in the front room, AC
6. The kitchen floor, Small patio /walk, chain link fence and gates
7. Last cement pad.

D. The fireplace
You don't need no stinkin' fireplace!

E. Snakes in the toilet
They're still there! Ask ralph

F. Cooking
When the original group got together on Mickey's place they camped when hunting. All the cooking was either over a campfire or a Coleman stove. A lot of canned meals were used, sometimes heated in the can. Bob liked ground venison burgers and it always looked like he sure took care not to overcook them. The guys kidded him about not getting all the hair or hide off before he ground 'em up. Evening meals were cooked in the dark after the hunt. Scent free clothing was hard to come by. One of the original camps was down below the road to the old house on the west side of the timber. There the vehicles could be inside a locked gate and out of sight of the main road. There was a big live oak that covered the campsite. During an ice storm, later on, it dropped a huge limb on the old campsite. Fortunately everyone had moved to a spot in the woods more protected from the wind. Bill left on December 30th and had to use a torch to thaw the lock on the gate so he could leave. He had a seven hour trip to Dallas. The Doe Ralph and Doug hung the second night of the storm froze solid.

John remembers Ralph and Doug, having a lot of discussions on the best way to cook beans. It seems to me that Ralph and Doug, originally and always,
knew how beans should be cooked.The discussions came because they knew two different ways. They agreed that, along with the jalapenos, pork was a vital ingredient. The bone of contention was, truth be told, a ham bone. Doug favored salt pork, and nothing but the pork. Ralph wanted ham added. The real discussions, though usually limited duration, came up when some absolute Fil-is-teen wanted to add things like onions, tabasco, or by God, brown sugar to the ordained combination of some kind of pork and jalapeno.

For a long time, even though everyone liked rare or medium rare steaks, we always got them overcooked. We'd buy a bunch of good, thick steaks and look forward to a juicy, if somewhat bloody dinner. We always cooked on a grill right off the corner of the porch. Whoever cooked would bring in a stack of dry, well done steaks. And swear that the meat was more red than pink when he took them off the fire. Almost everybody took a turn at not overcooking the meat and failed. The the food finally got better when the the red light bulb over the grill burned out.

After we got to the Price Ranch eating got a lot better. Doug said he'd not eat another canned dinner if he could help it. He did a lot to raise the standards. Naturally, there were the beans. For a couple of years we brought BBQ from Hammond's in Glenn Rose at the start of bird season. Then we'd have doves wrapped in our traditional bacon and pepper or a batter-fried and steeped in wine. We on occasion there were fish from the lease and a few times grilled salmon. Steaks were fairly common but the most memorable steaks were with the Riata sauce Doug made. We had Briskets from both of the Bobs. Spaghetti sounds pretty standard, but covered in Doug's homemade sauce with sundried tomatoes and who knows what else, it was special. Mornings are almost always somebody's fried eggs, Doug's homemade biscuits, and Ralph's sausage gravy.

Meals at Llano Lee

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You'll see headings with no story. They haven't been written yet. I'm waiting to talk to the guys that were there.

If you remember any details better than are written, email the edited text to me. If your recollection may not be accurate, join the club. (-CRS-)

Accuracy should be just a bit less important than a good tale.


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