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
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
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
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