The would-be cowboys

scan0001 This is my grandmother’s first cousin, Stanley Speece. He and his brother Denver and my grandfather decided, when they were about 19, to leave Missouri and go out to Oklahoma and try to find work as cowboys for a while. But before they went, in case they didn’t get hired on, Denver and Stanley had pictures taken of themselves in cowboy gear so they could say at least they looked like cowboys. Apparently the three of them never stopped laughing and were terrible for practical jokes.

My grandmother was very close to her first cousins; her mother died and her aunts’ families raised them. When my grandfather was courting her, he got to know Denver and Stanley who were by all accounts Type A personalities (described as ‘monkeys’) and they cooked up this scheme to go to Oklahoma.

Denver’s picture (which I have here somewhere) is in exactly the same clothes. Evidently Stanley had his picture taken and then went back and gave all the gear to Denver who then had his picture taken. Same chaps, same white turtleneck, same pose, same rope. At any rate, they did go out to Oklahoma and got hired on and spent a year hustling cattle around and repairing windmills etc. etc. They had a great time. My grandfather told me about it and I wrote it all down. When he came back he and my grandmother got married. scan0006   This is my grandmother and her half-brother Alonzo King. Probably taken near New Lebanon Missouri about 1910. She was always this slim, this beautiful, even in her seventies.