Tag Archives: Pony Hill Ranch

Wordless Wednesday: Brockle Baby 

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Throwback Thursday: December 6, 1946

This week’s throwback post is fascinating to me because I love this woman’s nickname! Jinks!!

Jinks Retzlaff

Jinks Retzlaff

I found this picture among Sammie Brown Jr’s pictures. I can tell by the corral and mountains this was taken on the Pony Hill Ranch, in Indian Valley.  The writing on the back says this is:

Silvergold Dick

March 31, 1944

Jinks Retzlaff

January 14, 1926

December 6, 1946

The back of the photo

The back of the photo

Most of Sammie’s pictures are of horses. I have over a hundred black and white photos of beautiful horses from this time. I know he was very well know for his horsemanship and taught many, many people lessons. In fact, I occasionally get emails from people that knew him back in the day. I love it because they often have interesting stories and tidbits for me.
I did a little digging and found out that indeed Jinks Retzlaff, aka, Frances Marion “Jinks” Retzlaff Velasco was a local Indian Valley girl. It appears that she and Sammie went to high school together. Jinks sounded like a really fascinating woman and according to her obituary it sounds like she had an interesting  and fulfilling life. I know she still has family living, so if any of my readers know how I could contact them to get them this picture, that would be great!


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Wordless Wednesday: The Secret Lair

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Throwback Thursday: Little Brown’s

I thought this would be an appropriate time to post a picture of some my Dad’s family. This is a rare picture that has lots of information on the back. The top says “Little Brown’s Dec. 1956” then a list of names and birth dates. I know by the background is was taken in the Family house on Stampfli Lane. 

December 1956

Little Brown’s

From left to right:

Sandra D.
Carl E.
James E. (Jim)
Gary L.
Linda I.
Fletcher L. (Larry)

It’s also noted on the picture that “ALL have BLUE eyes”. It’s funny because the Brown family blue eyes are totally a thing. I have them, my Dad obviously has them, my Grandfather had them as well, but past that point I don’t know. All the pictures past my Grandfather are in black and white.
I think it is worth noting my Dad is the last surviving Brown brother.

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Throwback Thursday: The Browns

"Sammie Hazel Samuel & Fletcher Brown

“Sammie Hazel Samuel & Fletcher Brown

I’m excited about this Throwback Thursday. It’s one of the few photo’s that have names on the back and comes from my direct line of relatives. This is Sammie Jr.,  Hazel, Samuel and Fletcher Brown. My Great Uncle, Great Grandparents and Grandfather, respectively. They are standing in front of the family home on Stampfli Lane in Indian Valley. I would say this photo was probably taken in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s, based on Sammie Jr.’s age here.

Look at the beautiful penmanship!

Look at the beautiful penmanship on the back of the photo!

After my Grandfather’s death, we briefly lived in this home for a few summers. I can safely tell you it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Between the family history and the varmints living in it, I screamed like a girl often. In addition to that, the water was from a hand-dug well – so it smelled like sulfur and turned my hair and nails red if I showered in it. I either had to bribe neighbors with food or go down to the campground to find a decent shower where I would actually smell better after.

The Brown Family Home today. The window on the left is the background from the top photo.

The Brown Family Home today. The window on the right is the background from the top photo.

Sadly, everyone in this photo has died. I was lucky enough to know my Grandfather and my Dad does have memories of his Grandparents, so stay tuned for some future blogs about them.  This whole family is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Oroville, Butte County, CA, 5646 Lincoln Blvd, CA 95966.

  • Hazel (Lucas) Brown     born Feb 2 1890       died May 18 1967     
  • Samuel F. Brown            born Mar 14 1883    died Oct 21 1960             
  • Samuel F. Brown            born Sep 3 1926       died Aug 21 1954
  • Fletcher Lucas Brown    born 1921                  died Nov 9 1995

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Throwback Thursday: July 20, 1947

Hi! Welcome to a new series on The Beef Jar! Throwback Thursday! I’m going to post an old photo and hopefully a story, at least the story I know, to go with it. For my inaugural post, I picked this photo:

In front of the Ranch on Stampfli Lane.

In front of the Ranch on Stampfli Lane.

The writing on the back identified these people and horses:

  • Ernest Learner, Prince
  • Martha Learner, Balu
  • ‘           ‘ Learner, Star
  • Lona Jean Nagler, Balie (Sp?)
  • Barbara Conklin, Star Dust
  • David Vice, Baley
  • Sammie Brown, Dusty
  • Lloyd Goultee (Sp?), Kiluertone (Sp?)
  • Shirley Bolick, Handy
  • Millard Gale, Vern
  • Bill Trull, Popeye

The photo itself was taken on our ranch in Indian Valley. In front of the old ranch house on Stampfli Lane. Sammie Brown was my Great Uncle. He died of polio in 1954, the day my father was born. Look here to see my Dad’s birth announcement in the same paper.  Could you imagine what a week it must have been for my family? I know Sammie was a expert horseman that dedicated a lot of his time to teaching others. I ended up with some of Sammie’s pictures, a school book of his, and his death book from his funeral.

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Wordless Wednesday: Done Shipping

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Wordless Wednesday: Sunset in the Valley

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Wordless Wednesday: Fletcher and Sam Jr.

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They Say It’s Your Birthday

It’s my birthday. But on the Ranch, birthdays are just another day. The cows don’t stop eating, the water doesn’t change itself and the bulls need to be turned out.

It’s ok, because the older I get, I find myself caring less and less about the dreaded annual event (except the cake part, I like that part).  Anyway, when my Dad asked if I could work cattle on my birthday, I was actually kind of excited about it. I figured, ‘hey, maybe I’ll get another promotion or something! It’s my birthday!’

The day started out early. I was supposed to spend the night on the summer ranch last night, but I managed to be so busy during that day, by the time I was done with all my chores it was going to be dark when I finally arrived in the mountains. And since I am the only child, my Parents tend to mitigate any extra risk they can, driving up the curvy, mountain highway in the dark is considered risky and frowned upon, hence I got to wake up in my own bed on my birthday!!!!

The cattle moved beautifully.

The cattle moved beautifully.

This ended up being a great thing because Daniel was able to come with me this morning. After I trotted over to the big house to wake my Mom and and get my cowdogs (I also got awesome presents! I love presents!!), Daniel brought me a Starbucks. All the way from town. It was glorious. I had Mom presents (plus my Mom is super crafty, so part of it was homemade with love and thought), and Starbucks, I cried. I swear, I cried tears of joy.

My birthday present to myself was this blue, under armour hoodie (I LOVE IT. IT IS THE BEST HOODIE EVER).

My birthday present to myself was this blue, under armour hoodie (I LOVE IT. IT IS THE BEST HOODIE EVER).

Daniel and I woke up before dawn (he had to wake up earlier to get coffee and drive out to the Ranch), drove a hour and half (with Starbucks!), and went to work. Did I mention it was freezing up there? It’s amazing how different the climate in California can be.

Early morning board meeting with my Dad. I just love our conference room.

Early morning board meeting with my Dad. I just love our conference room.

This was the first time poor Daniel had ever worked cattle with my Dad and I. I think it was the first time he ever worked cattle. Oh, did I mention he is a recent law school graduate? And just took the bar? I think this proves my theory that the stress of law school will prepare you for anything. He was a natural.

Even MY dog Hoot followed Daniel.

Even MY dog Hoot followed Daniel.

We have a  wonderful corral that Dr. Temple Grandin influenced heavily. It’s so much easier to work with the cattle now, and we need 3 people (sometimes 2!) instead of a big crew, thus lessening cattle stress even more. However, I made a mistake. Since the paradigm shifted and Daniel was now the one important not to get hurt (he is house counsel, can’t break him!), I got demoted from my normal job. Demoted on my birthday. Sigh.

I was the "pusher inner" today. The one that gets behind the calves to push them into the chute. These "babies" have me out-weighed by a hundred plus pounds. They handed my ass to my today.

I was the “pusher inner” today. The one that gets behind the calves to push them into the chute. These “babies” have me out-weighed by a hundred plus pounds. They handed my ass to me today. (This was my view today)

The job thief being thiefy.

The job thief being thiefy. (Also notice the skinny jeans? Wrangler will be releasing that line soon, I just know it).

We finished up with no cow, dog or person getting hurt.  Then in the best birthday move ever – my Parents gave me a couple cows to sell.

Yellow slips, we fill these out anytime an animal leaves the ranch. When a cow is sold, the person's name on the bottom right gets the check! My name went there today, yay!

Yellow slips, we fill these out anytime an animal leaves the ranch. When a cow is sold, the person’s name on the bottom right gets the check! My name went there today, yay! Happy birthday indeed! I’ll invest this back into the Ranch in the form of heritage piglets! Pork!

After working all day, and working hard! I would post pictures of my bruises, but trust me, you don’t wanna see that. We drove the hour and a half home to the Valley and Daniel took me to my favorite Mexican restaurant for a margarita and dinner. I got so much love on my social media.  It was a good day. Thanks friends (also I am exhausted and feel old, lol).

Food of the Gods.

Food of the Gods.

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