by Don Chaney

Don Chaney is the former mayor and a long-time resident of Crane.

Article #47
Taken from the Crane News, published June 13, 1999.


     Wilson Barr was quite a man.  Every time he saw Charlie McSpadden he would say, "Charlie, it's gonna rain."  He probably said that because that was what he was wishing for.  He was one of the many ranchers around here who worked and worked trying to make a living in this dry county.  He and his wife ran the Dairy Mart here for several years.  I remember one year we got 4 inches of rain total coming 1/4 inch at a time.  This makes it hard, practically impossible, to get any grass to grow for cows.  I heard 4 cows to the section was the norm.  K. P. Looney used to tell me that droughts ran in seven year cycle.  Did I ever mention that Smokey Swift had 100 ewes on range out close to Castle Gap.  They had 99 lambs.  Would you believe that coyotes got every lamb?  This wound up Smokey in the sheep business.  Back to Wilson, he was as kind a person as you ever saw.  I believe he never said a derogratory thing about anybody in his life.  He was having a tough time ranching, so he put in a big hen house and got into the egg business.  He had a small field behind his ranch house.  I told him he should put in a crop of feed.  He said he could borrow a tractor, but couldn't shift the gears and plow up the patch.  I went out and showed him how to start it up, shift gears, and plow.  This was my first time, but He didn't know it.  Sadly, I didn't know how to turn corners.  He just plowed on around corners.  He got a good rainy season and Sudan or whatever, did well.  It got higher than his head with him on a horse!

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