The Western Original

February 25, 2015

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It was the Western Original’s Birthday last Saturday.

We had a lot of fun celebrating! A huge feast of lobster and prime rib, with deviled eggs, cucumber salad and Pumpkin pie!

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When Dick was a kid his mom would ask him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he always wanted pumpkin pie. So for his birthday I askedCammy make him a pumpkin pie cake! And he had several actual pies too!


I asked him about his mother’s pies this is what he told me:

Mother would make these pumpkin pies and set them out on the window sill to cool off and we’d (the kids) would run around to smell them and what a pleasure it was! We could hardly wait to get there, but she knew.

She put them up there and she was smiling.

Pumpkin pies were my favorite! Mother made them for me. Instead of cake I wanted pumpkin pie!

Such a pleasure!


I thought since it was his birthday I should do a blog post all about my Western Original.

Dick Gifford was born right here in the Big Horn Basin. Only miles from where we live now.

He grew up “down by the creek” (pronounce crick.) And probably rode more horses before he was out of diapers than most people will ever ride in their lives. And that was just his early years!

One of my favorite “cowboy" stories he tells is about hauling horses and a little “accident” he had.

I was hauling bucking horses in my 1980 Ford F700 with a 20 foot stock rack on it. There was a couple of us in the front seat and we had 10-12 horses on the back.

The horses got to fighting and pretty soon they broke a board from the stock rack and it knocked the window out of the truck, but we just kept trucking.

A few miles down the road we were trucking away when I felt this horrible, warm, slick stuff running down the back of my neck. It smelled awful!

My brother, Dennis, I think that is who I was with, slid as far away as he could and I was hugging that steering wheel and trying to get stopped!

I finally got the truck stopped and got that stuff off! Talk about a horrible, unexpected feeling!

I got that board and window fixed at the next town we stopped at!


He continues to ride and raise horses. He has raised some fabulous bucking horses. Like a horse named 40 below that was inducted into the National Rodeo Hall of Fame.

And broke some good horses too!

One of my favorite stories is about him and a horse named Frosty and Grampa Andy!

I had this ol’ gray horse I called Frosty.

I got Frosty into the trailer and took him out to dad’s house. I was going to ride up Bear Creek to Steam Boat and it was spring and it had been raining and it was pretty wet.

So we stopped on a hill on the North Side of the Spence Place and I got Frosty out and he was snorting and blowing his nose and acting pretty humpy and cagey.

Dad was standing there and pretty quick he said, “Does he always act like this?”

I said, “I don’t know, I’ve never ridden him before.”

Dad’s eyebrows just shot up and pretty quick you could see him just step in behind the trailer and watch out the side.

Well I got on Frosty and I turned him around a bit and used him some and got him into a good trot and from then on we had it made!


One of my favorite stories to tell about him was from when we were first dating, and talking on the phonetogetheras much as we possibly could, Dick was cooking his dinner and talking away to me.

As we talked he cooked and just was just looking forward to tasting this delicious steak! He was excited and hungry!

He finally got the steak cooked and took the first bite. * Silence.*

"Well, how is it?” I asked.

“I am not sure,” he said. And took another bite.

“Well…?” I asked.

“It’s, it’s terrible!” he said, choking down the second bite. “The worst steak I ever tasted! I don’t know what is wrong with it, but I can’t eat it!”

It was only later that we realized he had unintentionally sprayed the pan with spray disinfectant, like Lysol, rather than the spray cooking oil.

I do most of the cooking now!

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He moves slow and calm, he is quiet and soft spoken. And Kind.

Some things I bet you don’t know about him:

He reads his horoscope everyday.

He doesn’t know how to swim (very well.)

He had never tried mussels, or clams or lots of yummy food till we got together. But he likes them now.

He likes his meat cooked. Pork and chicken nearly burned and beef, not too pink.

He loves the dogs. Big or little. In fact, I think he is partial to the smaller ones.

He actually does like the cats. And they know it and take advantage of him. He feeds them everyday. And too much! I say they should be hunting mice, and he just gets them fatter and fatter on Meow Mix!

He has a huge degree of respect for mothers, of any species. And loves babies. All babies!

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So how fitting would it be that this little gal was born on his birthday?!

His little birthday gal! She definitely thinks life is her party! And she’s likely to make a few cowboys cry!

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Dick has rocked many, many babies to sleep on his lap. And my Native Boy proved he is still has the knack, even if the boy weighs more than 100lbs!

Thanks for joining us here at the Barnyard for Dick’s birthday! I hope to share more stories about him in the future! He is full of them. What would you like to hear about?

We are working on the puppy pick list, and I am deciding never to do another pick list. Not because people have been hard to deal with, it is just so much stress on me, trying to keep all the names and numbers, and the order and… I have to find an easier way to do it. I’ll let you know what I come up with!

Check out the new puppy pictures!

Dalmatian Puppies

Until next time! ~ Erin

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Erin Stiver-Henson 2013