Texas Bob Travels

Life in the Glass Mountains of Texas

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Water Water

In 1915 we searched the skies daily for rain clouds. Each day the water in the big tank at our house was getting lower. The grass was burned to a crisp and only native trees and plants showed signs of life. Father and the Mexicans walked the mountains with an ax to split the Soto plants for the stock. These plants have a head like a cabbage and when opened contain food and moisture.

Water for our family needs had to come from the dirt tank where the stock watered. We boiled all water for human consumption. After the water became so low in the tank at our house we bought a large metal tank on wheels and hauled water from another tank several miles away.

Once father and I went water hauling. He was on the water tank and I on my Mexican pony. When we reached the tank, I asked permission to swim my pony across. Father, doubted that I would and gave his consent. He was horrified when he looked up and saw me half way across, swimming my steed like a wild Indian. I was eight years old and could ride anything from pitching burro to a race horse. My pony and I made it through the water fine, but Father didn't fare so well going home. His horses ran away with the water wagon and wrecked it.

The drouth continued and finally there was no water to be had near by. We, like Nomads, picked up our most essential belongings and moved. The Parkers moved with us, and we all pitched tents at WHITE ELEPHANT TANK where we remained for several months.

All of our stock had to be moved, too. Our herders came along with the goats and grazed them in the mountains during the day. They came to the tank in the late afternoon to water them.

Later in the summer the rains set in. The first rain storm hit with such force that some of our tents were blown down. The men rushed out to find the flock of goats and to help the herders with them. Goats go crazy in a storm and drown very easily. Almost before the rains abaited we were packing to go home. When Father Sun opened his eye on the second day he saw a little band of happy people wending their way homeward.

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