Sunday, July 17, 2016

THE LURE OF THE WEST

All of my relatives were of Hungarian heritage (both my mother and father's families) and all of them settled on the East Coast. 

My maternal grandmother had eleven siblings. Several of them left the family at an early age and ventured out west to the "bad lands" of New Mexico, to find adventure and a new way of life.

My grandmother's youngest brother George had a ranch near Clovis. One of her sisters, Mary, had ranch in Tucumcari. Another relative owned a resort in Red River.


The following photos are of my New Mexico relatives. I posted these several years ago on my old blog Lone Star Concerto. I'm posting them again for those who haven't seen them - or have forgotten.

Hopefully this won't be too boring.....

 My great aunt Mary Gordon Forsthoffer was a flamboyant character. She was known as Tucumcari Mary and could shoot the heads off rattlesnakes without flinching. Pictured here with her favorite horse.


 This photo is pasted in an album and was difficult to scan.


Mary in New Jersey, wearing a traditional Hungarian outfit.

 Another photo of my great aunt Mary (holding a book). I have no clue when or where this was taken.

My grandmother's youngest brother George Gordon, at his ranch near Clovis, New Mexico.

Cattle at the Clovis ranch.

Chickens at the Clovis ranch
(hens? What do I know......) 

My great uncle George Gordon on horseback

On the Clovis ranch (above and below)

The driver of this contraption was probably my great uncle George's wife Mary (not to be confused with Tucumcari Mary)

George Gordon (left), and his friends Mary Glahn, and her husband Gary Glahn (right). Gary Glahn died of pneumonia and later his widow Mary married my great uncle George.
Mary Glahn Gordon lived to be 90 and she used to tell me fascinating stories about life on the Clovis ranch. She died when I was sixteen.

 George and his wife Mary in the 1920's. She was considerably older than him but they were very devoted to each other and had a happy marriage.

Summer picnic somewhere near Clovis, New Mexico. George is in the foreground of photo, holding a bottle (soda? beer?). From what I heard, he never drank alcohol.

My great uncle George Gordon in his Sunday best (BTW, George was a cat lover, like myself. Must run in the family....)


17 comments:

  1. looks like these pix come from the 1920s. life out there must have been difficult.

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  2. Your Great Uncle was a "looker", and Mary of Tucumcari appears to have been very tall. Wonderful photos and memories. I hope you have family to share them with for future generations.

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  3. And the lady sitting on the cultivator in back of the tractor? I could stare at old black and whites forever. I absorb every detail and get extremely melancholy over the fact that these photos - well lived and memorable - show people who are gone, dead, buried, to be no more. I wonder if I'm the only one who gets depressed looking at people I don't even know, but I know they are forever gone. Such a waste.

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  4. Initiative and a bit of panache - yep,your DNA .

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  5. Jon,
    Always love looking at old family photos. Something fascinating about them.

    Larry

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  6. Enjoyed looking at these. There must be some kind of optical illusion with the horses pulling the cultivator(?) They look huge. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to hear some of the stories your aunt told you.

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  7. Like seeing these pictures again Jon. Yes tell us the stories.

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  8. Fascinating stuff, Jon. And how lucky you are to have photographs of them from that time. Thanks for sharing, I was very interested to read this.
    Thanks again,
    mIke

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  9. Family photos are such treasures. Mary in her traditional Hungarian outfit is certainly beautiful. Thanks for sharing these, Jon. I'm glad you have them in your possession ... smiles *

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  10. You come from a handsome line of people, Jon. A past that appeals to the romantic in us. Geo.Gordon was even Lord Byron's real name --and people just don't get more romantic than Byron.

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  11. I didn't find them the least bit boring! Of course, I haven't seen any of them before and was fascinated by your cowboy and cowgirl ranch relatives. No wonder you have a bit of the wild west in you! ;)

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  12. Hungarian ancestry? That explains a lot (smile). Like Larry, I love the old photos.
    Ron

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  13. Aunt mary looks as thoug she could hold her own in a bar fight!

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  14. So glad you didn't leave this edition down permanently ... and I remembered to check back for a resurrection. :)
    I'm really drawn to that Gatsby-like picnic scene. Cloches, fedoras and beautiful people!

    When did your uncle pass, Jon? A dear friend from childhood and her hubby have lived on a dairy farm there in Clovis for 40-some years!

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    1. My great uncle lived in Clovis for well over fifty years and was familiar with just about everybody there. He died either in 1971 or 1972.

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  15. Wonderful vintage photos capturing the time and place so well. And of course the family. You come from beautiful people.

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  16. These pictures are fabulous. Old photos... even if I don't know the people in them... have always fascinated me. We see so many old pics like this at some of the flea markets and antique shops we visit. It always makes me sad to see them abandoned there. Somebody's tossed family memories.

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