Welcome back. With three more weeks to go before I’m heading to the New Mexico badlands in search of UFOs, Pawhuska and the big budget movie being shot there still has my attention. I imagine it has yours as well so here we go.
As the world’s largest amateur rodeo event came to a close, the Saturday parade down Kihikah and on to Highway 60 featured well over 200 horses capping things off at the Pawhuska Cavalcade. Rodeo teams from all over the area participated along with a dozen Shriners in their little cars, western wagons, the Queen of the Cavalcade and her court, more horses, clowns and more horses. It was great! Well known trick roper Richard Heinrich performed and as an extra treat for Ree Drummond fans her son Bryce Drummond and a half dozen of his team mates from the University of North Texas were roaming the streets signing autographs and posing for photos.
During all this I spotted another person downtown who caught my eye even more. This guy wore boots and pants that showed the signs of wear that you would expect from an old cowboy and he had the face of a man who had worked outside in the elements his whole life. He was also wearing a nice gray felt western hat and when I looked at him, I knew this man had a story.
After learning his name, I did a little research and found out that this gentleman is the son of Frederick Alexander Drummond who was a direct descendant of Roy Cecil or R.C. Drummond as he was called. Friends, this old boy sitting out in the sun enjoying all the exactment is a walking link to the history of this area. I wanted to find out more about him and luckily for me I have a copy of the Drummond Family history book in my library.
His name is Charles Robert Drummond and he was born on March 12, 1943 at the Pawhuska Hospital. His first five years were spent on the family ranch eleven miles outside of town where he learned to ride a horse at the same time he was learning to walk. Farming and ranching would become his way of life but next to family, horses and hunting were his passion. I found out that as a boy “Chuck” as he is called had been active in the Boy Scouts and eventually became a Scout Master. He also played football in high school and was President of his senior class. He attended Oklahoma State University majoring in Agriculture Economics but on weekends it was always back to the ranch in Pawhuska where horses and a girl named Nan Olsen would play a big part in his life.
Chuck and Nan married on August 17, 1964 and in September 1965 their first son Todd was born. Chuck was beginning his career as a rancher and life consisted of long days of hard work. The young couple faced many challenges including ice storms, varmits and fluctuating cattle prices but they persevered growing their cattle operation from 150 cows purchased from Chuck’s grandfather to thousands more. In July 1967 Timothy was born, followed by their third son and future husband of the Pioneer Woman, Ladd in January 1968.
The cattle business continued its up and down cycles throughout the 1970s when a price freeze on dressed beef imposed by President Nixon pushed many ranchers into bankruptcy. Despite these obstacles Chuck and his family held on to their ranch and continued to grow.
His life is fascinating and Chuck’s always willing to share part of his
story so the next time you’re in Pawhuska keep your eyes open, you never know when history just might be right next to you.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road!