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November 10, 1994

 

 

 

Michael H. Kull, President

New Mexico Boys Ranch and Girls Ranch

9416 Camino del Sol NE

Albuqerque, NM  87111

 

Dear Mike:

 

I continue to enjoy reading about the New Mexico Boys Ranch and its various attendant celebrations and successes.

 

Perhaps some of the information regarding the early days of the New Mexico Boys Ranch may has been lost in the sands of time.

 

In early 1946, my parents accepted positions as Ranch Managers and Ranch Father and Mother.  They moved from Mountainair, where my father had been District Conservationist for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, to a two-room adobe house in nearby Veguita.  The house had a dirt floor and dirt roof which was cause for considerable activity when it rained.  The house had no electricity or plumbing, and the nearby irrigation ditch became the family bathtub after dark.  This adobe home is now a slightly raised mound of melted adobe.

 

When Mother and Dad arrived at the Boys Ranch in the spring of 1946, there were absolutely no improvements or activity of any variety.  They commenced the arduous work of fencing the property, drilling the first wells, developing the ditches for irrigation, clearing and leveling the farm land, re-seeding the grazing land (which Dad did during rain showers while riding his horse "Indio"), planting the first crops (I recall eating watermelon in the fields during "breaks" from labor), and constructing a house on the higher ground to serve as a dormitory as well as living space for the Ranch Father and Mother.  Mother also spent many days studying the Socorro County property tax records to identify additional acreage for the Boys Ranch.  She traveled to Santa Fe and purchased the tax-delinquent land in the name of the Boys Ranch.

 

My brother Ladd S. Gordon, long-time Director of the New Mexico Game and Fish Department, often quipped that he was the first boy at the Boys Ranch when he was discharged from the U.S. Navy about March of 1946.  Therefore, I became the second boy at the Boys Ranch when I was discharged from the Navy on July 4, 1946 Independence Day!  Ladd and I returned to the University of New Mexico in September 1946, before any other boys were in residence at the Boys Ranch.

 

My mother, father, and brother are now gone.  The enclosed items provide additional information about the Boys Ranch pioneers, and the first boys at the Boys Ranch.

 

Best personal regards,

 

 

 

Larry J. Gordon

Visiting Professor

School of Public Administration