Kinsley Ranch Memories

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When I lived at Kinsley Ranch at Amado, I, Albert and Alice Duarte rode the Greyhound bus daily as our "school bus" as well as other boys and girls that went to Tucson Senior High in Tucson, about 30 miles north. The others were picked up at Continental (which had one store with gas pump at that time) This was 1950-1953.

We also picked kids at Sahuarita, All together, there were about 8-10 of us high schoolers. We are still most in touch, and good friends. Lee Bell went to school in Nogales. Four or five kids drove about 11 miles to Sahuarita from the Magee Ranch to catch the bus. I try to go to Magee Ranch each time to visit friens still there. Now there are lovely schools in the area.

We had good times on those trips, studied, fought, loved one another, and just were good friends. The bus drivers were definitely our good friends. When we got out of high shcool we had to make tracks to catch the 4 o'clock bus, and if we weren't there when they thought we should be they would delay the schedule a few minutes, or else we would have to wait till 6. We had to tell them if we were not going to be there and all worked well. I imagine our trek from high school to bus depot , which was at the lower end of Congress almost to the river, was close to two miles. I would imagine we did a few 4 minute miles and didn't even know it.

Early mornings were so nice on the ranch, with sun coming over the mountains, the lake and the pool so quiet, and pretty. One particular morning, I saw about 2 foot waves on the pool and the lake was a little rough, and not a breath of air; we all stood there trying to figure out was going on; it was so wierd. We later heard of the earthquake that had taken place in Bakersfield , Ca. We didn't feel anything, but the ground sure did.

Each morning as we waited inside the bar-cafe for the bus, some mornings standing around the fire in the big fireplace in the bar side, Otho would come in, grab a big mug of hot coffee, drink it in two gulps, and go on. My Dad always wondered how he did that, as the coffee was really hot. The bar was a gathering place for all the locals, many nice times, conversations, sad times, and celebrations took place around that fireplace. I hope they don't take that out too.

Alice and I would sit on those bar stools sometimes in the afternoon when we got off the bus, and Ken, the bartender, would serve us "Shirley Temples" Oh, the big time.

The mogul, Jack Warner, of Warner Brothers movies, had either leased or purchased Sopori Ranch. He and his younger wife were to move there, and we younger folks were all agog as we attended many movies in that day. One morning as we waited for the bus over by the lake, a old wooden sided station wagon pulled up in front of the bar, and this guy got out in dungarees (unheard of in that neighborhood), a ratty flannel shirt, and let two big coon dogs out of the back end of wagon. You didn't let your dogs run loose. The station wagon wood was really weathered. We wondered who the heck that guy was????? And much to our disappointment we found it was Jack Warner's first visit to Kinsley. We would see him now and then, but not too friendly. He didn't stay around too long, rumor had it, his wife ran of with a ranch foreman. Life of the rich and famous?

Re movies, I spoke of the Cowan brothers: there was Lewis, Hal, Butterfly, and Foy. Butterfly ( who lives in Bowie,AZ, and am still in touch with) and Foy worked the cattle, Foy bartended quite a bit, and Butterfly worked big equipment , were also in the stunt guild and appeared in movies made at Old Tucson. Lewis and Hal were too, but not around the ranch as much.

Well the movie Across the Wide Missouri, was made on location in Jackson Hole, WY, area with Clark Gable and Ricardo Mantoblan. If you ever see the movie on TV, Hal and Foy were stunt doubles for Clark and Ricardo. There is one scene where they are fighting along a river bank, trying to kill each other, and the magic is gone when I feature these two brothers wrestling around in the bushes. There is also a scene where the Indians are riding across a meadow, being shot and falling off their horses, Butterfly was there too. They then told how they had to dig out the place they were to fall and fill it with sawdust. They at least remembered where to fall. All loved the Jackson Hole area, and made me want to go. I finally did many years later, and love that place too.

These guys were in the Last Outpost as bedraggled soldiers marching stocking footed across the desert This one was with Ronald Reagan out side of Old Tucson.

I believe there even movie nights with popcorn on occasion at the ranch. It was a lovely place to live and work, great scenery, history and wonderful people to know and remember. Thanks for letting me share. Dianne Dreyer Thompson

Assembled by ovk. Last updated 8/21/2001.