Sue "CinCHouse" McLaughlin
Tuesday, June 12, 2001 at 10:10:56

Wow---what a week! Months and months in the planning and 7 days of good food, fun and fellowship with new and old friends! It came and went so fast.......

Just last Tuesday some good friends rolled in to help us set up. We didn't even know we needed help but they did. From the bottom of my heart I thank you so much---Lon Schmidt, Rocky Rockers and Bill Linne. Thanks to Carol Schmidt for the potluck salads we enjoyed so much. Not too much later Jim and Joann Foote arrived and helped, Cliff Nutter and the hardworking Jo who helped people pick up the merchandise they had ordered and answered their questions. She did what I never could have. And thanks to all the other ladies who manned the desk and answered questions for new arrivals...

Friday was arrival day for most folks and I couldn't believe how different the Caballo Gordo Ranch started to look with 5th wheels, Class A's, tents, camper vans scattered all over the property. You all claimed a spot and made it look like home. I never found anybody at home where the hammock was hanging between the 2 trees but your spot looked great! If you didn't see JoAnn Foote's spot, you missed a treat.

Ken Krause brought 7 horses and it was interesting to watch him unload them. The Hannahs brought 2, Gary's closest friend brought 2 and a neighbor loaned us a baby sitter horse. Two people tried to buy Gary's Paint horse, Sweetpea! Fortunately our horse "motel" was big enough for their accommodation. How can I ever thank Ken, his wife Millie and her sister Marsha and our friend Tommy for all the hard work they put in on the horseback rides? Everyone went out in one piece and came back the same way---- although maybe some legs were shaking when they finally found firm ground again (right, Geno?). I saw the look on that little boy's face when he slid off his horse and took off his helmet ---sheer unadulterated joy! It doesn't get much better than that. (Ken, can I please have that recipe for the Bailey's you brought?)

I met some Cocker Spaniels, a border collie, a stately old German Shepherd, black lab, and a collie mix. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet
the other dogs I saw being taken for walks. And I never got a chance to ask the Faus family what kind of birds they had in cages hanging on the trees......

We had planned for the riding arena to be the main gathering point. I had cleaned out the big barn and nagged Gary into making a trip to the dump with all the junk just in case we needed the barn if it rained. Little did I know you folks were going to make the barn the main gathering area! That breeze going through the big doors was such a blessing and I'm so glad we almost had enough oak trees to shelter everyone.

Loved the popcorn machine and it came in so handy on Thursday night when John Clear showed movies on that old projector on one of the white rollup doors on the barn. You folks sure do know how to entertain yourselves!

Friday night the Clarks gave us Karaoke---I'm not going to say anything about those 3 "girlie girls" in the grass skirts and coconut shell bras who came running down the hill except I might mention that our neighbors over the hill were outside spraying for grasshoppers, heard that particular song and wanted to know the full story behind it. Thank you, Hal and Liz, for your generosity and help.

Saturday night was very special, with the sun setting in the west, listening to the Sons of the San Joaquin. Probably Gary's favorite song they do is Wyoming on My Mind. Yeah, we were in the back, holding onto each other, so moved by the moment, the wonderful dinner, the beauty of the sunset and the incredible feeling that the presence of all you folks
gave us. Joe Hannah knows that's probably Gary's favorite song and I'm sure that's one of the reasons it was included. It was so special to see Tim Spoon's granddaughter stand up and take her bow as a descendant
of Charlie Goodnight and then to listen to Jack Hannah sing Charlie and the Boys.
Listening to John Clear explain the meaning of the table set for those on Eternal Patrol brought tears to my eyes.

I could feel Gary's joy at seeing so many of the Barbel shipmates he served with sitting at one table, the Godboldos and their sons, Steve Mailho, Mike and Carol LaPan, Darryl Van Riper. I only wish I could have found more time to spend with you.

Our good friend Andy Brookes kept our electric humming along---we have lots of places to plug in but we've never had so much plugged in before! PEP, if you're having brown outs, I can only give thanks that
Pacific Gas & Electric didn't choose last weekend to pull the plug on us!

It never occurred to us that anyone would be interested in touring our house; I wish I had cleaned it better. Every sleeping spot was
full. It was hard to find a restroom or shower not in use. We feel honored that you were interested in seeing what Gary and I call "home". And yes, I did go and hide in the closet occasionally--you folks are
such kissin' and huggin' fools and my face needed a couple of brief rests!

What about that pool! I never saw so many heads bobbing along in one place. I will never look out the bedroom door without thinking about all of you out there, enjoying yourself so much. Gary and I loved seeing and meeting you all, from Rita Canutt, 92 years young in the wheelchair in her beautiful dresses to Jamie Worley who will be giving birth this October, to John O'Connor and his daughter Senior Kat, the Fergusons, the Perris', the Grants, the Cox' and all the folks in between.

What else did I think about? Well, whenever a work party was needed, there was no hesitation. You folks got up and responded. Camp cookie told me about a huge ranch party way up north that he had cooked for and the ranch was a disaster when everyone left. Not so here! Thank you!

Leonard, Amy, Teddy--I knew you was gonna do good and you did! The food was awesome and I'm pretty sure everyone was fascinated at how you were able to produce it in those dutch ovens over the fire. Mighty Joe Young and all of the Sutton family--you were all so good to us and kept producing and serving that great food! Jon Krup, I loved watching you scramble the eggs on that cookstove that was not level---was it supposed to be like that or why was that oak branch under one of the legs? I'll lay out bacon on it for you any day.

Leonard, I am forever in your debt---knowing that you were doing the food relieved all worries from my mind. You and Teddy and Amy are such good cooks, so patient with teaching folks how to use the coffee pots. Thanks to John Greenville for all that salmon that he brought over fresh caught that was marinated and smoked by our camp cooks. I heard folks
saying it was some of the best they had ever eaten.

We wanted to make a memory for a lifetime; we wanted a family weekend where all were welcome! We wanted folks just to come and have a good time and visit with each other. To see Roy and June Ator for the first time is a wonderful experience, ditto with Ray Stone and Sherri (Toots) and so many others. To Gil Raynor who made up and sent us those wonderful name tags, thank you. Some say Woodstock; personally I thought of an aquarium with fish swimming around. You were all on the move, visiting here and then moving on so that almost everyone got to meet and talk with everyone else. For those that I missed, I apologize and maybe when you are in our area, you can stop by and I'll take a looksee at what's in the freezer and we'll share a meal!

The last people who stayed to do the final cleanup were Lon Schmidt, Rocky Rockers, the Stoops, the Peters, Don Gentry, the Blays, the Hedmans, the Atkatz' and John Clear. We had lasagne and salad and ice cream and strawberries. Everyone pitched in and helped. It was a great winding down party.

I couldn't understand why Gary was so insistent on having a Bash at the Ranch but I do now. You folks are just great, you honored us by your presence. There really was magic in the air. Gary is right---we
could never recreate the feeling; not even gonna try! So thanks for coming and making the one and only Bash at the Ranch such a wonderful experience.

Sue....aka CinCHouse

Bash Memories