At the old Ranch near Tatum (Friday, July 27)

Click on the pictures to see larger images.
Ken Fuchs' Web World
2007 Fuchs/Fox Family Reunion
After we left Lovington, we drove out to the old Ranch.  First, we visited Zeke Jones and his wife Vi.  They live on the neighboring ranch and Zeke was a classmate of Uncle Roland.  At one point I mentioned that a young teacher named Cleo Heidel once roomed in the old Ranch House, and he said Miss Heidel had been his first-grade teacher.  I asked Zeke if he could show Eva LaVerne his 1933 and 1934 Tatum High School yearbooks.  He found them, and Eva was delighted to find a picture of her dad along with Zeke on the Freshemen page of the 1933 yearbook.  She smiled when I pointed out that Roland's nickname was listed as "Fuse."   After the 2001 visit, Marco had borrowed those yearbooks and then sent me Xeroxed copies of all the pages.  I then learned that my dad Vernon's nickname was "Fuz."

Zeke's wife told us that the Ranch now belonged to a VERY unfriendly rancher from Snyder, TX, and he wouldn't allow any visitors.  After we left, we noticed a gate on the main road that was opened and unattended, so at Eva's prompting, I drove on in.  Some kids on the property were cooling off with a water hose, and they told us it was ok for us to visit the old house.  Eva had last been there with her mother Avis back during Eva's high school days.  The grounds around the old house were very overgrown, and many of the surrounding trees were dead.  The house was basically the same as it appeared in 2001.

In front of the porch is a concrete slab that Roland poured in 1942.  In the upper corners near the porch step are the numbers "19" and "42."  In the front right corner are the initials "AJF," Grosspapa's brand.  Eva was very moved as she knelt and touched these letters that her dad had created.
Eva looks through the 1933 Tatum H.S. yearbook
Ken, Eva, Zeke Jones and his wife Vi
The old ranch, viewed from McDonald Rd., looking north
A telephoto view of the ranch, seen from the road
Approaching the old Ranch House
Eva stands on the porch slab poured by her father in 1942
Eva looks at the AJF brand imprinted in the porch step
The old porch and front door