Baldock Family History & Genealogy
Baldock Last Name History & Origin
Nationality & Ethnicity
These are the earliest records we have of the Baldock family.
Baldock Biographies & Family Trees
Find birth, death records, and obituaries of Baldocks on AncientFaces:
Most Common First Names
- William 4.9%
- Thomas 2.7%
- John 2.5%
- James 2.4%
- Edward 2.4%
- Baldock 2.3%
- Charles 2.2%
- Robert 1.7%
- George 1.5%
- Mary 1.3%
Baldock Death Records & Life Expectancy
According to our database of 678 people with the last name Baldock that have a birth and death date listed:
These are the longest-lived members of the Baldock family on AncientFaces.
My brother Fred and I would spend up to a month of our summer vacation on the farm; it was a most memorable time. Watching the interaction between my grandparents, two people obviously very much in love on a level I have yet to experience, but it did seem sometimes that Grandad was as much of a kid as we were. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't understand the process of good-humored ribbing, being the overly sensitive person I am. On one occasion, Grandmer was out, and Grandad, Fred, and I were in charge of keeping the house clean…Ha! Dinner was cooked and the dishes piled up in the sink were calling out for attention. Grandad had the smart idea of us drawing straws to see who did them. Now I was about six, the top of my head not quite reaching the edge of the sink, so the worry onset began. Grandad got the broom, pulled some lengths of straw and turned away from us. When he turned back around, the fun began. Both he and Fred started in, knowing it didn't take much to get me going.
“I just know you're going to pick the short one…come on short one!”, all the while both knowing they'd end up doing them. Now for anyone who remembers a full-blown Oleny Baldock laugh, well let's put it this way—if you were in on the joke and he started laughing, it didn't matter what you drank with dinner, milk was coming out your nose. So of course, through the powers in the universe, I PICKED THE SHORT STRAW. Of course they had a time with me, consoled my unreasonable temper, and started in on the dishes. I've a much thicker skin for the experience, and am grateful, besides the laugh I get every time I remember Grandad completely lost in laughter.
When going out with Grandad at his work, it would wear you out just watching him. I've yet to come across anyone to top his stamina. This came from the times he was brought up in. If you didn't do it, it wouldn't get done. This is a lost value as far as I can see in these times of instant everything. He didn't need to think of staying in shape; his life consisted of constant calorie burning.
Guns have a bad rap today, but I was taught the true idea behind firearms—that they are a tool, only as good or bad as the user. Grandad made me see the direct relation between misuse of tools and the consequences. I could never see that he took life for granted. When he showed my brother and I how to gut a rabbit, and when we helped him butcher his cattle, I understood that meat didn't come from a grocery store neatly wrapped. It really brought home that for the meat we eat, something gave its life and there is a gut pile in the process. It's not clean and something to be grateful for.
One quiet day at the farm, Grandad sat my brother Fred and I down and explained his beliefs on religion and relation with God. He told me of his personal religion and the way his religion worshipped, but he made it clear to me that God is God and we would know him without any religion. I was raised Catholic, and he was Primitive Baptist. There were no differences, he explained. We're all praying to the Lord. I understood then that there are religions that point fingers at others, calling them wrong. Grandad taught me this was direct conflict with what all religious scripts teach, and the mean changed the meanings for their won gain. I remember the unbiased way he thought and taught, another rarity in the world.
My Grandad was love, laughter, and one of my best friends. I'll miss him. (Trevor Baldock, V1I3, Oct 2002)
One time when he was driving down the highway, all of a sudden he stopped the truck and jumped out running. He came to the other side and got me out. “Come look at this!” he said as he put me down. In the freshly plowed field next to the road was an animal digging. He told me that it was a badger. He also told me how mean they were, how nothing would scare them, and how he would eat me quicker than look at me. But to me, it looked like a squatting dog or cat, so I went in for a closer look.
“Don't get too close,” Grandad yelled, but I didn't pay too much attention. When the badger noticed me, I was about ten yards away. He must have finished whatever he was eating, because he saw me, then turned and slowly loped away. Well, I started following it. This thing was wider than it was long! And couldn't run fast! I chased it at a distance and threw dirt clods at it, trying to get it to turn around.
“Stop that! It's gonna bite you!” Grandad said. No way, I thought. About that time, this thing turned around. It looked right at me, showed its teeth, growled like a wildcat and started running at me fast as a horse! I turned and ran so fast I never felt the ground. When I got to Grandad, he was laughing so hard I thought the vein in his head would pop. And that whole day, if we looked at each other, we laughed like that. I learned to listen to Grandad after that.
What I remember most is being outside. Grandad was always outside, and I was pretty much always with him. He taught me how to shoot a rifle and respect firearms, how to read animal tracks, and how to tie a fishing line, live bait or lure. I used to go riding on his tractor so long I would get blisters on my shoulder, but they would always find time to take me fishing.
When you say fishing, it was the river. The river was cool. It had cool names like “The Measure”. When the river looked like a river, Grandad said it was “up” and we didn't catch any fish. When the river looked like a stream, Grandad said the river was “down”, and we caught fish—weird to a little kid.
We used to take this ranch road that was more pothole than road, and Grandad would say, “Hope we don't break down. We won't see anyone for a week!”, but we always made it. One time we brought a bunch of cherries and honeydew and were miserable after eating everything before we got there.
One year, the black flies at the river were supposed to be really bad, so Grandad bought us two cigars. When we got there, he lit them. He took one and gave me the other. He said, “Those flies won't bother us now,” and he was right.
One time, when leaving rather late, Grandad said the ranchers that owned the land around the river won't like us being out there after dark. Especially if they can see us. Seemed like the darker it got, the braver Grandad got, because he kept going faster and wouldn't put the headlights on, taking jumps on dirt roads in the twilight at 60 mph. Exciting, and we always had a mess of fish. The river was magic.
I can't leave out Granmer. The first year I went, we went to Aunt Barbara's house, and I got thrown off a pony called Mrs. Brown, I think. Granmer, Barbara and Gigi were there. Granmer made me safe, when I visited. Like the time I saw the slow-moving lizard tail that turned out to be a snake eating eggs in the barn. I yelled and Granmer chased it off. Or when I opened the gate and the cows followed me as I tried to get out. I yelled and Granmer came and closed the gate. She shelled peas, made pies and jams like no one else! Cleaned up after us and taught me to watch for the Reunion Plant that came up in her front planter every year around reunion time. Granmer was security.
There was a time, when I was real young and they didn't see me. I saw Grandad grab Granmer and give her a big kiss. I never told them, and back then it was really funny to see old people kiss, but now I can't wait for my grandkids to see me kiss their Grandma and make them laugh.
Yup…visiting my grandparents was pure magic. (Fred J. Baldock, V1I3, Oct 2002)
This year Mother would stay home to do the chores that were normally assigned to Jessie and me. This was no easy task for we were hand-milking seven to ten cows at that time.
During the days preceding the hunt, Dad educated us on all of the characteristics of the deer and necessary safety measures that must be followed to avoid getting anyone hurt. He told us how deer are curious and that during the early days of the hunt deer will often, when disturbed, circle around to see what spooked them.
We would be hunting in the Capitan Mountains. We camped a mile or so further up the road from the Baca Canyon campground. The hunting party included Andy House, Jessie, Dad, and myself. Our shelter was a lean-to made from tarps; we slept on the ground in bedrolls (sleeping bags were beyond our means). It was early December and cold in the mountains at night, cold enough for moisture from our breath to freeze on the inside of the tarp.
The season started at 12:00 noon. Dad, Jessie and I were hunting together and by 1:30 we were a mile or so from camp and had seen nothing. As we were walking down a small trail, we jumped some deer that seemed to go into a gully close by. Dad suggested that we spread out and he would hunt up the gully. Jessie would be back off the edge of the gully and I would be further out, away from the gully on Jessie's left. Dad was relying on the curiosity of the deer to cause them to circle back on our side of the gully. There was a small game trail that happened to be going the direction that I needed to go, so I was following the game trail. We hadn't gone far until much to my surprise, here came four bucks down the very trail that I was on. They were about a hundred feet away and had not spotted me. Remembering that Dad said if you stand still, the deer would not see you, there I stood with my rifle at port arms waiting for my shot. Now talk about excited!!! My heart raced and reality slowed to a crawl as the deer trotted down that trail toward me. It was as though they were tiptoeing, but at a pretty good clip. They were close enough for an easy shot when I first saw them, but I stood still until they were within fifteen feet of me when I snapped my rifle to my shoulder to shoot. The rifle that I was using was borrowed from Walter. It was a lever-action and it had a hooded front sight. When I raised the rifle, the deer started to turn to break away from me, but he was too late. He only had time to move his head to the side and expose his neck to my sight. He was so close that the angle of my rifle was slightly upward and the hooded sight encircled only a portion of his neck. I shot. He fell like a sack of potatoes at my feet. Had I waited a moment longer, he would have fallen on me. I levered another round into the chamber thinking that my deer might try to get up, but he never even twitched.
The three other deer bolted across 50 to 100 feet in front of Jessie. Jessie was carrying an unfamiliar eight-millimeter Mouser that he had borrowed from Kermit and never shot. It was a military rifle with a sling that Jessie had over his left shoulder. There in front of him were three bucks all in a row on a crossing path, and they were no longer tiptoeing, but now at full run. He brought the rifle down, and the sling guided the rifle not to his shoulder but under his armpit with the strap tight across his chest. He instinctively fired and the recoil of the rifle drove the safety lever into his chin, busting his lip. A deer was hit, and ran a short distance before going down. To this day, Jessie doesn't know which deer in that line of three he aimed at or which one he hit. Had we been a little less excited and more experienced, any one of us surely could have bagged a deer for Dad and maybe one for Andy.
These two deer were the only ones taken by our group that trip. I have experienced several hunting trips, but none as exciting as my first with Dad, Jesse, and Andy. (Lester Baldock, V1I3, Oct 2002)
Over the next two decades, they would move seven times and have nine children. Walter and Ola first farmed in Farmersville, TX, but soon moved to Slidell (Wise County TX) where Opal and Oleny were born. Jerry Redford was born in Marietta, OK, but before Ora Bell was born, the family moved again to Rubottom, OK where she and Lucy were born.
Walter and Ola moved back to Slidell TX in December of 1916 with Lucy as a babe in arms. It was on this move that a tragedy occurred. Ora Bell was asleep in the wagon, which was covered by a tarp. They were heading up the bank of the river they had just forded when the wagon lurched. The little girl, not quite three, slipped between the tarp and the bed of the wagon. As she hit the ground, the rear wheel ran over her chest. When Walter picked her up she said, "It don't hurt, Papa." She died in his arms as they hurried to a neighbor for help. She is buried in Slidell Cemetery, Wise County, TX.
Tennie was born in Slidell, but the family moved to Roosevelt, OK where Juanita and Walter, Jr. were born. Gerald, the youngest, was born in Mountain Park, OK in 1928.
The Baldock family was rather well-off for the times--at least before the Great Depression. Walter was an inventor and entrepreneur. He invented the railroad signal crossing arm and was in the process of trying to get a patent. After spending several thousand dollars, he eventually gave up on the patent lawyer who seemed to be always asking for more money. Someone finally made a lot of money off of Walter's plans! Walter also invented a "cotton chopper" as Walter, Jr. calls it. Its purpose was to thin cotton plants.
As well as inventing things, Walter supplemented the family income by traveling from town to town in the off-season showing silent movies on his movie projector. Either the traveling or a broken machine must have caused the famous Baldock temper to erupt, for he took an axe to it--and that, as they say, was that.
A little known fact about Walter, Sr. is that he was what is known as a “water witch”. He would take a forked tree limb and hold it I his hands as he moved across the land. When he found water, the tree branch would dip towards the ground. Walter, Jr. tells the story in his book on how Granddad Walter found water on their property for a well whose water was so dependable that even the neighbors used it.
Walter and Ola had made money on the cotton futures market, so they moved from Roosevelt to Mountain Park. They were able to buy a farm and build a new two-story house on it. This is also where he bought a tractor to replace the horses for plowing. Eventually they modernized to the point that Ola had a washing machine, an iron, and a cook stove that all used gasoline.
When the stock market crashed, Walter and millions of other Americans lost everything they had in the bank failures of the day. In 1931, they had to sell the farm to pay debts and they moved to Snyder, OK for six months to wait on the Grantham farm to be vacated. The family moved to the Richland Community, OK where they share-cropped for old, tight, Mr. Moss.
The older children grew up and married, moving away from home, In 1938 Walter and Ola moved to New Mexico to care for Grandpa and Grandma Ritchey. Uncle Majors and Aunt Ethel had been living with them but had moved to Clovis to their first house on South Lea. They later moved to the house that most third-generation family members remember: 712 N. Lea in Clovis.
To make a living after they moved into town, Walter did yard work with a church member until going to work for the Clovis Schools in 1951. He retired as a custodian at Highland Elementary School. The school recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and they asked for a picture of Granddad Baldock to display as the school's first custodian.
In 1957 Walter and Ola celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. After a long eventful life, Walter passed away on October 14, 1966. Ola died on October 18, 1987 at the age of 96 years.
Walter and Ola left a legacy of character to their descendents. One important trait is the importance of religion. Walter and Ola were dedicated church members. Uncle Billy Head (Grandma Ritchey's brother) converted Walter to the Primitive Baptist faith. On Fridays once a month they would hook up the wagon and travel 60 miles to attend church, returning on the following Tuesday. Through the generations, they passed down this dedication and as a result they have five descendents who are Primitive Baptist ministers: Lyman Little, T. Ray Little, Steve Baldock, Larry Guffey, and Tracey Frederickson. The family's Godly attitude is manifested by a loving atmosphere at the reunions, where family meals begin with prayer and the business meeting begins and ends with prayer. As the family grows, this attitude remains no matter what church individual members attend.
Grandma Ola was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, and she left that legacy to her family. Many stories, however, are told (with much laughter) of her disciplinary methods. Once, for example, Jerry Redford needed a spanking and he was sent to get a switch off of the tree for his “beating.” He refused, so Grandma took the rest of the kids inside and baked cookies. When the aroma of the freshly baked cookies overwhelmed him, Jerry Redford finally came inside and Grandma grabbed him and tied him to the chair. He had to sit and watch his siblings eat cookies while he got none. Years later, fiver-year-old T. Ray Little and his older brothers were staying with their grandparents. Ray wandered out to the barn to see his brothers throwing eggs at each other. He thought that looked funny and picked up an egg to throw at them. Unfortunately for him his back was to the barn door and he didn't see Grandma Ola behind him. She grabbed the egg away from him and squished it in her hand. The she wiped the raw egg all over his face and inside his mouth with him squalling and bawling all the way. About that time Lucy drove up and Ray cried, “I'm going to tell MY MAMA on you!” Lu just looked at Ray and went into the house. That sounds like a mean thing to do until one remembers the times: those eggs the boys were throwing represented part of their grandparent's income, or, at the very least, ingredients for the next meal. But in the end, all grandchildren and great-grandchildren will remember Grandma's famous cookie jar and the warmth of her embrace.
Granddad Walter passed down the ethics of hard work to his descendents. Walter's father, Elijah, must have passed that ethic down to his own children, for Elijah's grandfather, who raised him, had given him and a black slave each $10.00 and a horse when they were 16 and said goodbye. Additionally, Walter lost his mother as a child of eleven. Life could not have been easy for him. As a result, he was very strict, especially with the older boys. All of the kids worked hard on the farm almost from the time they could walk. The children were expected to follow the rules and behave properly. The girls wore dresses even in the fields. Walter, Jr. remembers a time when the weather was really cold and rainy and Granddad told Ola to go change into one of his pairs of overalls to be able to stay warm. Walter says that he and the others just about dropped their teeth because they NEVER saw their mother in pants. Hard work never killed anybody, and these children grew up with a work ethic that was the envy of many others. That ethic is still part and parcel of most descendents of Walter and Ola Baldock. (Steve Baldock, V1I2, Sep 2002)
No memories of Oklahoma, too young to remember. Oleny and Sally moved to Rifle, Colorado. Oleny worked for a rancher/farmer, Mr. Hanawald.
At the age of four, my first experience reading (observing pictures) was in the cellar where we lived on the Hanawald farm. A discovery of the “National Geographic Magazine” in that cellar was trying to say the least. Every step down the stairs was checked out for bugs, spiders, and snakes. Looking at pictures was fun. The magazine was the size of a “Reader's Digest”. Oleny was told of the magazine discovery and he began visiting the cellar.
In the wintertime, Oleny (with other employees) built a big bobsled. The neighbors got together to ride the sled down the road that was winding and steep. About six people could get in at one time. Sally told Oleny not to let the kids ride down the hill. Oleny said it would be all right with all adults and one child. Sally disapproved. Barbara went down the hill only one time.
When Barbara did something wrong, and was due a spanking Sally always had to chase her down. She would get almost to Barbara before Barbara would run again.
At milking time, Oleny would tell Barbara to get her cup so that he could fill it with fresh milk. The cats and dog always had their pans filled.
The Baldock Family moved to Debeque, CO, up Roan Creek, to work a place for Mr. Lough, who was the county extension agent for that valley. That was a fun place with lots of memories. There were horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs.
During lambing season there would be baby lambs that would not be wanted by their mothers. Oleny taught Barbara, Jesse and Lester how to take care of the “bummer lambs.” Oleny would fill bottles and nipples with milk. There were several lambs to be fed twice a day. As the lambs grew, they became dangerous because they would chase the kids for milk. We soon learned how to put a wire fence between us and the lambs. Oleny let each kid select a lamb to feed for the county fair. Pictures of these lambs still exist today.
Oleny preserved ice for the summer months by going down to Roan Creek where there was a beaver dam frozen over. During the coldest part of the winter, Oleny would take the saw and cut 25-pound blocks and put them on the sled to be carried to the open shed near the house. He'd lay a layer of ice blocks and then saw dust until the shed was full. The ice would last until later summer.
Sally did the laundry using a rub board and carrying in the water. It was hard work.
The coal/wood burning stove we used was huge. On the end of the stove was a reservoir to hold water. Oleny connected a pipe to run to the bathtub that was in the bathroom. No commode, but a real bathtub with legs. The hot baths in the winter was a treat.
Oleny had a team of working horses called Babe and Molly. They were the best team in the valley. Oleny would never loan out his team, but if a neighbor needed help, he always went with the team. The horses were huge dapple gray mares. Oleny also broke neighbors' horses to team. He would put six horses side by side and put Babe in between two and Molly in between two. Oleny's horses taught other horses how to work and pull. Oleny always worked with horses and teams until we moved back to New Mexico.
Sally had chickens and they did not nest in a chicken house. They loved to find a place in the weeds or other hidden area to lay their eggs. The only way Sally would know where the nest was was when the magpies started to zero in on the nests. It was a race for Sally to beat the magpies to the nests.
During World War II there was a ration on many items. Sally could make do. There was no sugar, so Sally used honey to make fresh ice cream (remember the ice story). The honey was robbed by Oleny out of a tree on the hillside. Lots of mad bees were swarming that day. As always, Oleny, Jesse and Lester were in on this adventure.
Oleny loved to fish, so one day he took Barbara and Jesse fishing. He made the fishing poles out of a willow and tied a string with a hook to it. He baited Barbara's hook and he went on fishing further downstream. Barbara caught a big brown trout, about a one-pounder, and she started screaming. Oleny came back and helped her get it to the bank…first fish Barbara ever caught.
During the sheep-shearing season, all the farmers would get together when the shearers were ready to shear the sheep. Oleny helped with the shearing. The wool was placed in a sack that looked like a cotton sack placed on stilts. The wool would be thrown into that sack and all the kids would jump in the sacks and pack down the wool. Sally did not like that because the kids would get the lanolin on their clothes and it was hard to launder clean. There were lots of soft hands and feet. (Barbara Rector, V1I3, Oct 2002)
Opal met and married John P. Britton in June, 1944. They moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, where John was a sergeant in the Air Force, and later to Montgomery, Alabama. Opal was offered a teaching job at Starkes University. She enjoyed this assignment very much. We remember her talking about Starkes University as we grew up.
When John was mustered out of the service they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where John earned his degree in Vocational Agriculture. Opal worked at the University during their stay in Fort Collins. Wilma and John W. were born during the years at Fort Collins. The family then moved to Fruita, Colorado, where John taught school and Opal stayed home for a while with the children. She returned to teaching when we started school. Mother loved teaching and was at her best working with her students. The family moved to Bloomfield, New Mexico when Wilma and John W. were in the sixth and fifth grades. John and Opal both taught for the Bloomfield schools until retirement. (Wilma Guffey, V1I4, Nov 2002)
On Saturday, September 21, 2002, I married Jennifer Muggill. The wedding took place at the Ponderosa Ranch (that's where the Cartwright's oived on "Bonanza") at Incline Village, Nevada over looking Lake Tahoe. The ceremony was performed by my younger brother Charles Baldock, an ordained minister. My older brother Skyler Baldock was my best man, and my longtime friend, James Burke, was my groomsman. Jennifer was attended by her best friend Lorrie Scherrer, as Maid of Honor, and her sister Pam Altshule and niece Alexandra Altshule was her bridesmaids.
The reception was held in Reno, Nevada at the newly open Golden Phoenix Hotel and Casino. Everybody had a great time as we danced into the night. There were about 80 guests in attendance. Most of Jennifer's family traveled from Southern California. Her dad, however, flew all the way from Virginia to walk her down the aisle.(by Spencer Baldock, 12/02,vol 1,issue 5)
Early next morning, you could see a dust storm caused by a wagon coming down the road. Some of Grandma Suzie's neighbors come by for the day. They complained and insisted that she tell Gladys that Redford was spoken for---their daughter was practically engaged to him. Grandma Suzie let them know she did not interfere with her children's choice of friends, that they had been taught to think for themselves and were free to make decisions of their own.
Early one morning, the Baldock's were aware of an old Model T in the ditch outside the gate of their property. Grandpa said to stay away that the owner would be by later to get it. Later in the day, Redford got up(he was out late the night before)and admitted that the car was his. This didn't make Grandpa very happy, as he was counting on Redford's summer money to help keep the farm together. He still had the money to put in the pot, just not as much.
Redford, Gladys, Olney and Sally became quite the gad-abouts after that. The guys would leave the house all spiffed-up. As soon as they were out of sight of the house, quite a "dis-cussion" was held as to what to do that evening. They were pretty well mathched, so after the "discussions," they would wash up the blood, comb their hair, put the jackets back on and be off to pick up the girls. Many discussions and car breakdowns: they could take the car apart and put it back together pretty fast.
Redford and Gladys were married in 1934. Mom said she wore a blue dress and Lucie Mae stood up with them. They started out walking with one suitcase. Someone gave them a ride to the edge of town. The first meal that Gladys cooked for Redford was a nickel's worth of hamburger. She made hamburger gravy, sliced cucumber, tomatoes and fried potatoes.
I believe Dad was a share cropper for awhile. I know that he worked a ranch. Mom would clean house, tend the garden, work in the apple orchard and can fruit. She was paid in all the fresh eggs, vegatables, milk and meat that we could use.
Dad worked in the mines up in Leadville, CO and we lived in Ophir, Colorado. He worked copper mines in Nevada. We went to California to work the Empire Mine, which was a gold mine. I don't know if he got to mine for gold, it closed about then. Mom and Dad worked in fruit in San Jose California until he could find a better job.
When Dad became a carpenter, he had found his calling. We were in Oakland, California when World War II broke out. Dad had been working at Moffit Field building huge airplane hangers. He always had a dream of going to Alaska. Mom got a call for Dad to report to be shipped out. We went to Moffit Field, picked up Dad and went home for him to pack and leave. Dad couldn't get back home; he was working on something that was considered vital to the war cause. He was drafted into the Civil Service.
Mom decided the best place for us was Snyder, Oklahoma. Rationing was in effect then. We had a hard time getting enough gas stamps to get back. With the grace of God and the kindness of strangers, we made it. We spent the war years in Snyder. We worried about the war and the tornadoes. Mom's six brothers were in active duty, they all came back chewed up but sill alive.
Pat started to school with his Uncle Jackie DeShazo, who was younger. Pat insisted on calling Jackie "Uncle." Aunt Elva Stevens was his teacher. Pat didn't get away with much. Aunt Elva and Uncle Walter Stevens looked out for us.
Eventually, Dad got home from Alaska. Dad was born with a wandering foot. We hit the road as soon as he got back. We lived in 14 states, Mexico and Canada before I spent a full year in one school. Dad went up to Alaska, Greenland, French Morocco, Africa---sometimes twice. He favored dam work. We were around for the building of almost every dam that was ever built in the 33 years of Dad's construction life.
We went to places that other people either read or dream about. During all our travels, we always come back to the family gatherings. Many, many gatherings stand out, playing games such as Kick-the-Can, Peggy-Wants-A-Signal...many more games, taffy pulls, and story-telling.
Although we weren't able to come to all of the family reunions, they have always been very import to us as a family. I hope we are able to continue the tradition---it would be wonderful if everyone could come to the Baldock Reunion so our friends could feel the warm-fuzzy feeling of a Baldock hug and hello. Friends and relatives you get to see probably once a year at the reunion. WE WILL NEVER GET TO KNOW YOU IF YOU DON'T COME---IF YOU HAVE QUIT COMING, COME BACK!!!!!
(Jo Baldock Crutchfield, 12/02 Vol 1 issue 5).
Dad built a new home near Mountain Park. The boys would sleep upstairs and Dad would call every morning to get them up. His by-words were "drat, and devil take it." Before he could get them up, he would be mad and those words would come out, and when they did, the boys knew that it was time to get up.
We moved several times so I went to school at Snyder and Mountain Park where I graduated from the 8th grade. We moved to New Mexico where I graduated from high school at Texico, NM.
I married Gordon E. Bennett and we lived at Vernon, Texas where Mary Opal and Charlette were born. I remember when we first married we could buy hamburgers for 5 cents, but we didn't do that much because we didn't have the money. Orvil was born at Roosevelt, OK and Cindie was born outside of Mountain Park, OK. Gordon died at Holbart, OK where he worked in 1955. Cindie was just nine days old at the time.
I have four children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. I hope to have another great grandchild by the time this is printed. All of great grandchildren are the grandchildren of Orvil.
Mary Opal, the oldest, married Herbert Campbell. In 1997 a car didn't see her as she crossed the street and took her life.
I remember the first reunion, Lucy Mae, Tennie, Opal called to say they were going to start a family reunion. I lived in Oklahoma at the time and they said I had to come. It was a long way to go. I did bake cookies to take to that first reunion, but they were baked in an oven where the door had to be propped shut. Everyone ate them like they were good.
We stayed in a tent but we had to sleep on the ground with only a few quilts, which managed to get wet every night. We washed dishes in tubs that were heated over campfires with water we had carried from the stream. We had teams that had to take turns at hauling the water and doing the other chores. Of course the kids were never around, so the mamas and papas did most of the work.
One memory that stands out in my mind is the time Scott Baldock took some of the kids up the mountain. Mary Opal got scared and froze. The men had to go get her down.
We played some games, but it seems as if all I did was take care of babies and help cook. (ed. note: so maybe that's why Nita stays in the motel nowadays!) (by Juanita Bennett, 03/03 vol.1 issue 8)
I did not realize at the time how young mother (Juanita) was when she became a single mother. I remember her going to beauty school and doing funky things with her hair. One of the early reunions we attended, she had her hair pink. As a teenager, I thought that was pretty cool.
Mary Opal Campbell, my older sister, of all that knew her, she was extremely loyal to her family and didn't like to see them hurt. I didn't realize how loyal she was until we were going through her things after she died. We found a picture of David and me (first husband) and she had taken the picture and completly cut him out of that picture. That was her way of showing that she was mad at him and loyal to me.
When we were quite young, we had to pull cotton in the fall of the year. Before we could quit at the end of the day, we had to pull 100 lbs. Mary would always mess around and not get her cotton pulled and then she would get all upset because she knew that she was going to get into trouble when she got home. Everyone that was pulling with us would feel sorry for her and help her get her 100 lbs. Needless to say, Mary Opal was the smartest one of the bunch.
Orvil Bennett my only brother, never had a chance since he was raised with a bunch of girls. Of course he was spoiled and we thought he was perfect. He would do anything that I asked him to do when he was quite young. I remember talking him into touching a cigarette lighter. I still feel guilty about that.
Cindie Lou Hansen the youngest sister, did not like to wear dresses. When Cindie was just a few years old, I made her an Easter dress. I so wanted her to look pretty for Easter. She refused to wear it and we had to beat her to make her wear it to church. Oh well, I tried.
When Gordon Matlock (oldest son) was born he was so thin and tiny that Grandma Baldock didn't think he would live. David and I would lay him in the middle of the bed and just watch every move that he made. He was an easy child to have or I wouldn't have been able to finish college. We bought him a motor cycle of his 13th birthday and he rode it, but I knew that deep down he hated it.
Second son, Larry Matlock was a fun child. Everthing he did and still does is funny. He started walking when he was seven months old and nothing was safe after that. When he was less than a year old, he managed to catch a snake. My biggest fear in life is snakes. It was quite hysterical trying to get him to drop the snake and me not have to go near it.
Husband Dennis Bratcher and I was married on July 22, 1994. We purposely had our wedding on the reunion weekend in hopes that some of our family would be able to attend. T. Ray Little performed the ceremony. We went to the reunion on Saturday after the wedding. Since we have been married, we moved to Kansas City, Missouri and lived there for a little over a year, and then Dennis transferred to Phoenix, where we currently live.
To me the first reunions that we had at Tres Ritos was the most fun because Andrea (House/Morrow) was there and we were such close friends, as well as family. I remember that we would give a name to everthing we came in contact with such as the little bridges, the areas where we played, the water, etc. (03/03;Vol 1,issue 8)by Charlette B. Matlock Bratcher
Other favorite times, was when Scott Baldock came to the reunions. All of us younger cousins looked up to Scott because he seemed so old to us and he knew so much. The only problem was we were always getting into trouble with him, but it was so much fun.
The first time I brought Merry Ann (Orvil's wife) to the reunion was after only being married for five days and still on our honeymoon. She was in shock after driving up to the reunion and everyone came running to the car to meet her. That's some way to break anyone into the family. Also that year, we were elected president and secretary. I am still amazed that we are still married.
One scary time at the reunion was when we were at Baca Campground and as we were leaving we came upon a wreck. After getting closer we noticed it was Kathy Baldock and she had flipped her car. We had to go back to get family members to help.
History of our family: Orvil Bennett...son of Juanita and Gordon Bennett grew up in Ft. Sumner, NM and went to college at Eastern New Mexico University at Portales, NM. I was married July 20, 1974 to Merry Ann Nielsen in Ogden, Utah, after which we moved to Spokane, WA where our first child was born. Jennifer Dawn Bennett was born on May 9, 1975. In 1976 we moved to Las Vegas, NV where Eric Brice Bennett was born on August 18, 1978. On July 14, 1981 Shaun Ryan Bennett was born in Castro Valley, CA. In 1985 we all moved to Colorado. Mary Ann and I presently live in Pueblo, CO. We are both employed by the Federal Government. Colorado is where the majority of our family still call home.
Daughter Jennifer Bennett Borrego...married Casi Alonzo Borrego May 23, 1998 in Las Animas, CO. Casi and Jennifer have two daughters, Hannah Linnaea, born July 23, 2000 in Littleton, CO. Sydney Ann was born on March 22, 2003 in Seattle, WA. They are presently living in Kennewick, WA where Jennifer is a homemaker and Casi is an Engineer with Washington Group International.
Eric Brice Bennett...son married Antonia Gonzales December 26, 1998 in Las Animas. Eric and Toni have two children, Elicia Marie born March 1, 1998 and Brittany Nicole born October 27, 2000 in La Junta, CO. Eric and Toni presently live in Las Animas, CO, where Toni works for Loaf & Jug and Eric works for the Traget Distribution Center in Pueblo.
Shaun Ryan Bennett...second son is single. He is attending the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where he is a senior majoring in Computer Science. He is presently living in Colorado Springs. (by Orvil Bennett, 03/03 vol 1,issue 8)
I seems like we always made a trip to town when we were in Tres Ritos, we would walk and it must have been miles! A group of us would walk to the little store and what a great store it was. It was jammed packed with all kinds of stuff. Then after we had been there a while, one of the adult family members would show up and give us all a ride back to the campground. I think the tradition of going to town kind of went with each campground. When we were at Baca, a group would always pile in a car and head to town to get ice and other very important things that we just couldn't live without.
I really had great memories of times spent with Jennifer Rector. We were about the same age (okay, I was a little older, but not any the wiser), and had some great times together. I remember the time the two of us decided we would walk to Lincoln. So the helpful Baldocks pointed us in the right direction and said to just go through the fields and it wouldn't take as long to get there. We took off through the fields and climbed the fences, and before too long we made it to Lincoln. We got some lemonade and decided to head back to the camp. We decided that we should take the road back instead of trying to go back by the way of the fields. We hadn't walked very long when we decided that hitch hiking would be even better. I think this was the one and only time I ever hitch hiked, but there we were with our thumbs stuck out. Sure enough, a rancher stopped and let us ride in the back of his truck. He took us right back to the camp. The only problem was we got back so fast [that] no one believes we really went all the way to Lincoln.
Like I said there are just too many memories and it is hard to just pick out a few. One memory leads to another. I really think I will always remember the times as a kid when I didn't have to worry about the next day. When I didn't have to worry about the price of gas or what the politicians might be planning. I think I will always remember the hot dog eating contest or the pranks we played. The games we played at night and the times that Steve would always find a hole to fall in or a tree branch to run face first into. I don't know if my own kids will be able to look back someday and remember great moments from past reunions, but I sure hope so. Time will only tell.
Cindie Bennett [external link] the daughter of Juanita and Gordon Bennett. Born January 16, 1955 in Mountain Park, OK. Grew up in Ft. Sumner, NM. Graduated from the University of NM in 1977. Married James Allen Hansen, September 01, 1979, moved to Conception Junction, MO, where she has lived on the same farm since marrying. James is a full-time farmer and Cindie works for the water department for the City of Maryville, MO.
Chanel Renee [external link] the first born of James and Cindie. Born December 11, 1982 in Maryville, MO. She graduated from South Nodaway RIV High School in 2001 and is currently attending Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, MO.
Eli James [external link] the second born of James and Cindie. Born September 28, 1985 in Maryville, MO. He is currently a junior at South Nodaway RIV High School, Barnard, MO.
Kye Richey [external link] the last born of James and Cindie. Born January 09, 1988 in Maryville, MO. He is currently a freshman at South Nodaway RIV High School, Barnard, MO. Kye got his middle name from his great grandmother Ola. (03/03;Vol 1,issue 8) by Cindie Bennett
Lyman, Jane, and their kids were already there. Coy and Doris would be there on Christmas Day.
After dinner, the dishes were done and it was bedtime. Grandma put all of us kids in one room with Lana, Melanie, Liea and me in the bed and Steven on a pallet on the floor. After the girls went to sleep I got on the floor with Steve. We lay there whispering about what we wanted Santa to bring and Grandma came in and asked if some milk and cookes would help us get to sleep. Of course we said it would. It was great! Grandma treated us like we were grownup and special.
Lying there trying to go to sleep I heard sleigh bells and whether he belived me or not, Steve said he heard them too. It had to be Santa.
When morning came, we were all in the living room around the tree opening gifts when granddaddy looked out the window. With an over abundance of enthusiasm he told us there was a sack in the front yard. When we got to it it was full of fruit, nuts and candy. How granddaddy knew it fell off Santa's sleigh never entered our minds. Grandma and granddaddy knew everything.
When I moved back to Clovis as a young single mother, my relationship with my grandma began to grow in a totally different way. We would spend a lot of time going to the library, shopping, and just talking. We were getting to know each other more as friends.
Grandma reminded me to ask for help when I needed it and to alwyas thank the Lord for all of His blessings. She taught me the importance of family and family history. For that, I will always be thankful. (01/03;Vol 1, issue 6) by Debra Little Wyatt
My most fun memory was one summer that Lyman's kids as well as Debra and I spent a couple a weeks with her and Tennie at their house and going camping. I remember we were driving down the highway on our way to some "ancient ruin" in her pickup truck and the camper shell on the back. Up front was grandmommy driving and Debra and Stevie. In the back were Lana, Melanie and myself. The camper shell was booted so that we were able to have a conservation with those in the front and visa-versa. We would drive along telling stories and jokes, playing games, and singing songs. As we were rolling along, we noticed that grandmommy's hat was a little "odd." It was a floppy straw, with a chinstrap that she utilized to its fullest capacity. A familiar song came on the radio and Lana, Melanie, and I couldn't help our selves. We busted out in a song singing..."like a rhinestone Grandma, riding out in her truck on star spangled ROAD ei ei o"...Well, it was a hoot at the time; maybe you needed to be there and be about 11 or 12 years old to REALLY appreciate the humor in it. However, from that moment on she was always my "Rhinestone Grandma" and she is missed. I thought I might have a picture of grandmommy in that hat, but this one is the closest I could come; this is the trip that we dubbed her "Rhinestone Grandma." (01/03;Vol 1,issue 6) by Liea Marie Little Schmidt
There was always the smell of cigar smoke when we got to their house, and granddad always "counted my ribs" as soon as I arrived. Whenever I smell cigar smoke now it is a memory inducing experience, and I remember the warm fuzzy feeling of being at their house and being able to hug and kiss them and enjoy getting my "ribs counted" whenever I entered the room where granddad was.
Grandma kept a trunk of old clothes and shoes in the back bedroom closet that Lana, Debra, Liea and I always spent a lot of time playing dress up. When it was time for bed, grandma made a huge (or so it seemed at the time) four poster bed so all four of us could sleep on it length-wise instead of width-wise. Of course sleep was always hard to attain---"and the little one said roll over, roll over."
I had the pleasure of grandma going on lots of camping vacations with us when I was young. Wherever we were, Kings Canyon (giant Sequoias) in California, or Baca Campground and anywhere in between, anyone of us could find camp by listening for grandma's laughter. It could be heard (I'm sure) for miles and she was always laughing.
Who could forget her red hair! She told me when she was a girl, great-grandma was always after her to wear her bonnet and she did much of the time, but she still got those "dreadful" orange spots. She tried everything to fade them. In some cases she would actually harm her skin in pursuit of the elusive "peaches and cream" complexion. I loved her freckles!
She spent some time with me in California after I had my first child and I asked if she would teach me how to quilt. Her response was "If you can't afford a blanket, I will buy you one." Quilting was something she did as necessity and she didn't have any desire to do it again. The same went for baking from scratch. I wanted her to teach me her favorite chocolate cake recipe and her response was, "That is what cake mixes are for."
I miss grandma and granddad and think of them often. (01/03;Vol 1, issue 6) by Melanie Little Cattaneo
I was about 15 years old at the first Baldock Family Reunion held in Tres Ritos, NM. I remember the game that everyone had to play was rotating baseball. My main memory of this reunion was the treasure. Those that wanted to, gathered dimes and other coins to be buried. Olney hid the treasure for the next year. (Steve remembers the story that they buried it.)At the second reunion those that had put money in the treasure were supposed to be the ones to go look for it. But Opal said that wasn't right, and everyone should get to look for it. All of the kids looked for the treasure. That is a tradition that has lasted until this day. There is a story that the first treasure was really hard to find. I don't remember having any trouble at all. It was hidden in the hole for the volleyball net.
Part of the fun at the earlier reunions was shoving as many people into the cold creek as they could. I remember Mom was about 35 years old, and she was shoved into the creek along with the others.
I remember I was so glad to see Norma Jo. Olney was there with his two boys, Tennie and her girls were there and we had a lot of good times.
Memories by Dannetta Little:
I must be an angel to still be married to Coy after all these years. My first two experiences at the reunion was less than positive. The second year that Coy and I were married he took the kids and me to the family reunion. The minute we arrived, he left me there by myself and went off to visit. I didn't know any one, I had only met Lyman a time or two.
The next year, we took all the kids and their bedrolls and an old taggedy tent that had holes in it and had to be tied to a tree. Scott and Linda Baldock were there and took all the little kids on a hike. A terible rain storm came up. It rained so hard that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Scott and the kids got lost. They were gone so long and we were really worried, but it was raining so hard that we couldn't go out to look for them. When they got back, they were soaking wet, of course. Jo and Earl fixed hot cocoa for them. We stripped each kid down and wrapped them in blankets. All of the bedding was soaked and we had to board out the kids. At the time, I had no idea who had what kid, and it was a little embarrassing. When we left the reunion on Sunday, we left that old tent tied to the tree. (01/03;Vol 1,issue 6) by Coy and Dannetta Little
When Lu and Kermit married, times were tough not only for them, but the whole nation. Daddy had only a high school education and had been working in construction with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Tucumcari, NM. Mother has been to college at Weatherford, OK. They were married early on Sunday morning at the home of Elder A.D. West with Opal Baldock and Walter Ray Blair as witnesses. After the ceremony they went to church at the Association meeting they had been attending. At the close of the meeting Mother returned home with Walter and Ola Baldock and Daddy returned to Tucumcari to get discharged from the CCC, then returned to Oklahome. The 'wedding' picture was actually taken a couple of weeks after their marriage when they went to the preserve in Olklahoma with little sister Tennie and friend.
Daddy got work where he could in farming earning $.50 to $1.00 per day. Later on he worked construction and the family moved from place to place in Oklahoma, California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
At one time in the first of my memory, Mother went to apply for a teaching job (although she didn't really want to teach) to help make a living. Daddy kept us boys in the 1938 Studebaker car we had and I remember Mother all dressed up so pretty walking up the sidewalk toward the school. Daddy teased us that we would just drive away and leave her there, and I started crying. I think that was the last time Daddy teased us that way.
Daddy got a job with the railroad in Clovis and we lived in a chicken coop house on the state line road in Farwell, TX. After Daddy go hurt jumping off the train, he worked in construction jobs around the Clovis/Portales area. Daddy ended up working as a janitor for the Center School south of Clovis and Mother was the purchaser, cook, server, and dishwasher for the school lunch program when I was in the first grade.
We moved into Portales after that year and Daddy had a job with an oil company while Mother ran the school lunch program for the Portales School System (five schools at that time).
In 1953, Daddy got a job with an oil refinery outside of Hobbs, NM and when School was out Mother moved the rest of the family to the community of Monument.
Life improved for the Little family as Daddy had a good job and Mother could stay home. Coy, Lyman and I grew up, left home for college and military service, married, and started our families.
Before the Annual Reunions: In the fall of 1950 I started the forth grade at Central Elementary School in Portales and attended there through the end of the school year of 1952-53. But for a kid, it was the summer months that counted.
Olney and Sally, Tennie and Andy, and Kermit and Lu lived in the Portales area and visited frequently. Olney farmed, Daddy worked for Farmer's Oil and Andy drilled water wells. Olney loved to camp and fish and he seemed to be able to get away from the farm more than Daddy could get away from Farmer's Oil.
All that could get away would pack up bedding, clothes, groceries and fishing gear and go camping and fishing together, "up to Sabinoso." There were a lot of us; some in pickup trucks and some in Olney's grain truck, which had a tarp over the bed.
Sabinoso is north of Conchas Lake and west of Las Vegas, NM. I don't know just where we went, but we camped out on a river or stream. The mosquitoes were good at making us itch and that is where I learned how painful sunburn water blisters on the shoulders and back can be. We caught catfish on trout lines, played in the river, and the serious fisherman would walk waaay upstream to fish all day before returning to camp.
Everyone shared in meal preparation, from gathering firewood to cooking and cleaning. There was no tents or commercially made bed-rolls. We slept on the ground under the star. (I think the adults slept in the truck beds.)
Another trip I remember we went to Colorado, near Rifle, where Olney and Sally had lived before my memory. We went in a caravan, camping along the way, buying fresh vegetables by the bushel from truck farms. Fishing and camping was the order of things. Olney and Sally's neighbor's came along with us. When the fishing was good we had fresh fish for supper.
Aunts and uncles, cousins and friends,
for a kid it was a great summertime memory, and it led the way and set the pattern for a family reunion which has lasted for half a century. Isn't the Bladock Family blessed?
Then as I grew I spents lots of great time with grandma. We (Melanie and I) spent many 2-3 week stretches at her house with her and Tennie in the summers in Bloomfield, NM. She took us to the cabin in Colorado and we had great times fishing and roaming around the country side. But we did all these activities around what was always most important to grandma, the Church. She took us to associational meetings in Colorado, Albuquerque, and Bloomfield. The most important legacy grandma left me was her love and service to the Lord. She prayed at every meal, openly gave God the praise in good times and in bad. I remember when we stayed at her house in Bloomfield, after we would go to bed, Grandma would turn off her TV and read her Bible. She was an example of faith and service to the Lord even when I wasn't aware of what I was witnessing. The summer before she died, she said simply and without depression or fear, "I have lived 80 years on this earth and it is time for me to go home." We love her and we love her example in the Lord. She was truly a Mother of Israel. (by Lana Frederickson, 03/03,vol 1,issue 8)
Much of Tennie's childhood was spent in the Snyder and Mountain Park areas of southwestern Oklahoma. Her children often fondly reminisce about the stories that she told of that time. One of the favorite stories occurred when the school Tennie attended began what must have been a forerunner of today's free school lunch program. Most of the children in the school, like Tennie, were from families of limited income. Each day a large pot of soup or stew was prepared, at school, for the students, and the only requirements for participation was that the student bring a cup and a spoon from home. The thought of a nice hot lunch was very attractive to Tennie, but unfortunately, her parents held very high standards regarding charity, or as they probably referred to it as a "handout." Their children were not to accept the "handout" when they had perfectly good food to bring from home. Tennie didn't see the meager offerings such as cold biscuits to be perfectly good food, especially when luch time approached and the aroma of the hot soup wafted throughout the school. She resisted as long as she could before sneaking a cup and spoon out of the house. Had the truth ever reached Walter and Ola, Tennie would have learned an important lesson about obedience.
Another tussle with values occurred when Tennie made a purchase at the store for an item that did not meet her parent's approval. Anyway, she was faced with the dilemma of how a young girl with no income could pay off such a debt before her parents learned of it. At this time money was very scarce, so Grandma Ola supplemented the family income by selling eggs at the grocery store for the price of five cents each. This income was very dear to her, but to Tennie the eggs were the only hope of fulfilling her financial obligations. One at a time, she sneaked out an egg to apply toward her debt, always hoping that her morther would not miss it. Unfortunately, before the debt could be paid, her father caught her in the act. Let's just say that the punishment was swift and sure. But desperate times require desperate measures, so Tennie continued her egg-snitching habit until the debt was fully paid.
Another story from Tennie's childhood involved Grandpa Richey, Ola's father, who often sought advice from his daughter because he was confortable discussing matters with her and valued her opinion highly. There were two young boys in Grandpa's neighboring area who were in need of a good home, and he had decided that he and Grandma Richey should take them in and give them that good home. He asked Ola how she felt about this and if she thought that he and Grandma were up to task of raising two boys. Grandma Ola did not think that it was a good plan, but wisely did not tell her father so. Instead, she suggested that he take Tennie's two brothers, who were about the ages of the two adoptees, into his home for two weeks so that he could get a "feel" of what it would be like to raise two young boys. Now, it seems that Redford and Olney were considered to be somewhat "challenging," while some less kind might have regarded them as being wild and unruly. Nonetheless, we can say that they were definitely adverturous. Grandpa Richey agreed to the plan, and both Redford and Olney were glad to go with him, it was just another adventure. The two weeks passed and the boys were returned to their rightful owners. No mention was made of the two boys to adopt, not then, not ever.
When it becase time for Tennie to attend high school, she moved to Texico, New Mexico to live with her aunt and uncle, Barton and Dixie Dickinson who farmed in the area. It was necessary for her to ride the school bus to and from Texico High School. The bus was driven by a young man, Andy House, from a neighboring farm. In time their relationship came to be more than that of driver/student. When Tennie graduated from high school in 1935 she made plans to attend Southwestern Oklahoma State College. Tennie would attend this college with the financial support from her sister Opal, who had already finished college and was a teacher. Tennie has always been very grateful for the support and help given to the members of the family by her oldest sister. Andy had promised that he would correspond with her while she was away at college, but Tennis's letters went unanswered. Finally, she gave up the relationhip as a lost cause. Later, she was to find that Andy had been seriously ill at the time she stopped the correspondence. Everthing was patched up, and they were married at Mountain Park on December 24, 1937.
Two years later their first daughter, Loretta, was born in Portales in a tiny house on the north side of Portales. One day a fire broke out in that little house, and Tennie, being a take-charge king of person, quickly got Loretta out of the house. Though she didn't remember doing it later, she returned to the house and moved her new cook stove to the yard. Later, it took four men to move it back into the house. This just one indication of how she always had the strength to handle any challenge in life, whether it was physical or emotional.
At this time, Andy was a partner in a blacksmith shop. In the early years of their marriage, they lived in several New Mexico towns, plus places in Nevada and Arizona where they took advantage of jobs created by the war. Tennie's ties to her family were very strong, and by 1943 they had returned to Portales, where their second daughter, Andrea Ola, was born. Andrea had been named Ola for her grandmother, and Grandma Ola showed her pride by condensing the name to "Androla." That was to be the name she always called her. After a stint of farming near Olney and Sally at Floyd, New Mexico, they returned to Portales where their third daughter, Dixie, was born. Shortly thereafter, Andy and Olney formed a water well-drilling business. Andy bought Olney's share in time and continued to operated the business until his death in 1968. (Story by Loretta House Bullock contined in Vol 2)(02/03;Vol 1,issue 7)
At the time of the first Baldock Reunion, Loretta was 13, Andrea was 10, and Dixie was 7. Attending the reunion was a long ride in the back of the truck. Andy had put a tarp over the back of the truck where the girls and five friends rode. This event was the highlight of their summer, because it meant time to spend with their cousins. Dixie remembers playing with Leslie, Steve, Orville, Wilma, John and Scott and tried to keep up with the older kids. Sometimes the activities became more than she could handle. She gave up "Run Sheep, Run" for fear of breaking a leg trying to keep up with Ray. All three girls remember the fun of listening to Olney's ghost stories around the campfire. Loretta and Andrea especially remember the tales of the "Little Red-hooded Ant." Dixie was afraid of the dark while growning up, and Olney's stories didn't help. She was convinced that something was going to get her when he told his famous stories of aliens. Dixie still enjoys the treasure hunts, and she always persuades Cindy and Charlette to go with her.
Grandpa and Grandma Baldock's house was an important place in the girls' childhood. When Grandma's house is mentioned, it seems all three of the girls think first of the cookie jar. They could always count on it for a treat; and if that didn't suit them they were welcome to browse in the refrigerator. Dixie was fascinated with the porcelain commode that sat in the back yard. She and her cousins wondered how it go there, who sat on it, and perhaps if there might be a monster dwelling beneath it. The grandparents had a way of makeing each of the grandchildren seem special. Wilma and Dixie were invited to stay for a whole week one time, and Grandma made them twin dresses while they were there. Even Grandpa was reluctantly tolerant of the grandkids jumping off the porch and trying to clear the bushes.
Visitors were always welcome at the House's house. Over the years, it was home to various cousins as they attended college in Portales. They were a part of the family, and Tennie helped them with their homework just as she did with her own children. At times, differnt boys came and spent the summer working with Andy on the rig.
After Andy's death in 1968, Tennie showed her strong character once more when she decided to return to college and finish her degree in elementary education. Upon completion of her degree, she sold the home place and moved to Bloomfield, New Mexico, where she taught successfully for eleven years. Many of those years she and her sister Lu shared a home. She finally gave up that home in 2001 and now lives with her daughter Andrea in Roswell. Her health has deteriorated greatly in the past few years, but she still has a sparkle in her eyes, and you can still often hear that hearty Baldock laugh. (02/03;Vol 1,issue 7) by Loretta House Bullock
Walter and Dorothy were married on May 24, 1942 at the P.M. Owens farm house south of Texico. Opal and Alice Poole took a library table that they had given to Walter Sr. and Ola back in 1930 and added a wire arch with roses strung over it. They made a path of roses for Dorothy to walk down and set up chairs for family attending the wedding.
Walter was called into the service in June of 1943. While he was stationed at Ft. Bliss, Dorothy would ride the bus on Friday night to El Paso, spend Saturday and Sunday with Walter and then ride the bus back to Clovis on Sunday night, returning to work on Monday. Walter ended up teaching radio. After the service, he went back to work for B.F. Goodrich. After Leslie was born in 1948, Walter spent time as a carpenter and worked with Jerry Redford and then with Uncle Barton Dickenson.
In 1951 B.F. Goodrich hired Walter again and the family moved to Dalhart, Texas and Steve was born in Dumas. They moved back to Clovis and Walter went to work for Hugh Jones (the tire business) in 1958 they moved to Artesia. Walter worked for a tire store and then a well drilling repair service. Camille was born in 1959 in Artesia and Walter and Dorothy decided to move back to Clovis. Walter went back to work with Hugh Jones, and became a partner in the store in 1963. Three years later Walter bought Hugh out. In May 1974 Walter Baldock and Sons' Inc. moved to Prince Street and continued to grow. Walter and Dorothy worked very hard to maintain a good family life, church life and a business.
Walter and Dorothy celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May of 1992. The celebration was given by their children: Les and Margaret, Steve and Linda, Camille and Phil, and their six grandchildren, Heather, Tamara, Patrick, J.W., April and Perry. The celebration was attended by many family members and numerous friends from church, business, and community.
Dorothy was one of those natural care givers. She always seemed to know when someone needed help and just what to do when someone was sick and hurting. She loved to be around people and her home was open to anyone at any time. If it was dinner time and someone came by, Dorothy just found something to add to the pot, not allowing anyone to leave hungry. She always worried that something wasn't right and did not ever, ever want someone's feeings hurt.
Dorothy worked at the tire store and loved to do so. When Les introduced computers, Dorothy would sill do the paper work by hand, spending days looking for one penny that was off (the computer just rounded it off). In June of 1996 Dorothy had a heart attack while working at the store. After being sent to Lubbock, the family agreed that open heart surgery was necessary. Dorothy came through the operation in fine form, but had a major stroke when a blood clot broke loose as a result of the surgery. Her body could not overcome.
Walter had basically retired at the time of Dorothy's death. In June of 1996 he married Dorothy Reid. Dorothy Reids' husband, Jim, had also passed away in 1995. Dorothy R and Dorothy D had been best friends for 40 years, raising their sons together. Dorothy R. was already one of the family, and since their marriage, she and Walter have had a great time traveling every where they can. All you have to do is get in the car with them or be around them to see how much fun they have. (04/03;Vol 1,issue 9) by Steve Baldock
My fondest memories of my youth always are of the good times with family, especially in the outdoors. The highlight of the year was always Christmas and reunion time, with fishing and camping trips interspersed during the summer. Who could ever forget the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the canyon: the pines whispering in the wind at night, the thunder rumbling through the canyon, during the daily rains, the smell of pine wood smoke mixed with the musty order of wet canvas, the burning sensation on your face as you tried to warm the marshmallow without catching it on fire, or the warmth of the rock, heated next to camp fire and place so carfully in the end of the wet bed roll? Pictures of those early reunions remind those of my generation of the fun all the cousins had, playing run-sheep-run, walking to the store for ice cream during heat of the day, or being envious of those teenagers that were lucky enough to be able to sleep in the GI-tent that Uncle Olney and Uncle Andy always had available for the purpose.
We were always envious of Uncle Barton, pipe in teeth, grilling those huge trout from Storrie Lake over an open campfire. Who amoung us knew that you could just sit in the boat, dragging something along in the water and catch fish that big? (In my adult years, I've developed the skill for the "dragging" but never his skill for the "catching.") Our "gang" (John Britton, Della's brother Larry, Scott and others our age) spent many a day next to a secluded beaver pond, waiting for that "catch of a lifetime." My "catch of a lifetime" was made during one of those early reunions, in my pre-teen years. Having silently approched a fallen log in the stream, I spied a beautiful German Brown, hidden in the shadow of the log. I repeatedly drifted worm after worm, only to miss the target or have the trout "clean the hook" with no success. After what seemed to be an eternity, I finally hooked the spotted silver trophy, holding it carefully in the sun to fully enjoy its beauty. While I don't remember whether I released it or took it back to camp to be baked in a mud ball in the camp fire (Scott's preferred method of Indian cooking), I count it as one of my best catches ever.
My love for the outdorrs was a product of the reunions and the great family relationships that were born out of them. Many of my happiest memories are of those trips with my family, uncles and aunts, cousins and friends. Treks into a secluded lake on a distant mountain side or the whoops of one of us catching a "whopper", each and every minute was to be savored and relived in our minds and in stories around the camp fire. And while Olney, Sally, Andy and others are gone, I still enjoy those great trips with my dad, Gearald and others. Every day spent with the family, whether sitting around a campfire or a domino table is a blessing and as time passes those opportunities become fewer and fewer.
Even though my grandchildren may spend some future Annual Baldock Reunion on a lush golf course, I hope that they realize that their "catch of a lifetime" is the opportunity to be there, enjoying whatever activity is available, but doing it as a family. (04/03;Vol 1, issue 9) By Leslie Baldock
...we roasted a pig over an open campfire and family members took turns turning the spit in Tres Ritos?
...you know it's 2:00 in the afternoon because it always rains at that time in Tres Ritos?
...you got to see if you had grown because you measured you height against Berta's?
...you knew you were a grown-up because you got to ride in the back of the pickup when we went to the store in Tres Ritos?
...everybody thought it was great fun to throw Della into the stream to sorta welcome her into the family?
...you never knew what to expect when Harry (Carson) Blair came, but climbing to the top of the mountain just so you could run down, dodging the trees (mostly)?
...the stream in Tres Ritos was ice cold and you invariably fell in?
...the treasure hunt was following arrows made with lime or flour and the teenagers (Lester, Jesse, T.Ray, Lyman) ran ahead and changed the arrows?
...Granddad was having health problems so we had the reunion at Ned Houk Park in Clovis in 100 degree weather?
...we played "run sheep, run" at Ned Houk that night and found out there was a four foot wide ditch we didn't know about"
...we moved the reunion to Baca Campground and the square dancers would show up?
...playing run-sheep-run was wonderful fun even though there were tent lines, tree limbs, holes in the ground---did I say tree limbs---and I seemed to find every one?
...playing "murder in the dark" listening to Olney's stories, telling stoies of our own, watermelon and hotdog eating contests, a red-headed boy falling into the campfire (Larry always pulled something) were normal evening activities?
...we put the big tent up, taking six or seven of us, but laughing all the while?
...Lana got lost and we had sheriff's deputies and all of the family looking for her?
...the big lightening storm that struck the tree just fifty feet from the main tent?
...the wind and rain storm that lifted the big tent off the ground and we were all under it holding it down like idiots?
...we moved to Cedar Creek Campground with its parking area and bears wondering through the camp at night?
...we had a treasure hunt every year, and as we grew older we made the clues, ran with our kids, and finally passed the clue-making to the third generation?
...we had the style show, laughing contest, baseball games, horseshoes, Hillbilly Wedding, holey boards, dominos, and laughter, laughter, laughter?
...you tried to explain to your friend, fiance, wife/husband, who belonged to whom, and you forgot, too?
...the smell of coffee in the first rays of sunlight from Uncle Barton's camp, when I was younger, then Olney's camp, and now Jesse's camp?
...you couldn't decide if it was worse saying goodbye first because you had to leave early, or watching everyone else leave and you are one of the last to go (the campground seems so lonely and quiet)?
...you wanted to get up in the middle of the night because someone drove in late and you wanted to see who it was to say "Hi, it's great to see you again"?
...your son or daughter became president or secretary and you felt a sense of pride knowing that the reunion would continue to be important to the next generation?
These are some of my memories---what are yours? If you didn't have many, (then start accumulating them this year because it's gonna be a GREAT TIME! See you there. (04/03;Vol 1, issue 9) By Steve Baldock
What do you smell when you are at the Baldock Reunion? There is the pine scent of the trees, or the unpleasant smell (in years past) of the outhouses (hee hee)! We smell fire from the pit, or the perking coffee over the campfire or at Jesse's camp. There is the smell of charbroiling hamburgers or burnt marshmallows. What about the smell of smoke in your clothes or hair the next morning when you wake up, or better yet, the smell of wet tent awning. The lingering smell of cow dung after we smeared through it during run-sheep-run. Lanterns being lit, and matches being struck. All of the aromas of the various foods at the potluck lunch on Sunday.
When you arrive at the reunion, what do you hear? Usually a lot of hellos!!!, and of course the LAUGH. The unmustakable laugh of all those Baldock descendents seeing one another again, after such a long time. What if you have gone to bed and you lay in your bed listening intently to the night. You hear the various insects buzzing, or maybe the sound of the lantern in the distance. You can hear in the distance the sound of a car motor coming, you crane your ear to listen intently. The car doors slam and again you listen intently, who is that voice? You can hear their loved ones greeting them and you begin to decipher the voice and know who has arrived!
I'm sure that you can all come up with lots of tastes, quickly. What about the warm watermelon, that you are madly consuming trying to win the eating contest? Wouldn't it have been better a little colder? S'mores, fresh and hot off th fire. That coffee again, for you younger generatios, excuse this statement, but you have to like coffe to be a true Baldock reunion alumni. Aunt Nita's cookies, Aunt Della's green chili, Aunt Opal's hot dill pickles (that's digging back real far in the memory circuits), Aunt Sally's stirred eggs and toast. Terri's salsa. Hamburgers off the grill, but better yet, hot dogs cooked over the open fire, that half the camp spent most of the afternoon gathering the wood to create OHHHH.....CAMP TOAST with whoever's jelly on it at which ever camp you managed to land in at the appropriate time to get it hot off the pan, with of course, your trusty coffee cup in hand. For you younger ones, there are the biscuits and sausages at Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Walter's motor home.
The sense of sight is, of course, going to be too many to contain, but here are a few. The beautiful landscape. The evergreens, aspens, wildflower meadows of Tres Ritos, with the stream running through and then sometimes running across the road. The wide open field at Baca campground, with the mountain in the back and then the big trees with the family tarp hung between and Uncle Olney's rope swing swaying. The dotted around camps, some of tents, some of campers, and some of motor homes. Then the few of us that slept in our cars. Now at Manzano, there is the pavilion and the INDOOR BATHROOM WITH RUNNING WATER. But most importantly are all the beautiful faces of those that we love and hold dear. Getting out of the car to the rush of handshakes and hugs, and saying to your young child, "yes, you are related to all these people."
Lastly, touch. Being in the great outdoors to touch the ground, the dirt, the rocks, the grass, the trees and the flowers. That is all wonderful, but of course the most important is to touch the faces of your loved ones. To touch and have you soul touched by the thread that runs through all of us that is the Baldock Love. To have a few hours to reminisce and renew ourselves one with another. To touch each other's lives once again and take a part of that back home with us. To feel the love that flows so freely and has been given over the years by generations before us. So that our children can feel that love that we as the second and third generation reveled in all those years ago.
Lets all gather together in July and share these sensory images and create some new ones too. See you there.
Love, Camille B. Jackson. (04/03, Vol 1, issue 9)
It was one little redhead with blue eyes, who was there that year, that made me realize that I wanted to marry Les. Melanie Little was about three years old and just as cute as she could be. I looked at her, Walter, Les and all the other redheads, and just knew if I married him, I was bound to have a redheaded son or daughter. Well, I didn't get redheaded daughters, but I did get exceptional daughters, wonderful husband and extended family.
It was this reunion that Dorothy Mae wouldn't let me sleep even on the same side of the tent with Les, but she let me sleep with Steve! Dorothy wanted to make sure that everything was proper; therefore, Les was on one side of the tent, Dorothy and Walter were in the middle with Camille, and Steve and I were on the other side. I was freezing, and although Dorthy put the heated rock at the foot of my sleeping bag, with extra blankets, I was still cold (she didn't know that I probably could have used 8 or 9 blankets and still been cold)...so, guess who I snuggled with all night long! And I guarantee you, I sure gave Dorothy a hard time about it for many years. And I still give Steve a hard time about it...sorry Steve, I just couldn't resist telling the story again.
So believe me, that first reunion totally turned my life around! I found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I decided that I don't like camping if I'm cold and I fell in love with an awesome Baldock family and many aunts and uncles and cousins. (By Margaret Baldock, 05/03; Vol 1, issue 9)
After graduating from High School in 1995, I had several failed attempts at moving away from Clovis. However, in the summer of 1997, I moved back to Clovis where I am presently still living. I currently work for Curry County Abstract & Title Co., where I have been for 5 years. After starting at the bottom of the pile as "Runner," I have somehow manged to work my way up to Office Manager, and for those of you keeping count, that makes me "No 2" in the office! Okay that was more for my ego than your information.
In 2001, at age of 24, I decided to become a "responsible" adult, and bought myself a house. I will say that being a homeowner is not all its cracked up to be. Anyway, last August, I bought a 2003 Chevy Avalanche. And, I want you to know, I bought mine before Granddad Walter got his. So when you see his, because he'll probaly be at the reunion before I am, just remember I was the one that influenced him to buy one (and mine has a sunroof!). That about sums up my life at this point, spending too much money!
Okay, now it's time for the memories.
It seems kind of odd trying to write down my memories of past reunions. I can look back and see certain events that stick out in my mind when it come to the reunion. I remember with fondness about being excited every year when it came time for the reunion. It has been and still continues to be one of my favorite events of the year. I can remember showing up to the reunion every year, and the first thing that I looked for was the swing in the giant tree (Baca Campround). Uncle Olney always had the swing in the tree for us kids to entertain ourselves with. Looking back, I think he probably did it so we wouldn't get into any mischief, or pester our parents. Anyway, we would stand in a line waiting for out turn to climb up the tree, take the swing in our hand and push off. At times, some of the older, bigger (notice I didn't say they were wiser) kids would grab hold of the swing and twist it up and let go of it. Well, we all know the result of this action...a lot of spinning, and at times, some sick little kids. Oh well, it was a GREAT
I can also remember watermelon-eating contests! I loved those! I remember being pretty good at the watermelon-eating contests. I learned early on that you didn't have time to be neat about eating the watermelon, nor did you have time to spit out the seeds. I think I may still be digesting some of those seeds! I also loved playing run-sheep-run. When I was really young, it took a lot of convincing of the older kids to let us play. I remember running from one side of the camp to the other, for what seemed to me, to be all night! But in the end, we always managed to make it to the base in time to win the game. I do remember two distinct instances about run-sheep-run. Now, granted I don't remember the entire game, but I do remember the aftermath. One time, and for the life of me, I don't remember who it was, but as we (the sheep)were running to base, we saw that the wolves were about to beat us. Now, let's set the scene. Its dark, the base is in the middle of the campground (Baca), and the base is actually a Propane grill with a lantern on it to make it visible. Who ever was in the lead for the "wolf pack" was bound and determined to beat us sheep to the base...because he/she managed to actually tackle the base. To this day, I still don't know if it was intentional or accidental that they took out the base.
The other game of run-sheep-run that I can remember is when I tried to decapitate myself. It was another fine moment in my on-going career of clumsiness. We were (once again I think I was one of the sheep)running towards the base, and in order to get there, we had to cut across underneath the huge tarp. Well, seeing as how I was small and it was dark, I didn't see the ropes holding the tarp-poles in place. Needless to say I caught one right across my neck, and I think I managed to flip myself over it before I hit the ground. Now being the "strong, independent" kid that I was I went off crying to mommy! Anyway, I learned my lesson to stay far away from the tarp ropes after that incident. (04/03;Vol 1,issue 9;J.W. Baldock.)
I imagine everyone can say they have plenty of relatives, but to really know them is really something to be proud of. Every year I see fewer and fewer people show up and it saddens me, because I really want my children to have the same experience Patrick has had every summer since he was born. The reunion is a total priority to him, as it should be. We even made it the year Taryn was born, and she was only six days old!
I don't know if every one understands how special it is to have the opportunity every year to see family members that they wouldn't usually see due to distance between them. I never had that opportunity with my own family and I have no idea who or where most of my family is. I guess I sound like I'm "preaching", but marrying into this family gives me a perspective some people may not have. Anyway, I am very proud to have the Baldock last name and hope this wonderul tradition continues. (by Jennifer Baldock, 04/03;vol 1,issue 9)
My favroite memories are of the Sunday treasure hunt. I'm 29 years old and still get a thrill of being the one to find a clue, running from one end of camp to the other (though each year it get harder and harder ---wonder why?), and finally getting a big 'ol bag of candy.
I also look forward to the games on Saturady. I especially like the volleyball, dodgeball, and the water balloon toss. I really didn't care for the watermelon eating contest, but to each his own. Saturday evenings whether there is a group game or just fellowhip is wonderful. I remember Olney telling his stories. That man is the only one I know that could get an entire group of Baldocks to shut up and just listen. The late night run-sheep-run was also really exciting. I have no idea how I never broke an ankle or my head.
Getting to see family that one time a year is so dear to me. Now that I am older, I realize how hard it is to make it to the reunion every summer, that it makes even more special.
There are so many memories that it is hard to pen down in a small article. So I'll just say that those 29 reunions are a big part of who I am and how I raise my children. It instilled in me a strong sense of family and love I hope to see everyone of you in July. (by Patrick Baldock, 04/03;vol 1 issue 9)
For me the reunion always started when Grandad and Gamma would pick Perry and me up in the "motor home." Now this was a big deal, because first off, we got to leave a full day earlier than Mom and Dad. Secondly, this is a "motor home", I think we must have stopped and made sandwiches eight time before we got there. Grandad would drive and Perry, Gamma and I would play spoons and go-fish and maybe if Perry and I really tried we could convince Gamma to let us climb up the ladder and hang out on the upstairs bed.
Also, when I think about reunions I always picture Baca. There are so many memories; Uncle Olney's swing, washing my hair in ice-cold water, sneaking off with Monica to spy on the "Big Kids". Come to think of it, I can't remember a single bad memory. Of course there was the big storm, when the tarp flew out of the ground. One of the poles cut my face---that is kinda bad, but when I think back I just remember how they all sat on the edge of the tarp, and if I remember right, sang church hymns and prayed. How blessed we were that nobody was seriously injured. Of course that pole to the face wasn't such a bad thing, it did leave me with a dimple that is, well, the cutest thing around. The family reunion holds so many of my favorite memories that I can't help but smile when I think of it and I count the days till I can enjoy it again. (04/03;Vol 1, issue 9; by April Jackson)
Another memory I have of the tarp was when I was in the upper grades of elementary school. We had a bad rain storm that year (funny how it always seems to rain at the reunion!) and the wind was terrible. Anyway, it was decided that we needed to take the tarp down so it wouldn't "fly away." I can remember sitting next to Karl Gonzales at one of the corners. As a gust of wind would hit, the corner would fly up, and Karl looked like he was riding a bucking bronco. Even though our backs were getting pelted by hail as it hit the tarp, I seem to remember having a lot of fun during that. Now I look back, and feel kind of sorry for Karl, because he was stuck trying to hold down more than his share of the tarp, since I didn't have any weight to hold it down. Sorry, Karl.
Okay, who can reminisce about the family reunion without mentioning the Treasure Hunt? Another fine Baldock tradition that has become a favorite for the kids, and, well, the adults, too! You know who your are! Although I have been involved with every Treasure Hunt since I was able, I can only remember finding one clue when I was a kid. Now granted, as I got older, I spotted a lot of them but being the "nice" guy that I am I tried to point them out to the younger kids. It has also been a lot of fun actually running the Treasure Hunt in the last couple of years. However, there are some people who think that the clues are "too easy" but far be it from me to name names, Cindy Hansen! Cindy, I'll make this promise, I'll try to make them a little more challenging in the future.
I have been blessed to be at every family reunion that I have been around for. Granted, there have been a few that I didn't think that I would make (Summer, 1997), but somehow still managed to attend. I hope and pray that I'll be at every one of them in the future.
Okay, time for my soapbox speech. As a child, I can remember the family reunions always being huge, i.e. lots of people. There are people that I can see in my mind's eye that were always at the reunions when I was a kid. But, in recent years, attendance has dropped off. I realize that people have moved off, and that for financial or health reasons are unable to attend, but I beg you, please make every effort to attend. I so look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion and being able to see those of you that have been absent in the recent years. If there is anything that I have learned in this life (and all from this family), it's that there isn't anything more important than family. I feel blessed to have been born into this family and love and treasure all of you!. See you at the reunion!!!(04/03;Vol 1, issue 9;continued by J.W. Baldock).
Barton was raised ina family that followed the Holiness religion, his dad was a Holiness preacher and a school teacher, who was well-known and regarded in his community, often walking to his different jobs or appointments.
Barton came from a large family, and at this time one sister, May Bell Cook, and one brother, Sterlin, are still living.
Dixie was a sister to my mother, and the youngest of four girls, the daughters of H.J. and Lucy Richey. I suppose she met Barton while they were both attending school in Oklahoma City, she to became a teacher, and he in business school. My reason for thinking this is because he called Aunt Dixie "Rich", and in those days, college students referred to their friends by their last names. Since Aunt Dixie was a Richey, he shortened it to "Rich."
My first remembrance of Uncle Bart and Aunt dixie is going to visit them and they would take me to church with them. I was real young and money was scarce, but Uncle Bart saw to it that i had a few pennies to put into the collection place when it was passed around. He sang bass and was a really good singer.
The game of run-sheep-run was introduced to our family by Uncle Bart we played that game at night at his farm when I was about 10 years old and our family were all at his house one Sunday night. We chose up sides and he instructed us and we played it.
When Uncle Bart and Aunt Dixie were married he and she drove to Albuquerque for their honeymoon, and they took Grandmother Richey with them. Out here on the plains he said there was no real road, but tracks across the pastures of the ranches which he followed to get to Albuquerque. I am sure that was a memorable honeymoon to have your mother-in-law with you on your trip.
Uncle Bart volunteered for the service during World War II and served in the "Sea Bee's" at the rank of Chief, as he was a construction contractor in civilian life. His job was mostly building cemeteries and sealing up caves where the Japanese soldiers were killed, rather than taking them out and burying them. He also built new air fields, etc, but served on several islands in the South Pacific. He was pleased to have John Wayne to visit in his place while they were filming the movie "The Sea Bees."
Aunt Dixie was a school teacher and taught school most of her life. She taught in Farwell, Lazbuddie, Texas and differnt places in Oklahoma.
When Barton came back from the service at the end of the war, they moved to Albuquerque and he went in the contracting business building homes for paralyzed veterans as they had to have special homes so they could get around and lead a normal life.
Uncle Bart and Aunt Dixie made all of the first reunions, he had a tent that he used with army cots and sleeping bags, for he was quite a fisherman and he had camping equipment for that. I remember his ice cooler was made of duckin (duck cloth) and hung in a tree. I had three shelves in it and was about a foot across and about three feet long. He would wet the duckin and the breeze of the air would cool the foodstuff inside the container. For winter time camping he had a small wood stove with a pipe our the back. He also had a partitioned food box that had all of his cooking utensils and eating equipment in it. He had really given some thought to his camping gear.
They did not have children themselves, but they took in any of their nieces and nephews, and loved them and shared their lives with them when they could. They always had a toy Boston Bulldog as their child. As one aged, they would replace it with another, so anytime that you went to see them their dog was the first to greet you.
One year on the way to Tres Ritos for our family reunion, they stopped for gas and (their dog) Rex got out of the car without them noticing. So when they got back in the car, they drove off without him and went several miles before they realized he wasn't in the car. They turned around and started back and met the dog coming along in their direction. They were mighty glad to see each other.
Another time they arrived at the reunion, we noticed dirt up to the handle of the door on the right side of the car. We asked about it. He told us he was driving along at highway speed and he looked off at the dog or soemthing. He ran off the road onto the right side, the ditch was deep and he felt the car tip over so he gave it all the gas he could and the car banged the side of the ditch them righted itself. He whipped back up on the road and saved a wreck by really giving it the extra momentum that was needed to get it to straighten back up. He said they were really shoop up, but made it fine on into the reunion.
I had the pleasure of going fishing several times with Uncle Bart he was a good fisherman and Aunt Elva and uncle Walter Stephens make several fishing trips with him, along with Mother.
Uncle and Aunt Dickinson always shared their means and time with their families and they were excellent hosts. Some of us really took exceptional advantage of their generosity, but we did love them and they were always there for us, taking us in and sharing their lives with us.
Barton said he had to watch how much money he spent for fishing as Aunt Dixie would give the same amount to the church. He would make that statement but he was right there if the church needed some financial help (as the Albuquerque church will testify to). He never joined the Primitive Baptist church but was good to help and go with Aunt Dixie.
Barton passed away several years before Aunt Dixie, who passed away Septemer 13, 1984.
By: Walter Baldock, (Vol 2, Issue 9)
Gearald, was the youngest, was born August 20, 1930 in Kiowa County, OK. The family lived west of Mountain Park and moved to Snider, OK when Gearald was about 4 years old. The family then moved to a farm northeast of Mountain Park for four years. He attended school in Snider until the 3rd grade when they moved to Texico in 1938. The family moved to Clovis, NM in 1946. He attended Texico Schools, graduating from high school in 1948. After moving to Clovis, Gearald hitch-hiked to and from Texico in order to finish school. He was very active in sports, earning several honors.
After high school he started working for Mountain States Telephone Co. and retired after 32 years of service. he was drafted by the US Army in 1951 during the Korean War, and was honorably discharged in 1953, and was in the reserves for six more years.
His job with the telephone company broght him to Los Alamos, NM where he met and married Della Roybal on October 16, 1954. When they first got married they lived in a small apartment in Los Alamos and later move to El Rancho when Della went to work in Santa Fe.
They established a home there and later moved to Los Alamos and lived there for 10 years. Later, they built their present home in the Espanola Valley. They have been married for 48 years.
Their daughter, Terri, was born February 21, 1959. She married Karl Gonzales on November 4, 1979 and they have two children Monica Rae, Born November 3, 1980, and Kyle Ryan, born November 23, 1983. Terri and her family reside in Los Lunas, NM.
My first trip to the family reunion was with Andy and Tennie. Andy had a Studebaker truck that he used to pull his well rig around with. We put a cover over the back. There was their family and me. We were all supposed to sleep in the back of the truck. We got ready for bed--boy was it crowded. If you go ready to turn over, all of us had to turn. I got tired of that and got out of the truck some time in the middle of the night. It started to rain. Now I was in a real mess. I crawled under the truck and now every time I moved I bumped something that didn't move. I managed to make it till daylight. By that time, the whole bunch was up. I think I slept in someone's car the next night. Things got better as we went along.
By Gearald Baldock, (Vol 1, Issue 10)
One year we got the idea to barbeque a pig on a spit. Olney and Andy built the spit. We gathered wood and made our fire place. We placed the pig on the spit and got our fire going. Started turning that pig. Everyone took turns, either gathering wood or turning the pig. This went on all day and into the night. This pig was supposed to be our Sunday meal. Well, it came time to take this pig off the spit and open him up. He was just about as raw as it was when we started. Anyone that had a place to cook got out the skillets or whatever they could use to cook up the pig, whatever they coundn't use they gave it away to whomever wanted it. Don't anyone mention roastng a pig on a spit.
When we first started the family reunion, we would draw numbers as to who would wash dishes or which days you might help cook. Even numbers would cook, and odd numbers would wash dishes and alternate every other day. it worked fine until the reunion got too big for that. I was always fun to initiate the newcomers.
After it got too cold in Tres Ritos for Mom and Dad, we moved to Clovis for one year. I can't remember why we moved there. Then I believe Lu and Kermit's family found the place at Baca Campground where we enjoyed for many years.
I remember one year when they wouldn't let us into Baca because of drought conditions. Someone found a place in Ruidoso going up to the ski area. We drove up after work and there were quite a few family members already there. We got in around midnight and they proceeded to warn us about bears in the area. A lot of the family had tents. We had our poop-up trailer, with canvas and mesh for protection. Not too secure. We packed all of our food on the back of the pickup which had a camper on back. The next morning the bears had torn the mesh on the windows of the camper trying to get to the food. The next morning we all packed up and left the area. A man staying in a motor home told us the bears would get on the back bumper and jump up and down on it. Someone of our group had a lantern hanging up on a tarp and a bear would stand up and try to hit the lantern. It was too high, fortunately, for the bear to swat.
By Gearald Baldock (Vol 1, Issue 10)
I had a horse when I was growing up and his name was Chester. He was a very good gentle horse that Dad bought from a neighbor for $15; which also included a saddle. He had a big chunk out of his chest that the neighbor said he got on a fence. When Mom and Dad's grandchildren would visit I would go get the horse, put them on him. He would have kids from his neck to his tail. We used to have some pictures of him. Losing Chester was a sad time for me.
I had another horse that come to the farm. We couldn't find the owner. I could put my leg on the horse and stand on the ground with my other foot. The pasture at Grandpa and Grandma's house was one quarter section; about one quarter mile by one quarter mile. To catch this horse you didn't walk up to him. You had to chase him down. That was hard to do. By the time I caught him he was soaking wet. I always rode him bareback. We did not own a saddle that would fit this horse. When you got ready to get on his back you would have to hold the reins real tight or he would bite you. He made me walk home a lot of time because he would manage to get loose. The owner who lived in Clovis finally found out where his horse was and came and got him. I wasn't sad to see this horse go.
By Gearald Baldock (Part 2, Vol 1, Issue 10) May 2003
One of the worst things I got for Christmas was a BB gun. I wanted one so bad and I got it. My Dad said, don't shoot at any person. Some time later Coy Rogers and his Mother came to visit Mom and Dad. Coy and I got out behind the barn. We took turns shooting at each other. We would count to 10 and the person being shot at had that much time to run. You guessed it, they caught us and I lost my BB gun for awhile.
The next time I went to Texico to visit friends I went to school with, I took my BB gun. We played shooting cans and stuff. I came home in time to help with the milking. The next morning a County Sheriff came to see Dad and asked him where I was the day before. Of course, I was in town with a friend. The sheriff said that all the windows in the Cotton Gin had been broken with BB pellets. I told dad we had not done it, which we hadn't. I lost my BB gun and a lot more from Dad.
The next time I got in trouble with my BB gun was when Walter and I were milking the cows and we got into some kind of argument. Walter left and was almost to the house and I shot at him. I think I hit him on the ear. Here comes Walter. I ran out the back of the barn into the orchard, which was about 10 acres; quite ways back. Walter caught me. There goes my gun again.
We used to take our cow feed to town to have it ground up. Pat happened to be visiting us when Dad sent me to town with the tractor and trailer with cow feed, which was about 3 miles. About half way there Pat wanted to drive the tractor. That was ok with me. I got up on the trailer and Pat was driving. Everthing was going along fine when in a split second he turns the tractor across a bar ditch, through a fence, and out into a field. The field happened to be one we were using but it didn't belong to Dad. It wasn't bad enough that he did this. He turns the tractor around and starts back to the road. However, he dosen't go back the way he came in but moves over and makes another road out through the fence. I took over and got the feed ground and came home. I told Dad what had happened. Pat and I fixed fences for a while.
By: Gearald Baldock (part 1, Vol 1, Issue 10) May 2003
Meeting Nita's family for the first time was Christmas, after Gordon had died. I never got to meet Gordon. I never will forget Orville being so grateful for what Santa had brought him, and Cindie as a baby, playing with the doll Santa had left for her. An unforgettable moment for me.
A wonderful trip we took with Nita was when we went to visit Orville and his family in California. We toured Yosemite Park on our way over. We really enjoyed that stop. We then dropped her off at Orville's and we went on to San Francisco. On the way back we toured the Redwood Forest.
Walter and Dorothy always make a big to-do when we visted in Clovis. They made sure to get the family together so we could all enjoy one another. It was always special because we would get to visit with everyone.
I feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful and fun-loving family.
By: Della Baldock (Part 2, Volume 1, issue 10)May 2003.
After that, it was just a waiting game until April finally got there. That's when the fun began. It was running, hiking, laughing, roasting marshmallows, telling stories and desperately trying to hang out with the "big kids." Gaining the rank to hang out with the older cousins wasn't easy. Once night fell they became an exclusive club and we were never quite old enough. Finally one year at Baca, the "big kids" pitched their tents a little closer to the general camp area and with much begging and pleading, April and I were allowed to hank out. We were determined not to sleep at all that night. Lance was the last cousin still hanging out with April and me by our dwindling campfire. Eventually, Lance threw in the white towel, too. As Lance was making his way across camp to his camper, he rant into some skunks and returned to a lawn chair in front of our tent for the rest of the night.
I thought I might never get over finally getting to be a big kid, but now I realize that all the excitement is just sitting around a campfire bonding. It is the same at any age and with all family members and friends. Throughout the years, it has been wonderful to reunite with everyone and see how their families have grown and the new events in their lives. My favorite times at the reunions are the cookouts and the potlucks when we all gather together, give thanks to the Lord for all our blessing (each other), and then sit down together at one big table (figuratively) as one big, happy family. Here's to another joyous fifty years!
By: Monica Gonzales (Vol 1, issue 10)May 2003.
I, being a little shy, was scared to death to meet all of those people. With only our sleeping bags, we set them on the ground. It gets pretty cold in Tres Ritos canyon, so in order for us not to freeze to death, someone loaned us a tarp and we used it as cover over our sleeping bags. The next morning we literally had icicles hanging from the tarp, caused by our hot breath. It was cold and not much fun. The next morning I walked to the creek to get water to make coffee. While I was bent over to fill my coffee pot I heard this awful roar. Scared me something awful because I thought it was a bear. It turned out it was a bull (open Range), which was just as bad.
Introduction to the family was so very traumatic. Being a little shy, I was not ready for such a friendly, loving family. Then I had to cope with some very active teenagers, like the Little boys, who tried very hard to dunk me in the creek. These are fond memories that I will cherish forever.
Shortly after we were married, Lu, Kermit, and Lyman invited us to go on a trip to visit Opal and John in Fruita, Colorado. We went through the million-dollar highway, spending the night somewhere along the way. When we stopped for the night, Lu had prepared chicken and dumplings before the trip. Being young and naive, I was so impressed with her cleverness, And I believe that was the best chicken and dumplings I have ever eaten. You realize all this was quite an experience for me. While visiting with the Britton's we went on a picnic and Opal gave us a lesson about mushrooms, how to tell the good ones from the poisonous ones. On our way back we stopped and toured Mesa Verde Indian ruins. I remember being embarrassed to go on the tour because Kermit and Lyman were both wearing overalls. Can you believe that! Nowadays, you pay good money just to be in style wearing overalls. How life changes.
Our visits to Olney and Sally's home were always wonderful. Sally fixing steak, biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Olney making homemade sausage, the wonderful fried chicken dinners, making taffy candy at Christmas time, and the wonderful family gatherings there.
By Della Baldock, Part 1 (Vol 1, issue 10) May 2003
I also remember the fashion show. My sister and April Jackson were the 70's girls, and Perry and I were the future. Now that I look at it, people don't quite dress the way Perry and I predicted. Although if anyone took pictures of that event, my hair color wasn't too far off the mark. Those are the most impressionable memories in my head's database.
By Kyle Baldock (Vol 1, issue 10)May 2003.
I used to love to go to Aunt Opal and Uncle John's to ride horses and eat pickles. Aunt Opal made the best pickles I ever tasted. Camille and I would eat them with milk until we became sick. We'd always pester Uncle John to let us ride one of his horses. I think I was the one who insisted. He'd give in and let us ride. The ride was usually short-lived, as I remember Camille and I would fall off and we would spend the rest of the afternoon picking stickers out of her legs. Once the horse went under a tree and we hung onto a branch letting the horse go on. I still have about the same rapport with horses today.
I remember going to Aunt Tennie's and Uncle Andy's and sitting on Uncle Andy's lap to hear his say, "Well, hello there, poodonk". I don't know if he ever called anybody else that, but I felt a special connection to him. His funeral was the very first one I remember going to. I cried so hard that my dad got angry with me and told me to knock it off, already. Aunt Tennie was always so cheerful and laugh at just about anything. I remember her kind eyes.
Uncle Olney and Aunt Sally had the most fun game I every came across as a child. When I used to go to their house, I would go straight to the room where the steel ball game was and play with it for hours. Where did that game go anyway?
Uncle Olney would have the most fascinating stories to tell. Where ever we would go--camping, around the field, around the campfire--he just had that knack. Aunt Sally always had something yummy cooking. She made sure we had plenty to eat. I especially remember biscuits and gravy in the morning. Speaking of wonderful food, Aunt Nita always had something good to eat when we went to visit her. She would make the creamiest mashed potatoes. Mary Opal would do the mashing and they would not get on the table until Aunt Nita approved. I remember the wonderful bridal shower she gave Karl and me. Several family members came for this joyous occasion and she made the coolest corsage out of cookie cutters and a rolling pin.
I probaly spent the most time with Uncle Walter and Aunt Dorothy. Aunt Dorothy always made me feel special. She would take goodies for us to eat in church and paper and pencils to draw with. She taught me to sing the song "Amazing Grace", I love this song and it reminds me of her every time I hear it. She would assure me that the preacher was really not mad at us. I could hardly wait until we would go to the lunch room and have a wonderful meal with everyone after church. She always made me feel special both at the reunions and at her home, in which I spent a lot of time. When it was time for me to get my first 10 speed bike, Uncle walter helped me find just the right 10 speed bike. Camille and I would go on all our adventures in Clovis. We put many a mile on those bikes.
I sure do miss those who have passed on. When I look back on my life with the Baldock family, I realize how very special everyone is to me. I am so glad that God chose this family for me to share my life with. I always look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion, and this one will be no exception.
By Terri Baldock Gonzales (Vol 1, issue 10) May 2003.
He, his mother and brother came to live with us for a while. This was during the Depression, but Melvin could always scrape enough money to get some type of tobacco. he would share with me, so I got to smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or dipping snuff the same as he.
We saw each other through the years as I really think Aunt Wille was Dad's favorite sister. So we would visit back and forth with each other.
While they were living at Halton City, we visited with them and we brought Larry and Harry (Carson, as he is known now)home with us to stay a month or so during the summer. We enjoyed having them with us, but I think they enjoyed their time with Sally and Olney the most. We took them to Sally and Olney's for a while, and Olney living on the farm, had more time to spend with them and could show them a much better time.
When the family reunion got started they were with us. Each time they would bring the boys and stay in the cabins at San Questor, at the edge of Tres Ritos. This is where I was introduced to fresh tomatoes at breakfast. Melvin had invited us for breadfast and he said, "Walter, we have some fresh tomatoes for breakfast." I had never eat tomatoes for breakfast---really good! And I have continued to have them.
Melvin and Bernice loved to play 42 and 84 and it was a joy to play with them, for there was laughter all during the game.
They brought the boys with them (to the reunion) and they would wash their car on the cement crossing in the creek. Before it was over, everyone was wet with cold water for all of the young people got in the act. During those times there were lots of young people. I know at one reunion there were about 16-20 young people sleeping in an army tent that leaked all over, so that they had to dry their bed the best they could while the sun was out--but they mostly slept in a wet bed!
Dorothy D and I started to North Carolina once on a road trip one year, and we decided we should go by Blue Mound and get Melvin and Bernice to go with us. When we arrived, we found out that Melvin had just got out of the hospital from a heart attack and was not able to go on any trip.
They were faithful to attend our reunion as long as Melvin lived, and such time Bernice would often come. It was such a joy to see her, as there was always a laugh and a smile.
Now their family is grown and they have children and grandchildren who attend regularly.
The loss of Jim Tom was a blow to them, he had attended with his wife a time or two.
We always look forward to seeing the Blairs arrive as they add so much to our reunion time and have been a permanent part of the Baldock Reunions.
By Walter Baldock (Vol 1, issue 11)June/July 2003.
What's a vacation? Are we there yet? What's a Baldock? Wow! Can we ride a reunion?? Are we there yet? (Tres Ritos is a long way from Ft. Worth, Texas for three boys in the back seat.)
Hey it's cold back here. Okay, I'll go to sleep. It's dark. I don't understand looking for a sign on the road telling us where we are going. All of a sudden, we stop the car and we get directions. Then the loudest NOISE you ever heard. Olney and Sally meet us. Boy that must have been a good joke, because he was really carrying on.
Hey, I like these people! Mom and Dad (Bernice & Melvin) trying to tell me what a cousin is. 1st cousin, 2nd cousin, 3rd cousin.
Follow me and let me tell you about this magic bottle I've found. I get to see campsite after campsite. Laugh---hug---kiss'n cousins. Boy, I like this! Big kids, little kids, hiking everwhere. 84 tables, fishing poles---hey! I want a walking stick. Hey, it wasn't me---I don't have an ax. What's a national forest? I'm in Tres Ritos. I'm going to run away to where I am loved.
Uncle Walter and Aunt Ola treat me like a king and I can get used to this; and this other Walter is a nut---quite honestly. I think he stretches the truth as we are sitting around the domino table. Laughter---me and Walter Jr., Olney, Uncle Walter.
Hey, this is fun and I can go to Tennie's and Andy's and more cousins treat me to ice tea, where real men don't use sugar in their tea (just like I raised my boys. Now they know).
We go to see John and Opal and more laughing and a little reserved compared to the last camp. I just felt a little more prim & proper after leaving that camp site.
Well, you have to move to Lucy Mae & Kermit and more cousins, more red hair, and I can't keep up because Jim Tom and Ray, and Coy, Lester, and Jesse run off and leave me in the dust.
Well now, that magic bottle goes to an evening (a year or so after) and who invited the game warden? Pick up your hat Jerry Redford! Oh poor Gladys! What's a fishin'license?? How much was that ticket? No fish---no license---BIG problem---WE GOT FISH.
Oh that magic bottle conjures up a woman screaming and my cousin, a visitor, and my brother carrying poor Della to the cold, COLD water (I've got a movie of this).
Oh yeah---look at that pig on a stick, boy that looks like fun---18 hours later it's your turn to spin the pig. Sally sayin'I told you so....and her story never went the same way Olney told it, but they were fun.
Now Dorothy, she always seem to make everything okay. You see---she made me feel so special. I remember making up all these people as Aunt's and Uncles because cousin wasn't close enough---because I fell in love with the family and the reunion. See everyone should take lessons from Gearald and Walter and Olney on how to laugh.
You're right---its time to put up the pen, but I have so much more---and if you want the rest of the story, see me at the reunion. You see, my wife remembers the cold mountain streams---my boys experienced the same feelings and my grandsons will have the same experiences. I have a granddaughter who will knock you eyes out. Just six months old, Bracie will some day soon get experience it, also.
One more line and I'll shut it down. When we all get to Heaven---Jesus is going to say, "For a great evening, I'm going over to have supper with the Baldock's, and yes, I'll see you there.
Love to all,
Oh, Yeah---here comes the Judge---Juanita(now that's another story)!
By: Larry (Baldock) Blair (Vol 1, issue 11)June/July 2003.
Laughter will be ringing in your ears when you leave, he said, because the Baldock's love to laugh. Larry talked so much about Tres Ritos---the A frame cabins, the river and how cold the water would be---the games---the treasure hunt---Uncle Olney telling stories by the campfire---and, oh, so much more.
I attended my first reunion in 1969. Then, and only then, did I fully understand the joy of going to a Baldock Reunion. Everyone made me feel like I was a part of the Baldock family the first hour I was there. I am not positive, but I am almost sure that Dorothy Baldock was one of the first to give me a hug and let me know that she was glad that I was there.
We traveled with Melvin and Bernice---they knew what to take, I, on the other hand, just went for the fun--and FUN we did have.
I can remember the first time Bodie and Aaron went (that they were old enough to remember). Bodie stepped out of the car at Baca campground, looked around and said, "Are we really related to ALL of these people?" We laughed and said YES, isn't it great!
A few years ago we brought our grandson, Heath Carl Blair, it was his second trip and he was two. We we pulled in (after driving straight through from Ft. Worth) he got out of the car and took off. For probably three hours, he was running everywhere. The next year when we drove up to the campsite, Heath go out and was off and running again. Jesse looked at Larry and said, "I can't believe you brought Heath again---you couldn't keep up with him last year. Do you really think you can keep up with him now that he can run faster?" This year we hope to bring Heath again (he'll be 10 years old) along with our other grandson Cody Guy---he is three. Guess I'll still be running...and having a good time.
I never have been good at remembering names---and there were so many to remember. Over the years I have been able to put faces with names, and how they are a part of this wonderful family. Then they started having grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. So much for me knowing who goes with whom (name tags would be great this year).
By Mary Blair (Vol 1, issue 11)June/July 2003.
Water melon eating contests down by the spring. (Heather Jones, just remember you have never beat me. I always let you win!).
The games that we played: horseshoes, washers, 42, 84, 87, down, set, hut!
(O wait we were playing dominoes not football.)
The tree swing that was always in place when we arrived. Run Sheep run all night long. (Unless you run into Phil's grill.)
Treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, baby hunt. (I don't remember that personally but I have heard that story year after year after year....did we ever find the baby?)
Campfires, ghost stories, Uncle Olney stories with UFO's, rattle snake eggs, and something about counting to ten and then getting to shoot at your brother with a 22? (didn't quite understand the logic in that, but sure sounded like fun!)Editor:(that was a BB gun, Bodie, just to set the record straight.)
As I sit here and try to recall all the fun that I had year after year, I remember more and more the love, the laughter and the kindness that was always a part of "Our Family Reunion".
Heath and I are bringing a special guest this year, Leiann Roberts (soon to be Leiann Blair). Actually that will happen on August 30th 2003.
By Bodie Blair (Vol 1, issue 11)June/July 2003.