by Joe Thorpe McCarter
William McCarter (1887–1977) and
his son Joe McCarter
My dad, William McCarter, was a first class storyteller and, while he could go a long time without a word, he could also spin yarns well into the night, especially in the cow camps that were home from August to November.
For those of you who never knew Dad well, he was a real cowboy. This may not mean a great deal now, but when he was 20-years-old he drew top hand wages from the Diamond outfit which was one of the biggest cattle operations in the state of Idaho.
It's hard to think of a present day occupation that requires the same combination of skill, courage, and sheer stamina.
The bad horses of today bear only a small resemblance to those of his era. He was allowed to try out for the position mentioned above because a Diamond hand was killed by a horse in his string. That horse, by necessity, became Dad's and he rode it as long as he worked for the Diamond outfit. Ah, but that's another story.
Please note that Dad's older brother, Orla James, was nicknamed Pete and more formally Orly or O.J. Dad used all three indiscriminately based, more or less, on the role he was playing in the story at the time.
I hope all of you enjoy the following as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
1897 Lights Out
1913 Buggy Horses
1915 Montana Stories
1929 Horse Tradin'