I MUST TYPE Socorro's letter to the governor so that I can mail it as I go through town on the way home tomorrow. I'd like to send it in her own neat handwriting, but it is so bulky it might discourage a busy executive. I am anxious for him to read it because she volunteered to write it and it gives her “true thoughts.”‘‘
We had great pleasure and real enthusiasm in receiving your interesting letter which our teacher read to us. It was some excitement to all the little cowpunchers. We never expected a letter from a real governor, because we imagined you were too associated in great business being the State Governor to have leisure time.
We have the honor to invite you for our May Festival if you can come without inconvenience. We will give a big performance. There will be three parts to it, and we'll dance different dances for each part. We are planning to organize a good show for the 8th of May, and it will be very attractive. We are practically working with great enthusiasm, and I hope you can come.
You seemed to enjoy our Little Cowpuncher and we'll be sending you another one soon. We won't be able to print one every month of the year because our school term is ending. And four pupils are graduating: Mary, Edward, Ramón, and I. You won't have more stories written by us next year.
We are greatly pleased with you for making your duty nicely and developing our State, and for furnishing things to the schools, helping us in our education. All the children are gaining with the hot cocoa and oranges and sandwiches you furnished to help the underweight children who need to be built in normal weights.
I shall put writing aside now. All this year we have been writing and
answering letters to faraway friends. We even write to a little school in
Alaska. Please accept our invitation.
Yours truly, Socorro Aros, Eighth Grade
Since the art of recording sound symbols on a surface was invented, letters have been preserved and treasured. They are perhaps the most intimate, revealing, and authentic evidence of human minds that can be kept in permanent form. We are proud of our letters. In our March issue we printed some of the answers the little cowpunchers wrote to a few of the eminently busy friends we are indebted to for encouragement and material help with our little paper.‘‘
We all thank Mr. Frank M. King an editor of the Western Livestock Journal and author of a book called Wranglin' the Past, for giving us a present of the beautiful book Western Poems by a real cowpuncher Bruce Kiskaddon. We enjoyed them very much. They are real poems of cowboy life with horses and cattle, and they have pictures of cows, horses, colts, bulls, calves, and steers. All animals are drawn very well by Miss Katherine Field.
Mrs. Bourne has a book she bought by the name of Cowman's Wife—written by you. And she has read it to us because it tells truly of the life of our state, cattle raising, and the way ranch people live and make their lives interesting. We surely enjoyed a paragraph where once your car got stuck and Mr. Rak began to throw out the load and threw out the new glasses from the Kress. And one thing he carried with great care was a package of horse shoes.
We want to tell you now that those pictures you sent us in the little
book you made we think they were very nice drawings. Your book helped us in our
vocabulary such as “caricature” and “ballet” dancing
girls. Your pictures help us because we are having lessons in art sometimes and
we always are trying to draw. We are happy you like Little
Cowpuncher and please send us more pictures.
— Frank Aros
We are thanking you for the pictures you sent us from the Chicago Sunday papers. We like them very much and the teacher liked them too. Some of us have put them on our walls at our houses. —Herlinda Badilla’’
We are having a Dance Drama the 8th of May and hope we have success. We all wish you and Mr. Rak could come. Mrs. Smith, the superintendent of schools, is coming to give us a speech, because four of us are graduating this year. Two girls and two boys. Next year we won't be able to hear from you. We hate to quit school and never write stories for the Little Cowpuncher again. But we are glad we all passed the eighth-grade examinations thanks to God.
I wish you could come and visit our school some day. Thank you for the
books. The Wells Brothers is a very good book
because it shows that the two boys are brave to protect their cattle in the
storm. We have received from our friends this year many books, pictures,
funnypapers, Hoofs & Horns magazine,
Brewery Gulch Gazette from Mr. Stan Adler, a picture
book, and a Mexican song book. And many one dollars to help us in our paper. I
wish you good luck with your cattle and your book.
Pancho Aros, Fifth Grade
Pancho not only admires courage, he makes it a plank in his daily platform. Monday afternoon occurred his latest. The work horses being hitched to the wagon in the courtyard got scared and bolted when the dogs rushed out barking at Chato riding in across the arroyo. I had been lying down. When I heard the commotion I jumped up and ran to the door. Pancho had beat the runaways to the west pasture gate which often stands open, and waved his arms under the horses's noses, turning them aside. Still lunging, they made a dash into the back yard through the narrow passage between the end of the schoolroom and the pasture fence. Pancho dived to the ground and caught the drive-lines. They dragged him, stiff as a board, about thirty feet in a stream of dust but he held on and stopped them.
“No,” he answered brusquely. His face was white from the fine dust, making his black eyes look piercing. His family had stood watching in frozen attention and made no comment when he brought the horses back to the wagon. Ysidra, who had been standing in the door holding the baby, yelled to him in Spanish, “The dogs frightened them.”
Ramón was not present. He was off helping his father. He is made of the same stuff, but is less sensitive and more sociable. He likes to be bold and dashing and to have an audience. In his letter to Mrs. Rak he said: ‘‘
We have been very successful with our Little Cowpuncher. We are getting to be known all around the world. And we are going to have a big May Festival the eighth of May with the ERA orchestra to play at intermissions for our outdoor dance drama. We would be very glad to meet you there if you can come.’’
Every Little Cowpuncher that arrives is
declared by the children here to be better than the last one. You have no idea
what an incentive your children's writings and their library book work are
to the other children of the county. At least they are to mine.
—H. C. Sahuarita School
I enjoy reading your Little Cowpuncher which
I think is very thrilling indeed. You have good imaginations to write such
lovely stories and news for it. Of course you know that we used to print it
when Mrs. Bourne was teaching us. I remember when we voted on a name for the
little papers. Gareth Bingham was the one who thought to call it
Little Cowpuncher … I loved to write stories,
especially those original ones. But now I think I have forgotten how.
It is a pleasure that the little paper has become a bond between the two groups of children who have been closest to me. Both schools are small, isolated, patronized entirely by ranchers, serve only a few families. The letters the Baboquívari children wrote to the first little cowpunchers were not printed in the paper, but I have kept them in my files.‘‘
I live out in a ranch near the border of Mexico. ‘We are twenty-three now in our school. Most of us live very far and have to get up early to come on the bus. As for me I live right near the schoolroom. I don't have to worry.
Do you ever ride bronco horses? If you haven't I am going to give you an advice so that you will know how when you ride one. You press your laps very hard against the saddle and loose your legs from the knees. And don't take your eye off the horse's head. If you do you go down. That is the way I have been taught. I would like to know you. —Ramón Aros’’ ‘‘
We received your lovely letters Wednesday morning and they were so nice. We liked your pictures too. I wish you could know all of us and come and write stories in our Little Cowpuncher. You are good readers and good children we know because Mrs. Bourne told us.
I have read thirty-five books from the library. The teacher brings books, but we don't have time to read them all. We have to do other things. The teacher told us you were good readers. I wish you pass a happy Easter. —Herlinda Badilla’’
I am in the second grade. I have read 27 books. Mrs. Bourne likes to have good readers and she brings lots of books. She is a very nice teacher. I like her very much and I wish she can be my teacher till I finish school. I will cry when school close. I think I would like you if I saw you. —Marcela Hernández’’ ‘‘
It was such a pleasure to receive such an interesting letter from you that I felt near you. I am so glad that you like our Little Cowpuncher which I think is really interesting. I wish all of you kids could be with us here; I'm sure the paper would be more interesting. E. B. tells us about you kids and how nice you all are and how she misses you. We all think that we won't have another teacher like her. I surely hate to leave her this year.
She is reading aloud to us now about five books at the same time—sometimes one and then the other. I have read 26 books only I am ashameful to say. When Mrs. B. taught here last year she was really the one who got me interested in reading.
My father drives the school bus. We make over seventy miles round trip and it isn't any fun bcause you really get tired. We have two places where my father dumps a big load to wait until he goes for some other kids. The places where we stop and wait we have them named such as “Station Number One” and “Number Two.” My father is hauling now fifteen kids and we surely look like sardines in a can. We get home very late and that is why I haven't many books read.
The ranch where our school is at is quite large to compare with our little homestead. I am sending a little sketch of the Poso Nuevo Ranch. Our school is really named after the big mountains near, the Baboquívaris.
Do you dance there? We do here. We have a dance every Wednesday morning—that is half an hour. We learn folk dances and sometimes we can dance what we like. We are going to have a big dance drama which will be the eighth of May. I wish to invite you to come because I heard you are excellent dancers.
We got some letters from Alaska yesterday which were very interesting. I think you have heard of E. B.'s friend, Mrs. Marguerite Tiffany Naas. She is teaching the little Alaskans. They write cute letters. Answer, please. Yours truly, Edward Hernández’’
I am in the eighth grade, weighing 120 pounds, 5 ft. 2½ inches tall and I am 15 years old. I have three brothers and one sister. We have five dogs using them most for hauling wood. Dogs are not used as much as they were before airplanes came into use. In time I think they won't be used at all.
Our school is a one room log cabin lined on the inside with beaver board. It has windows on the south side because of the prevailing north wind.… The fox season opened on the 16th of November. I have three traps set now and expect to set six more. A man caught one fox already. The skin is worth from ten to fifteen dollars. There are not many foxes around but there are lots of ptarmigan.
We don't live in snow houses like your geography says. I never in my life saw anybody live in a snow house, and they don't. We dress about the same as you do except in winter we use mucklucks and parkas with our clothes. The food we eat is about the same as you eat, except we don't get fresh vegetables and fruit all the year round, but canned food we do get. For our meat, instead of chicken, beef, and mutton, we use reindeer and ptarmigan. In summer of course we add fish and different wild fowl.
We get mail twice a month. In winter the mail comes from Seattle to Juneau by boat, from Juneau to Nome by airplane, and from Nome to here by dogteam. From here to northern places by airplane. It takes a month for mail to get here from the United States.
There is daylight all night and day in summer with twenty-two hours of sunlight. In winter about one to two hours of sunlight and about four to five hours of daylight. The country is covered with snow from October to May and the rest of the time it is not. In winter the average temperature is 40 degrees below zero. And In summer 70 to 80 degrees above. In summer the people plant turnips, lettuce, and radishes, and a few plant carrots and spinach too.’’
Our school is 22 feet by 22 feet and is 12 feet high. We have to have lights in the morning. We had them till noon today because it is cloudy and snowing. We have three blackboards and a piano. It is heated by a heater and it burns wood. A new floor was put in our school this year. I hope you will answer and tell about you.’’ ‘‘ Martha Jorgenson, fifth grade:
It is snowing all day. Snow is little drops. They are white and make drifts all over. The ground is all white in winter. When spring comes we have the most fun. In summer we swim and go wading. We also pick berries. The names of the berries are salmon berries, blue berries, black berries, cran berries, and currants.
I am in the fifth grade and I am ten years old. I am 68 pounds. I am four feet and one eighth inches tall. I have light brown eyes and light brown hair. I am tall and slender.… There are seven people in our family. I have four brothers and no sisters.
Snow is little flakes and sometimes the flakes are bigger than other times. I would send you some because the teacher says you don't have snow in the desert near Mexico, but it would melt. We use it for water sometimes because when winter comes it freezes all the water into ice. We use the ice and snow to make water.’’ ‘‘ From the third grade:
The little cowpunchers wrote prompt and enthusiastic letters to these faraway friends. And in April the Alaskans wrote again, and sent us Wallace's weather chart. He wrote to Pancho who had answered his first letter.
I went to Landing with a fellow who was freighting stuff from there. We took up 500 pounds with eleven dogs. At one of the bridges the water was over them, and we crossed anyway. The water went over the bed of the sleigh but the flour and sugar never got wet because we put the canned milk in the bottom.
To the Landing it is seven miles and we made it in about fifty minutes.
It took one hour to come up. We got here at three o'clock and caught
Trazan [a nickname for a short fellow] outdoors.
Your friend, Wallace G. Johnson
The Eskimos do have a language of their own. Here is an Eskimo sentence: Na-vak-sac koo-nick-dak coos-kuk. Meaning, Maiden is kissing the cat. The Eskimos have not a written language. I understand most of it, but I can't talk it—only a few words.
Through the interesting letters we receive the little cowpunchers, living almost as isolated and primitively limited lives as their ancestors, are getting acquainted with the great moving modern world. Johnny, our sailorboy pal whom Mary wrote of as being “away up there
The great floating fortress, U.S.S. Pennsylvania, proud flagship of the U.S. fleet, and home of Admiral J. M. Reeves, sails this week to parts unknown to fire the second of the year's battle practice. It is fired on the world's longest range, the blue Pacific. The firing consists of shooting at a target which cannot be seen by the crews who fire the fourteen inch guns. All the aiming is done by the eyes of the fleet, the ship's fast airplanes. Now let us interview one of the men behind the guns, one of the men who fire at the invisible targets. We overhear him talking to one of his shipmates.
“It is about time for Long Range, Paul. I always get sick after we fire one of those blasted salvos. The first isn't so bad, but those last five surely get me. It's that wait between shots that hurts. There I am with my fingers on the firing key, eyes on the repeater, waiting for the buzzer, nerves like a taut line, and then those guns go off. No bang to those guns—just a roar which keeps getting louder all the time. No wonder we all get sick. Powder, smoke, concussion, and nerves on edge. But I wouldn't miss it for anything. There is something in firing those big guns that makes you forget everything but to keep them loaded and going off!”
“Well, Paul, it is this way. The spotting officer gets the range, and the deflection, which he sends to the ship by radio. The ship picks it up and plots it out on a big board, then sends it on down to my repeater. The face of the repeater looks something like a clock. The red hands move as the plotting room directs, and all I have to do is pop the white hand up to match with the red one. When the two hands match, then the gun is aimed at the target.”
“Say, kid, you should know that. Each gun takes four ninety-pound sacks. There are three guns to a turret, four turrets on the ship. Figure it out yourself. And each turret fires six salvos. But here is your answer: twenty-five thousand nine hundred and twenty pounds of powder. Now let's see how much steel that throws 27 miles. Each shell weighs fourteen hundred pounds; that makes one hundred thousand eight hundred pounds of steel. Wow! That is certainly throwing a lot of steel a long ways!” —J. F. H.’’
I am very proud to know that we have such good student editors in our state. I like the Little Cowpuncher because it is so very original. It says everything as if someone were telling what was happening at the moment. I also think it is quite amusing with humor that fits well in the stories.
You have put us to shame because we live in a city and do not edit a
school newspaper, while you who live in the country do. I hope you will keep on
in the years to come as well as you are doing now. I wish you success in your
wonderful little paper and above all success in life.
Yours sincerely, Edna Aguirre, 7A, Roskruge Junior High School,
Mrs. E.——and I read every issue of the Little Cowpuncher with great interest. We think you are a
very enterprising school to publish a newspaper and make it so entertaining
with your parties, games, trips to town, and everyday happenings. I have become
familiar with the literary style of your contributors and find it unusual and
refreshing. I much prefer it to some of the cosmopolitan newspaper types of
writing; for at least we know it is sincere. The illustrations are most
intriguing. I congratulate the pupils and teacher of Baboquívari School for
having the imagination to make everyday life and tasks full of interest.
With best wishes, I. K. E., Decatur, Illinois
When school started after Christmas, on the sixth of January Bill came from Tucson and brought one box of oranges—a gift sent by a lady who lives two thousand miles from here. Mrs. Charles A. Ewing sent them because she liked the Little Cowpuncher. We appreciated them very much and they have lasted us nearly two weeks. —Luis Badilla, Sixth Grade’’ ‘‘ A PRESENT FROM IOWA
Miss Olga who lives in Iowa where the tall corn grows has sent us a present of two dollars. Mrs. Bourne bought us some work books to help us in our education. They are of history and reading. We thank this lady very much. —P. A., Fifth Grade’’
We owe a debt of thanks to Mrs. Rosa Rhodes of Redington for her generous interest in Little Cowpuncher. All the little cowpunchers of Baboquívari appreciate her very much for helping us with our paper. She bought the newsprint for this issue. And we thank her for sending us the little book of Mexican songs. We were glad to get it and some of the girls began to copy some words out of it.
Thursday we never expected a visit from Mrs. Hill. But she and a daughter of the Picture Lady, and a brother of Johnny, and even Johnny himself whom we thought was away off in the ocean, came in the night and brought us a fascinating gift which we appreciate very much.
The next day at school all the children were full of joy and very grateful to Mrs. Hill for bringing these strange beautiful fish. There are eight of them and we have given them names. The weather fish we named them Torpedo Twins, One and Two. The gold ones are named the Gold Dust Twins, Tip and Top. The black one that is a Chinese Moor is Tin-Lung, and the one with him is Silver Mate. The pink one is Strawberry, and the small one in her bowl is called Pee-Wee. They brought them and some snails in four glass jars. And they also brought us some very curious shells from the Picture Lady. Thank you, folks, we all thank you very much. —S. A.’’
Little Cowpuncher has been much obliged to the editors of the Tucson Daily Citizen, the Arizona Daily Star, the Western Livestock Journal, Hoofs & Horns, Brewery Gulch Gazette, and Arizona Stockman for their words of encouragement. Quoting: ‘‘
I am thankful to the little school children of the Pozo Nuevo Ranch down there on the border of Old Mexico in Arizona south of Tucson for the nice write-up they gave me recently in their school paper Little Cowpuncher. The children in this school are all good
The Little Cowpuncher, published by the Baboquívari School, under the direction of Mrs. Eulalia Bourne, herself a fullfledged cow woman, is attracting the attention of many people. The convictions and imagery of the children are reproduced untouched and it would take a cold heart indeed not to enjoy the journalistic efforts of these little Mexican-Americans. —Arizona Stockman
I do wish that all of you readers could see a copy of this paper (Little Cowpuncher). It is an eight-page mimeographed tabloid size sheet. The writing is done entirely by the children who are Mexicans; Mrs. Bourne, the teacher, types the stencils and the children run off the copies on the mimeographing machine. Most of their pages are illustrated with drawings by the children. They write about everyday happenings and familiar scenes, and their ability to express themselves is remarkable. —Ethel A. Hopkins, Hoofs & Horns’’ ‘‘ SCHOOL NEWSPAPER ATTRACTS PRAISE
Strikingly original is the school newspaper Little Cowpuncher, which comes out once a month at Baboquívari School. All of the articles and items appearing in the mimeographed sheet are signed by their writers from the second grade to the eighth grade.… A short promotional article, signed by Ramón Aros, appeared in a recent issue, as follows: “This little paper is written once a month by the Baboquívari pupils. We call it Little Cowpuncher because we all live on ranches, including our teacher and we are all born of cowboys. If you subscribe to it we will try to make a larger copy. We are Mexican boys and girls and that's why the English is not perfect.” —Tucson Daily Citizen
… The Little Cowpuncher, a
mimeographed school paper of the Baboquívari School, Pozo Nuevo Ranch, reached
many friends yesterday throughout Arizona and the west, for the little
cowpunchers are growing famous.… And as their fame grows, so grow the
students of this isolated school which graduates four students from the eighth
grade at commencement exercises “which will be talked about for weeks and
weeks to come” the eighth of May.
—The Arizona Daily Star
Instead of stultifying her students with questions on what happened to
Amo when the Amozans got hold of it or whether MacBeth or his missus put King
Duncan on the spot, Mrs. Bourne keeps them right on the prod on the highlights
of modernity and is developing a bunch of youngsters who will be of more use to
society than a carload of professors of the old school of pedantry … The
most decorative flowers sometimes grow wild on the prairie and likewise
intelligent education may bloom far from the swank of the metropoli.
Brewery Gulch Gazette