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Saga of Last Roundup a Good Cowboy Story

July 28, 2002

Re "That Echo Is the Last Hoof," July 15:

I read your article while tears streamed down my face until I couldn't see the paper anymore. It felt like I was watching a close friend die, and I was helpless to do anything to stop it from happening.

I walked the very places you told about--Bee Flats, I know where that is. There are huge trees that house large swarms of honey bees. The air is filled by a loud humming that you feel more than hear. The wonderful old sycamore trees have limbs larger than most trees' trunks.

When I first moved here 16 years ago from Pennsylvania, I hunted for some open space to walk and retrieve a sense of peace and quiet and beauty. I found the Irvine Ranch lands, and accompanied by my camera, I walked and looked and took pictures of a wonderful place that still was rather wild. I met the cowboys once. The foreman told me to be careful, but he didn't ask me to leave--I think he knew why I was there. By being in the right place at the right time I also got to watch a couple of roundups.

The beauty of that whole area is a treasure that cannot be replaced once it's gone. It's a shame that money is so important that places like this have to disappear. This county would be better off if an effort were made to preserve such treasures.

Janet Keener

Costa Mesa


Thank you for the wonderful article about the Irvine Ranch. It was like reading cowboy poetry. It made me wonder what we were all thinking--moving to our own Eden and destroying it at the same time by pushing out people who are still conquering the Old West with grit and sweat instead of sport utility vehicles and Viking ranges. Please keep up the excellent work. The photos were perfect.

Elisabeth Joyce

San Clemente


Your piece on the final roundup at the Irvine Ranch was a fine batch of expressive writing. I missed it yesterday, and for some reason opened the section tonight; what a great read.

Robert Holmes

North Hills

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