Ranch Logo THE RANCH
Escapees Logo

The Way it Was
by Flo Schmalzl (from The Original Ranch Palaver,
May 1998, Vol. 1, no. 5)

With the Ranch House design chose, Fall 1983 brought a call for construction talent.  Vic Huegel, a retired mason, taught his skills and laid the adobe type block.  Paul Ogilivie oversaw the wooden construction and roof shingling.  Morty Risch became clerk of the works and organized volunteers for various jobs.

Paul & Flo

Paul & Flo Schmalzl

Each day in the shady grove of trees, Happy Hour included progress reports and various jobs for the next day for the many volunteers.  Thru the temperate winter, the teams of volunteers were busy not only with the club house, but also drain fields, trenches, roads, and their own lots.  The ladies supplied lemonade, ice tea, and snacks daily.

At last in early 1984, the cornerstone, duly inscribed with the date, was laid by President Ted Lee.  1984 coins were embedded in the sills as the windows were framed.

By late April the building lacked only windows and doors, which were installed during the summer, along with two bathrooms and an office in the southeast corner.  Today the old office is the kitchen pantry.

As fall arrived, much of the interior was still unfinished, but the work was to wait.  The workers decided it was time for a party.  Thus a gala night of impromptu skits and entertainment, dancing to CDs, and sidling up to a rustic bar of boards and saw horses with lots of firewater kept the fun going into the wee dawn hours.

From this a tradition was born.  A long fun weekend - a roundup - a roundup of SKPs before each semi-annual business meeting.  Ideas flew - games, food, crafts, casino night, food, cake walks, a dunking booth, and food, food, food.  All ending with a barbeque, and topped off by a night with a show of sorts.

Denny McGowan suggested perverting Ranch to Raunchy - Raunchy Nite - everyone in Raunchy costume.  Denny produced the show, replete with raunchily clad Ranch Hands.

While the spring Roundup has been eliminated, the three day fall even remains the high point of the year.  Leaseholders and guests work together to perpetuate the same friendliness and high spirits as at that first Roundup party.

And so the traditions continue as new members with their youth, enthusiasm, and fresh ideas take over.  Best of all, The Ranch, The Original Ranch, remains uniquely the most friendly, the most caring, and the most fun location in the entire SKP organization.

Road Runner

Barrbed Wire

SKP Co-op Retreat of New Mexico, Inc.
P.O. Box 109
Lakewood, New Mexico 88254
Phone 575-457-2303 & FAX 575-457-2100
email: skpranch@pvtn.net