Buster was born on his ranch on the San'tone River close to Tivoli, the same ranch where his father, Charles Ross Bickford, was born and where Buster has lived his entire life. Buster remembers tales of his grandfather, Peletiah Bickford, going on the Mier Expedition to take New Mexico and make it a state but the expedition was betrayed, and his grandfather spent a year in a Mexican jail. After their release, they walked back to Texas with cowhide sacks for shoes. His grandfather married the granddaughter of Seabourne [Seabron] Lewis, Emma Lewis Bickford from the Lewis Plantation on the San Antonio River and became a rancher as did most settlers in this area. Buster grew up among feuding and fighting. The Bickfords were constantly in trouble and the stigma stuck to his family. Back in those days the whole family was guilty if one member did something wrong. Buster started riding with his father when he was seven years old. As a young man he carried mail for a time, but after his father died he was called back to his destiny. “There wasn’t anything but a cow and a plow. There wasn’t nothing else to be done.” Buster looked and talked like a movie cowboy and made a significant contribution to this oral history.
Freddy Fagan - You can do more with less horses.
Buster Bickford - Less horses, less men.