Gertrude was a true one of kind. Time with her and her stories was always a great joy, eagerly anticipated. "My people come from Africa way back when. They wound up in Louisiana as slaves and farmers. They farmed on "halfsies", the tenant farming system of sharing half of the crops with the landowner. My mother was a Christian who raised seven children and I never heard her cuss an oath in her life.” “My mother was born after The Freedom, but she remembers all about that Ku-Kluxin’. It was rough back when I was young in Louisiana. Seemed like they wanted to put us back in slavery – they used to call us “monkeys.” That’s why I decided to come to Texas. Here we are all like one. There never was no problem on these ranches about race." “I always heard them talkin' about Texas and I wanted to see what it was. I came down here to see the ‘hookin' bulls”. I'd never seen a prairie or a ranch before, and I didn't have any idea I was bein' hired to cook for a bunch of cowboys. I couldn't fill them up; but, at the same time, they was complainin' about my food. So, I just finally had to lay religion on the shelf and tell them how it was goin' to be in my kitchen. I was goin' to run that kitchen and they was goin' to follow my rules.” Truth was Gertrude’s guiding light. Never ask her a question you didn’t want answered honestly. She wore wonderful costumes such as striped socks and a pair of panty hose on her head and delighted in bringing out her collection of wigs to add to the magic. She was a collector of handmade objects many of which she made herself. Gerturde’s control over her kitchen, her rowdy cowhands, and, if truth be known, Jim Welder, was one of the legendary tales of Coastal Bend ranching.
“Finally I got them in line because I wasn't scared of nobody. By the time I left here I loved this ranch and I loved my cowboys. It got to be home and family.”