Romulo Ramirez


August 14, 1912 - 1991
Role: Foreman, Tophand

Romulo was born on the Jim O’Connor Ranch. His father, Camillo Ramirez, was born in Mexico and made his way up to the Coastal Bend working for the O’Connor Brothers Cattle Company where he eventually becoming ranch foreman. Romulo and his brother Camillo Jr., grew up on the ranches and briefly went to school before getting on a horse. They both were cowhands their entire lives. Romulo worked for Lawrence O’Connor until he had a “run-in” with his own father. He then went to work for foreman, Jim Coward, at the O'Connor-Tatton Salt Creek Ranch. After that, he worked at a refinery for eight years before coming back in 1949 to work under E. D. "Rusty" Coward at the O'Connor Melon Creek Ranch. He stayed there until he was retired in 1978. Romulo was a large man, renowned for being an expert brush rider and tophand like his brother and father. He had a wry sense of humor that carried a lot of knowledge about cattle and ranching.

Introduction to Romulo Ramirez

Louise S. O'Connor
Voice of Romulo Ramirez
RR – Well, the most important thing you got to read a cows mind. You gonna cut a cow, you got to learn which way he's going, go with him and if he's going to go away, well you gotta go that a way. So he goes to where you want to go. In other words, you gotta be smarter than the cow. There ain't two things the same. Everything is different because you can't tell him to do this because the next time it ain't gonna be that way; it be a different way. In other words, you just gotta outsmart a cow, that's all. Try to do what you want him to do. You know sometimes you be cutting calves, cows and calves, and sometimes the calf will be cut off from their mama. Then two or three calves here, and the cow be over there kinda wild. They don't stay there. They're a pair. They'll stay together. So you got to find the mama of that calf. You look at the calf and look at the cow. It got some mark somewhere, the cow got. You bring that cow out to the calf or take the calf where the mama is. But if the cow is wild, you can't get close to it; you gotta be way off. You push that calf over there and you stay away. And finally the cow come and smell that calf. But, some people don't know. If they aren't together, they won't cut it. You got to mother them up. Now that's a cowman.

Documents

“You gotta be able to read a cows mind. That’s the most important thing.”

Cryin' For Daylight: Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend