The Leaning Cow

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Pioneer Woman’s ranch from another perspective

August 23rd, 2008 ·30 Comments

UPDATE: 2013

Not very many people read this blog and that’s okay with me because I it’s about me writing and not about me being read. Today I noticed that on Labor Day, 2013 clicks had been recorded on this Pioneer Woman post. It was Memorial Day – maybe there was a marathon of her cooking show or perhaps her name appeared in a newspaper article.

A lot of people like her; a lot don’t. But it was Memorial Day and I’d like for this to be the first thing you see:

Diane Sawyer of CBS News once said that because of all the people who’d told her stories about where they were on Pearl Harbor Day; she sometimes felt that she too could remember that day — even though she hadn’t even been born by December 7, 1941.

Lately, my thoughts have been turning to German POW camps in the spring of 1945. I’ve read a lot about the war and seen film footage, but it was only this year that I talked face to face with a man who had been held captive after being shot down on a strafing run in his P-51.

This year, for the first time, I realize I have a feeling for, rather than just a knowledge of, the shock of captivity and the relief of being freed.

A few months ago, West Chester resident Bill Randolph sat not more than three feet from me and spoke of his experience 48 years ago in Germany.

Right up until the moment he bailed out, being a POW was something his mind would not let him consider.
I’d either survive or I’d be killed. I never once thought I’d be shot down over enemy territory.
The army took pictures of all the airmen to distribute to the French Underground so they could recognize us. And when they took that picture, I wouldn’t let myself think about it.”

But it did happen; and Bill Randolph survived that which he had feared most. He says he thought he was in shock; he thinks he kept himself in that state “so if something were to happen, it wouldn’t be so bad.”
Maybe so, then maybe young Lt. Randolph was just discovering a side of himself he did not know existed.

He was interrogated for five days in Frankfurt by a Luftwaffe officer — one who had a book of information on him as well as copies of what was on the squadron bulletin board back in England.

When was over, he was shipped to a camp. “This was a living hell,” Lt. Randolph states so matter-of-factly that there is no room for doubt.

The prisoners were sent to camp in boxcars. On the way, Americans fliers, unaware of the cargo, strafed the train. The memory of those minutes is clear in the Lt. Randolph’s mind.
There were three waves of them, and by the time the third wave came along I was down on the floor trying to dig into the fibers and saying prayers. Because of this experience, I felt like I had gotten closer to God…it was a spiritual thing.

It was there in that boxcar that I felt like that. I was allowed to go to the edge of disaster and brought back to live my life. I think because of that I’m more tolerant…that I know something I didn’t know before.
As the Allies drew nearer, the prisoners were moved farther from the front lines. It was a “terrible” 8 day march. The new camp was near Munich, about 20 miles from Dauchau.

You spent most of the time not thinking about anything. When you did think it was about food; no romance, all you thought about was food. I wanted a big chocolate sundae.

Then Patton came.

As far as I’m concerned , Patton won the war. He came in the camp and he was about 8 feet from me. We didn’t make eye contact, but I could see his eyes. He was saying, “Men, I’m proud of you.” And he was saying anything he could to make us feel good and he had kind eyes. He was gentle: he was a good man. I was very impressed with him; he could lead me anywhere.

After talking with Bill Randolph, I think I can almost remember it. Somehow he passed on to me a piece of experience..Now when I think of General Patton, I no longer see George C. Scott in front of a flag; I think of a man with kind eyes telling hungry, worn out soldiers that he was proud of them.

The past was in the air that day we talked; and I breathed it in.

This is interesting. Oh, THIS is an article in Working Range magazine about the Drummond Ranch – the place Pioneer Woman calls home. It loads a little oddly, coming up in the middle of the article. The Drummond Brothers are the 76th largest landowners in the US, according to the Land Report. Ted Turner is number one – sort of Turner Classic Ranches.

July 30, 2011

I see that the THIS link no longer worked, so I scrounged around and found another; now I have decided to take screen shots. The link will allow you to enlarge the pages; I have no idea what the screen shots will do.


Tags: Just Me - AmeliaJake · The Peanut Butter Cafe & Roadhouse

30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pottermom // Aug 23, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    You know sometimes I just don’t know what to think of little Miss Ree. Having grown up on a ranch where my father didn’t have hired hands (he had children) I know first hand about running a cattle ranch. Was it as large as the Drummonds? Nope, not by a long shot but believe me it was just as involved. The thing is, we had to worry about money constantly and it’s pretty obvious that the Drummonds do not have that worry. Not that I begrudge them the wealth, shoot I have a husband that does quite well in his field, but her blog makes it look just too easy when I know that the small farmer, the small rancher is dying off. They can’t afford to continue and their places are going on the market to be sold to developers or corporate farms. Quite frustrating as a way of life, as well as the mainstay of our food production is being lost. But who am I to talk. We had to sell the family ranch due to death, estate issues, family struggles and mostly loss induced by drought and poor management (which was the family struggles…. *sigh*). I guess I just get tired of PWs life is always cheery and great blog posts, I know it just isn’t reality to most ranchers.

    Sorry, I’m just negative some days about PW. Other days I’m peachy keen. Guess today I’m just a pickle….. do you have peanut butter and pickle sandwiches?

  • 2 AmeliaJake // Aug 23, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Yes, I don’t know what PW’s motivation is in producing her ever growing website – not to mention her extended family’s continuous compliance. I have wondered if it is part of an effort for the business to diversify.

    And that business, by they way, certainly is portrayed as a fairy tale place. When I first came upon her blog, I was interested in seeing the land and the cattle and learning about the operation.

    Now it has become repetitive – and a place of surveys clothed in the guise of contests. I still go to look at the pictures, but you know, the cows and horses are starting to look the same too.

    And the mention of the Bachelor contest tarnished, I thought, the dignity of the lifestyle.

    I was interested to see in the WR article that Tim (Pesky) talks about the consolidation going on. And I thought of all the small ranches that have been vanishing. Even here in Indiana, land that used to encompass several homesteads is becoming one big field after another.

    Say, did you know on Monday’s we have “free grazing” at the Peanut Butter Sandwich and Condiment Bar?” Some folks bring their own pickles . . . and one fellow brought a rutabaga.

  • 3 pottermom // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Well personally if I’d been the bachelor on the auction block I’d been mighty irritated. I get tired of the talk about lactating amongst other things.

    Rutabaga……I have to think on that one.

  • 4 indianwhoknows // Jun 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    the dates on this blog seem a bit old, not sure if anyone is still reading, but a fact that may help many put their minds at ease about how the drummond way of life can always be carefree — it’s because the drummond family receives money every quarter for the 23 headrights they own – this past quarter of 2010, the Osages wrote the drummonds a check for $237,000.00 — now you know how life can be easy when the money is coming from a source which does not rightfully belong to the family

  • 5 Carol // Jun 12, 2010 at 3:05 am

    let me tell you something Mr. Indianwhoknows. The Drummonds have worked very hard for everything they have including haveing the smarts to buy headrights when they were available. The Osage sold them. No one stole them. As you seem to pretend to know so much about the Drummonds, there are many other people the Osage sold the headrights to as well. I come from a ranching family around Pawhuska, grew up around the Drummonds and anyone who thinks they haven’t had their share of tragedy and heartache are misinformed. These are really good people who are successful because they work hard and have for several generations.

  • 6 Stephanie // Jun 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Wow! I’m so surprised to hear such negative things said about a successful ranching family. My family has owned a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California, and one thing my grandpa always said is that farming is a big gamble and hopefully you have the smarts and intuition and discernment to get you through it. We have many small dairies and farms around here that also aren’t doing well, but the discernment my grandpa did have was to put away when times were good. One of the reasons why PW’s posts are always cheery is because that is how she has chosen to see life. I’m sure the Drummond family has had there share of tragedy, disagreements, and dark grief, but because they CHOOSE to see things positively they don’t dwell in “the grass being greener on the other side.” I hope that some of you who commented above can move past some of the difficulties and losses in your own families and start seeing the world in a positive light. It makes life so much more pleasant for you and for those who have to live with you.

  • 7 NOW I get it. // Jun 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I found this site wondering if anyone ever wrote the truth after being deleted off PW’s blog. She posted about her son breaking an iPad (free) the other day. Tons of sympathy, of course, but some of us wrote the truth, from our perspective, in terms of “if you had paid for it, greater care would be taken,” or one person questioning how hard this could hit her, given the family dollars, or even “parenting skills.” When I went back to see if the flying monkey brigade was after me (the minions of these Mommy bloggers,) I found that not only my comment, but others…anything not in total accord with her…was wiped out. So much for free speech. I wondered for a long time how she lived so comfortably and was able to do all that she did. Crystal clear now.

  • 8 Billabong Jeff // Jul 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Let me tell you something Carol. If you had an ounce of sense you’d know about the fraud, swindles and outright lies and manipulation that took place with regard to Osage headrights in the early 1900s. The Osage people were exploited to a grand degree to an extent that eventually called for the FBI to conduct an investigation into the Osage Indian murders that took place between 1921 and 1923. The real question here is how did the Drummonds obtain so many headrights and how did they obtain all that Indian land, thousands of acres more than any Osage currently owns?

  • 9 Puhleezz // Jul 28, 2010 at 3:01 am

    @NOW I get it, I find offense to your free speech comment. I don’t know a thing about ranching or headrights, how PW get their $ (which quite frankly in none of anyone’s business) or any of that stuff but I do know this: it PW’s blog and she has the right & should approve and supervise comments on her posts. I personally find her food a little too rich so I’m not a fan, however, if she or any other blogger decides to regulate their comments, thats their right to do so. Don’t believe me, get on Facebook. You can regulate your “friends” comments to you – imagine that? It’s like ur highschool jr law teacher said: you have every right to throw that punch but your right ends when your fist makes contact. Similarly, u have every right to ur opinion but once u put it on her turf, your right has ended and hers began.

    @AmeliaJake, @Pottermom & @indianwhoknows a little Oprah watching is in order. Or if that doesn’t get u going, perhaps @theEllenShow’s dancing can hopefully get u guys rooting for people. We have so many tragic things happen to people as it is with out you having to come down on the “wealthy” rancher! Cheers to any blogger who can turn their blog into a book deal, get free stuff and have so-called contests to lure more readers while peddling wares for cuisinart. That’s the good old fashioned American entrepreneurial spirit! Don’t take my word for it. Go read other POPULAR blogs! was giving away a kitchenaid stand mixer and all you had to do was comment (please note @NOW i know, commemts had to follow their guidelines).

    Good luck to u all. The grass isn’t ever greener on he other side and the glass is half full. Don’t take my word for it. Turn away from the screen and see for yourself.

  • 10 Melissa // Mar 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    The thing that bothers me is that she presents herself as this “hoe hum country gal” which is just total bs.
    She’s not a country girl. She’s a wealthy ranchers wife. She doesn’t work on the ranch herself, and she can access plenty of those “city things” that she is always droning on about.
    She’s not even a city girl. She’s a spoiled woman obssessed with money who went after her husband because he’s rich and she wanted to be rich too.
    She calls her brother retarded, and then wipes the site clean of it after YEARS of saying she had the “right” to use that term. She posts pathetic stories where she shows how cruel and horrible she is because she embarrassed people, yet she expects everyone to be sympathetic to her.
    She’s a cold calculated money greedy person.
    Why is their farm getting subsidy money from the government? They make millions of dollars for keeping “wild” mustangs. It’s disgusting.

  • 11 Martha // Mar 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Granted, she should not portray her brother Mike as such a stuttering poor guy. But otherwise she seems very genuine. I do not think they were wealthy when Ree got married. Did not look like that to me! I felt sorry for her. She seems very down to earth and very friendly and has made a name for herself on her own. Good for her.

  • 12 laughing // Apr 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I am laughing at the envy of every person that has posted here. I guess Obama was all of yours choice for president as well. Hate the smart, wealthy people of the USA because they don’t deserve it…..who here can honestly say none of their ancestors did ANYTHING wrong to get ahead in life. So in 1880’s when there was NO LAW ENFORCEMENT every person was innocent. Get real, stop bashing a successful family just because they had business smarts.

  • 13 Rebecca // Aug 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    The point about the Osage headrights is absolutely correct – 85 attorneys lived in a town of 5,000 primarily for the purpose of taking advantage of the osage people and the Drummand law firm was one of them. the drummonds enjoy a ranching way of life for fun – the money they get for running wild horses for the government is enough to support their life style alone without even adding the ill-gotten Osage headright money. Ree Drummond is the daughter of a doctor from Bartlesville and was a journalist and photographer in L.A. on her way to job in Chicago when she met her husband and is no country girl but enjoys the big ranch way of life as any one would. They work hard because they enjoy what they do – not because they have to or ever had to.

  • 14 laura // Jan 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Ree is use to the life. She grew of living a Country Club life style. Her Dad is a surgeon. She lived in and went to college in CA then lived in Chicago (one book is titled high heels to tractor wheels). I really can’t picture her in CA, but I am pretty sure there they are styled for the show in Country clothes.

  • 15 Anonymous // Mar 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Has anyone thought to check the US Farm Subsidies list…..interesting the Drummonds receive free money

  • 16 Anon // May 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    $1,491,644 in subsidies from 1995-2010. Now THAT is disgusting.

  • 17 Kathy // May 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Most of u people need to get a life. I don’t know the family personally but it seems they work hard for what they have.

  • 18 Stacy // Jun 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I agree with Kathy. I grew up and worked (very hard) on a small farm in west Texas. The Drummonds DID NOT get where they are on farm subsidies or any other freebies. They have obvciously worked very hard for their holdings and for many generations too apparently. If you don’t like them, find yourself a different website.

  • 19 Jill Lowry // Sep 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Life is tough, even for people of wealth. Cancer, car accidents, mis-behaving kids, losing elderly parents, miscarriages, affairs, divorce…money doesn’t stop life; in actuality it probably creates more of the above. None of us escape personal challenge and grief. To all of the bitter people…pay attention to your own lives and learn to wish people well. Being nice, or not nice is not determined by economic boundaries!

  • 20 Jan Owens // Oct 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    We love you Drummond’s and all you stand for,keep up the goood work.We love u all. God bless..

  • 21 Polly Sigh // Jun 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Wow ! Some people really do hate the prom queen.

  • 22 Shell // Sep 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

    People, if you don’t like the Drummonds or the Pioneer Wonan show, why burn your brain cells thinking, watching, or whatever with this issue. Worry about YOUR everyday problems. There are other cooking shows that you can watch, but then again you will probably just tear them apart.

  • 23 teaching cook // Apr 12, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I love Ree and her show. Would I like to have the money that the Drummond’ s have…..sure, would I like to live the lifestyle that they live…….yes. That is why I watch the show, that and the fact that I love her cooking and recipes. Even though I like all of that, do I begrudge them and their family for all they have? No way! I applaud them for the good business decisions that they and their previous generations have made for their benefit. I do not live the farm/ranch life but my best friend and her family have a very large farm in South Dakota, I know the time, commitment and hard work that it takes to keep it running. They too have hired hands but they ALL work pretty much 24/7/365. They don’t get to take many family get-a-ways or have alot of family time. It is a big sacrifice for all involved. Kudos to them for doing it and doing it right!

  • 24 CakesToBake // May 27, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I thoroughly enjoy Ree and her telecasts. I grew up on a very large dairy and hog farm with lots of hard work for our family. It was fun, still has a ton of great memories along with a lot of sadness. Life is life and no one should begrudge the Drummonds.

  • 25 Mrs Dudash // Jul 29, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I think by now the Pioneer Woman has been thoroughly exposed as a fraud and a narcissist – so all this is old news. Look at how her appearance has deteriorated over a few short years and as yourself if the food she promotes is something you want to ingest or feed your family.

  • 26 Stella // Sep 9, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I watch because it is entertaining, I also would love to live a life like that. Who wouldn’t?
    If you “haters” do not like her, DON’T WATCH!!
    I sure no one is forcing you to. She does make easy recipes that people eat everyday, no fancy ingredients.
    So she has a lot of money, your dislike of her is your right as an American, we still can choose what we watch, so change the channel. Problem solved.

  • 27 anon // Sep 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I don’t look at her blogs but love her show! I know she has lots of money and has a ranch and all that but I’ve lived on a farm too and its money here and lose money there!! In the end it all balances out! They got bills too just like the rest of us!!

  • 28 Whiskers // Nov 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I will never watch her show again after hearing she has received millions of taxpayers (MY) money for the past 15 years.

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  • 30 A. L Kizer // Nov 21, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    The record needs to be set straight regarding the Drummond headrights. When headrights were set aside for the Osage by the federal government, the government made it illegal for the Osage to sell or give away their headrights. To say the Osage “sold” their headrights to the Drummonds is glossing over a very distasteful part of Oklahoma history. Very few Osage (perhaps 3 percent) could speak English, much less read or write the white man’s language. Many were threaten with death or worse if they did not sign over their rights, handed a deed, and forced at gunpoint to sign. This was the most strsightforward way for the greedy whites to get hands on Osage oil money. There were many other “creative” methods, most notably murder. The fact that the federal government did not get involved and enforce the headright laws, is just one page in a massive book of discrimination against the American Indian–hatred and jealousy that resulted in a genocide that rivals anything perpetrated by the Nazis during WWII.

    The Drummond’s acquisition of Osage royalties and land was and s both illegal and immoral. Get the facts. They are available to anyone interested in the truth. Onviously, believing a lie is the only way the Drummonds can live with themselves and their Osage royalty checks. But denial is only a bandaid for the soul.

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