AUGUST 9, 1955
MEEKER, Colo.—Last Friday morning we started off in two cars to go and look at a horse which Elliott decided to buy, subject to an examination by a vet. My daughter-in-law, Minnewa, was going on to Denver and my grandson, Bill, was taking a plane to New York. Minnewa was to spend two days in Denver getting her son, Rexie, off to Los Angeles where he will be for a few weeks.
Elliott and I picked up the veterinarian in Meeker and soon the horse was examined and found sound. He certainly is a beautiful horse. We put him into the vet's horse trailer for the trip home, and those going to Denver proceeded on their way while we retraced our tracks.
A charming young woman who is to spend several weeks on the ranch, Miss Hart Hagin, was with us on the return drive. She has become almost a member of the household and now that Elliott's daughter, Chandler, has arrived, the two girls, being about the same age will enjoy each other's company.
The man and woman who sold my son the horse have a little girl, seven years old, who has had polio since she was three. She has had treatment in the Children's Hospital in Denver and did extremely well. Though at first she was paralyzed from the neck down, all except her two arms, she breathes perfectly now and her back is practically normal. The muscles of her stomach are normal, too, but her left leg is still badly paralyzed. Her right leg, I was told is much better than it was at first. She wears braces and uses crutches and gets around remarkably well.
The little girl wanted to hold Minnewa's little dog and he promptly wrapped himself around her crutches. This upset her onto the ground, but she was not hurt at all and took it very well.
Her mother told me the youngster does her exercise every day. She is taken to swim in the warm waters of a nearby spring and she can pedal a bicycle, which she does as part of her daily exercise. She can even ride her pony, which for a child with two braces is quite remarkable.
The doctor will not consider any operation until she is at least 12 years old, but the parents hold out great hopes that the youngster will be entirely normal or at least be able to do most of the things other girls do in this part of the world. It would be dreadful if she could not ride later in life, for her brother, who was showing off the horse, rode in bareback with only a halter. His mother told us with pride that the boy could ride almost before he could walk.
After returning to the ranch we had a late lunch and went for a ride. It was only my second attempt, so, of course, they were taking me at a very slow pace. I feel sure I would be completely inadequate to anything that required more than merely sitting on the horse and letting him take his own way up and down the mountains. But I enjoyed it very much and am glad to find that I am not stiff from the experience.