PV 8/28/21

Last night at our house a big part of the crew — we counted 26 adults and 10 kids! — gathered together to bid happy trails to Vergal and his wife, Gail. Vergal has worked here at the PV with us since I was a little girl, right about 30 years, and he and Gail are deeply woven into a colorful and intricate PV tapestry. Anyone who’s worked with Vergal will recall his quiet way with first-calf heifers, his perfected application of a hot iron (it is conceivable that he’s branded 30,000 calves with the PV in his time here), and his large catalog of stories, most of which begin with these words: “Down there on the Red Desert in Wyoming…”

Vergal and Gail are “retiring” to a slower life in their native Wyoming, though Verg has suggested he might be back to roll out his bedroll in the bunkhouse and daywork come weaning season or next branding season. Until then, we’ll remember him by the oft-repeated punchlines that wrap up his Red Desert stories, including… “Honey, get me on outta here,” “You know the difference between a good meal and a great meal is about five hours,” and “Drink up boys, there’s a sandwich in every can!”

– Tam Blake

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