Granddad Lee Small
At 88, Lee Small is the patriarch of the clan. He and his wife Mary have made running the ranch and raising a family their lifelong mission. They’ve been married over fifty years and during that half century Lee expanded the ranch considerably.
Lee’s sons Butch and Kevin and their families also live on the ranch. They do much of the hard labor it takes to keep the place going. But though Lee is no longer a young man you can still find him out baling hay or doing any number of other chores.
“I’m still out here working and in the spring I walk around in this mud and manure but I still like it. But you can never retire on one of these ranches. …I’ve been in the Navy and I’ve been in Japan and all over the United States but if I had my pick it would still be right here because the only one place I ever wanted to be was right here. …Well, the thing of it is, it’s such a free life. You kind of get to make your own decisions and of course you’ve got rules to live by but it’s just the harder you work the better…and you’ve got to work hard to make one of these things go.”