The Roots of My Raising


“The roots of my raisin’ run deep
I’ve come back for the strength that I need
And hope comes no matter how far down I sink
The roots of my raisin’ run deep”   – Merle Haggard

I come from a long line of horse people.  Allow me to introduce you to my Great Great Grandfather, George Washington Ivey and his horse Rondo.

Grandpa Ivey worked cattle, and like all good cattlemen, he relied heavily on the skill of his horse.  Grandpa knew Rondo, a stud horse, was high-spirited and a little crazy when he bought him, but that was why he wanted him.  He worked long hard hours in the saddle and needed an alert horse to be aware of his surroundings and to warn Grandpa if something was awry.

One evening, after a hard day of working cattle, Grandpa rode up on a closed gate and got off Rondo to open it.  When he turned his back on Rondo, the horse took advantage of that unguarded moment and reared up, coming down on top of Grandpa.  With pounding hoofs and gnashing teeth, Rondo almost killed Grandpa .  After a long struggle with the horse, Grandpa was left with a crushed eye socket, a permanently blinded eye, broken cheek and badly mauled hand.  He somehow managed to gain control of the horse and with sheer will and determination he rode Rondo back home.

Upon arriving home, later than usual, his concerned family ran out to great him.  Bloody and beaten, he dismounted his horse, tied him to the fence post and tumbled to the ground.  When his teenaged son’s saw what the horse had done, they immediately got the gun to shoot Rondo, but Grandpa wouldn’t let them saying “No you aint killin him, it was my fault and that’s too good an ol horse to be shut of!”

This story was relayed to me by my 95 year old Mamaw.  George Washington Ivey was her Grandpa.  My Mamaw is tough as nails and quite a character in her own right.  She still lives in her own home and I’m sure she will be making an appearance here on my page before too long.  Yes, the roots of my raising run deep.


About Lori Carter

Hello, my name is Lori and I’m a true child of the seventies. I grew up in a small Texas town. If you’ve ever seen the movie Dazed and Confused then you’ve seen a glimpse of my past. I’m a mother, storyteller, lover of nature, cooking and exploring natural folk remedies for addressing today’s health concerns. I hope you enjoying reading my little blog and I welcome any comments you may wish to share with me.

14 responses »

  1. YOu can see character in her face. She’s strong. You can tell by looking into her eyes. Proud and hard working….lots of great characteristics! I really enjoy those who have lived long lives, who have many stories to share.

    • Thank you! She is a strong woman and admirable role model. I agree with you, I so adore seniors. I take advantage of any opportunity I may get to visit with them and learn from their many years of experience here on earth.

  2. Your Mamaw is beautiful and the story of your grandpa and Rondo makes me want to cry. What a special character he must have been to spare that horse after all the damage. I can see where you get your love for animals. I love this story and can’t wait for more.

  3. First of all, how incredibly cool that your Grandfather’s name is George Washington! No founding father, of course, but still cool. 🙂
    As elegant as horses are, something about them makes me edgy when they are near. With dogs and cats, and most other animals in general, they give you signals — plenty of time to stop whatever it is you are doing to pi$$ them off. With horses it just isn’t the same . . . they give you absolutely no notice before they haul off and step on you, throw you asunder, or chomp off half your face Your Grandpa sounds like one very neat individual (as does your Mamaw; lovely picture of her, btw.), and anyone who can endure an attack such as that and see the value in keeping a good horse, rather than seek retribution gets a gold star in my book!

    Happy Sunday, Lori!

    • How wild is that? In researching my genealogy I’ve discovered one great great grandfather was a confederate soldier on my father’s side and one on my mother’s side was a union soldier. I love digging into my family history. I feel like an archaeologist, discovering long lost artifacts. Fun stuff!

      Have a blessed week!


  4. Thanks for posting this. I needed to read it today. We come from a long line of people who have gumption like Grandpa Ivey and I am proud of it. Mamaw is priceless and I pray I make a mark on the world like she has.

  5. I wonder if they make men like him anymore? Somehow, I have trouble finding them… Smart men. Men who were self-reliant. Responsible. Hard on themselves and everybody else, but soft on the insides. Especially, I like the way they valued their horses and livestock. They ate what they killed and used the hide. Waste-not-want-not folks. I like him.

    • There still may be a few men like him out there, but they are few and far between. I wish I would have known him, George. When he was a young man he drove cattle on long cattle drives, I bet he had many a good tale to tell.

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