Toward the end of my years as ‘rover’ I lived in an RV park in a small town called Devore. Devore was a little town north of San Bernadino California. I coined the term ‘Rover’ as I didn’t really have a post. During those years I just floated around and did backup stuff for Pat Broker and LRH. We used the Devore RV park for ‘meets’ with DM and JB and a safe place for Pat and I to operate from. .
Early 1983, after LRHs birthday in March, Pat brought a horse to Devore. The horse was a beautiful thoroughbred mare named ‘January’. January was a birthday present from Pat and Annie Broker to LRH. We found a local with a corral for rent in the town of Devore and I took care of ‘January’. I fed, brushed and curried her and would ride her around the corral bareback (didn’t have a saddle). She loved me and I her.
One day in early May ‘83’ Pat came with a horse trailer and we loaded January up and off they went. Pat also had me look for another RV park where we could park an
RV or vehicle. I found a place on hwy 95(?) west of Victorville, Cal. It was a little RV park tucked away in a box canyon in the mountains. Later on when I was courier at Creston I would use this park as a vehicle relay point to change vehicles before going to Int (S) or LA. Well, after the Beverly Hills restaurant thing where Pat and DM had me burning a 20 dollar bill, I knew something was up.
It was mid May of ‘83’ when Pat showed up at the Devore RV park and told me to
pack up my stuff. He said I was moving and wouldn’t be back. We drove for a long time and finally we arrived at the sleepy little town of Creston. Creston was a small town in the coastal range of California in San Luis Obispo county. This was horse country.
Kenny Rogers had a big horse ranch there. Creston had two bars (Longbranch and Loadingshute), a Church, a small school, Post office and a few houses. Whispering Winds Ranch was about a mile south of town on a private road.
Pat didn’t tell me where we were going until we made the turn south of Creston. Pat said I was going to a ranch to work for the ‘old man’. Pat told me that I needed to choose an AKA (also known as) name to use. We had the radio on and the group ‘Carpenters’ were singing ‘its only just begun’. So I said Carpenter. I needed to choose a first name and I had to eliminate other names I had used. I thought about it and I just wanted to be an ordinary ‘Joe’. So now I was ‘Joe Carpenter’.
We got settled in and Pat showed me around the ranch. I saw my old friend ‘January’ and she was as glad to see me as I her. I also met ‘Rojo’. Rojo was a large ‘American saddle’ horse that we got with the property. Rojo was suppose to be my horse. He was a gelding and had a great disposition. We got along fine.
I started to work the next day and met the electrical contractors that installed all the electrical for the RV hookups at the stables. I ran all the water lines and plumbing etc. I went to town and bought lots of tools etc to setup the place. The ranch had been neglected and was very run down after a messy divorce by the previous owner. The ranch looked bad but it had potential. Lots of work to do.
After a couple weeks of setups, about early to mid June, we had completed the setups and were ready for LRH. Pat took me for a walk and stopped me and said “Sarge! If you ever blow, I will track you down and I will kill you”. It was tone 40 and meant to impinge. Now, Pat and I didn’t always agree but we got along and I thought we were friends. This just blew my mind. Anyway he told me he was going to go get ‘the old man’ and Annie and to expect them mid to late afternoon.
I hung out at the stables and cleaned the stables apartment and took care of the horses etc and waited for his arrival. I was very nervous. I double checked everything.
There were two vehicles. The ‘Bluebird’ was a large bus converted into a motor home. The ‘Country Aire’was a 40 foot long trailer pulled by a truck. The ‘Bluebird’ entered the gate first and stopped about 50 yards from the stables next to the lake. Annie was driving. I was standing at the end of the stables when LRH came bounding out of the ‘Bluebird’ and yelled ‘SARGE!’. Yikes! Anyone who knew LRH can attest that he had a booming voice. Now all the neighbors knew he arrived. I was surprised and happy at the same time. I hurried to the Bluebird to greet him. By the time
I got there Annie was there beaming at me. She said ‘hello’ and gave me a big hug.
I don’t remember seeing LRH so excited. He was giddy. All smiles and I could tell he was happy to see me and finally have a home again. Wow!
LRH gave me a conspiratorial look and asked “what’s your handle”?
I said “Joe Carpenter”. He laughed and told me that was a great name. Made me feel good as I thought so too.
Then he said my name is ‘Jack Farnsworth’, and he laughed again. I told him that was a great name. We exchanged ‘shore stories’ so we were on the same page. Pat was Mike Mitchell, the owner of the property. Annie was Lisa Mitchell, Mike’s wife and LRH was Lisa’s father. I was Joe, a friend of the family hired to help run the property.
LRH stared at me, still smiling, and asked me “who do I look like”? I said I don’t know. He said “ no, really who do I look like”? He could tell I was uncomfortable so he said “Colonel Sanders!” He laughed again and then we all did. He really did. His hair was long and white with a little red and he had a beard and he was dressed like a southern gentlemen.
Pat and I got the RVs hooked up and everyone settled in while I cooked dinner. I setup a card table in the stables living room and we all sat around eating and talking. It was great. LRH loved what I cooked and that was the end of the first day at Creston.