“Likely, California, population 200. The town may be small, but it’s even smaller from my airplane window, where miniature buildings and ant-sized vehicles continue to shrink with each dizzying foot we climb. I try to relax a white-knuckled grip on the arm of the passenger seat of John Flournoy’s vintage 1952 light plane.
I laughed earlier when John asked if I was sure I wanted to go up to take aerial photographs of the ranch. “The last plane we had crashed, you know. But then, it was much older. Still, some folks-.’ The roar of the antique engine had drowned out John’s voice for a moment. “Some folks blamed it all on pilot error,’ he yelled. Now we swing over rich, green Modoc County, tilting so I can get a good shot. I’m trying to figure out if he was kidding about that crash story. Actually, John is a thoroughly expert pilot whose civilian skills were once put to good use training fighters for combat in Vietnam.
The plane, old as it is, is impeccably maintained by the mechanic in the family, Dave Flournoy. Yesterday I asked Dave about the huge equipment graveyard on the ranch, a section of old, broken tractors and implements that’s a familiar sight on almost all ranches.
‘Graveyard!’ he retorted. ‘That’s no graveyard. That’s our parts department!’ Dave maintains all the ranch equipment, the plane, and even his dad’s classic 1954 pickup purchased decades ago for $500.”
– Jim Keen, Great Ranches of the West Author & Photographer
This beautiful award-winning 12×11 fine art, hard bound, coffee table book featuring over 30 ranches in 17 states with nearly 600 photographs will make a wonderful addition to any home or office, and be a showing of your support for America’s struggling farm and ranch families.