A fun recollection of Dr. Richard “Dick” Schorr is of the 42-mile (one-way) trip to school in Patagonia from Canelo in 1949. That year both the Canelo and Elgin one-room schools had been recently closed. The elementary age students attended Patagonia Elementary School by taking the Patagonia Union High School bus with the high schoolers. The trip from Canelo to Patagonia took one and a half hours beginning at about 7:30a.m. on mostly dirt roads, where students from local ranches and homesteads were picked up.
The school bus driver in 1949 was Harold Wearne who lived during the week on an old homestead with Jasper Joiner and wife. Jasper was the cowboy of one of the Jim Parker ranches located about one-half mile from the old Canelo adobe store. Ronnie and Jim Pyeatt drove about five miles down from their parents’ old ranch to the Canelo store to board the little bus. Mr. Weaner then proceeded to the adjoining Canelo Canyon to pick up Wag, Dick, and little Glenn Schorr (3rd grader), who had walked a mile from their parents’ Canelo Hills Ranch. Maralyn Parker’s stop was next. Her father, Jim, would drive her about three miles from their main ranch home.
The bus ride went on across the Houston and Babacomari ranches to pick up Nancy Whiteside from their ranch that surrounded Elgin on the west side. From there it crossed the bridge past the still active railroad station to meet Elaine Benham (Lindsey) from the Schock ranch and Grace Townsend (Wystrach) from the Rain Valley ranch.
Next stop was Ed Legendre’s Sonoita Mercantile for the Sonoita area students. Children who lived several miles north of the crossroads were transported to the Mercantile in a van driven by José Urquídes. They were Billy Barnett from the Empire Ranch; Larry, Lloyd, and Scott Feldman from the Feldman homestead; Charlie Putnam from the Putnam homestead; June and Alice Stoddard from the Stoddard ranch; Mike and Carolyn (Honnas) Pine; and Linda Hummel (Roslund) from the Gene Hummel ranch.
From the Vera Earl Ranch came Antonio, Aurelio, and Maria Leon; Billie Anna and Dorothy Douglass from the Bill Douglass ranch in Gardner Canyon; and Freddy and Herman Dojaquez from the Dojaquez ranch. Donald Honnas walked from the Honnas Ranch.
On the way to Patagonia the bus picked up Mary Kellogg from the Frank Kellogg ranch and Robert, Bill, and Christine Ambrose from the Ambrose ranch. Next stops were the Crown C ranch to pick up Mercy Jimenez; the Rail X ranch for Wally, John, and Jim Kolbe; and finally at the railroad crossing at the Lazy RR ranch for Rawson, Peter, and Lynne Harmon.
The bus arrived in Patagonia around 9a.m. and started its return trip at 3:30p.m. Dick recalled: “Stopping at the Mercantile and Post Office was a treat on route home. The older boys pumped the gas. We got to look at the sheet music for sale to see the words of our favorite cowboy songs coming out of KLINT radio in Texas/Mexico on Saturday nights.”
Most days the Canelo kids were home and doing their chores by 5 p.m., unless nature intervened. Dick recalled a long day in September when they arrived at Vaughn Wash on the Houston ranch to find it totally flooded.
“The bus stopped and tried to turn out in the pasture and got stuck. The Parkers realized the situation. They brought some apples and tried throwing them to us just before dark. The flood was too wide. We had to wait it out until about 9p.m. when some adults using two lariats tied together helped walk us through the water. Glenn, our brother, rode Wag across. We had to then sleep at a neighbor’s house until morning. No one had telephones so my parents never knew where we were. We got fed and somehow we got some dry clothes to wear that night.”
Special thanks to Linda Hummel Roslund who helped recall some of the names included in this article. We apologize if we missed anyone – please let us know.