I wrote this a few years ago, and feel it worth sharing again.

As I look back and reflect on my life, and the things my Mother did for me, especially up to about the 15 year mark, and then it became a different kind of support and help, but she was always there.  It is so enjoyable for me to see all the influence my Mother had on me, and other people I know, and to see the influence they had on them.  IMG_1488

Roberta Frank (aka Bobby Wagner, aka “Mom)

YouTube clip of Mom eating sushi for first time.



Mothers Are Stockmanship and Stewardship
Mothers and wives are the real foundation of most family livestock operations. They are instrumental in keeping things organized, from book work to knowing what cow belonged to what calf, and could most likely point out the cow’s mother. Cooking for a crew is no problem. Serving as a counselor, bookkeeper, bill payer, nurse for man, vet for beast, driving truck, tractor, or riding a horse are just part of the deal.

I feel most women have more compassion for animals, and seem to get along better calving and lambing when it comes to mothering something up, grafting and suckling calves and lambs.

They probably are not willing to pressure animals as much as some of us men folk (I am not aware of any negative undercover video involving females). Most try to figure out a better way to work with animals, and very seldom lose their cool when working with them.

My mother Bobby Wegner kept our outfit together. Three good meals a day for family and crew. She always had a huge garden, canned vegetables (I love her pickled beets.), and got a big supply of groceries every fall. She was very good with horses, would wrap meat all day at the slaughter house, and still manage to do all her other duties at home.

She could drive truck, bale hay, cuss with the best of them when she was mad, get over her mad just as quick as she could get mad, and would take in any stray, animal or human.

She and My Stepfather Ralph Wegner, worked hard, played hard, went broke in the early 80’s, made it all back in the 90’s, and had a great time doing it.

I think my mother is the reason for my passion for animals. She had me horseback before I was born. Shortly after I was born she kept me riding horses, taking my sister and I to ride in parades, drill teams and rodeos. I always had chores to do, and she was real strict about doing them the right way at the right time.

I have many things to thank my Mother for – strong work ethic, compassion for animals, taking care of the land, taking me to bible school, and all the great fun things I got to do growing up on our place in the Helena valley of Montana.

The greatest gift my Mother has is her ability to make people feel good. She never met a stranger, always treated everyone the same when they came to our place, from sheep herders to bankers to movie stars.

I sure hope some of it rubbed off on me.

Take some time to think about what your Mother has really done for you, and take even more time to figure out what you can do for her. I’m not sure flowers will be enough.

~ Curt Pate

3 thoughts on “MOM

  1. Janice Baxter

    I’m so glad I met your Mom – she certainly was a force and still so kind and welcoming to me. You have so many of her attributes, and it is wonderful that you can appreciate all she did for you growing up, and the importance of women’s qualities on the ranch and in life.

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