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Exhibit item: BESSIE DOAK HAYNES, EDGAR HAYNES, The Grizzly Bear, 1966, drawing by Mary Baker

Exhibit item:
The Grizzly Bear, 1966
Drawing by Mary Baker

The Blond Ranchero, 1960

"My father had a warehouse at Cave Landing when I was youngster and I would often be told to go with one of our Indians and take a carreta-load of hides and tallow if a ship was expected.

Our 'leather dollars' - pesos de cuero - would be exchanged for commodities that we could not produce on Nipomo such as coffee, sugar, chocolate and clothing or furniture ...

On one of these trips everything went along well until we reached the Oso Flaco region. The carreta got stuck in the sand and the poor oxen could not budge it. While we were tugging away, two bears came out of the nearby monte. We had a side of bacon in the carreta that day and the smell had probably attracted them.

They stood less than 50 feet from us - just stood and looked at us! We couldn’t get that carreta going and we couldn’t unload with the bears around. If we unyoked the oxen and left, we were pretty sure there wouldn’t be any supplies left on our return either!

I got the idea to make a dummy! I gathered sticks of wood from the nearby brush and took some of the new clothes we had got at Cave Landing ...

We unyoked the oxen and off we started for Casa de Dana, driving the animals ahead of us. Early the next morning we started back for Oso Flaco with the strongest oxen team that we had on the rancho.

We were very surprised to find a lot of bear tracks in the sand circling the untouched carreta. [But] they didn’t come any nearer than 15 feet despite the milling and circling that went on. Maybe they thought the scent came from the 'man' on the cart. We hitched the oxen to the carreta and finally got it out of the sand and on its way."

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