Monday, January 26, 2009

Bucky Steele #8

Scan11240, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


"Bucky once told me that when he died he wanted to be cremated and his ashes fed to the elephants.
He claimed that at one time charcoal had been used to rid elephants of parasites and no reason that his ashes couldn't be used to serve the same purpose."


Anonymous said...

As Bucky was married to my mother Gee Gee Engesser for a few years I have my own share of many personal memories of "growing up with Buck"....but I digress. I will address a few memories here.

Bucky was an interesting person.

While we did not see eye to eye on many issues he was nevertheless one of the most talented and hard working men I have ever been around. Bucky was admittedly "self taught" and a "jack of all trades and master of none."

I grew up around Bucky when he and Gee Gee acquired Vates, Zola, Roxy, Gee Gee, Schell and Buke. My early education in elephant management was largely a result of following and listening to Bucky.

As a trainer Bucky had the patience and ability to nuture the high profile behaviors such as the one foot stand and other outstanding presentations in the ring. Bucky also coupled this with lots of "play time" with Boy (his nickname for Buke) and the girls. It was not uncommon to go on "Safari" as he called it. We would jump on the backs of the Bulls and head off on a trail ride for miles stopping often so the elephants could graze and take a dip in a lake.

I often thought that Bucky was more elephant than human. It was apparent that the bulls related to him on every level. There was a genuine affection and attachment going both ways. In retrospect the relationship he, mom and I had with the elephants was quite amazing. It was a figurative page from the Jungle Book. Buke and the Girls were family. When they were young it was not uncommon for them to find their way inside the circus room in our house to enjoy a treat or two (they entered thru a large sliding door).

Every night after dinner we would visit them in the huge climate controlled barn (we built it by hand) in Seagoville behind the house and sit on an old couch next to a beat up fridge and give them treats and talk to them for hours.

Bucky could build anything. He loved to weld, saw, build motors. He was a one man machine shop. We built an elephant van and diesel truck to pull it. We built the house, barn, machine shop, bunk name it. Nothing was farmed out. Sometimes a few finishing touches were missing in the house to the dismay of my mom but the animal equipment was first class.

After mom and Bucky divorced in the late 70's we were not in touch. When mom moved to Florida in later years they became friends and talked often on the phone often mostly about Buke and the Girls.

I was saddened to hear that he passed away a couple years ago. From the pictures of his place in Jefferson posted on the blog it appears that he built quite a place for the elephants.

Bill Powell

rocknrolla said...

Hello Bill, My name is Laurel Landess, I was a friend of Pamela's when they were here in Seagoville. I lived around the corner but it was my uncle Jim who Bucky bought that land from that the elephant barn etc. was. I did not know Bucky had passed until I read your post. Can you tell me how Pam is doing? I would love to get in touch with her. If you could give her my email? I remember Whimpy, and feeding them apples and riding them. I have great memories of all of it.

Unknown said...

I Have horses at a farm in Seagoville and there are several pens that are very hevily built.
I know it is not the old Bucky site. this is north of 175.
does anyone know of another person or outfit that housed elephants or large animals in seagoville years ago.

Many people know this farm as the old cotton place.

GaryHill said...

Mr James Hall may be able to answer that question? I had the elephants off Lawson Rd in Mesquite at the World of Animals site in 71-73..

GaryHill said...

Mr James Hall may be able to answer that question? I had the elephants off Lawson Rd in Mesquite at the World of Animals site in 71-73..