Media Files
Title:
Robert Bondurant
Collection:
Oral Histories
Organization:
Bondurant History
Duration:
00:42:23
Duration:
00:42:23
No index available for this file.
INTERVIEWER: OK, we're
interviewing today
Robert L. Bondurant, who now
lives in Casper, Wyoming.
We've had a little preview
of where he was born
and a little bit of history
about his town, Parkerton,
Wyoming.
We thank you so much
for doing this for us.
INTERVIEWER: Now, you just
keep talking the way you were,
and we'll have it on tape.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Well,
we used to come up here a lot
when I was a kid.
And my dad worked in that
oil field down there.
The more money-- see,
there wasn't much money
to be made up here.
My granddad, I think everybody
knows he used to freight.
INTERVIEWER: Is
your grandfather BF?
BF was my grandfather.
Yes, he-- my goodness,
he'd freight from clear
down to the rocks, plains,
[INAUDIBLE] and all that area
back then.
He used to have the--
well, [INAUDIBLE] 'cause
you'll have to see those.
You'll like those, where they
had the [INAUDIBLE] tepees,
you know, and all that there
by the old homestead up here.
[INAUDIBLE] but he would
freight groceries, everything,
clothing, everything.
So they had a store there.
And it did quite well.
My grandmother, of
course, she was an angel.
And everybody loved her.
So she took care of the store.
But he was gone enough a lot.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah,
what was her name?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Her name was Ella.
Yeah.
[INAUDIBLE] I keep thinking Ella
Mod, but I'm not sure of that.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
But anyway, she was just
a little gal and lovely lady.
Everybody loved her.
I can remember coming up here
when I was a kid, playing out
in the yard.
We used to sleep
upstairs, as kids did.
Gosh, it was up
there that one time
when I was my two sisters
younger than I and myself.
And my younger sister
hadn't been born yet.
And we got chicken
pox, I think, and then
one time got the measles.
But anyway, we slept upstairs.
And my granddad was there this
one time, and he was sick.
And in the store,
he had a counter.
And on this one end of the
counter, he had a barrel.
Now, this barrel
looked like a wine keg.
[INAUDIBLE] but it was only--
oh, it must have been that high,
you know, and so big around.
But it looked just like this.
Wine keg and that.
That was lined with wax paper.
Now, this wax paper was
pretty heavy, of course,
they had in those days, and
no name waxed on one side.
And that was full of
old-fashioned chocolates.
Yeah, that was what was in that.
And I remember that
I was given a--
when I was sick, and I decided
we were to get out of bed
and go downstairs, which
I had a purpose for.
Because when I'd go downstairs,
and I'd catch him down there--
I'd wait till I could
hear him down there.
And I'd go down, and
he'd give me a chocolate.
[LAUGHTER]
INTERVIEWER: OK, now
that was in their hotel?
That-- well, it wasn't
actually a hotel.
But, yes, they did--
INTERVIEWER: But it was in the
old building that's there now?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
[INAUDIBLE] But [INAUDIBLE]
they slept some
people in there, yes.
But they had tents
and [INAUDIBLE]..
But, yes, that was--
and the original post
office there [INAUDIBLE]
discussion there.
The original Post Office Acts,
they tried to get that in 1903.
And I've got the history of it.
And in the papers,
[INAUDIBLE] today.
I think you'll find the--
that was when it first started.
In years past, when they
wanted to get the post office
in the outlying
places like this,
you might have to carry
the mail for several years
before they would
allow that post
office to be there and then
allow certain people to do it.
And my grandmother
wanted to-- originally,
to name the post office area
here Pearl, and after my dad.
His name was Pearl.
But the government
would not allow that.
They allowed it to be
bundled, and so that's
what it has been for years.
And then the gentleman that
had the Triangle Left Ranch
you remember when it was--
when the post office was
in the Triangle Left Ranch?
Do you remember
that by any chance?
INTERVIEWER: Was that
when Wallace had it?
Was his name Wallace?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
It sounds right.
INTERVIEWER: His last name?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
I think it was.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
I felt that-- just--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: I'm
just not sure anymore.
But, yeah, for several
years, that was that.
And we would still--
my aunt and uncle
lived in that cabin
that is just to the left
of the Elkhorn store.
See, that Elkhorn
store used to not
have the cafe in the middle.
And they used to
drive under there.
And then the [INAUDIBLE] works
had a little square building
in there with glasses
all for a side.
So he sold souvenirs
out of that.
Yes, I still have a tip
of a horn that has been
flattened down on one side.
And it says Bondurant.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
they had that chain on it,
piece of cord.
I still have one of them fellas.
But then that was taken away,
and they put a Quonset hut
in there.
And that's where they sold
the horseshoes and [INAUDIBLE]
INTERVIEWER: Oh, they
had everything in there.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Anything that they had--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: --you
didn't ever see anything,
I suppose.
But, yes, we used
to come up there.
And my goodness, yes, that
cabin there, my aunt and uncle,
my dad's sister lived
there [INAUDIBLE]
and they had three
girls [INAUDIBLE]
size of their children.
Ella, Doris, and Pauline.
And then they moved.
Pauline married Baker, yes.
And so they moved.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah,
Pauline was your aunt?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: No,
Pauline was my cousin.
INTERVIEWER: Your cousin.
My aunt was Essie.
That was my dad's
sister's name, Essie.
Ha-ha, yes.
And her husband's name
was Frank, Frank Hanson.
And they had the three girls.
And the-- Pauline, yes,
she married the Baker boy.
And so when they moved,
well then, later on--
excuse me-- then they
moved with their two.
And that was-- it was
nice to come up there--
just to come up.
And spent-- well, we used
to spend quite a lot of time
up here [INAUDIBLE]
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
INTERVIEWER: Up at the
front place there--
up there?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yes, we just--
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
INTERVIEWER: It must have been--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Well, we
always call this God's country.
I still do.
And I-- oh, God, [INAUDIBLE]
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
INTERVIEWER: She had a
great garden, I've heard.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh my goodness.
But we used to just--
you know, I always remember
forever of coming up,
you know, staying with
grandpa and grandma.
INTERVIEWER: Now, what
was your mom's name?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
I'm sorry, [INAUDIBLE]??
INTERVIEWER: What was
your mother's name?
And she spelled that with one
L. One L on the back [INAUDIBLE]
INTERVIEWER: And what did
your father do for a living?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: My dad
[INAUDIBLE] when he quit--
he quit ranching and then went
to work for the Continental Oil
Company because
it was more money.
And the year around--
we have pictures.
I should get some of pictures.
I have some pictures, you
know [INAUDIBLE] I'd have to--
I'd have to-- pictures and boxes
that I've got to go through.
INTERVIEWER: We'll
get you next time.
[LAUGHTER]
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
That they have--
in the wintertime it was
hard to make any money
unless you [INAUDIBLE] I
have some pictures of winter
kill elk in the snow,
in the trees, real deep.
And then this would
be the spring,
and they'd be all strung
up, you know, loaded,
legs up high like that.
Winter kill, they used to
have that an awful lot.
Yes,
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
[INAUDIBLE] terrible.
Well, it was always
interesting-- always
interesting, yes.
We had so many friends and
your family [INAUDIBLE]
And it was-- oh,
it was so great.
INTERVIEWER: OK, you're
mistaking Ginger.
She is Ginger Brookes.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah,
you're thinking
she's Pat, so, uh, OK, OK.
INTERVIEWER: And
this is Joy Eufer.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
[INAUDIBLE] Nice to meet you.
INTERVIEWER: Joy works
for our newspaper.
INTERVIEWER: She's also more
professional [INAUDIBLE]
the camera, but she's
too late, isn't she?
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
Yeah, OK, got you.
Oh, Lenny Campbell, he used to
wear these cock-eyed overalls.
Never anything else
except a shirt with it.
But that was always his dress.
He was-- oh, he was nice guy.
And they came from the south.
And Rita, she was
something else.
Oh I mean I used to have to come
[INAUDIBLE] have to come over
to see what, you know,
regardless of if [INAUDIBLE]
was staying with [INAUDIBLE] I'd
have to go see him [INAUDIBLE]
and Jim [INAUDIBLE] and--
but Rita, she'd get on
that phone, long crank
or short crank, and
then the number on that
was, of course, your call.
But she would listen
on that phone.
And then some people, they'd--
of course, you could
hear her pick it
up [INAUDIBLE] and some
people when they get--
when they'd say, hang up, Rita.
[LAUGHTER]
And if you were on that
phone, you'd hear her.
Click.
She had [INAUDIBLE] let's see--
Rita, I really enjoyed her.
She was so good.
Then Molly, I used
to [INAUDIBLE]
that Molly was a lot of fun.
Yeah.
Yeah, and then the boys come in.
They're her nephews
[INAUDIBLE] and then
the one day, eventually, it
was [INAUDIBLE] little Jimmy.
[LAUGHS]
Oh, we used to have
so much fun up here.
It was just wonderful.
And the people are so great.
They always were.
INTERVIEWER: Well, that's
what we want to hear,
some of your memories.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh my goodness.
My memory isn't something else.
And everybody's gone
almost, you know.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
and Jake and everybody.
[INAUDIBLE] so many of them,
and I can't remember their names
[INAUDIBLE]
INTERVIEWER: Now, do
you remember the--
where the-- where BF
and his wife buried--
where their cemetery
is-- where they buried--
they had a-- they lost a child.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah, they're
buried right here in
the Bondurant Cemetery.
And their children-- they
lost a number of children.
INTERVIEWER: I knew they
lost one early in life.
And so I just--
but you are familiar
with the cemetery?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Oh, then
they lost about half a dozen.
I think it's in that history
that I brought up today.
They used to have--
they used to have the
spots for [INAUDIBLE]
INTERVIEWER: They still do.
They still do.
And then [INAUDIBLE] the
original home [INAUDIBLE]..
The original cemetery
was made out of poles.
It did have the big
gate and elk horns.
And that was torn down.
Then they put the fence up and
then they got the neighborhood.
It was real nice.
But I think--
I don't know what happened to
the graves of the children that
died at birth.
But I remember, yes, there
were a number of them.
And I saw in an article.
And I don't know
who was written by.
But they said that there was a--
what the heck was
these people's name?
[INAUDIBLE] had said that they
had a number of stillbirths.
And I often wondered if
they got some mixed up
with some of the Bondurant
ones, but, yes, they
had a number of
them, terrible thing.
But, yes.
My uncle is buried there.
We thought that maybe we'd
bury my father in up here,
but my one sister
especially said
I want to be buried down
here before I'm going to be.
[INAUDIBLE] So my
mother is buried there.
And my sisters
[INAUDIBLE] So I still
have my younger sister, yes.
And [INAUDIBLE]
When we were down to do
the viewing last week,
that's when we ran into Dustin.
And well, of course, that
brought back memories
right quick, because Layla was
very close to Jack [INAUDIBLE]..
So we saw Dustin.
That was nice too.
And That's somebody
that we really
liked, was Molly and Jim.
[INAUDIBLE] I suppose they
still call that Pizoni's Ridge,
don't they?
And they still call their
house the Pizoni place.
Little Jennie owns it now.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
They should.
They lived a long time.
INTERVIEWER: But it's
known as the Pizoni Place.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Ah, that's great.
INTERVIEWER: Pretty
much the same cabin.
I don't think they have--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh, I'll bet--
INTERVIEWER: --done much to it.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh, that's great.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
I'll be darned.
INTERVIEWER: In fact,
there's a fellow here
that manages the Little
Jennie, so maybe we
can get him to tell you
about the Pizoni Place.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Well, I'll be darned.
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
Oh, I spent a lot of time there.
Yes, that-- yeah, me, Wendy,
and Ren enjoyed that place.
So that's where that Jack Parker
picture was taken with me.
Yes, that was--
INTERVIEWER: Do you
have any questions?
WOMAN: I'm sure
thinking this is just--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Now
that's-- that also is where Roy
Fisk's first--
spends his time.
INTERVIEWER: Yes, it is.
We interviewed him a year--
in September.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh, did you?
INTERVIEWER: And
he mentioned that.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh, is that right?
INTERVIEWER: Pizonis were
favorite people of his.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yes, that's true.
WOMAN: They used to rent rooms
to workers too, didn't they?
Not-- it wasn't just tourists.
But I met someone over in
Idaho, in Teton Valley,
and I think his name
was Clion Tonks.
And he told me that
he had stayed there
when he drove a bulldozer.
He stayed at the Pizoni's and
that they rented rooms out.
And I think they were
building a road somewhere.
Do you remember the road?
Has it always gone--
Dell Creek Road always gone
on the way that it does?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
I remember that--
the road up Dell Crick?
INTERVIEWER: Dell Creek.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Whew, I can
remember when that was a trail.
[INAUDIBLE]
now, I'm not sure.
I've always wanted to come back
up here and get the figures.
Coming off with Jones Drive, the
cabin down along the road there
[INAUDIBLE] is my father's
old homestead originally.
And he sold that to [INAUDIBLE]
INTERVIEWER: It's the hospital.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: And I've
got the numbers and everything
else of that.
I've got the-- well, I must
have the bill of sale for us.
WOMAN: Ooh, wonderful.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, they
called it the John's Place.
And then, oh, yeah, we used to--
wow, we had a lot of fun.
INTERVIEWER: Well, you know,
most of the buildings--
there are buildings
that were up at the--
up at the end of the road that
came down to the Little Jennie.
And I think--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh yeah, up Dell Creek?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah and then--
INTERVIEWER: I think
one of the Pizoni houses
is over by the main house
of the Little Jennie.
It's kind of a story and a half.
It's got an upstairs,
a little upstairs.
They moved buildings
all over the place.
In Wagstaff, they had
that Little Jennie--
and the Little Jennie.
Yes, I was speaking of
that cabin down there.
[INAUDIBLE] that was
my dad's old homestead.
And my uncle-- my
uncle had a homestead.
And I went up on--
let me see, now.
That was above-- above
the old Baker place.
INTERVIEWER: OK, now,
which uncle was that?
WOMAN: Right across
the road from--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Fronk's place.
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Now, I believe
that the Fronk Place
that one time belonged
to my uncle, the one that went--
I think he was the one that
was killed in the service.
INTERVIEWER: Which
uncle was that?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Well,
I'd have to look in the papers
to see.
But It-- I don't remember.
[INAUDIBLE] he was-- yeah,
he was killed, I think,
in the World War I or died,
anyway, during that time.
And I don't remember
just how it was,
whether it was-- there was
so many on them that died
with flu and stuff like that.
I mean, you know--
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: But it
seems to me like that was--
INTERVIEWER: The Spanish flue
was really bad, wasn't that?
WOMAN: Yeah, it
was awful, awful.
INTERVIEWER: The Spanish
flu hit in about 1920.
INTERVIEWER: 1920, the
1920s, uh-huh, I think so.
That was terrible.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
It was a great while.
[INAUDIBLE] my memory flash
back like on the Baker Place
and the, uh, that did they
call that trail that went--
trail went back behind the--
INTERVIEWER: The Indian trail?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yes, Indian trail, yeah.
INTERVIEWER: Still there.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: We
used to go in there a lot.
Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: Still there.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
we worked around there
and we went up.
Oh, I used to get a lot of
Elk up around the slide that--
INTERVIEWER: Oh, wow,
that's up off Dell Creek.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah, up on Dell Creek.
INTERVIEWER: Dell Creek.
Yeah, all in that area.
INTERVIEWER: And that's--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: I
got so tickled that--
INTERVIEWER: And that's-- that's
your spread there, isn't it?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: One time
when Roy Fisk first came,
he liked to take pictures.
And so he went out with
me a time or two hunting.
Oh, sometimes, we went
clear to the timberline,
and-- and we used to see the
sheep up there and everything.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Coming
back down, one night,
I can remember, and I
thought it was too dark,
but he was taking
pictures of everything.
I don't-- I often
wondered if they came out.
So ones is probably took of
the moon, and that-- you know,
you might have got
some good ones.
I don't know.
But some of that stuff I thought
might be a little too dark,
but he sure liked
to take pictures.
[LAUGH]
INTERVIEWER: We'll have to
ask him if he [INAUDIBLE]..
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
yeah, you'll have ask him that.
INTERVIEWER: Maybe someday.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: He
might remember that, yeah.
I used to--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: I used
to bring my horses up, and--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
But we walked with him,
and I walked that.
INTERVIEWER: What did
you do for a living?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
When I was--
when I was young, I would--
we lived in the country.
We didn't, although I was
born in the company house.
So the very end of
the companies when--
when things were going strong,
there were company houses,
and they would have maybe
15 or 20 houses in this camp
and some more in here.
And they were scattered all over
this big [INAUDIBLE] oil field.
But my folks didn't seem to
want to stay in the camp.
So we got back to place--
a place outside there.
That's where we could
have our animals and that.
And then we finally
got away from that--
the direct area, and that
across the Platte River there,
there was a railroad track
here, and the Platte river
comes down through another
railroad track here.
Anyway, we lived between them.
They was a mile apart.
And the-- we had a place
there, a little bit of land,
and so my dad was
kind of happy there.
My mother was great
for gardening and that.
So, yes, we kind of kept
out of the thick of it,
but then I was raised,
and there was, like I
said, a number of us kids.
Times were tough.
The Depression was on,
and the Prohibition--
WOMAN: Prohibition dry.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Anyway,
[INAUDIBLE] got larger.
Then I was always
working on a ranch,
even when I was real small.
And I worked on various ranches.
So until I was 20
years old, all I'd do
was punch cows, and ride
broncs, and that was it.
And-- then when I was--
I decided to-- to
get into, hopefully,
get into bigger money
and something that
was more permanent.
And so then I applied for
a job at the American Oil--
well, it was Standard Oil then.
It had changed names.
Now, of course, it's
BP, British Petroleum.
And-- but I applied, and I got--
I was an office boy,
and I worked there.
Then a few months, and then
I went into the service.
I applied to get into
the Navy and Air Force,
but they would not have
me, nor the Marines,
because I was color blind.
I passed physicals.
I passed everything.
But the last thing was
the eye test, and that--
so I waited.
Well, it didn't take long
till I was finally a soldier.
INTERVIEWER: How
old were you then?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: So
I spent several years
in the service then and three--
but, anyway, yes, I was
in the landing in France.
But--
INTERVIEWER: Was
that a terrible time?
WOMAN: Very emotional
for you fellas.
WOMAN: Yeah, it really was.
WOMAN: We certainly--
WOMAN: It's OK.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
[INAUDIBLE]..
INTERVIEWER: Was it the Army?
WOMAN: That's OK.
INTERVIEWER: Mr.
Bondurant, was it the Army?
INTERVIEWER: That
was the Army, yeah.
Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: Now, that's OK.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah I've got a--
I got a letter from a
number of people that--
from the president of France
there a few years back
thanking us for being in
on the landing in Normandy.
INTERVIEWER: Well, you
know, I read that--
that France and,
I think, Belgium
were both so overwhelmed to see
the American soldiers come in
that they still thank--
they still thank you American
veterans for their freedom
for saving them.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah, oh, yeah.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Well,
they were great people.
INTERVIEWER:
Without-- without you,
they couldn't have
held off, so good job.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
they were great people.
We had a lot of help from them.
They were good to us.
And yet I've heard some people,
you know, think what came last,
and I don't know.
I've always thought
[INAUDIBLE] French people.
And I thought, hey,
you weren't there, man.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
But, yeah, that--
I was in there.
And, yeah, I'm proud of that.
And then because of
that, the senators, Dana,
wrote a nice little
letter too, you
know, thanking us
for that thing.
And--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: And I
spent several years there.
And then I came
back, and then I had
to go into men's work, of
course, which was fine,
because I was over 21 then.
INTERVIEWER: How-- how old--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
And I worked there
till I retired and
worked about 39 years.
But in the meantime, I--
I kept my hand in ranching
as much as possible, and--
so I did a lot of work, and then
after my father passed away,
then my mother,
several years later,
married another big rancher.
There were the three brothers,
actually, and none of them
were married.
And the one married, he
was 64 when he married.
And then mom and
Ed were married--
he was a nice guy.
And then the old
one was Charlie.
He never did marry.
He was strictly and old
cowboy all the time.
I was able to keep my hands in
ranching clear up until, well,
after--
after my stepfather died.
Well, then I finally
sold my horses, you know?
And that was the end
of it, but that's
something I always enjoyed,
and, yeah, it was just great,
but I always enjoyed
coming up here [INAUDIBLE],,
and see these people.
And it's just a--
just a wonderful place.
But my grandfather--
he was quite a--
an individual in himself.
He wanted to-- he was
quite an entrepreneur.
He wanted his business,
and he did make it pay.
He died in Kemmerer or,
rather, that's where
he had his accident.
He was visiting
some people there.
And it was about
dark, and he was--
he was walking over to the
fellow's house to visit.
Anyway, they were doing
some work in the street,
and they had the hole
there, and he stepped off--
He broke his hip
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: --of the
side, yes, off the boardwalk
in that hole and broke a hip.
Well, in those days,
if you broke a hip,
that was the end game.
There was just no way of--
of living, and he
was dead in six days.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yes, when
you broke a hip years ago,
that was the end.
INTERVIEWER: [INAUDIBLE]
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah, it sure was.
And so then my mother,
or rather my grandmother,
I think, the last she had the
post office was like 1926,
I think, is when she
got rid of of that.
And, oh, gosh, I--
I had forgotten so much.
INTERVIEWER: OK, when were
you married and to whom?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
When I was married?
Well, I got married--
I've been married
a couple of times.
And--
INTERVIEWER: Well,
the first marriage.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: The
first marriage, I was--
I married a French
girl there in Casper.
She come over as an immigrant.
And so, anyway, she was
working at one of the--
I think, Penney's
store, actually.
And my sister was also--
either way, they were
really acquainted,
so she used to bring her out in
the country there to the folk's
place.
And so I got tied up with her.
But then I was
around, and we had--
we have a boy and a girl.
My daughter is-- is 60.
She'll be 65.
She's 64 now.
She'll be 65 Halloween.
INTERVIEWER: Oh,
and what's her name?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: I
used to call her Spook.
And when she started
school, then I thought,
well, I'd better quit that.
So I quit calling her Spook,
and she lives in Nebraska now.
And she has no children.
She was married, and--
INTERVIEWER: What's her name?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Her name is Bonnie.
Well, we call her Bonnie.
Well, that's what people
call me, you hear Bonnie.
Yeah.
INTERVIEWER: Hmm, I'll be darn.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Bondo, Bonnie.
Oh, I was called--
INTERVIEWER: You
got called Bondo?
Bondo for-- ah, yeah.
And, yeah, I also was
Sergeant Bonnie, you know,
Sergeant Bond.
It depends on [INAUDIBLE] there.
And that-- but, yeah,
but Bonnie's name
was Roberta Caroline,
and [INAUDIBLE] you want.
And then Bob, he's--
he's 63, now just turned 63.
And his name is Robert
E, Robert Edouard.
WOMAN: Eduard.
INTERVIEWER: Not Edward.
Eduard?
Edouard.
E-D-O-U-A-R-D. Edouard
[INAUDIBLE] is French
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
And then, anyway, I
fooled around and lost
her, and then later on,
danged if I didn't marry
another French girl.
INTERVIEWER: Well, you--
you still speak French.
So you might as well
marry a French woman.
And, oh, yeah, we've
been over to France
I don't know how many
times [INAUDIBLE]..
But, yeah, see, that's where
the Bondurant family came from
was from France.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: And we
went down to [INAUDIBLE],,
and that's where they--
where Jean Pierre--
Jean, like Gene.
And, anyway, that's
interesting history, but, yeah,
we used to go about--
I used to really enjoy
that, going over there,
seeing these people.
INTERVIEWER: So where in
France was your family from?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
It was [INAUDIBLE]
like in the southern part.
INTERVIEWER: Because
it actually means,
literally, like good
stay, doesn't it?
What does it mean in
French, Bondurant?
Bondur-ont.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Well, now,
there's some question there.
Some people, and
I don't know where
it started that, spelled
the name in two parts, Bon
Durant, Bon Durant.
And if they wanted to
go that, then that way
you probably were
good endurance.
That's the only thing I know of.
But the original Bondur-ant
or Bondur-ont, you see,
I don't know if there was
any special name there.
But they come--
INTERVIEWER: It's
an interesting name.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: --to
the south first, and then--
WOMAN: It's a French name.
WOMAN: I think it's
in French, Bondurant.
OK.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
[INAUDIBLE] Bondurant.
And this fellow that has the
Bondurant Driving School,
you better say Bondurant
when you talk--
Yes.
INTERVIEWER: I know people
here, they'll say, oh,
do you live in Bondur-ont?
And people will say,
no, it's Bondur-ant.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yes,
they know people here,
there is always Bondur-ant.
So they do.
But there's some
that insist on that.
There's a-- there's a couple
other towns named Bondurant.
One is Bondurant, Iowa
is one up in there.
And, yes, that's--
oh, I've come up here.
This is-- this is the country.
This is God's country,
I'm telling you.
INTERVIEWER: Yes, it is.
WOMAN: Oh, we kind of think so.
We've just-- and
so many old timers.
I used to like to
go up sometimes way
up on the head of
the Hoback River
up there where the
springs start out.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yeah, that's
always [INAUDIBLE] where
we used to cut across.
The saddle goes back
around this way.
That was always nice.
INTERVIEWER: It's still
beautiful riding [INAUDIBLE]..
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yes,
And then Bondurant Creek.
Did you know there
was a Bondurant Creek?
INTERVIEWER: Yes, Kevin told me.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah, it's
just-- it's just a small one.
INTERVIEWER: Is it off Cliff
Creek, or is it on the Hoback?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Well,
actually, [INAUDIBLE]
really I think it [INAUDIBLE].
INTERVIEWER: I think it's on--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: That
creek, I think around that way
you can go to it [INAUDIBLE].
OK.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Oh, yeah, gosh, I
remember when this place
was pretty small too.
Yeah, I wonder-- often wondered
what happened to Katie Brown,
and did you know?
Katie and Al.
INTERVIEWER: They
were from Kemmerer.
INTERVIEWER: And
they're both gone,
but I actually don't know
what happened to them.
WOMAN: Last name?
Al and Katherine--
WOMAN: Al and Katherine
or Kate Brown.
INTERVIEWER: Now they
still own a little place
here in Bondurant.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Well, do they [INAUDIBLE]??
INTERVIEWER: Their daughter,
Brinos, lives there now.
WOMAN: Oh, OK, yeah.
INTERVIEWER: And
she was Earl Fisher.
Was she a Fisher?
Kate.
Yeah, yeah, was her maiden name.
I'm from Kemmerer also.
So--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Is that right?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Well, I'll be darned,
yes, my aunt and uncle
lived there for years,
and my dad's brother
and his wife.
Yeah I'll be darned.
INTERVIEWER: Small
world, isn't it?
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Yes, it sure is.
INTERVIEWER: It seems like
everybody's lived in Kemmerer.
WOMAN: It has.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
That's where my grandad
was visiting when he got hurt.
Mhm, in Kemmerer.
Well, I'll be darned, oh,
yeah, I used to-- well,
I always wondered that.
I have a [INAUDIBLE].
INTERVIEWER: I know
they're both gone--
INTERVIEWER: --but I don't
know what happened to them.
WOMAN: [INAUDIBLE]
INTERVIEWER: Kate's brother,
Earl, and Edna were twins.
INTERVIEWER: But Earl and my
brother were raised together,
and they were best friends
for all their life.
Oh, yes.
INTERVIEWER: Well, I certainly
enjoyed visiting with you.
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Ah, it's been great.
Yes, it's been great.
Yeah, I was,uh, uh, kind
of can't remember a lot
of the stuff that--
that we used to do.
[INAUDIBLE]
WOMAN: [INAUDIBLE]
we used to fish a lot down
there just across the bridges,
right down there by Elkhorn.
We'd catch-- I used to
think that's a sucker.
[LAUGH]
They're not suckers.
But, anyway, oh, that--
WOMAN: I had to come
and check on you.
His wife sent me.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, well,
you know, I think--
INTERVIEWER: I think
we're about through.
Are you ready to--
ROBERT L. BONDURANT:
Well, it's been fun.
Yes.
INTERVIEWER: [INAUDIBLE]
ROBERT L. BONDURANT: Yeah,
you might check with Roy.
INTERVIEWER: I will do it, and
you just-- we are so thankful.
I got a-- I got a couple pieces
of shrapnel you can take out--