ARNOLD FAMILY ARCHIVES
Ethel Arnold was the cook in the old wooden bunkhouse, which was replaced by
a concrete building with air conditioning, a dishwasher and modern appliances.
cattle that will be kept. She even learned to work heavy
equipment, a skill that would later became useful in the
longtime job she held running bulldozers and front-end
loaders for Osceola County.
‘NO BETTER LADY’
Ethel and Aubrey’s son, Steve, recalls that TL was so
closely involved in managing the ranch in the late 1960s
that he even oversaw how workers would interact with
each other. When two of the summer ranch hands got in
a fight and nearly drowned each other while putting up
fence, TL made them actually kiss and make up. “They
either had to do that or pack their bags,” he says.
Steve recalls the kindness of Jo Ann, grabbing him to
go squirrel hunting at the ranch with her or sometimes
shuttling him around Fort Pierce, where he attended
school. “You couldn’t ask for no better lady than what
Jo Ann was,” says Steve, who followed the cowboy
life and has worked for Perry Smith and Sons farms of
Okeechobee for the past 37 years.
Darren Robertson says kids at the ranch were always
glad to see Jo Ann’s big blue Cadillac barreling up the
sandy ranch road to the headquarters. “You could see
her coming from town a mile away with the dust coming
up behind the Cadillac,” he says.
He also remembers Jo Ann’s kindnesses — and skills
— and tales of riding cattle across Florida with her
grandfather. “Everybody says what a good shot she
was, well she was a good shot,” he says. “She had a .22
Browning. She could also crack a whip better than most
guys could.” >>