Ann and I watch with great amusement Ree Drummond’s television cooking show, “The Pioneer Woman.”
Mrs. Drummond invariably seems to be eternally effervescent — read further; “ye shall understand why.”
Missus Drummond always shows up with her carefully combed and colored auburn hair and dimples bigger than a larger head oyster.
Ree’s father is a highly successful orthopedic surgeon in the oil-rich area north of Tulsa, Okla.
She was a daughter of privilege who took ballet lessons, lounged at her dad’s country club and accompanied her family to Hilton Head, S.C., for their summer junkets.
She graduated from the University of Southern California with the intent of practicing law. However she met and eventually wed Ladd Drummond.
To her credit, Ann Marie Drummond is an award-winning blogger, well-known food critic, best-selling author and television personality.
She and her family reside 8 miles west of Pawhuska, Okla. Her ranch has 433,000 acres, roughly the size of Connecticut.
In the long-ago days of the Oklahoma Land Rush, Ronald Thacker Drummond bought a large slice of prairie for a measly 17 cents an acre.
Old Ronald was an exceedingly prosperous hustler who hailed from Scotland, but hit the jackpot in South Africa by investing in some diamond mining operations.
He just happened to be in Okhloama when the Land Rush kicked off — rumor has it that he was looking for Paris, Tenn., and the World’s Biggest Fish Fry.
Today, Ree’s husband, Ladd, partners with his brother, Tim, and their father, Charles, to run the Drummond Land and Cattle Co. Cousin Thacker Drummond is an associate.
Now this story gets interesting. Drummond Land and Cattle is in a lucrative contract with the Bureau of Land Management to house wild mustangs.
The mustangs are rounded up by helicopter pilots, who are also contracted to BLM. But the plot thickens.
It has been 3 years since the BLM has allowed the public on the “long term holding pastures which are located somewhere within the 433,000 acres on the Drummond homestead.”
There has been considerable concern for the well-being of the animals and also the actual number of mustangs listed as being housed on the Drummond ranch.
One of the stipulations of the BLM contract is that no child labor can be used. Also, the language of the contract expressly states that the handlers of the broncos must have a working knowledge of the nutritional requirements and behavioral patterns associated with wild horses.
Over the last 12 years, Drummond Land and Cattle has received $1,573,102 in USDA subsidies. We, the faithful tax payers, are footing the bill for this charade.
Brothers Ladd and Tim, along with Papa Charles and nephew Thacker, are listed as shareholders in a company called Golden Pharmaceuticals.
This company is listed as a defendant in 47 separate law suits in three states related to personal injury claims by consumers who used Phen-Fen dietary combinations.
Apparently, the Drummond family enjoys fast driving. A story in the Tulsa World revealed that Charles, Tim, Ladd and Thatcher received more than 40 speeding tickets over the last 10 years.
At least 18 of those were dismissed in Osage County, where they reside. Three of the citations listed speeds of 95, 97 and 112 mph.
Osage County Judge, John Boggs, who approved many of the dismissals, stated that he had been to numerous Bar Association parties at the Drummond Ranch.
Judge Boggs emphatically said that he rendered no special treatment to the Drummond family. None of their speeding transgressions were charged on their driving records.
Cousin Thatcher Drummond was charged with feloniously assaulting a state trooper, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.
Thatcher’s first cousin, Genter Drummond, is also his attorney.
Our beloved “Pioneer Woman” also has a deli in downtown Pawhuska.
If you are driving on the high plains in Osage County and get a speeding ticket, don’t worry.
Just tell the judge that you were going to Ree Drummond’s café for a delicious piece of her award-winning apple pie.
DAN PATTERSON, who’s retired from the Paris Parks and Recreation Department, grew up near the state line and now lives in the Hico community in northwest Henry County. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.