It was many years ago that my husband Raul and I met Garry McClintock. 1999 was the first time Garry visited Rancho La Mentada with his friends for a riding weekend. I remember we did the long ride from the coast, and it was a fantastic ride. Not only had I heard Garry was a master saddle maker and dedicated craftsman I knew from the moment we met him, he was a special person. He was passionate about his work, his family, and his life. I knew in an instant, Gary was the kindest of souls.
Every year, Garry organized an event which was a celebration of the vaquero traditions and lifestyle that was called Vaquero Days. Garry was more than just a master saddlemaker- he was a recognized best for his celebration of the vaquero traditions and lifestyle, and a recognized expert on the traditions of early California, including those of the vaquero and the Soldados de Cuero (Leatherjacket soldiers), those hardy people who led the first European settlers across the desert to California. Garry not only read everything he could find on the subject, he went out of his way to enlighten others about the ways and traditions of these rich cultures.
Years ago, Raul and I had the distinct pleasure of traveling south with Gary and his wife Anne one summer where we went on the excursion of a life time. We still have the pictures from the trip, but they don’t do a justice to the quality of time spent with both Gary and Anne during that trip.
Two years ago, Gary, Anne, and their son, Cody visited us at Rancho La Bellota. If anyone has ever seen Raul smile, let me tell you when he saw Garry’s truck driving down road his smile was so big, I’ve never seen him so excited about any visitor at our ranch before. Raul has a deep respect for men like Garry. He sees the passion, and fire in their hearts. A passion for story, and truth which relays itself through the history of Baja California and Los Californios. Raul has become a historian himself and this passion which I see in Raul when the subject comes up stems from this same passion which Garry himself transmitted to all who met him.
Whether it was horses, mules, history, saddle making, trail riding, or just friendly conversation, you could always be sure Garry would listen, and take part with you as a friend, and/or family with all of his heart.
In memory of a man of immeasurable quality. A man who far surpasses the qualities of what one would describe as a decent human being. Garry McClintock was that, and more to so many who knew him.
Garry McClintock, who you were, and the dear lives you touched in so many ways, willnever be forgotten, and forever we’ll hold you dear to our hearts.
Much love always,
Raul, Ricky, and Caroline Aguiar