The First days
In her own words – Marian L. Wolfe 1924-1999
“We started the whole thing (The Flying W Ranch) with eleven paying guests attending the first night. I think the second night we had seven people. We had one picnic table under a lean-to case of rain and did a lot of cooking in our home, and the pots and pans were washed at the hydrant in our backyard. We were open only two nights a week then, and that’s a good thing as it took us the rest of the days of the week to get caught up and organized. By the next summer we thought we could add another night a week and so that’s the way it was – and by the end of 1963 we were open seven nights a week, as we have been for the past many years, and served 125,000. It worked in spite of the constant and continuous goof-ups. Like the time part of the rock over-hang above one of the outside fireplaces fell into the pan of Bar-B-Q. All of the meat had to be washed off, new sauce quickly made, heated and simmered again. And all done IMMEDIATELY. Or like the time the wrapped silverware had been left at home (about one mile away) and this little error found about five minutes before serving. One thing – we have never served late in all twenty years – and that night was no exception. Serving was started on time and the silver was passed out to everyone after someone had driven frantically over that mile and back.
We’ve had our share of raccoons in the kitchen, rattlesnakes on the trail (even one in the biscuit warming oven), run-away busses, locked keys in cars, bears in trashcans, cows in teepees, torrential rains resulting in washed out roads with subsequent frantic clean-up to get the guests back to town, nightmarish days of serving breakfast, lunch and supper and by the time the last guests had gone, we were too. We’ve had our romances and marriages, firings and hiring’s, tears and many joys.
One must wonder how we ever served 1300 guests every single night, and not a minute late remember, with all of the minor problems, hanky-panky, etc., but when those gates open at 4:30 pm and our good customers start through the Village – our crew is 100% Flying W – they smile, say “Thank you”, “Yes Sir or Yes Ma’am”, “No Sir or No Ma’am” and put off for a few hours their personal lives.