Cec And The Big Billy Goat

When we were building the Guadalupe River State Park my dad, Cecil took his small travel trailer down at the very end of the park at the rivers hairpin bend, to stay away from everyone else. The park land extends across the river at that narrow point and has some primitive camping and hiking over there.

Between the time we bid that project and it actually getting under way, there was the huge flood that snapped off gigantic cypress trees and altered the landscape forever.

Cec would sit and watch a herd of Spanish Goats that climbed the rock bluffs on the other side of the river every afternoon. He would tell Kenny and me about this one really large Billy. He was the King of the Mountain type. He was twice as big as any other goats over there.

He decided he wanted to harvest that goat so Kenny could mount it. Kenny had several mounts but nothing like this goat. So on a very cold day, Cec was all alone there on the river. He shot and killed the big ole boy when he came down to drink.

I’m not sure that he thought it all out that well before he shot. Besides being cold the river was flowing pretty good. He wadded and swam the river at almost dark to bring the big goat back. He then loaded the animal in his pickup and headed to Smithwick where he could cape it out in the safety of his own surroundings, and preserve it for the Taxidermist.

He did all that, a hundred mile trip each way, and made it back to work early the next morning. That was a man with a lot of grit and determination.

The goat was so old and rank, that the goat smell was noticeable a couple of years later when Kenny hung it in his new home near Andice.

But that was an accomplishment that Cecil Lewis was always proud of.

Note the huge cypress tree that was destroyed in the flood of “81” (?). I googled it but they only reference a later flood in “89”, I think.

It was heartbreaking to see the devastation done by flood waters. But when it was cleared out it was beautiful, but in a different way.

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