In 2010 Garrett Ranch Arena started an annual Century roping in honor
of Frankie Garrett. Frankie was very instrumental in producing quality
team ropings in the Treasure Valley during the early 1970's through the
1980's. He imported many loads of fresh corriente roping cattle from
Mexico, which were used for his own ropings as well as many premier
rodeos, including the Pendleton Round-up and the Caldwell Night Rodeo.
The "Big Apple" comes from the years Frankie has spent raising and
packing quality fruit at Garrett Ranches, especially apples.
Known as an avid sports fan, Frankie himself was quite an athlete. In
high school he played 3 sports, Football, Basketball and Baseball. As a
Senior, he was the starting second baseman on the 1942 Walla Walla
High School State Championship Baseball team. (That was when
Championships were for the whole state). As a Freshman at Whitman
College in 1943, he earned starting positions in Football, Basketball and
The call to serve his country came in 1944 and Frankie joined the US
Navy and volunteered for the Amphibs and was sent to the islands of the
South Pacific. He had no idea what he was getting into (volunteering for
the Amphibs) as he said it looked like a tropical vacation in the recruiting
posters, but the Amphibs were the precursor to the Navy Seals. He
landed on most of the islands of the South Pacific during World War II.
They say the Marines hit the beach first, but in those days the Amphibs
would hit the beach first, at night and in very small groups to set up the
invasion for the Marines. Frankie was eventually injured with a broken
pelvis. He was blown off of his ship as a Kamakaze plane hit an
ammunition ship next to him. He was lucky to make it back home, as most
all of his unit did not. He is a true veteran, as he never talks about the
terrible things he saw and is thankful for every day that he has.
After the War, Frankie continued his sports interests as he played
semi-pro Basketball and Baseball. He was also
working on the family fruit operation and ranches and
because of his strength and athletic ability, he began
calf roping in local rodeos. He has always loved
good rope horses and made sure that his kids were
always riding the best. In 1948 he married his high
school sweetheart, Dot. Now this roping is named
after Frankie, but as they say there is always a good
woman behind a good man. During all the ropings
held at Garrett Ranch Arena, Dot was always there
tirelessly working behind the scenes handling the
timing, books and announcing. So Frankie, you don't get all of the credit!
In the late 1940's and 1950's Frankie went back to the family operation
that his Dad built in Walla Walla Washington, Milton-Freewater Oregon
and Wilder Idaho. He raised and packed fruit at all locations along with
running cattle, both in the feedlot and on ranches. For 3 years in the
early 1950's, he furnished the roping calves at the Pendleton Round-Up.
He would take 60 mother cows with calves to the rodeo. His older brother
Herb died in 1952 at the age of 30 and his Dad died in 1961, leaving him
as the sole family member to run all of the operations. Even though there
were tough years, he and Dot made it a successful fruit growing and
packing operation. His oldest son Gary now runs the fruit operation.
There are so many photos and stories about Frankie, that it could fill
pages. Frankie has always loved roping and good horses. At this year's
roping (2013), Frankie will turn 89. Make sure you say "Hi" to he and
Dot... He has a lot of old roping stories from Garrett Ranch Arena, and I
am sure he would be glad to tell you one...(or two).
BIG APPLE Century Roping
|ACTRA #6-1/2 Down, 4 for $40
100 year combined age
1 second per 1/2 number
Buckles to Winners
Sponsored by Dr. Don Stritzke -
|2010 "Big Apple" Buckle Winners
Tim Thibert and Dean Harrington
|Frankie and Dot at their
60th Anniversary in 2008.
|Left to Right: Larry Frazier, Bill Linderman
(6 time World Champion), and Frankie
Garrett resting during a cattle drive near
Walla Walla Washington, 1954. A
magazine photographer followed them on
the cattle drive, eventually publishing a
story on Linderman.
|Frankie riding "Old Joe", one of his favorite horses, at the
1951 Pendleton Round-Up. Notice how big the calf is and
the two medical guys dressed in white with a stretcher in the
arena (behind the calf's tail). This was one of the few years
that Pendleton did not have grass.
Frankie, Gary and Dot in 1952.
|One of the semi-pro basketball teams in the
late 1940's. Frankie is in the middle, #10.
|Frankie's 1942 State Champion Baseball team from Walla Walla High
School. Frankie is back row, third from the left.
|Glen Grenke and Frankie sharing a
story at the 2010 roping.
Football 1943, a Freshman at Whitman.
|Frankie on "Old Joe" with
|Frankie with fellow Amphibs on his ship in WWII, a US Navy
LSM (Landing Ship Medium). Frankie is standing, the
closest in front.
|Frankie with neighbor and close friend Governor
Phil Batt at one of Phil's election nights. This
photo made the front page of the Idaho
|2011 "Big Apple Century" Winners. Left to Right, Bruce Seal, Frankie
Garrett, and Rod Berheim. Bruce and Rod were 36.73 on 4 steers.