Welcome to our Being Texan video series, in which we explore the dreams and realities of Texans from all walks of life, from the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, the Trans-Pecos to the Piney Woods.
Dottie Beckmann Leslie grew up loving everything to do with ranching. As a teenager at her family’s ranch in the Texas Hill Country, she took over working the cattle, goats, and sheep while the men were away fighting in World War II.
At the time, a young rancher named Ed Cassin was leasing land at the ranch to work his own cattle. Ed and Dottie became close friends and shared a youthful romance, getting up to all sorts of trouble together on horseback. Life took them in separate directions until more than fifty years later, when the childhood sweethearts reconnected in their eighties and started all over again.
The pair got right back to working cattle together and drinking wine at the tank at sunset until Ed’s death out in the pasture in 2015. Dottie, now 96, is still out chasing down the cows descended from a calf Ed gifted her.
Annalise Pasztor is a documentary filmmaker and photographer from San Antonio, Texas.
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