Sergio, Lusker Ranch

Sergio, Lusker Ranch

Sergio, Lusker Ranch

Sergio is a character cowboy: funny, mischievous and genuine. During a brief respite at the Lusker Ranch branding in May, he said, “You know, I was a National Geographic centerfold.”

Intrigued, I asked for more details; Sergio was featured in 1993 as part of the story “Wide Open Wyoming,” photographed by Richard Olsenius. Sergio was carrying a mailbox across a road, and found it funny that such a picture emerged from his experience with the magazine.

“The photographer spent five or six days with us, and I end up in the magazine carrying a mailbox. Funny, eh?”

I imagine Olsenius found Sergio as photographically intoxicating as I did, and much of the branding, I made images of him. He’s not a Nebraskan, so he won’t feature in the Plainsky project, but he certainly will find a place in others. I chose to publish this one first as a character introduction to such a fascinating subject.


  1. Love the framing in the fence pipe. I don’t do “people” shots, I prefer still life/landscapes, something that is patient with me. But on occasion I do get a photo on accident.

    1. Thanks-I was a newspaper photographer first, so I think the thrill of the decisive moment, as Cartier-Bresson put it, still enthralls me.

  2. Brett, just saw your reference to me in the photo of Sergio. I will never forget him because he was a bigger-then-life person. I saw him at a Wyoming State Fair and stalked him for an hour until I found a quiet moment and asked him if I could follow him home to where he worked on the Brown Ranch. He said yes. Ironically the mailbox photo stuck a cord with the editors as to how regulations reached down to a lonely road in Wyoming where a cowboy was made to move a mailbox to the correct side of the road. Keep up the good work and I’ll check out more of your site. Me, I’m at these days.

    1. Richard, it’s great to hear from you!

      Sergio spoke very, very highly of you and your time together on the Ranch. He remains a larger-than-life character, the fun of the branding altogether. He makes a great subject for photographs.

      I’ve actually been to your site a number of times. Along with my friend Sam Abell (who is writing the foreword for my book due out in about a month, PlainSky, Nebraskans), William Albert Allard, and Kurt Markus, your work helped shape some of the vision I have for my own backyard, the Nebraska and Wyoming west.

      The first showing of my gallery tour of 42 of the book images opens at the West Nebraska Arts Center in Scottbluff on March 1. I’d love to see you there; a number of Sergio’s friends will be there, and I’m sure they’d have a ball meeting you.

      Keep in touch!

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