Leonard “Carl” Grieb was born in Arroyo Grande, California on July 27, 1928. He was the 8 of nine children born to Fred and Gertrude (Haven) Grieb. Growing up in a farming family Carl leaned to work hard at an early age. He is still known and respected for his strong work ethic. His ﬁrst memory as a child was of a family trip to Santa Ana to visit his Grandma Haven. Another of his earliest memories was the construction of their new home after the previous one was destroyed by ﬁre. He was tied up so that he wouldn’t interfere with the workers. He cried and screamed so loud the workers asked Grandma and Grandpa to let him go. They said that they would just work around him.
Carl attended 8 years at Orchard Street School. He enjoyed many sports in his youth. He participated in soccer, football, basketball, track and boxing. He wrestled just for fun, and said that no one could beat him. He has always enjoyed competition. Carl grew up raising animals, buying, selling, and trading. Chickens, rabbits, dogs, horses and cattle. He says that one time he even traded Lorna’s cat! Add goats, pigs, and just about anything else to that list. He is still wheeling and dealing to this day in 2017 at the age of 89.
In 1939, when he was eleven years old, he received a Kentucky Jack for his birthday. His friends, Bob Runels and his sisters, rode bikes or walked along side as they explored all over the area. He even rode out to the Grieb Ranch to check the Water. He had a lot of freedom. He says that if his chores were done he was free to roam.
Carl attended 4 years at Arroyo Grande High School. The high school was then located at Crown Hill. He graduated in l947 with the assistance of Phyllis Runels and Dorothy Ormonde. Phyllis helped him with his math and Dorothy his English and History. During high school he was on the basketball and boxing teams. His senior year he received a medal for boxing, losing only one match after being injured in football. He was also the senior class vice president. Carl continued to self-educate throughout his entire life by reading about livestock and other interests.
During Carl’s high school years he met Barbara Lucille Decker at a Great Western Livestock show in Los Angeles. He was there with his brother Stan and some other friends. Barbara with there with her step brother Bobby Miller, step sister Shellie and friend Nancie Bragg (Dellagana) from Templeton. After meeting they continued to correspond and they got together monthly in Atascadero for the dances at the Grange Hall. In 1949 Carl proposed to Barbara at Knottsberry Farm. They were married on February 12, 1950 in Los Angeles. Carl was managing a dairy and milking cows in Edna at the time. They made their first home in Edna, moving soon to Santa Maria and then to Templeton, all in the ﬁrst year. Other than a short time in Santa Maria, Carl has lived his entire life in San Luis Obispo County.
Carl and Barbara added three daughters to their family during their years on the dairy that they bought in Templeton. Wynetta, Margie and Connie were all born in Paso Robles between 1951 and 1954. Carl burned the candle at both ends managing their dairy, milking cows, hunting with his coon hounds and riding and roping with friends. Barbara kept busy taking care of the home and the girls. Carl continued the family tradition of putting the children to work at a young age.
In 1956 Carl, Barbara and girls moved to Arroyo Grande. Carl drove truck for a few years and the family lived in town. In 1958 Carl and Barbara bought a dairy in Oso Flaco. Carl once again owned and operated a dairy with his wife, a hired hand and girls to support him. He also continued to hunt during this time. After a few years Carl and Barbara sold the dairy and Carl went to work milking cows for the Macagna Dairy in Oso Flaco. He moved his family to the edge of the Nipomo Mesa for about a year.
In 1960 Carl Went to Work for Engle and Gray in Santa Maria. The family moved back to Arroyo Grande. Carl worked for Engle and Gray for the next 25 years. During that time he drove truck, Worked as an oiler on the crane and was the crane operator for many years. He was an excellent oiler and operator. He accomplished many things that most people would not even attempt.
During the years that Carl worked for Engle and Gray he also raised beef cattle and drop calves from the local dairy. He leased several pieces of land and ranches for grazing. He helped friends gather and brand their cattle as well. He also continued to hunt with his coon hounds and enjoyed raising chickens.
In 1966 Carl and Barbara purchased 10 acres on Huasna Road just out of Arroyo Grande. They moved the family back to the country. In 1969 they bought the upper part of the Grieb Ranch, the “high hills”, from Grandma and Grandpa Grieb. They did not move at that time. In 1974 they bought 18 acres on Lopez Drive between the ranch and town. Then in 1975 they were able to purchase the property where they currently reside. They initially lived in the little house that Uncle Teddy had put on the property. In 1976 they built the house that they live in now. Margie and Wynetta and their families also lived on the property. Connie and Stan were living in Illinois at the time. Connie and Stan returned to Arroyo Grande and moved to the ranch in 1979. At that time our entire family was living on the same property.
Carl and Barbara have moved many times during their 66 years of marriage. Carl usually planted fruit and walnut trees wherever they lived. Barbara made their house a home and was a devoted and loving wife and mother. She was the glue that held the family together. They always welcomed others into their home and were very generous with everything they had. Carl provided well for his family and continues to do so.
Carl traveled with his family on three vacations. The ﬁrst was a trip up the California coast to Oregon and the others were to the Midwest to see Barbara’s relatives in Iowa. They visited several national parks and had wonderful family time. He also took his wife and children, as well as his grandchildren and many other friends and family on pack trips to locations on the California coast, to the Sisqoc River and several places in the Sierras. He made several other trips out of state at various times hunting, transporting livestock and visiting friends and relatives. In 1969 Carl took a motorcycle trip to Mexico with friends and in 1986 traveled to Japan with Barbara to visit with friends there. He has traveled a lot in his life, but he’s always in a hurry to get home. There’s no place like home!
Carl retired from Engle and Gray in 1985. He continued to live on the ranch and leased other ranches as well. He raised cattle, helped others with their cattle, team penned, took hunting trips and pack trips. He bought, sold, and provided cattle for The Brush Poppers for team penning and sorting. He won the team penning championship one year. He enjoyed several years penning and sorting, traveling to various locations with family and friends.
Carl always has good working dogs and good horses. He enjoys the challenge of ﬁnding and gathering wild cattle that others can’t round up. He’s known and appreciated for his special skills, tough horses and cow dogs. All of his children and grandchildren learn a lot working with him. He also has several “adopted” daughters brought into his “family” over the years. He is a true cowboy.
At 75 years of age, Carl began a new chapter of his life. He started raising and selling meat goats on the ranch. He later added cattle, pigs and chickens to his sales. At nearly 89, he still works the ranch everyday. He buys and sells goats, pigs, cattle and chickens. He can still be seen driving the streets of the area, and the roads of California and Oregon, in his white truck pulling his old White stock trailer. That trailer must have over a million miles on it. You can only imagine how many miles Carl has traveled over the years walking, riding horseback, riding a motorcycle, driving the tractor or the RTV Kabota. Even though he likes to rest a spell, read and relax, he hasn’t let any grass grow under his feet. He has been an example to all of his family of what it means to be a Grieb.
Currently Carl and Barbara have 4 generations living on the ranch. Connie and Stan have continued to live there and have come alongside Carl. They have enabled and supported him in his latest ventures. Connie has enlisted help from everyone on the ranch, as well as many others. The legacy of Carl Grieb will live on for many generations.