We are Pat and Susan Mooney. We live in Colorado and have been blessed with 3 amazing children: Saryn, Ross and Max. The inspiration and vision for Tall Tales Ranch is our son, Ross, a 20 something cowboy at heart, who is living in Colorado with an acquired brain injury. He is affectionate, outgoing and always cheerful. He has a healthy obsession with tall people and has been known to stretch the truth a bit; thus our name: Tall Tales Ranch.
Ross was not born with a disability. He was a typical little guy who had lots of friends, loved to play sports and dreamed of being a police officer when he grew up. At the age of 14, after years of witnessing his personality morph into one that we didn't recognize, he was diagnosed with x-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. This is an aggressive genetic disease that deteriorates the white matter in the brain and eventually leads to death. Ross was fortunate to be able to receive a bone marrow transplant in 2008, which was successful in halting the progression of the disease. Our son entered into a new life and was now living with an acquired brain injury, on a new path needing a higher level of support.
As Ross's parents, we want for him what all parents want: a safe, supportive, and wonderful place to live. A place where he is able to experience community, responsibility, challenge, fulfillment, and acceptance for the unique man that he is. We want him to learn from his community, and we want the community to learn from him!
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Ross and Tall Tales Ranch.
Tall Tales Ranch at Schweiger Ranch
We are pleased to begin this next chapter of our tale at Schweiger Ranch in Lone Tree, Colorado. In partnership with Tall Tales Ranch, Schweiger Ranch will support our ongoing organizational mission: to provide a life sharing community where both people with and without disabilities can live in a supportive environment.
What does this partnership look like with Schweiger Ranch? We envision both groups investing in the education and engagement of the larger community. Our Ranchers will have an opportunity to be civic leaders and invite all who visit the Ranch to participate in the heartbeat of its daily rhythms. We will have horses, and other small farm animals that our Ranchers can care for and the community can enjoy. Our Ranchers will also manage our community gardens and weekly farmer’s markets.
This 38-acre property is located at I-25 and Ridgegate, and will have easy access to the Light Rail and the Ridgegate community (library, recreation center, restaurants, and local businesses).
The new Light Rail line will give our residents access to everywhere from Downtown Denver to Denver International Airport; helping to support and encourage their independence.
Life on the Ranch
Tall Tales Ranch will be a special place of community and connection, where people who may not be alike, can come together to support one another. We envision a cottage community where people can choose to rent a one or two-bedroom space, and where they can live with or without a roommate.
All will have the opportunity to be employed on the Ranch Although there will be round the clock staff support, some of our Ranchers may choose to attend a local day program, while others prefer to be involved in the activities and vocational opportunities that will be offered at the Ranch.
Additionally, we will encourage our Ranchers to take part in a variety of activities outside of the Ranch: community outings, Special Olympics sports, volunteering, and taking care of the errands of their lives.
Community Center Barn
We will build a large, multi-purpose barn to be used for public events, pot luck dinners with our families, as well as fundraising and community gatherings. We also hope to host school and church groups in the Barn and house a coffee shop that is managed by our Ranchers. The space will serve a variety of purposes for both Tall Tales, Schweiger Ranch and the greater community.
Life Sharing Community
The vision of Tall Tales Ranch is designed to be a "life sharing community." Not only do we want to build a ranch where adults with special needs can live and thrive; but we also want to offer this opportunity to people who are not living with disabilities. These folks, our Ranch Hands, will have a heart for living in community and will welcome the opportunity to be good neighbors.
The folks who are led to write some pages in our book may be resident volunteers, students, or even retirees. Our goal is to encourage reciprocal relationships—in a unique setting—that will create a culture for those seeking a happily ever after.
Living Happily Ever After
Every good story has a happy ending, and ours is no different. The over-riding narrative of this tale is that people living with intellectual/developmental disabilities deserve the same opportunities as everyone else. They deserve to work and play in the areas that both interest and honor who they are as unique, valuable people.
Above all, we are working to create a place that is cooperative, safe, and imaginative for everyone. A place where all can experience the friendship and community that makes life a fantastic story. A place where they can live happily ever after…