The subtitle of his book is A Look at the Lighter Side of Going Broke, Raising Cattle, and Living on the Prairie. The 190+ short columns collected between these covers reflect on nearly any subject likely to cross the mind of a thoughtful rancher or farmer while cutting hay, fixing fence, or mucking out the barn.
|Will Rogers, before 1900|
We accompany him on trips to farm auctions in hopes of finding an old tractor or hay baler with some life left in it. We consider with him the many uses for vice grip wrenches (which also make great wedding gifts, he argues). There's a discussion of the effect of rainy weather on the many shapes that a hayfield can take as he dodges around the wet spots. There's a rumination on the difficulty of wiping out the evil weed, spurge. And so on.
Readers familiar with the trials and tribulations of making a living from ranching or farming will find the author wryly entertaining. For other readers, his book also offers an insight into a rural frame of mind, its values, beliefs, and concerns, not to mention its politics and somewhat jaundiced view of government, bureaucracy, and city folk.
In that regard, Taylor is a direct descendant of Will Rogers (see above). In his public speaking engagements (he studied mass communications in college), Taylor even does rope tricks. There's more at his website.
Picture credit: wikimedia.org
Coming up: Brad Parks, Faces of the Gone