With some irony, it was more circumstance than a love of ranching that kept the Jordans on the land, until the author's father sold the home place in the 1970s. But the love of that spot on earth lives on strongly in the author, and her book is a tribute to it and to her family who toiled there through good years and bad.
She clearly admires the men who labored on horseback raising cattle. She devotes chapters to her grandfather, her father, and the many foremen and ranch hands who worked for them. Fully engaging, too, are her memories of the women and the imprint they have made on herself.
|Swan Land and Cattle Company, Chugwater, Wyoming, 1974|
There's much in this book to commend it, including a chapter devoted to the calving season and another describing the physically punishing nature of ranch work. Her chapter on her great aunt Marie includes excerpts from her journals, and each chapter is introduced with a photograph from the family album. The book closes with a description of the author's wedding at the community center near where she grew up, an idyllic day poignant for its wholehearted celebration of a way of community life that is rapidly vanishing.
Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons
Coming up: Geoffrey O'Gara, What You See in Clear Water