Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Junk Book

     Sometimes when I go to the library I don't have time to look for a good book so I  grab a hand full of books and run. I hope that when I get home I will find that I want to read at least one of them.

     So the other day I picked up "I Once Was a Cowboy: Sixty years a Canadian Ranch Hand." First, I checked to see if I'd read it before as once in awhile I'll read one of these for it's historical value. I hadn't read this one and having nothing to read I read the first chapter. The next night I read some more and I was hooked. The guy had an interesting way of telling his stories and was logical and descriptive.

    This turned out to be a biography of a person who lived and worked in the outdoors not because he had to but because he liked the outdoors.

    Art Hagen was born about 1930 and was brought up in northern British Columbia , Canada. The family had 160 acres and were able to have the normal farm stuff like chickens, cows and a garden but no money. Art's Dad had a contract cutting poles for telephone and power lines. 

    Art left school at the end of the eighth grade and started doing add jobs. He worked with his Dad in the bush and worked on ranches. All these jobs were short term. Sometimes Art made the jobs short term himself and quit and moved on to another job. Art discovered rodeo and participated for many years.

    Art was also called to join the army. He was rejected on medical grounds.

   Art was on many cattle round ups and looked after cattle in the winter by hauling hay to them each day. Sometimes he had 500 cows to look after.

    Art had many horse that he liked and looked after some pretty ornery cows. Many of the horses were a story of their own. 

    Art worked with many colorful characters. He seemed to have a good relationship with his bosses and fellow workers.

    Art wrote in the common vernacular. With his grade eight education and rural background grammar was a problem but it made for an interesting way to tell a story. He had many very colorful sayings all through the book. Somebody might fall on their hind legs. 

   So this was one time I chose a book and thought I would never read . I thought it was a junk book with little merit. Art told his stories in an interesting manner and I was hooked into reading the whole book and enjoying it.


36 comments:

  1. sounds like a neat man and a neat life (for those who can do it.)

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  2. I am always overwhelmed by libraries. How would I find a book I would like if I don't know what I'm looking for. I guess you found the answer.

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    1. I like to browse in sections that have topics I like. For fiction I like historical fiction.

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  3. Sometimes an entertaining read is just waiting to be picked up at random:)

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    1. ...and I've picked up many books at random.

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  4. From the bits you've quoted he seems to have a similar command of language to G. W. Bush.
    A more interesting life by the sound of it.

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    1. I'd prefer Art because he doesn't have ego. I like the outdoors and I was raised on a farm.

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  5. sounds like a very interesting book .I love it when you find a gem of a book unexpectedly.

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    1. Surprises in books make it worthwhile .

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  6. What an interesting life, and good that he got to do what he enjoyed, regardless of the lack of money.

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    1. He led a very interesting life and did what he wanted.

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  7. Sometimes you are captivated by a story and will read the book straight to the end. When I was younger, I always had to read a book to the end of myself although I didn't like it. That stupid idea I left behind me some time, when I don't like a story I put the book away now. and take another one.

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    1. I used to read every book I started right to the end. I stopped doing that. This book just had the sequence of events that happened in his life.

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  8. Sounds like a book I might like. That looks like you riding the horse. Is it you?

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    1. You might be someone who would enjoy these stories. The photo is my brother and his horse.

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  9. Good grab! I love interviewing my clients. They always tell me great stories!!!

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    1. There are many people who should write their biography. They have a story to tell.

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  10. I hardly ever just go to the library to browse. I look for books others recommend, put them on hold and pick them up when they come in. MUCH better way, but I guess I'd miss books like this one. I'll see if it's in my library. I wonder what made him write his memoirs. :-)

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    1. I don't think this book would be widely circulated. I have no idea why he wrote his biography. There are many people who should write a biography because they have an interesting story to tell.

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  11. Sometimes books surprise you by being a lot better than you expected!

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    1. For some novels you have to get well into them before the story grabs you and gets exciting.

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  12. It sounds like an interesting read!

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    1. If you like the outdoors and agriculture you'd like this. I don't think an urbanite would like this at all.

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  13. I am sure you realize that you cannot judge a book by its cover and sometimes even it summary!

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    1. You were just waiting to use "judge a book by it's cover" You are so right about that one. And then we all have our own preferences about books.

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  14. There ya go: "Never judge a book by its cover". Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Yep, we sometimes have to get into a book to really like it. I like the outdoors and agriculture so it suits me.

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  15. If you liked this book I'll bet you would like Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig. Sort of similar in some ways and I sure enjoyed it. I will have to check out Art's book.

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    1. Thanks. I will look for this one.

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  16. Yet another comment, but not really related to the book. I noticed over on the side bar, in the books you read, Wobegon Boy by Garrison Keillor. And then I remembered a post a long time ago where you said you liked to listen to radio. That makes two of us and I wonder if you like to listen to Garrison's show on Saturdays ... Prairie Home Companion? Garrison is going to retire at the end of this season, or so he says.

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    1. I haven't listened to Garrison Keillor for years but his radio should was hilarious. I've read three or four of Keillor's books. I also like the CDs. My favorite is a Young Lutheran's guide to the symphony orchestra.

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  17. This story reminds me of the Alaska shows I have been watching...and just recently finding out that some are fake as a three dollar bill. But I guess all of us have an adventurous spirit...perhaps leftover from our pioneer ancestors.

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  18. I sometimes pick books for the Kindle the same way (I need something to read, the price is "free") and usually can find one I've downloaded that is worth reading. Some are even delightful surprises! Nice you found a good one on your grab-and-run errand!

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  19. Congratulations on picking a winner of a book. I now only borrow Kindle books from the library and it's all done from my home computer. I haven't been inside the actual library to borrow a book in a long time. However, my granddaughter loves going to the library and looking for a new book to read. She prefers books she can hold and flip pages back and forth.

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  20. Art's life was very interesting indeed. I truly enjoy going to the city and when there of course go to the Library and browse. I can always check out books to bring back with me and drop them off at our small library in town to send back. I love going to Libraries and finding an armful of books, find a comfy chair and browse. Nice article about Art's Life. I must check this out on Kindle. Have a great day.

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