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.