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Book showcases people who work the land

December 29, 2004


Sequels are rarely as good as the originals. "Grit, Guts and Glory: Portraits of the West," is an exception.

"Grit" follows up "The Romance and Reality of Ranching," published by Purple Coyote Corp. and Range Magazine in 2003. It is what publisher C.J. Hadley calls her "Lord of the Range" trilogy. Volume three is scheduled for late 2005.

A father and son wait for the horse roping at the annual ZX Ranch Rodeo in Paisley.

A series wasn't Hadley's intention. But when the first 12,000 copies of "Romance" nearly sold out in two months, she realized the book was filling a need.

"It was phenomenal," Hadley said. "They went all over the country, all over the world."

A second run was published, and only a few of those copies are still available. That set the stage for "Grit."


"Because that first book was so successful, and because people were happy about seeing a book about real people - real cattlemen and real sheepherders - we decided to do a second book," Hadley said. "We want to show real people, people who live and work on the land."

Helping to show those people is Malin photographer Larry Turner, a frequent Range contributor.

Turner said his shots have been collected over the years during his Western travels. Of special interest are several shot in the Paisley area - one shows veterinarian Rich Long riding on a cattle drive at the ZX Ranch, while others feature Paisley saddlemaker Len Babb, ZX rancher Martin Murphy and ranch manager Dick Mecham.

One Turner shot, showing three generations of the Fitzgeralds, Utleys and MacKenzies, was taken at the Fitzgeralds' Plush ranch.

Other Turner photos were taken in the Klamath Basin, including a portrait of Shelley and Charles Kerr at the alfalfa and cattle ranch in Merrill and a candid shot of Becky Hatfield Hyde at the Yamsi Ranch near the headwaters of the Williamson River.

Roper Bret Vickerman, helps his daughter Alena blow bubbles.

Photographs by Linda Dufurrena, whose family has a sheep and cattle ranch near the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, are also featured.

In her introduction, Hadley said "Grit" showcases the American West and the people who live there.


"Some say the West is bleak," Hadley writes. "Innocents race down asphalt highways seeing only mirages, dust devils and rolling tumbleweed. In the open spaces, far from the road, season by season, ranchers can sense the presence of God. They are inspired by the wildlife, creeks and canyons; gullies and willows; wild meadows, flowers and creeks.

"It is lonely out here. But for cowboys and sheepherders and their families who endure the pain and divinity of nature, for the ones with grits and guts, for the ones who are lucky enough, it's a place where dreams become real and faith, love, labor and hope become glory."

Reading up "Grit, Guts and Glory: Portrait of the West," compiled and edited by C.J. Hadley, is $39.95 hardback. It is not available in paperback. Hadley, the editor of Range Magazine, will be honored in January as Westerner of the Year by the Western Ranchers Beef Cooperative. Copies of "Grit" are available from Larry Turner at 723-6041 or from Range Magazine by calling (800) 726-4348. People calling Range and identifying themselves as Herald and News readers will receive free shipping. Copies of "Portrait of the West" are available in hardback, $39.95, also through the toll-free Range telephone number.

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