A Hard Rideby Richard Everette Dooley
There were many amazing people who lived through the incredible twentieth century, but too few were able or motivated to write about their experiences. Their experiences and attitudes are an inspiration to all of us. This is a book filled with short stories and poetry written by my father, born in 1911 and died in 1996. We knew that he was doing some writing about his life, but we did not know the scope of his work until after he passed away. What I found were drawers full of hand written stories and poetry, many of which were written of pieces of scrap paper.
Dad was born into a large Irish community in the east. His mother was an educated Protestant and his father was a hard working, hard drinking, fighting Irish Catholic. They had a stormy marriage until she left him, took up with another man, and they, along with dad and with no money or clear destination in mind, decided to start hiking to California. They eventually ended up in New Mexico where they homesteaded some land in a remote area (even today) in the high country of northern New Mexico. Dad, being intelligent and having been homeschooled to a large extent, was able to pass the state's eight grade equivalency exam and was excused from being required to be shipped off somewhere where he could get an education. So, during his teen and early adult years he cowboyed in this country he so loved. Unfortunately, with the convergence of a severe winter, the Depression, and the Dust Bowl, dad and his family had to leave, along with the vast majority of the other settlers of this area.
Dad refused to take any government handouts and hustled any work he could get throughout the Depression. During World War II he was drafted into the Navy and ended up on Admiral Nimitz's intelligence staff serving as a cryptographer decoding Japanese messages. After the war, he tried his hand at several businesses and failed. He finally became an independent salesman and was very successful at it. However, many of his salesmen friends were dropping dead from heart attacks and strokes which convinced dad to get out of sales. Dad was offered an opportunity to be a part owner and manager of a large cattle ranch in Utah which he jumped at. He again thrived in this endeavor until the ranch was sold and he had to live using his wits again until retirement.
Dad eventually retired and moved to Sutter Creek, California in the "Gold Country" foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to be near all the children and grandchildren. Dad joined the Amador Writing Club which he thoroughly enjoyed. As the details of his life came out, many of the writers urged him to write about his life. A few of his stories appeared in the annual publication by the writing club, but the vast majority didn't. Most of the stories are true, but a few of them are fiction. Dad had a very engaging way of writing, and his poems often painted a strong mental picture of a situation or an emotion. Dad often read two or three books a week most of his life and was very well self-educated and could hold his own with anybody. He also had a lust for life and an incredible sense of humor.
There is no doubt that the reader will enjoy this collection of stories and poems and will evoke many memories of an earlier era with fond reminiscing.
- Dennis Dooley
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)
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