The Lords of the Valley: Including the Complete Text of "Our Unsheltered Lives" by Ed Lord

Overview

The Lords of the Valley is the intertwining of two voices, one male and one female, to tell the story of life in and around a tiny, remote ranching community on the Oklahoma/New Mexico border from the 1890s through the 1930s. La Verne Hanners’s gentle, helpful commentary is woven through the unaltered text of Ed Lord’s "Out Sheltered Lives," a curt, no-nonsense account of his life as a cowpuncher, freighter, and storekeeper in Kenton, Oklahoma. Hanners also was a longtime ...

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1996 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Brand new, unread copy. Still wrapped in original plastic. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 196 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

The Lords of the Valley is the intertwining of two voices, one male and one female, to tell the story of life in and around a tiny, remote ranching community on the Oklahoma/New Mexico border from the 1890s through the 1930s. La Verne Hanners’s gentle, helpful commentary is woven through the unaltered text of Ed Lord’s "Out Sheltered Lives," a curt, no-nonsense account of his life as a cowpuncher, freighter, and storekeeper in Kenton, Oklahoma. Hanners also was a longtime resident of Kenton.

Lord and hanners both describe a way of life that demanded toughness-stoicism, commitment, and humor when possible-but their recollections make an interesting counterpoint. Following the branding and castration of a thousand young bulls, Lord insists that the entire town came with buckets to carry the testicles home-"They were really meat hungry." Hanners insists, however, that cooking and eating mountain oysters was "strickly a masculine endeavor," pursued by the men after the women had vacated the kitchen. When Lord matter-of-factly describes being left alone at a young age to trail cattle in Indian Territory, Hanners observes that "sixteen seems pitifully young to be so far away from home, broke and hungry," while agreeing that necessity often required such things. When Lord says there were saloons because the men "had to have a place to drink and fight in," Hanners remembers the many saloons that mysteriously burned to the ground. And when Lord flatly says, "Our first baby was killed. I will tell about it now," Hanners thinks of a number of other children buried in the Kenton cemetery.

Over Kenton looms the colossal Black Mesa. Hanners describes it vividly, yet Lord writes his entire book without mentioning, let alone describing it. Nevertheless, we learn a great deal from him, and his feelings surface, especially when he affectionately mentions his wife, Zadia.

Both Lord and Hanners survive not only Kenton, but modern life. In a postscript written in 1964, Lord, who has retired with Zadia to Leisure World in California, grumbles that he has to stop writing and go wash off the patio. In 1994 Hanners, having lived away from Kenton since early adulthood, returns there to live and write.

Forty-nine photographs and five maps accompany the text.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1965, at the age of 80, Ed Lord wrote a memoir for his family and friends recounting life in the Dry Cimarron Valley on the Oklahoma-New Mexico border. He gives us a vivid picture of a working cowboy at the turn of the century who later hauled freight, ran a lumberyard and kept a general store in the town of Kenton. Manners, who came to Kenton as a child and knew Lord for a few years, has retraced his footsteps, interviewed the remaining old-timers and drawn on her own memories to provide a nostalgic counterpoint to Lord's story. The two accounts make a memorable contribution to southwestern Americana and will be of immense local interest. Photos. (Mar.)
Fred Egloff
The valley referred to in the title is the area around Kenton in the far western end of the Oklahoma panhandle near the New Mexico border. The book is based on and includes the complete text of "Our Unsheltered Lives" by Ed Lord, who arrived in that area just prior to the turn of the century. Hanners, who arrived in the same area a quarter century later, weaves her own recollections of this tiny, remote ranching community with those of Ed Lord. The two voices, one male, the other female, bring to life the ordinary people and the circumstances that existed in that place from the 1890s through the 1930s, showing just how tough life was during those years. An excellent example of grassroots history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806128047
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Pages: 166
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.85 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Colonel Bailey C. Hanes is the author of Bill Doolin, Outlaw O.T., also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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