Ranch Living with a Modern Touch
Comes Alive in New Montana Book
COME ALONG ON A CATTLE DRIVE through the historic Brink ranch. Lay out your bedroll under a pine tree beneath the starry skies of Montana, as coyotes howl from the rimrocks, cattle graze nearby, and horses nicker softly and stamp their feet in the darkness.
The spirit of the west comes alive in a unique new book, Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans: Western Ranch Life in a Forgotten Era, in stories of working cattle, horses, wildlife and western humor. In this old west epic with a modern touch, sisters Francie Brink Berg, Anne Brink Krickel and Jeanie Brink Thiessen write of ranch life through a legacy of pioneer values and traditions.
In many ways this is the story of young ranching families all across the west during a time that demanded resourcefulness, hard work and courage. Dozens of events take the reader from hard times of the Depression, to World War II on the home front, to post-war recovery. Difficult times, yet a remarkable sense of humor prevailed and there was time for pranks, jokes and the fun of creating them.
But it is the personal stories that make this modern western classic a delight to readers—stunning tales of trailing cattle through badlands, coyote attacks, branding, training horses, watching uneasily as Nazi POWs work the fields.
“Hold onto your hats and grab the reins; these three Montana-raised women are taking you for an authentic ride into ranch life,” says Linda M. Hasselstrom, author of No Place Like Home: Notes from a Western Life. “Reading their lively narrative, you’ll know what it’s really like to rescue drowning cattle from Yellowstone ice jams, butcher roadkill to help Rez friends, move cattle in blizzards. You’ll see the hazards of ranch life from overturned tractors to snakebite to wheatfield fires.”
Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans is a social history as well, of the uncommon people of the west who practiced tolerance and respect, extended warm hospitality to strangers and knew the close ties of family and community. The authors’ own mother came west by covered wagon and their father ran wild horses out of the Missouri River Breaks, both before 1910.
This 408-page book speaks to readers of all ages who enjoy the west, from young people who see themselves in the engaging scenarios to old-timers who were there and want to share with friends and families. A truly enjoyable book that is equally at home on the coffee table and in the library. Ideal as a gift book.
Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans is attractively laid out with over 260 historic photographs from the Brink family collection, dozens of black-and-white images and interesting sidebars. It is published by Flying Diamond Books, which produced books on three other northern plains states: North Dakota Land of Changing Seasons and South Dakota Land of Shining Gold, both written by Francie M. Berg, and Wyoming Land of Echoing Canyons, by Beverley Elaine Brink. Available in softcover (29.95) and hardcover (39.95) in bookstores and gift shops and from Flying Diamond Books, 402 S 14th St, Hettinger, ND 58639 (701-567-2646). Online purchases at Amazon and website www.MontanaStirrupsandSage.com.