Friday, June 22, 2012

Book review - 'A Hard Ride' by, Dennis Dooley

While many of us have heard tales of the movement west in the early 1900's, the hard work, the tough lifestyle, yet, we rarely get a glimpse into the real life of those who lived it.

When local author Dennis Dooley's father passed away, the duty of clearing out his father Dick's desk fell upon him. Though he had seen him scribbling this and that over the years Dooley was completely surprised at the volume of written work left behind from his father, poems on napkins, memories written on scraps of paper, and a few sacred pictures tucked in the back for good measure. Sorting through the massive amount of loose paperwork, Dooley knew he had to organize his fathers words into a book. The journey was a long one but allowed Dooley to once again worship his father for the strong yet gentle man that he was. 'A Hard Ride' is Dick's story.

'A Hard Ride' is the story of a young man born in 1911 in New England to couple who soon thereafter divorced. With his young mother Dick traveled across the United States in hopes of reaching California, but stopped along the way homesteading in New Mexico. By the age of thirteen he was running cattle with his best friend, also thirteen, across two hundred miles of open land, with a manly pack of Bull Durham in a draw string sack cloth and his Smith and Wesson strapped to his side he "felt manly equal enough to any emergency, whatever it might be."

His experiences were not limited to cowboying as work was hard to find and when it came his way he took it, or he went in search of it.  The list of the many jobs hes held throughout his life is long, including fisherman, stone and brick mason, bronc rider, salesman, cowboy, dairy hand, ball player, miner, logger, Naval Intelligence and more

The humor, the raw emotion and the feeling as if one was there by Dick's side as he experienced each new adventure makes this book a great read. The introduction is long, yet necessary to set the stage for the remainder of the book... Dick's words written - now - for all to read.

'A Hard Ride' is available at