Dinner With Steve

I don’t know why it should be that late last night, while I was riding with T.E. Lawrence into the fires of Damascus, and only shortly after he had discovered the horrors of “The Turkish Hospital,” that I would have occasion to reminisce about dining with my father.  It might have been his devotion to ...


The Hired Man, An Excerpt

Today’s offering is an excerpt from The Hired Man, a novel in progress.      When he was a boy and a bull slipped the fall gather they would grain the mules.  Twice a day Del would whistle them up from the bottom pasture and grain them with barley and corn rolled in sweet molasses. ...


The Sweetwater Brewing Company

A few years ago, after losing my grandparents, my dad, and our son, in a rapid cascade of debilitating blows, I needed to get away.  Badly.  I was working seventy hour weeks as a narcotics detective, a notorious and occasionally dangerous grind of surveillance and door kicking, and what little time I had left was ...


Lights and Sirens

Post Ferguson, the pundits are working overtime to diagnose the various ills of American policing.  The conclusions are sometimes infuriating, sometimes hilarious, but almost never accurate, which is a bi-product, I suppose, of the simple fact that none of them have ever been cops, or know the first thing about actual police work.  So they ...


Stealing Signs

Last week we turned the ranch chores over to a hungry U of Oregon student, packed up the dogs, extra water, and a chainsaw, and blasted southeast out of the trees onto the basalt and granite outback country.  Through Silver Lake then, home of the Cowboy Dinner Tree, on through the beautiful, lazy curves of ...


War All the Time

Take a long, hard, look at this photo, if you can stomach it.  While you are looking at it, try to imagine, if you can, what is going through Mr. Foley’s mind.  I mean really try to imagine it.  Put yourself there, on your knees in the sand, hands bound behind your back, in an ...


High and Lonesome

Today, while running errands in town, I saw a couple of working cowboys in off the desert, young buckaroos who hadn’t changed clothes in a while, were covered with dust and dirt and old sweat, and possessed of that quiet, settled pride and polite confidence I once knew very well.  They were just passing through, ...

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Jack Donovan

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Field notes from the Figure 8 Ranch


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"Strength Through Honor"