It was a hot, mid-summer day while visiting my maternal grandmother during school vacation.
She lived in a trailer park with a lovely creek.
My little sister, Teri, and I spent countless hours playing in or near the water. We’d slide down a large, flat rock into a waist deep pool, catch and release crawdads, and ‘fish’ with poles Grandma helped us make out of sticks, white string, and safety pin hooks baited with bits of marshmallow.
Although I was getting older, around twelve, I still enjoyed messing around by the creek with Teri. But that day my sister stayed home, sick. And Grandma, in her late sixties and suffering from arthritis and bad knees, was only up for a few hours of either Crazy Eights or Uno. I usually brought books to read when she needed to rest or watch her show.
I’d forgotten that day.
Grandma, bless her heart, said I could read one of her books. Sigh.
I read books like: Misty, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Island of the Blue Dolphins. She read sweet romances, which didn’t interest me at all, and old westerns. I could watch Lawrence Welk with her or read a book by Zane Grey. I plucked Riders of the Purple Sage off the shelf, hoping not to be too bored.
And I fell in love.
I read through Grandma’s entire collection that summer.
Those old western novel cowboys were flawed men who may have done wrong in the past but had the quiet strength and conviction to do right by those they loved whatever the cost.
My kind of heroes, then and now.
All my cowboys are inspired by the men in those westerns.
Nate Rolfe in
The Lone Cowboy of River Bend,
the final book of my Men of Fir Mountain Series, is a prime example.
Loyal, steadfast and determined, he won’t return to his beloved homestead until the trouble makers threatening his extended
family are rooted out.
The Lone Cowboy of River Bend
The Men of Fir Mountain