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Rivers of Wind: A Western Boyhood Remembered [Paperback]

Gary Penley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Feb. 28 2006 --  

Book Description

Feb. 28 2006
He never seemed old to me. He stood with the intensity of a coiled spring, a compact bundle of energy and fierce determination. His dark, piercing eyes challenged the world; his stubborn jaw defied it. The years hadn't mellowed him much. Even in his seventies he wore his hat cocked. He belonged here. He and this hard prairie were alike - rugged, fierce, and enduring. Each stood ready to battle the other every day. His daughter, my mother, chose hardships, harsh weather, and isolation to place her sons in the care of the best man she knew. Mum and I both called him dad.

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It has hard times, good times, moments of absolute hilarity, rattlesnakes, bobcats and a crusty grandfather. -- Publishers Weekly, Nov. 22, 1999 quoting Gayle Ray of Tattered Cover Bookstore

Readers from 12 to 90 can relish these stories of life on the High Plains during the middle years of this century. Gary Penley has personified in his book Joseph Campbell's admonition to hang on the "rapture of being alive." -- CO) Oct. 15, 1998

Rivers of Wind is a fine book in many respects. For one, it's a well-written, true chronicle of everyday life in rural southeastern Colorado earlier this century. The book is also a top-notch character study of "Dad," Penley's grandfather who raised him, and gives a real feel for those who straddled time from the horse-and-buggy era to the age of airplanes. It's a good read. -- Western Horseman June 1999 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gary Penley was born in Colorado and grew up on a remote cattle ranch in the 1950s. After high school he left the wide open spaces and semi-arid climate of home and served aboard submarines in the U.S. Navy for several years. Following discharge, he attended Weber State University and University of Kansas where he earned his master's degree in geology. Gary lives in Lafayette, Louisiana where he works as a petroleum geologist. Although he has written for outdoor and sporting magazine, Rivers of Wind is his first book. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars A kind of "window in time" July 17 2004
Rivers Of Wind: A Western Boyhood Remembered is the autobiographical story of how Gary Penley's growing up on a ranch in the plains of Colorado, the influence and example of his grandfather, his mother, and a yesteryear of ranch life that is gone now. Interwoven memories of the people, the geography of the land, the animals, and the climate of the high western plains, Rivers Of Wind is a kind of "window in time" that will engage the reader's rapt attention from first page to last. A tribute to a time and place now found only in memory, Rivers Of Wind is unique and enthusiastically recommended reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It ain't flat on the Great Plains! Jan. 8 2003
I enjoyed this book, sent to me by a high school friend, as I went to the same consolidated high school in Lamar, Colo. as the author (but 2 years ahead of him)and recognized many of the features of that time and place which he describes so well. I was a town kid instead of a country kid but it helps understand better the kids I went to school with. Gary is a great story teller. I hope he didn't stretch it too much in a few places (I don't remember rattle snakes when my friend and I were hiking outside of town--but maybe it was winter). And no, the Great Plains are NOT flat but rolling praire with great views to the horizon sometimes. It's BIG SKY country and I miss though it has been years since I've been there. Thanks, Gary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Up close and personal April 7 2002
Mr. Penley gives personal details that review his life on the prarie such that reading this book made me feel I knew him. He included facts and opinions about the history of the area that will help document for years to come what took place in that area. His ability to show emotions with words and his willingness to be vulnerable with the details made this a very interesting book. I read his other book too, and highly recommend it as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rivers of Wind, a great read April 6 2002
I am an avid reader and this book, Rivers of Wind, was absolutely great. An easy and smooth book to read and every page was enjoyable. The author painted vivid pictures and I could see it like a movie. One of those books that you really hate it when you finish. I could have read it for a month. Thanks, Gary, whoever you are.
Tom Desaulniers
Leeds, AL
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rivers Of Wind Feb. 24 2002
I read this book with much anticapation as I also grew up in Lamar Colorado. Mr Penley's older brother George was a very good friend of my brother's and I have heard nothing of this family since we moved away in 1954. I remember most things as Mr. Penley did except that I lived in town. Oh ,those duststorms brought back such memories. I loved the book.
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