Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
T. C. Boyle's 'San Miguel' looks at the grinding drudgery of sheep ranching
San Miguel is a remote part of the Channel Islands off the coast of California, west of Santa Barbara. In his historical novel, "San Miguel," T.C. Boyle delves deeply into the lives of two families of sheep ranchers -- the Waterses and the Lesters -- who inhabited the island in different centuries. Marantha and Will Waters make their home on San Miguel in the 1880s, when an eight-hour ship passage across rough seas was the only way to reach it. Marantha, 38 and embarking on her second marriage, this one to a Civil War veteran, has tuberculosis and has agreed to the move in an effort to improve her health. Her adopted daughter, Edith, just 14, and their cook, Ida, not much older, approach the relocation as an adventure. But the house turns out to be little better than a drafty shack, the road too narrow to allow carts and the weather generally abysmal: windy, foggy and rainy. Marantha is so sick, she can barely set up house, but Will, focused completely on making a go of the sheep business, barely notices. From the beginning, Marantha senses doom...more