I didn’t believe this book existed. A friend in Laramie said “You know, someone wrote a book about the original ranch property your family had?” So to learn this book existed was a shock to say the least. Not to mention the author lives part-time in Tie Siding. Another shock. When we lived there Tie Siding was a town of six people. Not sure what it is now, but will find out in the near future.
James Galvin is a well known poet and author and his book “The Meadow” hit me in a way that no other ever has. I’m not even sure where to begin the explanation. My father moved us, part-time, to Wyoming in the late 1970’s. We arrived like strangers to a land that consumed us. We lived at 8000 feet in a log house at the base of Boulder Ridge.
The day we arrived we drove a 4×4 trail south along the ride and within a quarter mile of the house stood the ruins of an old cabin, tack room and still. No roof, no windows, weather worn with a dead cow in the living room. I was in love. That cabin we referred to as the “Wooster” cabin. Or so I thought that was the spelling. This name was the extent of my knowledge of this past family and their relationship to the land.
Galvin provides the background of the actual “Worster” family, but more importantly he describes the changing of the land and the changing of the people. I’m not sure how much of this book is fact and how much is fiction but many of these same stories were told while I lived on property.
I called my mother and asked if she knew about this book, and in a few weeks I’ll see my dad’s old ranch partner and I’m curious if he knows. Galvin is a great writer. I’ve not yet delved into his poetry but his prose is a unique blend of cadence, nuanced description and hyper accurate detail into both the land and the humans who dwell on it.
I’m still a bit in shock, but since reading this book I’ve sent passage to a few friends whom I respect and all have said “Oh man, that book really had an impact on me.” Get it, read it.