cover image Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy

Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy

Baxter Black. Crown Publishers, $23 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-609-60122-8

Black (Hey Cowboy, Wanna Get Lucky?) lives and works in the mountain West, ""tending critters"" and being a part of the lifestyle he loves. In the 119 short essays and poems collected here, all of which he has read on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, he celebrates the world of cowboys and farmers, pickup trucks, feedlots, wild horses, baler twine, stock shows, range fires and rodeos that is ""different from the world of most public radio contributors."" He and his friends know how to laugh at themselves--as he posits, what else is there to do when elk invade the beanfield, your horse gets spooked by a moose and falls over backward on top of you and ewes go on a rampage at the agricultural fair? The pieces are slightly irreverent, sometimes poignant and always imbued with respect and admiration for the self-reliance and independence ""a lot of us from the West are proud of."" Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)