Books of Short Stories--Sagebrush
Books by Dave Hatton
This is one of the longer books of short stories by Dave Hatton.
Nicole, a bright and happy co-ed has her life turned upside down by the retirement, illness and death of her father. Extracted from the polite society of Boston and thrust rudely into the life of a working girl in a seedy second rate gambling house in a small Nevada town she meets the Weslys. The younger is handsome, rich, smooth and fun. The older is coarse, rough, eccentric and rebellious. The antics and rivalry of these two afford relief from her mundane life.
Swept innocently along Nicole finds herself embroiled in a one man sagebrush rebellion. Old fashioned ideas clash with the new, leaving Nicole in the middle of the road to be run over by traffic going both ways.
Sagebrush is a story about a cowboy's battle with the federal government over the use of lands in Nevada during the farming crisis of the 1980's that is commonly known as the “Sagebrush Rebellion”. Told with humor and flare with a mixture of romance, controversy, law, and western culture vs. eastern, the ingredients create a recipe for sweet delicate savors, explosions and simmering roiling pots. Undercurrents of personal relationships and their physical manifestations enliven the landscape as do the nuances of the traditional American way of life and the modern challenge to it. Contrasts of philosophy concerning love, sex, money, honor and society are explored in the rough and tumble of real life. Is man able to govern himself or is he a brute ruled by his base desires and material pleasures?
The story revolves around three characters from different segments of society. The rough uncultured cowboy, the young college girl and the rich youth inclined toward the playboy way of life, find themselves in a small country town where nothing happens in the dark but is scrutinized, dissected and debated in the town square, so to speak. Do people live happily ever after and if not, why not? Why can't some find a suitable mate and why do others live in peace and harmony for a life time?
Anonymity is impossible and reputation is as valuable as gold or as damning as a bloody knife. A few hundred people divide themselves into classes just as a nation, state or city. “The valley” as the oasis in the desert is known by the people, boasts a whore- house, gambling casinos and a church. There is a bank, a cafe, a store, a service station, and a court house but the majority of the people live off the land. Cattle make up a large portion of the product produced and sold which sets the scene for the inevitable clash between the ranchers, the B.L.M. and the Forest Service. “The Valley”, isolated from the rest world by long distances, requires that the people are intimately acquainted with one another and mutuality dependent.
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