by Jesse Bussard
From the title you’re probably wondering what this post is about. This is the title of a book by Montana rancher and cowboy, Kent Hanawalt. He describes this collection of modern western short stories as “Adventures of a Twentieth Century Cowboy.” The book consists of a menagerie of recounts of different happenings throughout Hanawalt’s years cowboying across Montana. He sums the book up well in the description below:
“While NASA was sending a man to the moon, this cowboy was still roping cows, branding calves, shoeing horses, packing mules, and blowing up the washing machine. Collected here are a series of triumphs and tribulations from a life in the cow country of Montana. Filled with humor, information,and a little suspense, this book will engage anyone who is drawn to cowboys, horses, and the Old West.”
I have never met Kent in person, but have been Facebook friends with him for quite some time. I have enjoyed our friendship and his insights into ranch life since we’ve connected. When he asked me to review his latest book I was more than thrilled.
You see, Kent is the real deal; a bonafide modern 20th century cowboy. He has spent more than 40 years riding the range, working with horses and cattle across Montana. A jack of many trades, he touches upon his time spent as a horseshoer, wilderness guide, muleskinner, horse trainer, and many other interesting occupations. I can only hope that in 40 years I have as many interesting stories to tell as Kent.
I highly recommend his latest book. For starters, this book was one of the most enjoyable short story books I’ve had the pleasure to read. If you like a good western and want a taste of what ranch life is like for real cowboys in the 20th century this book is a sure bet. Kent does a great job at giving you a straight-forward, no nonsense account of some of the trials, tribulations, and joys he’s experienced in ranch life. So saddle up with a Kent and give his book a try. You might just find yourself daydreaming of riding the range in the Montana Rockies.
I also reccommend checking out Kent’s blog, Millennium Cowboy, where he shares more accounts of Montana ranch life.