Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tune In Tuesdays--Wildman, a Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattle Man

Almost 25 years ago, BC, or as I like to say before children (oldest would say before Cody) I worked in town at the local Furniture store. Loved that job, got to know many of the local business people, several who have been friends since and are some of my good friends today. One day, a friend of mine, Sally came into the store. Her mother in  law had sent her in to buy a high chair for their oldest daughter. (was picking out her own gift, that's always fun!) We sold beautiful wooden ones and she and I looked through our selection. Probably that day was the first time I knew who Sierra Shea was.
After we started adding kids to our family, I stayed home with our kids and a social outlet I participated in was a monthly coffee group. Sierra was in school by then but her mom attended the group as well. Being a mother of 4 kids, I always have stories and Sierra's mom could always appreciate.
Over the years, we had kids, they had some more and everyone got to be 4H age. Sierra and her sisters comprised the Charolais class of the local fair most years and I would tease her mom about it. Of course she replied, you will be there and in a few years, I was. Different breed, but multiple class entries.
Fast forward a few more years and over half of these beautiful girls have graduated from High School, (Selestia in a few weeks) went to college and are starting to find their place in the world. Sierra has certainly accomplished that. The mom in me, thinks I wish she lived closer, as I am sure her family misses her. But in this day and age of social media and access, I guess they can 'see' her everyday.
Prolific blogger and newspaper contributor, Sierra Shea has published her first book. One, that I am certain has been a labor of love. Wild Man: A Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattlemen is beautifully pieced together collection of stories intermingled with a basic family history of about 4 generations of the Angell family. The main star, is Sierra's grandpa, Luther Angell. Well known in our state for his involvement in the cattle industry, from raising cattle to marketing them in the family owned sale barns.

Stories of family, business and good times fill every page. You will laugh and cry along with the Angell family as they move from post World War era to modern times. Certainly a family who works hard and plays hard, but mostly just loves each other. 
I knew this would be an entertaining read. What I didn't expect, especially since I have read some of the beginnings of this through Sierra's column in the Cattleman's Advocate and the tidbits she shared was that I had a such a hard time putting it down. She broke it up nicely and neatly into many short stories, but I just kept thinking, oh I will read one more. Needless to say, I wasn't particularly productive until I got it read. I think my family is glad it wasn't any longer. HA! 
Like Sierra's Uncle Jon rates her Aunt Charlotte's cooking, I would give this a 5 cowboy hats out of 5 on the official Angell cowboy hat rating scale. 
It would be a great keepsake for any local person and anyone who loves the country, cows and rural life. Locals can purchase their copy at Angell's Western Wear in downtown Centralia or click on the link above and order it online. For more incredible stories of the life and times of Sierra Shea, follwo her blog, or follow her page on facebook, SierraSheaWrites
Proud when a local kid makes the 'big time',
From Tulip~