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“In looking back with an appreciative eye, Margie Griffin Warsavage proves the truth of novelist Tim O’Brien’s contention that ‘Stories connect the past to the future.'” John Calderazzo, author of Rising Fire, teacher of creative writing at Colorado State University.
As America’s great cattle drives wound down in the late 1800s, Dumont Griffin rode beyond the myth he helped to create and built a ranch. A century later, his granddaughter, Margie, retraces his journey to Ekalaka, Montana, the town at the end of the trail, in search of her family’s roots. As she records her own adventure through the modern landscape, she unearths the stories of the old West. Through Margie’s eyes, we meet Olive, the abiding ranch wife who raises eight children on the windswept prairie, and Nibs, the rawboned uncle in a buffalo hide coat who nurtures his nephews with tall tales. Of seven sons set adrift in the worst of times, teenaged Ted joins two older brothers as they try to outrun the Great Depression in a boxcar headed east. Pat wrangles his dream of running a Colorado ranch, only to struggle through one of the worst winters on record, while scholarly Bobby, the youngest son, is left to cope alone in an isolated farmhouse. This memorable true story of hardship on the High Plains captures one family’s resilience, beginning with a slow waltz of courtship at a community dance, and ending with a boot-stomping sing-along at a family reunion. “Wearing the Red Bandanna” is the memoir of three generations of a western family inspired by the affectionate relationship of a young daughter and her storytelling father.