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History, Plain and Simple

Please Note: To protect our clients’ privacy, we have not used actual names.  However, the excerpts and circumstances are exactly as presented. Client references and writing samples are available on request.

Lyle's Story

Lyle, born in 1921, grew up on a ranch in Wyoming. His wife died young, leaving Lyle with a son of three. In the course of life as a single parent, which included remarriage, the Army, and ranching, Lyle never found the occasion to talk much with his only child. A man of few words, Lyle felt self-conscious about focusing attention on himself, but he soon discovered it wasn’t so much a history of himself as a dialogue about the people and events that characterized his life. This also provided an opportunity to talk about his wife who died prematurely, before his son had a chance to know her. In this case, there was no one else left who could tell these stories.

Our first days with Lyle involved talking and taping, then, with a better grasp of the overall story, we sat down at the big kitchen table and painstakingly went through boxes of pictures, letters, and diaries. Among those was a colorful piece of writing from the 1880s by Lyle’s Uncle Eb describing a spirited attempt to match Great Plains bison against bulls in the Mexican bullring.

The surprise for Lyle was the number of people who were eager to have a copy of his book. They found the memoir he did for his son a fascinating social history of a particular time and place.

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