WHICH WAY IS WEST
Is It A Place Or A State Of Mind? One Man's Journey To Find Out
By Dick Elder
PRAISE FOR “WHICH WAY IS WEST”
"This classic American story of a man who turns his back on a conventionally successful 9-to-5 career to pursue his own dream offers a realistic look at the pitfalls and pleasures of the guest-ranch business and also a look at life in another time. Elder's first-person approach flows smoothly, and his insights are often wry, dry and witty." WESTERN HORSEMAN
“Nothing meaningful comes easy in life. Dick Elder's memoir, 'Which Way is West,' gives you a clear cut picture of his struggle to build what eventually became one of Americas great dude ranches. His tenacity to overcome a myriad of obstacles to achieve his goal and his willingness to reveal his personal experiences make for a terrific story.” (Rona Barrett, TV film critic, reporter and author)
“I couldn't put it down. For two days I was riveted to the story, and then I wished for more. It's a remarkable adventure of grit, grinding labor, persistence of hope and of faith despite adversity. The trials of creating the ranch from scratch are overcome in part because the author didn't recognize that by any rational standard, it was impossible. Thanks to his comfortable writing style and to an astonishing memory, this impressive yarn has a smooth flow. The vivid life of the story, its punch, is in the details and in the unusual cast of characters, types we readers will never know.” (Dr. Bruce Belt, educator)
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It is one thing to have a dream. It’s quite another to turn a dream into reality, but that is what Dick Elder did by creating one of the best guest ranches in America from scratch--Colorado Trails Ranch. The story is about a young man who, despite all odds, wouldn’t let his dream die. It’s about horses, horse thieves, cowboys, Indians, love and infidelity, ranchers, radio, even angels in Purgatory. This chronicle of a single decade, the 1960s, is told honestly without embellishment or excuses.
The autobiography is packed with colorful characters whom the author brings to life in scenes rich with dialog that transport the reader smack dab into the middle of the moment. Humor and tragedy are woven into the fabric of a long and arduous journey into the sunset, in search of that elusive pot of gold.
DICK ELDER, an Ohio native, was born in 1927. He served as a combat air crewman during WW II, received a degree in marketing from Ohio State University in 1949 and soon thereafter became very interested in horses as a show rider, trainer and riding instructor. In 1960 he moved his family to Durango, Colorado and eventually built Colorado Trails Ranch which he successfully operated until his retirement in 1997. Along with his wife, he founded the National Horse Abuse Investigators School for the American Humane Association and worked as their representative on the City Slicker movies, The Horse Whisperer and others. Elder has written articles for newspapers and magazines and has lectured extensively on horse-related topics at Monty Robert’s school and elsewhere. An avid writer of poetry, he has performed as a musician, singer, comedic entertainer and radio personality. He and his wife Ginny, divide their time between homes in Durango and Cave Creek, Arizona.
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