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Sam Dalmont: Memoirs of cowboy life on a Texas ranch

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This is Author’s Beat, sponsored by The Writers League of the Villages in central Florida. The program is hosted by award-winning author Mark H. Newhouse and has been created by prize-winning national journalist Don Canaan and Mark Newhouse.

"Once Upon a Texas Cattle Ranch," the third place recipient of the prestigious Will Rogers  Medallion Award for 2013 tells of the A Bar Ranch. Dalmont, age 91, the foreman's son, is one of the last survivors of that era of West Texas ranching. The "A Bars" consisted of seven farms and eight pastures - approximately 23,000 acres. Life was simple and work was hard, but most of the cowboys that passed through remained life-long friends, recalling their A Bar experiences with amusement.

The author recounts stories of real cowboys and ranch life from 1922-1940. Wages on the A Bars varied from $25-$35 a month. Occasionally a hitch-hiker might be hired for fifty cents a day. The usual quote was, "A dollar a day and your beans." Daily ranch life on the A Bars seemed to be fairly unaffected by the Great Depression. There was still plenty to eat and enough money to buy necessities.

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