Local writer shares compelling true story

Book review2

I’ve always enjoyed reading about other people’s adventures. Although I have had my share of interesting experiences, my life has been fairly tame. I much prefer to read about things people have done from the comfort of my reading chair.

Recently, two Wallowa County residents have shared their stories and I found both fascinating and compelling. The first is Pamela Royes, whose memoir, “Temperance Creek”, is a deep and lyrical look at the time and place in which Royes developed into the woman she is now.

The second author is Fred Hauptmann.

“Damn, I Shot my Horse” is a fascinating true tale. Hauptmann spent his teen years in the Nevada desert working on proving up the land his parents obtained through a homestead program.

He dug irrigation ditches, dug a well, set up a windmill for water.

And he did most of this alone.

His parents drove him out there and left him with cases of canned food and minimal other supplies. Then they left and Hauptmann had to figure out how to do the tasks assigned to him.

He had to learn everything himself, from fixing all things mechanical to taking care of his horse.

He not only survived his circumstances, he became adept at whatever he put his hand to. In the winter, he signed on as a ranch hand and learned even more skills.

I kept thinking about how these days boys of 12, 13 or 14 still have babysitters. And there was Hauptmann making it on his own at the same age.

Told in a straightforward manner, he tells his story without either seeking sympathy or sensationalizing. His story is an amazing one.

Hauptmann will be available to sign books and talk about his experiences at The Bookloft in Enterprise during the Bowlby Bash on July 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

— Mary Swanson owns The Bookloft bookstore in Enterprise.

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