I Saw Them Ride Away (2009)
by Harry Arthur Gant (1881-1967)
Harry Gant was my Great-Grandfather, and a real character. I was at his house every year or so through the 1950s and 1960s, with his extended family to various extents. My book The Making of “I Saw The Ride Away” tells how his memoir came to be published.
The memoir is in two parts. The first part tells of his first career as a cowboy in Colorado and Wyoming from the 1890s to 1912. The second part tells how he got into the movie business. On my first reading, I greatly enjoyed the cowboy parts, but got bogged down in the silent movie parts. Upon re-reading to prepare for publication, I was amazed that I didn’t find the whole thing fascinating on the first reading. (Of course, that says more about the earlier me than about his book.)
His personality is plain on every page. He was a cowboy his whole life, and proud of it. He survived tough times by his self-reliance, and helped create an organization for other old cowboys to support each other. That organization still survives (barely) after 84 years: The Chuck Wagon Trailers. He makes no claims to fame, or for the glory of the old ways or the code of the west. He would probably think little of such stuff, as the creation of tenderfoot Hollywood writers.
This was the second book published by Castle Knob, and was a labor of love. As we worked on it, we had no idea of the connections that would arise to other family members and other history. See my other book for the story of the untold chapter.