Lundie’s Stories: Tales from a Wyoming Original
by Lundie Thayer and Karen King

"We all need water, air, a home, and food that make up our environment… we’re all environmentalists just tryin’ to live in this crazy world."

Lundie’s great-grandmother, known as Grannie Specks, was a young English widow who decided to homestead in America. As fate would have it, she and her four children took the steamship Wyoming, then made the perilous cross-country trek to the new territory of the same name. They lived in a dugout where Grannie farmed, established a post office in the town she named “Fenton,” and gave her children all the education they would have. Lundie’s grit doubtless came in part from Grannie. He also farmed, rode and tamed horses at an early age, and learned about behavior from his lawman father and the wild characters that abounded in his territory. His tales range from being thrown by a pony and finding grit in his back from that incident years later to explaining why horse thieves deserved execution to touting the undeniable benefits of the stinky home remedy asafetida to chasing a dog belonging to co-author King when he was nearly 100 years old.

King collaborated closely with Lundie, who served as the narrator of this moving collection of anecdotes, experiences, and opinions, giving his approval for each episode. Lundie celebrated his 102nd birthday before his death in 2018. The material offered gives a potent view of life in isolated, rural, post-Civil War America, depicting its hero as a self-made individual who sharply observed and gleaned bits of wisdom from others. King’s work combines her diligent stenography, as she transcribed Lundie’s reminiscences, with Wyoming’s pioneers and their earliest connections. King has created a magical stereoscopic vision of one man’s reality, offering his heritage as an example for readers, one of courage, humor, and the will to survive.

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