Committed for Better Business

Memory, of course, is a venerable genre. There has been a time. Tea
The first guy to bend over and cross out some words on the ground, ten to one
he was writing about himself. This is what I saw, this is what I felt.
However, judging from recent headlines, the breed is in the midst of a
A beating. Poor James Frey in his million little maligned pieces, the
The last spoiled, spoiled rich kid who bleeds all the way to the bank. That
Is it about telling our own story what makes us want
over-sensationalize, inflate our own egos with endless puffs of hot air?
Augusten Burroughs, running with the scissors that his adoptive family
swears up and down were inventions. Is it insecurity? Maybe ours
lives really aren’t that important. Even here in Montana, Judy Blunt
He probably should have thought twice before writing that scene about her.
father-in-law chasing his typewriter with a mallet.

In this cynical atmosphere, Tom Groneberg’s new memoir, One
Good Horse, (Scribner, $ 24) is something of a palliative. It’s like meeting a
friend you haven’t seen in a while, arguing over who can buy the first
round. Apparently the story of a novice cowboy’s first foray on the horse
training, it is rather the portrait of a life, a cross section of the
daily struggles that make up the human condition. As another
Montana’s classic instant memoir, Fred Haefele’s Rebuilding the
Indian, Groneberg wears his narrative armor, his horse training, as a
entry into considerably larger issues. For example: What does
be a father, husband, friend? What are the duties that we bring to
our lives, and what are our rewards?

“I think, perhaps for the first time, that I should have my own horse.
out into a pasture with a halter, neighing and trotting toward
I. You would not have to decide which horse to saddle, which animal
confidence. If I had a good horse, I could give my life. I could ride it for years.
We could grow old together. Then I’d give it to Carter [his son]. its
own horse, to ride, to have, because I know that I will not always be there to
he. “

On the surface, it is true that the average, the turning of the page, and the reading of propaganda
the browser could leak onto One Good Horse. The veneer of this is about
karaoke bars and job hunting, mornings spent pulling out hay bales
and an afternoon or two with the in-laws. However, dig a little deeper and
you get to see, within these familiar totems, compelling reductions of
all our days. Unlike the overly sensational and coverage of the truth
memoirs that now top the bestseller list, Groneberg’s narrative quietly
communicates a real sense of generosity, a vision of just doing the
as best you can, making a hand with the cards that have been dealt to you. Is,
more than anything else, a quiet meditation on relationships: A man for
your horse, your friends, your family, your community.

Still in the midst of resetting his dials after losing both his ranch and later
her job, she writes, “Maybe I can get a colt and remember what it is I love
about being in the west. The pieces of my life will fall into place
again and it will all make sense. “Soon after, he comes
through another autobiography, We Pointed Them North by Teddy “Blue” Abbott.
One of the tent poles of the Montana literary canon, Groneberg usa
WPTN as a counterpoint, describing its narrative in pieces, subtly
expressing their own experiences in the larger historical context of Teddy
The example of Blue. Groneberg aspires to be a cowboy in a long line of
cowboys, a writer in an established tradition of Western writers, and
Teddy Blue gives you a place to hitch your figurative horse. “I can not
being claimed is the hole in my story, the empty space in that line that
he used to read ‘cowboy’ or ‘ranch peon’ or ‘man with horse’. i need a new
history. “

And so we have started with these two narrative threads, first one and
then the other: Groneberg’s horse training, and now the tale of Teddy Blue.
Shortly they give us a third: the premature birth of Groneberg’s twin
sounds. “I call the grandparents and give them the news. Carter looks
cartoons. Jennifer nods. Time disappears. In the little kitchen on the other side
hallway to Jennifer’s room, I raid the refrigerator for small packages of
chocolate pudding, cups of ice chips, half-size cans of lemon-lime
soda and ginger ale. Right before dinner, I rub my hands and put on
another dress and visit the boys again. Someone has pasted a card
each isolette, one reading Avery, the other Bennett. This is me, I think.
This is my life. “

The pediatrician, “a confident, reassuring doctor with a short bur
blonde hair and a warm smile, “he says,” I’d like to give Avery some tests. ”
She explains that “there is a particular crease in her palm that she is
worried, and that his ears seem to be a little low on his
face. “As privileged readers, we discovered, along with Groneberg and
his wife, that their beautiful new son has been born with Down
syndrome. “Jennifer and I hugged and cried.
Avery, for your future. Or maybe our sadness is for ourselves, for the loss
Who we thought we were We thought it didn’t matter, this notion of
perfect children. At less than a week to live, Avery has been tagged,
limited, his life executed, his future told by a fold in his little palm. ”
It is a measure of the force that the Groneberg technique goes through.
deceptively simple prose that our hearts break along with theirs.

In dealing with memories, it is not enough to say that one has simply lived, that
You were right here next door, microwaving the leftovers and filling up the parking lot
spaces. You’re asking a complete stranger to spend time with your life
after all; you have to convince them that something here is important.
Fame does the trick, in the style of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Carlin.
Travel diaries also have wheels (although less now than before,
with all the deserts that have already been explored). Horrifying
experiences (drugs, sexual abuse) and professional experience both
usually enough. But, in my opinion, it is much more difficult to write a
compelling story of the basics of the unexceptional. Here’s a
view of the world from where I stand, and it’s one I’d like to share.

A thin enough book (considering the turbulent topics in the subtext), and
conversational, adept in his voice, One Good Horse is finally the weirdest
of literary creations: it is true.

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