Part 1 of this book depicts memories of the colorful characters who lived in the rural community of Loy, Arkansas, in the 1930's. During corn grinding days at the Loy store, a young boy thrived on the tales of hunting, fishing, fighting, sex, violence, and agricultural feats as told by the local storytellers. That little boy, now 81 years old, attempts to recapture some of the flavor of the 1930's and pay tribute to those "spitters and whittlers" who fired his youthful imagination. That early exposure to master storytellers led to a lifetime enjoyment of Ozark tales.
Part 2 of this book deals with situations the author has heard about or was directly involved in after leaving his home sanctuary of Kings River and Guessey Creek. The stories arise from military service, tourist excursions, and work-related experiences in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.
Burr Fancher was raised on an Arkansas farm during the Great Depression. His father was a livestock drover who spent his working life trailing hogs, sheep, cattle, and turkeys from Ozark hollers to the rearest railroads or markets. While assisting his father, Burr experienced the drover lifed firsthand and learned toadmire those who completed the long drives from Arkansas to California. Early experiences with livestock eventually led him to advanced college degrees in animal sience and several years of practical experience in livestock production.
After serving in World War II in Korea and Germany, Burr taught agriculture to returning veterans and later drifted into livestock management jobs. In 1958, he left Arkansas and settled in the Willamette Valley in Oregon where he returned to his first love - teaching. His career in education included vocational agriculture instructor, vocational director, state department specialist, regional coordinator, assistant professor, and self-employed consultant. Burr hold B.S. and M.S. degrees in agriculture and animal science from the University of Arkansas and B.S. and PhD degrees in education and vocational education from Oregon State University.
After his exposure to the Moutain Meadows story at the age of four, Burr has been captivated by the history of the massacre for over seventy-five years. That interest led him to become and advocate for those who died or survived the massacre. The author is related by blood to 16 Dunlap and 11 Fancher individuals who died at Mountain Meadows. He is also related by bloood to seve of the surviving children. Through marriage, Burr is related to Milum Rush, a 28 year old victim of the massacre. A special admiration of Captain Alexander Fancher and his ability to lead wagon trains was a natural outgrowth of Burr's lifelong interest in the massacre.
After his final retirement in 2000, Burr Fancher continues to hunt some, fish alittle, garden, make wine, travel, and serve as President of the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, Inc.