Friday, December 26, 2008


Nothing like revisiting the past to make the holidays festive! Fury, Stallion of Broken Wheel Ranch was a book that my Grandma and Grandpa McClain gave me in 1975, when I was just 11 years old. Those were difficult times for me, to say the least, and I don't think anyone could have realized the profound impact this book had on me.

The book centers around a boy named Joey Clark, who lives in an orphanage. Joey is unhappy, but a good kid, considered "horse-crazy" by his friends. He longs for a life with a real father as he goes through his chores from day to day. When an opportunity arises for Joey to go to a real, live rodeo, he sneaks in. When he's discovered, he makes a break for it and hides in a vehicle belonging to Jim Newton, a single rancher who has just caught a wild stallion named Fury. Of course Joey is discovered and eventually adopted, and of course he is the only one who can tame the wild stallion. It's stories like this upon which cliches are based.

But the power behind it is that it gave me hope in a time when I had none. My brief vacations to visit my father and my grandparents were the only bright spots in each year of misery. I immediately identified with Joey, and about a year later, my father allowed me to come live with him instead of being beaten and abused every day by my stepfather. This book got me through the last year of five where there was no silver lining to be found.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

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