“As a boy growing up in the deserts, mountains, canyons, and cattle country of Arizona, I spent many an evening listening to tales told around the campfire. Some were true (so the teller swore), some were exaggerated (so my maturing sense of credulity told me) and some were creative fiction at its most delightful (so my sore sides told me after hours of laughter).

Ken Overcast’s stories in Shootin’ The Breeze Cowboy Style take me back to those days and remind me how crucial the story-telling tradition is to our cultural memories and, indeed, to our very identities as Westerners. The stories capture the flavor of life in the West: the challenges of working livestock, the strength and tenacity – and sense of humor – it takes to create a life, the vagaries of human beings, who are the most unpredictable of animals, and the ups, downs, successes, failures, and everything in between. All of which make life exciting, interesting, funny, and anything but ordinary, but that give us all a reason to love our lives in the West.

Such a collection is a delight to have in part because it doesn’t require a straight-through read. One story at a time, or even a page at a time, will provide a chuckle or a knowing nod of recognition. Or even a brief escape from the present, an escape that’s more like a vacation because you return from the sojourn refreshed. I’d say it’s a great bathroom book, and I say that with the intention of offering the highest praise. Whether the plumbing is indoors or out, Shootin’ The Breeze is a fine companion.”

Lee Haines, Director of Public Relations, Buffalo Bill Historical Center