Sample of READERS’ COMMENTS for PRAIRIE
A warm, colorful book, weaving all the strands of Irwin’s remarkable life into a work of fiction that does not betray its real-life hero. –Arizona Daily Star
A big American horse and soap opera – the best kind. –New York Daily News.
Waldo’s “Prairie” outlines the heights of daring and inventiveness exhibited by our prairie pioneers. For this is about the life and times of Charles Burton Irwin, huge in size and great in deeds. A man presidents of the U.S. honored, visited and treasured as a friend and doer in times of need. From the soddy hovels of early childhood, to the fine brick home in Cheyenne, Wyo., C. B. is very human in Waldo’s treatise. C. B. is now an honoree of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Near the end, C.B.’s closeness to the Sioux Indians moves us to honest tears. C. B.’s only son, Floyd, has been killed in a roping accident. More than 100 Sioux mount guard to morn in front of the Cheyenne funeral home. Afterwards, through the night, the Indians grieve for C. B., as they keen through the hours at Floyd’s grave. For most of these Sioux had been performers in the Irwin Wild West Show. They knew this man for whom no job was too lowly when need required, nor too busy to listen and help in troublous times: C.B. – a brother. Surely, “Prairie” is a classic. –Lotte Dettmar
Old newspaper clippings were some of Waldo’s best sources. She also collaborated with C. B.’s granddaughter, Betty Steele and one of his cowboys, Charlie Bennett. The stories told actually what happened. There are photographs of Irwin and some of the real-life versions of Waldo’s characters. This is a book of the Old West and the man who did his share to add to its myth. – Bruce Miller
Anna Lee Waldo and Prairie – The legend of Charles Burton Irwin and the Y6 Ranch is a great book and the people working for Frontier Days in Cheyenne should know about it. – Alan K. Simpson, U.S. Senator
Anna Lee Waldo has not only written an exciting story for those who have never attended Cheyenne Frontier Days, but she has accomplished something terribly important for us who have seen many of these shows – that Cheyenne Frontier Days has grown through the years, from the days when there weren’t chutes for contestestant and steers were given more lead time in the arena, because of people like C. B. Irwin. –Kathryn Gress
Thank you for writing such an interesting book. I bought Prairie on Friday and have not put it down. – Fredrica Diggs
Prairie was a wonderful book. I certainly learned more about that part of history I knew nothing about before. I found the book exciting, informative, sad and tender. – Rudy Ciuca
Following C.B. Irwin’s death, western presses ran day and night. C.B., deserving the ink, really got it because he had been, at one time or another, rancher rodeo roper, railroad agent, wild west show entrepreneur, race horse breeder and compadre of politicians, actors and artists. Warren Richardson, writing an obituary in the Cheyenne Tribune the day before C.B.’s funeral said, “If the right man ever writes of Charlie Irwin…every page will tell of an adventure.” Well, the right lady may have done it, for the author of “Prairie,” a big book about a big man, is Anna Lee Waldo. Waldo has created the Charles Burton Irwin saga. And it’s interesting. –Willard H. Porter
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