The remarkable story of Sandra Day O’Connor’s family and early life, her journey to adulthood in the American Southwest that helped make her the woman she is today: the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and one of the most powerful women in America.
“A charming memoir about growing up as sturdy cowboys and cowgirls in a time now past.”—USA Today
In this illuminating and unusual book, Sandra Day O’Connor tells, with her brother, Alan, the story of the Day family, and of growing up on the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B ranch in Arizona. Laced throughout these stories about three generations of the Day family, and everyday life on the Lazy B, are the lessons Sandra and Alan learned about the world, self-reliance, and survival, and how the land, people, and values of the Lazy B shaped them.
This fascinating glimpse of life in the Southwest in the last century recounts an important time in American history, and provides an enduring portrait of an independent young woman on the brink of becoming one of the most prominent figures in America.
This memoir-cum natural history evinces a clear picture of the American Southwest during the early to mid 20th century. Though O'Connor's name initially conjures images of austere black robes and the halls of justice, a very different person emerges from the childhood recalled here. A collaboration between O'Connor and her brother, the book recounts the lives of their parents "MO" and "DA" (pronounced "M.O." and "D.A.") and the colorful characters who helped run the Lazy B ranch. Growing up on the Gila River flowing from New Mexico to Arizona during the 1930s and '40s, the children quickly learned about the desert's abundant and dangerous creatures and plants. And no experience of Western ranch life is complete without the constant struggle for water leading to disputes over grazing rights. Though life was often harsh, MO kept her children educated and imbued with a sense of dignity. The authors' keen sense of loyalty to their childhood home endures: "Life at the ranch involved all of these components association with our old-time, long-suffering, good-natured cowboys; living in isolation with just one another and with few luxuries; ... seeing the plant, animal, insect, and bird life of the Southwest close at hand; and enjoying the love and companionship of MO and DA." O'Connor attended Stanford University, realizing the dreams of her grandfather and father; there, she took a class from a law school professor and started down the path leading to the U.S. Supreme Court. Day ran the Lazy B until its sale in 1986. The authors' delight in Lazy B enhances this quiet account of a bygone era. B&w photos throughout. (On-sale: Jan. 29)
Customer ReviewsSee All
I was born in Colorado in1935. The reading of Day O 'Conner's life on the Lazy B renewed my deep feelings for The west. During WWII I moved all over North America as Dad was a Govt. employee who was raised in California, but born in Nebraska. Mom was born in Colorado. They were, (parents) very sophisticated, but never stopped paying homage to their roots. That special regard for freedom with responsibility, generosity with frugality resides within me and I am very proud to be a Westerner.
Thank You so much for the sweet read.
The style of writing is as straight forward as she seems to be. Truthful and unadorned, it is a great tale of history.
Great characters, great stories
Justice O'Connor reveals with great wit and sensibility how life on the ranch shaped her values laying the foundation for her historic appointment to the Supreme Court. The people of the ranch and the great challenge of running a cattle ranch in the middle of the desert show us a lifestyle that few can fully appreciate or understand from our modern day perspective. The book is full of insight and thoughtful reflection on life and family and gives us a sense of what the "Old West" must have really been like. Good for quite a few full belly laughs, lots of chuckles, many "aha moments" and even a few tears. An absolute must read!