Fulcrum, Oct 2009, $24.95
Teen T.J. Darley is driving on I-90 in Hardin, Montana when he picks up hitchhiker Spoon who is half Indian and half Black. He is wearing an expensive hat, but no boots. Sam tells T.J. he seeks his roots and believes he might find information on his past soon. T.J. questions the drifter’s qualifications on ranch work and likes what he hears. He brings Spoon to his parents’ spread The Willow Creek Ranch as he wants his family to hire Sam as they desperately need an experienced hand,
Spoon proves he knows how to work at a ranch, but he also fears trouble is coming as he has had a premonition. A drought will add problems to the family as well as a coal company that wants the land cheap; Acosta Energy gets what it wants at the price it will pay. When the father of J.T. rejects the offer, all kinds of dirty tricks occur to destroy the family. However, the Darley brood and Spoon fight back, but during a confrontation an accident occurs that if not rectified could destroy all the ranchers and their families.
SPOON is a fascinating character who while seeking his roots finds a family in the Darleys who treat him as one of them. In turn he has their backs against Acosta and its dirty tricks. Readers learn how much hard work it takes to run a Big Sky ranch successfully and how fast big business can run down a ranch or other property when the “need” suits the suits. Though his side of the dispute is apparent, Robert Greer has written a thought provoking work as environmentalists and energy companies fight over land usage.