"SOMETIMES CREEK: A Wyoming Memoir," by Florence Rose Krall Shepard, Raven's Eye Press, $18, 352 pages (nf)
“Sometimes Creek: A Wyoming Memoir” is a historical memoir by Florence Rose Krall Shepard that details her life from childhood to adulthood in rural Wyoming during the 20th century.
Shepard — the daughter of Italian immigrants who settled in Wyoming in the late 1800s/early 1900s looking for a fresh start — describes what life was like as a child in a place that was in many ways still the “Old West.”
She carefully weaves her story from her earliest memories of the ranch that she lived on for many years to the later stages of her life. From homemade buses and one-room school houses to major universities and her teaching career, she gives amazing insights into how it was to live during the Great Depression. As the author says early in the book, her “life story is a 20th-century tale of acculturation and accommodation experienced by this immigrant Italian family in the process of becoming American.”
Throughout "Sometimes Creek," she gives more examples of what it was like to grow up during this time in American history. Shepard vividly provides examples of experiences in her past that shaped her into the woman that she became later in life, which includes life as a mother to four children and grandmother to 12 grand or great-grandchildren.
While the book is probably targeted toward a specific audience — those that were raised during the same time frame and in the Western United States — many other readers should find the book very interesting and one that will be hard to put down.
It is much more than a romanticized tale of life in the Old West. There are plenty of challenges and heartaches described as well.
Shepard also uses the memoir to describe the things that she is most passionate about; family, the natural environment and education. She holds the title of professor emeritus in education studies at the University of Utah, “where she taught educational, environmental and feminist studies.” She has also published her personal narratives in journals and a previous book titled “Ecotone” (SUNY Press, 1994).
The author still lives in a cabin in the Hoback Basin of Wyoming, where she was raised, and also spends winters in Salt Lake City.
If you go...
What: Florence Rose Krall Shepard book signing
When: Thursday, Aug. 9, 7 p.m.
Where: King's English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
Landon Walters is a history and political science major at Salt Lake Community College. He is an avid sports fan and loves writing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org