By Dave Gustafson, 1999 Back to Welcome Page There have been many books read by me over the years and I will attempt to list them here as best I can recall. The most recent books will be listed first and I will try to give my feelings about them. I could not find any reason to read until I was in High School, when a teacher, whom I credit for my future education and learning, suggested I read what seemed to be interesting to me and on the subjects I was interested in about in my life. I was a Cowboy, probably always was, and I loved animals and the great out of doors and the freedom of the early Cowboys as they roamed the open prairies when cattle was king. I guess it has always been in me to roam after the same instinct of those early pioneers and Cowboys. It is the reason I suppose, that drove people here to America from Europe.
I guess from an early age I was a roamer and would often wander away so as to make my parents (mother) think I was lost. I always knew where I was. I would plan my roaming trips as to allow a determined amount of time not to raise suspicion that I was away roaming. It was sort of another life I led one of adventure. I always was eager to go someplace, when my family or a group was to travel or visit places such as trips to the city (San Francisco) and the Zoo or park.
I remember once when I was up at a family camp in the mountains and while wandering came across a road bed out in the middle of the forest. It went on for miles and I tried to follow it wondering what it was for and who made it. Just finding a place to wander was the adventure that drove me. I would think of places to go that no one else had gone before (My Friends and Relatives) so as to have a place all my own. I recall one of my greatest adventures, that took me to the Treasures of The Sierra Mountains in Mexico back in the late 50’s when seven of us took an Acapulco Taxi into the hills to find that special place in the imagination of the adventurer Humphrey Bogart in his movie of the same name. What an adventure to go up into those mountains where few Americans have gone to find the very site where they filmed the movie and to see all the actual places used in the movie. To sit at the little round table where the author penned the famous story of greed and gold. The remnant of Poncho Vila's army there with their bandoleers and long rifles, probably old extras used in the movie that cornered Bogart and poured out his sacks of gold thinking it was sand. We took a school teacher with us and he interpreted for us all the explanations we got from all those in that little town. If I had hot read the story and seen the movie, I would have never known that adventure. We kept repeating, “I don't got to show you no stinking badges!”
Getting back to reading; this year I read a book on the Sierra Rail Road, and the beginning from Riverbank through Oakdale and on to Jamestown on the way to Yosemite and all the history in between. The continuation up into the Yosemite Valley and all over the Sierras where the road bed went to the trees that were cut and brought to Tuolumne City and the Pickering Saw Mill. The original reason for the railroad was to bring ore down from the mines. The second reason was to bring timber down to the mines. The third was to bring tourist (adventurers) to Yosemite from San Francisco. The forth reason was to bring Marble and timber to Build San Francisco. Guess what, I found out who put that road bed in and what it was that I followed through the Sierras when I was at camp. It was the railroad that went all the way to big trees where I traveled on the old road bed from Sonora to Arnold and the big trees with my old Volkswagen over those dusty roads in the 60’s. I never knew what those name were about as Camp 9 and Camp 6 along the rivers up there, they were railroad camps. That brings to memory when I was a little kid I saw the movie Sara toga Trunk, and was disappointed when I missed the trunk. Where was the trunk? I was looking for a trunk that one would put clothes in. It wasn't until a couple of years ago I read the book and realized it was a railroad trunk, the it all made sense. Reading opens the world to the adventurer.
When I was in high school, and the teacher suggested I read those books
that matched my likes, I started reading about the old west, not novels,
but real life stories. The author I fell in love with was Will James who
could write and draw just as it was from a real life cowboy. All his books
kept me on the edge of my seat and just could not get enough. I read all
of his stories and now they are collectors and very rare. I read the whole
story this year again and it brought back memories. I also read all of
Charley Russell's books too.
Anyway, here is a list of the books I have read, hope they might cause you to check them out from your local Library and enjoy some of the things I have. There are also Audio Books and they are great while traveling. If you wonder when I find time to read, well, I speed read now ant that really makes reading fun. If you can find a speed reading class, take it! It will open up a world you never knew existed and that will never be boring. I read about 3 to 5 books a week now and usually read about 10 - to - 20 books at a time. When I get stir crazy, I just go down to Barns and Noble and pull up a chair and read a book. It only takes about and hour or so and is cheap intertwinement. I have been reading travel books and planning my trip to India.
Update on India trip
I had a great time in India and taught classes in the Seminary there. the experience of travel is beyond description. The travel books and videos were a long way from the real thing. There is no substitute for the real thing travel reveals. The books and tapes were a help but far from the real thing in southern India, however I was not prepared for the cultural shock and the rural experience of India. None of the cities were anything like our country. Every one I met on the trip was a joy and the weather and accommodations were perfect. Singapore was a surprise, and it was a wonderful place. (the greatest little place I have ever visited) Don't waste time going to Hawaii get to Singapore. Trivandram where I stayed in India was very nice and the Native hotel was perfect and catered to all my needs and tastes. They had an American menu for me and made every effort to make me feel comfortable.
Here is the list: 2000 and 2001: continued
From Part one.