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I Forge Iron

Blacksmithing in Books---non-fiction

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I've just started reading "Gold in the Desert" a non fiction account of a "city-gal" heading out in the Lechuguilla Desert with her husband to help out at her Prospector FiL's gold claim; published by University of New Mexico Press in 1956.  I haven't found a date in it but I believe it's in the 1930's due to descriptions of the cars, etc. It definitely predates WWII as the blurb mentions that this area was subsequently "closed to the public" during the war years.

"At a short distance from the living quarters. a square of blackened canvas stretched between four posts and heaped with brush, shaded a forge and blower, where Dad sharpened and tempered picks and drills, his anvil a piece of railroad rail mounted on a block.  A prospector so far away from everything must be a jack-of-all-trades, Cap [her husband] explained, and blacksmithing is an important one of his accomplishments.  Here, as everywhere else about the camp, tools hung handily on posts or lay around on the ground wherever Dad was accustomed to using them. With none but himself to disturb things, there was no need for him to hide them away"

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Finished it last night; basically a book about a midwestern city girl getting dumped into the desert; hating it at first and growing to love it and being sorry when after a year their claim doesn't pay out and they have to leave.  Yuma is the closest "city" and the descriptions of the summer are quite unenticing---their thermometer that topped out at 120 deg F broke the top and their 130 degF version topped out as well---in the shade.

I have a first edition from the Socorro Public Library book sale; going to get my wife to read it and then suggest we chuck this job and go prospecting-----keep your eyes open for the estate sale!

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