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Ron Tatum Publishes Memoir

Excerpt from an article by Casey Parks in The Oregonian,
May 4, 2012.

In his new memoir, Confessions of a Horseshoer, Ron Tatum tells four decades' worth of stories gathered at the feet of animals who could squash him if they "hadn't been tricked into thinking that people were stronger and smarter" than they are. The book comes out May 10, 2012 on the University of North Texas Press and will be available from and Powell's Books.

Tatum, who also worked as an English and Celtic studies professor at Marylhurst University, spent 25 years writing down stories of crazy owners, persistent flies and the occasional injury. The years seem to have paid off: The reviews have been glowing.

Cowboy poet Baxter Black, in an article picked up by a few Southwestern papers, said the book was great. It reminded him of his own catastrophes.

Former PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer called it "a magic mix of great information and terrific stories."

But the farrier will never hear the review he most wanted. Before his father died 15 years ago, Tatum had a chance to read a chapter from the book to him. His father, then in hospice care, fell asleep. Maybe he pleased his dad, maybe he didn't, he writes.

But when he feels too down thinking about it, he remembers something an old horseshoeing buddy once said to him: "Ron, your problem is you think too much. Just get under more horses."

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