Author Program – Denice Wheeler

  • Date(s): Tuesday, September 11th 2012
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Niobrara County Library

On Tuesday, September 11, at 12:00 noon, the Niobrara County Library will host a brown bag lunch program event featuring Denice Wheeler’s recently-published book, The Lonely Life: Basque Sheepherders in Wyoming, which she co-authored with Lila Bond.

The Lonely Life is a book about Basque people involved in the sheep industry throughout Wyoming and the West. Lila Bond and Denice Wheeler have created an intriguing work that details the lives of Basque Americans who populated many areas of Wyoming, including Evanston, Kemmerer, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Star Valley and Buffalo — particularly Buffalo, which became the most interesting center of Wyoming’s Basque pioneers.

Bond and Wheeler have spent over 40 years meeting with the herders in their camps, and Lila, as a predator controller and trapper, assisted them in protecting their flocks from bears, coyotes and other dangers. This is a part of our state history about which not much has been written. Basque herders have almost vanished from the landscape of Wyoming, but their influence on our history is important both economically and culturally. The book features more than 90 photos, 60 individual stories, and an in-depth background on our state’s Basque history and heritage.

Original artwork by co-author Lila Bond enhances many pages, as well as the cover of the book. Chapters on Basque music, dance, language and festivals make the book a “must read” for those interested in this colorful part of Wyoming history. Sheep dog trials, recipes and many industries that benefit from sheep are included, and the influence that these immigrants to America have had on many communities in Wyoming and their importance in its development is richly described.