Uncle Bill: The Life and Times of Wilmot Lenn Petersen, 1898-1991

Uncle Bill: The Life and Times of Wilmot Lenn Petersen, 1898-1991

$10.95

Wilmot Lenn Petersen—a.k.a. “Uncle Bill”—was a live-off-the-land eccentric, dressing strangely and growing all he needed to live among the wilds of Nevada and Arizona. During his ninety years of life, he was a cowboy, wrangler, entrepreneur, pilot, turquoise miner, and geologist. After three failed marriages, he remarried and joyfully lived the remainder of his days.

Description

Wilmot Lenn Petersen—a.k.a. “Uncle Bill”—was a live-off-the-land eccentric, dressing strangely and growing all he needed to live among the wilds of Nevada and Arizona. During his ninety years of life, he was a cowboy, wrangler, entrepreneur, pilot, turquoise miner, and geologist. After three failed marriages, he remarried and joyfully lived the remainder of his days.

The irrepressibly outspoken Uncle Bill tells his own story as collected over the decades of taped interviews by his great-niece, author Marion Petersen Koedyker. As she writes, “My great-uncle Bill (born in 1898) used to tell me stories of his colorful life. One time during a visit I asked if I could tape record his stories. He agreed, but said, ‘It’ll be a mighty dull listen for anyone.’ Bill underestimated the impact his real-life stories had on the lives of other people. Some stories will make you laugh and some will make you cry. Some you will not believe and some you will have to reread.”

Full of his dry humor and unexpected life lessons, this nuanced portrait of Uncle Bill deals with sage and not-so-sage advice such as why leather on a dead body will disappear before the body is found, why it’s not always a good idea to protect a woman when her husband is beating her up, why a robbery may not be what it seems, and why it’s good to leave your mark at kill sites. No matter what the topic, Uncle Bill probably has a colorful story relating to it. This delightful book is a unique blend of an intensely personal oral history with an honest portrayal of a bygone generation.