From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
I was born during the summer drought year of 1936, at the very tag end of the pioneer era. My parents were pioneers and the children of pioneers, so our home was always filled with family friends telling the tales of the early days. I particularly loved to have Tom Gilmore, the Broaddus brothers, Bruce Orcutt, Uncle Ted Wilson, Gus Allen and Guy Parker come to visit as their stories were both colorful and hilarious-and sometimes hair-raising. My cousin, Kay Wilson, and I loved these tales.
Winters were spent in Miles City with my parents Newman and Mildred McAllister Daily and summers meant freedom at the family ranch on Powder River with my sister, Lorraine Daily Schulze, and her family or with my maternal grandmother, Epsie McAllister Johnson, on Pumpkin Creek. Grandma Johnson was a colorful figure who practiced "women's lib" before the term was ever coined, had the Epsie post office named after her so Epsie was tacked onto me as a middle name.
My paternal grandmother, Mallie Broaddus Daily, had been widowed at 36, raised six children on her homestead on Powder River and was an enormous influence in the lives of her children and grandchildren.
In 1958, like many of the children and grandchildren of pioneer families, I left Montana for the college life in Tucson, Ariz. After graduation I married James Walter Blair Jr., a mechanical engineer for Mill Valley, Calif., and in 1962 our son Jimmy was born.
But Montana is still a touch-stone and I, like the others, come home as often as finances and fortune permit.