Taking a short break from work at Island Books, owner Roger Page sat quietly reading a new copy of "Shepherds of Coyote Rocks", by Cat Urbigkit.
Mercer Island Patch sat down with Roger to get the low-down on what he was reading and why.
Patch: "Shepherds of Coyote Rocks". Ok, why this book?
Roger Page: I'm a middle-aged man facing a hard slog through the retail season, and I'm dreaming of being a shepherd in Wyoming. It's just me, my dog, 300 sheep and the sky.
Patch: How did you find the book?
Roger Page: A wonderful customer, he's 90 years-old, who's the son of an old-time traveling cowboy from Montana, regaled me about riding in high-mountain territories and his life growing up as a cowboy. His father tended sheep and it made me think of sheephearding. Made me do a little research, and found this book that had just came out. So I ordered it.
Roger Page: It looks good. She's a woman who is not a total neophyte but she lives in the mountains and tends sheep for the year. She writes well, has written a number of nature books over the past 10 years or so, references other nature books, so, it's good.
She references a number of fights in the west with wolves, land-use, grazing rights that have been taking place over the years in Wyoming. She writes about being out on the land with the wildlife in the wild country.
Patch: What's the name of the gentleman who recommended it to you?
Roger Page: Bert Berlin. He's a fascinating guy who lives out in a little house on the South-end ... He's old enough, between him and knowing the history of his dad growing up in the Old West, to — Bert was one of the first group of kids to go to the schoolhouse their parents built — a group of guys got together and built it themselves. It goes back to the pre-electricity days and before running water of the old, "Wild West".