Yates, Bart. “White Creek: A Fable”, Culicidae Press, 2017.
Family and Friendship
It has been quite a while since we heard from Bart Yates but he is back now and as good as ever. This time he gives us a story of “family and friendship, regret and redemption” that is set on a remote Wyoming cattle ranch in the height of winter. The White Creek Ranch has belonged in Hap Cobb’s family for over a century and a half. Hap is eighty-two-years-old and the last of his family and he is not what we would call a nice guy. He lives in misery and has a sharp tongue. Aaron is his best friend and ranch hand and he refers to Hap as “a miserable old fart”. But Hap has his pluses— he is a fantastic cook and he has the finest and best-stocked private library in the state. He knows he is difficult and he is proud of his “’God-given ability’ to exasperate everyone he meets”. He inherited the big ranch house long ago from his grandfather but these days it is mostly empty aside him Aaron and himself. The two men have a good life together and stay busy. Hap often loses himself in thinking about how things once were and the realizes that his life is coming to an end.
Then during a surprise and sudden blizzard one January evening, however, he and Aaron open the door to find a young woman and a teenaged boy seeking shelter from the storm and everything began to change. The White Creek Ranch soon become a place of mystery and possibility. To find out what that means you will have to read the book and find that you are pulled into the story by Bart Yates’ wonderful prose and story telling. He has created characters that we care about and will remain with us long after closing the covers.