Shanks Crossing



Henry Shanks, beloved and respected Montana pioneer rancher who survived the Civil War, floods, blizzards, outlaws, rustlers and Indian attacks, only to be caught up in the changing times, the start of a World War, telephones, telegraphs, steam trains, automobiles, airplanes, and a new breed of criminals.

Ben Crane, Shanks's youthful neighbor and farmhand finds the Rattle Snake Ranch and its river crossing a deadly obstacle.

Although the old rancher and his young farmhand are separated by 50 years of life and experiences, they are of one mind on the subject of right and wrong.

Join them and see if you are in agreement with their beliefs.

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About the Author

Author Name : Gary Jay Pool

     Gary J. Pool was born July 18, 1946 to a poor southwest Iowa farm family. His family consisted of his father Ben, who was a World War II veteran and a man of few words; his mother Helen an insatiable reader and conversationalist; and an older sister. Gary, a retired businessman lives with his wife Jan in Tabor, Iowa. Being raised on a dead-end dirt road very near the Missouri River, Gary spent countless hours hunting and fishing and became an avid outdoorsman. The author's father spent his life trying to raise his only son to survive being a soldier, in a war which he somehow knew was coming. After high school, Gary enrolled in college but eventually decided he wanted to enlist in the U.S. army with the intent of going to Viet Nam. He went to Ammunition Storage School in Alabama and following graduation was accepted into EOD School. A tour of duty in Vietnam with the 3rd Ord Army Bomb Disposal Unit provided a wealth of factual antidotes for his book, Xuc May (Never Happen). While Xuc May is a non-fiction book about his personal experiences in bomb disposal, Gary has continued writing during his retirement years, publishing fiction stories. Gary now lives in Tabor, Iowa with his wife Jan. He has one daughter, Andi and three step daughters, Pam, Lorna & Loretta. His wife and daughters all work as a team to help publish and sell his books.


Book Of The Day

Latest Poem

My great grandfather was a Slave

My grandfather was a Native

My grandmother was a Bantu

My mother was a kaffir, Nigga, Negro

Names imposed by shackles

But an Afrakan I am

An identity my forefathers were deprived of


An identity I am now polluting with the fumes of cigarettes

In dope I am giving it another face

In ecstasy I am giving it a comical image

My drunken stupor gives it an unstable belonging

My borrowed accent contradicts what it represents

My imitated dress code conceals its beauty

My adopted religion undermines my intellectual prowess

My language deafens my ancestors

My values are valueless

My mind is discriminatory

It repels anything indigenous

Whilst absorbing all that is alien

None can identify with me

Even those I am emulating

Patriotism I reserve for my kind

I look down at my patriots

If I were xenophobic

I could have been my own victim

I pride myself in my slanted inferior education

An education promptly deleting my true history

Ignorance is my custom

I am dreaming dreams my forefathers cannot interpret

I am singing praise songs for my dying culture

I am branding a heritage

I cannot inherit

Knowledge of freedom is embedded in my subconscious

But suppressed by fear

Fear to develop my culture and identity

Fear to be rejected by the world

Fear to be different and still love myself

Yet with no identity I remain

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