The Honorable Judge Cowgirl ; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Started off Down on the Farm

By Muller, Carol Doup | The Christian Science Monitor, January 17, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Honorable Judge Cowgirl ; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Started off Down on the Farm


Muller, Carol Doup, The Christian Science Monitor


Would you like to read a book in which, to quote the publisher, "The first female justice of the US Supreme Court describes her experiences growing up on a cattle ranch in the American Southwest, and how the land, people, and values shaped her"? I would, too.

"Lazy B" is about that cattle ranch, but its revelations about "how the land, people and values shaped" Sandra Day O'Connor are as skimpy as the region's rainfall.

Readers who may enjoy "Lazy B" will be people who pick it up with the full understanding that is not O'Connor's autobiography, nor a literary memoir. It's a memory book about ranch life and cowpoking. And although everybody in "Lazy B" rides a horse well, the telling of their tales is invariably pedestrian.

It's no pleasure to report this. The authors, Sandra and her decade-younger brother, Alan, seem like very nice people: whip- smart, respectful of others, fun-loving, and passionate about the landscape of their youth. They honor the grandparents and parents who built the Lazy B, which at one point supported some 2,000 cows and their calves on 160,000 acres. They are scrupulous about details (explaining how 8,560 of those acres were owned by the Day family and the rest were leased for grazing from state or federal agencies), and in this fashion explicate the complicated economics of ranching. They appreciate animals - horses, most obviously, and cattle, but also the javelinas, bobcats, snakes, and other wild things of the Gila River region. They don't brag about their accomplishments: neither Sandra's, which are extraordinary; nor Alan's, which are considerable.

As would be expected of ranch kids, they have some good stories: the one about the grandparent who unwittingly extended hospitality to a pair of robbers bound for Mexico; the one about the bootlegging neighbor who tried to shoot a gallon of evidence out of a revenuer's hand; the time Sandra's father lassoed her and a cousin to get them to vacate a water tank where the girls were swimming; the time that, in the heat of a chase, Alan and an eager-to-please horse slid sideways under a barbed-wire fence; the tragic times when Alan, the only son and youngest child of a perfectionistic father in a macho environment, bites off more than he can chew - and causes the deaths of two magnificent animals.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Honorable Judge Cowgirl ; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Started off Down on the Farm
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?