Excerpt from the Ruidoso News:
The book, “Way Before Daylight, Long After Dark: A New Mexico Rancher’s Story,” tells of longtime Tatum rancher Carl Johnson’s perspective on his unique way of life in southern New Mexico.
Johnson’s perspective gives the reader a peek into his life from the 1940s until now, offering a perspective into the cattle and ranching business that few people ever see.
“It will never, ever happen again and most people will never experience the life I have lived,” Johnson said.
It was a decade before his wife, Barbara, convinced Johnson to write down his stories and, from there, the memoir was still several more years in the making.
He would hand-write the text in a notebook while Barbara would type his story on the computer. The two continued to work back and forth that way until the stories read in a way that pleased both of them.
In a typical ranchman’s way, Johnson doesn’t sugar-coat his perspective and admits his viewpoints aren’t “politically correct.” Johnson said his life has “been a contest” and he has enjoyed every minute of it.
“Anybody, and I don’t care if they’re in the cattle business, anybody would enjoy this book because it’s written as it happened with the drunks and the fist fights and the blizzards, the girlfriends, the wives and the children, the deaths… it’s one man’s life that lived life to the fullest,” Johnson said.
Review from Kirk Chavez, Attorney:
Best damn read in a long, long time. A real rancher writing about real ranching.