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Shirley Bahlmann’s Odd People is a delightful departure from the dusty tomes of history. Breathing life into each of her historical events, Bahlmann gives us a look at what the participants may have been feeling at the time their encounters with each other occurred. —Blaine M. Yorgason, Author of The Windwalker, Charlie’s Monument , and From One Tattered Angel, with Love Imagine traveling thousands of weary miles only to find at the end of your journey a wild place inhabited by strange nomads wearing animal skins and feathers and living a savage and primitive lifestyle. Now change places and imagine having your home invaded by a group of pale-faced people wearing bizarre clothing, speaking gibberish, and preparing food in ways you’ve never seen before. Using historical documents, family histories, out-of-print books, and oral accounts, Shirley Bahlmann brings the Old West to life with stories told from the perspective of both the newcomers and the Native Americans. “It is my wish,” she writes, “that all who read these accounts, whether they’re familiar with the stories or not, will find value in them and use the life lessons they teach to better their own lives and the lives of others.” Now and then we all need to walk in someone else’s moccasins. Shirley Bahlmann gives us a chance to do just that.
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Shirley Anderson Bahlmann was born in Logan, Utah, and spent her childhood in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. She is fourth in a family of six girls and two boys, a red-haired mother and a harmonica-playing father. When she was twelve, her family moved to Manti, Utah. Music, Writing, English, and Drama were her favorite school subjects. She wrote her first novel when she was ten years old. She enjoyed French class in junior high, Journalism in high school, and editing the Snow College newspaper during her sophomore year there. She also kept busy playing saxophone in the jazz band, winning the Miss Snow College crown, and meeting her tall, dark, and handsome husband, Robert. Over the years she has written road shows, skits, family plays, and freelance material for friends and local newspapers. Shirley has always had a fascination for old houses, buildings, and ghost towns. Being of old pioneer stock, she has a natural curiosity about the people who actually settled in western United States. She also feels fortunate to have gained a perspective from new pioneers, since her husband is the son of Dutch immigrants. Shirley and Robert are the proud parents of six sons-Andy, Jeff, Scott, Zackary, Brian, and Michael-whose ages span twenty years. The three youngest still live at home.
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