My Best Work is Done at the Office
by Roland Cheek
Free on Amazon: My Best Work is Done at the Office
Mark Twain once wrote: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,most of which never happened.”
Smart guy, Mark. His dry-humor analysis of the way we take ourselves too seriously, worrying trivial warts until they turn cancerous, eating away our sensitivity to surrounding wonders and our natural zest for life sounded a klaxon-call to me. As a result, my common everyday working stuff is driven by two firm beliefs: 1) that we should never take ourselves too seriously; and 2) that everybody needs inspiration to make it through each day’s imagined threats and foibles.
I’ve tried to be true to that vision throughout My Best Work Is Done At the Office. I trust to success from its initial chapter (following a boy on a broken-down bicycle pedaling alongside a string of horses plodding down a dusty country road in order to talk to the cowboy leading them), through a “Trail Rider’s Dictionary,” through watching platoon substitutions take place amid wedges of Canada honkers on their way north, through fishing with Barney, and finally to the last days of my best friend and how he impressed me with the importance of “Shared Experiences.” I trust, too, that each vignette will entertain, be laced with humor, and carry a worthwhile message for readers to relish.
I tell folks that these are 100 of my best stories taken from former newspaper columns and radio programs scripts over the years. Then I tell ‘em, that’s a lie because there are 112 separate vignettes in the book. “Besides,” I might add, “having crafted over 1,200 weekly outdoors columns and 1,600 daily radio programs over a 20-year period, the law of averages dictates there are many, many more just as good as these that couldn’t be crammed into a single book.”
Still, you can believe these are my “best” stories, many first surfacing in the flickering light of Rocky Mountain campfires, backed up against the inky black of star-filled nights, regaling saucer-eyed guests with tales of wilderness derring-do while horses stomped at picket lines and coyotes howled at a rising moon.
Reader Joe Remick emailed to say: “Your book of short humor is perfect for the brief moments my personal life, work, and family permit.”
Joe is right. In fact I’m fond of telling readers My Best Work Is Done At the Office is a “bathroom” book, made for brief periods of thoughtful contemplation. John Phelps thinks so, too. John, who was a guest of mine during several Bob Marshall Wilderness adventures wrote to say: “Well, Roland, you said ‘My Best Work Is Done At the Office’ is a bathroom book, and I want you to know that’s where I’ve been reading it—and it worked every time!”
Having spent a great deal of time with Phelps during copious wilderness fishing trips, I feel it important for you to know John’s veracity can sometimes be held in question. However, fairness compels me also to advise you others may likewise wish to hold my feet to the fire—as does Gerry Pearson of Salmon, Idaho who writes: “I just talked to your wife [on the phone[. Nice lady. I told her my brother Herman, Paul Harvey, and you are alike. A man has to allow for some windage.”
What does all the above mean?
It means My Best Work Is Done At the Office is a damned fine read. So hunker down and listen up as this long-time wilderness guide and master storyteller brings to life the characters and places that make the Rocky Mountain West so captivating to all the world.
But it also means maybe you can't believe everything I say, so maybe you'd ought to see for yourself—either via e-book or in paper.