In 1931, in the teeth of the Great Depression, the Nevada legislature made a daring move and created two legalised industries: gambling and the six week divorce. By the 1940s, "I'm going to Reno!" was synonymous with divorce and divorce seekers came running by the thousands. If you had the money and the need for privacy, you came to one of the dude ranches where the clientele was upscale. Former dude wrangler Bill McGee may have written the ultimate kiss-and-tell in "The Divorce Seekers". This is a first-hand account by someone who saw the epic era of the six week Reno divorce. McGee had a front row seat during his years in the 1940s working on the Flying M E, an exclusive dude ranch twenty miles south of Reno that catered to wealthy Easterners with names like Astor, du Pont and Roosevelt, and Hollywood celebrities like Gable, Gardner and Hayworth. Part I, "Cowboyin' Memoirs" -- Follows the author from his post-war days at Montana State on the G. I. Bill, to cowboyin' in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, to the chance conversation in Reno's Round Up Bar which landed him the coveted job as head dude wrangler on the Flying M E.
Part II, "The Famous Flying M E Ranch and the Changing Cast of Characters" -- Stories about the ranch guests, how they passed their six weeks, their favourite watering holes and sightseeing places, and why some of them never returned to the East to live. Part III, "Getting' Untied" -- An overview of Nevada's migratory divorce business, how the legislated businesses of divorce and gambling helped Nevada through the Great Depression, and how Nevada's lenient divorce law led the way for uncontested divorces in other states. Part IV, "Other Leading Nevada Dude-Divorce Ranches, Circa 1930-1960" -- Profiles the TH Ranch (Nevada's first dude ranch), the other leading Nevada dude-divorce ranches of the era, plus a brief history of the origins of dude ranching in the West. Over 500 black-and-white photographs (most from private collections and never before published), give the reader an up-close glimpse into life on an exclusive dude ranch.
Buy Divorce Seekers book by William L. McGee from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(215mm x 280mm x 29mm)
Publisher: BMC Publications
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Author Biography - William L. McGee
William L. McGee, after his WWII "Kid's Cruise," attended Montana State College and had a long and successful career in broadcasting. Sandra McGee is a veteran publicist for the performing arts. They now live in St. Helena, California.