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Into the desert by Bill Gulick

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By Bill Gulick

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Her mission accomplished, the Spokane returned to Umatilla, sullenly watched from the river bank by the chastened Indians. Whether the dissident Indians were properly impressed with the might of the military forces thrown against them or simply got tired of war, no one could say. But after a few more minor engagements in which little damage was done to either side, the Bannocks returned to their reservation and the war was declared over. Because Lars Warren never was sure which branch of the service he had been drafted into and had suffered no wounds more serious than ringing eardrums, he did not apply for a medal or a pension.

Major Truax had been right. This time, the grain chute worked perfectly. Not only did the wheat slide down without a single blockage or interruption, it stayed cool and retained its natural golden color, with the baffles and vents at hundred-foot intervals serving the dual purpose of slowing the rate of its descent and cleansing it of all impurities such as dirt and chaff. &N. Company increased revenue in downriver freight. Though the Truax Grain Chute was protected by patent from being copied by competitors, the law-of-gravity principle Major Truax had used was free and available for any enterprising inventor clever enough to find a new and different way to use it.

Though I never met Woody Guthrie, I long have been an admirer of his songs. As I researched and wrote this book, I came to realize that we had a number of things in common. We both were raised in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and Depression years of the 1930s. I spent two years working for a private utility that was building electric lines to serve rural Oklahoma areas in need of power, flood control, navigation benefits, and irrigation water, just as he later worked for BPA, which was doing the same thing in the Pacific Northwest.

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