(The pseudonym J.B. Patel is made up of scrambled first initials of my seven grandchildren.)
I was born in a log cabin in 1940. We were a poor family, I had a lot of time to daydream. I dreamed of being a cowboy, dreams was about all we could afford. Dad suffered an accident and died in 1951. That same year Mom had her tenth child and the sheriff invited myself and a brother to the county jail for exploring the real estate of others. The very next day, my eleventh birthday, the judge sent me to the Child Center at Sparta, Wisconsin; a ward of the State until I reached twenty-one. A summary of my time at the WCC is archived in the Monroe County Historical Society section of the library at Sparta. While at the WCC on Friday nights we would be treated to a movie. My favorites were the Westerns. Many of my friends were Indians, they helped to shape how I write about Indians, always with a good sense of humor, almost always trusted friends. At the Center one thinks a bit like a cowboy alone on the range, one's daydreaming is of the ideal, whether in women, behavior, friends, or whatever. Nights were the most difficult at the Center. I went to sleep with my pillow on the window sill daydreaming as I gazed at freedom outside the fence. Since I retired I spend time writing down stories triggered by past experiences, friends, orphans, runaways, etc. Most all my stories are set in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, favored states for travel.