In Part One, after gambling his spring earnings at the Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming, young Montana cowboy Bill McGee ships his footlocker and saddle freight collect and hitchhikes his way to Reno, Nevada. A chance conversation at the Round Up bar, Reno's unofficial hiring hall for cowboys, puts him in the right place at the right time for coveted job of wrangling dudes at the famous Flying M E. In Part II, McGee profiles the changing cast of characters he met at the ranch. His stories are laced with humour, romance, and intrigue, and peppered with names like Astor, du Pont, Roosevelt, and Gable. He recounts how he and the guests passed their time -- from 'private' riding lessons to bar-hopping in the saloons of Virginia City. Part III briefly examines the business of the migratory divorce trade. Two of Reno's leading attorneys from the era are interviews. Then the reader tags along with the press as they cover the high profile Nelson Rockefeller divorce; then goes to court with a divorcee and her residence witness.
Part IV profiles Nevada's first ranch to take in dudes, plus other leading Nevada dude-divorce ranches of the era, and concludes with a brief history of the origins of dude ranching in the West. Throughout the book, one is struck by the number of Easterners who journeyed West for 'just six weeks', fell in love with the wide open spaces -- or with a cowboy or local lady -- and stayed in the Silver State for the rest of their lives.
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.