Mark Finley: The Adventures of Me n' Ol' Joe
By: Mark Finley
About the Book
Seems like sometimes a feller has ta’ write ’bout stuff that coulda been, mighta been, shoulda been, probably didn’t happen, but would be funny if it did happen. So that’s what the tall tales in this book are all about. Ya see it all started out while attending New Mexico State University from 1962 through 1965. I spent quite a bit of time with a fellow agriculture student named Baxter Black. I reminisce on the times Bax and I sat together in the Ag Building café and told tall tales and made-up nonsense yarns. In 1965, I graduated and went on to pursue a Master of Science of Agriculture degree, and Bax left for Colorado State University to pursue a Veterinary Medicine degree.
Baxter later left veterinary practice and made a career writing tall tales and cowboy poetry. One of his major writings was an article named “On the Edge of Common Sense,” which appeared in many newspapers and agricultural publications. Eventually, I worked for USDA and wrote a similar article called “Over the Edge” for the agency. I believe both of these articles were inspired by the many times we sat at the Ag Building café and spun these humorous stories. I kept all the stories I wrote, and after many years of pressure from friends and family to publish these stories of the adventures of me ’n’ Ol’ Joe, I finally agreed. So here to share with you is a collection of these humorous tall tales about two bumbling old cowboys and the not-much-brighter ranch owner who somehow went OVER THE EDGE!
About the Author
Born in 1943, Mark Finley lived in San Angelo, TX until 1958, when his family moved to New Mexico. Through high school and college at New Mexico State University, he worked part time on ranches and competed in and clowned rodeos to earn his way through college. After earning both Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Agriculture, he worked as a feedlot cowboy in Red Rock, AZ, then managed ranches in Southeastern New Mexico before beginning an Agricultural Management Specialist career with USDA. He later earned two appraisal accreditations with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and became a USDA Chief Appraiser for Arizona and Hawaii. After retiring from USDA, he opened his own appraisal business specializing in farms, ranches, and commercial ag properties. In 2022, he retired from appraising and began composing Cowboy Poetry and Humorous Cowboy Stories. He makes his home with his wife Maggie in Willcox, Arizona.