Desperate SceneryPaul, Elliot
303 pp. Green cloth with black & gold imprint. Clean dust jacket. Fine Condition. The story of building the Jackson Lake Dam. Random House, 1954. First Edition.
Book Description: DESPERATE SCENERY is the latest addition to the series of masterly books which Elliot Paul has written around the memories of his life. Here we travel with him to the wilderness in America's North-West that is now Yellowstone National Park. In 1910 it was remote, unknown except to bandits, a few inhabitants who scraped a profit from it or valued solitude, and a few engineers, the young Elliot Paul among them, whose job it was to build dams, roads or bridges in rough mountain country, under conditions of snow, isolation, and cold 50 degrees F below zero. Elliot Paul's graphic narrative reveals the hazards and excitement of such pioneering work. His story starts with the collapse of the old government dam near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and tells with gusto of the fantastic winter when it was rebuilt by a gang of engineers, tramps, cooks, carpenters, and scholars in the most fantastic six months of their lives.The queer combination of excitement and drudgery in their work, the drink and quarrelling, and outrageous practical jokes perpertrated off-duty, the transformation of a tiny outpost into a thriving boom town, are all unmistakably true to life. Equally vivid are the bar-keepers, Mormons, Chinese and prostitutes whose lives are reshaped by the extraordinary dam project. Nonfiction.