Broken Dishes
Earlene Fowler

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Benni Harper

About Broken Dishes

        After two fairly serious books that delved deeply into Benni and Gabe’s personal problems, I was ready to experience something a little lighter (as were they!).  I started thinking about what would be a fun thing to do.  Should I let them travel again?  Where to?  I’d already used Kansas and Arkansas as settings and couldn’t think of where else they could logically go (not to mention the rest of the clan as too many readers would get upset if Emory, Elvia, Dove and the rest weren’t in a book).  So, I selfishly started thinking…where would I like to go?  I read lots of western magazines and saw an advertisement for a dude ranch.  That was it!  I knew from talking to all my ranching friends up in San Luis Obispo county that many ranchers were trying to figure out ways to make their ranches profitable.

Raising cattle just didn’t make them enough money to live.  Though none of my friends have turned their ranches into a dude ranch, I thought that would be an excellent (if difficult) way to save the family ranch.  So, that’s how the Broken Dishes Dude ranch was created.  On the first page of the book I have a fictional “brochure” of the dude ranch.  Believe it or not, I’m still getting requests for that brochure, some as far away as Germany!   Though I wish the Broken Dishes truly existed (I’d go there!), it is, alas, purely in my imagination.

Here's a picture of the log cabin-style Parkfield Inn.  Inside the main room (where all the quilters set up their sewing machines) there's a stone fireplace, heads of long horn cattle and buffalo on the wall and a wagon-wheel style chandelier.  The rooms have handmade beds and the inn sleeps about 20 people.  A great getaway in beautiful southern Monterey county!

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