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Out of Wyoming: a memoir by Edward Bryant

Out of Wyoming: a memoir

by Edward Bryant

300 pages
A homesteader's rise to professor and head of his company

Paperback $16.95   + $6.55 shipping & handling (USA)
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Category: Biography
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About the Book
The author recalls from personal experience what it was like to be a homesteader's child near Hat Creek, Wyoming, and to grow up without telephone, electricity, central heat, running water, refrigeration, or any of the other amenities one takes for granted in the modern world. Transportation was by horse and wagon until 1924, when he was nine years old and his family bought a Model T Ford. This kind of life had its compensations, however, and imbued him with the desire to "get ahead." Getting an education wasn't easy--first, because of remoteness from a high school, and second, because of the Great Depression.

The author's first real job was in civil service in Washington, followed by service in the army during World War II, first as an infantryman, and then, after officer candidate school, in administrative positions in the Pentagon and in Headquarters, Middle Pacific. At the end of the war, he returned to civil service for a year to complete a project he had begun while in the army. He then joined the faculty of the University of Wyoming where he was employed for 14 years, meanwhile earning his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Iowa State University and progressing at Wyoming to full professor, with tenure.

While living in Laramie, his health began to fail because of a heart condition that had plagued him all of his life. His doctor recommended that he move to a lower altitude than the 7,200 feet of Laramie. He moved to Arizona as Visiting Professor of Mathematics for two years, meanwhile, with two of his former graduate students, founding Westat, a statistical research firm. The company had a difficult time receiving contract work and nearly foundered, but in 1963 began getting competitive contracts from the federal government. The author had open heart surgery in 1965, and, with this new lease on life, joined the company in 1966 in Washington, D.C. Westat began to prosper and was, for several years, a subsidiary of American Can Company. Under the author's leadership, Westat bought itself back from American Can and became an employee-owned company. The author retired from active management in 1985 and continued to serve as a consultant for another twenty years.

The author tells of the stresses associated with building the company, and notes the important role of his wife in supporting him. The deaths of their two children were hard for them to bear.

Part 2 of Out of Wyoming departs from the autobiographic style of part 1. It contains some stories about Wyoming--some funny, some nostalgic, some sad, and some philosophic. It includes a chapter on hunting and fishing in Wyoming and another chapter describing some special horses. These stories show why the author loves Wyoming and its wide-open spaces. The book ends with a retrospective look at the decisions made at key points along the way that affected his life.

 

 

About the Author
Ed Bryant, a Wyoming homesteader’s son, served in World War II, earned his Ph.D. and taught at the University of Wyoming and Arizona State. He founded and served as chief executive of Westat, America’s premier survey research company, published books and professional articles, achieving international status in his chosen field.

 

 

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