Richard Brown to discuss the life of Cabot Abram Yerxa

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. the Palm Springs Public Library will welcome Richard E. Brown, editor of the book Cabot Abram Yerxa: On the Desert Since 1913.

This book chronicles the story of early homesteader Cabot A. Yerxa and observations about desert life, his discovery of the ‘miraculous’ hot water aquifer in Desert Hot Springs and his friendship with Hollywood celebrities at the nearby B-bar-H Ranch in the 1930’s and 40’s.

In the 1950s, Cabot A. Yerxa published 280 newspaper columns in the Desert Sentinel, the newspaper in Desert Hot Springs at the time, describing his struggles and joys as a Desert Hot Springs area homesteader from 1913 to 1918.  Offering generous selections from those columns, this book offers a chronology of Cabot’s early years, an interview covering his trips to the Alaska Gold Rush, a snapshot of his later life as a proprietor of Cabot’s Old Indian Pueblo Museum, and an obituary published at his death in 1965. It also contains over 50 family photos from his journeys to Alaska, Cuba, and the Southern California desert.

Richard E. Brown is a board member of the Cabot’s Pueblo Museum Foundation. As a volunteer docent at Cabot’s Old Indian Pueblo Museum for over two years, he conducted extensive historical research on Cabot Yerxa and his inspiring struggle to settle the land in Desert Hot Springs. Prior to retiring in 2005, he was an English professor at the University of Nevada, Reno for 32 years and was chairman of the university’s faculty senate.  He has published numerous scholarly articles in the fields of British and Irish literature and has an A.B. from Stanford University, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Born in Kansas City, MO, Richard Brown has published two books of fiction based on memories of growing up in the Missouri farm country.  Upon discovering Cabot Yerxa’s extraordinary story and his remarkable Pueblo, Richard was inspired to research Cabot thoroughly.  He was moved by Cabot’s pioneering spirit which reminded Richard of his own childhood memories of his grandfather and old farmers in Missouri. In Cabot’s history, Richard discovered many parallels of that generation of American pioneers and farmers who were tough and incredibly hard-working salt of the earth. They also possessed a sly sense of humor, an understanding of nature, and a basic optimism which inspired their hopes and dreams. In Cabot Abram Yerxa: On the Desert Since 1913, he has masterfully edited a captivating compilation of Cabot’s articles that reflect the best of the American pioneering spirit.

Richard Brown spends his winters in the Palm Springs/Desert Hot Springs area and summers in his adopted hometown of Reno, Nevada.

The lecture is FREE and open to the public, but seating is limited.  The lecture will be presented in The Learning Center at the Library.  Books will be available for purchase and to autograph following the lecture.

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