Ronald L. Pollworth
Ronald Pollworth is a native of Minnesota and is now retired, following a forty-plus year career in marketing and public relations. He makes his home in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Ronald Pollworth has a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from Minnesota State University, Winona, and a master’s degree in continuing studies with an emphasis in writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
He says he has put his education to work every day in his profession and calls himself a very “detail oriented person.” He has traveled across the United States and has lived in South Dakota and North Dakota, spending time in or near places this novel takes place. An avid horseman in his younger days, Pollworth also participated in cattle drives.
“I grew up watching the great American western movies and television programs,” he says and thinks that his love affair with that genre of movies and programs as well as the western novel and his love of horses, helped prepare him for writing this novel.
It’s 1905 and Charlie Adams of Cumberland, Wisconsin, has just turned 16. Little does he know that his parents have made plans that will chart a new lifestyle for the young Charlie. His father has announced that he is selling his forty-acre subsistence farm to claim a one-hundred, sixty-acre homestead in Mandan, North Dakota. Charlie has just fallen in love with his first girlfriend, ever. He has defended this love against the schoolyard bully. All he knows is farming and logging. His life takes on new meaning as he and his family take the wearisome wagon ride to Saint Paul, Minnesota, followed by the long, boring homesteaders train ride to Mandan. Shortly after the family claims their homestead, Charlie’s father hires him out to rancher to help maintain a 500-head spread over the winter and through spring branding season. This begins Charlie’s new life – learning to draw and shoot a revolver, rope cattle, track cattle rustlers – to becoming a cowboy on the North Dakota rangeland. This all happened at a time in the westward expansion of the country, when automobiles had not yet replaced horses and wagons, and when everyone did not have a telephone for quick communication. Heartache Along the Cannonball is the true story of Charlie Adams who came of age at a very different time, when the country was expanding westward. The story is captured by first-time author Ronald L. Pollworth, a great-nephew of Charlie’s.