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Francie Brink Berg, with co-authors Anne Brink Krickel and Jeanie Brink Thiessen. Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans: Western Ranch Life in a Forgotten Era

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FRANCIE BRINK BERG, with co-authors Anne Brink Krickel and Jeanie Brink Thiessen. Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans: Western Ranch Life in a Forgotten Era. Flying Diamond Books. 408 pages, hardcover, $39.95; paperback $29.95. www.MontanaStirrupsandSage.com

An Old West epic with a modern touch, Montana Stirrups is packed with personal stories of ranching, wildlife and western humor. Dozens of events take the reader from hard times of the Depression, to World War II on the home front, to post-war recovery. Difficult times, yet a remarkable sense of humor prevailed. This is a social history as well of the uncommon people of the West who practiced tolerance and respect, extended warm hospitality to strangers and knew the close ties of family and community. More than 260 historic family photos