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LINDA KANDELIN CHAMBERS
Gardnerville, Nevada
About Linda Kandelin Chambers
Linda Kandelin Chambers' web site

 

 

 

 

For Amos

Did you happen to see Amos as he passed by here one day,
A little newborn colt that might be called a bay?
His fur was fluffy brown and his mane and tail black,
With just a hint of future grey peeking through his back.

His mother's name was Annie, the finest of her breed,
A Quarter horse of gentle temper, a rare stouthearted steed.
His father, Pidge, was Quarter too, well born and chivalrous.
Together they made Amos to share with each of us.

Did you see him after birth lying in the sun,
Or suckling at his mother's teats, then walking, having fun?
Did you hear the neighbors neighing on that early morn,
Or hear the birds announce his birth the day that he was born?

We did.  We saw, we heard, we loved.  We're happy he came by.
And we'll thank God for His sweet gift and never ask Him why.
We know when God calls each of us at a later date
That we'll see Amos standing there at the pasture gate.

2006, Linda Kandelin Chambers
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Linda told us: I was inspired to write this particular poem when our newborn colt, Amos, died at just four days old.  We have no idea why he died--he looked perfectly healthy at birth but weakened quickly.  These things happen, I know, but they strike the heart with a sadness that almost never passes away.


About Linda Kandelin Chambers:

 

If biography is not your cup of tea, no
offense is taken. For those who enjoy
reading bits and pieces of other's lives,
knowing that each life has its own
important story,
here is a little of mine.


                                     ...at the barn with Flag




I was born in the San Fernando Valley to Franklyn David Kandelin and Betty Lou Callahan Kandelin on a hot summer day in May. As is true for all of us, our early autobiography is really that of our parents and siblings and relatives as much as our own.  Frank and Betty were a happy, productive pair. Together they owned a western wear store, Kandelin's Western Wear & Saddlery, that stood at the corner of Riverside Drive and Lankershim Blvd. This huge concrete building (rented from Gene Autry) housed the western wear and tack that supplied most of the cowboys, horsemen and women, jockeys, trainers and studios making western movies. The great back end of the store was a saddle making shop and the saddle makers who worked for and with my father were Ed Gilmore and Richard "Jop" Joplin.

Alexis Smith was my first customer in the store.  She was a lovely actress and an avid horsewoman. I remember she gave me a hundred dollar bill to pay for the western dishes she was purchasing and I had to make change.  Because I was just 6 years old at the time, Daddy stood nearby to oversee the transaction.  Miss Smith was a gracious, patient client. My sister, Frances Harrison Hays, who was 10 years older than I, garnered remarkable knowledge working in our store.  She was able to assist studio designers and costumers to put together appropriate wardrobe for individual actors and groups of extras that needed to be fitted for movie apparel.  Later, Frances took her special knowledge of clothing and became a motion picture costumer and winner of 2 Emmy awards.

Ours was a thriving, exciting world because of the wonderful people who frequented our store and became friends of our family and sometimes visited our home.  Ranchers, farmers, rodeo cowboys, singers, poets, painters, and visitors from other lands crossed the threshold of Kandelin's.  Also, a host of renowned folk came by:  Clark Gable, Joel McCrea, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Jane Russell, Rex Bell, Bing Crosby, Willie Shoemaker, Johnny Longdon, Walt LaRue, Rex Ellsworth, Yakima Canutt, Pidge Berry and his wife, Maxine (daughter of silent film idol Buck Jones), Cary Grant, Ali Kahn, Nikita Kruchev, the Emperor of Japan and so many more.  I was a wee little girl when Clark Gable put me on his shoulder and took me to lunch.  Alas, to fully tell this story would require an entire book and much time from you, my reader.  And so, I move on...

I have always loved the written word.  When I was a child my mother and my sister read to me all the time.  They were excellent reciters and so I became an avid listener.  When I was old enough I became an eager reader and remain one to this day.  My favorite authors are J. D. Salinger, Frank Yerby, and Dean Koontz.  My favorite poet, John Donne.  Of course, reading greatly increased my vocabulary and sensitivity and soon I tried my hand at writing poetry and prose.  However, I never quite pushed myself toward a writing career because of other pursuits.  I did, however, become an English major in college and write a paper for Dr. Mitchell Marcus entitled "The History of Literary Criticism" that he used in a book he wrote. Through the years I also wrote many letters to editors and guest editorials for such papers as The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Daily News, and our local newspaper here in northern Nevada, The Record Courier. These were mostly of a political nature or dealt specifically with land use issues as I spent some time as president of a landowners association in the San Fernando Valley.

My education was quite interesting--I went to school on the University of the Seven Seas (traveling by ship from Long Beach through the Panama Canal and up to Lisbon with many memorable stops along the say).  I also attended Westminster College in London, the University of Barcelona, a short semester studying architecture at the Sorbonne, and a 30 day jaunt through Russia at the height of the Cold War.  Finally I landed at San Fernando Valley State College (it is now California Sate University at Northridge) where I earned a degree.

My young life was spent in the company of motion picture makers and cowboys and so it is only natural that I would find my husband among them. I met my future husband, Steve Chambers, when I was just 14 and married him 7 years later. He rode bulls and raced motorcycles and was just getting his start in movies when we married. Rocky road though it has been (and what marriage of any interest isn't?) we have had a great, fun, loving time together.  In many ways Steve is my hero.  He has been a stuntman and an actor for 30 plus years.  He has taken care of his family by doing some of life's most dangerous work.  You have seen him hundreds of times in such movies as: The Fast and the Furious, Maverick, Lonesome Dove, No Way Out, The Warriors, Predator, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Last Castle, High Crimes, Twister, Dances with Wolves, The Crow, On Deadly Ground, Lethal Weapon 1 - 4 to name just a few.  I have the highest regard for stuntmen and women and particularly for Steve.  To take the action out of a movie is to render it null and void.  In my opinion, aside from dialogue and great acting, the stunt crews and special effects departments have been responsible for making all great action movies which are enjoyed over and over again by audiences around the world.

Steve and I have 2 great kids:  Jacob Steven Chambers and Stacy Kandelin Chambers.  Jacob has followed in his father's footsteps and has built his own career as a stuntman.  He has performed stunts on such movies as Just Like Heaven, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Spider Man, The Time Machine, The Perfect Storm, Enemy of the State, Dukes of Hazard II, and License to Wed.  His sister, Stacy, happens to be a Deputy with our local Sheriff's Department. Stacy is also the mother of our awesome grandchildren:  Emma, John, and Franklyn.  In part, these three have been the inspiration for my recent work, although I must admit I have a heart for most of the children I meet and think of all the little ones when I write for them.

Many members of our family now live in a little valley in northern Nevada near Lake Tahoe.  We have a small ranch and have adopted 2 wild mustangs. We are working to make them gentle.  They will now eat treats from our hands.  One day, perhaps, our grandchildren will be able to ride these two (Lefty and Pancho)  My husband has recently taken an early retirement from the motion picture business and has become a Docent at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California.  A Docent is a trained volunteer who is able to lead tours and work to restore and keep running the beautiful engines and railroad cars from days gone by.  Steve has always loved trains
and studying US rail history, especially the history and equipment of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

As it says on my jacket covers, my love of words comes from my mother who taught English in the San Fernando Valley and who once gave me the biggest, heaviest dictionary I'd ever seen with the very tiniest print:  Webster's Third International Dictionary.  Her inscription to me reads:  "To Linda! Here they are!  Now all you have to do is put them together in the right combination.  Have fun.  Love, Mother."  Thank you, Mama.

          My favorite saying comes from Auntie Mame written by Patrick
          Dennis and spoken by his wonderful aunt:

          "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

                                                          Have a wonderful life, dear reader.

                                                          Linda Kandelin Chambers

 

 

The Littlest Bull


2009

The Littlest Bull is a book-length poem with 45 illustrations by notable cowboy artists, the late Justin Wells and Jack Wells. 

From the publisher's description:

An authentic ballad in the tradition of the Old West, The Littlest Bull by Linda Kandelin Chambers tells the story of a young cowgirl named Tibbs and her struggle to raise a motherless calf. From ranch life to rodeo arena, with faith and family, Tibbs proves that determination and grit make the champion. The Littlest Bull is a saga for the true rodeo enthusiast and greenhorn alike.

The book has had an enthusiastic response:

Gary Leffew, World Champion Bull Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee: "A wonderful book and without a doubt the best illustrated book I have had the pleasure of reading."

World Champion Barrel Racer, Sammy Thurman: "
The Littlest Bull is authentic and enjoyable, remaining true to the cowboy spirit."

Cowboy artist, stuntman, author, singer, all-around cowboy Walt LaRue: "Linda, this is a great book. The story's just great. Everybody's going to like this one. The illustrations are wonderful. It's a real winner."

Find sample pages from the book here at Linda Kandelin Chambers' web site.

The Littlest Bull is available in hardcover ( $24.99 postpaid) and softcover ($19.99 postpaid) from www.lindachambersbooks.com.

 

Visit Linda Kandelin Chambers' web site

 

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