Acknowledgments


I would like to thank the following people: my grandparents, Leon Carl and Erna Bontke, who bought my first piano and paid for my lessons (Grandpa died in June 2001 before hearing this work); my mother, whose support and encouragement have been unwavering and whose sacrifice has been far above and beyond the duty of any parent, indeed greater than I can fathom; my "uncle," Don K. Ward, who never ceased to encourage me through the many recordings that he purchased for me during my childhood; my friend and teacher, Father John Ringley, who opened my mind; my friend and student, Colin Brien, whose insights were very helpful; the men and women of the National Park Service, who have dedicated their lives to protecting our national parks; my boss, Tom Venable, who gave me a job working in Yellowstone as a wrangler; my riding partner, Amanda Bramblett, who rode with me for hundreds of untold miles through the Yellowstone backcountry. Finally, I must at least tip my hat to Jitterbug, the red roan filly who carried me on those many, many journeys.


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