“A Phone Where the Buffalo Roamed: Connecting Neighbors in America’s Outback” follows the history of Union Telephone Company.
Del Bene says the book tells the story of a small phone company started in 1914 by a Wyoming rancher.
“Back then, nobody was providing services to rural areas. So people in rural areas tended to build their own little phone systems. So there would be a lot of wires,” said Del Bene. “There might be an extra barbed wire on the top of the fence post going up and down the valley that would hook up three or four of the occupants in that valley and give them a way of communicating with each other, short of mounting horses or getting in the car and taking the trip physically.”
The company’s founder, John D. Woody, had the goal of connecting neighbors, something the company has continued to work towards for over 100 years.
“It’s a pretty interesting story. It just shows that hard work and perseverance do pay off,” said Del Bene.
Del Bene said the book has a little something for everyone. Whether looking for romance, history, or technology, this book has it all. Del Bene says the book even as some comedy when detailing some of the calls operators have received throughout the years.
Del Bene was selected to write the book for the company’s centennial as a member of Western Writers of America. As a writer with knowledge of the area—he lived in Green River for 20 years—he was ultimately selected as the book’s author after an interview process and providing writing samples and ideas on the book.
Del Bene will be traveling throughout Wyoming for the next week, leading up to the Western Writers Convention in Cheyenne starting on June 21st.
Del Bene will travel around the Cowboy State to speak about his book and to visit friends along the way.
“A Phone Where the Buffalo Roamed: Connecting Neighbors in America’s Outback” is currently available on Amazon.com for $20.