in my mail box.

It was an extraordinary act of generosity on his part, and I've never forgotten it.

Alas, it wasn't enough to get the book into publication. It came close, though. With the help of a free-lance editor, I signed a contract with a university press in 1993, and began to look forward to seeing the book on a coffee table soon. I should have been more careful with my expectations. Ultimately, the press changed its mind, which was its prerogative, and then the free-lance editor abandoned me, which was his prerogative too, I suppose. He wished me luck. I made a few desultory attempts to find another publisher, but without success. Discouraged, I put the book on a shelf and moved on with my life.

But the frontier still beckoned, so I didn't stop taking photographs with the Bronica until a career change in 1998 required me to start shooting 35mm color slides of cattle and grass instead. I holstered the Bronica and stopped printing images in my darkroom. The whole project, it seemed, was destined to languish – which was fine. It had been a good run.

The Internet changed my mind.

I knew from personal experience that creating an online book was possible. So, last year I dug the photographs out of the garage, blew off the dust (literally) and took a look at the project again, now twenty years old. To my surprise, it had the feel of history to it – but not the history I had intended. It was no longer a portrait the old frontier of 1890 via the new frontier of 1990 as much as a study of a modern era now gone. By 2010, the so-called 'New West' was largely history, torpedoed by economic recession, changing values, and new political and ecological realities (such as climate change). Looking at the photos from the perspective of the early 21st century, 1990 felt as distant as 1890.

But if the images were a chronicle of a place in time, they also seemed timeless – and I  don't