If anyone alive today can have been born a cowboy, H. Alan Day is certainly an example. He’s the third generation to grow up on the 200,000-acre Lazy B cattle ranch, which straddles the Arizona-New Mexico border 30-some miles northwest of Lordsburg.
Day’s grandfather, Henry Clay (“H. C.”) Day, homesteaded the Lazy B in 1880, and his descendants developed it to become one of the largest spreads in the country. In the 20th century, this dusty tract of land produced a Supreme Court Justice (Sandra Day O’Connor), a lauded Arizona state senator (Ann Day), as well H. Alan Day, a career rancher and land conservationist.
Alan Day will characterize the American cowboy’s life as he lived it–from the chuck wagon years of his childhood, through his adult experience with increasing bureaucracy, airplanes, computers and lately even drones–in a 3:30 p.m. lecture on Thursday (Sept. 27) in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy. At the heart of his story lie not only adventures that few today can truly know first-hand but also a deep love of nature that’s still possible and very important to acquire.
After graduating from UA, Alan returned to manage the Lazy B for the next 40 years. During that time he was recognized for his exceptional land stewardship,
Now retired from ranching, Day divides his time between Tucson and Pinetop. Instead of chasing cattle in the prickly desert, he pursues a dimpled white ball across groomed grass (in addition to his writing and lecturing).
He has written several books about life on the Lazy B, including Cowboy Up!: Life Lessons from the Lazy B (published in 2017), The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs (2014), and Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest (2003), which he co-authored with his sister, Sandra Day O’Connor.
Witten by Stan Davis, Academy Village Volunteer