The Real Deal

| 4/28/2014 9:00:00 AM

Renee-Lucie BenoitThe author goes in search of women who don’t feel the need to get dressed up, manicured, pedicured, made-up or coiffed to do ranch or farm chores. Women who work alongside the men outdoors in all kinds of weather and don’t sit in the truck waiting for the perfect photo-op. Women who have confidence to be who they are with no apology or artifice. Women like you. I call them The Real Deal.


Linda Strouse-Morris at her ranch near Elk Creek, California

You don’t have to be born into the ranch way of life to make it your own and be good at it. Linda Strouse-Morris is living proof. When you meet her you immediately feel comfortable. She has twinkling blue eyes and an easy laugh. She’s small and lithe, and you can tell she’s up to a task, whatever it may be. She’s got a real can-do attitude and there’s not a phony bone in her body.

She was born in a small town in Pennsylvania in the 40s. The kind of small town where kids could run free and everybody looked out for them. Think of Ozzie and Harriet or Leave It to Beaver. Her dad was a steel worker and her mom worked at the local bakery. One of the things Linda had going for her that would eventually make her a great rancher was that she was a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy. Playing outdoors, rough and tumble, suited her just fine. As she got older her dad bought her a horse. They kept her horse out in the country at her cousins' farm so every chance she got she was out there flying through the fields astride her pony like a wild Indian.