Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, 18:2 (Fall 2008). Copyright © 2008 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


That place is David Bamberger's hope and vision, his challenge, his Malabar Farm writ large. This book is about him and the restoration of Selah as his commitment to the world and to the people with him on his quest. Selah, like Walden Pond, is a place to pause and reflect, which is the meaning of the word. But however much David may be a pause-and-reflect kind of guy, he is driven toward his grand purpose. His approach is pragmatic and practical. People, finding the right ones, and building chemistry among them, is a strength that made him a successful businessman from vacuum-cleaner salesman to fried-chicken baron, and it clearly served him well when he turned his attention to the overgrazed, dewatered, cedar-bound slopes that now run with clean water year round, nurturing the graze for cattle, deer, and endangered scimitar-horned oryx. With water Selah has become a haven for birds and other wildlife. Vast numbers of Mexican free-tailed bats roost in the specially built chiroptorium. The story is infused with the warmth of good hearts, inside and out, starting with David's mother, Hes. He replicated an oldtime country store in her honor that serves for the teaching of her life-lessons to the many school groups that pass through, part of his "people-ranching"-rural experiences for urbanites. His wife, Margaret, supplied the black-andwhite illustrations done in a style that fits the country and makes the book all the more engaging. His brother-in-law is the author.