After unsuccessful attempts at many careers, H. O. "Cowboy" Kelly had little to show except a rich store of memories of an America fast disappearing then and gone today. He translated those memories into paintings of the pleasures and toil of a rural society. The details of Kelly's life are in sharp contrast with his nostalgic paintings, but an irrepressible optimism and humor highlight both the paintings and William Johnson's chronicle of Kelly's life. The result is a charming presentation of nineteenth-century romantic who by accident of fate made himself a niche as artist in twentieth-century America.