About the Book

Cowboy meeting lady at the Reno train depot. Illustration by B. Kliban

SCENE: Reno, 1947. A handsome young cowboy hires on as the head dude wrangler on Nevada’s famous Flying M.E. divorce ranch twenty miles south of Reno

It was the heyday of the Reno “quickie” divorce era. Divorce seekers – as the media called them – came running to Reno by the thousands… the rich, the poor, the famous, the working class. If they had the money and wanted their privacy from the prying eyes of the press, they stayed on a divorce ranch… and the Flying M.E. was the most exclusive of them all.

From 1947 to 1949, Bill McGee was the head dude wrangler on the renowned Flying M.E. He entertained wealthy Eastern socialites with names like Astor and du Pont, and Hollywood movie stars Ava Gardner and Clark Gable.

As Bill McGee liked to say…

“At age twenty-two, being the only man on the ranch, and surrounded by all those beautiful and wealthy women, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Those were some of the best years of my life.”

Bill and his co-author Sandra McGee recapture those years in a richly-illustrated coffee table book 

Cover of The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler by Bill and Sandra McGee

A collection of Bill’s stories about the fascinating and changing cast of characters that came and went every six weeks on Nevada’s famous Flying M.E. dude-divorce ranch twenty miles south of Reno. The coffee table book is illustrated with 500+ black-and-white photographs, most never before published and from the scrapbooks of former Flying M.E. guests or their offspring.

Table of Contents

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“The images – with their smoky, black-and-white, retro allure – are what brought the time and place alive for me so that I could bring my characters to life in my novel … This book is a treasure if only for the photos alone.”
Deb Caletti, bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps

“Best book yet about Nevada’s famous dude-divorce ranch business.”
– Eric Moody, Nevada Historical Society, Reno

“Bill McGee’s stories are like an old Hollywood movie coming to life.”
– Sandra McGee, co-author of The Divorce Seekers

More Praise and Reviews

Book Specs

444 pp, 502 B/W photographs and illustrations, maps, appendices, notes,
bibliography, index. Hardcover, 8.5″ x 11″, BMC Publications (2004). $39.95
(Illustration at top of page: B. Kliban)


Next: Backstory -The Reno Divorce Ranch Era