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Don McCaig

Fee Range: $2500 - $5000

Author of Rhett Butler's People, Storyteller, Humorist






Don McCaig

Author of Rhett Butler's People, Storyteller, Humorist

You know when you approach McCaig that you’re in the company of a real character. He’s got an earthy sense of humor and a laugh that sounds like a vintage tractor on a cold morning. He’s a barrel-chested man with wispy white hair, a bushy white mustache and cumulus-cloud eyebrows….

…The McCaigs settled in this majestic, mountainous county in western Virginia, hard against the West Virginia state line. With 2,500 residents, Highland is one of the least-populated counties east of the Mississippi. “There are 150 people in our Zip code,” he says. The county seat is Monterey, population 156.

In the 40 or so years they have lived here, the McCaigs have put down deep roots. McCaig is an elder at the nearby Williamsville Presbyterian Church, with a congregation of 12. “Half of them believe in the rapture, and I believe in gay marriage, and everyone agrees to just not talk about those things,” he says.

He is also a member of the volunteer fire department. While writing books over the years, he has also become a serious sheep farmer — the McCaigs have 180 acres on the Cowpasture River — and a top-notch dog trainer.

These days, the herd is small. Once the fences are strengthened, McCaig plans to add another hundred or so sheep to the 20 he is raising now. A trio of collies — June, Luke and Peg — do the herding. “Peg,” he says, “is a dope.” A couple of guard dogs sleep with the sheep.

Throughout the year, McCaig enters his collies in field trials, competitions in which dogs herd sheep in various farmlike tasks. June, he says, was a semifinalist in a national contest in Gettysburg, Pa. He is hoping to take her to the world championships in Wales next year. But for now, he is on the road…..


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