Printing color, Cowboys, Strip Malls, and the West

I taught myself how to print color last week and am now ankle deep in a 150 negative printing job (good thing it pays hourly). I think I am getting a little spoiled with no need to get my hands wet, and having three or four minutes of standing around waiting for the test prints to come out the processor. Needless to say, I am getting quite a lot of reading done—catching up on New Yorkers . . . I am also reading two books by Patricia Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest and Something in the Soil, about Western history. I wonder how my understaning of Western history, something not readily taught in school, is going to impact my work there. Despite what we were taught and how it seems now, the notion of The Old West is more than cowboys, miners and the railroad, and The New West is more than strip malls, housing developments, and golf courses.