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Beth Treacy on Cattle Drives and Getting Arrested in Algeria

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Beth Treacy is founder of Chicago-based Treacy Marketing Group. She lives on the Mag Mile with a feisty 18-pound Tibetan terrier and spends weekends at her small farm in Wisconsin.

February 07, 2015. By Laura Bianchi.

You traveled for six months with strangers through Africa and were arrested twice. Explanation, please. After working and studying in Germany, at 22 I joined two German men taking Army trucks through Africa. They seemed interesting, and I thought it would be a grand adventure.

How adventurous? The border patrol at Algeria and Niger pretended my papers weren’t in order and detained me, with machine guns, for three days under a palm tree in 120-degree heat. I was hot, scared and suffering from dysentery.

What happened? The guys were finally able to bribe them with coffee, batteries and Playboys, and the guards released me into the desert in the night and took off.

And then? The nightmare started all over. That patrol alerted the guards at the Niger-Nigerian border, and they pretended I needed a visa and threw me behind bars for a couple of days. The guys bribed them, too.

Favorite memories of growing up in Nevada? Working cattle drives with ranching friends and going on calls with my dad, who was a large-animal vet.

We hear he had a strange way of welcoming new boyfriends. If my sisters or I had a new date, he would prepare Rocky Mountain oysters for them.

red-leg_partridgeHuh? It was a subtle shot over the bow: Don’t mess with my (three) daughters or certain parts will be in the frying pan.

You collect taxidermy? I love it. You can examine the creatures up close and appreciate their beauty. I keep my favorite French red-leg partridge in my office.