Everyone on my route got a soggy paper that day. Yes, like many boys when they got old enough to count good, I had a paper route of about four miles length with at most 75 customers, at least only 14-20. When it hit 14, my manager chewed me out and then he built it up to 75. That was a lot of papers to fold and throw. One afternoon, having stuffed my bag full and draped it over the handlebars of my bike, I hopped on and set off.....went about 30 yards when the bag slipped to one side of the front wheel, pulling it over and into the creek that ran alongside the sidewalk. Thank God the water wasn't running very deep when I stood up laughing at the clumsiness, but the banks of the creek were steep and came to shoulder level. I climbed out and pulled the bike after me and retrieved all the papers that were still in the water. The bag was soaked, I was soaked, and about all the papers were soaked. I thought it was funny and had a great laugh, since I didn't get hurt in the tumble. It was a wet paper day in the old town that afternoon; however, no one complained.
How does this relate to writing about cowboys and Indians and such you might ask. Well, in those days I read a bundle, including that newspaper, the "Deseret News", having free time, and enjoyed my hours in the library. I was on top of all the best-sellers and thumbed through many old time westerns and other novels, reading such as "Rock Candy Mountain" of Wallace Stegner, the Hornblower novels of the sea, Zane Grey, although I thought "Riders of the Purple Sage" was a little boring from all the descriptive writing. Zane Grey's cabin where he wrote a lot of them burned down a few years ago from a lightning strike, but it has been rebuilt in the same location, near Payson, AZ. Louis L'Amour was not found among the books in the library for some reason or other. I don't remember seeing his books until later on.
About the only reading material around our house was the Bible, of course, the Book of Mormon, and a church magazine, "The Improvement Era". Those first two were seldom opened, but often quoted. And occasionally there were a pulp western magazine or two brought home by an older brother, one being "Texas Rangers". When I was six or seven, I wrote a short story (awful short) similar to one of the characters in the "Rangers". It was about a lawman rounding up an outlaw and went all of a half page handwritten. And that is the only attempt made until I decided to try my hand at it again seven or eight years ago.
Never had enough time to spend on thinking about a plot, location, characters, action, etc., until I did some writing on family history, and then I concocted a long novel of around 525 pages, the first part being the story of my great-great-grandfather, and the following two parts made up from thin air. I then veered off into the Western genre and have been trying to write something publishable for the last six or seven years. I will get it perfected one of these days.