Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another Header/Library

The picture in the heading is the upper facade of the saloon-restaurant-tourist trap at Arizona's Tortilla Flats on Apache Lake, which, prior to improvements you reached by dirt road with treacherous hairpin turns and steep hills. This road was used to transport materials by mule train when the dam was built on Roosevelt Lake in the early 1900's. The road is not so bad now having been paved and straightened a bit, but it is still a colorful and exciting excursion for a day trip from Phoenix. Whenever relatives show up, that's where we take them, usually stopping at the Mining Camp Restaurant for lunch or dinner. The photo when copied and reprinted comes out a little fuzzy, but I'm not a pro at this photography stuff and it was probably taken with a throw-away camera.

I made a visit to the Peoria Library (a branch of the county system) just to see how many western novels they had on the shelf. Looking under "Western Fiction" on the computer at the library, up popped a list of 25 books. I didn't think that was unusual after my trip a couple years ago where I just looked on the shelf and found maybe 15 or 20 books available for checkout. The authors this time included Thoene Brock, Lauran Paine, Jake Logan, Connie Mason, Louis L'Amour, Frederic Bean, Nelson C. Nye, Jeff Sadler, Chuck Martin,  Max Brand, Allan K. Echols, Loren D. Estleman, James Michener (Centennial), Peter Brown, Edward Gorman, Luke Short, and Lee Floren.

I thought this was a pretty skimpy representation, so I looked under another subject, "Western Stories." This time up popped a list of 1,788 items. It would have taken me all day or longer to go through item by item and I just glanced at three or four pages to get a taste of it. They were not all fiction, as I saw two or three biographical titles, but the majority I saw was fiction, like Louis L'Amour, Elmore Leonard, Elmore Kelton, etc. I knew from experience that they wouldn't all be on the shelf, so I concluded that this was the central depository listing for the county, but what do I know. Tomorrow or the next day I'll visit another library to see what I can find there. If I find the same number, it'll confirm my conclusion = big, bloody deal of a hoot! Simple minds, simple pleasures.

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