Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Horses, Horses, and More Horses

Woops! That ain't no Arabian! You ain't nuthin' but a stock-bred Paint with them markings, but you are kinda pretty-like.

We took the family to the Arabian Horse Show at Westworld in Scottsdale on Saturday, Feb 25, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves among the horses and the horse crowd. This show is an annual event that goes on for ten or twelve days. Next year it is scheduled for February 14-24, 2013.

We began our day with a Barn Tour for an up-close look at an Arabian horse. The tour guide was well versed in the subject and related some of the history of the Arabian horse and the differences in the bone structure. One of the barn horses was used to crowds and let the boys and girls touch his tongue and pat his head, feel his  skin, etc. and the two old barn dogs ran up and down the aisle demanding attention. This tour lasted maybe 45 minutes and by then I was thirsty not to mention hungry and it was nearly 11:00 AM. My breakfast bagel had worn off.  There were eight of us in our group and everyone wanted to go their own way, so I found a burger stand and had some chips and salsa and a bottle of water. About the time I had my fill, the others trickled in and had something to munch on.

By the way, there were about 2,500 horses participating over the days of the event and people come from all over (the world) to see the latest in horseflesh and display their talents.

The afternoon we found our seats and watched the horses and riders go through some of the events, the Arabian-English Pleasure Championship - Junior Horse, The Arabian Ladies Side Saddle Championship - Western, and the Arabian Western Pleasure Championship - AATR Select Rider. And the show continued with the Hunter Pleasure, Country English Pleasure Championships and etc. etc.

A couple of us (most of us) had seen enough riding (very professional, too) and trotted (well, meandered) down to the Round Pen to see the Scottsdale Horse Police show. It was CANCELLED! So we walked back to the arena and all of us went to get something substantial for a late lunch, like a hot dog, burger, cheese-burger, fries, cokes, etc., and the ladies were ready for shopping (groan). The males followed along and discouraged any buying in the two large buildings filled with shops and lucky for us nothing was purchased, a very unusual occurrence By then it was time to call it a day and we went home tired, at least I was from all the walking around.

Westworld occupies a large area in a flood control district of North Scottsdale. For this event there were five large horse stables and at least nine arenas plus all the shops, restaurants and barns. This is where they hold a lot of Wild West exhibits and car shows and auctions. If you ever go there, wear some comfortable walking shoes!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Signing Schedule

The month of March will be busy for some authors signed up to sell, sign and talk about their books at the Barnaby Shoppes, Bell Mar Plaza, 114th Ave and Bell Road, Surprise, AZ. Here is the schedule:

March 3 - Brenda LaPaglia, author of The Bratty Ratty, a children's book about an ill-behaved rat terrier.

March 10 - Beth Cornell (and Kristine Van Hook), co-authors of Daily Random Reminders, a book that helps you improve your life experiences.

March 15 - Gale Leach, author of Bruce and the Road to Courage, a young reader's chapter book that reinforces the need to do the right thing and helps children confront bullying.

March 22 - Yours Truly, with his three Western novels set in the vicinity of the Uintah Mountains in Utah.

March 24 - Ron Darling, author of Serpent, first in the Washburn Chronicles which introduces readers of the world to Nick Washburn, Ron's lead character and black operative.

Stop on by and say hello to these fine writers and buy a book or two and take a look around the Shoppes, everything from handmade hats, wigs, art classes, Art for the Home, spices, jewelry and bracelets. A great place to shop for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Short Story

Get some laughs from my new short story at and check out the other stories by Carol Buchanan, Hal Kempka, George Mason, and other fine writers.

Haven't had time to read many blogs, but will eventually get back to them.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Selling

Here I am again, selling and signing books at Bell Mar Plaza, 114th Ave and Bell Road, in Surprise, AZ., at the Barnaby Street Shops. Was hoping to see some of you, but maybe another time. I will be there on March 22 and April 7th. Stop on by if you're in the neighborhood, shucks, stop by anyway and check out the Shops and the Plaza. A great place for breakfast at the 5 and Diner and maybe lunch too, and other attractions.

Thanks to Tammy and Scott Fraser for this opportunity. Great people and great supporters of struggling authors and those who are writing their brains out.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

James Fenimore Cooper

Here is a drawing from a picture on Wikipedia of Mr. Cooper:

You can see a quote from The Prairie (click on picture to enlarge). I'm getting fairly close to the end of this book. All I need is a few more stops to wait for the wife to shop. At this point in the story Hard Heart, the Pawnee, and Mahtoree, the Sioux, are battling it out on a little island in the middle of the river with the other Indians and Whites watching. It appears that Hard Heart has the upper hand at the moment, but it isn't over yet. The arrival of the Pawnees on the other side of the river from the Sioux drew enough attention that the white prisoners and Hard Heart could escape their Sioux captors, but Hard Heart didn't want to leave without returning and offering to fight, even though the Pawnees were outnumbered, and so the two chiefs are duking it out. I await the outcome with anxiety and my heart thumping fast.

As for the quote, I can see Doc Holliday responding to that question by Wyatt Earp, "It was your turn to shoot, Wyatt."

I haven't been able to keep up with all the blogs lately due to other stuff, but I'm still here and will soon be back to normal, I keep hoping.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Drawing from a photo on Wikipedia.
Quote from Popular Quotations for All Uses, edited by Lewis Copeland, 1942 Ed.

Charles Dickens - Feb 7, 1812 to Jun 9, 1870. Author. A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I haven't read as much Dickens as I should have by now, in fact, A Christmas Carol is the extent of my readings and that was done when I was in elementary school. Oh, I take that back, A Tale of Two Cities was required reading in high school. I always thought I would like to dig into Martin Chuzzlewit because the name intrigued me. I think I tried David Copperfield and Great Expectations, but saw the movies instead. Of course, if I had known back then that he was born two days before me father, he might have been a hero of mine. Just joking, but me Pa always said he was three days older than A. Lincoln of Feb 12 fame, being born on Feb 9. He was always making jokes like that.

If I'd been alive in 1842 when Dickens came to the U.S., I could have had a conversation with him about his pet raven, Grip. I could've asked him how he ever caught that damn bird in the first place, and in the second place, how did he teach it to speak English? I would have told him that he should have taught it to speak French and let it fly off to Paris for a long weekend or longer. Maybe it would have become lost over the English channel and the prevailing winds could have carried it to Bermuda, a much better climate than England, I hear.

"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, "the law is a ass, a idiot." These lines could be used in about any Western. I can hear John Wayne, instead of Mr. Bumble, saying it to Glen Campbell, the Texas Ranger in True Grit. He could have worked them in somehow.  Or maybe it would fit into Judge Roy Bean's conversation better as he sentences the bad guy to hang, "If the law supposes that, the law is a ass, a idiot."

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Something completely different from the dry, hot, windy, southwest desert and talk of cowboys and writing. It's a picture from the dry, hot, windy, Middle East. The ship on the left is the USS NORFOLK (DL-1) with two British destroyers tied up alongside at the long pier in Manama, Bahrain, year 1968. I had the honor and the privilege of serving on the NORFOLK for a few months, an experience that I will not soon forget.

I also served on the USS BELLATRIX (AKA-3), the USS SPHINX (ARL-24), the USS NEPTUNE (ARC-2), the USS CLAUDE V. RICKETTS (DDG-5), the USS VALCOUR (AGF-1), and the USS LUCE (DLG-7), in addition to various shore stations, including the Pentagon and about five years in Europe (Spain, France, and Belgium).

The NORFOLK duty was at the time my service was drawing to an end, and from Bahrain I was transferred to Yokosuka, Japan, for a couple of years before my retirement from the Navy.

So, now I write Westerns, or at least try to, to keep the genre alive and provide entertainment for those readers interested in the Old West and cowboys and Indians, bank robbers, train robbers, good guys and bad guys, fallen women, saloon girls, and happily married wives and all the fascinating country that makes up the West. By the way, I am again polishing up The Bloody Gulch which should be published before too much longer. This is the story of the Sheriff and the CB Ranch gang in early Roosevelt, Utah.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Zane Grey

Quote from:
Zane Grey. Brainy Explore Inc. 2012., accessed Jan 27, 2012.

Illustration from a photo on Wikipedia.

Zane Grey, Jan 31, l872 - Oct 23, 1939, baseball player, fisherman, writer.

He was one of my biggest influences when I began to think about writing Westerns. I haven't read many of his books, but the ones I have are Robbers' Roost, The U. P. Trail, Under the Tonto Rim, Wild Horse Mesa, and, I think, Western Union. I read these a long time ago and don't remember too much about them other than I enjoyed them, except for the boring parts, e.g., the detailed landscape descriptions. My mother started reading Riders of the Purple Sage to me, but it never was completed. I have one of his books on the shelf, entitled Desert of Wheat and I wouldn't be surprised to find that it's a first edition. I can't tell because the title page has been torn out and it has only 376 text pages. This edition has a library card jacket in the front from the Carnegie Public Library of Centralia, Washington, with the Rules on it, one of them being "The Borrower's Library Card Should be Kept in this Pocket" and another one, "FINES - A fine of two cents a day shall be paid for each book kept overtime. No book shall be lent to any person whom a book or unpaid fine is charged," and "NUMBER OF VOLUMES - One fiction volume may be drawn at a time on each card." According to Wikipedia, Desert of Wheat was published in 1919 almost 100 years ago. The volume looks like it has been around a long time, the pages turned yellowish, some pages torn, and the top and bottom of the text pages are blackened from being handled. It still has the black-and-white illustrations. If I live long enough, I'll eventually get around to reading it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hurly-burly Saloon Gal

Wal, shucks, podnuh, there she be, one of thim hurdy-gurdy hurly-burly saloon gals doin' a little dance fer the boys and they seem to be injoyin' it, too.

I tell you what I'm enjoying is my new Oscar awarded to me by Levitt E. Valance at Ain't it a beauty and I swear it sure looks a lot like me. I want to thank him for this fine award! Y'all pay him a visit and read his awesome stories.

I'm going to have to find an appropriate place on the blog to display it so everybody can have a peek at it.
Maybe you've already noticed it way down at the bottom of the page.