Sunday, December 8, 2013

More This 'n That

I apologize to my readers for being absent, but it can't be helped. I have other things to do and haven't had time to pound out a blog. I've heard people say that Retirement is busier than when you're working and I can vouch for that. This little spurt of not having any free time will go on through January at least.

I've managed to finish O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy again. What happened was the prior proof was almost perfect, but it contained some typos and English errors, maybe a half dozen, and when I corrected them and re-submitted, for some reason the format was all screwed up. I retyped everything and sent it in again and I'm waiting to see the Proof copy and see if it came out all right as the draft document showed. This story has taken almost a year of revising and drafting and trying to meld four or five versions into one. A lengthy process indeed!

My volunteer duties have crowded into my routine leaving very little time for anything, but that should end around the end of January and maybe I can get back to regular blogging.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This 'n That

I just ran a check on the Arizona Lottery numbers to see if I had a winner and I didn't. One of these days, though, I'll hit it BIG and invest in a real office where I can seclude myself and type away to my heart's content. Until then, I'll have to continue workin' on my computer in the bedroom.

Last weekend (I think) was the "Junk in the Trunk" market at West World in Scottsdale. We didn't go.

This weekend is the "Big Heap" Festival in Cave Creek, which appears to be about the same thing as the Junk in the Trunk deal. There'll be a bunch of old, refinished furniture, clothing, and whatever on sale for browsers to look at and buy if it catches the eye. Something like a swap meet, which I don't plan to go to.

The Wickenburg Museum always has an interesting display of fine art and artifacts featuring the Western way of life, and it's open this weekend. But, it's about thirty miles away, so we won't be going there today even though gas is gettin' cheaper.

The Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix is always a bustling place with it's Indian relics and dances, etc., but we won't be goin' there today, either.

And the Science Museum even further downtown is a terrific place to take the kids and learn all about the wind, the rain, and the weather in general. But our kids are all grown up and have itineraries of their own, so that's out today.

"Just what the dickens are you goin' to do today, Oscar?" says my conscience.  

Well, today is probably Mexican food day, so we might go eat a taco or two at Abuelos (no, that's always crowded), at Don Lencho's (no, not in the mood for that), at Macayo's (maybe), at Rio Mirage (no, too far). I guess we'll stay home and order a pizza with sausage, etc.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Excerpt from O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy

This excerpt is from Chapter 20 of the book I'm trying to get finished, but my production keeps getting interrupted:

      Del Whitney crawled out of bed in his cold, dirty hovel not far from the stable in Manti. He was feeling better than he had been. He was suffering from a bad case of the croup, but was finally getting over it. He made himself a pot of coffee and sat at the small table drinking it, his first in a week. Del was raised in a family of Mormons, the next oldest child, and didn't have the coffee habit unitl his parents kicked him out of the house in Ephraim because of his rebelliousness. It came to a head one evening at the kitchen table when his father told him to bring in the cows and start the milking.
      Del was in one of his bad moods and he told his father, "No, I ain't goin' to do it no more," and stared at the older man with anger in his green eyes.
      His father told him again, "Del, go bring in the cows and start to milking them. I'll . . ."
      "I ain't goin' to do it. You might as well save your breath, I've milked my last cow," and stood up with hs fists clenched. He was bigger than his Pa and knew he could whip him in a fist fight.
      The elder Whitney looked at him with disbelief in his eyes, shocked to think that his son would be talking to him like that. He stared at Del for a couple of seconds; saw that he was ready to fight. Keeping his eyes on him, he said, "Get out! Get out of my house and never set foot in it again! I don't ever want to see you around here again, is that clear? You ain't my son. Get out now with the clothes on your back and you're lucky I let you keep them. Get out."
      The day after he left home, he was looking for a place to live in Manti and saw those two misfits from Hillside, Tom Anderson and his cow-trailing, pipsqueak of a friend, leaving town. Del wasted no time ducking into a small space between buildings and taking some potshots at them. He disappeared quickly around the rear of the buildings and left town shortly after, camping out on the mountainside to let things cool down.
      He returned to town and hung around the stable for a day or two, hoping that someone would come along with whom he could join up and travel to California. Riley offered him a job of sorts and said, "You can move into my empty shed on that vacant lot over west about a half-mile. You can see it from here," pointing at it.
     Del met a couple of other wanderers, a man named Pulley and a half-breed who said to call him  Beeswax. Pulley moved in with Del and made his bed on the other side of the half-wall that divided the wooden shed.
      Now, Pulley joined him at the table afer helping himself to the coffee. Pulley was a tramp and had tramp habits, never took a bath, although he shaved regularly and preened in front of his little round mirror hung on a nail in the shed wall, thinking himself mighty handsome. He always wore his shirt with an extra button open at the top to emphasize his hairless, skinny chest, which he thought was as broad and muscular as anyone's. His blue eyes were too far apart under bushy, brown eyebrows and behind an elongated nose with a slight curve downward at the tip. Standing, he was around five-feet, six inches tall or maybe a couple inches taller in his cowboy boots.
      "Feeling better, huh?" he asked Del.
      "Yup, I think I about whupped it," said Whitney. "And my mind is such that I'm thinking about something I been thinking about for a long time."
      "Something interesting, I hope," said Pulley, "not another of those dumb things you told me about, shooting at those old friends of yours right in the middle of town in broad daylight. You were lucky to get away with that. I heard that deputy was asking questions about it. Tell me, what kind of hare-brained idea is it this time?"
      "As soon as Beeswax gets here, I'll tell you both, but this ain't no hare-brained idea like that. No, sir," said Del.
      "You ain't going to try to kill them two lawmen again, are you? I don't know whether I want to be a part of something like that, even though I ain't in love with the law," said Pulley. "I ain't never been arrested or anything and I don't want to get started now."
      "I told you, I'll tell you as soon as that half-breed shows up. Where is he anyway?"
      "You know him, he tells time by his stomach. If he ain't hungry, he don't know what time it is," said Pulley.
      "Well, I don't have to work today, so I don't care if he shows up today or tomorrow, but I think that's him now," said Del, getting up and pouring himself another cup of coffee.
      The door opened and the half-breed entered the shed. After closing the door, he stood in the semi-dark waiting for his eyes to adjust.
      "Where the hell you been, Beeswax?" said Whitney. "I told you to get here at sunrise. You want a cup of coffee?"
      "I overslept," said Beeswax, looking at his two friends. "What's the big hurry? You got something to eat?"
      He had a natural set to his mouth that gave Del the impression that he was always smiling as he looked at Pulley and moved his eyes to Del. Beeswax was taller and heavier than Pulley, about the same size as Whitney, with green eyes and lighter skin than the average Ute. He lived alone in a tepee outside of Ephraim to the north where the road takes off for the Salt Lake Valley. He had no inclination to live like a white man in a cabin or did he want to be part of the Ute tribe. It may have been a matter of mental  capacity or merely lack of any initiative. To his two companions he gave the impression of mental slowness nearly approaching dim-wittedness and they made him the butt of their few jokes.      
      "Fry yourself an egg there and sit down. Me and Pulley are going to tell you what we're going to be doing when that posse gets back from wherever they went," said Del. "You're still mad at Cobb for arresting you the other night, ain't you?"
      "You darn right I am. He had no right to manhandle me the way he did and throw me in jail. I've still got bruises from it and I don't like it one bit," said Beeswax, cracking an egg into the pan.
      "We're goin' to get even with the law, Beeswax, that's what we're goin' to do," said Whitney as the half-breed sat down at the table. "You know that posse that took off after somebody that stole the Sheriff's horses, don't you? Well, we're going to form a posse of our own and when they get back in town, we're going to find out what they did while they were out looking for whoever they were looking for. That's when we're goin to take our revenge and get nickels up on 'em, by damn." 

End of Excerpt. Just what the heck do they have in mind to get revenge on the law and what the heck are they goin' to do about it? You'll have to pick up a copy of O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy to find out. It WILL BE COMING OUT BEFORE MUCH LONGER and will be available at and THANKS for reading this blog.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Reading List (Continued)

Here's some more books on my list to read:

21. Dismal River by Wayne Dundee and other books by Mr. Dundee
22. Riders of the Pulp Trail by Laurie Powers
23. Traditional West Anthology
24. Derby Man series by Gary McCarthy
25. Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin
26. The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy
27. The Finest Frontier Town in the West by I. J. Parnham
28. The Assassination of Governor Boggs by Rod Miller
29. Unmasked edited by Tom Roberts, Black Dog books
30. In the Language of Scorpions by Charles Gramlich
31. A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohamed Hanif
32. Harry Crews books
33. God's Thunderbolt by Carol Buchanan
34. Ghost Money by Andrew Nette
35. Rebel Spurs by Andre Norton

That's part of the books I need to read. The other part is current reading that I have in a box by my desk that I reach in and pull one out when I finish the one I'm reading. And then there is another part, the books on the shelf pending, and the more recent ones I have procured in antique shops, stores, swap meets, etc. Damn, will it ever end? Probably not!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reading List

Here's some of the books on my reading list or list to obtain:

1. Rangeland Justice by Rob Hill a Blackhorse Western
2. Going Back to Bisbee by Richard Shelton
3. Black Thunder by Hawk (Houston A. W. Knight)
4. Pulling Leather by Reuben Mullins
5. Books by Charles G. West
6. The Secret of Devil's Canyon by I. J. Parnham
7. Cormac McCarthy Westerns
8. Spurs West edited by Joseph T. Shaw, a Permabook
9. Long Shadows by Terry James
10. The Masked Gun by Barry Cord
11. Rancho Diablo Series
12. Winter Range by Claire Davis
13. Dragon Lady by Gary Alexander
14. Roy and Lily by Loren D. Estleman
15. An Epitaph for the Western by Will Murray
16. Langford of Three Bars by Kate and Virgil Boyles
17. Man from Wyoming by Dane Coolidge
18. Cossack Three Ponies by James Reasoner
19. Fourteen Western Stories by Louis Fonvielle
20. The Sodhouse Frontier, 1854-1890, by Everett Dick

(To be continued)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Book Acquisitions

I accompanied my wife to her retirement luncheon Friday and there was a gent selling books at one of the craft tables. Naturally, we stopped to take a look.and ended up buying three of the books by Don M. Mahan. They are non-fiction and well-researched by Mr. Mahan and the titles are:

     1. Indians, Mexicans and Buffalo Soldiers - Historical Narratives of the Wild, Wild, West. Contains photos in the manuscript.

     2. The 2nd Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War - The Story of James B. Wasson, Company "B". This one has several photos, maps, and other graphics scattered throughout the manuscript.

     3. George Armstrong Custer - The Last Stand Myths. Has numerous Notes and several photos.

 The Author, Don M. (Michael) Mahan was born in Tucson and grew up in Ajo Junction, rode his own horses, and enjoyed the desert, mountains and wildlife it says in a short bio on the back of the Custer cover and his many articles and books highlight his interest in the history of the West.
His sales pitch was polite, interesting, and not hard-sell. I could tell he enjoyed writing about the West and he was erudite and personable. I enjoyed our short conversation.

To purchase his books you can contact him at I'm sure he won't mind me giving out his e-mail address since it is in all three of the books and on his card and you may just find another fine Western history buff, too.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Signing Today

I'm heading out to Surprise, the Bell Mar Plaza, to sign books at the Gifts-to-Go Shop today. Included are all my titles:  The Stranger from the Valley
                    The Upamona Gold Claim Wrangle
                     Blood and Blazes in Upamona
                     The Bloody Gulch
                      Posse Justice
                      The Man from Hanksville

Come on out and visit and buy your Christmas presents!

Most are available as e-books and all are available at

O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy has had a slight delay. It should be coming out in November if all goes well from here on.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

American Cowboy the Magazine

The December-January 2014 issue of the subject magazine has a great article by Kendra Santos about Lane Frost, The Legend Lives On. Mr. Frost was a legendary bull-rider who died too early, age 25, after one of his rides. He was the 1987 World's Champion and a really nice fellow, outgoing and companionable.

I have attended a total of two rodeos in my life, one in Payson, Utah, and the other in Midvale, Utah, both of which I sneaked into to watch the goings-on in the 1940's. I was always amazed at the contortions the bucking horses went through during the short ride with the cowboy hangin' on as best he could. And I always wanted to try it, but never did. Rodeos were a big thing in Utah back then and still are, but you almost have to be born into that life to turn out a good cowboy. I haven't heard of too many rodeo riders who weren't raised in the life, but I'm sure there are some who got into it for the entertainment and excitement right  off the street, so to say.

Anyway, I recommend the article to those who are interested in rodeo-ing. It not only tells you about Lane Frost but a couple of the other rodeo circuit riders who were good friends with him and how they met and became friends. And it lets you know about riding bulls for a living. It is the fastest growing sport in the country and Silvano Alves, two-time defending champ made only $1,464,775 last year, according to another article on the history of bull-riding by Jesse Bussard.

By the way, the Wild Western Festival is going on here in Glendale this weekend with Don Collier, the actor,  signing autographs and participating in a panel discussion along with all the other attractions. I won't be attending this year even though the weather is great.   

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I reckon I shud poljize fer not be'n hyar the last cupla blog days, but thangs on the hom'frnt dun need my tenshun. Thet's wy thar wuzn't a blogspiel the last tahm er to.

So with that out of the way, let's move on to something Western for the most part - Cattle. I was searching around for some statistics and ran across the Market Report for week of Oct 18, 2013, on Slaughter Cattle in Utah. There were 1,275 steers weighing 1100-1300 lbs and 975 heifers weighing between 1000-1100 lbs slaughtered. The Dressed Carcasses weight was: Steers 600-900 lbs, Heifers 550-800 lbs, and the Prices were $200-203 for Steers and $199-202 for Heifers.

From that report, if you multiply the number of cattle slaughtered for the year you come up with 27,000.  Let's say the average is around 713 lbs per carcass and times that by 27,000 is 19,241,000 lbs of meat for sale if my arithmetic is correct.  That is less than 7 lbs per person in Utah. Where does the rest of the meat come from to feed the Utahns? Of course, it's imported from Australia or Argentina or wherever.    

And that isn't all I found:  The Annual Grazing Fee Report as of May 1, 2013, for Wyoming, Western Nebraska and Southwestern South Dakota. It states that "Summer grass lease prices are generally higher for the 2013 grazing season due to overall lack of availability. ................. This area is still in the stronghold of an extreme drought and producers are being cautious in terms of moisture. ............... More moisture is desperately needed to sustain this grazing season."

This is a small portion of what is available on a site called and I know those in the cattle business know about this already, but maybe some Western writers will find the site interesting. It has many subjects available and a whole host of sites to find info you may be looking for for some reason or another.

(You can follow my blog on an RSS site.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Strong Woman's Ride

Reading Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey reminded me of the lady in early Ohio who took a ride back East to find a minister as told in the History of Ashtabula County [Ohio]:

""During the apring of this year (1810), Mrs. Austin, the wife of Judge Eliphalet Austin, of Austinburg, a woman of great piety, innate strength of mind, and energy, came to the conclusion that they ought to have a settled minister; that the field was ripe for a bountiful spiritual harvest, and she notified her husband that she would go back to old Connecticut on horseback and hunt up a minister! And sure enough that brave woman, with all her change of clothing in a traveling portmanteau, started alone on horseback on that long journey to Connecticut, six hundred miles away, through an unsettled country, and almost unbroken forests most of the way. She arrived safely at her destination after a ride of over thirty days. We have in our mind's eye some of her great-granddaughters who, when they made a journey taking about one-half of that time, were constrained to take along several enormous Saratoga trunks. What would they have thought of traveling on a thirty days' journey with their wardrobes concentrated into a portmanteau? We cannot help drawing a contrast. In spite of their thorough modern education, their culture and accomplishments, and the advantages they had of living in the midst of a higher grade of civilization, they can never excel their good old grandmother in her piety, in all the that made the true woman, in the amount of the sound sense she possessed, of the strength of character she had, the remarkable energy she showed, and the heart she had overflowing with kindness.

"Mrs. Austin went to Bristol, and was closeted with Mrs. Cowles, and there she brought up the subject of the need of a minister to preach the gospel in New Connecticut. Mrs. Cowles fell in with the idea of having her husband accept the call thus tendered by the intrepid woman who had come so far for that purpose. She saw in the then far distant Western Reserve rich and cheap land, and a chance for her boys to fight successfully their way through life. The matter was broached to her husband, and he was easily persuaded to take a trip to New Connecticut, and make a prospective examination of the field which he had been invited to cultivate. Accordingly he started on horseback, and reached Austinburg, and the result of his examination was that he concluded to move the family there. He returned to Bristol, and in the following year, 1811, he took an affectionate leave of his old parishioners, with whom he had been associated so long. We of this fast age are in the habit of accomplishing that same journey, with the comfort and adjunct of the sleeping-car, in from twenty-four to twenty-eight hours, and can communicate with absent friends (literally in no time at all) by telegraph. . . . . . . . . . This can be appreciated when it is considered that the country they were emigrating to at that time was thirty to forty days' journey off, over horrible mud and corduroy roads, up and down steep ungraded hills, with scarcely any hotels on the wayside, with the consciousness that the probability was very remote indeed of any ever returning again to the scenes of thie childhood, and this too at a time when it took over two months for a letter to be sent and deliverd and an answer received, at an expense of fifty cents' postage both ways."

Wow! If that wasn't a daring and dangerous journey for any single rider, let alone a female, to make at the time. The town of Austinburg had only been in existence since 1799 and you could count the number of settlers on your fingers.  It isn't much different today from what I can gather, although the Western Reserve had several hundred or even thousands of land-seekers all told at that time.

(NOTE: History of Ashtabula County, first published in 1878 is in the public domain.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cover for the Soon-to-be-Released Novel

I searched for two days for a free photo that I could use for a cover and decided to go with this one, since the action takes place in wintertime along the Sevier River in Central Utah. I hope it makes sense to someone looking for a Western to read. I could have used a picture of saddle trappings, but I thought this one would better portray the location.

I'm double checking the Proof copy and found some errors, but it won't take long to correct and the story should be out next month or maybe sooner.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Old TV Episodes of.....of.....of.....The Lone Ranger

To me, The Lone Ranger is as good as anything to watch while I'm waiting for the Cardinals to take on the Carolina Panthers here in Glendale, AZ.

I(we) watched three episodes, (1) The Old Ranchers or something (2), The Hustler or something and (3) was War Horse.

In the first the Lone Ranger and Tonto have to figure out a way to capture the Devers gang and free the young ranch owner of the Circle K, who was hornswoggled into hiring Devers as his ranch foreman and is now a prisoner in his own house. The Lone Ranger sends his faithful companion, Tonto, to round up the ranchers, who are all old men, to come to the Circle K and lend assistance while he tackles the Devers gang head on disguised as an old Rancher posing as an agent of a man who wants to buy the Circle K.

The second is somewhat similar. Young Bob Fitzpatrick is taken hostage and the fighting duo must free him from the Madden gang and help Fred Vance to clear his name of being a rustler.

And the third is also somewhat similar. The law-abiding duo must free Chief Lame Bear's son from the evil hide hunter, who has stolen the War Horse named Black Hawk from under the nose of the Chief and taken the boy hostage. In this one the U. S. Army has to get involved, too, so as to prevent an Indian uprising.

These were all exciting stories filmed in black and white and cut to the minimum necessary to move the plots along. The pseudo-lawmen carry out their plans superbly with everything falling into place within the allotted time slot and end with "Who was that masked man?" as they ride off into the sunset.


And now, I'm ready for some football!  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Life of a Woman

I've been reading Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel and find it very interesting re the women on the trail. It is my belief that the hard life of women portrayed in the book really goes back to the days of the cavemen. I think in those days of the caveman, the female of the species was just as rough and tough as the male. We've seen the cartoons of the caveman dragging the woman by the hair and carrying a big club, but we've never seen a man being dragged by the hair by a woman because it was always men who drew the cartoons. The female could just as well have carried the club and bonked her mate on the noggin, as they almost do here on the westward trail.

As time went by, the female realized she didn't have to act this way, if only she would let the male of the house bring in the food and only wash the dishes. And soon, professional dishwashers replaced the man. And that is the way it has been until some great crisis or movement comes about wherein the woman is forced to take on a greater role and she again picks up the club. In the case of the westward journey, women were forced to take over the chores of the man in some cases and did just as much or more work than her mate, and she had to do it all when her mate died en route or became too sick to carry on and that meant taking care of the seven or more kids they had all by herself. And the healthy men were off trying to find some game to kill or helping the oxen pull the wagon up a hill or something.

I would be the first to admit that a woman's life on the trail was no joy in Mudville because if they wanted to get to Oregon before the snow flew, everyone had to pitch in. Some of them set off and made the trip in three or four months and others took eight or ten months due to one thing and another. If the husband kicked the bucket on the way, the woman had no alternative but to continue on. Going back to nothing was as bad as going on to nothing, since many of them were left penniless and with a horde of children. Others on the trail would lend assistance as long as it didn't hold them up.

And, maybe the time has come again for the women to pick up the club and bounce it off some noggins of the people who are running the country. Maybe just the hit on the head would put some sense in to those people who occupy the seats of Government, but if it had no effect, maybe the women should take over and send the men packing with their tails between their legs, as some did out of necessity on the old Oregon Trail.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Wanna Be a Cowboy

I wanna be a cowboy and I left home at fifteen to become one. This story by Ross Santee, Cowboy, illustrated by the author, was first printed in 1928 and reprinted in 1964 by ACE BOOKS, INC. It's the story of a young kid that leaves home to become a cowboy and he never looks back, at least not for three years when he finally gets around to sending his mother a letter. During that time he's done a lot of job hunting, traveling miles between ranches to see if anyone's hiring. Finally, he shows up at a ranch and stays awhile, washing dishes, feeding the chickens, etc., until they finally let him ride a bronc. He ends up on his rear end on the ground with both hands full of dirt. But he is determined to show them that he is destined for this type work and hangs in there. He becomes good enough to be hired on as the wrangler at twenty bucks a month and he goes on to become a full-fledged cowpuncher. He started out from East Texas and ends up in Arizona and along the way he has some exciting times working at different places and meeting new cowmen.

In my estimation, this novel was one of the best I've read on cowboy-ing. It is written in the first person using the language and dialects of the times. "A splendid book which must take its place as a genuine classic of the genre..." says the LA Times, and I can't disagree with that. It's serious, funny, dramatic, and full of wranglin' and cowpunching as the kid, called "Button", makes his way across the West. He meets some great cowboys and some not so great, with tales about and from most of them.  It kept my interest from the first page to the last of the 160 in the book. For instance, he finally gets around to attending his first "baile" (dance) put on in town by the miners, where there is only room for twelve people to dance at a time, and between the girls and the crowding, you can guess what happens. I had a good laugh from it.

If I could write half as good as Mr. Santee, I wouldn't have to worry about getting published.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

New Book Status

I'm sure everyone is on tenterhooks just waiting for the release of my latest novel, O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy. It won't be much longer. I'm in the process of giving it a final read now and then I will decide on a cover for it. Et Voila! Before you know it, there it is. Here's a little peek at it from Chapter 3:

      I strapped on the gun rigging after loading the pistol while standing on the store landing and carried the rest of the ammunition in the brown, paper bag that Abe had stuffed it in.

     I walked to the Sheriff's office and told O'Shaughnessy, "I'll take the job, but only if I can get twenty-five dollars a month, which seems only fair since I have to drop everything and leave town again."

     O'Shaughnessy was sitting at his desk and raised his head a notch, giving me that twisted look with one eye closed, running his eye from my head to my waist and back to my face. I thought he was going to tell me to get the Hell out of his office.

     "Tom, you haven't had a lick of experience with the law, but since this is jist a one-time job, I don't see why I can't make it twenty-two fifty a month, even though it's going to put a crimp in my budget. Let me dig out a badge and deputize you to make it legal."

     He rummaged through the top right-hand desk drawer and pulled out an extra badge. Walking around the desk, he told me, "Raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, Tom Anderson, will uphold the laws of the Territory of Utah, so help me God."

     I raised my hand and when I finished repeating the Oath, he looked me in the eye, winked, smiled, and said, "That was the short version and all that's necessary."

     He pinned the badge to my left shirtfront pocket, saying, "There, you're an official deputy until further notice unless you think the pay ain't fair."

     O'Shaughnessy stepped back, eyed the star, and grabbed my right hand and gave it a good shake.

     "Shucks, Sheriff, it ain't just the pay that ain't fair. It's because I just got home after two years and haven't had time to catch up on anything. And . . ."

     "That's why I tole you you're the only one around here that I thought would do it. The whole town is counting on us to bring those thieves to justice, Tom, and git back their money," said O'Shaughnessy. "Here's your chance to look good in the eyes of the town and that pretty store clerk, too." He smiled and looked at the new acquisition hanging from my waist. "I see you procured a shootin' arn, brand new, and mighty fine lookin', too. I hope you know how to use it."

     I just shook my head up and down. I could tell he was anxious to get on with it by the way he gazed at me, looking straight in my eye now.

     "Look, those men from the Church should be showing up this week and you can get goin' on the trail of those outlaws. Until then, you don't have to do any arrestin' or anything. Just let me know where you'll be so I can connect you with those fellers."

     I turned my eyes away from his and said, "Well, I'll be at my farm, Sheriff. I need to do some things around there to get ready."   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Old Man Reminiscing

"Old Jake Hanlon", "Hoss Thief Jake Hanlon", or plain "Jake Hanlon" is old, decrepit, cantankerous, shifty, connivin', and near useless in this novel by Jack Schaefer, author of Shane, originally published by Dell in 1967 and printed again by Laurel Leaf Library in 1974.

Old Jake has been practically banished from his town in New Mexico and is spending his last days at an old, abandoned ranch house of the Triple X where he worked for years before it folded. His old boss, Harper, delivers some supplies to Jake about once a month, but Jake has nothing but time to re-live his life in memories. He sits on the edge of the mesa and ganders at the the new four-lane highway passing through the country and recalls some of his experiences and loathes the passing of the old ways.

The author captures the end-of-life of this old cowboy who loved the wild mustangs more than life itself in this interesting story. That's why he is living in the old, broken down, adobe ranch house with the partial roof and sagging window frames with no front door hanging on the frame, a reflection of himself in it. The mustangs got him in trouble with the law and he was driven out to the ranch to spend his final days instead of going to jail.

"A magnificent tribute to a vanishing breed of men and horses" says one reviewer on the back cover and I have to agree with that. It is 155 pages long and illustrated by Lorence Borklund.

Oh, yes, the name of it is Mavericks.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Hangman's Coming

A child grows up to be a killer, no, he's worse than a killer, he's a thief, rapist, and any other bad thing you can think of in this desperate and downright despicable human. It wasn't his fault because his mother died from pneumonia not too long after his birth and his father turned into a boozer with no regard for his child. His father had a good job in the mine before getting injured in a mine accident and lost his job and that added to his frustration and he drank even more if that was possible. He turned the baby over to a woman with a houseful of brats already and the baby had no chance of becoming a normal citizen. Harlow Mackelprang, had to fight for everything he ever got in life or he stole it, even the food to keep him alive. So you see, what else would a kid like that become besides a killer.

And now, he is going to his final act in life in Gallows for a Gunman, in Rod Miller's novel published by Kensington Publishing Co., A Pinnacle Book, put out in Nov 2005.

Harlow Mackelprang has to leave the little town of Los Santos because of his murder of the bank teller and a farmer. When the law catches up with him he has become the leader of a gang of outlaws and they are in the act of another dastardly deed in his hometown. He wasn't too smart about picking friends or places to rob and he's caught and thrown in the Los Santos jail. He is scheduled to hang tomorrow morning. Except for a man named Sweeney who is locked up a cell away from Harlow in the darkest part of the jail, there is no one else in the jail other than the lawmen. Mr. Mackelprang has several visitors come to the jail to offer their last words, among whom are the woman of ill-repute, Althea; the hangman; the preacher; and the bank manager. They all have some choice thoughts and words to pass on to him, but the most interesting to me was the preacher who gets asked some questions by Sweeney. The preacher is trying to redeem Harlow by quoting verses from the Bible, but Sweeney keeps interrupting and asks his own questions using verses from the Bible. I thought it was pretty funny, serious stuff. All the people coming to see him want Harlow to explain his misdeeds and apologize for them, but he doesn't exactly do that. The hangman's point for coming to the jail is to measure the prisoner, which he does, and reveals some of his background to the reader. It's practically a treatise on the art of hanging a human, a little morbid to be sure.

After Harlow is led out to the scaffold his father comes to clean up the jail and empty the slop buckets and talks about his own wasted life.

Gallows for a Gunman was an interesting and entertaining story and I'll be watching for other novels by Mr. Miller.   

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It Was a Case of Mistaken Identity

Yep, that's what it was, mistaken identity when Melody Jones and his partner, George, rides into the town of Payneville in this 1945 movie, Along Came Jones, starring Gary Cooper (Melody Jones), William Demarest (George Fury), Dan Duryea (Monte Jarrod), and Loretta Young (Cherry de Longpre) and others. Jones and Fury ended up in Payneville because they took a wrong turn on the trail four or five hundred miles back where they should have turned south instead of north.

This Monte Jarrod had just robbed a stagecoach and shot one of the men. The law and posse were after him, the Express man was after him, and the townspeople who wanted to collect the ree-ward were after him. Everyone in Payneville thought that Melody Jones was Monte Jarrod and George Fury was his Uncle Roscoe unbeknownst to the newcomers. Cherry de Longpre jumps into the action by saving their lives and getting them out of town to her cabin in the desert, where she also has hidden the wounded Monte Jarrod.

Cherry heads them on their way to the south after Jones falls in love with her, so she can get her boyfriend Jarrod out to the north with no posse on the trail. But Jones and Fury don't fall for it and come back to her place where most of the action takes place, with a couple side trips into town. And Jarrod returns to get the money ($42,000) he stole and the girl.

By the time everything gets sorted out there is the shootout between the posse and the Jarrod gang with Jones and Cherry in the barn with Fury who hs been shot out in the desert by Jarrod and discovered by Cherry. The bungling gun-handler Jones grabs a pistol and shoots it out with Jarrod. Jones gets shot two or three times before Cherry shoots Jarrod. All ends well as Jones kisses Cherry in her living room. and gives her the reward moola.

This movie was a comedy Western and there are plenty of humor spread throughout. I have never cared too much for Dan Duryea with his long straight hair always flopping around, but it was controlled pretty much by the hat he wore in this one. Loretta Young was always a fine actress and Gary Cooper was pretty funny in his role. I had a good time watching it on Turner Classic Movies. "[It] was adapted by Nunnally Johnson from the novel Useless Cowboy by Alan LeMay and directed by Stuart Heisler" as said on Wikipedia..

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Will Henry's Cassidy Novel

I've been reading the Bantam Edition, Reissued Nov 1991, a pocket book of Will Henry's Alias Butch Cassidy story. This Butch Cassidy novel is different than the others I've read in that it concentrates on the young years and the introduction to the outlaw life of the protagonist and gives more detail. The other Cassidy books cover his life in its entirety from birth to death in South America or was it the U.S.?

This one starts with the Parker family's move to Circleville in Central Utah and Butch's introduction to the "famous" outlaw Mike Cassidy. Young George LeRoy Parker is attracted to the old outlaw who takes him under his wing and introduces him to the life of an outlaw, not in practice except for teaching him to shoot a pistol, but through mostly talk. These two finally get around to the action part by planning to rob the bank in Panguitch which goes haywire when they actually are in the process of the robbery. The robbery falls apart when Dan Parker, George LeRoy's younger brother breaks in on it, and all three have to hightail it out of Panguitch empty-handed. And there is further trouble when the law pays a visit to the Parker ranch that night and the ole outlaw plugs one of the deputies and is shot in return in the ribs. Mike hauls out of the ranch on snowy night with that gunshot to the rib area, and when LeRoy finds out from all the blood in the snow and on the ground that he was wounded he takes out after him. Mike shoots and kills another deputy who came upon them in their lair waiting for Mike's wound to heal up enough to ride on.

The two outlaws, the old, grizzled veteran Mike and the young, smart, strong farmboy who is now wanted by the law end up in Robber's Roost, of course. LeRoy is introduced as Mike's nephew, George LeRoy Cassidy, to the owlhoots at the Roost and meets Matt Warner, aka Williard Christiansen already known by George LeRoy as a childhood friend. There's a personality clash between the two and it breaks out at Dandy Crossing where they get into a tussle, creating bad blood.

Young "Kid" Cassidy plays it alone for a few years going straight until he ends up at Telluride and gets hooked into a deal with the McCarty brothers, the well-known bank, train and stage robbers. This deal goes bad, too, and George LeRoy has to leave town with George McCarty, the big, slow-witted brother. They travel to Brown's Hole, the famous robber hangout. Dan Parker, the pesky brother of Cassidy shows up and Cassidy has to tell him a "big one" to get rid of him along with Brother George McCarty while Tom McCarty, Cassidy, Matt Warner, Elzy Lay, and Bob McCarty proceed with the planning for the robbery of the DRG railway in Grand Junction, CO.  So much for going straight.

In my reading of it, I'm only about 30 pages from the end, so I don't know how it ends up. We'll just have to finish it together, and we'll all know.

Will Henry is one of my favorites, and True West says "[he's] a born storyteller, a man strengthened with the uncommon melody of language, a literary outrider using his bent to describe in fiction the West that was." Sold American! My feelings exactly. Henry puts words together like no other in my mind, melding them into a great story, not only this one but all his writings (that I've read) in my estimation. This one is NOT one of those put'er down kind, at least I couldn't stay away from it but for only short periods. It was 217 pages of slam-bang action in the old style, i.e., dialect, made-up words, strong descriptions of acton, etc.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Header/Upcoming Events in AZ

(Header pic is my sketch of Mark Twain.)

The Fall season of events in Arizona is about to begin. Make your travel plans to attend one or more or all of the events for Great Fun, Excitement, and Educational Experiences.

Sep 6-8 - Route 66 Days Charity Car Show, Flagstaff. Enjoy the High Country and see a bunch of old cars that aren't ready for the trash pile yet.

Sep 7 thru Dec 22 - The Last of the Great Expeditions: Navajo Country in the 1930's, Smold Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave, Prescott. A pile of educational material from the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition (1933-38). Gasp, gasp! So much educational stuff! Whew-ee.

Sep 14 - Native American Art Auction at Ganado at the Hubbell Trading Post, an experience in itself. Takes you back to those days.

Sep 14 - Riding the Rim Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Prescott at the Phippen Museum. Fine poetry, fine fun, fine readings and fine singing.

Sep 21 - Fall Gathering, Prescott. Live cowboy music, live chow down at a Western barbecue, and other fine, live activities.

Sep 21 - Iris Rhizome Sale, Tucson The Iris Society offers thousands of rhizome and potted Irishmen (No, that's Iris) for sale at Harlow Gardens, 5620 E. Pima St. Potted Irishmen, HAHAHAHA!

Sep 27-28 - Standin' on the Corner Fesitval, Winslow, at the Standin' on the Corner Park. Music, Arts, Crafts, and a fire truck-tug competition. Imagine that! How they goin' to git them tugboats into thet park? (Chuckle, chuckle)

Sep 28 - Fiesta Sahuarita, Sahuarita, a beautiful small town in Southern AZ. 19th annual birthday celebration with music, games, etc. A fine little place to have a fine little fiesta and a fine little margarita or two.

Through October 20 - Trappings of the American West  at the Phippen Museum in Prescott. Featuring more than 80 artists from 14 States. Wow-ee! Lotsa pikchers to luk at and chuse frum.

See ya thair or thar or there!

(Thanks to the AAA Magazine, Highroads for these dates and events.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reviews of Posse Justice and The Bloody Gulch

Received a fine review for Posse Justice on It states in part: "Posse Justice is a good old-fashioned cowboy story. I absolutely enjoyed this book. Exciting adventure with the posse chasing the bad guys through the rugged hills and mountains of Utah and Wyoming."

And a nice one for The Bloody Gulch:  "Enjoyed the word-pictures. The characters and plot ore well done.
. . . . . . . . I wish it had been longer."

Nothing like an unsolicited compliment to get the juices flowing through the veins and thanks to the reviewers. Anymore coming? I sure hope so.

The next book will be out before too much longer, title is O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy. Its the story of a young Mormon who returns home from a mission to Tennessee to learn that his parents were killed by Paiutes and he becomes a witness to a bank robbery and the fun begins.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

John Wayne in . . . .

Was reading blogs when lunchtime came along, so fixed a bowl of soup and turned on the TV while I ate it, and there he was on AMC, a John Wayne Marathon of movies. I got in just after The Sons of Katie Elder buried their mother and watched through to the bitter end. And I do mean bitter after the ambush of the Elder brothers on their way to sell horses. That is, they were waylaid by a posse on their way to Colorado to sell the horses to the miners and taken into town and thrown in jail for stealing the horses and the murder of someone by Tom Elder. The upset town people were getting ready to lynch them when they are loaded into a wagon and sent on their way with escort to Laredo. This is where the ambush comes in, in the middle of a bridge over a stream. The team is stopped by one of the new deputies who was working for a feller named Hastings who had taken the Elder's farm from them near the little town of Clearwater. Hastings had killed their father unbeknownst to the sons of Katie Elder and the sons were looking for the murderer.

Stellar performances by Wayne and Dean Martin, and also playing in the movie was Martha Hyer, George Kennedy,  James Gregory, Dennis Hopper, and others.

The bitter end comes in town after the youngest Elder bro is killed back when the bridge is blown up and Tom (Martin) is shot in the back and the other bro was shot in the chest, all for trying to make up for past sins to make Katie happy in her after life. No one could understand them, except for Mary Gordon (Hyer), and she was't too sure about them, either. A fine kettle of fish.

All in all, the photography (filmed in Mexico), the action, and the acting was just fine and may have been one of Wayne's better movies. Pick up the DVD and enjoy or just watch the TV movie. It'll be back around before you know it.  


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Elmore Leonard

Was just reading the obit of the famous novelist, Elmore Leonard, for the third or fourth time and was saddened by his passing from this world. I began wondering about his writing, why he switched to mystery and crime after being successful with Westerns. Was it because he just wanted to try something different? Was it because he was tired of the Western genre? Was it because he could make more money in crime stories? Were crime stories easier to write? All of the above?

 I see he received the Grand Master Edgar Award.  In 2010 he received the Peabody Award and in 2012 the National Book Award, Medal for Distinguished Contribution, and Best Drama Script by the Western Writers of America in 2013 with others for "Justified" by FX.

 I haven't read many of his works, but what I have I thoroughly enjoyed. He put forth his The 10 Rules of Writing, which I've read, but can't recall any. One has to be "Keep it skimpy and terse." The obits mention his style of writing, comparing it to Hemingway, a fine compliment.

Back to the questions above, several of today's Western writers also write crime and mystery, which is fine and dandy with me, since many Westerns involve the same subjects and it is just a short step away to make it a crime novel instead of a Western. I think the attraction is readership and the daily headlines that feeds new stories. Every morning newscast seems to have a shooting, a knifing, a brawl, a kidnapping, or abuse of some sort, even a bank robbery, a store holdup or a gas station, pawn shop, or jewelry store holdup. Lots of stories there to make into a Western or a crime/mystery book. The choice is yours.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Twitter, dee-dee/Novel Progressing

I finally gave in and signed up for a Twitter account. You can follow me by name Oscar Case. I felt that I couldn't hold out any longer even though I don't have a smart phone, I-pad, or any other device than Nook Color and my PC. This twit will try it for a while to see what happens. Don't expect tweets like "Going to the store" or "We're at the steak house for dinner," and I won't be twittering every five minutes, maybe not even every day.

I'm progressing on the next book, O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy, and it should be out before too long. I'm going to start calling these books Utah Westerns since they all take place there and most of them have some comments about the Mormon way as I see/saw it at the time. O'Shaughnessy certainly has some of this inside the tale. My thought about this is that it may turn some people away, but in the long run, I may pick up some readers. Here is an example of what I'm talking about from O'Shaughnessy:

[Bishop Lane said, "Let us pray for this poor, lost soul. Gather around him, please. Jack, Cadmus put your hands on his head with mine."

Amelia, Jack, Cadmus, and the Mayor moved closer to the bed. The Bishop put his left hand on top of the hands already on the head of Billy Kelly and began, "Our Father Who art in Heaven, we thank Thee for this opportunity to show our devotion. And we thank Thee for our own good health and that of our dear friend, Missus Wilson, who the doctor just said was going to be fine, and for this chance to address our concern for this poor, disillusioned bank robber. Our Father in Heaven we thank Thee for all Your great blessings, for the food on the table. . ."]

This excerpt is a "laying on of hands" the Mormons use in certain circumstances and maybe other religions. In the book, this prayer (and it goes on) didn't have quite the effect the Bishop was looking for, or any of the people gathered around. This is just one example of the "Mormonisms" I have used in the Utah novels and they are not saturated with it. I thought this type of writing should be included in stories that take place in Utah as a general rule to reflect the lives of those who live there.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not-So-Old Movietime

"Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it don't."
"Let's go eat. My Snake wife cooks good food. I heard that Snake women copulate with horses, but my wife said she doesn't. I don't believe her, though."
And the old Indian and Little Big Man head down the hill at the end of the movie.

The first sentence above comes almost at the end, when  Old Lodge Skins goes up the mountain to its highest point to die, but it starts raining and he survives and says the second group of sentences above. Old Lodge Skins is portrayed by Chief Dan George and Little Big Man was of course Dustin Hoffman. Wikipedia says the movie was a protest against the military in the Viet Nam War and it may have been, since it was a long build-up to the Custer campaign at the Little Big Horn and the loss of everyone but Dustin Hoffman.

If you've never seen Little Big Man you may want to give it a go as it is a funny satire on the times of Custer and Wild Bill Hickok and others as the 120-year-old man (Dustin Hoffman) relates his life to a young reporter. He and his sister are found in a burned-out wagon by a lone Cheyenne after the Pawnee raided and killed the rest of the family. Hoffman is back and forth with the Cheyenne and the whites as he goes through life. Being adoped by a strong religious pastor with a horny wife (Faye Dunaway who later turns up working in a house of ill-repute), he becomes a gunslinger, a traveling medicne man's stooge, a drunk, a friend of Will Bill Hickock, etc., and barely escapes with his life when the Custer's men attack the tribe and later the battle of the Little Big Horn.

Like I said, it was a funny movie and just like the book by Thomas Berger in that regard and good entertainment for 147 minutes. Hoffman and Dunaway looked young, but acted their parts in fine fashion, in fact the overall acting and filming was just fine. Little Big Man, the movie, was released in 1970.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Things Learned Growing Up

Warm cowflop feels great when squeezed between the toes on a hot summer day.

Smoking "Indian tobacco" doesn't do a thing for you.

Hiding condoms in old, broken-down autos is not a good way to teach kids about sex.

Jumping off houses may result in shorter or crooked legs.

Head cheese is not all that bad.

Scraping the hair off a dead pig is a tough job for a seven year old.

Riding a horse bareback may cause blisters.

Jumping in a canal to get rid of lice may or may not work.

Getting a tick off the scrotum can be painful.

Old medical cures do work. My grandpa lived to be almost forty.

Putting sulphur and tobacco paste on your chest doesn't turn it yellow.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Out of Touch and Out of Town

We (the wife and I) have been traveling for a couple days to the land of milk, honey, nuts, and date trees, and more nuts - that is, California, Palm Springs, in particular. We have passed through there several times on I-10 and over the mountain to Hemet, but never spent any time in Palm Springs until now.

We had accommodations at the Casa Cody in downtown Palm Springs a couple of blocks off the main drag of Palm Canyon Drive. This Casa Cody was built in the 1920's by Buffalo Bill's cousin , Harriet Cody, and is on the Palm Springs Historical Preservation List. It  has two pools, a jacuzzi, a barbecue and free breakfast.
The room had a small, furnished kitchen, microwave, fridge, coffee pot, dishes, cups, glasses, etc., and we enjoyed our stay there. Oh yes, and a King-size bed for a comfortable sleep.

We had no idea what would be going on in the middle of summer when the weather is hot (just like Phoenx), but we stumbled on to a Marilyn Monroe Festival going on on Palm Canyon Drive with many vendors and the new, 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn on display with a Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest in the evening. Lots of people taking a "paseo" and eating, drinking, buying, and what-all - interesting and entertaining.  We hopped on the tram to the top of the Cohuilla mountain, which was awe inspring with all the rocks and the Cohuilla Spires on the side of the mountain. I've never been much of a fan of hanging in the air and watching the country go by, but it was fun and enjoyable. Had lunch at he Peaks Restaurant and looked at the scenery before returning down the cliff. Most of the hiking trails were closed from the recent fire, but our hiking was limited to the buildings and stairs and gawking at the rocks.  Friday night we ate at Lulu's, a busy place, with fine food, not as expensive as other restaurants we were told.

We returned to Phoenix via Brawley and El Centro and enjoyed the ride through the Salton Sea area with all the orchards and date trees. Thought Yuma had changed for the better. It looked more prosperous than a few years ago. All in all a fine excursion.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A World War II Novel

I've been reading Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, who died in Auschwitz in 1942. A Russian, she emigrated to France with her family when she was about 14 years old. The edition I'm reading is a 5"x8" paperback published by Vintage International, a division of Random House, Inc., the 16th edition.

This fictional story tells about some families and single people living in Paris when the Germans invade and  they leave like many of the other Parisians and head to various towns and cities in the south thinking that the Germans would soon be bombing the Hell out of Paris.  They find themselves in various difficulties, some traveling by auto, some by train, and some on foot with all their belongings on their backs. Some families run out of petrol (gas) and none is available; they are forced to leave their vehicles and join the hordes of people walking along the roads, hungry, tired, and not really knowing where they are going. The German aircraft sweep through the skies over some of them and drop their bombs, injuring and killing some unfortunate souls, and the French Army appears not to be very effective at all in pushing back the invading troops. A yhoung teenager named Hubert takes off to join the Army and declare his patriotism and the family thinks he has been killed. They arrange a funeral service for him and his grandfather who passed away from natural causes, and Hubert shows up as the family is headed for the church. Another family member, a Priest was also included in the funeral, he was stoned to death by his young charges as they bread into an abandoned house and the Priest actually jumps into a lake to get away, but the rocks thrown at him does him in.

Some of the people return to Paris where they find their houses have not been damaged at all by the German bombs and are pleasantly surprised.

I'm about halfway through this book and find it very interesting even though it is fiction, because it portrays the actual happenings of the war with the Germans, where many innocent people are killed or injured and the futility of the French soldiers, many of whom had terrible memories of the First World War of 1914-18. Ms. Nemirovsky's writing style appears to me to be similar to the Russian writers, Tolstoy, etc., in that she follows a statement by one, two, or three descriptive phrases in the Russian or European style. It sort of drives me up the wall, but then again it makes it more poetical or rhythmical. The book opens with two pages of accolades from reviewers such as, "Stunning, remarkable, astonishing, extraordinary," and on and on. My French girlfriend told me that she and her parents lived in the countryside during the War and this is another reason why I wanted to read this book. I could see what the family went through with the lack of food and necessaries and it makes it more personal to me. You may want to pick up a copy and see for yourself what I'm talking about.   


Thursday, July 25, 2013

National Day of the Cowboy

The National Day of the Cowboy is July 27, 2013, this Saturday. Jim Olson is having his monthly Western Heritage show at the Old Trading Post in Casa Grande, AZ, with Nancy Ruybal and John Messenger performing. If you can't make this one (and I can't), celebrate the day in any old cowboy way that suits your fancy even if it's just putting on a pair of cow boots and a cow hat to show your Western Heritage and maybe eat a cowboy steak in a cowboy steakhouse.

Jimmy Carter's essay on John Wayne is published in the American Cowboy magazine for Aug-Sep 2013 to commemorate a new book on "The Duke" entitled John Wayne: The Genuine Article by Michael Goldman and Insight Press.  Take a peek at the magazine to see what a President says about John Wayne.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Old Movie Time

I thought this movie was Tarzan the way John Wayne swung through trees and whatever else was handy. But it was only Mr. Wayne grabbing onto a low-hanging limb and climbing into the tree only to launch himself onto an outlaw. And there he is fighting another outlaw in a wagon as it is pulled along through the countryside with the driver shot. The wagon eventually crashes but the horses were freed just seconds before it flies over the cliff. And there is Big John again climbing to the balcony of a hotel and "duke"-ing it out with another outlaw. This movie was made in 1935 when Mr. Wayne was a young man and I could see the potential star that he was to become in some of his traits even back then, you know the walking and the way he stood with a hand on his hip.

In this one John Mason (Wayne) returns just in time to see his father shot in an Express Office holdup and he takes off to chase the outlaws, but gets shot a couple of times. He recuperates at home with the help of his pretty neighbor, Alice (Marion Burns), and falls in love with her. But, wouldn't you know it, her dern brother is the leader of the outlaw gang and the one who shot his father. Shucks, love interrupted. She begs him not to go after her brother, but he does anyway. It's his father's ranch boss who actually shoots the brother, and John ends up marrying Alice.

The name of this flick is The Dawn Rider. I don't know why, because it was full daylight throughout the movie. Other actors in it were Denny Meadows, Reed Howes, Joe De Grasse, Yakima Canutt, Earl Dwire, and Nelson McDowell. It was on tape and had a few pauses that were black. Overall I enjoyed this 56-minute movie that had plenty of action and a young John Wayne.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just Thinkin'

Was just thinkin' about that little cafe in the mountains. Every time he made the trip to Salt Lake, he had to stop for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. It was the only place between Duchesne and Heber that sold ANYthing. You entered through the old wooden door into a room that had a counter running from one side to the other and a few tables by the front wall. Most of the customers were male and sat at the bar drinking a beer. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, etc., were available, but he was never hungry enough for anything but a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. It didn't make any difference what kind of pie. If they didn't have apple or cherry, he would eat what they had, even banana cream one time when he was desperate for pie. He was not a very big man, skinny and about five-foot-nine was all. Soaking wet, he might weigh a hundred thirty pounds in Levi's, plaid shirt, cowboy boots, and Stetson. But don't let his size fool you. He was tough as nails with rough, leathery hands from working his cattle and building fences, plowing the ground, planting crops and all that familiar stuff that ranching requires. Most times, he was in good humor and would laugh right along with you at the jokes everyone laughed at as if he were hearing them for the first time. His laugh was as honest as he was and full of enjoyment.

That was back in the 1930's and -40's when he had that old Dodge sedan. The Dodge wasn't old then. In fact it was practically new and went lickety-split when he put the pedal to the floorboards, and he'd argy with anybody over how good a car it was. You can't beat it, the way he would carry on over the eight-cylinder engine and how fast it would go.

Well, there ain't no pie anymore. He died a few years ago and that cafe closed up, too. Every time I go back to that country, I can't forget the way he used to buzz around in that old Dodge and all the dirt roads it had traveled over during its lifetime. There ain't nothing left to his place except a pile of rocks and more rocks scattered around the ranch. It seemed like every time he moved a rock out of the way another one would take its place. He always said that he'd seen all the rocks he ever wanted to see in his lifetime. So the wife one time packed up a few of the little rocks in a small box and sent them to him. I can hear him now, swearing up a storm, "Damn your hide! I don't need no more damn rocks! What you send them damn rocks to me for?" But, as mad as he was, he put them in a prominent spot on top of the fireplace ledge where everybody who came to visit would be sure to see them and he'd tell them, "That damn wife of so-and-so sent me those damn rocks from Arizona, as if I didn't have enough of 'em around here. Damn her hide!" and he'd start laughing along with everybody else. "She's a pistol, she is!" he'd say.     

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Old Movie Time

Well, what do yo know? This film was a surprise when I ran across it in a thrift shop. Entitled The Corral it has both Gene Autry and Roy Rogers in it along with Lon Chaney Jr, Smiley Burnette, and the Sons of the Pioneers. The surprise was that Roy Rogers plays an OUTLAW.

It starts out with a murder in a big city back east (Chicago) witnessed by a female singer (Irene or Hope Manning) who runs off and heads West to Turquoise City, Arizona. She catches a bus that is on its way to Arizona and the bus gets caught behind a buggy carrying Gene Autry who is the Sheriff, and a crook he is taking to jail, and of course, Gene is singing a song as they ride along. The bus runs the buggy off the road and the buggy finally crashes, but Gene and the outlaw are unharmed. A man tries to make points with the singer on the bus and tells her he runs a number of clubs and he wants her to be the lead singer at the Blue Moon in Turquoise City. Gene and the outlaw and every one else climbs back on the bus and they don't get far before they are held up by Roy Rogers and his gang. After the holdup, the bus continues into Turquoise City where Gene locks up the crook in the jail. Smiley Burnette is a deputy and his first scene has him playing the harmonica, a guitar, and with his feet a xylophone serenading with a song a crook already in jail.

The man who had been trying to woo the female threatens her by telling her he will turn her in to Scarlotti, the murderer, if she doesn't take a job at the Blue Moon, which she does. Gene and Smiley go after the bus robbers, who he knows as the O'Keefe (or Keefe) brothers (who are actually the Sons of the Pioneers) and held up the bus to get publicity to put on a show on the radio. Gene brings most of them back to jail where they prepare for the big celebration by singing songs to the crooks in jail.

Scarlotti shows up in town to get rid of the witness to the murder, but Smiley interrupts them and Gene and Smiley take off after them and round them up after capturing Roy Rogers and his partner. Gene locks up the Carlotti gang and lets the Sons of the Pioneers and Roy out of jail to sing at the big town celebration and everyone lives happily ever after as justice is served.

This movie was a kick to watch and enjoy with the mix of the singing, horses and cars and the bus as a lot of those old movies did during the transition to the modern era. It was filmed in 1936.    

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Arbuckle's Coffee

The American Cowboy Magazine for Aug/Sep 2013 has a short article on the History of Arbuckle's Coffee, which I found interesting. For one thing, I didn't know it was still being made, and in Tucson, AZ, of all places. The Organic Happy Trail Blend is priced at $17.00 per package. That's a pretty high price to pay for coffee, not even Starbucks charges that much, but, if you want the real thing, it's going to cost you.

The article notes that Arbuckle's started up around 1864-65 by the Arbuckle brothers, John and Charles.
Folgers came along in 1850 and Maxwell House in 1892.

My father used to drink "cowboy coffee," not necessarily Arbuckle, but Folgers and Maxwell House when I was growing up, before he started using the percolator at my Mom's urging. I was too young to drink coffee of any type, which was frowned on by our religion, the Mormons. I've made up for it since as have about everyone in the family. To me it's a necessity, not a luxury and not a sin.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Revolutionary War

Richard Cutler, General Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and French Admiral DeGrasse are on the way to the seige of Yorktown, VA. General Cornwallis and his British troops are holed up there waiting for the British Fleet to  arrive from New York as I approach the end of this book, the first in a series about the Cutler family. The book is A Matter of Honor by William C. Hammond and published by Cumberland House of Nashville, Tennessee.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as I read about the life of Richard Cutler, who was selected by Captain John Paul Jones of the ship Ranger to be one of his midshipmen. Jones and crew set out to wreak havoc among the Brits by raiding one of the English coastal towns and disrupt shipping from the port. The raid was a success, but some of the men didn't make it back to the ship and were captured, Richard among them. The British  threw the prisoners in jail to wait out the war. Richard and his fellow prisoners hatch a plan of escape, but the day before they were to put it into effect, Richard is freed in the custody of his uncle, a sugar and shipping magnate in which Richard's father is a partner. They have sugar plantations in the Caribbean and that's where Richard obtained his experience as a sailor as a crewman on his father's ships at a young age.

The escape plan from the prison was a success and one of the escapees shows up at the house where Richard is supposed to be confined. The two men escape and sail to France where they make contact with Captain Jones again, who is outfitting the ship Bonhomme Richard for sea.

In many ways this war reminds me of the American Civil War where brother fights brother and cousin vs. cousin, etc., since the Americans have close relatives on the other side. Anyway, Captain Jones sets sail and runs into a fleet of British ships. He attacks the ship Serapis and rams him and this is where he says "I have not yet began to fight," and the fight is on at close quarters on both ships, with the "Bonnie Dick" being successful and in the process Cutler saves a Brit by the name of Jamie Hardcastle, his girlfriend's brother. Jamie dies from his wounds, but Richard gets points for his heroic act and they take the Serapis captive.

And the plot moves on to Richard in Barbados, now married to Katherine Hardcastle, and life is idyllic until they sail to Tobago and the island is captured by the French. Richard is taken on board the ship of Admiral DeGrasse as a Lieutenant and they end up on land in Yorktown where I began this post.

The next book in the series is For Love of Country, followed by The Power and the Glory and A Call to Arms. Mr. Hammond is a fine writer and does a great job with A Matter of Honor..

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Another Movie

First of all, before we get into the movie, I would like to wish everyone a HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, and if any of my readers who are not American citizens, I say, "Celebrate with us!"

Now, on to The Lone Ranger, the movie with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. We took our great-grandsons to see it yesterday and we all give it a thumbs up overall. Two thumbs up for the comedy in it and one thumb down for the excess violence. As the CBS This Morning movie critic said, "They could have easily cut out a half-hour of it [and still made a good movie]. It was 2-and-a-half hours long and had plenty of action along with the gory violence. The bad guy was a heavily made-up Johnny Depp as Tonto, er, a County Prosecutor, Armie Hammer, er, an outlaw that was scheduled to be hanged by name of Butch Cavendish, er, no it was the head of the railroad, Latham Cole, er, uh, you pick him out. They all seemed to be outside the law until Tonto and the Lone Ranger get to riding, looking for this Butch feller, who had killed the Lone Ranger's brother and ate various parts of him. Butch was an ugly and mean, loutish killer with no conscience. Throw in a silver lode and a greedy railroad magnate, several chase scenes, and guns a-plenty, and we're off to a romp in the sand. Oh, yes, throw in some Comanches, who buried Tonto and The Lone Ranger up to their necks in the sand, and the cavalry to their rescue - or not, and the plot moves along fast and furious and comical. And throw in the local brothel owner with her wooden leg and the shotgun built in and the good woman, the Lone Ranger's brother's wife, er - widow for the SEX in this one, chuckle, chuckle. 

This movie was funny and full of action scenes and beautiful scenery - Monument Valley it looked like and other parts of Utah, although it is set in Texas. It was well worth the entrance fee and the theater was not crowded in the middle of the day.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Elvis Presley in Love Me Tender

ELVIS IS DEAD! ELVIS IS DEAD! And buried six feet under. That was about where I came in on this movie - at the end. He was beating up a woman who lied to him, according to him, and had been lying all along over some stolen money or something. The men with him told her to get back home, but Elvis said we should follow her because she is going to lead them to the thief. And she leads them to a cave where some men are hiding out. But no, they are being followed by her supposed boyfriend (Richard Egan) who gives the money to one of his men and tells him to take it to town and bring back as many men as you can.

Egan starts up the hill where Elvis is waiting and when they see him coming, Elvis goes into a static shock, but finally shoots him in the shoulder. The men from town join the fray and ELVIS GETS SHOT and dies with the girl hanging over him (Debra Paget). They bury him in the local cemetery and HIS GHOST COMES TO LIFE and ends the movie singing "Love Me Tender."

Having missed most of it, I looked it up on Wikipedia and got the lowdown on the movie. The girl was his wife, part of the Reno family which included Richard Egan as Vance Reno,  Debra Paget as Cathy Reno, Elvis as Clint Reno, William Campbell as Brett Reno, James Drury as Ray Reno, and Mildred Dunnock as Martha Reno. Well no, that's partly wrong. Clint stays home being the youngest during the Civil War and the family is notified that Vance has been killed. So Clint marries Vance's girlfriend, Cathy, and when the war is over and the brothers return home, Cathy still loves Vance. In the last scenes (which I didn't see) The Reno brothers rob $12,000 from the Union Army. A conflict of interest ensues with some Rebs wanting to keep the money and others wanting to turn it in. It is Vance that shoots Clint because of the jealous rage of Clint over Cathy, but they both got their "plugs" in, one in the shoulder and one fatal.

So, anyway, Elvis (Clint) got killed over a woman who still loved his brother (Vance) who shot him

This was Elvis Presley's first movie role and it made money even if some of the critics panned it while others liked it. It was released in November 1956. He went on to make thirty more movies and all made money, even though some of them were not critically praised.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Something Different

Being a retired Navy swabbie I've run across a lot of erotic writing (remember Penthouse, Playboy, Swank, and all the other rags and slicks that were published back then), but I never had the pleasure of reading Miss Havens' blog. And that's because it is a start-up within the last couple of months. Miss Havens needs some manly, hairy-chested, males to read and make comments on her posts to aid her in her efforts to get her writing published.

Miss Havens and I have carried on an internet give and take for the last couple of years, which has been a normal and fun communication between friends on the internet. She launched this site after that she worked long and hard on her writing in the hopes it would lead to a better future in writing.  I don't make it a habit of recommending erotica to my readers, since my reading of it is all in the past, but I do check in occasionally on her site to see what is going on. If you enjoy this type and style of writing I encourage you to pay her a visit and comment on her posts. She will appreciate input from as many men as she can draw to her site and it will help her to get published. 

Visit her blog at And check out her books written as Houston A. W. Knight by clicking on my blog page under her name.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Old Movie Time

I wasn't very old when this movie was released, but these old cowboys sure was good entertainment for the folks in the country. This movie is The Riders of the Whistling Skull and is not a typical cowboy and Indian shoot-'em-up, although there are cowboys and Indians a-plenty in this 1937 black and white. It seems there is an expedition searching for the Lost City of Tu-ka-ta (?) in the Wild West Mountains near the ranch of the Three Mesquiteers, one of whom professes to be a detective because he reads The Detective pulp magazine. A member of the expedition is killed by someone in the party and the search is on to find the killer, It could be one of the Indians or one of the white men but at this point no one knows who did it and the expedition vows to continue because a female member's father is missing and she won't give up until he's found. An Indian "Cult" attacks the party to prevent it from finding the Lost City and the wagon with all the water is lost as it goes tumbling down the canyon. The party decides to search the Whistling Skull for water and the Lost City. The Skull is a series of caves that whistle when the wind blows through them.

The Indians attack again and have the party surrounded in the Skull and the only way to get help is to throw a rope over the cliff and scale down the mountain to the horses, which the Three Mesquiteers manage to do, but are attacked on the way down by an Indian who manages to cut the rope which finally gives away and the last Mesquiteer has quite a drop to a ledge where he has to fight off three Indians for a while until they capture him.

To the rescue comes the Sheriff and the posse who decided to follow the expedition and there is a royal shoot-out, freeing the Mesquiteer and the girl's father who had been found earlier tied up in one of the rooms in the cave.

Starring in it was Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Bob Livingston and Max Terhune. There weren't many close-ups in the movie, but there were flashes of bright light and a big zero appearing for a mini-second. I assume this happened at the change of reels. All in all, I enjoyed watching it, bringing back memories of my childhood in the church where movies were shown once a month on Saturday night.

The movie was one in a collection of Heroes of the Old West DVDs.     

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Good Reading

I have on my PC-Kindle the following books and stories I haven't had a chance to get to due to other goings on:

Aesop's Fables
Escape to the Country by Patsy Collins (now Davis)
HALLAM (Lucas Hallam) by Livia J. and L. J. Washburn
Hangrope Law (Rancho Diablo) by Colby Jackson
The Long Black Train by Heath Lowrance
Nibbles of Nonsense Hilarious Comic Verse  by John Howard Reid
Outlaw by Matthew Pizzolato
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Shut Mouth Society by James D. Best
The Silver Canyon/A Tale of the Western Plains by George Manville Fenn
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

It seems like every time I get time set aside to read one of these, something happens to send me off on a different tack. One of these days I'm going to grab the bull by the horns and just dive right in. When I add these items to the books in my To-Be-Read box, though, I don't know where to begin. I like reading a physical book better than reading a technological device. There is something about the real thing that the machines don't have. My Nook Color sits idle by my chair with a dead battery. I could recharge it but I'm afraid it will run down without even a look on Facebook or at the reading I have on it. I guess I'll just try to finish up my current reading before I begin something else. There's always tomorrow.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Or is it Fathers' Day? Either one, I'm taking the day off. We set out for a new breakfast place since it was a special day and ended up in a classy place that we wouldn't ordinarily visit. Going in, the maitre'd or the worker who met us said that the buffet is over here where you can get potatoes, fruit, bacon, rolls, sweet rolls, scrambled eggs, etc., and over there is where you can get omelettes, bagels, toast, hot rolls, etc., help yourself.

We dug right in. I chose an omelette with ham, cheese, green peppers, jalapenos, onions and what not and the omelette maker whipped it right up. My wife had a bagel with cream cheese, fruit, bacon, and so on. We enjoyed it immensely with hot coffee and water and a nice atmosphere. There was a ball team of some sort and other people stuffing the food and enjoying themselves. After we had had our fill, we asked the waitress where we paid the bill and she said.....she said...."You're not guests?" We shook our heads in the negative and she said, "It's free, then. We don't have a cashier for breakfast."

"Ahh, Father's Day! What a great day!" I whispered as we left the hotel by a different entrance than we came in.

We hope yours was good, too!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Seth Godin, Author, Marketer, Blogger

I ran across Seth Godin by going back through my old notebook that I keep handy for such occasions. I once looked at a website with the idea that I would put my book info on this site for people to run across. I haven't yet added anything to the site, but Seth Godin is the original founder of it and her also writes a blog at that contains tips on marketing, writing, and other comments on life in general.

I just read one of his blog posts entitled Ode: How to Tell a Great Story where he tells readers not only how to tell a great story but who to tell it to. I can see where items like this could be of good use to writers for use in their marketing and spreading the word about the products they produce.

So, I thought that I would post a blog about Mr. Godin for others too take a look at if they haven't before been aware of his site and also Squidoo. He has several other sites and blogs which are listed on his blog page

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oh, boy! A Gary Cooper Movie

I caught the nether end of a movie on TCM yesterday with Gary Cooper and I couldn't figure out what the name of it was. It's been a long time since I saw a Cooper movie. He was thrown in jail for murder and being a spy for the South by U. S. Army Colonel Hudson (I don't know the actor playing Hudson). But as the movie unfolded, Cooper, playing Major Kearney, was actually a spy for the North trying to find a Southern spy, who turned out to be Colonel Hudson. And Hudson and his rebel troops, one of whom was Fess Parker playing Sergeant Jim Randolph, were stealing a herd of horses to give to the Rebels,. A group of loyal Northern enlisted men got Cooper out of jail and they broke into a warehouse and took a cache of Springfield Rifles before Hudson could get his hands on them.

The name of the movie should have dawned on me right then, but it's been a long time. Anyway, Cooper and his troops were joined by the Lieutenant sent by Hudson to capture him and return him to jail, but finding out he was Major Lex Kearney the troops joined Kearney to prevent the horses from being driven to the South. After a skirmish in a valley, the Rebels were smoked out with fire and Cooper/Kearney caught the escaping Colonel Hudson alive after a horse and foot chase.

Of course Springfield Rifle was the name of the movie and in this skirmish the rifle proved itself and was to be adopted for service as the U. S. Army rifle of choice. It provided more fire-power with its quick ejection of the empty shell and easy reload.

Lon Chaney, Phyllis Thaxter (who didn't appear in what I saw, except for a short sequence at the end), and Philip Carey were also in the movie which was released in 1952..

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Next Novel

I've been working hard, but not long, on my next endeavor. My hard work has been shortened from four to six hours per day to one to two hours and its taken me longer than I had anticipated. I've changed the title two or three times, settling on O'Shaughnessy's New Deputy for now.

 After returning to the fictional town of Hillside from a two-year Mormon mission, Tom Anderson finds himself alone as his parents are killed by the Indians. He gets caught up in a bank robbery, budding love, the posse, a struggle for his new-found love, stolen horses, etc., and his new job as a Sheriff's Deputy by default. All he wanted to do is rebuild his parents' farm, which was burned to the ground by the attacking Paiutes, get some animals, find a wife, and settle down and raise kids and crops.

This book was drafted several years ago and I've learned quite a bit since. So, I am practically rewriting it, rearranging the sequence of events, adding more to it, and trying to finish it by the Fall. I'm partly satisfied with the way its coming along but won't be happy about it until I type "The End."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

This 'n That

I put up a new header picture for June. This one shows some of my niece's Black Angus trying to find some shade on a hot day in August. However, the old bull doesn't seem to realize it's the sun shining and not the moon. Some good steaks on the hoof there.

Speaking of the weather, Oklahoma has sure had its tornadoes and rain the last couple of weeks along with Parts of Arkansas and Missouri. I don't know what I'd do if I woke up to see my house scattered over the territory for a couple of miles. I think I'd say "Enough of this, I'm heading somewhere else," as that one lady said on the TV as she looked over the mess.

I began pinning some items on the boards at and I'm not sure if I'm going to like it or not. Looking at my board, all I see is bunch of pictures and stuff that came up when the site said "pick at least five boards." My photos were buried among all the rest. Maybe I'll learn how the page works as I go along and I can clean it up to resemble something that relates to my books and writing, etc.........maybe.

"Dingbat" has been called to serve the Lord. I hope she doesn't break his eardrums when she starts singing the halleluja songs. We were sorry to learn of her passing. She was "an actress not a celebrity" she said and was never in the public eye after the TV show All in the Family. Jean Stapleton was 90 years old and died of natural causes the paper said.

"Wrangle." v.i. quarrel, bicker, squabble, dispute, altercate, argue, brawl. From Roget's Thesaurus. It leaves out the one about rounding up cattle, but we can't all be perfect. Maybe that's a v.t. or a plain ole adj. like intractable, which some of them dern animals are.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Reading

All right, I'll 'fess up. I jist cain't pass up a book store and yesterday I picked up three more books to add to my readin' pile.

1. A new author to make my readin' acquaintance is Rod Miller and his Gallows for a Gunman. If that ain't a great title, I don't know what is and it promises to hang 'em high and use a strong rope. He's done roped me in for this un. "Harlow had been sentenced to die at dawn. For the town of Los Santos, dawn couldn't come soon enough," it says on the back kivver. I cain't wait to dig into it, but all things considered, it'll have to go on the file pile to be read as I git time.

2. And, by golly, I just finished two books on Butch Cassidy when I ran across Will Henry's Alias Butch Cassidy and jist gotta have a go at this for comparison's sake. Where do I put it on the file pile, near the top ahead of some of the other greats or on the bottom and hope I git to it before the unwanted guest comes knockin'?  Or, sneak it into the middle of the pile, where it'll have a better chance of bein' read? I'm not goin' to draw straws or play high card, I'll just toss it into the box, knowing the odds are even. I'm needin' a li'l more Wild Bunch, Hole in the Wall, and Robber's Roost to put me to sleep.

3.Whoopee! Another one of Louis L'Amour's shoot-'em ups, Rivers West. "A dream and a deadly conspiracy" it yells from the Back kivver. Tryin' to take over Louisiana is whut they're tryin' to do. Hmm-mph! I doubt they can wrench it away from them swamp dogs that got it already.  Ya nivver know aboot thet "brazen Baron Torville" though. Hate to throw that on the pile, but jist got to. I cain't git at thet one before Cassidy and Gallows er can I?.

(He leans back in his chair with thet satisfied grin on his face and sighs with contentment.)     

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cowboy Joke

I thought this one was funny when I posted it in June 2009, so here it is again:

You have lived to be 71 and know who you are, then along comes someone and blows it all to Hell.

An old cowboy sat down at the local lunch counter and ordered a cup of coffee. As he was sipping his coffee, a young woman sat down next to him. She turned to the cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

He replied, "Well, I've spent my whole life breaking colts, working cows, going to rodeos, fixing fences, pulling calves, bailing hay, doctoring calves, cleaning my barn, fixing flats, working on tractors, and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy."

She said, "I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women. When I shower, I think about women. When I watch TV, I think about women and even when I eat. It seems that everything makes me think of women."

The two sat sipping in silence.

A man came in and sat down by the cowboy. He, too, asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"

To which the cowboy replied, "Well, I always thought I was, but I just found out that I'm a lesbian."


Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Pome

In 1999 I conceived the following "pome" (not poem, since I'm not a poet) that sizes up things in early Utah from my perspective. Here goes:


Horses, cattle, chickens, sheep, and hogs,
Along with the crops, the land and the dogs,
Made up the farms in early Utah.
'Twas what God looked down and saw.

The brave men and women who worked the farms,
And watched over their crops during bad storms,
Rode their horses all the day and night,
And prayed to God that they did right.

The Indians revered the rocks, plants, and sand,
Through the centuries as if it were planned,
And through the Rockies their history plods,
As they paid homage to their almighty gods.

So here's to the Cowboys, Indians, and Sheepherders,
And to their women who loined-up their girders,
I mean girded up their loins and opened their arms,
And to God for providing them all with beauty and charms.


(NOTE: Copyright 1999, Oscar Case)

I was writing a book on my family's genealogy and history and started each chapter with a "pome" as an introduction to what was coming up and to lighten it up. Some of it has been written about in my blog from time to time you may have noticed.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Hardin Movie

True West says there will be a movie on John Wesley Hardin before too long. Mr. Hardin didn't get the publicity that Billy the Kid did, but he was just as much a killer if not more. In an article by C. Courtney Joyner, he sez the movie's producer "wanted an entirely real approach to the outlaw's life with no compromises." If it turns out to be anything like the book by Lewis Nordyke, it'll be a barn-burner of a movie. "Beside him, Billy the Kid was a rank amateur," said the Kansas City Star about John Wesley Hardin, Texas Gunman, the book. Who will play Hardin in the movie hasn't yet been determined, but "will be a major name."

I can hardly wait to see this one. I just hope it doesn't take years to complete. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some Upcoming Events in Arizona

Here are some more events taking place in the wonderful State of Arizona the next month or so:

May 18 - Jerome Historic Home and Building Tour, in the old mining town that sits on the side of a mountain. Always a good time in Jerome.

May 19 - Skirting Traditions Lecture Series, Prescott, with Brenda Kimsey Warneka, writer and editor, in the Sharlot Hall Museum.

May 25, June 8, and June 22 - The Grape Train Escape in Clarkdale. Wine-tasting and finger foods while riding the Verde Canyon Railroad. A chance to get high on the locally grown grapes in the high country.

May 25-26 - Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture, Flagstaff. The Zuni people share language, lifeways, music and dances at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

May 25-27 - Wyatt Earp Days in Tombstone. Celebrate the Old West's most famous lawman whee he gained fame at the OK Corral, etc. Yee-haw!

May 27 - Memorial Day Parade in downtown Concho in the White Mountains.

June 1-2 - 2 Deuces Wild Triathlon at Foot Hollow Lake, Show Low.

June 7-9 - Show Low Days in Show Low.  Western-themed festival, parade, rodeo, and beer garden among other festivities. Y'all come.

(Courtesy of the High Roads Magazine of AAA with comments by bloggincurly.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I wanna go home, I wanna go home

We started on a road trip to Topeka, Kansas, Wednesday, the first of May, the occasion being my wife's high school reunion. We arrived in Albaquerque about 4 PM, unpacked for the night, and went to dinner. The next morning at breakfast in the motel, we overheard some travelers talking about all the snow falling in Minnesota and that it was snowing in Topeka. The wife looked at me and said, "I wanna go home. I'm not going to travel in the rain and snow in Kansas!" I agreed and we packed up and headed for Phoenix. We had good laugh over it, saying "It was a long way to travel for a good Mexican dinner."

On the way back we ventured through the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest and took some pics:

                                                                Gettin' off the highway

                                                              Our greeting committee
                             This old crow was a friendly cuss, just hanging around waiting for a snack.

                                          The floor of the Painted Desert has hills of solid rock
                                                                     More rock hills

                                                            A distant view from the road


                                                    And on to the Petrified Forest

                                                                      Audience seating

                                                      There was firewood on the hillside
                                                                Petrified logs everywhere

                                       This old tree has the colors of a Jackson Pollock painting

                                                        And this one is almost pure white

The people getting in the car were Californians, the car across the parking lot is ours, the mountain of clay in the background used to belong to the Navajos.

We continued on to the Gift Shop, of course, and bought some rocks to help out the Indians. And then on to Payson and Scottsdale, where we ate dinner at Mimi's and went home.

Congrats to Orb, the Kentucky Derby winner!