Life in the Old West

True stories, tall tales, memorabilia of the American West


I grew up during the 1950s and ’60s, when the “Old West” was the stuff many movies and television shows was made of. (My real name is NOT “Old Hoppy” — but that’s a name I picked up on a writers’ forum some years ago, related to a famous movie and TV cowboy of the 1940s and ’50s, “Bill Hop-Along Cassidy,” wonderfully portrayed by the actor William Boyd.)

As I grew up, Westerns declined in favor. Generations of kids have come and gone who have no idea who “the Cisco Kid” and “Gabby Hayes” were. When I was a youngster back in southeast Nebraska, a highlight of my life was sitting on Smiley Burnett’s lap and having my picture taken when I was 6 or 7 years old.

Along about 1990, 1992, thereabouts, I decided I wanted to turn my keyboard toward writing Westerns. I started three Western novels, got as far as four chapters on one, then gave it up. I discovered there was very poor pickin’s for selling Westerns. I met a bunch of wonderful people who do actually make something of a living, and a full-time lifestyle, as members of the Western Writers of America. My wife and I attended one of their annual conventions as guests of a mighty fine writer and topflight friend named Frank Roderus. (Hi Frank.) But the Western writer career just sort of fizzled out for me.

Now, by golly, it occurred to me that I could share all the stuff I’ve read and what little I’ve learned from it as a website. That’s how I got here. Hope you got here along a similar path, because of an interest in the American Old West.

However you got here, I welcome you. Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Leave if you’ve got to. Come back when you can.

And if you’ve got a question or comment for me, I invite you to use the “Contact” form further down on this page. I’ll get your message via email and I promise to respond as soon as I can. Enjoy.

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