I grew up during the 1950s and ’60s, when the “Old West” was the stuff many movies and television shows were 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. (Alas, my friend Frank passed on a few years ago.) 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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