When I was a kid, starting in 1957, I bought my issues of True West magazine at Desert Drugs in downtown Kingman (below, left):
Each issue was chocked full of old photos and rememberances by oldtimers from a half-century earlier when the West was still wild.
Fifty Years Ago We Played Like It Was Fifty Years Earlier
This morning I got a surprise email from a childhood friend, Billy Driskill, who lived briefly in Kingman in the mid-nineteen fifties. I remember he invited a small group of boys in our grade to come out to his house which was way out in the country, on the dirt road to the Big Sandy (actually overrun by subdivisions today and not far from the new hospital being built on I-40). I seem to remember his parent's little ranchito had no electricity and we couldn't have been more thrilled about it, because it was so Old West. Bill Blake was one of the kids who went with us and I seem to remember Arnold D. Thomas being there as well. In the morning we were playing "guns" in the back yard when his mother snapped a photo of us:
That's Billy Driskill on the right and me pointing the rifle. I think that's Arnold D. Thomas with the cup up to his mouth (his wife will love this) and I'm not sure, but I think that's Billy Key on the left. Anyway, what's funny is, it looks as ancient as the photos that ran in True West when I was a kid and the oldtimers had trouble identifying the other cowboys and gunslingers in the photos.
“Nothing changes more consistently than the past; for the past that influences our lives does not consist of what actually happened, but of what men believe happened.”
—Gerald W. Johnson