With yesterday's posting on the passing of Jesse James author Ted Yeatman, I got the following thank you email from Ted's cousin, Jean Yeatman:
Thank you for posting about Ted on your blog. This response really helped me feel better:
Dear Ms. Yeatman,
On behalf of The James Preservation Trust, and the historical interests of the family of Frank & Jesse James, you have our sympathies and condolences.
The James family, which has not always known or recognized its own history, owes a debt of gratitude to Ted, and particularly to his work. His book stands as the definitive encyclopedia of the professional careers of Frank and Jesse James. Be assured as we are, his book will stand as such for decades to come.
When the Trust was formed by myself and the late great grandson of Jesse James, Judge James R. Ross, Jim and I acknowledged Ted's achievement. Had Ted not written his book, we still would probably be addressing that history. The fact that Ted published his extensive and detailed research, has now made it possible for us to focus on new research, and the writing of a new history regarding Frank and Jesse James, in particular their family. For that alone, we owe a particular debt of gratitude. That gratitude already is acknowledged in the preface of the pre-publication manuscript of the new history book being prepared to be published about the James family. Ted didn't know about this formal acknowledgement. He did not communicate with us. Nor did we expect to alert him prior to publication. However, for us, the acknowledgement of his contribution to the history of the James family was a necessity.
I don't know if there's anything we can do for you. If you know of something, let me know. Otherwise, please take pride as we do in Ted and his extraordinary accomplishment.
ERIC JAMES, President, The James Preservation Trust
End of comments. This is the issue of True West that Ted edited in 2002:
A very classy and thoughtful email from Eric James, an upstanding member of our community, by the way. And, yes, we have a real community here on this site. We have petty arguments (better zoning laws?) and personal attacks, infighting and invading a--holes, excuse me, outlaws. And, in some rare instances, we have had to call the marshal and have them run out of town. And, we have drummers, who come thru town and try and dupe us with their elixirs and hair-brain products. And, of course, in every town there is a group of people (town council?) who think they run the place, know everything and are always right, no matter what. I'd like to believe I'm not a member of that group, but I do attend their meetings. Ha.
"I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong."