Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Larry McMurtry and books we love

August 22, 2012

   Big rain last night. Needed it. Also cooled down the air a bit. We have been frying out here on the High Sonoran Desert.

Took another run at Texas John Slaughter on horseback for the next issue of True West magazine. We are covering his gunfight with Barney Gallagher at Chisum's South Spring Ranch near Roswell, NM. There are two versions of the fight with the other having him on foot and firing from the back of his chuck wagon. I lean towards the latter, but, of course, the mounted one is the version we all want to believe.

Gave a nod to the TV Texas John's hat style. I believe it was Tom Tyrone who played Slaughter on the Disney series. I have always loved that hat brim style.

Going up the hill today for a speech in Flagstaff. When I booked this months ago I thought I'd take advantage of the cool up there and spend the night and hang out, but we have so much going on here I need to get back ASAP.

We're doing a big book issue with Larry McMurtry and others giving us a list of books you need for your Western library. I'm listing the five books that changed my life, starting with the very first book I bought, which I had to save for all summer by working for tips in my dad's gas station:

I saw the book advertised in True West magazine for the unheard of price of $15. The ad, which we are running with my editorial touts that the book should be $25 but they have cut corners to produce it at this low price. I used to take this book up to my grandmother's house and she would sit and tell me personal stories about some of the outlaws she knew or her father told her about. This was truly the catalyst for me to seek out the true stories of the west.

"History is a foreign country. They do things differently there."

—Old Vaquero Saying