Monday, June 09, 2014

The Early Bird Eats The Worm?

June 9, 2014
   Back home to the desert this morning. Paid an extra $12.50 for the Early Bird promotion on Southwest so I could perhaps speed up the getting-on-the-plane deal, only to find I was A-53, which was not bad (full flight loading first with As, then Bs and finally Cs). The only problem was, I paid the fee, but Kathy, who did not, was A-55. So, really what did I pay for? I guess you could say I was kind of an early bird, but that's a pretty thin early.

   Finished reading The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthieson on the plane ride home from Burbank. Amazing writer. Now I want to read his In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, which is quite controversial, but he is such a good writer I'm anxious to see what he has to say about the Peltier case.

   Got into the office and received this email from Brussels (all spelling and punctuation as is):

   I just read the French edition of the life of Billy the Kid you wrote. Very well illustrated book .All excellent. I have a question: by which mean was it possible to have a so precise knowledge day by day, month by month sometimes hour by hour about people actions and behaviours in those years . Is it something that existed in the local news papers or extracted from personal memories ? I am anxious to know your way in that history.

Sincerily your’s
—Alex Pireau, Wezembeek-Oppem, Belgium

Billy Looms Over Lincoln, New Mexico

   Here is my reply:

    Glad you enjoyed the French edition of Billy the Kid. The answer is that the first line of knowledge came from the many newspapers in the entire West (we just found a description of the Kid's killing by Garrett that  ran in a Colorado paper), then there were government investigations—The Angel Report—and others which were eventually found by researchers and added to the mix. Then came the personal memoirs of the Lincoln County War participants (John Tunstall kept a diary which noted researcher Fred Nolan tracked down in the early 1950s) and finally interviews with many of the old-timers in the 1920s and 30s. As the years have gone by all of these resources have given us a pretty good idea of daily life.

    Still, there are big gaps. We don't really know where the Kid was born and what his first years were really like.
—Bob Boze Bell

  Meanwhile, my old editor at the Arizona Republic, Ken Western, just sent me this news of me being included in a new Western fiction book:

   You appear in a couple of spots in Jeff Guinn's new Western "Glorious," most prominently on page 342: “Ike Clanton led two men through the crowd. One was tall and grizzled. The other sported a brushy mustache and wore a particularly wide-brimmed hat. “‘Why, it’s Boze Bell and Johnny Boggs,’ Mulkins said. ‘Why are they being brought up to the governor?’ Safford dramatically shook hands with the two prospectors, then gestured for Collin MacPherson (big bad guy) to join them.”…..(Governor talking at event) ”’Mr. Bell and Mr. Boggs have made a significant strike, and I hereby announce that they have sold their claim - to myself and Collin MacPherson.’”

So, you’re a rich man, BBB.

—Ken Western

Weston Allen a couple months ago. He's so much bigger now.

"I'm rich in the cosmic bank."