October 10, 2020
Here's a confession: I sometimes get good stuff in my books because people ask me questions while I'm creating the book and it forces me to go find answers. When I was doing Geronimo, my artist compadre, Thom Ross, quipped, "I hope he tells the paratrooper story," and, then, dammit, I had to go find the story and several people have since told me they think it's one of the most interesting vignettes in the book.
So, here's another good example, this one regarding Billy the Kid:
"Being a musician I have often wondered about the belief that Billy's favorite song was 'Silver Threads Among The Gold' and possibly 'Turkey In the Straw.' These of course were standards of the time period, but do you know of the sources that can confirm that Billy liked these songs and any thoughts on why he might have gravitated toward them?"
And here's another confession: because I've been doing this so long (see vague music reference above, which is actually me and Dan The Man Harshberger playing "guns" on a Bell family picnic), I know the right people to ask. In this case, a first-rate musician AND a top-researcher AND author on the Kid!