Casey TefertillerWish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what gun Wyatt Earp used in the Gunfight Behind the O.K. Corral.

The biggest misconception about Wyatt is that he was a glory-seeking, big-mouthed braggart.

If you ask me, Glenn Boyer never made the most of his many gifts and opportunities. He could have been a bright light in the field, but he chose another path.

Nobody can touch Western writers Gary L. Roberts, Jack Burrows, John Boessenecker and Robert K. DeArment.

For my money the best Western ever is 1959’s Curse of the Undead.

I’m working on a video project with interviews of folks who actually knew Wyatt and Josephine Earp, who tell their memories on camera. I am working with Pam Potter, Jeff Wheat and Tom Gaumer to complete it.

The hardest part of conducting good research is long road trips and cheap motels. And John Boessenecker can find the cheapest.

Don’t get me started on the “Toward a New Western History” movement.

My granddaddy always told me that being a man is something you earn, not something you are born with. And there are times you must stand up for what’s right, but pick your fights.

My biggest influence has been my grandfather, who was a working cowboy and then a chief of police during Prohibition. I grew up listening to real stories of the frontier and reading Joe Small’s True West.

Nobody told me that Tombstone could be at its best at sunrise, when the first light on those old buildings takes you to another time.

I can’t imagine living without actual books.

What the heck is up with Roger Jay’s intriguing new research on Josephine Earp? With RJ’s work and Ann Kirschner’s new bio of Mrs. Earp, we are gaining much new information that will demand a great deal of re-evaluation.

History has taught me that many folks believe what they want to believe, not what is shown by the evidence.

I had a mid-life crisis when I gave up a very good job to write about Wyatt Earp.

The most knowledgeable Wyatt Earp historian is Jeff Morey.

Wyatt Earp in Eagle City, Idaho, gives us insight into a highly complicated man who was far from perfect, but extremely courageous.

Wild West History Association gives me a continuing opportunity to share in the new research of the West. And to join some really great folks.


If you want to talk baseball with Casey Tefertiller, he can certainly wow you (he wrote about baseball for The San Francisco Examiner and coauthored Mental Toughness: Baseball’s Winning Edge). In our arena, he is a designated hitter for Wyatt Earp and is the author of the critically-acclaimed Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend. He also discussed the influence of Walter Noble Burns’s Tombstone book on the legend of Earp in the foreword for the 1999 edition. This summer, he will be giving a talk on Earp’s time in Idaho at the Wild West History Association Conference (July 10-13) in Boise, which is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of Idaho Territory.

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