sylvesterLeave it to the cold and snowy environs of Cody, Wyoming, to inspire us. Last January, Sue Lambert and I attended our first Dude Ranchers’ Association Annual Convention, and Boy Howdy! did we get inspired.

Everyone complains about how kids today  don’t care about our Western heritage, but the moment I met Salvador and Erika Madrigal, the cover blurb hit me: “Dude! Where’s My Ranch? The Kids Who Are Going to Save Our Western Heritage.”

After you read about these kids and what they believe in, I think you’ll agree the future of the Dude Ranch is in safe hands. And if you know of kids who are working hard to keep the Old West alive, I want to know about them (contact me through

While I was researching this issue’s Classic Gunfights on the infamous Wham robbery (p. 60), I recalled buying a book about the Centennial of Pima, Arizona. I thought it might have some inside stuff on the robbery since a couple of the alleged robbers were pillars of the town. Imagine my surprise when I got out the book and read every page—not one word is mentioned regarding the most famous incident in the history of the town. Contrast this with the lawless events of nearby Tombstone, and it becomes even more curious and ironic. As late as the 1960s, a certain editor of a big-time magazine (okay, it was Arizona Highways) refused to run an article on the event for fear of upsetting the locals. Amazing.

In mid-April, I challenged my blog readers to take a stab at an illustration for Leo Bank’s brilliant and hilarious take on the Billy Buff War. Three readers took the challenge, and the winner is—Alan Archambault (see p. 70). Alan is the director of the Fort Lewis Military Museum in Washington State. It’s the largest U.S. military museum on the West Coast. I was particularly impressed with Alan’s attention to historical detail (notice the anchor design on the shirt, all the buck teeth, Lightning revolvers, slouch hats and oversized sweaters). Good job, Alan! Visit to check out the Fort Lewis Military Museum.


We have changed one word on our cover logo. Can you spot it? Hint: We used to “celebrate” the American West.

Related Articles

  • apr06-sass

    The Fourth Annual Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) Convention and Cowboy Christmas went off without…

  • best-of-western-heritage-travel_true-west-magazine

    To promote Arizona’s centennial, our contributing editors Jana Bommersbach and Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble…

  • bests-of-2014-heritage-travel

    From Arkansas to Alaska, from Texas to Montana, True West Magazine for sixty years has…