A legendary screenwriter gets his final byline.

In early 2003 my agent called me to tell me the Westerns Channel wanted to start running True West Moments between movies with me as the host. It was a dream come true, but the odd thing is I didn’t have an agent, and the guy who was calling me his agent was actually a legendary Hollywood screenwriter who wrote one of my favorite movies, Junior Bonner. As it turns out, Jeb Rosebrook was being facetious about being my agent, but it was an inside joke between us that he never got tired of ribbing me about.


My “agent” Jeb Rosebrook and me having fun at the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books. Stuart Rosebrook


Around this same time, Jeb, and his son, Stuart, pitched me on doing a feature for the magazine on “The Day Tom Mix Died.” They would bring together all the cultural and current events going on in the world on that fateful day in October of 1940. I immediately told Jeb and Stuart it was a go, and Jeb was on assignment. As often happens, other projects—and life—got in the way, and then Jeb got sick and he never completed the piece. (He died in August 2018.) In this issue, Stuart and I have completed the project in his honor, and it was a labor of love to do it.

We had some great assistance from Mike Lanning and Bob White, who both know a thing or two about the King of the Cowboys, Tom Mix.


Michael Lanning models Tom Mix’s famous hat.
Bob Boze Bell


As for becoming my agent, here’s what happened: back in 2003 Jeb flew to Denver to meet with a producer, Jeff Hildebrandt, about a Western film Rosebrook was helping sell for a Hollywood director friend. Jeff turned down the offer but asked Jeb to relay to me that he had a gig for me. So, when he got back to Phoenix, Jeb called me and told me he was calling as my agent, and that was the start of a long-running joke that neither of us ever got tired of.

 Ride on, my good friend.

“We’re all speeding towards a dry wash somewhere, it’s the time between that matters. Tom Mix created the life he wanted to, and his tragic end was an exclamation point to an adventurous life. I imagine as he floated away, he said with a grin…well, I never saw that comin’.” —Bradley Ross

Bob White is a world-renowned authority on Tom Mix.
Bob Boze Bell

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