The Tenacious West

Thank you for a thought-provoking Western Books article, “The Tenacity of the West—and the Western,” in the November 2023 issue of True West. Like you, these thoughts have come in and out of my mind many times. I like, very much, Stuart Rosebrook’s statement, “…just when it seems the anti-Western movement would succeed, strong winds in favor of Western writers have blown Old West writing and publishing back on course.”      

 In the mid-1990s, one fellow, an old-time historian and author, called me a “young turk” in the field of Old West/Frontier West history and, most importantly, “True” West history.  Recently, one young fellow, an upcoming talented historian and author new to our field, referred to me as a “seasoned gentleman.”  I suppose this latter sobriquet is now fitting, so I want to say a word in favor of the “fossils” and “boomers.” 

The young build on the accomplishments of the old. Some may want to put us “Boomers” out to pasture, but the credibility of the young turks will be built on time, work, product and accuracy. And, as they say, “Every old song was once a new song,” so “every young author will soon be an old author.” Thank God for both!

Roy B. Young Retiring Editor, Wild West History Association Journal Apache, Oklahoma

We will continue to make room for the voices of all generations in True West.

Ask the Marshall

Marshal Earp and Marshall Trimble, “a historian with grit.” Courtesy Marshall Trimble


I believe Marshall Trimble’s column “Ask the Marshall” is the best thing in True West. I love the way he is a diplomat with his answers and at the same time a historian with grit. 

Thanks for all you do.

Coy Prather Anderson County, Texas

We couldn’t agree more.

Tombstone, The Saturation Point

Why are you so set on the movie Tombstone? It seems like all you have in the magazine is crap about that movie. I don’t know what your hang-up is, but I have decided that if you keep it up, I will not renew my subscription. There are other stories that would be more interesting than shoving that movie down our throats every time you turn around.

Robert Morgan Hailey, Idaho

Yes, we get a little misty-eyed about that damn movie, and I can understand why it might stick in your craw. And, yes, we have a ton of great history coming at you this month and all through 2024. Thanks for hanging in and letting us know how cranky you are. (I totally understand. I can be as cranky as you!) You are part of our family, and sometimes families squabble, but in the end, we all love the Old West. Hope you agree. —BBB

Magical Realism

A recent issue (April 2023) featured an article on Robert Duvall, including a picture of him on the cover as “Gus.” If one notices, Gus is the only character in Lonesome Dove who doesn’t have a tie-down on his cowboy hat. The only one. It adds to the magical realism of the character and the movie. It’s part of what makes the character and the movie. Yes, magical realism. It’s part of what makes the show so popular and watchable. Though almost no one notices.

Will Citta Estes Park, Colorado

Guaranteed, everyone will notice the next time they watch Lonesome Dove—but I still recommend wearing a stampede string on your cowboy hat because there is nothing magical about losing your hat while riding on a windy day. —SR

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