A Salute to Apache Scouts

Thanks for publishing Lynda A. Sánchez’s eye-opening article on Apache scouts, “The Last Hurrah,” in the May/June 2024 issue. Southwest scholars and history buffs who are familiar with writings on the Apache wars up through 1886 will doubtless be intrigued and enlightened by this insightful piece. Modern-day Apaches may also take pride in this tribute to the martial legacy of their ancestors, especially at Rancho Ojos Azules.

—Frank Puncer (Rio Rico, AZ )

We are fortunate to have Lynda A. Sánchez as a contributing editor to True West for over 25 years. She is a national treasure.

Apache scout “First Sgt.” on left was described as “able to track any man across any terrain.” Courtesy N.A.R.A.


James Dean and Tom Mix

It is hard to read this lonely road story “The Day Tom Mix Died” by Jeb Rosebrook in the March/April 2024 issue, and not hear the echo of James Dean, just 15 years later. In the arc of 20th-century historical memory, the two events seem so much farther separated in time—at least from my vantage point. The age difference (60 vs 24) is also greater than I think it appears in pop cultural memory. (“Live fast, die young.”)

—Bill Yenne (San Francisco, California)

James Dean starred as Jeff Rink in the
epic film Giant. The film was released in October 1956, 13 months after Dean died in a car accident near Cholame, California. Courtesy Warner Bros.


In the Eye of the Beholder

That, in my opinion, is one (March/April 2024 cover of Tom Mix) of your best paintings. The cover just explodes out of the mailbox. After reading the stories it’s even better. Really captures the ego of Mix.

—Allen Fossenkemper (Fountain Hills, Arizona)

I recently bought your March/April issue in Saint Thomas, Ontario. Very good magazine. However, the cover was the ugliest choice you have made in a long time. I’ll bet it isn’t selling as well as the previous magazines. I blame it on the choice of the cover. The picture of Chief of Scouts Al Sieber would have been a far better choice.

—Paul Gordon (St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada)

We love the passion of our readers! We will keep trying our best to keep the West alive—no matter disagreements or debates.



True West Archives

In the March/April 2024 issue, I noted the name of Walt Coburn (right) was misspelled as Colburn. As it happens, Coburn was a close friend of my grandfather Lester Lee Ruffner, and with his wife, Pat, was a guest in our home in Prescott on several memorable occasions. I have attached a very sad obituary about a young cowboy killed at the Prescott Rodeo, elegantly penned by Walt. I recently found the yellowed copy of newsprint folded inside his autobiography titled Walt Coburn: Western Word Wrangler. Although undated, I’m guessing the obituary was written after 1933, the year my Great-Uncle George Ruffner died here in Prescott, as he is mentioned in the obituary as residing at “Mountain View” along with some other local notables buried there.

Thanks for keeping the West alive, at least in the hearts and minds of your readers.

—Rebecca Ruffner (Prescott, Arizona)

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